Standard AT&T Wireless Bullshit

This article was originally posted at this domain name on an old blogging system. I am consolidating all of my ramblings and drabble here.

Yep.

Just what I thought. Leave it to AT&T Wireless to really figure out how to stick it to their exiting customers.

My wireless service contract concluded at the end of July. I decided to cancel my service on August 2nd, mainly since I really wasn’t using the phone. After I finished the call, I noticed that my cell phone was indeed cancelled, effective immediately. AT&T Wireless later processed the cancellation on August 4th, according to their own records.

On August 21st, AT&T billed me for another month of wireless service.

I noticed the charge today, and called their customer service line. After 30 minutes of waiting, I learn about their “end of billing cycle policy”.

That’s right folks! Cancel whenever you’d like; you still get the privledge of being charged until the end of the billing cycle.

So, after a year of service, they get that final shafting and stick me for about $18.00.

It’s not the money; it’s the principle of the thing.

Bullshit. Feel free to comment.

Drunk Mofo

This article was originally posted at this domain name on an old blogging system. I am consolidating all of my ramblings and drabble here.

Driving 31mph + 2 cases of beer = 1 bad night. [Edit: He wanted to make sure that I include the words “circumstantial evidence” when describing his evening. I have no idea why.]

This was recently experienced by a close friend of mine.

Oh well, he needs the exercise I guess. I mean, now he’s walking and all since he can’t find his license. Oh wait, that’s right, it’s now in the officer’s pocket…

Reducing RSS Bandwidth

This article was originally posted at this domain name on an old blogging system. I am consolidating all of my ramblings and drabble here.

RSS is a cool bit of technology, there’s no doubt about it. But larger sites definitely run into issues when it comes to lots of people consistently polling the RSS data feed to find updates.

What can possibly be done?

I have a tool that I developed internally a while back to automatically update DNS entries on dynamic DNS sites. To determine what the IP address is for remote sites that may not be able to determine their own IP address, I run a simple IP address site. If you browse to ip.deepbluegroup.com, you’ll see it simply returns your current IP address.

So why can’t RSS feeds provide a similar mechanism? Provide a token from the most recent RSS download, for example mysite.com/rssver.aspx or some such thing that returns the value. If you were to do the calculations, I’m sure you’d see a dramatic decrease in outgoing bandwidth.

Of course, all of the aggregators would need to know where to find the additional URI to see what the current token was, but that should be a simple matter. Hey, don’t look at me like that, I’m just the ideas man…

Site Changes

This article was originally posted at this domain name on an old blogging system. I am consolidating all of my ramblings and drabble here.

I’ve finished migrating madajczyk.com over to MovableType. I was previously using DasBlog, but I felt a bit limited by it. I couldn’t find time to contribute to the project workspace over at GotDotNet, and I needed a way to update content quickly and painlessly.

There are actually two blogs, the standard type blog at madajczyk.com/blog, and another that I hacked together to allow me to serve the rest of the standard content at madajczyk.com.

Visual Studio 2005 Express

This article was originally posted via Squarespace on a domain name I no longer utilize. I am consolidating all of my ramblings and drabble here.

Microsoft recently released the Visual Studio 2005 Express tools (currently in Beta). This is really a good idea… provide entry-level coding tools to developers who don’t need all of the frills and features. More important is the cost, which is free. The biggest question is… how long will that last? It’s important to provide the tools to get more developers to try them, which allows more exposure to the newest technologies.

I’ll happily relate my experiences in .NET programming to anyone who will listen, but the big point to be made is this: Microsoft IS making it easier and faster to produce code, and the code appears to be more bulletproof that what earlier tools could produce.

Is this something that Java offers? Yes, to a point. Does Java have more market share? Yes, I believe it still does. Does that make it a superior product? I can’t pass judgment based on my limited Java experience. However, I know from experience that for probably 70% of the programmatic challenges I’ve come up against, I can find some kind of code example to set me on my way.

So… how is that different from Java? Simple: Sometimes I find the answer in C#, sometimes in VB.NET, sometimes in VB6 code, sometimes in ADSI or WMI programming examples, sometimes in VBscript.

Did any of this ranting make sense? Possibly. Did all of the points get made successfully? I don’t know… I drank before I wrote this… but I figure that the underlying main point stands.