Google PlusFacebookTwitter

Why Can’t The MLB Stop Spoiling Games For Fans?

By on Jun 18, 2018 in Software |

Baseball is the only sport I care about in the slightest, and I’ve been a Cubs fan for most of my 36 years. There was a brief time before I knew what baseball was that I wasn’t technically bleeding Cubs blue and I had to take a short break in the 2000’s in order to decide if I can handle any more disappointment, but other than that, big fan. Over the past few years, I’ve consumed all of my baseball through the MLB’s various streaming services. This has generally consisted of web browser based video players, the Roku app, and the MLB At Bat mobile app. None of these has ever been perfect. Audio issues, low quality, and massive buffering have all been frequent. However, in 2018 things have taken a severe turn for the worse, and MLB support seems completely unable to help. I work a lot, so I rarely get to stream games live. That means I don’t...

How Three Massive Companies Fail To Get VoIP Right

By on Jan 1, 2018 in Blog Posts, Internet, Software | 0 comments

For years I’ve been using Skype for my business telephone system. Although it’s never been perfect – the admin interface is atrocious and reliability is a problem – Skype is simple, cheap, and has all of the features I need. Well, it did have everything, until they inexplicably decided to axe custom voicemail greetings. Without the ability to have professional voicemail greetings for when customers can’t reach someone, Skype can’t really be considered a proper solution for businesses. I did a bit of research and asked around for better solutions. My needs are simple: I’m looking for a good softphone, an easy to use admin interface, the ability to import my contacts from Skype, and I need to be able to port my phone number. I came up with three companies that seemed to meet my requirements: Vonage, Jive, and 8x8. Although they all advertise...

How to Export ALL of Your Skype Contacts

By on Nov 5, 2017 in Software | 0 comments

It’s been a while since I made the move to Skype for handling all of my business calls. There have always been problems with Skype for business use, including confusing billing and an abysmal management interface, but the removal of custom voicemail greetings was the last straw. Tomorrow my number is being ported to Vonage. The most important thing to migrate over from Skype is my contacts. I’ve got years of phone numbers saved that I don’t want to have to re-enter. One would think this would be an easy process. After all, Skype does include the ability to backup contacts to a file, but this ended up exporting less than half of my contacts. When people call my phone number, which is setup through Skype, I see their number in caller ID. Then I rename it to their personal or company name for future use. Apparently, Skype doesn’t consider these to be...

Incompetency Run Amok: Why I’ll Never Fly British Airways Again

By on Jun 25, 2017 in Blog Posts |

A trip overseas is never easy. You plan for months, making sure everything is in order. Passports have to be issued. Presents ordered. Bags packed and re-packed. Airline tickets monitored for months to get the best seats and price possible on a reliable airline. Alona and I, with of our 15-month-old son, Roman, set out for Ukraine flying British Airways (BA) so he could meet her family for the first time. BA’s ticket pricing was stellar. We spent $1,800 in April to purchase two adult economy fares with one infant in the lap. It was $200 less expensive than our 2015 fare with Delta/KLM which didn’t include the infant fare. Over the years I had heard good things about British Airways. They regularly outrank all American-based airlines in ratings and I seem to recall flying with them once or twice in years past and having no issues. Back in late March BA had a massive global...

Review: Dell XPS 13 9365 2-in-1

By on Feb 12, 2017 in Blog Posts, Hardware | 0 comments

Back in 2012 I got my first Dell XPS 13 and it was the best laptop I’d ever had. It was svelte, fast, and just what I needed in a mobile computer. I used it for years before I got a Chromebook Pixel which was (and still is) a better device. Since then Alona has taken over ownership of the 2012 XPS 13 and has used it daily. While it’s still a solid device, it’s starting to show its age. Windows 10 never worked perfectly on it (neither did Windows 8), with a number of minor nagging issues and a serious bug with the display driver that we were never able to resolve. So, it was time for an upgrade. Alona needs a Windows laptop because she has to run Windows-only apps, so that meant no Chromebooks. In the end, we opted for the brand new Dell XPS 9365 2-in-1. Although the name leaves a lot to be desired, the device itself is dripping with sex appeal. It’s fanless,...

How to Get a Static URL For Shopify Files

By on Dec 14, 2016 in Internet | 1 comment

Ran into an issue today where a Shopify app named Findify needed to be able to link directly to a CSS file hosted on the store it was connected to. For some reason Findify doesn’t inherit styles from your theme and you can’t simply override the styling using a typical stylesheet in your Shopify theme and you can’t make a lot of changes via the external Findify management interface and adding tags to their custom box doesn’t work, so you’re left with using the external CSS link. Findify support was…less than helpful with this. I was left to my own devices. Trouble is, Shopify doesn’t provide static external links to assets in your theme’s folders. For example, let’s say you add a new CSS asset to your theme in the standard way using the theme customizer. You’d think you could access it at www.domain.com/custom.css or maybe...

ARK: Survival Evolved Review – The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

By on Mar 30, 2016 in Games | 0 comments

There are times when ARK: Survival Evolved (ARK), the dinosaur filled survival game in development by Studio Wildcard, is awe inspiring. Your initial hours of exploring the island and fighting to survive will be at times frustrating but more often engrossing and rewarding. ARK puts its hooks in early and they are only shaken loose by its inability to deliver on its promise in the mid and late game. I’ve put way, way more time into this game than could possibly be considered healthy. No one should put 900 hours into anything that doesn’t pay your bills or further humanity, and I’m pretty sure playing ARK does neither. Also, this review is interminably long. Sorry about that. What follows is The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of ARK: Survival Evolved. ARK: Survival Evolved Review This is a review of an Early Access (EA) game. That means the game is incomplete and is...

Why You Shouldn’t Buy Google’s OnHub Router

By on Oct 30, 2015 in Blog Posts, Hardware | 2 comments

Way back in the heady days of October 2012 I purchased a popular wireless router – the ASUS RT-N66U. It was so cool that ASUS even nicknamed it The Dark Night. For nearly three years it was not only the router I wanted, but the one I needed. It more than got the job done. Then we moved into a new house, and the wireless speeds mysteriously became unreliable. Even 30 feet away I couldn’t get a decent test result. My 100M/10M Internet connection was hobbled. I ran tests and quickly found that a wired connection to the router worked perfectly. 2.4ghz was fine, but since the limits of 802.11g meant I couldn’t fully utilize my bandwidth, I opened a ticket with ASUS support. After a week of fruitlessly testing different settings, the 5ghz band’s performance was less reliable than Lindsay Lohan. ASUS initiated an RMA. But wait, isn’t this an article about...