You are currently browsing the monthly archive for March 2008.

blah blah I I I
typical american
Me Me blah blah crap

-submitted by my sister

Advertisements

Well Bear Stearns, you did it.

Sure, there were a lot of greedy bastards in all of this, both on the bank side and the consumer side. But you, sirs, somehow managed to be such monumentally large douches, you’re actually taking the rest of the World down with you.

“Too Big To Fail” is the term that’s been bandied about.

And of this, I’m fairly sure you were well aware. I mean, why else would you ignore just about every news report for the last 3 years and somehow decide that actually *buying* these rotten loans was somehow actually a *good* idea?

Okay, you’re right. You were not alone. But you weren’t satisfied with merely being one of the pack. No sir ree.

Not only did you hold you nose and drink the tainted subprime tequila shot-for-shot with those other greedy douchebag banks, you chased it with a 4-foot bong of northern lights, a whippet, and then went streaking.

And before you say that’s the worst analogy you’ve ever read, let me clarify. …A little back story.

When I was in college there “the rich kids” and the “rest of us”. The rich kids were lucky enough, to have their parents pay for everything: school, food, housing, and even a little spending money for booze. Whereas the “rest of us” had to pay for everything ourselves, either through school loans, or if we were smart, actual jobs.

Well, somewhere between freshman and sophmore years, there was this rash of rich kids who went nuts with their parents’ money. They bought booze, drugs, music, clothes, and everything else you can think of like it was going out of style. Drunk with their first taste of freedom, and a little gratis spending money, they let loose.

And there was always that one kid who took even that way to far. And I knew one of those kids.

On top of the booze, drugs, clothes, music and what have you, this kid signed up for a bank account, and a credit card, and in a desperate attempt to gain some ephemeral small time fame, went and spent as much money as he possibly could buying booze, drugs, clothes and anything else he could think of, for anybody and everybody.

He threw parties. He took other kids on shopping sprees. And for about 3 full months, nobody on campus had to buy any beer or weed because he had it taken care of.

This lasted for several months, and by various accounts he owed well into the tens of thousands of dollars when it was all said and done. And when I asked him why the hell he did that… why, when his other friends were topping out at, say, $1,500… why he had to go so overboard?

It was simple, he explained. You see, those other kids ended up having to pay for their debt themselves, because it was relatively minor. He, on the other hand, was more conniving.

Or was it smart?

Since he had made his situation so bad, so untenable, he was in a unique position. And his parents were in an unenviable one. Since the level of damage was so great, their unfortunate choice was simple: either “teach their son a lesson”, and insist he pay for his monetary misdeeds, which would surely mean dropping out of school, a mountain of mind numbing legal problems, possible criminal charges, and assured bankruptcy? Or, in lieu of “ruining his life”… reluctantly bail him out, but with a stern talking to?

You know what happened.

And who can blame these parents for bailing out their son? As much as they probably wanted to see him suffer because of his idiocy, they couldn’t let his entire future get thrown out the window with the proverbial bath water. So they bit the bullet and did what they had to do.

This kid is Bear Stearns. And the Government is, once again, the parents.

And you thought that was a bad analogy.

So bravo Bear Stearns. Your plan worked perfectly. And only time will tell if you  threw the World’s entire future out the window with your dirty bathwater.

Okay that was a bad one.

e

To be honest, I didn’t think I wanted TIVO until I got TIVO.

Or, to be specific, until i got Time Warner Cable’s DVR, which is built into my cable box. But when I got it, I was instantly hooked. It’s everything they said it would be, and more. And although I don’t tape a ton of shows, the ones I do record are near, and dear to my heart.

Did I just say tape? I did.

Anyway, for some reason, this weekend, while I was away, my Time Warner DVD failed miserably to record “Real Time With Bill Maher”, “SNL”, and “At The Movies With Ebert And Roper”.

Wuh?

So I go online… and there’s not much besides some “tips” that are written for morons ala “what’s DVR?”. So I clicked on the “reach us via our ‘online form’” link… which is deader than a virtual doornail:

TimeWarnerCable: Contact Us!

So I call.

Already I’m WAY past my time quotient for dealing with this mess. And I’m on hold for almost ever.

And then… I get a dial tone!

I was cut off!

So I called again, and climbed my way through the phone tree only to get cut off yet again.

Kill.

The problem here is not that I missed my precious shows, and that I cried like a little girl. The problem here is that Time Warner NY has such atrocious customer service that I don’t even know HOW to go about reporting this, or somehow asking for their help in fixing it.

And that’s one of the more important aspects of good customer service, isn’t it? When something goes wrong, in this order you:

1) Make yourself obviously available
2) Etc

So…I must ask, ever so nicely:

Time Warner New York? WTF?

Turns out I’m not the only one. Check out today’s ComputerWorld blog by on the exact same topic:

Why I’m Done With Portable Hard Drives -Mike Elgan

My response:

“The external HD “industry” needs to be way, WAY more upfront about what users can realistically expect from these drives.

Most users who aren’t in IT buy these drives FOR backup. It doesn’t occur to them that they should be backing up that backup, and then even backing up THAT one to DVDs. On top of that, most of these drives are poorly made. Just do a cursory search and you’ll turn up failure, after failure, after failure. The industry, and certain manufacturers in particular (I’m looking at YOU LaCie) need to be more honest about the fact that their drives really *shouldn’t* be relied upon. They also should explain, upfront, that if something does go wrong “mechanically” with the drives, that they will NOT help, AT ALL, with the recovery of the data. Even though the data was lost due to a mechanical failure, which is their responsibility.

The “bigger disks” which are upwards of 2TB are very tempting at around $500. But what they don’t tell you is that if that drive (which is really 4 drives in a RAID) fails… upwards of 10k to recover the data. That is a BIG pricetag. And something that needs to be communicated CLEARLY to potential customer.”

-ed

And here’s a response to my comment on digg about the fact that LaCie should be “more upfront” about the fact that their 2TB drive is, in fact, FOUR 500GB drives in a RAID array:

“No, it’s LaCie’s fault. The reason it’s their fault is that they advertise their drives as perfect for backup but don’t tell the buyer that they acheived their 1 tb size using 2 drives linked using raid 0, worse they don’t tell buyers what this means. This omission is the suff of lawsuits and if a few more buyers lose their data probably will result in one.”

Here here.