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internet

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There is something I don’t quite understand. Maybe someone can explain it to me. A few months ago Google gave IMAP support to Gmail. Everyone was happy to have this sought-after feature enabled finally. In my opinion, it was a few years too late. I never use desktop mail clients anymore (except when I was working for a technology company and we used Exchange). For something like Gmail, I just don’t see the point. The only thing I use a desktop email client for (and I use Thunderbird for this) is to back up my Gmail accounts. I don’t send mail from Thunderbird and I don’t read mail in Thunderbird. Maybe I would use a desktop email client if I used a different email service. I like Gmail’s interface too much to do that though.

Recently, Newsgator released their popular NetNewsWire and FeedBurner desktop RSS clients for free. You no longer have to pay for them. Again, I don’t understand why people would want to use a desktop RSS client. Sure, it can synchronize all your feeds so even if you aren’t at home it won’t give you the same feed as unread over and over. But you know what else does that? Web-based feed readers, such as Google Reader. Why download something to read when you could just as easily open up your browser to read it? Chances are, you’re already going to be on the net anyway.

Another thing I never understood was using things like Microsoft Live Writer and other such desktop blog publishing software. Why work with desktop software to publish to your blog? I know a few people who do that, but for me, writing in the administration of my blog software is perfectly fine. I don’t need to write my post in a piece of software that wasn’t even specifically designed for the blog engine I use.

Thankfully I’ve never used Network Solutions. Before I started doing a lot of website work I just had one domain, this one. I registered it with Namezero way back in high school, I think. After becoming more familiar with the internet, I moved it to GoDaddy. I knew, even way back then, to stay away from Network Solutions. The company I worked for in college was the sister company of a Web Hosting and CoLo facility. They always had problems with customers who registered domains via Network Solutions and NetSol support, to be honest, sucked. Well, recently another piece of information has hit the net on what a crappy company Network Solutions really is. They will steal your domain name ideas. Check out this post where the author even runs tests to confirm the rumor that was going around.

The short of it is, you have a great domain name idea. You check it on Network Solutions’ website to see if it’s available. Instead of buying it right then and there, you decide to think it over a bit. Well, if you do a WHOIS on the domain or visit it, you can see that it has been registered by NetSol and not only that, but they will sell it to you for a lot more than you should have to pay for a domain. Bottom line is, stay away from these scammers.

More and more I find myself browsing the net using Safari. I used to loathe Safari, and on Windows I still do, but it’s starting to grow on me a bit on the MacBook. On several Windows systems I found it to be much slower than Firefox, despite Apple’s claims. In fact, Opera and Firefox were faster at launching and loading websites. The only major browser it did beat in my experiences was the horror that is known as IE7. It does run faster than Firefox on the MacBook. The things I hated about Safari before still exist; the lack of an address drop-down until you type, the lack of extension support, etc. I still use Firefox for 99% of my web browsing, but I am slowly moving to Safari for more and more casual browsing (I’m writing this in Safari now). If I am doing web work or more heavy-duty browsing, Firefox is still my number one choice, and probably will be until Apple decides to add extension support. There are a few I can’t live without.

I’m really fed up with Charter Communications. I’ve heard the horror stories of Comcast and even my experiences with Mediacom haven’t been that great, but Charter really gets under my skin. The past few days my 5mbit internet connection has been going really really slow. Painfully slow. I’ve run several speed tests on several different computers (a Windows Vista box, an Ubuntu box and my MacBook) and each time the speed registers at less than 1mbit. So, I’m paying over $40 per month for service that is only delivering less than 20% of what I’m supposed to be receiving? (Not to mention the fact that I’ve never gotten my whole 5mbit connection and most times it’s as if i pay for 5mbit but they only deliver 3). That doesn’t sound to fair to me. I’ve checked all the cable connections in the house to see if there might be a loose cable somewhere and haven’t found anything. So what do I do? If it doesn’t clear up on it’s own over the next couple days I will have to call and deal with an hour of a recorded voice telling me to power-cycle my modem, restart my computer, disconnect my router, stuff I’ve already done, then I’ll have to deal with the technician who will have me do the exact same things the recorded voice told me to do before they finally accept that it’s their problem and schedule an appointment to come look at it. Of course, I won’t be expecting to see an actual technician for at least 3 weeks after I set up the appointment, because that’s how Charter operates. It’s no surprise they’ve gotten a failing grade and thousands of complaints from the Better Business Bureau. So, you may be asking, why don’t I switch? The answer is simple; the Sherman Anti-Trust Act apparently doesn’t protect my city from giving a monopoly to Charter. There are no other cable companies or internet service providers (unless I want dial-up). The only high-speed net access is through Charter. I can’t wait for the day that AT&T comes into St. Peters and starts offering video and internet services. That will be a great day in the lives of many Charter Communications customers.