Does this sound familiar?

October 9, 2019

imageHere’s 6 character types that might ring some bells:

  1. “My family has voted Republican all our lives.  Our family’s party can’t possibly be in the wrong & our personal need to be “right” is more important than anything.”
  2. “I dislike minorities & believe they’re somehow the cause of all that ails me.”
  3. “I’m an ultra-religious Christian & the only policy that I’m concerned with is abortion. I’ll stand with anyone that echoes the same.”
  4. “I’m wealthy & my entire value system is built around money & getting what’s mine. Taxes are my enemy & anyone raising them is my enemy as well.”
  5. “I’m poor & either lost my job or have a bad job & the only thing that matters to me is getting enough money to stay afloat. I don’t care how I get it – subsidies, another job, whatever.”
  6. “I love guns. And I’ve convinced myself that “personal security” is the most important thing in the world & thus fighting anything that might restrict my access to the guns of my choice is the centerpiece of my value system.”

Recognizing these character types is important. What to do with them… that’s another story.


AUDIOBOOK: Free recording of The Whistle-Blower Complaint Released by the House Intelligence Committee, 9/26/2019

September 26, 2019

imageA few hours ago, Penguin Audio published a professional audiobook reading of the “Whistle-Blower Complaint” against Donald Trump.

The audio is streamable from Soundcloud and downloadable from there as well.  It is 30min long and the .MP3 is 40MB in size.


COMMENTARY: Verizon Message+ for Windows not working as of 8/31/19

September 11, 2019

UPDATE 9/20/19:
Today, I noticed that the sync started working again for both Verizon Messages (Windows UWP/Microsoft Store app) as well as VZW Message+. (The legacy Win32 app installable that’s no longer available from VZW’s web site.)

There’s been no explanation as to what went wrong but it was clearly a backend service issue because nothing changed on my or anyone else’s computer at all.

(What I’m saying is that the VZW Support’s explanation that “Message+… is not compatible with Windows 10” was & remains totally wrong. If you’re reading this, blaming Windows 10 “compatibility” was a really silly & annoying tactic, Verizon.)

BTW: Props to DavidR_VZW from Verizon Support.  His explanation on the community boards was the most accurate in all the other responses, I’d seen:

We apologize for the issues experienced when using the Message+ Verizon Messages – Windows Desktop application, JoEbY-X. We always want to make sure you’re able to use any available service, and you can rest assured our Message+ team is working on a resolution. DavidR_VZW

UPDATE 9/13/19:
VZW Support chimed in. You can see in the Support forum below, they have spammed the forum with the same canned answer over and over and over again:

The Message+ application is not compatible with Windows 10 computers. The Windows messaging client for Verizon messages is being temporarily removed to prevent syncing issues. I’m sorry for the inconvenience. You can utilize the messaging web client as a windows alternative by following the steps in this link below

https://www.verizonwireless.com/support/knowledge-base-54302/ .

I got the same from @vzwsupport on Twitter. Virtually the exact same wording.  No update, no ETA, no commitment that the matter will be fixed.

The fact that they feel it’s better that their customers are ignorant or dissatisfied with their support response tells me something is likely afoot here. 

ORIGINAL POST:

imageOne of the critical apps I install on my PC is called “Verizon Message+”.  It’s a simple Win32 app that allows me to text using my Verizon Wireless account from my desktop as if I were using my phone.  It keeps synced with my phone so I can seamless text from my desktop and continue when I leave with my phone.

On August 31st, the Verizon Message+ apps for Windows & Mac stopped working and the community isn’t very happy about it… to the tune of 35 pages of “feedback” on the VZW community site:
https://community.verizonwireless.com/t5/Verizon-Messages/Message-Plus-not-syncing-with-windows-10/m-p/1129310/highlight/false#M32768

BACKGROUND:
I have the same problems as everyone else.  I suspect they have recently started to have service failures with the Internet gateway they have that connects the SMS text messaging service with user’s Win32 Message+ apps. (Modern App from the Microsoft Store & the old Desktop app that we all love & saved the installers for, amirite?)

Like everyone here, Message+ (Win32 desktop install) stopped working on my workstation on 9/1/19.  I’ve installed the “newer” Modern App version from the Microsoft Store and it suffers from the exact same problem.

The web app at https://web.vma.vzw.com/ times out and doesn’t seem to be able to maintain a dormant HTTPS: connection so that fails somewhat regularly.   My Android device however works with it’s Verizon Message+ (or whatever it’s called on Android) just fine – but I strongly suspect the connectivity is done over their cellular network and not over the Internet, hence it doesn’t use the same gateway that the Win32/Modern App clients use.

I’m a little surprised that they don’t appear to have this as a high priority (Service down???) being that SMS text messages are a revenue-generating service.  But then again, maybe many VZW customers have Unlimited SMS text msg plans and thus this is not a big deal to them.

Its’ September 11th, 2019 now and it’s still not working.  I really do hope they get this resolved.  Based on the thread it appears to have failed before but subsequently resolved  but I guess an issue has reared it’s head on 8/31/19 all over again.

DOWNLOAD:
For those interested in the app for Windows – assuming it gets fixed – there are 3 options:

1) Message+ for Win32:
This is the old desktop app that VZW no longer makes available sadly.  This is the app that long time users have depended on for more than a decade and it has run on everything from Windows Vista on up to Windows 10.  VZW removed the app from their site but the installer is still downloadable from the link below:
https://web.archive.org/web/20150717102459/https://web.vma.vzw.com/downloads/Message+.exe

2) Message+ for Windows 10
This is the new “Modern App” that only works on Windows 10 available for download via the Microsoft Store in Windows that apparently VZW doesn’t advertise either.  Its similar to the Win32 app but requires that you download it from the Store.  It’s downloadable from the link below:
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/p/verizon-messages/9wzdncrdcsnz

3) Message+ Web Client
This is the web page you can sign into that provides similar, but lesser functionality through a web browser.  All you have to do is sign into the link below:
https://web.vma.vzw.com/

————-

HELLO VZWSUPPORT!
Note: I’ve started pinging @VZWsupport on Twitter and referencing the Community forums thread referred to above, in the hopes of getting a status or even a resolution. 

VZW’s been radio silent on the matter.  I have yet to receive a response either on the community forums or on Twitter.
https://twitter.com/kurtsh/status/1171686713837490176


Thank You Chef Nobi

August 6, 2019

Today, I received a terribly sad email.

image

imageIt is with deep regret that we inform you of the passing of Chef Nobi Kusuhara. Chef Nobi came to the United States in 1971, a few days after graduating high school with a dream to be a successful American businessman. At that time, he did not know the passion and love he would have for the sushi business. Nobi struggled, and his life’s journey was filled with peaks and valleys, but he always moved through life with a smile and obstinate optimism. When he said “I want to make you the best sushi”, he really meant it. To his dying day, he loved finding the best fish and serving it the best way possible. He was a few weeks from retirement and was planning to spend his time with his wife that he had been with for 49 years by moving back to Japan. Though he had countless offers over the years to sell his businesses to various large corporations, Nobi always believed it was more important to stay true to his craft and honor the creation of authentic sushi. In the end, he turned the path away from becoming a businessman and found his true passion in becoming a master craftsman in the art of sushi. Chef Nobi decided to pass down his restaurants to the chefs who studied under him. He said, “I want to pass down to my chefs, so the customers can keep eating the same sushi I made. I do not want to inconvenience my loyal customers.” To honor Chef Nobi, we hope you will continue to eat at any and all of the Sasabune locations located in the United States. There are 4 locations in California at West LA, Beverly Hills, Glendale, & Pacific Palisades, also in New York City, & Honolulu.

Though we will not be having a formal memorial service, there will be an informal viewing scheduled on August 11th, 2019 at 4pm. Please feel free to join the Sasabune Family.

August 11th, 2019
4pm
Fukui Mortuary
707 E. Temple Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Most Sincerely,

Sasabune Family

I’ve been eating at Sasabune since the mid-90’s when the restaurant had just 2 chefs & was located on Sawtelle Blvd and filled with day traders with hot stock tips and “big market swing” stories. (Those of you who were there know what I’m talking about)

I have a few stories of my own but I’m going to save those for later once I collect myself.

Godspeed Nobi.


It’s not just you: Today’s work environment is getting extreme

May 30, 2019

imageORIGINAL POST 5/30/19:
Seeing more an more of this in just the Twitter posts I read… which is really unsettling.

UPDATE 6/16/19:
Margaret Price, Principal Researcher and Design Strategist at Microsoft, wrote an article on this topic & how to bounce back from burnout.

Off of this site, there’s actually a long series of articles addressing ‘burnout’ in two hashtags:


What’s up?

January 27, 2019

This is a test post.  Please disregard.

image

image

TeamworkMicrosoft365

ManagingModernDesktop


Interesting videos to play for an audience before a large tech presentation (Part 3)

July 27, 2018

AWWWWWWWWWWWWRIGGGHHHHT!

The Expert (Short Comedy Sketch)
Lego Antikythera Mechanism
We’re Gonna Build a Framework!
On The Turing Completeness of PowerPoint (SIGBOVIK)