Tag Archives: downtime

Blame It on Roku

Well, well, well. Netflix has had a busy week. First they announced they are raising their rates by 60%. In my humble opinion, in a single stroke, they went well out of their way to create ill will where previously there had been none.

Smooth move, Ex-lax. You just pissed off a lot of people and made them start thinking about taking their business elsewhere.

I don’t want to bury the lead (like I usually do) so I’ll interject this right now: Netflix has been down all day.

Worse, they advise you to visit a page on their website. When you do, they claim that their systems are completely operational and then tell me to call the company that make my Roku device.

“Don’t call us! Call that other company. You know, the company that makes it possible for us to run our business and deliver our primary product. Yeah, fuck them. We’re clever that way. Our Netflix scientists have discovered that pushing our problems onto innocent third parties seriously saves us a lot of money.”

Come to think of it, the Netflix service on the Roku has been sucking some majorly serious ass for a couple of months now. I’m talking about lots and lots of errors. Lots of little images that don’t load. Entire categories that remain blank and won’t let you select anything. And even when the system is working, the service is sluggish as hell, like when adding or removing a series from our instant queue. The refresh time is unbelievable.

Another problem: The streaming service almost never has the movies that we want.

The most recent example of this was yesterday we saw Jennifer Aniston on the Actor’s Studio. They mentioned a movie called The Good Girl. I’d never seen it. So we flipped on the Netflix, did a search and got nada. Another buttfucking courtesy of the Netflix. I think that is like ten searches in a row where search for streaming content has failed.

So what are the primary problems with Netflix right now:

  • Useless “service status” accountability
  • Buggy app on the Roku device
  • Sluggish performance on the Roku device
  • Streaming content library is underwhelming
  • Downtime is becoming unacceptable (and they don’t compensate for this AFAIK)

And this is when they choose to raise prices? Wow.

I’ll say this. Until now I’ve been a loyal fan. I would have absorbed a $1/month rate increase without complaint. That would have been a 10 percent jump which is still pretty amazing in this economy and with an unemployment rate of 9.2%. I may not have graduated with a degree in business from Harvard, but something tells me the current economic climate may not be the best when it comes to jacking the rates on an entertainment product that competes for increasingly scarce disposable dollars in a budget that is shrinking or under threat in most households.

So today I explored the other channels on my Roku device. Unlike Netflix they all worked just fine. And I got to watch something extremely interesting and unusual.

By the way, if you want to find the status of the Netflix service, there is a way to do it even though Netflix provides none. Go to a website called “Down Right Now” which uses “crowd-powered service monitoring.” Sadly this a website like this fills an important niche as service providers fall woefully short.


I’m not quite ready to give Netflix my lowest possible rating but they had better watch it, because they are getting very close.

Top 5 things to do while WordPress is down


WordPress was down in that city by the bay. A hard down. The kind of down that made Army veterans want to cry.

And there I was wanting to work on my blog. But the blogs had been locked down in “read only” mode. It’s true. No doubt I’ll someday be telling my grandchildren about the great Read Only Crisis of 2011.

Sure, I could have loaded up a word processor or text editor and typed my thoughts elsewhere. And then, when WordPress was restored, I could have (shudder) copied-and-pasted my words into the Edit Post window. Gads.

But that path wasn’t for me. That was not the path of “cut off your nose to spite your face.” For me, even the road less traveled is still far too crowed.

So I just sat. And thought.

SOAPBOXHere I present some of the thoughts that went through my head during that trying time.

  1. We bloggers use words, right? Well, most of us do. So why not adopt a word and make it your own? Go to Save The Words and do your part to help. I adopted the word “modernicide” which means the “killing of modern people.” When you undertake to save a word you take a vow to use the word “in conversation and correspondence, as frequently as possible and to the very best of [your] ability.”
  2. Twiddle your thumbs. Practice makes perfect and, if you’re good enough, you can go pro.
  3. Collect old newspapers and magazines from around the house and cut out letters to craft your very own ransom note. Who knows? If you get lucky you may even get to use it someday.
  4. Plan your own funeral or wake. What if, God forbid, they played Justin Bieber at your funeral? I’m not just going to sit here and let that happen! Go proactive and choose your playlist. For me that means lots of Disturbed (Another Way to Die) and Type O Negative (I Don’t Wanna Be Me). It’s going to be important so don’t leave the shindig to chance.
  5. This one takes a bit of money but it’s worth it. Go to your local tattoo shop and bribe the “artists” there to deliberately misspell words. Do not underestimate this activity. It’s good clean fun!
  6. Bonus. Call the Karma Police and hang up.
  7. Bonus. Count the leaves on a tree.
  8. Bonus. Take a soapbox downtown, put it on a city sidewalk, stand on top, and try to convince ten passerby they are going to Hell.
  9. Bonus. Think of your most favorite food in the whole wide world. Now go look it up on the internet until you learn the bitter TRUTH about how it is really made. Ha ha ha! You’ll never eat that again!

This would have been a top ten list but, curses, WordPress came back up. Oh well, maybe more next time.

Life with no internet

Experts recommend becoming paralyzed and staring out a window

I’m not going to lie. Last night was rough.

After spending the whole day at work on the internet, I finally arrived home and was ready to get right back on the internet. That is where the shit hit the fan and my world was suddenly turned inside out.

I walked into my home and the gerbil came up to me and casually said, “The internet has been down for a while.”

It was like getting kicked in the gut. I dropped my shit and sprinted to the office. Yep, the lights on the modem looked all funny and weird. “Lights not look normal,” I gasped.

Just like the world’s biggest idiot, however, I still turned the computer on. Maybe it would somehow work. I mean, it had to. I needed it. Oh the arrogant hubris of a mind in despair.

Of course, just the act of turning on the computer didn’t magically fix anything. I mulled over my options. I could call the magnificent bastards at Charter Communications. But they’d probably ask to record my call to ensure they were screwing me hard and besides, that would take actual effort. Since I only had about an hour before I had to head downtown (which I had originally planned to use to post on my blog) I decided to organize the files on my hard drive instead.

Later that night when we finally got back home after a night on the town, my wife did the unthinkable. She called. She has fierce and amazing powers. She’s not even afraid of the phone. Charter was as concerned as ever that we were unable to use the service that we pay them for. They first tried to sell her the fucking bundle. Um, did we mention that our internet is down? Nurse, we need a lactate drip with ringers, KMG 365stat!!! But no, they wanted to chit chat about their bundle. Bastards.

After forcing my wife to jump through a bunch of hoops that didn’t fix anything, the Charter tech finally decided to check things on their end. He rebooted something and the problem was fixed. Heh. They must be running Microsoft Windows over there. Don’t they know that you reboot before attempting anything else?

And there you have it. The trauma and drama of my one-hour without internet. Hollywood, if you want first dibs on the rights for the trilogy – call me!

Did WordPress fall through a cloud?

Something not worky at WordPress

The other day I did a little posting about The Great WordPress Outage of 2010. Those of us who lived through it will have something remarkable to tell our grandchildren about. Someday. I still haven’t found out who dumped a can of Mountain Dew on the fancy computer doohicky thingie. Someone must pay!

For now, however, the good folks at Minnov8 had a very interesting podcast about the hot new trend of “cloud computing” in the context of the big WordPress outage and what it means to rely on the cloud for our web sites and applications and a bunch of other fascinating stuff as well.

Click this link to go check it out: Minnov8 Gang 68: Falling Through the Cloud?

Oh yeah, they made me famous in their podcast, too. Shouts From The Abyss even gets mentioned for my stellar math skills. I’m famous! Go listen and check it out! The first few minutes is all about WordPress and my mention comes somewhere around 5:40 or so. If you’re into the techy thing even just a little bit and want to learn more about WordPress and other techy stuff, I urge you to give this podcast a listen! šŸ™‚

The Great WordPress Outage of 2010

Something not worky at WordPress

Yesterday during the Great WordPress Outage of 2010 we huddled around our computers and used Twitter to keep in touch.

Today WordPress confirmed the news: The outage lasted about 110 minutes, affected 10.2 million blogs and deprived those blogs of about 5.5 million page views.

The outage was blamed on the actions of an unidentified “datacenter provider.”

Why is it that whenever anything in the world of technology goes wrong it is always the fault of some “datacenter provider?”

What a nebulous term. Who could these people be? Are they the same ones who make Soylent Green? Are these the people that thought Jay Leno at 10pm would be a good idea? Are they the ones responsible for the sequel to Phantom of the Opera?

And why is their identity being protected? The WordPress announcement about the outage only refers to this “datacenter provider” in the most mysterious of ways. Who is this shadow organization? Is it the Trilateral Commission? Do they have control over all the banks, not leaving WordPress any real options at being forthcoming? Why not release the name of the company? In fact, not only do I want the company identified, I want to know the name of the specific person who knocked over a can of Mountain Dew into some circuit board that caused the outage that started the domino effect that eventually took down the entire matrix.

This stuff is important. We’re talking about my free blog here, people!

By the way, theĀ mathematicianĀ in me just couldn’t resist playing with those numbers that WordPress divulged in their statement. 10.2 million blogs down for 110 minutes being deprived of 5.5 million page views.

By my calculations, that means, assuming all things being linear (which they are probably not), WordPress must get about 72 million page views per day. With 10.2 million blogs that works out to be an average of 7 page views per blog per day.

Huh? What? People were getting excited about downtime affecting their blogs that get about 7 views a day? Even my POS blog gets more hits than that. šŸ™‚