Spybot 2 – Not Really for Me

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I had been using the program Spybot for years, specifically the version of 1.6.2.  I was very happy with this version of the program and it worked well for me.  So when the opportunity to get the new version 2 came up, I jumped at the chance to get it.  Usually, I love being a beta tester for most of the software I use, but in this particular case, I really wasn’t interested so I waited for the final release version.

While the new version has a big clean interface, my likes for the product stops there.  Doing updates to the program requires multiple steps and sometimes hitting the same button multiple times.  It is very confusing and not much help is available on-screen to assist along the way.

All was well and good for about a month on my 2 test machines until both machines started acting up.  I received notices that the “Internet Protection was off” or “Software was out of date”.  It was difficult if not impossible to troubleshoot these problems.  After getting frustrated over the last week, I finally decided to uninstall this product and go back to the more user intuitive 1.6.2 version.

I really hope that version 3 will work better for me whenever this will be released sometime in the distant future.  Let me reiterate that version 2 may work for some just not for me.


Final rating for Version 2:  6



Version 2 worked for a while then gave up the ghost.  Prefers older version with better interface and easier to follow approach.



Another Newsweek Subscription Update–It Just Keeps Getting Worse

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Yesterday, I received an email from the company that presumably holds my subscription.  The news just keeps getting worse.  They stated that, since I really never “paid” it, I am entitled to NOTHING!!  This means that neither company seems to care about REAL CUSTOMER SERVICE and both would rather lose a customer than satisfying a customer.  I have sent both companies one final email hoping one will cave with a solution otherwise I will be reporting this incident to the Better Business Bureau.  I believe that this has gone on for way too long and shows complete irresponsibility of both companies.  My recommendation is that if anybody out there has a Newsweek subscription, don’t renew it.  This company deserves to die once and for all.  If they gave up on the print media, then we should give up on them as well.

Is Time Warner Cable $50 Million Better?

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You may have seen the ads on TV.  Or maybe had a flyer fall on the floor when reading the newspaper.  Or maybe like me, it is the wrapper to the city bus.  Any way you look at it, Time Warner Cable wants its subscribers back and they are flooding the market with ads to make their case.  But is their service really better?  Here is my take:

I have been a subscriber to TWC since its inception way back when the local cable company was known as Public Cable.  A few years later, the company was bought out and features and channels accelerated.  Back in the mid 1970’s, there were about 40 channels, which consisted of 3 PBS stations (only 2 survive today), 2 Boston channels (neither shown locally anymore), and a French-Canadian station (no longer available – I really miss the late night free porn).  Today there are about 400 channels available on just about anything that anybody would ever want.  However, most of the channels are premium priced and really not worth it.  So how do the services compare.  First a look at the alternatives:

  • Satellite services.  With either Dish or DirecTV, you sacrifice either channels or HD quality of programs.  They may be cheap, but long term not if there are certain channels you want.  The only plus to these services are the DVRs have capability of recording more than 2 channels at once.  Expect to see that with TWC in a few years.  Of course, I can’t forget the satellite dish itself, which must be pointed to the southern hemisphere.  Where I live, this would have to be sitting smack in the front yard.  Not a great idea either.
  • Digital tuner with outside antenna.  Welcome to the 1960’s.  The idea of putting an antenna on the roof and using a digital tuner box would result in receiving a total of half of the stations available locally.  Certainly not a good choice either.
  • Just using the tuners built into the TVs.  Only 1 TV in our house would receive anything at all because it is the only one with a digital tuner built-in.  Unfortunately, that TV would only get a total of 1 channel without help.  This is the worse solution of all.


Now that TWC seems to be the only logical choice, what about the services they offer themselves?  Are they worth it?

  • Cable TVWith all the problems with their Navigator software and frequent reboots, the quality of service has dropped dramatically over the last couple of years.  What worked 2 years ago is broken now and seems that TWC has not plans on fixing any of their problems as they are in denial that the problems even exist.
  • Home Phone.  Since I don’t have this service, I can’t really comment on it, but from people I know who have had it in the past say the quality isn’t the greatest.  My issue with having my phone service with TWC is that the service probably is no more reliable than their cable service.  Nobody should have service that bad.
  • Internet.  About a month ago, TWC sent an email stating that they had increased their speed by 50%.  However, my tests have shown that the speed has actually decreased by about 10%.  The reason for this may be that I have my own modem or it could be the shared connection that cable suffers from.  Either way, TWC could make some REAL speed upgrades so that the service would be much better.


Overall the $50 million spent is not worth the price of trying to get customers back that they have previously lost.  To make matters worse, apparently starting in March, the company is going to start nickel and diming people with charging even for the cable remote.  This is really going too far as far as I concerned.

In conclusion, if you have a service that is not TWC and you are happy with it, don’t switch.  If you had it in the past and miss some of the features, then it may be worth the risk.  Buyer beware on this one!

Response from Alternative Company of Newsweek Subscription

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Just minutes ago, approximately 3 business days later, I received a response from the company that holds my subscription.  Here is their canned response:



Unfortunately, we provide you with technical support for this subscription. Furthermore, we are not authorized to offer any other subscription in place of this one. We can only cancel the subscription all together. Please contact Newsweek directly as they are the only ones who may be able to offer you an alternative option to this subscription.


I apologize for any inconvenience.






It seems to me that I am being treated like a ping-pong ball between these two companies.  Nobody wants to take ANY responsibility for just how bad this product really is.  It is sad when a customer can’t get any satisfaction for what would seem like a very simple problem.  What gets to me the most is that nobody wants to be a big boy and just offer an alternative to the crappy digital format.  I really am not asking for a lot, just something in return of my remaining subscription.  Is that really so hard to do?  Apparently, for these companies it is.  Depending on the result of my response email, I will be filing a complaint with the BBB as this is just bull!  Stay tuned..

Update to Newsweek Subscription Problem

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On late Monday, I received another email from Newsweek customer service.  This email pointed me to the company that ACTUALLY holds my subscription.  I sent an email out to them late Monday afternoon and as of yet have not heard back from them.

What really bothers me most about this so far is that:  Why did it take 5 emails to get this information?  Is Newsweek afraid of losing a subscriber or don’t they just care anyway?  Right now I am still extremely angry of this whole process, which should have been resolved weeks ago.  Stay tuned…

Victorious is Over?

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After nearly 3 years and 58 episodes, Victorious is now in the history books.  I wasn’t expecting to see the series finale come this early or end the way that it did.  To say that the series got a proper send-off is like saying that a book ends just because you ripped out the last 20 pages.  In other words, this show did not get the proper ending or any closure ending whatsoever.

It’s sad that this show became a rude and unnecessarily violent show probably just proved that this show needed to die and fast.  Funny it wasn’t anymore.  It became one angry mess with storylines that were all over the place and quickly ended without seeing real resolutions at the end of them.  I really thought that this show could have lasted much longer if the concept from the earlier episodes had continued through the entire series.

Victoria Justice’s previous series of Zoey 101 lasted 7 episodes longer and even through that series got wishy-washy to the end, it still was given a decent conclusion.  Could it have been that Dan Schneider, the creator, after being told it was cancelled, decided not to give the show a proper ending just out of spite?  It’s unknown, but something tells me that played into how this series ended.

So now here are my awards for this series:

  • Best Episode:  Wi-Fi in the Sky”.  This early episode really showed the characters at their best.  It pretty much was all downhill from this point forward.
  • Worst Episode:  “Rex Dies”.  Anybody who thinks death and hospitals are funny will enjoy this sick episode.  I cringed every time I watched this episode.
  • Best Guest Star:  Ke$ha.  Lots of glitter everywhere and Ke$ha actually had funny lines.  Maybe if the music thing doesn’t work out, she will have a future in comedy.
  • Worst Guest Star:  Shirley Jones.  The former Partridge Family star was unrecognizable playing a possibly dead star.  Just another not funny episode.
  • Best Extended Special Episode:  “iParty with Victorious”.  Yes, it really was an iCarly episode, but this crossover was the best of the series that was longer than the standard ½ hour.
  • Worst Extended Special Episode:  “Locked Up”.  Who thinks prison is funny especially in a country nobody would ever want to go?  Electrocuting a squid wasn’t funny either.


The real question now is what happens next.  Rumors of a Cat and Sam (from iCarly) spinoff is in the works and may happen by year’s end.  This may be our last hope until Dan Schneider comes up with something else.  Until then, all we have on Nickelodeon are lame cartoons and the return of Supah Ninjas.  I guess all is not all bad.

Update on Newsweek Subscription

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On Sunday, I received the following response from Newsweek:


Dear Mr. Brown,

Your subscription has been transferred to the digital edition of Newsweek. Your subscription will not be transferred to an alternative print publication. Please verify if you wish to cancel the remainder of your digital subscription.


It appears that the company is offering NO alternatives to make me really happy.  I have requested what amount they will give me if I take their “Money Back Guarantee”.  I will keep you posted in this bad customer service issue.