Sunday, February 20, 2011

Fixing Grass Valley Parking Woes with GPS'd Bicycles

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Grass valley contemplates $350,000 worth of parking meters.

If you are going to spend that kind of money, you could buy a fleet of bicycles, paint them distinctively, put in GPS units that would go off, much noise and a phone home with current location, should they be taken elsewhere. Turn most of the parking outside of Mill and Main Streets into loading areas and handicapped only, passenger cars OK for ten minutes, to pick up goods bought while roaming on bikes.

Hire high schoolers to bring bikes to businesses that seem shy of them, whole lot of them findable via their GPS's at any given time, to prevent buildups of bikes in a given area.

Douglas Keachie

Monday, February 14, 2011

Stopping Illegal Prison Cell Phone Use

Locate four cell towers, 200 yards out from the boundaries of the prison, staking out the roughly four corners. Have all four listen for transmissions. By measuring the slight delay between towers against internal atomic clocks, triangulate and locate the offending phones.

You are not listening to the conversation, no privacy laws broken, you are merely tracking down the location of the illegal phones, which a special squad, not local to the prison, would then search for, via video or in person. These towers could be portables, moved from prison to prison, to save money.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

How Toshiba Intel Does Business, Improved!

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In this case, they called back, and the squeeky wheel, (me), gets to keep the backpack for my troubles.

About 4 weeks ago I made the plunge for a new laptop from Toshiba, after waiting for technology to catch up with the needs for doing simple video editing on a laptop. I ordered as a bundle, complete with super warranty, and a nice backpack. I got the shiny red machine, went to Clientworks next to the NC SPD Market, to have it carefully set up with a Linux partition for internetting, as well as getting Norton off the drive, for fast efficient and safe computing.

About two weeks ago I got a little note from Toshiba stating that Intel had detected a flaw in the i7 processor, that over time, might result in a degradation in speed. Sensing danger for of all the work I had already done with installations and data, I called Toshiba and ordered a duplicate drive, which has yet to arrive, but should be here soon.

This morning I got an email which said basically, "send the machine back, FED EX will email you a label, we will refund all your money." I called the number and found out that Intel has no ship date for a fixed processor, and so Toshiba had no plans for replacing the laptop, and that this was their solution.

I asked if there would be any discount or credit towards getting first in line for the first machine Toshiba came up with that was equivalent?

"No, there would not be."

I asked if I could at least keep the backpack, which is particularly well made, and pay for it?

"No, you must send everything back, you bought it as a bundle."

Seems as though Toshiba doesn't want me as a customer? At a minimum, they should have said,

"Of course, keep the pack, that's the least we can do for your inconvenience!"

So they'll wind up getting it back and throwing the pack in the landfills? This is not good marketing.

I also sorta wonder, if I had not bought that super extended covers all warranty, would they be trying to get it back at all?

Now to see if I can kick this into viral mode.

BTW, here is the rather curt letter, minus personal details:

Intel Chipset Design Issue

Effective January 31, 2011, Intel announced a design issue with the Intel 6 Series chipset. Intel has announced that in some cases the Serial-ATA (SATA) ports within the chipsets may degrade over time, potentially impacting the performance or functionality of SATA-linked devices such as hard disk drives and DVD-drives.

This Intel design issue affects a limited number of Toshiba laptops with the Core i7-2630QM quad-core processor, which includes the product you purchased. Our sales information indicates you purchased one of the following models from Toshiba Direct:

A660 Build to Order (BTO)

Based on the information available at this time we are issuing a Return Authorization (RMA) for you to return the affected laptop for a full refund. Please repackage the laptop in its original carton and using the FedEx return label, which will be provided in a an email directly from FedEx, then return the product to Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc. Returns Center, 9740 Irvine Blvd., Irvine, CA 92618. Your Return Authorization number is: 80xxxxxx. Please make sure to clearly write your Return Authorization # on the outside of the box your return is shipped in.

Please backup up your data and remove any confidential, proprietary or personal information before returning the product.

In the event you purchased peripherals with the laptop, and you wish to return these items, please contact the Toshiba Direct Customer Service team at 800-618-4444 to request a Return Authorization and obtain a separate return shipping label for these items. .