TechnoMagicians Blog

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic – Arthur C. Clarke.

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‘$300m in cryptocurrency’ accidentally lost forever due to bug | Technology | The Guardian

November 10th, 2017 · No Comments

Why I think we are NOT ready for cryptocurrency just yet. These kind of things are going to happen more often and are going to take down some currencies altogether. What will your virtual currency end up being worth: $0.

Source: ‘$300m in cryptocurrency’ accidentally lost forever due to bug | Technology | The Guardian

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BlackBerry CEO Promises To Try To Break Customers’ Encryption If The US Gov’t Asks Him To | Techdirt

October 30th, 2017 · No Comments

Just in case you were ever under the impression that BlackBerry was secure. I’ve always told people it isn’t as secure as they want you to believe:

Source: BlackBerry CEO Promises To Try To Break Customers’ Encryption If The US Gov’t Asks Him To | Techdirt

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Equifax Deserves the Corporate Death Penalty | WIRED

October 23rd, 2017 · No Comments

Agreed: Equifax Deserves the Corporate Death Penalty | WIRED

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Samsung LED TV Woes

October 16th, 2017 · No Comments

I wrote this post years ago when I first bought this TV but this post got lost in my drafts. I figured I would post it now. I may have left it in draft form when waiting for the final replacement part at the end here. I can’t be bothered to go back through my notes so this will suffice for now!!

My experience with a Samsung UN40D5500 LED TV and the terrible Samsung customer service that ensued. At this point it is just a joke so this will be in point form:

  • Sept 9th: TV seemed completely dead. There is usually a LED red light indicating the TV is receiving power when in the off state but not even that is working. Called Samsung and they booked a local company to send a technician out for Sept 11th. Unfortunately the woman booking things lost whatever she was doing and asked me to call the local company to make sure the appointment was actually sent as she couldn’t tell from her end. Not sure what sort of booking arrangement they have but obviously not that great.
  • Sept 10th: Called local repair company to verify the appointment. They said they could actually come today rather than tomorrow at the scheduled time so I had the guy come out. Technician came out and tried replacing the motherboard. No difference. Although he seemed a little bit baffled because there seemed to be some power when the motherboard was not connected. He said he had to try swapping the power supply next but he did not bring one because typically they don’t need replacing. I believe they had to order the power supply.
  • Sept 12th: They have the power supply and can come out tomorrow.
  • Sept 13th: Tried swapping the power supply. Didn’t make a difference. Of course this time he didn’t bring the motherboard because he thought for sure the power supply was the only thing not working. He said he wanted to try swapping out both. He had to return to his shop to pickup a motherboard. On this first visit he also carried up a new TV in a box in case they would completely replace it. He left that with me as he returned to the shop for the motherboard. When he returned of course replacing both motherboard and power supply did not work and he said he would have to take the TV back to his shop. Of course at this point I expected the TV to just be replaced with the one in the box sitting in my hallway. I couldn’t understand the reasoning for not replacing it at this very time. But after carrying the box up with the new TV in it and leaving it sitting there, he decided he was going to carry it back down leaving me with nothing!! At this point or earlier I also mentioned another problem that I had with the TV when it was actually powered up. That is, that there was a very faint white block on the screen about 1 inch high by 5-6 inches across.
  • Sep 18th: Tried getting a status from the local repair company but all I could make out was that they received some part which didn’t fix the screen problem. At this point they had the power problem figured out. I believe it was at this point they put in a request to Samsung to have the TV completely replaced.
  • Sep 18th: Tried calling Samsung to get a status on what is going on. After messing about and not getting any sufficient answers I was transferred to ECR (Executive Customer Relations or something). They told me that they received a request from the local repair company and that the TV was to be replaced. This process was just started and could take 7-14 business days but nobody could tell me exactly where in the process anything was.
  • Sep 27th: Called Samsung to try and get a status as I haven’t heard a thing for over a week. Tried transferring me to ECR but it was too busy and I was asked to call back in 30 minutes!! Called back in 30 mins and transferred to ECR. Found out that they apparently tried to get a hold of me on the 24th but could not get through. Now, it is true I was having phone issues I think that day for a brief period. But obviously they potentially only tried once and never again. He said that someone would definitely get back to me within the next day.
  • Sep 28th: Nobody called me of course. He said that the reason they were trying to get a hold of me was so that I could pick a new model since they couldn’t replace with the same model I had. He said to provide an email address as that would be easier and quicker. He said I will receive an email very shortly (ie. same day) and I could reply there etc. and the process should be very quick.
  • Sep 29th: No email so I call Samsung again. Considering it is a Saturday I didn’t expect to get very far. First level rep I talked to said wasn’t sure anyone in ECR was working today but checked and said that someone will definitely call me back within 30 mins as they are away for lunch or something. I believe he mentioned a Mr. Nelson.
  • Sep 29th: 2 hours later and nobody called me so I called in again. This first level rep said nobody in ECR is working today but they will call me first thing Monday morning.
  • Oct 1st: No call from ECR first thing this morning so I called mid-day. Immediately transferred to ECR. There was an extremely unhelpful rep on the phone. He assumed that we were just at the beginning of confirming whether the TV was to be replaced. I said, no, we are well past that as they were supposedly contacting me to pick a new model. I asked for his supervisor as I couldn’t be bothered to deal with someone who either couldn’t read the notes or there were no proper notes taken for my case. He said there is nobody higher than him to take the call. I kept persisting and asking if there was nobody that he reported to. He finally admitted there was a supervisor in the office but that she would not take calls no matter what. There seemed to be no escalation process at all. He kept referring to “upper management” yet wouldn’t transfer my call or get “upper management” involved. And yet still said he is at the top of the line of people to talk to. I gave up with this moron.
  • Oct 1st: Received a call from Samsung apparently from the woman who attempted to call me on the 24th. Only reason I know this was that her name was mentioned at that time as someone who was trying to reach me. Apparently she is the local warehouse person or person responsible for shipping replacement TV’s locally here. She went through the deal about not having the exact model so she would work with me on picking a suitable model. She said she would send me an email with the model she thinks is suitable for replacement. I received an email within an hour with a 6000 series replacement. Unfortunately it was lacking in a bunch of features that I had on the 5500 so I responded that it would not be suitable. We went back and forth on some options and she said she would get back to me shortly with some other suggestions. In the meantime I did some research on what would be suitable.
  • Oct 2nd: Called this woman since I had her direct number and asked where things were since I sent a few emails on the 1st with suggestions after my research. She said she hadn’t looked at her emails yet today and will get back to me in the afternoon.
  • Oct 2nd: Talked to this woman again late in the day and she said she was replacing with a model we already discussed was not suitable. She didn’t seem to recall this but after checking emails she finally clued in that she already agreed with me it was a suitable replacement. We finally agreed on a 6300 model replacement. The only good thing to come out of this is that it is a 46″ now instead of 40″. It will probably be too big for the spot that I have it in!!!
  • Oct 11th: Got a call from the local repair shop that they have my new TV and can deliver it on the 12th.

You would think things stop here but no they did not!!!

  • Oct 31st: While watching TV I noticed that there were some strange horizontal lines and some flickering going on. I was watching something off DVR and thought initially maybe the recording was like that so I paused it. Same flickering and lines. I switched to regular TV broadcast from the cable box. Same thing. I switched to another input source. Same thing and more pronounced.
  • Nov 1st: Called Samsung to report this.
  • Nov 2nd: Local repair company out again to look at the set. Confirmed almost immediately that the LED panel needs replacing. They are checking with Samsung now to send the part and/or a new TV as replacement.
  • Sometime after this they replaced the LED panel and things have been alright since.

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Why you need StatCounter if you use Google Adwords – StatCounter Blog

October 8th, 2017 · No Comments

This sort of thing has been going on since the very first ad click was ever clicked, well before Google got into the business. I worked with lot of ad click advertisers throughout the years and would usually have my own separate tracking.

Source: Why you need StatCounter if you use Google Adwords – StatCounter Blog

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Daring Fireball: Trump’s FCC Commissioner Calls on Apple to ‘Activate’ iPhone FM Antennas That No Longer Exist

September 29th, 2017 · No Comments

Anyone heading an organization like this and making claims like this should lose their jobs PERIOD.

What’s absurd is that the FCC commissioner would take his understanding of the iPhone’s technical capabilities from a newspaper editorial rather than from Apple’s own FCC regulatory filings, which I’m pretty sure would show that they’re not capable of acting as FM radios.

Furthermore, I’m sure the timing of Pai’s “go blame Apple” letter has nothing to do with yesterday’s vociferous criticism of the FCC’s handling of the aftermaths of hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.

Source: Daring Fireball: Trump’s FCC Commissioner Calls on Apple to ‘Activate’ iPhone FM Antennas That No Longer Exist

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‘Radical and overreaching’: Bell wants Canadians blocked from piracy websites

September 27th, 2017 · No Comments

The CRTC is not much good for anything. Not that this isn’t a horrible idea to begin with:

Canada is a safe haven for internet pirates, Bell Canada says. The telecom giant wants the federal government to fight back by blocking Canadians’ access to piracy websites and stiffening the penalties for violations.

Source: ‘Radical and overreaching’: Bell wants Canadians blocked from piracy websites

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macOS High Sierra Vulnerability Allegedly Allows Malicious Third-Party Apps to Access Plaintext Keychain Data – Mac Rumors

September 26th, 2017 · No Comments

This certainly seems like a pretty huge vulnerability. Now who doesn’t have Third-Party apps that are either free and/or sold outside of the MAC app store??!!

Source: macOS High Sierra Vulnerability Allegedly Allows Malicious Third-Party Apps to Access Plaintext Keychain Data – Mac Rumors

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New Bluetooth vulnerability can hack a phone in 10 seconds | TechCrunch

September 13th, 2017 · No Comments

Looks like at least iOS is not vulnerable. But this could be nasty in other devices.

Source: New Bluetooth vulnerability can hack a phone in 10 seconds | TechCrunch

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A Tesla Against Every Possible Odd

August 30th, 2017 · No Comments

An open letter to Elon Musk and Tesla:

I’m determined to buy a Tesla as I believe in the company and its mission.

However, here is what I’m up against:

  1. I currently rent a condo and no way to charge daily overnight. Very long story but I worked with the building management, city regulators, Tesla electrician, proposed to my landlord that I’d pay for the electrical install, pay for any insurance, etc etc but in the end the landlord was not interested.
  2. There is only ONE supercharger in Toronto. I think there used to be a 2nd one but its not available to the public any longer.
  3. I don’t know if it would be feasible to use the supercharger say once a week or every two weeks. Would love to somehow try this out but not getting anywhere with local Tesla sales people. They don’t seem to understand my problem and potential workaround.
  4. I have put a deposit on a Model 3 but looked at leasing a Model S in the meantime. This option doesn’t seem feasible as Tesla sales do not seem to want to be accommodating whatsoever in this area in terms of ending the lease when the 3 arrives and such. I couldn’t get them to even think about these possibilities let alone being able to work something out.
  5. I thought of buying a pre-owned Model S and selling it when my 3 arrives but not sure if this is a wise decision or cost effective. Not to mention most of the pre-owned models I’ve seen lack the latest technology so it would be kind of disappointing.
  6. Just buy a Model S outright and forget the 3. I can afford it but I am adverse to spending a lot of money on cars. My current car was purchased for just under $30,000 and it is going on its 18th year.
  7. I need a car soon so I need something in the meantime. If Tesla options are out until the 3 is delivered I have no idea how long to lock into a lease for. 1, 2 or 3 years? I’m pretty sure its not going to be more than 2 at this point.

With all of these stumbling blocks I am determined to owning a Tesla as soon as I can but for the time being I’m in a holding pattern unfortunately.

UPDATE (Nov 17, 2017): Here is an article on blogTO titled “Toronto not making it easy to own an electric car”.

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