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September, 2008:

Comcast really is a bunch of jackasses

I posted back a few weeks ago about how Comcast’s customer ‘service’ was hosed.

It was reinforced recently when, after cancelling my bill FINALLY, I got what should have been my final bill.

Rather than the REAL amount of about $45, this bill was for almost $200 AND showed billing for 1.5 months AFTER the disconnection.  What it comes down to was a really shitty billing system.  From my experience almost all these companies have a BS system.  Verizon (was GTE Mobilnet at some point I think) had 2 or 3 different billing/customer tracking systems and they didn’t seem to ‘talk’ to each other.

I just hope after my 5 phone call, that my last check zeroes out my Comcast bill, and I don’t ever have to be their customer again.

Psst… Verizon.. this means you need to get FIOS to Oakland now!

Zune 3.0 software/firmware is (pretty much) rad.

Microsoft is shipping new Zune gen3 models and with that comes a new version of the desktop software as well as new firmware, and features.


‘Buy from FM’: concept here is that you hear a song using the built-in FM radio, you can then buy it later when you sync.

Problem is that the Zune needs to get the track/album/artist info from the radio station feed and many times the info is impartial if even present.

I got one song to show info, but it wasn’t available in the Zune marketplace.

Browsing of the ‘Zune Marketplace’ via wifi.

No need for a PC once the thing is setup.

I think this would be especially nice for download while traveling.

MS just announced a deal with McDonalds’ wifif infrastructure folks, Wayport, to allow Zune users free wifif at the ‘restaurants’ (9,800+)

I like this feature.  It effectively streams song as well.  Great addition.

‘Zune Channels’: prepackaged content for the Zune.  Essentially playlists (virtual stations) that download the tracks if you have a Zune Pass.  I have downloaded and synced channels and the content seems interesting.  They need to allow users to easily created channels as virtual mixtapes for friends.


MS added games to V3 “Texas hold ’em” and “Hexic” come free, but I haven’t sen any other games available as of yet.

MS finally added support for audiobooks from Zune, and OverDrive.

I’m not a big audiobook listener, but now they can at least say they have that feature (which iPods have had for some time).

And they added a clock too.  Nice to have.  Why wasn’t it there before?

I just downloaded and installed the Zune 3.0 desktop software.

It has some minor, but appreciated features.

All told, these new features mean my  30GB gen1 Zune (got it for $100 at can not only sync to my music collection on my PC via wifi, but now I can purchase music via wifi.


Refreshes much faster.

Look is a bit refined.

Things they still need to fix:

Managing downloads. You need to be able to sort, prioritize, drag to order, and have the abilityt to set the max bandwidth and/or number of files to download at a time.  iTunes allows darg and drop ordering of downloads and has an easily accessible option to limit downloads to one file at a time.  The software does now resume last downloads when it closes/crashes.

Overall, I am loving the new features and it makes me want a 120GB gen3 now 😉