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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Paul Mischler's LiveJournal:

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Wednesday, December 21st, 2011
9:14 am
Why I won't be buying Vizio ever again (Follow-up)
So, you remember that Vizio Blu-Ray player I bought that I had so much trouble with, and the almost complete lack of information they gave me?

The Vizio blu-ray player is basically dead. Power the unit on, the lights come on, but nothing happens. Sometimes unplugging the unit from power and plugging it back in works, but not always.

So, like I said before, I won't be buying another Vizio blu-ray player.
Tuesday, November 1st, 2011
10:45 pm
via the EFF:

I just emailed Congress to urge them to oppose the Internet Blacklist Legislation, known as the PROTECT-IP Act in the Senate S.968 and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) H.R. 3261 in the House. This legislation seeks to give the executive branch power to conduct slash-and-burn campaigns against websites that allegedly host – or even link to – content that infringes on intellectual property rights. That would “disappear” whole domain names, fundamentally undermining Internet security, and/or choke off their financial support. The Internet Blacklist Legislation puts more sites than ever at risk, effectively upending the DMCA safe harbors that have been crucial to the growth of Internet innovation and creativity.

Sadly, these short-sighted and dangerous bills won’t do much to stop online infringement – but they will jeopardize our ability to speak and read online with the kind of freedom we cherish in the offline world. Deep-pocketed Hollywood lobbyists are aggressively pushing to control and censor the open Internet, willing to sacrifice free speech and our Internet culture in hopes of controlling how people view their movies and products.

We need to stop this bill before it goes any further. Will you contact your representatives in Congress and urge them to oppose the Internet Blacklist Legislation? Visit: https://eff.org/r.C8A

Current Mood: annoyed
Saturday, September 3rd, 2011
10:05 am
Things that amuse me today:

Marian Call has a new album coming out on 10/1 titled Something Fierce This Way Comes.

Milwaukee Brewers mark the crime scene (with video) where one of their players tripped, fell, and was "robbed" of an inside the park home run (with video).

I'd heckle Felicia Day at Dragon*Con, but she already found two old hecklers.
Tuesday, August 30th, 2011
11:49 pm
Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion and The Winterpills, Tuesday, November 15th @ World Cafe Live Upstairs

Looks like a few good shows at World Cafe Live this fall.
Monday, July 25th, 2011
12:24 am
Disabling anonymous commenting. Getting too much spam. Sorry.
Tuesday, July 5th, 2011
11:55 pm
Oh, well look at that. A mobile optimized version of the Cook's Illustrated website. (Still in beta)
Tuesday, March 8th, 2011
8:26 am
Why I won't be buying Vizio ever again - A tale of Customer (Dis)Service
Why I won't be buying Vizio ever again - A tale of customer (dis)service

On April 11th 2010, I purchased a Vizio VBR200W Blu-Ray player from BJ's Wholesale.  The player works fine for a little while, but later in the year we notice that the drive is having trouble stuttering while playing.  I put in a call to the customer service line at Vizio.  They told me to unplug the player, hold my thumb over the power button for 30 seconds, then plug it back in.

I turned the unit back on, it seemed ok.

For a day or two.

Then the player resumed stuttering while playing back DVDs and Blu-Ray discs.

So, January 14th comes around and I got through to Jeff at Vizio who tentatively approves my returning of the unit to Vizio. I call back 3 days later and get told that I had received final approval to return the unit.

On January 22nd, I sent the Blu-Ray player (in its original box) to Vizio via UPS ground.  The player was received on January 27th.  I was told that it would take 3-5 business days for the player to be received and processed, and another 3-5 days for a unit to arrive from California.

2/4 Called to inquire about the unit.  They said they had no status on it, but had received the unit.

2/10 Called to inqire. Amanda in SD (Did not get her badge number) said they had not received the original unit from me. (They said they received it from me on 2/4, I gave her the UPS tracking number.) Amanda said she was putting an e-mail in to the warehouse to get status.

2/14 Called again. Spoke to Ben (Badge 477).  Ben informed me that they had a shipment of units arriving from China and that I should call back on 2/17 to get status.

2/17 Spoke to badge #297, did not get her name. She e-mailed the rep from 2/10 to get status on the status e-mail sent on 2/10.

2/17 and 2/18. I received calls from Vizio on my cell phone informing me that they were going to send me a replacement unit, it would be a newer model. (A Vizio VBR231)  No word on when the unit would be shipping

2/24 Spoke to Rob, badge 479. Rob had no information on the status of the replacement unit or a tracking number.  Rob sent a request to the warehouse.

3/1 Spoke to Marie, badge 458. Marie said that they just had a "new" status system put in place.  Marie didn't know if Rob's status from 2/24 went in on the old or the new system.

3/4 Spoke to Brock, badge 438. Brock informed me that the status of my order was now "Refund for credit", then apologized saying he shouldn't have told me that as it was for internal accounting for their business.  Brock informed me that a replacement unit was ready to be shipped on 3/3, but was unable to provide me a tracking number, only a reference number, and I could use the reference number to track the package status through UPS.

Since 3/4, I have searched for this reference number on both the UPS and the FedEx sites. As you can guess, neither UPS or FedEx have any record of such a reference number.

I will try to call back again today to see if they have a tracking number.

The service request ticket number I have been using is 1371619.

Resolution I would like (Any are acceptable):
  • Vizio to provide me a tracking number for the replacement Blu-Ray player (UPS or FedEx ground, 2nd day air, or overnight at this point.) A phone call to my cell phone informing me of the tracking number.
  • Vizio to refund me the purchase price of my Blu-Ray player plus the 7% New Jersey sales tax.  (You received a copy of the receipt on December 30th 2010)
Edit: (3/8/11) I called one more time this morning.  They didn't have a tracking number for me in customer service, but they promised me that they would get one from the sales department. Lo and behold, I got a call back about an hour later with a tracking number.  The player shipped on 3/4 and departed California on 3/5.

Of course, the reviews on the replacement unit are pretty crappy (2.5/5 stars at Amazon). So, we will see what happens.

Current Mood: annoyed
Sunday, March 6th, 2011
12:15 pm
I've been playing a lot of Magicka of late.  (Steam, $10).  If you liked Diablo II, Dungeon Siege, or Torchlight, there's a good chance you'll like Magicka.

But of course, there are issues with games. Sometimes, games just crash.  And Magicka had a particular "crash to desktop" bug that was very annoying.

Apparently, that issue has been patched.  In fact, they're so sure it's gone that they added a new spell into the game, "Crash To Desktop."  When you cast it, something on the screen goes away in a disappearing blue screen of death.

Three new items were also added to the game, including "Bugged Staff", "A broken sword", and "Patched Robe"

The developers have even put together a special song for this.  It's titled "The Gamer and Magicka" Source, Direct link to MP3

Current Mood: amused
Friday, January 14th, 2011
8:54 pm
Gotta love Vizio.

I'm on the phone with Vizio customer support, trying to deal with a faulty Blu-Ray player that I bought.  "For technical support, press 1"

So, I press 1.

Listen to the hours they are open, listen to the support website address.

Menu options from there:
2: Assistance with Vizio TV
3. Assistance with VIA internet connected TV
4. For Status tracking of a previous sales order
5. Vizio branded router

Note: no actual selection for assistance with Blu-ray player.

PROTIP: The correct support option for Blu-Ray players is "3: Assistance with VIA internet connected TV"

But I will give the Vizio customer support agents credit for being VERY polite and prompt and friendly and helpful in assisting me in getting this POS replaced.

And that figures... just as I'm about to get this shiat finished up, the phone dies on me. WTF.

And I called back and got the same person.  That's pure luck. Jeff, if you read this, THANK YOU!
Friday, November 5th, 2010
7:33 am
In the good news category: the Federal Trade Comission has tapped Princeton professor Ed Felten as Chief Technologist.

Ed Felten has been involved as a researcher into the security (or lack of security) of DRE-style electronic voting machines.  Ed maintains the blog "Freedom to Tinker", which is headlined by the post "Dr. Felten goes to Washington"
Thursday, October 14th, 2010
8:22 am
Has anyone ever noticed the striking similarity between Gene Levin from Groovelily and the guy from Scott Meyer's "Basic Instructions"?
Sunday, September 26th, 2010
12:34 am
Ahh, some things never change:

Buffalo 3, Leafs 1

I'll have to remember to order NHL Center Ice for the season.

Great show with Greg Klyma at Musical Lairs in Villanova.

  • I got to tell a Buffalo joke. (After Greg did a song in polish during the show, afterwards I made the 'Cheektowaga' is polish for "near the airport")
  • There was a guy from Rochester at the show.
  • In terms of where people live, NJ, PA, and DE were all represented.
  • Greg's new album is a break-up album.  Hey, he got 4 songs out of the breakup, so I guess it was a good one.
  • Got to talk to Greg and Lee Bowers after the show for a good long while.  That was nice.  I got some mention of Teresa Storch, Brad Yoder, We're About 9, Red Molly, and Carolann Solebello into the conversation.
  • Lee is going to have Brad Yoder next year
Tuesday, September 21st, 2010
8:52 am
Woot.com Wootoff 12 step program.

  1. Load woot.com
  2. Hit F5
  3. Hit F5
  4. Hit F5
  5. Hit F5
  6. Hit F5
  7. Hit F5
  8. Hit F5
  9. Hit F5
  10. Hit F5
  11. Hit F5
  12. Woot!
Sunday, September 19th, 2010
9:37 am
1:21 am
Great show with Brad Yoder at the The Last Chance Cafe tonight.  Been a while since I've been to the Last Chance.  It looked like it was going to be a lightly attended show, Jim and Sheila held the show for about 15 minutes and *boom*, it filled right up.

Since I was there last, Sheila and Jim have added a basement bar and a couch with attached chaise.  Gone is the chair I used to sit in, front row, room for one.  *sigh*  I had to make do with one of the other seats.

That's about all I have to say.  Teresa Storch next Friday, Greg Klyma on Saturday.  Greg will also be at Lansdowne Folk Club on Thursday.  Be there!
Thursday, September 2nd, 2010
8:48 am
My shirt.woot has arrived!  "It Came Out Of Nowhere!"

By the way, you did realize that Back to the Future: The Card Game is being released by Looney Labs (the makers of Fluxx) on September 3rd?
Wednesday, August 18th, 2010
12:06 am
Did you see Wil Wheaton, Paul & Storm, and w00tstock blow up all over the internets today?

Oh, you should see this.
Friday, July 30th, 2010
7:40 am
I saw this article in the Courier Post.

Eseentially, this: A family moved to Mount Laurel to get their son into the Mount Laurel school district.  He suffers from CP.  The family isn't well off, and essentially their house is was a converted chicken coop on Hartford Road.

I didn't think much of the house.  I drove by it most every time I went to the gym.

Neighbors have decided to build Dominic a new house.  The old house was demolished yesterday to make way for a new one. Video.

Here's the group website.
Thursday, July 29th, 2010
8:55 am
via Techdirt and Slashdot:

EFF: How about we have a public debate where we can discuss your point of view?

Current Mood: dumbstruck
Tuesday, July 27th, 2010
7:44 am
I posted the Budgiedome 2010 sessions to the falconridge community.

Check it out
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