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By ObviousTroll (Thu Aug 05, 2010 at 04:45:11 PM EST) (all tags)
Verizon is embedding advertising right in the firmware for their routers.... 


Switched from Comcast to FiOS:

Just venting a little here. Switched to FiOS the other day, mostly because they're offering a deal that's going to save me about $100 per month over Comcast + POTS line.

So, anyway - I log into the router/modem (is it still a modem?) they provided and the first thing I see are convenient links on the side to help me to shop for additional Verizon services.

What do you think? Is this perfectly fine, or just a bit creepy?

So far, the service isn't bad. The speed is everything they promised (more, actually. I'm supposed to be getting 15 down, 5 up, but I was getting 20 down and 7 up when I checked). There are fewer channels on the TV, but I expected that since I was moving from Comcast's "middle" tier to FiOS's base tier.

The cable box is a bit tragic - it has all these fancy features that are less than advertised: "widgets!", "media manager!" "extra stuff!" - so much so that it feels like I bought a cheap PC loaded with crapware instead of a cable box. For example, the YouTube widget demanded that I install "Mediamanager" on a PC or Mac - but then complained that the it couldn't find a PC... Macs aren't supported by that widget.

So, since the Mediamanager promised iTunes integration, I decided to see if it would let me watch video from iTunes on the TV and, again, no. I can play music (really? why?) and I can look at iPhotos (again, why?) but no video.

Not a big loss, since I didn't expect any of this before I got the cable box (and I'm planning to buy an Apple TV/Roku thingie/Tivo or similar come Xmas time) but it just fundamentally annoys me seeing pages of crapware bloating up the cable box.

The other thing that annoys me is exactly how fucking hard Verizon is working to "monetize" their investment in me. Comcast was bad enough - but you didn't have to look at www.comcast.net if you didn't want to and, even if you did, the UI wasn't all that bad. But Verizon's email and web presence are apparently handled through "partners" - either Yahoo! or MSN. I picked Yahoo! because I already had a Yahoo account, I knew how they worked, right?

Except that someone - presumably Verizon - has decided to embed advertising in my logged-in Yahoo! page.

That's right - yesterday, when a I was a for-free member of my.yahoo.com, there were no ads on my home page. Now that I am actually giving someone money in order to access my.yahoo.com, there's a big honking unmoveable ad for car insurance in the middle of the page.

Verizon's own pages are considerably worse. Trying to check your bill is an exercise in averted vision as you try to ignore ads for the HBO, Disney Connection, SOAPnet, Refer Friends to Verizon and Earn Rewards and more!!11!1!

Sheesh.


Less see, what else have I been doing?

The little lamb got her cast off, replaced with a "boot" that looks more than a little mecha-esque. She was very happy to be able to actually get a shower without having to bag one leg, but it will be a few more weeks before she's off the crutches. We've already booked a room for a weekend in Wildwood in September to help her celebrate her return to normalcy.

A little while back, Troll, Jr. and I found some MTG cards at WalMart which has triggered a fairly dramatic revival in our interest in the game. We dug out our old decks and I abruptly discovered that playing against an 18 year old is not the same as playing against the same person when they were 13. This resulted in an arms race where his ultimate weapon is a frightening pre-built deck that simply moves to fast to fight against (I've lost every time) and I have a home-built deck can beat every other deck he has - if I finish him off quickly.

I'm going to challenge his pre-built with my homemade deck tonight. I think I have the wolves to take his "slivers"....

Fun, fun fun. Now he's teaching his GF to play. Should be amusing. 
 

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Ads? What are those? by lolwhat (2.00 / 0) #1 Thu Aug 05, 2010 at 04:47:35 PM EST
Adblock Plus and Flashblock FTMFW.
--
If cigarette packs are required to have pictures of diseased lungs, college brochures should be required to have photos of grads working at Starbucks.
I don't think you understand... by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #4 Thu Aug 05, 2010 at 05:49:36 PM EST
I'm not talking about surfing the web - I'm saying that when I log into the router's administration pages, there are ads built into the pages. I don't think ad-block would detect those.
 

An Angry and Flatulent Pig, Trying to Tie Balloon Animals
[ Parent ]
Ah, but you can set up a custom ad filter. by lolwhat (4.00 / 1) #7 Fri Aug 06, 2010 at 03:24:46 AM EST
Right-click marketroid bullshit. "Adblock Plus: Block image..." Edit filter as needed. Click "Add filter." Goodbye, marketroid bullshit.
--
If cigarette packs are required to have pictures of diseased lungs, college brochures should be required to have photos of grads working at Starbucks.
[ Parent ]
I think I read that on FB by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #2 Thu Aug 05, 2010 at 05:00:00 PM EST
and don't you dare print out a few Black Lotus's, and then glue to commons.


You know what I CAN'T post on FB? by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #3 Thu Aug 05, 2010 at 05:38:35 PM EST
Back when my son and I were first getting into MTG, my baby brother gave Troll Jr. all his Magic cards and it included, no not the black lotus, but another banned card that was far too powerful for real games. Lotus Diamond? Something like that.

TJr spilled water all over them. Every now and then my brother asks if TJr still has his cards...

Technically? Yes. Most of them. Sort of.



An Angry and Flatulent Pig, Trying to Tie Balloon Animals
[ Parent ]
I would never do that by houser2112 (2.00 / 0) #12 Fri Aug 06, 2010 at 03:04:47 PM EST
I felt bad enough proxying my Hazezon Tamar because it was so beat up that it was too conspicuous.

Also, pre-built decks?  LAME.

[ Parent ]
Roku Roku Roku by yankeehack (2.00 / 0) #5 Thu Aug 05, 2010 at 07:39:43 PM EST
Go Roku! 

"...she dares to indulge in the secret sport. You can't be a MILF with the F, at least in part because the M is predicated upon it."-CBB
I have their original product by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #8 Fri Aug 06, 2010 at 08:37:23 AM EST
the SoundBridge - and I love it. Does the TV version work with local media servers? 

An Angry and Flatulent Pig, Trying to Tie Balloon Animals
[ Parent ]
I don't by yankeehack (2.00 / 0) #13 Fri Aug 06, 2010 at 05:33:05 PM EST
know, as I don't really watch TV at all.

If you use Roku products, you help me out personally, in a work related sense.
"...she dares to indulge in the secret sport. You can't be a MILF with the F, at least in part because the M is predicated upon it."-CBB

[ Parent ]
I recently switched to FIOS by lm (2.00 / 0) #6 Thu Aug 05, 2010 at 09:17:20 PM EST
The wireless access point they provided is hands down the most solid wireless access point I've ever used.

And their price is hard to beat. I went from the basic tier of Comcast to the basic tier of FIOS and ended up spending a good deal less money per month.

So far, they've had far fewer artifacts. With Comcast, I'd watch local channels over the air because of all the digital artifacts. For the most part I don't have that problem with FIOS.

But, yeah, they do try to monetize everything. They certainly aren't white knights. They just happen to suck less than Comcast.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
POTS line, Apple TV by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #9 Fri Aug 06, 2010 at 08:53:15 AM EST
Got rid of my pots line a couple years ago. Just use the cell now. Saves $50/month or so.

The newest Mac Mini has an HDMI output. I'm thinking that, plus an Elgato EyeTV, is my xmas present to myself. If I have the money...

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

The Mac Mini is another possibility but... by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #10 Fri Aug 06, 2010 at 11:25:37 AM EST
The Roku is a lot more limited, but the top of the line version with HDMI, 720p and 802.11n is only $120.
 

An Angry and Flatulent Pig, Trying to Tie Balloon Animals
[ Parent ]
Yeah. Like I said.. by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #11 Fri Aug 06, 2010 at 01:02:18 PM EST
If I have the money. Started new job this week, after 2 months unemployment. Finances are horrid. Maxed credit card and just enough money in the bank to see me through the month...

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
it'll always be hard by garlic (2.00 / 0) #14 Tue Aug 10, 2010 at 12:41:44 AM EST
to beat a special purpose boxes price with a general purpose box. But it's a lot easier to mod the general purpose typically, to do what you actually want.

I have a Tivo. I don't think they work with FIOS, but it's not available here and I could be out of date.


[ Parent ]
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