Untappd – A Rant

I’ve held off on this, thinking maybe they would fix the issues.  However, the app has gone to shit.  It’s SOOOOO fucking slow to lookup, checkin, comment, etc it’s insane.  I was trying to checkin beers tonight and finally gave up.  Waiting MINUTES yielded nothing.  The app took 60 seconds plus to load.  This has gotten insane.  It’s down all the time, hardly works when it’s up, and is SOOO fucking laggy it’s hard to use even when it does work.  This needs fixed guys, like now.  I know you want to add sponsors and get money, I get that, but when the app doesn’t work for shit I can’t even use it!  So, fuck this app, and fuck you all.  Fix this shit!!!!

Fuck you Groupon

So, in case you didn’t know this, Groupon CANNOT replace a product even if it was the wrong one shipped to you. Sound insane? You aren’t alone. Should you be shipped, say, a refurbished product rather than a new one you have exactly 2 choices:

  1. Get a refund and re-purchase likely at a higher price and HOPE you get what you were supposed to.
  2. Deal with it.

Seem shitty?  Yeah me too.  Let me lay the groundwork here:

On November 28th 2016 I purchased an (advertised as new) Philips Hue starter kit.  The package shipped the next day and arrived on December 3rd 2016.  Opening the package it was immediately clear it was a refurbished set:

20161213_215742

Alright, I’m sure customer support can help.  I emailed asking for either a replacement with a new product, or a partial refund.  Instead I’m offered a refund to “purchase a new one” at a most likely higher price:

reply1

I was, probably more than I should have been, rather grumpy and responded with this:

reply2

So I get this encouraging reply, maybe I’m finally getting somewhere!

reply3

Great, so I was very let down and still don’t have a satisfactory resolution to this issue.  So I replied with a rather succinct resolution request (again probably a little grumpy):

reply4

To which we come back to square one:

reply5

As posted above this has nothing to do which what I believe.  The boxes are CLEARLY labeled a refurbished and the hub came in a generic ziploc bag.  So here we are.  Nearly 2 weeks later and I still have no resolution other than refund and buy again, at a higher price and with the hope that I am shipped a new set this time.  How crappy of a resolution is that?  And should it really take 2 weeks?  If Groupon wants to actually wanted to keep customers this is not the way to do it.  I understand they operate on a tight margin but this is NOT the way to handle a problem that THEY CAUSED.

So, if some Groupon person actually reads this, I would really like a satisfactory resolution to this problem.

EDIT 20161215: Initiated a chargeback last night with CapitalOne.  They were super easy to work with and had the dispute filed within a few minutes.  All I want is the damn thing replaced with a new product.  Groupon has left me no other choice, so I’ll let them sort it out with the credit card company.  Enjoy assholes.

Open letter to Comcast and the FCC

Hello,

With the recent Comcast rollout of nationwide 1TB data caps I feel it is crucial that I submit my complaint. Data caps are a problem and without swift action will be a much larger issue in the near future limiting not only innovative uses of the Internet but the entire global flow of information.

Data caps are not only an inconvenience to those customers but are simply against net-neutrality at its core. This is nothing more than a money grab and attempt to get people to stick with the dying cable TV model. It even excludes Comcast related data from that cap!!

It unnecessarily impedes emerging video technologies such as 4k streaming while simultaneously punishing those that dare to download large games or files. It’s not even rooted in network congestion: https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130118/17425221736/cable-industry-finally-admits-that-data-caps-have-nothing-to-do-with-congestion.shtml

For example: streaming 4k content according to Netflix uses roughly 4.7GB per hour. Doing that math that’s ~7 hours PER DAY before hitting said 1TB cap. Multiply that by 2 or 3 other members of a household and you can watch at most a few hours per day. This is assuming you do absolutely NOTHING else with that Internet connection.

The further encroachment of data caps sets a dangerous precedent that unchecked will stifle innovation and let ISPs control the flow of information into households. This is something that needs to be curbed quickly to prevent ISPs restricting the flow of information simply to benefit themselves.

I urge you to please consider restrictions or outright banning of data caps on hardline Internet connections such as cable and DSL. I further ask that you investigate data caps on cell data to determine if there is actually any legit reason they exist. T-Mobile is a great example. They allow very specific traffic to NOT count towards a data cap. This is also against net-neutrality.

Full disclosure: I’m not a Comcast customer, I am with Time Warner (now Spectrum). I do not have a data cap but average right around 2TB per month with what I consider normal usage, at least for the next generation. Data usage is only going to increase and at a rapid pace as new technologies emerge.

I’ll say it a second time, please consider a ban on data caps. This is nothing but the stifling of innovation, holding onto an archaic business model, and lining of pockets of ISP executives. What we ACTUALLY need is more innovation, more competition, and a stronger Internet presence as a country.

Signed,
Dan Bunyard

Mozilla Firefox Performance in 2016

I’ll keep this one short.  WTF is Mozilla doing with Firefox?  How can the performance POSSIBLY be so crappy on a machine with 16GB of RAM, an SSD, and a discrete video card?  20 second lag between switching tabs, 20 second lag even to minimize.  Startup with ~8 tabs takes MINUTES at best.  I want to like Firefox, I really do, but every other browser just destroys it in performance and hell, is ACTUALLY USABLE, that I just cannot default to Firefox.  I’d love to know what the devs are thinking…..

Nationwide Property and Appraisal – Customer Oriented?

To avoid any slander accusations I’m going to keep this strictly factual and hopefully steer customers away from this organization.  I’m simply here to outline the facts and show that in fact no, this company doesn’t care in the slightest about the customer.  I would also like to note that they had no concern over the timely delivery of my appraisal until I contacted them some 3 weeks after it was submitted.

This started on 11/12/2015 when my loan broker submitted for an appraisal.  The loan was an FHA and had to have a third-party appraisal to complete the process.  I was told this normally takes 7-10 days, 2 weeks at most.  This appraisal was sent to Nationwide for completion.  However they failed to give a timely appraisal and even admitted that the time-frame was unacceptable.

So after submission on 11/12 I was in contact with my lender for updates.  He had little to go on and simply told me that they were still waiting.  On 12/1/2015 I took matters into my own hands and contacted the company directly.  Initial responses were positive, and it was admitted that the timeframe given by the appraiser was unacceptable:

nw1

Things appeared to be progressing, and the did managed to refund ~half of my money.  I was content and expected that the issue was addressed and would actually get my appraisal in the next few days.  And I did…sort of….

I got my initial appraisal on 12/3/2015 however there were two issues found.  A missing handrail on the basement stairs and a leaky kitchen faucet.  Both were promptly resolved and re-inspected within days however it took an ENTIRE WEEK to get an updated report.  I did not receive my final appraisal until 12/10/2015.  On 12/9/2015 I emailed requesting a full refund and for the final report the next day (which they did deliver).  This email went unanswered:

nw2

I was met with radio silence, not a peep.  As mentioned above I did get the final report the next day however I never heard from Nationwide at all.  Over the past weeks/months I have attempted to reach them via email and phone demanding a full refund.  In every single instance I was ignored.  Not even a response saying no.  So here we are….still no resolution.  It was even claimed that somehow they applied the golden rule:

nw3

They have straight out ignored that statement.

So I leave it to you, the reader, to assess this post and come to your own conclusions.

SmugMug Uploads through Astaro/Sophos UTM Hanging

Since I found exactly zero information on the topic I thought I would throw together a quick blog post in the event other’s run into trouble with this.  It’s been a few weeks since I last uploaded pictures so I’m not sure what changed, might be the new “beta” firmware I’m running but I’m not convinced of that.

Anyway the problem is when you attempt to upload files to a SmugMug gallery it will “hang” with the bars all the way filled.  They will also fill very quickly (much faster than your upload speed) since the Sophos box is intercepting them.  If you start digging into the logs on the Sophos box you will see something like the following:

2014:11:30-19:00:31 gateway httpproxy[5489]: id=”0002″ severity=”info” sys=”SecureWeb” sub=”http” name=”web request blocked” action=”block” method=”PUT” srcip=”192.168.9.9″ dstip=”54.85.78.68″ user=”” ad_domain=”” statuscode=”504″ cached=”0″ profile=”REF_HttProContaInterNetwo2 (Everything Else)” filteraction=”REF_DefaultHTTPCFFAction (Default content filter action)” size=”2647″ request=”0xad9b1000″ url=”http://upload.smugmug.com/photos/xmlrawadd.mg” referer=”http://www.bunyardpics.com/Family/Bunyard-Thanksgiving-20141129/” error=”Connection to server timed out” authtime=”0″ dnstime=”513″ cattime=”53″ avscantime=”5640″ fullreqtime=”61679447″ device=”0″ auth=”0″ ua=”Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/38.0.2125.122 Safari/537.36″ exceptions=”” reputation=”neutral” category=”179″ reputation=”neutral” categoryname=”Media Sharing”

or

2014:11:30-19:03:49 gateway httpproxy[5489]: id=”0002″ severity=”info” sys=”SecureWeb” sub=”http” name=”web request blocked” action=”block” method=”PUT” srcip=”192.168.9.9″ dstip=”54.85.152.234″ user=”” ad_domain=”” statuscode=”504″ cached=”0″ profile=”REF_HttProContaInterNetwo2 (Everything Else)” filteraction=”REF_DefaultHTTPCFFAction (Default content filter action)” size=”0″ request=”0xc8654000″ url=”http://upload.smugmug.com/photos/xmlrawadd.mg” referer=”http://www.bunyardpics.com/Family/Bunyard-Thanksgiving-20141129/” error=”Connection to server timed out” authtime=”0″ dnstime=”36673″ cattime=”120″ avscantime=”5954″ fullreqtime=”62055195″ device=”0″ auth=”0″ ua=”Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/38.0.2125.122 Safari/537.36″ exceptions=””

or

2014:11:30-19:14:37 gateway httpproxy[5489]: id=”0002″ severity=”info” sys=”SecureWeb” sub=”http” name=”web request blocked” action=”block” method=”PUT” srcip=”192.168.9.9″ dstip=”54.85.78.68″ user=”” ad_domain=”” statuscode=”504″ cached=”0″ profile=”REF_HttProContaInterNetwo2 (Everything Else)” filteraction=”REF_DefaultHTTPCFFAction (Default content filter action)” size=”2647″ request=”0xa978800″ url=”http://upload.smugmug.com/photos/xmlrawadd.mg” referer=”http://www.bunyardpics.https://www.danodemano.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=491&action=edit&message=10com/Family/Bunyard-Thanksgiving-20141129/” error=”Connection to server timed out” authtime=”0″ dnstime=”114″ cattime=”0″ avscantime=”0″ fullreqtime=”62108802″ device=”0″ auth=”0″ ua=”Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/38.0.2125.122 Safari/537.36″ exceptions=”av,auth,content,url,ssl,certcheck,certdate,mim

depending on if you have tried to create bypass rules to solve this issue.  If you follow the progressing this first is prior to any rules, the next is with a bypass domain in the web filter profile, and the third is with a bypass in the core exceptions list.  In all three cases you will notice the 504 connection timed out errors.  This is, I think though can’t prove, related to the Sophos box trying to scan the picture upload. 

So enough of the preamble, how does one fix this?  It’s actually pretty simple, you need to entirely bypass the upload.smugmug.com domain group.  You can do so with the following steps:

  • Log into your Sophos UTM web UI
  • Navigate to Web Protection -> Filtering Options -> Misc
  • Under “Transparent mode skiplist” area click the plus (+) next to “Skip transparent mode source hosts/nets”
  • In the “Add network definition” box create a definition with the following:
    • Name: Smugmug Uploads (Or whatever name you want to identify this definition)
    • Type: DNS group
    • Hostname: upload.smugmug.com
    • Comment: [blank] (unless you want to make a more detailed note about this definition)
  • Click save then click the folder icon next to “Skip transparent mode destination hosts/nets”
  • In the list that populates on the left choose your “Smugmug Uploads” and drag it into the box under “Skip transparent mode destination hosts/nets”
  • Click “Apply” at the bottom of the “Transparent mode skiplist” area

You should now be able to upload pictures without issue!  Please leave a comment if you have questions/problems.

Raspberry Pints install on other operating systems

There was some interest in a guide to install Raspberry Pints on various other operating systems to I will attempt to provide some guidance here.  If there are any questions please don’t hesitate to ask.

Standard disclaimer here.  I’m not liable if your machine bursts  into flames, your girlfriend leaves you, etc.  Everything here is provided AS IS without any warranty expressed or implied.  Use these instructions at your own risk!

Now that we have that out-of-the-way, let’s begin!  Your first step is to install XAMPP.   I won’t provide instructions here as there is plenty of information on their website.  However if you run into trouble please let me know.

After install you should have a working webserver and MySQL server on your machine.  You can try to access localhost in your web browser to confirm.  If everything is working correctly you need to set a MySQL root password.  You can set a password at this address http://localhost/security/

Next step is to obtain a copy of Raspberry Pints here.   Unzip this and move it to your XAMPP www root.  I opted for a subdirectory of “rp” just because I have multiple websites on my machine.  Make sure that whatever you choose the index.php file is in the root of this subdirectory.

Now you need to run the installer.  Assuming you choose the “rp” directory as above the installer will be accessible here: http://localhost/rp/install but you can adjust as needed.  Follow through the steps using the official instructions for reference.  The password will be the one you set above on the security page.

All done!  To full-screen the display hit F11.  You will have to use the arrow keys to navigate as it appears this isn’t setup for a mouse.  Hopefully this is helpful to someone.  If you encounter any issues please don’t hesitate to let me know so I can assist and adjust this guide as needed. 

Nearly 4 years…and all it takes is a random post on an internet forum

Rainbow Bridge
Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.
All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.
They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.
You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.
Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together….
Author unknown…

I miss your Otter.

http://www.reddit.com/r/cats/comments/1cr4re/i_lost_my_best_friend_today_his_name_was_gregory/c9jbm0k

Fuck You Chipotle!

Adventurrito, I mean seriously…did you not expect the load on your servers for this 20th anniversary challenge?  For a $445 MAX year prize this is pretty fucking worthless if I have to spend all evening trying to reach the site and send my answer.    Especially if this will continue for the duration of the challenge.  Y’all are going to spend so fucking little in prizes (and obviously the infrastructure isn’t anything to write home about) that this is actually beyond worthless.  Get your shit together or GTFO.