Thursday, December 31, 2009

Belkin F5D-7230-4 router and Samsung BD-P1590 Blu Ray is a bad combo

This started as a Helping Dan story but went south in a hurry. Dan saw that we had a Blu Ray player that streamed Netflix and wanted that same experience. I can't say I blame him, we love it. He bought a Samsung BD-P1590 Blu Ray player and has a Belkin F5D-7230-4 router. No big deal here, a routers a router and a Blu Ray player is just another device, right? Wrong! He was having trouble streaming movies and asked me to take a look. I dialed into his router using or whatever and saw that the Blu Ray was issued an IP address. I changed the range in case there was some conflict, but old Blu just didn't want to cooperate. All these devices seem to have some kind of network test so I ran that. It failed repeatedly on the third part "connecting to Gateway" or something like that. However, the test before that indicated that it did. Could it be that there were two "identical metallic mint green 1964 Buick Skylark convertibles" I mean gateways? No, I think that Samsung and Sony and the others have a system where when you stream a movie it doesn't go from Netflix directly to you, but from Netflix to Samsung to you, and I said as much too the technician at Samsung when I talked to them. She denied it which makes me think I'm right. Anyway, I established the fact that there was a connection to the internet through the Blu Ray by making a connection to Pandora, the excellent Music internet radio site. Now, I Ax you, how could you connect to one part of the internet and not the other? In the end, by looking at the log files on the router, I saw that it was denying a connection to an outside source. The fact that Dan had been watching Netflix all along points to the fact that things had changed. I ended up using the drastic step of turning off the firewall and that did the trick. This router has two firewalls that are not "identical". One is a N.A.T firewall and the other is S.P.I. I turned off the S.P.I. firewall. Things are working for now but should be better. A point i'd like to make is, HOW COME PEOPLE CAN'T JUST BUY SOMETHING AND TAKE IT HOME AND IT WORKS?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Why anyone can and can't edit Wikipedia

I'm going to take a wild guess here about the people that read this blog and further, any potential readers. In addition, I want to include a majority (more than 50%) of the people that use the web for the information available and believe what they read is truthful and unbiased. I believe that this slice of the pie chart doesn't know or care how the information on the web is gathered or governed. In particular I want to discuss the venerable Wikipedia, of which I've quoted and used and admired for years. Wikipedia, "the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit". I'm willing to bet that most people don't know or care that they or their neighbors can edit Wikipedia and furthermore, have never done it and don't know anybody who has. This has what you might think of as a "telescope effect". Facebook users understand both ends of the scope of what they're doing. Wikipedia users, on the other hand, don't. Facebook users know that as they edit their own slice of life, they are in control of what users see. Wikipedia, "the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit" may not be free because Jimmy Wales, its founder, is begging for cash and "anyone can edit" doesn't seem to ring true either. I may be the only person I know to have tried to edit a part of Wikipedia (I'm still asking people) and I have never been successful. Once (or more, never kept track) I found typos, like "th" instead of "the", and vainly went back the next day to check out my "contribution" to the internet community. HAH! Gone!  Rescinded! I also added a link to Cleveland Torso Murders (full disclosure: we own it.) to a page on Wikipedia with similiar content, Cleveland Torso Murderer, only to have it pulled the next. This would seem totally self serving and was but was done with some innocence, I assure you. Time to quote "Cage the Elephant": "there ain't no rest for the wicked, money don't grow on trees" (video below).

Anyway, I digress. The point here is there seems to be a shadowy army of "watchers" that keep an eye on articles and if someone has the audacity to change one they just change it back. Wow. That kinda throws mud in the eye of the whole "anyone can edit" thing, huh?
Now I'm not going to use words like "goose stepping fascists" because, first, I'd probably look fascist up on, you guessed it, Wikipedia to make sure I was using the right words for this assault, and I'm not sure anyone "goose steps" anymore either. One thing I didn't do was to register or login or whatever, because I'm a bit of a privacy junky, so I was anonymous, but so was the person who countered my edit, one "Horwendil". This secret society seems to make up a minority who edits for the majority. It sounds like censure to me, but, it is! A weird fact that a lot of people won't care about, is that librarians often are the very group that bans books.

Here, we have information for the people, by the people as long as some of the people approve, and we don't know who those people are. Otherwise nobody will ever know what Bob from Denver added to this article, or how Dorothy from Kansas could have enhanced that article. I understand how some control is needed, especially because of the ever present threat from hackers, but the phrase "anyone can edit" is hard to swallow. Maybe if Jimmy has his hand out the spotlight should swing that way and a little transparency is in order. How about a new catchphrase. I think "the free (that can't exist without putting you on a guilt trip for reading it) encyclopedia that the elitists have determined that only they can edit but you can read" sounds better.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Sony Blu - Ray player. Model BDP-N460

We bought this player on December 16. I installed it that night. We have Netflix and one of the reasons we got this was to stream video from Netflix.. It stumbled on playing Midway(streaming) for some reason(the night after it started O.K.). Then we tried Joe Kidd. It played without a flaw at a quality we think you won't see from a DVD. The next night we watched Twister(streaming) and it was great.

On Friday, December 18, I picked my daughter up from the airport and got a bite to eat(Vincenzas) and after we got home I wanted to show her our new toy(the way it streamed video). Well, to my embarrassment, it didn't work! I did trouble shooting and there was no problem on our network. I called Netfix. We determined the problem was on Sonys end of the bargain. I found there was a problem with Sonys "Provisioning server" and reported it to Sony. Seems it was the first they heard of it. One of the main reasons we bought this product was the streaming capability from Netflix. I never realized that Sony was involved in the deal. This is how I understand it:
  1. Netfix streaming:
  • You put movies on your instant queue
  • You stream them to your computer using Internet Explorer directly from Netflix
  1. Sony through Netflix:
  •  You put movies on your instant queue
  • You stream them to your Sony device through Sony and then Netflix
So, what happened was, I spent an 2 hours or so talking to Netfix and then Sony telling them about a problem that should not be a problem. Something we should all know: If Netfix has a problem its one thing. But If you buy this product (Sony Blu - Ray player. Model BDP-N460) if Sony has a problem then you have a problem also.


Lately i haven't blogged as much because I've been quite busy. To whit:
  • December 10: furnace stopped working, spent all day fixing it. It seems the thermocouple and the gas orifices were the problem.
  • December 10: did not go to the Browns/Steelers game. We've had tickets since whenever. Had enough cold with the furnace.
  • December 12: had to put an entry door on my house with the help of Eric and my brother Norm. Took about 5 hours or so.
  • December 15: helping Al.
  • December 16: Bought and installed a Sony Blu - Ray player. Model BDP-N460.
  • December 17: Fixed Beckys computer.
  • December 18: Had problems with the Sony Blu - Ray player. Model BDP-N460.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Helping Al P.

Al's computer wasn't connecting to the internet or anything else. As soon as I saw it, I realized that the drivers probably were not installed right. Time for the quart of blood technique.
  1. I installed the chipset drivers
  2. I installed the video drivers
  3. I installed the USB drivers
  4. I installed the ethernet (LAN) drivers
  5. i installed the audio drivers
  6. I installed the Intel Application Accellerator
After all this, a quart of blood dropped from the computer, but it survived. Being a karate man, I understand that the computer was bruised on the inside. There was cop's, "plural" working on this computer! But in the end, the Karate man prevailed!

The true story is:
I looked up the motherboard after discovering the model number on the inside of the case. When I first saw the computer, I knew the drivers were not installed correctly. I took a quick look at the "system properties" to confirm what I knew and then decided I could be of some help. After all, I am, the " Karate Man"!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Another day at Wildwood

Went down to the lake twice today. I talked to Mark the bird Watcher and a guy named George who's a duck hunter. George wants to duck hunt off the pier in the middle of this picture because it's legal. I'm sorry, but I didn't know. In order to hunt ducks, you have to be off the shoreline. George said he can't hunt off the connected piers, but if he pulls a boat up to a freestanding pier its okay.

New Google Phone

Looks like Google may market their own phone. They recently gave their employees the new phone to test!
Share photos on twitter with Twitpic
I want one! It looks so cool! Rumor has it they may sell it directly to consumers unlocked!

Thursday, December 10, 2009


All this technology. Phone Grandma in Korea while surfing the web and give her turn by turn driving instructions to Yellowstone(lying here). Everything at your fingertips. Space tourism. Probing Mars. Diving the Titanic. Climbing Everest is a tourist attraction. That guy working on a flying car. What I don't get is:
  • Why can't I microwave food by pointing my cellphone at it and saying "cook"?
  • Why can't I taze someone I don't like with my cellphone?
  • Why isn't my cellphone also a retractable dog leash?
  • Why isn't my cell phone a Swiss Army Knife?
  • Wheres the laser pointer?
  • It's not a passport?
  • Boarding pass?
  • Carve a pumpkin?
  • Skin a deer?
  • Change a tire?
  • Open my house door?
I really don't care or want to skin a deer with my phone. What I really want to know, with all the money and technology and genius we have, why can't a cell phone cover Tigers tracks?

What, I'm Tiger Woods! I can't buy a cell phone and have somebody hack it so Elin sees my "normal" address book when she looks at it and I type, say, "wood" in and there are my 11 girlfriends? No brainer, right? This has cottage industry written all over it. " Sir, would you be interested, perhaps, in the "Tigerphone".(tm). "It's really two phones in one." The "home" phone and the "away" phone. It looks like any other phone! It's like truckers keeping two driving logs or accountants with two books. The Tigerphone(tm). Get "yours" today!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Counting Browns Coaches

Best if sung to the tune of "Count Your Blessings (instead of sheep)" from White Christmas by Bing Crosby

When I look at the schedule and I can't sleep

I count former browns coaches instead of sheep

and I fall asleep counting former browns coaches

when the wins column shows only one

I think of when the Lions lost them all

and I fall asleep counting former browns coaches

Braylon thought it was a nursery when Romeo was its head

edwards cried to be traded, now our seasons dead

If your name is Lerner and you can't sleep

Just count former browns coaches instead of sheep

and you'll fall asleep counting former browns coaches

you know its got to have Mangini seeing red

watching Lewis tiptoe like he was in a tulip bed

If you're worried about our season and you can't sleep

Just count former browns coaches instead of sheep

and you'll fall asleep counting former browns coaches

Proper lyrics are here.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Cat People

Earlier in the week I received an email from Ginger and agreed to meet her at Wildwood State Park to give her and Brian back their cat trap. This is the trap I retro fitted with a remote so as to trap the right cat at the right time. Whether or not they use this new feature is up to them as its optional and I would not accept payment for the service rendered because to me, I just wanted proof of concept.

While down there I did run into Mark, an avid bird watcher, who helped me sort out a bird identification problem.

After that, I talked to a cat feeder, as opposed to a cat trapper and sometimes their opinions weirdly, differ. The feeder didn't seem to mind the trappers as long as no harm was done and seemed more concerned with the loss of past pets than anything else.

Of course, I introduced them, not by name, and watched the interaction. Nothing much happened except  the exchange of trade data about the best prices for cat food. Pet Supplies Plus (I always thought this chain catered to the over weight pet) turns out to have the best prices for food according to Ginger.

Now, here's what's interesting. I'm a photographer. One or many of my subjects were The Wild Cats of Wildwood. By abetting the trappers, I lose source, but I'm neutral on this subject..

The birder, Mark, after talking to him, doesn't seem to mind the cats. Birds gotta fly, cats gotta eat I guess.

The feeder, don't know his name, doesn't seem to care as long as no cats were harmed.

So you have:
  • The feeder
  • The trappers
  • The birders
  • The picture taker
This dynamic fascinates me because they co exist without problems. Further, there is a large population of sport fisherman who have their own opinion about these circumstances and will care one way or the other. My problem is I'm losing subjects to photograph, as I liked the cats for their lens appeal. The trappers are doing a good thing, practicing TNR, Trap, Neuter, Release. The birder doesn't mind. I think the feeders as a group just want to feed to feel they are helping, but some of them don't like what DNR is all about.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Golf is Not a Sport

After recent events, I have to say: "Golf is not a sport". I have golfed, not well, at all, ever. No point of authority here. I will say that most "sportsman", this term is loose, would have defended themselves in some fashion against an assault from a woman with a golf club. Obviously I'm talking about the Tiger Woods situation. My theory of the events:
  • Erin(current wife) hits Tiger in the head with a golf club(nothing else was available, right)
  • Tiger enters the car(and hides)
  • Tiger drives at a low speed evading Erin
  • Tiger mows over objects because his brain is scrambled
  • Erin continues her justified rage, busting out the rear windows of the SUV (suggesting chase)
  • Tigers rescued by the neighbors who called 911
Golf is not a sport scenario:
  • Laurie(Brian's ex) attempts to hit Brian Urlacher in the head with anything.
  • Brian takes the hit and shrugs it off
  • Laurie remembers Brians Old Spice commercial and backs off
  • Brian regales the neighbors with some football talk (supporting video below)

Golf may be more of an activity than a sport. Let's face it, tennis is sometimes questioned, but after Serena Williams recent tirade, I think she would have smacked that club aside and said "what you got, biatch?!".

I think we need to reassess our definitions of sports and activities and entertainment and at least realize when they blend and what the border is, no matter how soft or hard it may be. But in the end, for now, golf is not a sport!