Yo, Microsoft – one more giant Windows 8 blunder

April 18, 2013

After the post yesterday, a friend (hey, Sandy) asked me how to close the “app” or “tile” or whatever the hell the official term is now for one of the Metro, er, excuse me, touch-enabled apps on the tiled interface that Windows 8 opens when you turn on the PC. You know, you hit Music, find you can stream some interesting bands, start one, and then the phone rings (per Sandy). How do you close the “app” that took over your screen to play the music? You can Control-Tab away from it to your other open applications or desktop, but the music continues.

So Sandy hit Escape. Nothing. Right-click on the mouse. Something (a status bar on steroids?) opened up on the bottom, but no “quit” button. Pause key stopped the music for the phone call, but nothing to close the “window” or “app” or “touch-enabled monstrosity” whatever you prefer to call this Windows h8 mess.

How I close those? Alt-F4, an old Windows trick from back as far as Windows 3.1 if I remember correctly. Really, an obscure keystroke combination from decades ago. Sandy gave up and rebooted, cursing the entire time.

Those with touch screens let me know if you can pinch or swipe or tap or wiggle the screen closed. Those with desktops practice the awkward Alt-F4 key combo.


Worst Web Host in the World: HostDepartment.com

November 3, 2009

How bad is this Web host, the host I have eight sites on? Trouble started on October 16th, when my Web sites and e-mail were down for the entire afternoon. Starting 10/21, service has been absolutely abysmal. E-mail down for days at a time. Web sites went down then, and are still down. E-mail up and down, but mostly down, every day since the 21st.

Do yourself a favor: always search for comments about any product or service you are considering buying before you put your money down. If you do that, you’ll see HostDepartment.com has an enormous number of negative comments. Add this one to the list.

You want broken technology? HostDepartment.com is the most broken technology since cassette drives as data storage devices on personal computers.


Time Warner Cable Turns Back the VoIP Clock

August 5, 2009

I use Time Warner Cable for my cable Internet access because I have no better high speed option. For testing purposes, I also have basic DSL broadband from AT&T, which is all I can get because I’m too far from their powered connection points. Thus I get pitches from both companies to add new services at least once a week.

Cable companies love to sell Voice Over Internet Protocol phone service, but they have always priced it far too high. While Vonage advertises $25 per month, cable companies jack it up to $40 per month even though they own the connections to each home. Why? Greed, I guess, but I haven’t been able to get a straight answer from a cable executive.

Recently, a flyer came from Time Warner Cable offering residential VoIP service for $20 per month, for 12 months. At first I was thrilled about the price reduction, figuring it would be tough on Vonage but good for consumers. But the fine print said the price was only good on a service plan that offered unlimited calling only in Texas.

This is a disgusting trend, and Time Warner Cable executives should be ashamed of themselves. The Internet eliminates distance for domestic calls, and to charge long distance rates outside an artificial barrier like a state line makes no technical sense whatsoever. This is the type of stupid phone pricing I expect from AT&T as they struggle to keep their landline business profitable. To see a cable company use this type of pricing only shows their contempt for customers and a perversion of the values of using the Internet for telephone calls.

Time Warner Cable officially sucks.


Another “Linux Beats Vista” Story

March 8, 2009

Today the time changed. Powers That Be moved the dates that have been used for decades to make the time changes a couple of years ago, making the switch to and from Daylight Savings Time dicier than usual.

To my surprise, or maybe not, Microsoft Vista SP1 on a five month old HP computer did NOT handle the time change. Read the rest of this entry »


Yes, Bailout the Porn Industry

January 11, 2009

You have to admire someone with balls, especially when they’ll show them to you for $2.99 per minute. Larry Flynt, taking over the mantle of Old Porn Guy Spokesman from Hugh Hefner, made plenty of headlines recently when he said the government should bail out the porn business. I say yes. Read the rest of this entry »


Blagojevitch Screws Authorities, Senate Screwing Burris

January 7, 2009

This so belongs in the “Broken Process” category, even if it’s not directly technology. The entire mess, as Illinois authorities were too slow to push Governor “Gimme Mine” Blagojevitch out of office before he appointed Roland Burris to fill the rest of Obama’s Senate term, just gets funnier and funnier. Read the rest of this entry »


ATT Rebate Program to Customers: FU

November 2, 2008

I finally remembered to call ATT customer service (a misnomer if there ever was one) and requested my rebate card, with $38.30 still unused, be reactivated. Quick answer? No joy. Read the rest of this entry »