Category Archive: Etcetera

Comcast Is Up to Its Lying Ways Again

Like everyone else, I’m fed up with Comcast again. In the latest insult, my bill has gone up 35% without notice, and the CSR tells me I’m stupid for not anticipating it.

Here’s a letter I received last fall:

A reasonable person would read that letter to say that my rate is changing to $42.95. And it did, for the next six months. But today, my bill said I owed $57.95. I think I’m not alone in recognizing that $42.95 and $57.95 are not the same number.

So I called Comcast. Amy, one of the most unhelpful CSRs I’ve ever spoken with, insisted over and over that I had signed up with a promotional rate in November, that the promotion was now ending, and that Comcast had been clear and upfront about the price all along.

Well, Amy, you’re wrong. That letter clearly states “we will be reducing your price to $42.95 per month”. Amy tells me that I’m an idiot. The letter didn’t explicitly state that this was a permanent rate, so I should have known that it was a temporary, 6-month promotion (Amy, apparently, has incredible psychic powers not available to mere mortals like me). And I should be happy, anyway, because $57.95 is a great, competitive rate for the service I’m getting.

Thanks for lying to me Comcast. Thanks for insulting me. And thanks for buying out a company with better CSRs and replacing them with Amy.

Anyone at Comcast want to fix this?

Wish List: Mobile Clipboard Sharing

A feature I’d like to have on my Droid (or any smart phone, or computer in general): a shared clipboard. I’d like to be able to copy a link, or text, or whatever it is I’m copying on my desktop, and paste it on my phone, and vice versa.

How might this work?

  1. I copy something on my desktop
  2. I click on an icon that will send the contents of my clipboard to a web service
  3. Said web service notifies my phone that it has new content (or my phone polls regularly for new content; I’m not sure how that might work)
  4. My phone grabs the new content and saves it to its local clipboard
  5. I paste the content in a appropriate location on my phone

It doesn’t seem horribly complicated at first glance. Is there anything out there that does this?


to revoke or annul (a law, tax, duty, etc.) by express legislative enactment; abrogate

Book Review: Learning jQuery 1.3

As a web developer, I swear by jQuery. The library has done wonders to make JavaScript both fun and usable, two words that I never thought I’d use to describe it when I was first learning to use JS. My approach to learning jQuery has always been somewhat haphazard, though, learning the little bits I need here and there to do what I need to do at the time.

That’s no way to live as a professional web developer, though, so when Packt Publishing asked me to review their new jQuery book, it seemed like the right time to receive a more thorough education in the library.

Learning jQuery 1.3: Better Interaction Design and Web Development with Simple JavaScript Techniques, by Jonathan Chaffer and Karl Swedberg, aims to provide a thorough introduction to jQuery. It walks the reader through techniques for DOM traversal and manipulation, event-handling, animations, and Ajax. After several chapters of detailed examples, the book concludes with an introduction to using and writing jQuery plugins.
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A brief personal note: I have left my job at Ball State University so I can have more time to pursue my career as a freelance web developer.

For about two years, now, my wife and I have been building up our business, Adelie Design, Stephanie doing the design, me doing the coding. Business is good—good enough that working nights and weekends isn’t enough anymore (and doesn’t leave enough time to see the family!). So I’m “retiring”, which is to say that I’ll be staying home and working 40 fewer hours each week.

I’m glad to be leaving, but it’s been a pretty good four years at Ball State. To my colleagues and friends there: thank you. I hope to remain involved in libraries, and especially the code4lib community. Hopefully I’ll have some free time I can devote to “fun” projects.

If you, reader, know of anyone needing a web developer or designer, please have them contact me.