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Rants, Technology

Cancelling my WayTools TextBlade Order

There was a draft of this post that had been waiting to be published on this blog for over four and a half months ago. It’s time to post it and provide a four-month update.

“I’m still waiting for my WayTools TextBlade multi-touch keyboard that I ordered back in January, 2015. The company said that they would ship in February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, and now mid-October. Unexpected hardware changes and revisions to firmware are the reasons for the delay, but WayTools keeps telling its customers that shipments are right around the corner. I’ll believe it when the TextBlades ship. Other customers are getting restless, judging from the increase in the amount of order cancellations and disappointed posts on the WayTools forum. The company has not done itself any favors with its passive aggressive attitude on the forums and its habit of cancelling orders for those customers who complain too much.”

As a way to pass the time, I drew a twelve-month calendar for 2016 called, Waiting for TextBlade.

Waiting for TextBlade

It’s now mid-February, and the TextBlade remains an elusive product for customers. At the end of December, 2015, the company released the companion app for the keyboard on the iOS App Store, which gave hope that they would ship in January. Then, at the end of January, WayTools announced the Test Release Group (TREG), which is a shipment of pre-release TextBlades to a small group of customers (hundreds). The TREG is designed “to accelerate validation and help refine the product quality and experience.” WayTools also noted yet another hardware problem with the shield layer (that protects against leaking electrical noise) that they would be fixing.

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Journal, Musings, Rants, Technology

Bye Bye GoDaddy, Hello Hover: An Ode to a Dead Elephant

It may come as a surprise to some, but I can be unusually resistant to certain kinds of changes. For the longest time, I have used and recommended GoDaddy for domain registration services. When it first appeared on the scene, GoDaddy was a viable and affordable alternative to Network Solutions. Over the years, I’ve found myself biting my tongue whenever it came time to renew. The dozens of advertisements for “additional services” had become too in your face and annoying. I had become programmed to scroll down to the bottom of the page, looking for the “No Thanks, Continue” text link that would take me one step closer to the Checkout page. Nevertheless, the inertia to change (i.e. laziness) was too great, and I found myself renewing my domains every few years and continuing to use GoDaddy for my new registrations.

That processed ended for the most part today after I read the tweets and articles about GoDaddy CEO Bob Parsons shooting an elephant in Africa. Since its racy Super Bowl ads, GoDaddy has never shied away from the public spotlight, and I’m not sure which way the pendulum will swing as a result of this incident. While Eric tweeted that people are abandoning GoDaddy in droves, it remains to be seen if people aren’t just raising a stink about leaving. Domain transfers involves time, money, and multiple steps to complete. For people who have dozens of domains like myself, even the plight of the now dead elephant might not be enough to overcome this inertia.

For me, however, the elephant story forced me to say, “Enough!” This afternoon while in Hawaii, I transferred 14 out of my 16 domains over from GoDaddy to Hover, a domain registrar owned by TUCOWS, a long-time player in the Internet scene. I found a 10% off coupon for Hover, and the company itself is offering domain transfers for only $10. Hover has a good tutorial which walks one over the multi-step process to go from GoDaddy over to its service.

As for the other two domains, I have to wait until a 60-day grace period is over before I can transfer one of them. I’m just going to let lapse the other when it comes time to renew. So with that said, goodbye GoDaddy and hello to Hover!

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Apple, Journal, Rants, Technology

Can You Connect To The Internet Now? Verizon, iPad and the MiFi

Update November 23, 2010: Updating the MiFi to firmware 7.3.11 appears to resolve these problems for me. The updater is currently available only for PCs, so Mac users will need to borrow a friend’s computer or use Fusion or Parallels to install the firmware onto their MiFi. Daniel Odio has additional details on his blog.


The following post was written using the MiFi with firmware 7.1.6. The problems listed below manifested itself for me and several other people. Read the update above on how to upgrade your MiFi to the latest firmware which has resolved the problem thus far for me.

So, Verizon is now selling the iPad bundled with the MiFi wireless 3G hotspot. Unless Verizon and Novatel (makers the MiFi firmware) have solved MiFi WiFi disconnect problem, there are going to be a lot of unhappy customers.

Many users of this setup for the past year have experienced random disconnects with the MiFi when used in WiFi mode. As I pointed out in my post on the subject back in April, the device works fine in tethered mode, but fails horribly — disconnecting sometimes every minute — in WiFi mode. To my knowledge there hasn’t been any acknowledgement of this problem on the part of Verizon nor Novatel, nor has there been any firmware update to rectify the issue.

Verizon MiFi Problem

Now that more customers will be “enjoying” this problem, perhaps a solution is not far down the road!

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Rants, Tech

Verizon MiFi Disconnects Constantly in WiFi Mode

Update November 23, 2010: Updating the MiFi to firmware 7.3.11 appears to resolve these problems for me. The updater is currently available only for PCs, so Mac users will need to borrow a friend’s computer or use Fusion or Parallels to install the firmware onto their MiFi. Daniel Odio has additional details on his blog.


The following post was written using the MiFi with firmware 7.1.6. The problems listed below manifested itself for me and several other people. Read the update above on how to upgrade your MiFi to the latest firmware which has resolved the problem thus far for me.

I love the idea of the Verizon MiFi — which I bought several months ago to replace the mobile Internet solution I cobbled together a year ago — but it’s very annoying to use in practice.

I’m speaking of the constant stream of disconnects and reconnects whenever the device is being used as a 3G WiFi hotspot. This has been discussed on several threads and forums, but I have yet to see any permanent remedy to this problem.

Check out the diagram below:

Verizon MiFi Disconnect Problem

This happens on a regular basis with my Verizon MiFi 2200 running firmware 1.3.5. I have seen this problem on a MiFi 2200 running 1.2.5 firmware as well.

I’ve talked to several people who say they haven’t experienced this problem first-hand, but I suspect that it is happening; they just don’t realize it. Here are steps to verify and reproduce:

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Chargers, Rants, Sports

Chargers win 38-24. Refs Rule Otherwise. Broncos Win 39-38

What a horrible officiating today during the Chargers-Broncos game in Denver. A fumble that shouldn’t have been a fumble in the first quarter. A fumble that was inadvertently ruled an incompletion gave Broncos the life they needed to win the game. Ed Hoculi; I used to think you were a good red, but today, you really blew it!

If the rules get in the way of who wins and who loses, then the rules need to be changed. Two minute time limit to get the replay machines working? I had never heard of that rule. Ridiculous. Blowing your whistle when it’s clear the quarterback is doing the empty hand routine with the football? Refs are taught to hold off from blowing the whistle until it’s clear what happened. Horrible!

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Cycling, Rants

Bike Safety – Accident in Mexico

This photo really pissed me off when I saw it this morning after waking up in Providence, Rhode Island.

An American drunk driver, apparently asleep at the wheel, plowed into several cyclists during a race in Mexico, killing one and injuring the others. The photo is absolutely terrible, but this is the reality when cars collide with cyclists. I can imagine this is what happened when a similar accident occurred near our old house in Cupertino, when a California Highway Patrol officer killed two cyclists along Stevens Canyon Road.

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Rants

My Hubcaps Were Stolen!

No Hubcaps

I’m doing some last-minute shopping for items at Westfield Valley Fair today. I arrive around 3:00 pm and return to my car at 4:35 pm. As I’m walking to my car, something just didn’t look right. The car and wheels looked darker than normal. As I got closer and confirm that it was indeed my car, I realized the truth. Someone stole all four of my hubcaps!

Now, my car isn’t some souped-up rice rocket; it’s a Toyota Camry from the 1990s! Who in the world would want to steal my hubcaps? There are several eBay listings for hubcaps of that model. Four of them will cost me between $50 and $100.

There were two potential witnesses whom I spoke with in the parking lot. The lady in an SUV parked in front of me said that she had just arrived and didn’t see anything. The person manning the Goodwill Trailer spoke little English but told me that she didn’t see anything either. She was standing directly in the line of sight of my car, so if anything had happened, she had to have seen it, right?!? How long does it take to remove four hubcaps? A minute? Two minutes?

Grrr… this is yet another reason why I hate to go to the mall! I guess my report will be appearing on crimereports.com soon. This site lists all crime activity in areas like San Diego and San Jose.

To the person who stole my hubcaps. Shame on you! May your wheels always fall out of alignment!

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