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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.

NEW 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.

Games:

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, Audible.com 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 woot.com) can not only sync to my music collection on my PC via wifi, but now I can purchase music via wifi.

DESKTOP

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 😉