TechnoMagicians Blog

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

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Would you wear this muzzle around the office for private calling? – CNET

May 25th, 2018 · No Comments

Perfect for all those worthless open office concepts:

Source: Would you wear this muzzle around the office for private calling? – CNET

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Dot-com bust Kozmo makes comeback as online warehouse delivery service | Food Dive

April 25th, 2018 · No Comments

Here we go again:

  • Kozmo.com, a website devoted to grocery delivery created during the dot.com frenzy of the 1990s, has found new life through Yummy.com, a grocer that operates six stores in the Los Angeles area and also does delivery. Yummy.com is relaunching Kozmo.com as a quasi-warehouse club, according to Digital Commerce 360.
  • The new Kozmo.com makes on-demand deliveries within two hours of an order being placed by using Yummy.com’s order fulfillment and delivery system. It is expected to be profitable from the start. Digital Commerce 360 said the relaunch will start by serving the Los Angeles metro area, but the company hopes to develop relationships with other retailers who might benefit from selling through the website. It plans to expand Kozmo.com by the end of 2018.
  • Kozmo.com sells items found in the grocery store, such as meat, packaged foods, produce, health and beauty products and alcohol. But unlike other warehouse clubs, it will not sell products in bulk packages. Instead, the business offers deals to customers who buy several regular-sized products.

Source: Dot-com bust Kozmo makes comeback as online warehouse delivery service | Food Dive

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Announcing 1.1.1.1: the fastest, privacy-first consumer DNS service

April 3rd, 2018 · No Comments

Good to see Cloudflare announcing a privacy-first consumer DNS service.

Cloudflare’s mission is to help build a better Internet. We’re excited today to take another step toward that mission with the launch of 1.1.1.1 — the Internet’s fastest, privacy-first consumer DNS service.

Source: Announcing 1.1.1.1: the fastest, privacy-first consumer DNS service

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Apple Watch Had Record Year With Estimated 18M Shipments in 2017, Topped Entire Swiss Watch Industry Last Quarter – Mac Rumors

February 17th, 2018 · No Comments

So, are we still calling the Apple Watch a failure?

Interestingly, it appears that this growth has resulted in Apple Watch shipments coming in higher than all Swiss watch brands combined for the first time last quarter, according to IDC research director Francisco Jeronimo.‏ In other words, Apple is now the biggest watchmaker in the world.

Source: Apple Watch Had Record Year With Estimated 18M Shipments in 2017, Topped Entire Swiss Watch Industry Last Quarter – Mac Rumors

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A Simple Explanation of the Differences Between Meltdown and Spectre

January 4th, 2018 · No Comments

Explanation of the differences between Meltdown and Spectre:

Source: A Simple Explanation of the Differences Between Meltdown and Spectre

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‘Kernel memory leaking’ Intel processor design flaw forces Linux, Windows redesign • The Register

January 3rd, 2018 · No Comments

This seems to be a pretty significant flaw in Intel processors:

Source: ‘Kernel memory leaking’ Intel processor design flaw forces Linux, Windows redesign • The Register

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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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