Internet service providers have a reputation for being some of the worst, most un-ethically-run companies in the country. I hadn't imagined that a company could be worse than Cox Communications. As a child, pretty much every time my dad had to call them for any problems, they refused to take any responsibility for their poor service, and always blamed the issues on his hardware or on his computer having viruses -- which was only sometimes true. Basically, they would blame his hardware as an excuse to upsell him new hardware that would also only barely work.

When I moved into my own place, I wasn't happy with having to purchase Cox as my internet and television provider. But to their credit, they gave me an affordable price, and the service was pretty reliable. At least, up until a few years ago.

CenturyLink van
Don't do it! It's a trap!

My internet started failing intermittently. It would go out almost every night for minutes or hours at a time. Sometimes resetting the router and/or modem would fix the problem, but only temporarily. I had multiple technicians come out to the house to troubleshoot the problems. They would aknowledge the problem, but would be unable to find the cause. To my surprise, they even told me that it was almost certainly not a problem with my local network set-up. I had thought for sure that they would blame my hardware or network in an attempt to upsell me more hardware. They even ran a new line from the street out to my house. I had my own, dedicated DSL line going into my house! That would be pretty sweet, if it would work. Cox even reimbursed my bill for the disruptions.

Sadly, none of Cox's efforts worked. My internet still failed consistently. My girlfriend was dependent on our internet to do online classes related to her job, and so this was inexcusable.

CenturyLink

Like a predatory evangelist waiting to swoop in and take advantage of a tragedy to sell a grieving person on the "comfort" of Jesus, an opportunistic CenturyLink salesman showed up at our door. He was claiming that CenturyLink had just laid fiber optic lines in our neighborhood and was offering a sweet deal to switch. I had been thinking about switching to CenturyLink, if only to be able to have a reliable service again.

My frustrations with CenturyLink, and my feelings of having been scammed started as soon as the service was set up in my home. The service that was installed was not the service that I thought I had signed up for.

When the sales rep had come to my door, he had specifically asked me what services I was receiving from Cox. I told him that I was getting HDDVR, a second cable receiver, and high-speed broadband internet for about $150 per month (a price that had been locked-in for life). The sales rep told me that I could get all of that for $75 per month. I should have recognized that this was too good to be true, but I made the mistake of signing on the dotted line. When the technician came to install the hardware the following week, I realized that the sales rep had flat-out lied to me. I had fallen victim to a bait-and-switch scam, which is apparently CenturyLink's modus operandi...

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A couple weekends ago, I went with my dad and my girlfriend to see The Kids In the Hall perform live at the Treasure Island resort in Las Vegas as sort of an early Father's Day gift for my dad. If you've never heard of them, The Kids In the Hall are a Canadian sketch comedy troupe that had their own TV show produced by Lorne Michaels (the mind behind Saturday Night Live) between 1988 and 1994. I love the TV show (which my dad introduced me to when I was young), so I was excited to see the group perform live. They have a unique brand of humor that makes the mundane absurd and the absurd mundane. I like to think of them as the Canadian Monty Python.

I had never seen any examples of the group's stand up or live performances, so I have to say that I was a bit apprehensive about the live show. I wasn't sure how well the comedy would translate to a live, stand-up setting (without sets, props, camera cuts, etc). But it certainly did not disappoint!

Kids In The Hall - men in wedding dresses
The opening skit had the whole group wearing wedding dresses.

The Kids definitely didn't waste any time going full-blown absurd, as they walked out onto the stage for their opening skit wearing white wedding dresses. They then each took turns going through brief monologues about why they each wear wedding dresses, the effect that it has on their relationships and jobs, and an activistic speech about how they wear wedding dresses for all the men who can't wear wedding dresses. It was very funny...

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Tuesday, May 13, 2014 11:54 AM

Malware threat from GameObserver

in General by MegaBearsFan

One of the reasons that I started my blog was because I had submitted some amateur reviews to the administrator of a start-up gaming website called GameObserver.com. They showed an interest in my opinions, and encouraged me to put them out there for everyone to see. Shortly after submitting a few reviews to their site, and with the encouragement and support from Chichian, I started up this blog so that I could share opinions about things that I felt were important or interesting. So in many ways, I have the administrators of GameObserver to thank for this blog and for all the fulfillment that it has brought me. And if you've enjoyed any of my posts, then you also have GameObserver to thank.

Unfortunately, the administrators of GameObserver seem to have abandoned the site, as it has not been updated for several years, and I have fallen out of contact with them. Now it seems that the site has either been hacked or the domain has expired and fallen into the hands of malware distributors. I have thus removed all links to GameObserver from my blog posts in an attempt to ensure the security of my readers. I hope that I managed to catch this before any of my readers suffered from malware infections due to links that I posted on any articles.

If anybody finds any posts that still have links to GameObserver, please notify me through the comments on this post so that I can remove said link. The last thing I want is for any of my readers' machines to become infected with malware.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you'll come back again soon!

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Tags:,

Came across the following earlier today, and had to repost it:

This is a virus. I do not have the tech savvy, nor the patience, to write an actual computer virus, so this one will use the honor system. If you are reading this, please manually delete all personal data from your computer and then forward this to 30 people on your email contact list. Thank you for your cooperation.

Damn, I had just reformatted my laptop and restored all my old data too...

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School Zone sign - 15 mph when children are present

Do you recognize this traffic sign?

Do these signs bother you as much as they bother me?

It's only a school zone "when children are present".

What exactly does "present" mean? Do the children have to be out near the street in order for the limit to apply? What if there are children on the school playground behind a fence? They are "present" because I can see them from the road, but they are on the other side of the fence and shouldn't be crossing the road. So do I need to slow down?

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Grid Clock provided by trowaSoft.

A gamer's thoughts

Welcome to Mega Bears Fan's blog, and thanks for visiting! This blog is mostly dedicated to game reviews, strategies, and analysis of my favorite games. I also talk about my other interests, like football, science and technology, movies, and so on. Feel free to read more about the blog.

Follow me on Twitter at: twitter.com/MegaBearsFan

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