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!
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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