Viacom vs DirecTV, AMC vs DISH, etc etc

Where does it all end

job-fails-in-this-corner-we-have-two-spoiled-siblingsViacom (Comedy Central, MTV, Nicelodeon,etc) and DirectTV are fighting over which Viacom channels DirectTV will carry.  DirectTV blocked all of Viacom’s channels and in response Viacome removed the Dailiy Show and free episodes of Jersey Shore off the internet, which they were supposing DirectTV’s customers were using to watch the show as an alternative. 

What’s going on is the networks, like Viacom, charge the providers, Direct TV, Dish, Time Warner, etc. to air their programs.  They in turn use their subscriber charges to pay those charges.  Never mind all the commercials the network and local provider throw in there. 

DISH has blocked AMC channels for the same reason.  AMC responded by streaming Breaking Bad online for free.  Some companies have customers thoughts in mind.. or at least want to appear that way.

at least make it seam legit..

Here’s another email that made it in..

From: Buckner, Kermit []

Sent: Monday, June 11, 2012 11:39 AM

Subject: Helpdesk Upgrade

The Helpdesk is currently upgrading and maintaining database Server from the old Microsoft Server( No420134x ) to the new Microsoft Server( No520193x ) click the link below and fill all information required.

Thank You

Helpdesk Upgrade Team

And the google doc they use is..


If someone actually falls for this one.. I’m sorry; the lesson to learn here is you just lost your internet privileges.

Today’s Scam #3


This Facebook scam is fairly common.  It relys on some unsuspecting person to find an article that they feel will lure people into clicking on it.  By clicking on it they are usually taking to an app page asking for permission to access your personal information.  Then to add shame to the whole process.. it post on that users wall what they just did.. hoping more will fall for it.

Todays Scam #2

This one comes from two parts.. one an unsuspecting user click on an unknown and unexpected link and surprisingly their computer is now infected with a bug that sends it self to all the users in that persons address book.  And the cycle continues.  This “chain virus” could be stopped if people were just careful about what links they chose to open.

From: Thierno Diallo []
Sent: Wednesday, May 16, 2012 4:54 AM
Subject: RE:John

making money for the time you spend online thsi worked for me you should try it too if you could have a job where you love what you do and you can do it while in the company of your loved ones at home wouldn’t you take it

I’ve married the most amazing woman…

It’s been a hard month. Not going to lie. The past 22 days have been trying but rewarding. My days have been 8-5 at work the from my real job i’d head over to church and spend the rest of the evening there.. coming home usually around midnight.. get up, back to work and repeat the process. Weekends even worse.. usually get to church early and spend all weekend out there. I knew when we took on this HD project that it would be long hours the light at the end of the tunnel is finally starting to show it’s head. Through all of that i haven’t gotten to see Patti but only during the few waking hours between gettin in bed and and leaving for work. She’s also managed to put on a huge event for the foundation she works for that ended up being a huge success and undertaking. She has also been gathering for the huge church garage sale, getting Hannah ready for her state competition, dealing with megan being sick and even took in a stray along the way. I don’t know how she manages to do it all. I must have married wonder woman.

HD upgrades near completion

Last sunday we pulled all of the analog equipment which really meant all of the equipment out of the media office and made room for the hd equipment.  Monday we rented the scissor lift and began pulling the old wiring and installing the new wiring.  the old wiring was 25 conductor control cable and Multicore cable.  Then we replaced then with RG-6 and CAT5 wiring.  Much cheeper and easier to work with.  We working on this through most of the evening on Monday night.  Tuesday night we strung up wiring behind the stage and began setting up the equipment room to become the wiring hub.  Wed I took a floating holiday off from work.  The last of the new equipment arrived.  We unboxed some of the hardware and sent some stuff off to be manufactured at a local machine shop.  Unboxed some more and began setting up the PTZ’s and the master control.  We also began programing the PTZ’s for the cameras.  We have a combination of Sony and Panasonic cameras so the controllers needed to be customized for each protocol.  We then began working on running cabling from the equipment room to the media office to make the final connections.  Thursday we closed up the mounted up the ptz’s up and began interconnecting everything to the switcher mainframe.  we also ran  cabling from the balcony all the way back to the media office for the two rear cameras and two-channel communications.  we also wired up the communications to the sound console to deliver communications to a wireless IEM channel for the wireless camera operators.  friday we put the finishing touches on everything and began learning the operation of all the new software.  We also wired up a makeshift recording system and projection system.  That evening we debuted the new cameras with a concert being held at the church.  It was a rough start be we got to use the time to figure out all the of the stuff and begin to work out the kinks.

Today we cleaned up our mess and the office and finalized some last cable runs to the sound booth.  we also returned the projection equipment to the booth as well as increased the projection resolution from 1024×768 to 1600×1200.  Our system could support 1080i however we still need to match up some final settings before pushing our limits.  We were also able to bring in the mixed feed back into the projection computer.  The software doesn’t seam to support 16×9 however so there may be some aspect ratio weirdness going on until we swap software

Left to Do

-Acquire HD Recorder

-SDI Scaller

-SDI Streamer

-Pro Presenter with alpha-key

-wide screen confidence monitors

-additional BNC/RG-6 compression connectors

gaffers tape to hide wiring

another brick in the wall part 1

as long as i’ve been her victim, i’ve done really well to keep you guys out of it. it’s not something you need to be bothered with and it’s not worth slandering someone over. i learned along time ago don’t sent email out of emotion.  So i’ve gotten to take some time to sit revalue and think for a while.  The typical audience of this blog know me and know the plight that is common with her.  A few weeks ago she suggested that she hire someone to come and fix our sound system.  The worship leader came up to me cautiously telling me what her plan was and I enthusiastically consented.  I figured if she was willing to spend the money to bring in a professional who know what they were doing better than the rest of us, great!  If it was a true professional then they would also be able to more critically assess issues that go beyond the wires and circuits and be hopefully be taken with more authority than coming from me.

So this past thursday she sent me a text message:

– mobile
1/26/12 1:38 PM 4 days ago
Pricilla: (1/2) Hi John… Just wanted to let u know that a sound engineer will b at practice tonight at 6 pm. Thank u so much for being open to the idea! I greatly, 1:36 PM
Pricilla: (2/2) greatly appreciate it! 1:36 PM
So he comes that evening and this is what he finds:
From: Danny 
Sent: Monday, January 30, 2012 16:20
Subject: Sound system review

First of all, I would like to thank you for allowing me to visit your facility and trusting me to evaluate your audio equipment. My main goal is to take your system to its full potential thus allowing your services to run as smooth as possible no matter who is sitting behind the desk. Here is a list of problems I found while listening to the system both with my iPod and the praise team (without getting too technical).

1) The overall sound is a bit harsh, lacks body and midrange. The problem is in the equalization (both on the desk and in the DriveRack) and uneven level sends to each speaker component. This can easily be resolved by resetting the equalizer to flat (on the DriveRack) and by correcting output levels (on the DriveRack and the amplifiers).
2) The overall sound was too “restricted”. When the main volume was raised, I could clearly hear the limiter kicking in. Upon looking through the mixer, I could see that most channels are being over-compressed. I would’ve liked to have looked at the DriveRack because I suspect there is a problem with the compressors on there as well. This problem can be solved by adjusting each individual channel  as well as the DriveRack.
3) Problems with gain structure. When I looked at the mix desk, I saw that the main volume was lowered quite a bit. When I heard the band start up, I could tell that the mixer was unbalanced. Vocals were louder than the rest of the instruments, which led to the lowering of the main volume, which reduced the volume of other channels that were already too low. That’s why you can’t hear the choir, violin or sax. This issue can be fixed by resetting the gains on the mix desk.
4) Choir mics sounded “hollow” (in my headphones). The simple explanation is that these mics are too close together. Spacing them a bit further apart will help.
On stage, the only real problem I found was the location and volume of the guitar and bass amplifiers. Relocating the guitar amps (off stage, if possible) would really help bring the overall stage volume down. It will also clean up your stage, which will help when filming for television or internet. You could also reduce the volume (or completely get rid of) the bass amplifier. It is going directly into the mixer, so the tone will not change much. I also recommend your musicians look into getting some in-ear headphones. This will help them hear their mix better at a lower volume, which will encourage them to turn their amps down and play softer. This is another way to help lower stage volume. Quality in-ear headphones aren’t that expensive. carries most brands at a discount. For health purposes, musicians should not share earbuds. This is why they should look into investing in their own set. I will gladly make recommendations of some brands I have personally used in the past, usually under $40.
The last issue I would like to address has to do with John, the head of your A/V department. I didn’t get much cooperation from him. I had some questions about the system in general but before I knew it, he was gone. He made it pretty clear that he did not like the fact that I was there. If I did anything to offend him, I will gladly sit down with John and discuss what bothered him. People on the praise team and volunteers alike stated that they are afraid to ask for anything from him because he is quick to get upset. I have also heard from Priscilla that he does not take constructive criticism well. Everyone that works with John obviously care about him and they feel he has so much potential as a leader and an engineer but his attitude is holding him back. As a fellow engineer who has worked with some of the best and most demanding clients, I know how frustrating this industry can be. You have to be mature both mentally and spiritually to allow good criticism in and let the negative slide right off. There is a lot of give and take. You HAVE to compromise and be patient. Most importantly, you have to be willing to SERVE.
Once again, thank you for trusting me with this evaluation. I look forward to going back soon and working with you and your staff to address the issues stated here. I would also like to schedule a meeting to go over the details of how this will be accomplished. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact me via email or telephone. God bless you.
yeah.. So stay tuned tomorrow for my response.
(the previously mentioned email did not have any confidentially clause affixed to it or any contact in place deeming any discovery privilege to the parties involved)

AirPrint for the rest of us..

Collobos SoftwareI’m not normally one to endorse a product but I found something yesterday that just made my life and the life of my coworkers much easier, if not cooler.  We have about 12 network printers here where I work, and a wireless mesh network setup with mobility so that people with wireless devices can logon and use the network from anywhere on campus and roam around keeping their connection.  A lot of people are getting iPads, iPhones, and even some iTouchs.  Back in ios 4.2 Apple released AirPrint, a cool feature where you could print from any of those devices using Bonjour for the transport.  In order to print however, you had to have an AirPrint device.  The list at first was small, and it’s grown by a few dozen but no very much.  I was waiting for HP to release some firmware allowing the existing bonjour service to broadcast to AirPrint but nothing yet.  Then I found FingerPrint by Collobos Software.  I tossed it on our print server and instantly all our idevices had the same network printers that the users had from their desktops and laptops.  The currently download on their website gives you about 7 days to test it out to see if it works with your printer and network.  The license is then $9.99.  The program runs on either PC or Mac, which ever is attached to your printer.  In our case it’s on our windows 2008 R2 server.  The current version runs as an application but beta work is in progress with a version that supports running as a service, and customizing the display names.  I would easily (have our company) pay $100 or more for this product.  Get it while it’s hot. 

Disclosure: I’m not receiving any discount or free products with this endorsement.  For only $10, I still feel like I’m ripping them off. 

iPhone, iPad, iTouch and AirPrint is a registered trademarks of Apple Inc.

One fine morning

It’s funny how quickly things can change.  My routine was simple.  Hear the alarm at 7, snooze until 7is, get dressed, kiss the wife goodbye, and off to work I go to make the 30 minute drive to Weslaco.  I’ve been doing that for about 7 years now.  I thought yesterday wouldn’t be any different.

Up 16th st, cut across on primrose to main to get the traffic light, turn left onto Nolana while waving to the crossing guard who is always way to cheerful at 7 in the morning, thru the school zone taking Nolana to US 281, and interchange to US 83 to Weslaco.  Traffic is usually heavy and Nolana at this time as well as on 281.  I never expected this lady to interrupt my morning commute.

I had turned onto Nolana heading east towards the expressway, Nolana is now 6 lanes with three lanes in either direction as well as the turning lane.  I was in the middle lane with a car slightly ahead of me in the left-most lane and possibly a car to the right of me in the right lane next to the turning lane.  I was driving through the school zone and approaching 12th street where the school zone ends so starting to pick up some speed.  Cars (and people) usually cross at 12th street but there isn’t a traffic light there, only a stop sign for the cross-traffic.  The car to the left of me must have been turning on to 12th street and there was a car on 12th turning into Nolana turning west.  That car so the car to the left of me turn but didn’t see me still going straight.  She turned into me.  Everything happened really quickly.  I remember a sudden stop, I didn’t even have time to hit the breaks.  Then there was a sizzling sound and a burning smell.  At first I thought it was the engine and radiator fluid.  So I unbuckle, try and get out, it locked.  unlock, get out and walk over to the other car.  Lady in the front seat, look in the back seat, empty.  I walk back over to her and she’s crawling over to the passenger side since she can’t get out of her side and ask for a phone.  I had set it in my console so I walk back over to my car to get it.  the radio is still on and I notice that all of the airbags had deployed.  Got my phone and started to call 911.  Then I saw a police car approach.  (that was fast)  People have stopped and were asking about me.  I was fine.  I thought, I should call patti, I looked down and my phone was already calling her.  ok?  Amber had driven right through the accident and saw me and called her first.  So I explained that I was ok but might need another way to get to work.  She was heading over.  I took a moment and took my first snap-shoot of the event and posted it to facebook.  I sent the same photo to my office with a note “I might be a little late” IMG_0519ed

So checked in with the police, handed my license and insurance paperwork over for the first if many times that day.  I wanted to let the police get the statements from the witnesses first before me.  So Patti showed up and I had her call the insurance.  About that time I notice my writs and see that my left is pretty red and a few scratches and cuts, my left is hurting but nothing obvious.  The cops finally come by and ask me about what happened.  The lady who was in the other car was still in her full body pajamas and fuzzy slippers.  (no wonder she never got out of the car) At one point she left and the owner of the car, her husband?, who had shown up said she left to get her license.  Anyway.. a while later I see the cops talking her her giving her a ticket.

So they tow off the car, Patti drives us to the tow yard where we empty out the car into hers. She then takes me to the doctor where they prescribe some meds but didn’t find anything serious.   So we get home and finally start catching up on all of the text and email.  Actually, everyone was calling and texting patti.  I think my sister was the only one who called me.  So check up on the insurance.  The car was paid off but we kept comp and collision on it.  We also had a rental reimbursement on it so I wanted to check on how to start using that.  I called Progressive, keyed in my account number and was connected directly to my local rep who was just about to call me.  She took my statement.  She also asked me which repair shop I wanted to use.  She setup for that shop to pick up the car and she also setup the car rental for me.  All I had to do was go pick it up.  Progressive really made the whole experience easy.  I would recommend them.



So Hannah had her Christmas band concert last night, I went with a wrist brace and bandages.  It was a good concert though.  The kids did well.  Back to work today just taking iteasy.  Glad it didn’t turn out worse.  I’d like to thank everyone to called and texted to check on me, even it was was through patti 🙂  Never knew how many knew me who pass through that road.