The Ramblings Of John Campea

Life Beyond The Movies

Verizon “map” commercials feel desperate

Verizon-Maps.jpg
The first time I saw a Verizon 3G coverage map commercial, I thought it was pretty sharp and bold… but that was months ago.

Today, Verizon continues to put out new commercials that basically say nothing new whatsoever. They just keep making the same point over and over and over again… THE MAP. That’s it.

It reminds me of two school yard kids arguing.

KID #1 (Verizon) – “Your shoes have holes in them! haha!”

KID #2 (AT&T) – “Your mom slept with the lawn boy”

KID #1 (Verizon) – “Your shoes have holes in them! haha!”

KID #2 (AT&T) – “All the girls at school call you butt head”

KID #1 (Verizon) – “Your shoes have holes in them! haha!”

KID #2 (AT&T) – “You’ve failed 4th grade twice”

KID #1 (Verizon) – “Your shoes have holes in them! haha!”

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying Verizon isn’t as good as AT&T… not at all… but where AT&T is pointing out different things like “We cover more americans”, and “We have faster 3G” and “You can talk and surf the web on our 3G”… Verizon just keeps showing that rather pointless map over and over and over and over and over and over and over again… and quite frankly it seems really desperate.

Dear Verizon: I’m sick to death of your map commercials. Tell me something new or just shut up. Thank you.

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January 4, 2010 Posted by | Tech | 3 Comments

5 Reasons Not To Use Hotmail

I’ve been telling my friends for YEARS to not use hotmail. I came across this good article on Dedicated Server Doc on this very topic

1. Hotmail spam filtering is too aggressive – ask any ISP and they will tell you that anti-spam filtering of customer emails is a tricky business. The ISP has a responsibility to ensure that their customers receive all legitimate emails. At the same time they need to provide some sort of filtering. Without any filtering at all, the email service would be unusable for some customers – particularly long time customers who have had the same email address for several years or more. So, most ISPs and email services will handle this in a couple of ways. Firstly, their email filtering will generally be non-aggressive by default. That means that it will block the obvious spam, but the occassional spam email may get through. So, they will offer you the option to increase the aggressiveness of the filtering AND provide a folder or login where you can review all filtered emails. This is what the ‘Junk’ folder is also used for.

Hotmail, by default, has very aggressive spam filtering. So aggressive in fact that messages that do not exhibit any spam characteristics whatsoever are filtered.

2. Hotmail Silently Deletes Messages – this is just plain irresponsible. Mind you, it is a FREE service so I guess Hotmail feel that they have no real responsibilities as the customers aren’t paying. Most mail services and ISP mail servers will notify the sending system that they are not delivering an email message and will provide a reason why. This is sometimes in the form of a ‘bounce’ email and it can also appear as a response from the mail server that is logged in your server log.

Not so with Hotmail. I have tried diagnosing Hotmail delivery issues many times and in most cases the Hotmail mail servers will respond with a message indicating that the email was successfully delivered – but it is silently deleted by the Hotmail mail filters. None of the other major mail providers do this. If a message is blocked or filtered by Yahoo Mail then there will be an indication as to why in the server log file. The same applies to GMail.

3. Hotmail’s filtering process is flawed – I had a client who was starting up a site and was finding that his emails weren’t being delivered to Hotmail. The business was new and the domain was new. The messages were simple one line notifications. Hotmail silently deleted these messages. Whitelisting doesn’t help – these messages don’t make it to the junk folder and they don’t even arrive when the sending address is whitelisted. Why have a whitelist and a junk folder if you are going to delete messages before they get to the recipient?

4. Hotmail’s Approval Process Is Flawed – Yes, there is a way that you can request that your domain be allowed to send email to Hotmail accounts – but this process is flawed and it gives a very real example of how broken Microsoft and Hotmail’s email filters are. I sent a message per their instructions. The instructions said to send an email to their address with the domain or list of domains in the blody of the message. I immediately received a bounce message that said:

Diagnostic-Code: smtp; 5.1.0 – Unknown address error 550-‘5.7.1 <Your e-mail was rejected by an

anti-spam content filter on gateway (205.248.106.32). Reasons for rejection may be: obscene

language, graphics, or spam-like characteristics. Removing these may let the e-mail

through the filter.>’ (delivery attempts: 0)

That was a message that had the domain, per their instructions, in the body of the email. I tried sending from three different addresses, none of which have ever been blacklisted. In fact all of the domains had a valid SPF record and reverse MX entry.

5. You Get What You Pay For – If you experience any of these sorts of issues, don’t expect any assistance from Hotmail. You are not paying them for the service and they have no way of handling thousands of complaints each day (which is what they would get if even a small percentage of Hotmail users were aware of how unreliable the Hotmail email service is). Strictly speaking, email is not considered a particularly reliable method of communication. Hotmail takes iot to a whole new level though.

If you absolutely MUST have a free email account then you would be much better off choosing either GMail or Yahoo mail. Both of those services are many times more reliable than Hotmail.

June 2, 2008 Posted by | Tech | 1 Comment

Forget Microsoft Office. Get OpenOffice!

I’m just so used to using OpenOffice for my office applications that I often forget that most people haven’t even heard of it yet (even though it’s been around for YEARS). Ok, here’s the basics… essentially OpenOffice is a suite of office productivity applications that is pretty much EXACTLY the same as Microsoft Office.

For example, OpenOffice has a Word Processor that pretty much looks and functions exactly like Microsoft Word. You can even open the files in both programs without a problem. So I can write up a document in OpenOffice, email it to you, and you can open and view it in Microsoft Word no problem. It’s even got a PowerPoint and Spreadsheet programs too that function and import with Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint.

Here’s the thing… OpenOffice is 100% FREE! Yes that’s right folks… FREE! I ditched Microsoft Office off my computer over 4 years ago. I have it on my Mac Laptop and on my PC desktop. I’ll never use Microsoft Office again… and neither should you. Go get it and try it out. I swear you’ll have absolutely ZERO trouble getting up and running because as I said, it essentially looks and acts JUST like Office.

Go get a free download of it here.

November 1, 2007 Posted by | Tech | Leave a comment

Walmart to Sell $198 Linux Computer

If I wasn’t into video editing, I swear I would get myself one of these things.

The computer’s pre-installed and linked Software includes Mozilla Foxfire, gMail, Meebo (a browser-based IM client) Skype, Google Documents & Spreadsheets, Google Calendar, Google News, Google Maps, GIMP, Blogger, the Xing Movie Player, and OpenOffice.org 2.2.

The Everex gPC will be available at some, but not all, Wal-Mart stores and walmart.com for $198 starting in early November. This is not the first time Wal-Mart has sold a low-priced Linux desktop. Earlier, the company sold Microtel systems running Linspire. For the last few years, though, Wal-Mart has not been selling Linux systems. Everex is expected to make the gPC TC2502 available through other retail partners if demand warrants this move.

I put Ubuntu Linux on my 6 year old HP laptop and it’s a pure joy to use. Run a heck of a lot faster than Windows XP does on it. The included software is great and is so system resources friendly that you’ll think you’re using a 3x faster computer than you actually are. I hope this is a sign of things to come.

Read more about it here.

November 1, 2007 Posted by | Tech | Leave a comment

New iMac For Video Editing?

I’ve really hated Mac computers for a very long time. I had to use one once YEARS ago for a company I worked with and I hated every moment I had to spend on that thing. But then last year they came out with Intel processors, and the new Macbooks were looking really sweet, so I got myself one… and I’ve LOVED every moment I’ve own this thing.

Now, I’m starting to consider grabbing a Mac desktop too. The new iMacs look just amazing. Here’s the thing… if I got one, the main purpose of it would be to use as a video editor. Have any of you guys had any experience using Final Cut on one of these iMacs? If so…. do you find it works well? Reliable? Buggy? Fast? I’ve already got a 24′ monitor that I’ll hook up to it to use as a dual monitor system, so I’m just curious if anyone has had any experiences using one for video specifically?

October 30, 2007 Posted by | Tech | 2 Comments

Sources For Creative Commons Content

When you are involved in any sort of creative venture, finding content that isn’t bogged down by copyright is tough. Graphics, music and other things like that are often hard to come by. This site is a great list of various places to get content that falls under the Creative Commons agreement. Check it out.

read more | digg story

October 29, 2007 Posted by | Tech | Leave a comment