Monday, July 22, 2013

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BTN2Go Now Includes Comcast XFINITY Support

This day has been a long time coming, but it is apparently finally here. The BTN2Go app, the mobile streaming app created by the Big Ten Network, now includes live video support for Comcast XFINITY subscribers. This inclusion should be platform wide, meaning the Comcast XFINITY login should be available on Android and iOS devices.

For some users of the app, including myself, the Comcast login may be difficult to find, as it is located at the bottom of the alphabetical list (maybe for XFINITY?). The logo for the service also, rather than being either the Comcast or XFINITY logo, actually reads "Beta," so this is likely an inclusion in its infancy.

Streaming seems to operate fine on my DROID DNA on Verizon, and I know I'll be using this thing like crazy at tailgates during football season and in the office for basketball.

For those frustrated users who deleted the BTN2Go app in the past, here's a link to the Android version in the Google Play Store. Enjoy!

Monday, June 24, 2013

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Similicious - A short-term Canadian vacation SIM option

Similicious, a Canadian MVNO, has been providing low-cost, pre-paid SIM cards for international travelers in Canada for a few months now. They had some excellent bargains as of the middle of June, with their best likely being a 1GB offering for $25CAD + $10 deposit (for overages) with overage MBs costing only $0.015 per megabyte. These data-only plans seemed like excellent bargains, especially if you could make wi-fi outgoing calls on your iOS or Android device. These data plans include LTE in addition to HSPA.

Similicious has been a well kept secret across the border, despite their active Facebook and Twitter accounts. Those data package prices were really outstanding, and I was planning on getting a 1GB card for an upcoming trip of mine in early July.

Unfortunately, I was a bit late to the party. Within the last week or so, Similicious has changed their plans, and increased some of their rates. My beautiful 1GB SIM went up from $25CAD + $10 refundable deposit to $45CAD (no deposit), an 80% price jump. Additionally, overage charges went up, albeit marginally, to $0.0175 per additional MB. A new, lower plan of 500MB is now available for $30CAD (no deposit), but their higher tier plans of 2GB and 5GB (data only) have now been removed altogether.

I contacted a representative from Similicious regarding the change. I was told that the network provider (not sure who, but clearly a nationwide provider as coverage seems to be very broad) basically mandated these increases, and Similicious is actively working to get their old plans/prices back.

In the end, the responses from Similicious came so quickly, and thoughtfully, that I will go with them on my trip despite the current changes. I will go for the 500MB plan ($0.025 per additional MB), and will just accept and pay overage charges if necessary.

Similicious could be a real contender if they can keep those prices low, but I will recommend their services to friends and family if all goes well.

UPDATE: I checked the site this morning, and am saddened to announce that prices have been raised even further. All available plans have now gone up another $10CAD, which would raise the 500MB plan, if you were to order today, to about $40CAD. Additionally, shipping charges for the SIMs have gone up considerably, now $20CAD for U.S. delivery ($10CAD Canadian delivery), up from only $2CAD a week ago.

UPDATE 2: The 500MB plan appears to be back at $30CAD, with the $2CAD delivery option available again for those who plan ahead for shipping. I believe that the Similicious service worked well on my trip, and would recommend this specific plan for those travelling for a week. The 1GB plan remains at $55CAD, which I believe is a bit pricey for that amount of service.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

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Got a Job (Good/Bad News)

I've got a temporary job, and may have a full-time job coming my way within the next couple days. What does this mean? My posting will be few and far between (as you may have noticed). I'll try to keep up when I can, but things probably won't be like they used to. Thanks for reading, and keep checking back!

I've also become the webmaster for For anyone interested in news about the Michigan economy, Rick Haglund is an excellent writer who has covered Michigan business news for over 24 years. Check it out!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

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Podcast Wednesday - 12/16

Cold Boot hits before the holidays with iMac talk, the Microsoft/EU settlement, the lack of Verizon apps, and an update on my URL shortening situation. It might be Winter, but the Cold Boot 'cast is HOT!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

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URL Shortening - The New Movement

Having just recently gotten into the blogger foray on a regular basis, I wasn't entirely familiar with URL shortening until now. I still don't totally get the concept, but I currently use to shorten my links on Twitter (it's Twitter's default, but TwitterFeed lets you choose from a myriad of options)., probably the most recognized because it is Twitter's default service, is gaining quite a bit of company, however, as well as adding some services. Pro is that provider's way of making "www" addresses a thing of the past. For instance, if you type into your browser, you will end up with the New York Times homepage. Other sites, such as The Onion, MSN, and the Wall Street Journal have also gotten into what is now the beta stage of Pro, which also provides detailed statistics of use for those that sign up. Facebook has also entered the URL shortening mix, allowing users to either reach the Facebook homepage at, or utilizing Facebook's new username service by entering the username following a forward-slash.

URL shortening, albeit interesting, seems a little silly to me. Bookmarks became commonly used years ago, and users across the globe use them all the time to access their most frequented sites. Even if you are trying to attract new users, wouldn't it be easier to remember "" rather than ""
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New iMacs Experience Shipment Delays and Graphic Issues

This hasn't gotten a ton of pub, but Apple is apparently having some issues with their new 27" iMac line. Not only are they having problems filling orders for the desktop computer, but the iMac display has had problems as well, including cracked screens and flickering. One post on the Apple discussion forums, "New iMac 27inch screen flickering/tearing/shutoff," had 1,284 replies at the time of this blog posting. The issue, according to some, can be tied to either the ATI video card Apple has now decided to use in this new line, or the i5 and i7 processors overheating.

In terms of shipping the computers, Apple's claiming that their iMac sales are up 74% over last year, which is what's causing the delay. Some suggested that it was the graphic issue that slowed the iMac shipments, but Apple claims that isn't true. Whether or not Apple delayed shipments to fix the flickering issue might not be solved until after the holiday, when those who receive the delayed iMac's have their chance to complain if problems persist.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

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Use SkyDrive for Hosting Streaming Media

If you've tried to use Windows Live SkyDrive to host a podcast or video, you may have noticed that the link seems to  become unusable within a few hours of uploading the file. Well, it does, and that's due to Microsoft implementing a changing URL system, probably precisely for preventing streaming media to be placed on, and clog up, their servers. The old method, which worked fine up until a few months ago, would be to right-click the file you wanted to stream in your SkyDrive library, copy the link location, take the "?download" text off the end of the address, and that would be the direct link.

Well my cyber friends, don't despair, Tim Acheson has come to our rescue! Acheson has created a dynamic redirect URL that allows you to use SkyDrive to host streaming media, and will work as a permanent link! Here are the steps:

1. ASK Tim Acheson if you can use his redirect link. He's worked hard on it, and would like to know how many of us are taking advantage of it. It's only right to ask permission from the author, and it's not all that difficult or time consuming, so do it!

2. Copy this URL, as it will be the first half of your permanent link: 

3. Go to the SkyDrive page that simply shows your file as an icon. It's hard to describe this page exactly, so I've got an example for you HERE.

4. Copy that URL, and paste it behind Acheson's URL listed above so that it follows the "=" sign.

Once you've followed these steps, you've got a working link! The streaming URL for the file is the one that changes, not the URL that takes you to the file's SkyDrive page. Tim's basically gotten the redirect to automatically click to access the file that the SkyDrive link is connected to. This is AWESOME news for us podcasters, as we can now use a full 25GB of space to host audio, video, and whatever streaming media we want! Be sure, again, to ask Tim if you can use his redirect URL, and thank him while you're at it for helping us out majorly.