Wi-Tribe . . .

This is my third attempt on getting a decent Internet Service Provider.

My first ISP was SmartBRO. It generally had a good signal, stable speed and minimal dropouts. Unfortunately, when problems arise, their technical support people are more or less no better than a fifth grader. I ended my subscription after being loyal to them for five long years [full story here]!!! GLOBE, SKYCable, PLDT, Bayantel : all these are unavailable in our friggin’ remote area. I tried Sun Broadband for three months. The first few days were horrible. [full story here] Problems started multiplying during my third month with them. A little wind or drizzle will plummet the signal to zero. Playing MMORPGs also became a burden. I could not simultaneously play games, browse and use Skype.

Not even close to 1 Mbps…

Wi-Tribe became available in our area about a few months ago but they only had a download quota of 6GB a month. I am a heavy user so 6GB will never be enough for me. It was just recently that they abolished the quota and decided to go “Unlimited” so I became interested and I didn’t think twice on subscribing (with a 24-months lock-in period)!

That “Up to 1 Mbps” is always a WTF disclaimer.  When the technician installed it, I was only getting 200 kbps download speeds. He said that the speed increases while I am using it…… Lies! I tried my usual stuff and the best I could get was 560 kbps!!!

I called their technical support hotline and asked how I can access my portal. The dude who assisted me was knowledgeable enough to tell me all the details I needed. I was so concerned when I saw that I’ve consumed almost 9GB in less than a month and that the quota shown on my account was 6GB! The agent said to just disregard what was stated in there because they have indeed switched to “Unlimited” plans. He said that their portal page and database haven’t been upgraded yet. LoL!

An almost “WTF” moment

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Incompetence . . .

SmartBRO sucks!

After five years of subscription, I decided to cut my ties with SmartBRO.

SmartBRO’s service has been terrible and their technical support agents were very incompetent. My phone calls to them frequently get disconnected and they do not bother ringing me back. Each phone call to them can last for a mere minute to two hours — 90% of the time they put me on hold and the conversation ended up with either a disconnection or their representatives will just say “We consulted our ‘support group’ … Wait within 24 hours for an update.” I asked their supervisors to call me during specific times and give me updates but they never kept their word. About 90% (again) of the time, they will ring my phone twice but they will hang up before I could pick up and answer. I asked them to send out a technician and they did — although he didn’t arrive on the date and time he was scheduled. The technician was supposed to arrive on March 8 between 8AM-10AM but it was already 12NN and he was nowhere to be found. When I called their hotline, they said that no one’s going to come out because the technician who was assigned to us was off-course. I talked to another supervisor and demanded a tech out at once but she declined saying that the techs are fully-booked. She told me that a field tech will be dispatched “first thing in the morning” … Lo and behold; the field tech arrived around 12NN the following day. WTF?! I was very frustrated because I was out of the house when the tech arrived. 12NN is NOT “morning” … That’s why it’s called “NOON” … Their agents and the field tech blamed my computer as the source of the problem.

Sun Broadband HUAWEI plug-it modem

SmartBRO cannot explain why my computer only has Internet connection during off-peak hours and why the PING tests continuously drop. I can’t even ping my WAN IP Address. They also cannot explain why I cannot access websites other than their WebConnect and their Portal. I may not be a network guru but I’ve used computers since I was in fifth grade and my line of work happens to be dealing with Internet problems. I’ve checked my computer even as far as performing OSRI. I am 100% sure that my PC is fine.

I cancelled the account yesterday and I was so infuriated because the front desk dude even had the guts to offer me an internet connection via the SAMSUNG Galaxy. WTF? I made it clear that their service is crappy and yet there he was offering me another product! If I was in a bad mood, I’d punch him in the kisser.

I went to SUN Broadband and subscribed to their unlimited plan. I admit that our area is quite remote that’s why Internet services are mostly unavailable there but SUN became my choice since their lock-in period is only 3 months.

Good enough speed. If only the signal lasts more than an hour. LoL!

SUN’s speed is much slower than SmartBRO’s and there are also disconnections (due to signal loss, understandable since I am way too far from their access point) but I didn’t encounter the same symptoms — dropping PING tests, portal-only access, nong-ping-able IP. It’s an indication that my PC is error-free. It was completely SmartBRO’s fault all along and they just won’t admit it.

SmartBRO’s service has been very good for many years, but their technical support’s inefficiencies in detecting the cause of the problem will get customers nowhere. It’s as if a person is sick and he goes to a doctor that cannot pin-point the cause of his pain. He may die because of that doctor’s incompetence.

If my PC is the problem then how come I can use the Internet now that I’m with a different ISP? SmartBRO is just full of bull and this proves it.

Anyway, I’m just waiting for their SmartBRO’s tech to come and pull out the canopy.

Never will I recommend nor use SmartBRO again.

I~ne~net ! ! !

My Internet connection has been down for a week…

I’ve been battling with idiotic tech reps from SmartBRO who had zilch knowledge on what they were doing nor do they have the slightest drive to resolve a customer’s concern. This is reminiscent to a scene a couple of years ago.

I had to speak to their supervisor and waste many days just to get everything resolved. Hopefully, this time around, I get those rebates.

Anyway, at the moment, I am just happy that my Internet is up and running again. I’m also getting a decent speed (although terrible ping results).

1.64 Mbps is a good speed for a P999 plan. ☻

An emotional move . . .

I am completely disheartened when I read the announcement that VOX is closing down. I love that blogging platform because it is user-friendly. I have entrusted it with my memories and secrets since 2007. Unfortunately, that’s how life really is. We have to learn to let go of the ones we love when “that time” arrives.

The VOX admin said that Wordress is a good choice for importing posts. So here I am, trying it out.

The layout became distorted after I imported everything, but I’d like to keep them in their original (unedited and preserved) form. I have to categorize each and every post I made because clicking on each tag brings multitudes of search results from all WordPress subscribers, unlike in VOX wherein clicking on “my” tags will only show “my” posts with that tag. I also need to work on the CSS because it’s too small and I don’t like the available themes.

I hope I get the hang of this soon.

Hardcore Troubleshooting ? ? ?

My computer’s been randomly crashing for several weeks and it showed me all sorts of BSODs (0x0e, 0xc5, 0x44, IRQL, physical memory dump, etc)! It’s very frustrating because I can’t do the normal things I do when I’m online.

It randomly freezes when I :

  • play any video that’s not from YouTube
  • play MMORPGs
  • run OpenKore bots
  • call anyone use Skype while other programs are running

Troubleshooting steps I did that didn’t resolve the issue:

  • removed / reseated the DDR2
  • tested both DDR2
  • tested both DDR2 slots
  • uninstalled / reinstalled the NVIDIA driver
  • OSRI

Prior to reinstalling Windows, the only website I cannot visit is lunarpanda.vox.com. My computer cannot even ping it. I had to encode my ISP’s proxy server address for it to load. After reinstalling Windows, I can browse that website even without a proxy, but I cannot access Yahoo Mail and some other websites. They show 50% packet losses when I run ping tests. I tried putting the proxy server but the problem wasn’t resolved. On top of that, my computer was still freezing!

I think I’ve already applied all those things I learned during our training with DELL. I was at my wits end so I asked Dada for help. He could only walk me through on the phone since he’s at work. There were instances that I almost lost my patience, though. I was telling him what was happening but there were instances that he seems skeptical so I had to repeat everything I told him until he says “okay.”

 

Steps that we did:

  • removed the native drivers and replaced them with the actual drivers
  • uninstalled unnecessary programs
  • set BIOS to default
  • removed crap start-up items on msconfig

I bought an AirDuster from CD-R King and used it to clean my PC peripherals. There was so much dirt in them!

The following day, Dada visited our place to try and diagnose my PC further. He streamed 3 videos, opened pRO, ran 2 bots, opened heavily-loaded websites and used Skype to call his friend all at the same time. Lo and behold, my PC didn’t freeze! Ngars! He then smirked and joked that I was prolly missing him much and I made things up so he’d visit my place. LoL! “Wala namang sira e. Sana sinabi mo na lang na bumisita ako, hindi ba? Miss mo lang talaga ako.” he said. We cannot pin-point exactly what caused the problem and what fixed it.


Cyber Predators ( warning : mature content ) . . .

Sex is a necessity of mankind. Degrees just vary as to why people study, practice and perfect it.

Sex is necessary for the survival of the human race, scientifically speaking. Most people 'make love' to express their feelings to their partners. Some people dive into it to feel acceptance. Some people do it because they are curious and they want to experience 'the tingling stuff'... and there are some who just can't control their sensual urges among other reasons. LoL!

Several weeks ago, I watched a show on cable TV entitled "Katie.com" which is about a girl named Katie Tarbox. She was a victim of an Internet pedophile — known nowadays as a "cyber predator".

"Five years ago, when I was 13, one of my favorite activities was to surf the Net
and make new friends. The Web was a welcoming place that made me feel
completely comfortable. That is, until I met Mark – a man who tricked me into
believing he was 23. We had a six-month online romance, ending when he lured
me into a hotel room and molested me. Police later told me he was really 41
and had a history of stalking young girls."
Katie Tarbox

When they did reenactments on the show, I pictured this girl as a part of me. I also have few friends IRL. I saw the Internet (and online games) as a medium to meet new and interesting people from all over the globe (and from all walks of life). I even met my boyfriend online!!! [story : click here]

I broke down when Katie started narrating the horrible things that happened to her inside the hotel room with the man she trusted (and probably loved) so much. That made me realize how lucky I am because Dada (my boyfriend) never took advantage of me.

I am not sure which Sky Cable channel featured Katie.com … It's either FOXCRIME, NatGeo or Discovery… I forgot! Anyway, after the girl's heart-breaking story, they showed a division of either the government or a local police department (I forgot too, really) whose job is to chat, meet-up then arrest cyber predators. There was a woman who acted as a bait and she disguised herself as a 14-year old boy (yes, b-o-y). She met up with a CP in a famous food joint (I think it was McDonald's). She was dressed so well that the old man didn't even realize that it's just a facade! LoL! The police arrested him after he walked out of the food joint with his 'potential victim'.

That was AWESOME! *two thumbs up*

Dada and I recently watched a show in CS-Origins (a channel on Destiny Cable) and it involved a non-profit organization called Perverted-Justice. Their stint is also to attract cyber predators to chat with their org volunteers (pretending to be teenagers in chatrooms) and hold an eyeball. They will lure the CPs into one of their rented houses then surprise them with interrogations and video footages of the 'potential crime'. They successfully invited about 18 CPs in two days! LoL! Super laugh-trip! I know that their intentions are just, but the execution is quite disturbing.

Anyway . . .

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TIPS ON HOW TO PREVENT CYBER PREDATORS
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1) Protect your Profile.

Any website, not just chatrooms, that features real-time interaction can have both predators and prey… I use the Yahoo Messenger to chat with my friends, colleagues and online buddies.

When I was just a newbie, my YM ID was made PUBLIC in the Yahoo Directory. I also had the habit of putting my Photos on the profile page. That attracted a lot of perverts who kept on buzzing me and asking me to actually MARRY them! Yes, if I am evil enough, I'd even post their YM ID.

Solution: I disabled the public feature in Yahoo so that my online status in their Directory will not be shown to anyone. I also make sure to add on my Contact List only the people I know and can fully trust. The contents on my websites are also filtered depending on the relation type I have with my contacts. The more personal stuff like home address, emails and phone numbers are limited to family, friends, and business contacts..

2) Choose your online buddies carefully.

If you enter a chat room just to make friends, make sure that your conversation doesn't go off-topic. Chat rooms have titles on them and normally, the subject revolves around it. E.g. Chatroom title is "Alternative Rock", obviously, you talk about the music genre so keep your discussions related to it. All else will just follow once you build trust with one another (and it takes time, believe me!). True-bloods will never inject anything not related to their chat room title, most of the time. Only posers do that!

3) Consider everyone you chat with for the first time as BIG FAT LIARS!

Not everyone can afford a webcam. LoL! So, if the person you're chatting with doesn't show his/her face real-time, consider him/her as an old fugly devil. Do not feel too comfortable unless there's another person or a group of people who can testify that he/she is trustworthy.

4) Tell yourself "Cyber Predators exist" before a fateful eyeball.

I am aware of maniacs lurking on the Internet. I know some girls who became pregnant because they had a one-night-stand with the men they met on a chatroom.

I still took my safety into consideration before having an eyeball with Dada. I informed my mom about this. She laughed when I told her that I was meeting my boyfriend for the first time. Hehe~!

It was a risky move to meet-up with him alone but I had my mind set to hugging the man that I would love for the rest of my life… I am so lucky he's not one of those cyber predators!

5) Do not give in to their wishes.

Lots of guys (and possibly some horny bitches) on the Internet will ask you to do things that you might not be comfortable doing. It's okay to say "NO"

I had bad experiences with webcams that's why I promised myself not make mine public ever again. A college batchmate added me to his friends list in YM and we had several nice chit-chat. After a while, he asked me to do erotic poses. Of course, I declined and I immediately blocked his YM ID. I heard from our common friends that he lost his two arms due to an accident — that is what I call KARMA!

6) If you sense it coming, then act QUICKLY!

I think this applies to all types of harassments, not just those due to CPs.

I've read so many articles and personal blog entries regarding well-endowed women who were sexually abused and/or teenage girls who become victims of statutory rape. They seek JUSTICE!

But honestly, part of the blame goes to them… and I just laugh at their weakness. Why?

If a canon ball is blasted in your direction, will you let it HIT you? NO. You will run away and do your very best EVADE it. Adrenaline rush!

Same goes for harassment. The reason why perverts exist is because women allow themselves to be victims.

If a potential cyber predator asks you to make out with him – in an isolated room, alone – and you know that you'd definitely regret it, would you still go in? Of course – not!

So the truth finally comes out… Your chatmate turns out to be older than what he states on your IM conversation. So he's really not gorgeous. So you find out that he's married and has kids!!!

Once the signs are smacking in your face, it's best to get out of there before anything nasty happens. That's the smartest thing to do!

Prevention is better than cure.

7) Don't be tongue-tied. Report it ASAP!

Okay, so libido rose and the harassment did happen.

So what now?

REPORT IT TO THE AUTHORITIES before he picks another victim like you!
.

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So there … *Ehem* these are just my opinion and two cents … what might be right for me might be sickening for you. That's why it's called "MY OPINION" … Anyway, thanks for reading.

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References:

Katie Tarbox [link]
Perverted Justice [link]

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Photo-Theft …

Ahh … I recently got agitated when I read an online buddy's thought about him being dubbed as a "photo-stealer."

Of course, he must've felt angry when he was called a thief … but judging from what I saw, I'd also call him one.

he said …

"Now photographers say that they are “possessive” of their photos, OK, no problem with that, but do know that once you put them photos at the internet, it is now accessible and downloadable to EVERYONE around the world. Don’t be like the eldest brother in the story. Label your photos, and label them well. And to some lazy photographers, if you really are possessive of your photos you will do that. And if you don’t like people in the net using your photos, don’t put them on the net then."

He was referring to his analogy of the "eldest bro leaves bread on the table then youngest bro eats it ; none of the brothers confessed, thus leaving the eldest angry" thing.

Granted that all photos published on the internet are "up for grabs" but at least show a little appreciation to whoever you got the photo from.

Lack of ethics.

What he did was edit the photo, put in the model's name, his website URL and that's it. No credits to the photographer. He put a hyperlink to the source of the photo on his blog entry but I don't think that's enough. I mean, he managed to edit the picture that far, so why didn't he bother including the URL where he got the photo from? If the URL is too long, why not simply put "Photo source : < insert photog's name or website title >" or something like that. What if another person grabs the photo from his blog entry and didn't bother clicking the hyperlink? After a while, that person will forget where he downloaded it.

I'm gonna repeat a part of my comment on his outburst …

"Not all photographers know watermarking techniques. not all of these photographers use digital cameras or photo-editing softwares. A simple credit or recognition is the only 'payment' we give to these awesome photographers. Without them, we will have minimal or no photos at all to post in our websites."

I didn't bother replying to him anymore when he said that he did put credits by adding the hyperlink because it might start a flame war.

… but I hope everyone will get my point.

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