May 16, 2004

Time for SciFi network to change their name

I really enjoy science fiction, I grew up reading Asimov, Poul Anderson, Fred Saberhagen, Heinlein, Piers Anthony, Larry Niven, and a host of others. And I love watching science fiction shows on TV, even the poorly made ones from years gone by. Like most fans of the genre, I can enjoy the shows for what they are and not concern myself when I notice the strings that hold the models, the fake backdrops, and the host of other flaws in older shows.

When the SciFi network first launched, they did a decent job at bringing various shows to their lineup, but lately they've really been slipping.

Apparently the powers that be at SciFi have taken it upon themselves to pollute the genre with Fantasy and Occult offerings, shows better left for other networks like USA, such shows have no business being on the SciFi channel.

In recent memory of most viewers was the loss of the top rated show Farscape, cancelled at the height of its ratings. Then we were subjected to a variety of decidedly non-scifi shows such as John Edwards (fiction certainly, but not scifi), Scare Tactics, Mad Mad House, and others.

And now, today, views of SciFi are being treated to such apparent SciFi classic movies as Batman, Casper, a pair of Flintstones movies, and that ultimate SciFi classic, The Nutty Professor.

The folks at the increasingly misnamed SciFi channel have totally lost touch with their audience, a group of highly intelligent, often geeky, and very devoted viewers. People that will travel hundreds of miles to attend conventions, that have heated arguments about minor plot lines of obscure episodes, people that actually want shows that require thought to fully enjoy instead of the mindless pap offered by other networks.

It's time for the SciFi channel to get back to it's roots and give the viewers what they want. Bundle up all those other shows and send them over to USA, or split off a another network for all that other fluff. A true SciFi network is desperately needed, and if they're not able to deliver then they need to get out of the way and let someone else fill that void.

Posted by Jim at 4:55 PM | TrackBack

May 11, 2004

AvantGo non-support

Well, for about a week now I've been trying to get the AvantGo support staff to send me a link to a .CAB installer so I can install the software on my PocketPC without having to sync with a Windoze system. I'm beginning to feel that English is not a language they fully comprehend there.

Their presumably form replies are nicely written, but are not bearing any resemblance to the problem I'm presenting them with. I usually don't mind emailing tech support folks, but when they don't even bother to try understanding the problem and are forced to stick with their 'script', it can be darned frustrating the for customer.

Posted by Jim at 5:22 PM | TrackBack

April 30, 2004

Pepsi unable to carry a Tune

An iTune, that is. CNET reports on Pepsi's iTunes promotion which began at the Superbowl this year, hoping to give away up to 100 million iTunes. Instead, only 5 million songs were actually redeemed.

What the article doesn't mention was Pepsi's supply problems getting these out to the folks that wanted them. Personally, I never saw one of these bottles in the grocery stores I go to locally, though I did manage to find a few at a local convenience shop, and the local 7-11 briefly had specially marked 32oz cups at their soda fountain, which I promptly filled with Diet Dr. Pepper. Of the 5 promo items I purchased, I managed to only win a single song.

Many markets received these specially marked bottles late, if at all. And as far as I know the only real push on this promo was at the very beginning during the Superbowl. You have to wonder if Pepsi ever intended to have this promo be a sucess for Apple to begin with, since they were footing the bill for all iTunes redeemed during the contest. Since they just blew a few million in advertising during the Superbowl, maybe they figured they'd save a few by not getting the free songs into people's hands right away and waiting for the excitement to die down?

We may never really know the answer to that one, but I think if I was Steve Jobs, I'd be a bit pissed at Pepsi right about now...

Posted by Jim at 2:07 PM | TrackBack

April 15, 2004

I just SO hate Microsoft...

Here I am, minding my own business, and I decide to run Analog again tonight to see what sort of activity my web site has been getting. My site has been running about a week, and Analog usually came back with a report in about 30 seconds or so. So I wait, watching little status messages go by, wait some more, thinking 'hmmm, must have had a few visitors today', and wait some more...

To shorten the suspense (I could have gone on for a while there), what was a 30 second report last night has been going on for 12 HOURS tonight! And the source of all this? Apparently it's a combination of some IIS WebDAV exploits (whatever that is), the CodeRED worm (I remember hearing about that), and some other worm/virus/Microsoft product that's attacking anything with an IP address...

First of all, I know that M$ this week released like four MAJOR patches to its OS. I'm so glad that security is such a large focus for them, but sheesh, couldn't they have fixed some of these problems a few years ago when they shipped the OS to begin with? It's no wonder that Longhorn has apparently been pushed back another year...

So, I'm sitting here, perfectly immune from any harm as a result of all those worms and viruses floating around the net happily spreading from one M$ system to another (I actually consider Windoze itself to be a virus, but I digress...), and even though the little Mac next to my desk is happily chugging along replying back to all of those requests 'nope, none of that here', my logs are filling up at an alarming rate, and I'm now at 12+ hours elapsed waiting for my log analysis.

This is the price Mac (and Linux) users pay for living in a M$ dominated world. Our systems happily keep chugging along, waiting for ISPs to come back online after being choked to death with floods of traffic from wayward software, waiting patiently while server admins around the globe quickly (or not...) apply the latest patches to stop the worm-o-the-day from spreading, and putting up with log files that ballooning out of control faster than if someone dumped a few truckloads of Viagra off at the bunny farm.

Posted by Jim at 1:17 AM | TrackBack