Deirdre Saoirse Moen

Sounds Like Weird

Cord-Cutting: Antenna Ho!

12 August 2011

The antenna guy came today. We used AV Solutions Pros out of Mountain view. He got it done as quickly as it could be and with great quality. We’re getting some channels I hadn’t expected to, and it all seems very nice. Of course, we’re subject to weather fade, much like satellite is, but he said it’s really worst conditions now due to the leaves on the trees.
Over-the-air cost so far is a wash with buying the HD shows the first year, but of course it’s a gain in years after that.
Now it’s an ongoing saga to figure out content we care about in this new ecosystem, plus I want to make sure to pick up any interesting show premieres somehow — that’s how I discovered FlashForward two years ago.

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Testing Dreamwidth Crosspost

10 August 2011

Yo.
Worked. So it turns out I can use ‘s ljxp to crosspost to Dreamwidth, and my settings there will also push posts to LJ. So I get a threefer. That’ll save time. Now I just need to figure out Goodreads. I also need to figure out pushing Twitter to Google+. I currently push it to Facebook.

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Cord-Cutting: Netflix

09 August 2011

In addition to the usual computers, we have three devices we can watch Netflix instant on:

  1. TiVo (Series 3)
  2. Apple TV (Second gen)
  3. Boxee Box

Of the three, the best user experience (not to mention the smallest) is the Apple TV.

  1. Best throughput and caching
  2. Best user experience
  3. Best responsiveness

Maybe I’ll make a little movie about it.

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Cable: The Final Insult

09 August 2011

Rick and I drove our Comcast equipment back to its home in Foster City on Saturday morning on the way up to the city. The man behind the counter gave me a stickie that said $14.48 — as in the amount I’d be refunded.
Catch is, I had a bill that wasn’t yet paid (or due), so that wasn’t the final number.
A few minutes ago, I got an email: “Your Aug 7, 2011 Comcast billing statement is ready for viewing.”
So I tried to log on, curious what the final total is, and this is what Comcast’s site said:

You do not have access to account or billing information. Please see the Primary account owner to view and pay the bill online.

How incredibly dorktastic.

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Getting Rid of Cable

05 August 2011

Before we met, neither Rick nor I had anything other than broadcast television. Not long after we met, I started to work at TiVo. At that point, we started getting cable again, and haven’t stopped since.
Until now.
Back when I re-subscribed, basic cable inched up from the high $20s to the mid-$50s. What I hadn’t really obviously noticed was how it had further creeped up in the last two years to close to $70, even on a discount plan.
We added Starz recently so that we could watch Torchwood, but it was free for six months.
I checked my cable bill the other day: it’s now $95.64.
Not on my watch, it’s not.
So then came the math: how much would it cost us each month to replace cable?
I decided to start first and see how much it’d cost us to buy the shows we can outright. Granted, many of these we don’t care that much about, and some (e.g., broadcast shows) are available over-the-air.
Even with that, though, if we bought all of them (including The Daily Show and The Colbert Report), it’d still be a wash.
So, given that, and that there are various means of getting the shows we want to watch without Comcast, cable is going bye bye tomorrow, replaced by a newer Apple TV (already purchased) and probably a Boxee in the future, as well as perhaps another small media server computer at some point.
The real beauty of this plan is the ability to actually pay more directly for content that we want to fund, rather than aiming a gob of money at Comcast, where we’re paying for ESPN, Fox News, Soap Net, Trinity Broadcasting Network, the Brazilian Futebol channel (srsly), the Gospel Music Channel, and a bunch of other channels that, at best, we don’t give a rat’s ass about, and, at worst, we think are harmful to sanity and civilization. (I don’t mind paying for the multi-cultural channels: I think they provide value to their target markets. I just don’t happen to be part of that market.)

Available on iTunes, most are also available on Hulu:
Being Human (BBC America) ($10/$10) * CastTV
Being Human (SyFy) ($30/$20)
Burn Notice (USA) ($35/$25) * CastTV
Doctor Who (BBC America) ($40/$26) * CastTV
Fairly Legal (USA) ($26/$17) * CastTV
Falling Skies (TNT) ($17) * CastTV
Leverage (TNT) ($43/28) * CastTV
Nikita (The CW) ($50/$40) * CastTV
Outcasts (BBC America) ($21/14)
Project Runway (LIFE) ($34/23) * CastTV
Rizzoli & Isles (TNT) ($38/28) * CastTV
Sanctuary (SyFy) ($48/32) * CastTV
Suits (USA) ($30/20) * CastTV
Survivors (BBC America) ($10)
The Glades (A&E) ($32/22) * CastTV
Top Gear (BBC America) ($18/$12) * CastTV
Warehouse 13 (SyFy) ($35/23) * CastTV
White Collar (USA) ($35/$25) * CastTV
Colbert Report (Comedy) (special, ~$100/yr) * CastTV
Daily Show (Comedy) (special, ~$100/yr) * CastTV
$62/mo for all the above in HD; $50 in standard def
Available on iTunes but possibly also OTA with the antenna situation sorted out, most are also available on Hulu
Body of Proof (ABC) ($27, but the first season was a part season, so not included in numbers below) * CastTV * Hulu
Bones (Fox) ($60/40) * CastTV * Hulu
Castle (ABC) ($50/$35) * CastTV
Criminal Minds (CBS) ($43/33)
CSI (CBS) ($53/$36) * CastTV
CSI: Miami (CBS) ($53/$36) * CastTV
CSI: NY (CBS) ($53/$36) * CastTV
Fringe (Fox) ($30/20) * CastTV
Grey’s Anatomy (ABC) ($50/$35) * CastTV
House (Fox) ($34/23) * CastTV
NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS) ($60/40) * CastTV
$36 / month for HD; $28 for standard def
Not Available on iTunes:
Antonio Treatment (HGTV)
Ashes to Ashes (BBC America)
Baltic Coasts (HDNet) — gorgeous photography!
Design Star (HGTV)
Dr. G.: Medical Examiner (FitTV)
Holmes on Homes (HGTV)
Last Chance to See (HDNet)
Mexico: One Plate at a Time (ABC Local)
Sarah’s Summer House (HGTV)
Selling New York (HGTV)
The Mentalist (CBS)
The Story of India (PBS)
Torchwood: Miracle Day (Starz)
World’s Coastlines from Above (HDNet) — this one I’ll miss the most, frankly, even though it’s only a few episodes. There’s no way to purchase them, but it is stunningly beautiful photography.
World’s Toughest Fixes (Natl Geo) ($16, but no current episodes)
Invasion (SyFy) ($40 for entire series; show’s canceled)
Others I haven’t had season passes for but do watch:
Alphas
Covert Affairs

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"A Sword Called Rhonda" Now Available as an E-Book

25 July 2011

“Hey, Karma,” Rhonda the sword whined, “I need to go, like, shopping.”

She hung from the wall of my small home in what used to be suburban Palo Alto. Being far away didn’t help. I could hear her just as clearly as if I’d held her in my hand with her voice coming out the end of the hilt. I’d tried hanging her from my waist at first, but she just yelled loud enough for everyone to hear. Now, I carry her over my shoulder so she talks in my ear.

I hadn’t responded, so she yelled. “Are you listening?”

“Yeah, yeah, I hear you,” I replied.

Two weeks ago, I bought the sword at the city’s disincorporation sale. It was a fine sword, made of good strong steel that could take a beating. At the time, it seemed like a good deal.


Cover Art by Manu De Mey

Finally available in a standalone, DRM-free e-book from the following resellers:

[Purchase this book from iTunes (EPUB)](http://itun.es/igt9H8) [Purchase this book from Amazon (Kindle)](http://www.amazon.com/A-Sword-Called-Rhonda-ebook/dp/B005DTS1Y0/) [Purchase this book from Barnes and Noble (EPUB)](http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-sword-called-rhonda-d-s-moen/1104119696?ean=2940013647879)

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