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Another option for bulk emailing April 9, 2014

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So today I lamented that Campaigner.com and even ConstantContact weren’t really set up for mass mailings from a list and they both have poor understanding of what constitutes a paid for list. 

One of the options I had suggested at the outset was just get a Cox Business account. But memory from 2006 said a 2mbps VAN was $200. So I called them today – $70 per month for dedicated 30/15 service and $10 for a static IP address. $80 per month. 

That’s the way we’re going. I’m downloading Debian 7.4.0 right now and I’ll burn it to a couple of discs. Then I’ll take one of my IBM e-servers that was destined for the public wifi MESH project and make a Qmail email server out of it. Then we can email away to our hearts content. No bullshit, no stupidity. We’ll have to move our domain over to the new connection and away from Bluehost. But that’s easy enough to do – just change the MX and A records and we’re off and running. 

So the only thing we’re waiting for Cox on is the install. Then I can plug in the server – point all the domains and fuck off email houses – we’re our own email house. 

 

The Internet Must Go – the leaked video September 9, 2013

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Now my two cents on the matter. I’ve long been in the networking side of things and I can tell you – the cost these ISP’s are talking about is fairly trivial when it comes to upgrading service.

But net neutrality is very important. I think the FCC should clamp down on all the ISP’s and classify them as common carriers, subject to full regulation. And that includes NET NEUTRALITY.

We pay enough for what I consider to be sub-standard service. And it’s the wild, wild west when it comes to what the ISP’s do with regard to pricing that is really impeding us economically in the U.S.

And that in nineteen states, including North Carolina the big carriers like Verizon, at&t, Comcast and Cox have gotten laws passed that say a co-operative cannot build out their own network. That is ludicrous. First off in the section of North Carolina he visits in the video – they’re never going to build out there. But they’re trying to protect something that they have no intention to build out. Isn’t that ludicrous.

And I really think we should regulate the ISP’s. Make them put aside 20% of annual net income for infrastructure upgrades. If we did that there would be no end to the wonders we’d see when it comes to the net in the near and far term future. That’s all you need to do.

Of course if we really wanted real net neutrality we’d say all the last mile belongs to the people, not the companies and that all could compete to use that last mile. It’s what they do in Germany and France.

Things that cross in the mail August 10, 2013

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I had neglected to pay my Cox bill last month. But this week I went on the web site and paid the bill. Today I get a notice in the mail that says I owed them but the date tells me this was generated prior to my making the payment online.

But the notice had other interesting information. I’m paying $146 a month for cable, net and phone.

The notice actually broke it down:

Each month I pay:
$93.02 For Advanced TV

$23.47 For Net Service (50mpbs)

$30.42 for Phone Service

First off the net service. Prior to getting the full raft I had only net service and was paying $60 a month for that. So tell me, how does it drop to roughly 1/3 the cost for the same service?

The phone – $30.42 a month for a plain old telephone line with no voicemail is a bit on the pricey side.

But the video – $93.02 per month – are they fucking kidding me? Can you guess which services are going to get kicked to the curb sooner than later?

And so we’ve been upgraded March 23, 2013

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So I had posted about Cox and how I got a better deal by signing up for the raft versus a la carte on services. It’s still too expensive – but marginally better.

The new cable modem and telecom side has battery backup – for the phone service only. Part of 5-9 reliability for telephone service and E-911 uses, lasts up to 8 hours. Funny enough it’s a 2,600mAh battery – my cell phone also has a 2,600mAh battery in it and lasts about 15 hours between charges.

Net speed is a little zippier. Phone service works fine though I don’t know how to set up voicemail, etc. There’s no guide included. I bet you just dial you own number and it will prompt me to setup. Have to try that.

TV is much more interesting. The box only supports 1080i but if I have to take that I will. Plus it’s feeding the TV via HDMI now. Which means I have component ports open. Hmm. And the new Guide on the Cisco boxes is much nicer than the Rovi guide on the older cable box.

So it works.

So now Cox decides to get a little competitive? March 20, 2013

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So I check my mail today and there’s a mail piece from Cox – $89.99 a month for Advanced TV, phone and 18mpbs net. Hmm. Well I like my 30mbps net connection.

So I recently noted my bill for just tv and data went up to $162.99 a month. Ut si!

So here’s what I got when I called:

For about $20 less per month I get phone service which I’ll probably not use anyhow. I also get Advance TV and a new cable box with an upgraded guide service and six months of Starz or some such for free. And the net service – because I opted for the telephone service they’ll replace my ancient SB5100 with a DOCSIS 3.0 modem. My net speed will rise to 45mpbs.

I suppose they got beat enough by Verizon Fios enough that they had to do something. But here in the U.S. we did it all wrong. We should have made the broadband providers such as Cox and now Verizon common carriers. That way everyone could share the coax or fiber, like they do in France. And then we wouldn’t get so screwed.

For example – what I detail above? In France you can get the triple play for $40 a month.

The Great Blizzard of 2013 February 10, 2013

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So as you might be aware, we had ourselves a little blizzard here in the northeast. 2 to 3 feet of snow, 50 and 60 MPH winds, power outages, heating outages.

For example, our power ceased functioning at 7PM on Friday. We spent most of Saturday in a cold house but then our friends power came on so we’re staying with them.

And here we are three days out and no electric power. This means I’m going to rip National Grid a new one.

For example here’s something to ponder. I know Verizon’s copper and fiber are up and running, so too Cox’s coax network. So explain to me how National Grid’s service is SO fragile yet the other services are up and running.

And then you have the nitwits saying it’d cost $400 Billion to bury all the wire in the U.S. So do it! Leave Verizon and Cox on the pole and bury every last bit of the electrical infrastructure. I mean, what’s on the poles now is over a hundred year old technology. It’s time we modernize.

Highways are all clear down to pavement and they’re still touching up here and there on I-95. Local roads are atrocious for example one street near where I live still has two foot deep snow on it, the street I live on has just a narrow little band plowed on it. It needs to be fixed – my city Councilor Bryan Principe is being proactive – there are bucket loaders and plows going around the area now cleaning up.

And BTW, I I get just a little money I have a mission in life  – to break National Grid into a million little pieces. And while I’m at it, I want to put shots across the bow of Verizon and Cox too. It’s good to have a mission.

TV: Something I noticed January 11, 2013

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So I had thought I might drop the Cox video service some time ago. But what kept me from doing so was that Keyron likes it for background noise.

But I noticed something the past few days. The TV has remained OFF. Net video has finally replaced the television.

If this continues on I may well tell Cox to shove their so called Advanced TV service at $90 per month straight up Hershey Highway!

I’ll pay the $60 a month for the net service because to me that has more utility than a television service. I can for example, post to my blog, chat on IRC, get nntp news feeds, RSS feeds, YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, etc. It’s funny – I was lamenting that Netflix only had The Twilight Zone when my favorite was the Outer Limits, the 1960’s version. And I note Hulu has the whole series, both the 1960’s and 1990’s versions.

Woops, update. The TV just got turned on damn it.

Cox email servers still down December 16, 2012

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This is unacceptable.  I do note that Cox proxies your web connection because I keep getting the little pop-in in my browser telling me that they’re down.

That’s nice and all but fix your fucking mail servers. I tried to telnet to pop.east.cox.net and used the POP3 commands  – I cannot get past sending the password to the server.

I do know that Cox uses InterMail – a product I have had exposure to and hated from the outset. When it comes to mail servers, you cannot beat Qmail Toaster. Its really simple to set up, scale, and the mailboxes are just text files so it’s easy to snip out offending crap using a text editor.

At this point I have to wonder why Cox even provides email service anymore. Most of my email now comes via Gmail anyhow. But I still have my Cox accounts checking and it’s annoying as hell to have Thunderbird keep complaining that it can’t connect.

That this happened on a weekend is telling though. They probably did a software patch and blew up their mail servers. And on the weekend there’s nobody there.

Let’s hope they get it fixed tomorrow.

Cox incoming email down December 15, 2012

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So last night I noted Thunderbird kept telling me it couldn’t connect to Cox’s email server. Now I run a spam filter so I telneted to the spam filter and it responded. But then I tried initiating a POP3 session from the command line to Cox’s smtp.east.cox.net.  That failed spectacularly.

So now I know Cox proxies all web connection because I occasionally get a web pop-up stating they know about the issue and are working to resolve it.

I can give them a hint, ditch InterMail and go with Qmail.

Carriers just don’t get it July 26, 2012

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I’m talking about Cox and Verizon in this one.

Last night I attended MoDev-RI (And upon reflection I believe it should be MobDev) and we had a hellish time getting Google’s Android SDK up to snuff on the computers there, and then to further irk us, those with the HTC Thunderbolt had issues. And to top it off, I found out that the Sparkfun Electric Sheep I won won’t work with my Samsung SCH-R910! I think Google really needs to get the act together – and get tighter control on what vendors and carriers can do to the Android distro on the phones.

For example, I had the Samsung SCH-R910 Indulge, Keyron has the LG Optimus. Both Android phones – but completely different UI’s. Maybe I’m fussy here but Microsoft and Apple didn’t get where they are by putting an OS out there and letting OEM’s and cellular providers muck with the user interface. A prime example, on my phone you swipe left/right. On Keyron’s it’s up/down. Bad move Google.

But this brings me to the point of this post. I note both Cox and Verizon offer watch instantly apps for IOS, but nothing for Android. Yet Android is moving up there. In fact if last nights group was any indication I saw but one iPhone yet the computers were majority MacBooks.

This not having it for Android has come up in the past. When the City of Providence rolled out the ProvConnex app it was only for IOS. I raised a small stink and suddenly there’s an Android version. Not to say that you can try to register for ProvConnex and get your credentials, only for the Android app to say it can’t log you in. Ut si!

It’s that human propensity to go for just good enough. I understand why Google let OEM’s and carriers fuck with Android, but it’s not going to serve them well. And Cox and Verizon both need to get their shit together and offer an Android watch instantly app too.

Because for the prices Cox and Verizon charge, just good enough isn’t going to fly.

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