We couldn’t have said it better ourselves…

by Natalie P.

December 4, 2013 | Filed Under Relationships, Social idiocy, The Heartless Bitch Way | 1 Comment

Why is every woman you date a crazy bitch? Well the short answer is: It’s you.

Yep.  Pretty much reiterates what we have been saying for years.  But he’s also got some good points on how different kinds of damage attract (and are attracted to) damage…

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Site MOVED!

by Natalie P.

October 10, 2013 | Filed Under The Heartless Bitch Way | 2 Comments

So, I finally got around to moving the site to a new provider, and LO!  all the broken scripts now work again.

Not everything may be up-to-date as there was about a week lag between when I did my database captures/downloads/uploads plus lag time for when the site DNS actually propagated, but that’s life.  I just didn’t have time to do another capture/merge.

I am TOTALLY NOT impressed with webhostinghub.com. they have permanently lost my business. Their support on this issue was a clusterfuck from the start.  My tickets were closed without resolution, because, I was told, they have a policy of closing a ticket once they have RESPONDED – regardless of whether or not the issue was resolved.  On or about July 9th, SOMETHING in their systems changed.  A bunch of perl scripts stopped working. Any attempt to reinstall the perl modules used HOSED my account login.  After going back and forth with them over 3 months (I’ve been too busy with school to deal with this fulltime) and waaaaay too many hours on support phone and chat, with NO resolution, I set up at hostgator.  At first I got a bit of runaround on the perl module installation, but my hostgator account manager came through for me and got them installed. Everything is working flawlessly now (though I haven’t tested the ENTIRE site as yet, so please tell me if you find something broken).

In parallel, I demanded that webhostinghub MOVE my site to another server, since a support person finally confessed that the issue I was experiencing was confined to the server I was on.  My site was moved, and it STILL didn’t work properly. When I went to reinstall the perl modules on the new server, the CPAN install was not complete, so new modules could not be installed, and old modules could not be reinstalled. I logged a ticket telling them about this problem about this on Sept 18. It was never fixed, I received NO reply from support about it, and it was marked as resolved/closed the same day.  Classic.  #EPICFAIL #webhostinghub.com #SHITTYSUPPORT

Getting CPAN working on a server is NOT rocket science. This is really basic stuff.

Needless to say, I’ve cancelled my account with webhostinghub. The first year was fine, but since July it’s been a horrible experience all ’round with nothing but incompetence, and quite frankly a TERRIBLE support system.  No decent support system allows support to CLOSE a ticket without some form of action or customer resolution.  And writing to managerfeedback was pointless – it accomplished nothing.

Here’s hoping I have better stability with hostgator – prices are reasonable, and at a minimum, the addition of an account manager who gives you his NAME, and replies within a day, and actually RESOLVES issues is fantastic.

 

 

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Love the new “Shaw” character on Person of Interest…

by Natalie P.

October 9, 2013 | Filed Under The Heartless Bitch Way | No Comments

From taking out all the badguys through her expert sniper skills (including through a BRICK WALL), and then calmly exclaiming that she could really go for a steak (and then noshing on it off a fork sitting on the steps), to her conversation with John about dating:

“Guys these days have so many… emotions. They cry. They want to be held. I just don’t know what to do with ’em….I’m a pragmatist John. I go out, have a fun night, or three. And then I move on. No muss. No fuss.”

… she cracks me up.

http://insidetv.ew.com/2013/10/08/person-of-interest-carter-shaw-undercover/

 

 

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Does the entertainment industry WANT people to steal movies? It seems like they do.

by Natalie P.

August 16, 2013 | Filed Under Computers, Lifestyles of the Heartlessly Bitchy, Popculture | 1 Comment

This past week I got a brand new Sony Vaio laptop. It’s next gen i5, with an SSD, 8GB of RAM, and  does full 1080p HD.  It cost a pretty penny, but considering I wait on average 6 years between new computers, I think it’s worth it to wait and then get something that will hopefully last.

I want to be able to rent DOWNLOADABLE digital movies that I can watch at the cottage or on the road (as a passenger) on long trips.

I tried itunes first, since I have an account for my music.  Turns out that iTunes isn’t certified for Windows 8 (even though it’s been out for a YEAR and is now selling as the default O/S on a huge number of PCs and laptops).  Microsoft certifies that anything that runs on Windows 7 will run on Windows 8, so I tried the Windows 7 version of iTunes.  It installed and runs, but any attempt to play a downloaded (rented) HD movie results in juttery/stuttery, out of sync audio.    Turns out that it isn’t exclusively a Windows 8 problem. Even on Windows 7,  and XP, huge numbers of users were/are reporting problems with video playback through itunes and/or Windows Media player.  I tried EVERY conceivable fix posted (including changing power settings and setting audio bit rates to the bare minimum), and NOTHING worked.  The audio stuttered, and was out of sync with the video and it got progressively worse as the movie played.  I ended up requesting a refund through some crappy feedback form.

I’d love to try Amazon movies but unfortunately, they aren’t in Canada yet, so those aren’t available to me.

I’m SERIOUSLY trying to pay for my movies here people.   The industry is NOT making it easy.

Next, I tried Flixster.  I set up an account and a corresponding “Ultraviolet” account (see below), and then found out that even though their tagline says “Buy, Rent, and Watch TV and Movies”, I could find no way to buy or rent the movies I was interested in… the only option it gave me was to “Play trailer”…

I finally found CinemaNow, which has apparently partnered with the industry and Ultraviolet.   Ultraviolet is a cloud service that allows those who purchased an AV-labled DVD to also get access to a digital version of the movie via the ultraviolet service.  CinemaNow has a Canadian store.   They actually rent DOWNLOADABLE movies. Great.  I’ll try that.

First experience: I sign up and it says I get 10 FREE ultraviolet movies as a new subscriber. The selection is rather shitty, but ok, I’ll bite. I pick my 10 free movies after creating my CinemaNow account and linking to my previously created  (on flixster) “ultraviolet account”.  They say that Macs and PCs are compatible devices, and list Future Shop and BestBuy as places to get compatible devices, listing SONY as one of the brands in the ad.

I then proceed to rent a movie to try out the service.  The service say that you can rent SD (Standard Definition) or “Upgrade to view HD on compatible devices. SD playback included with HD purchase.” .  I chose the HD rental for $5.99.

Then I had to download and install the CinemaNow player, so that I could download my rental and play it (due to DRM, now doubt).  I did so and then launched the player and logged in.  It took me to my “library” where it showed my newly purchased rental with a tag indicating it was EXPIRED.  Not only that, but NONE of the UltraViolet movies I had selected showed up in my library.  Great.

This triggered a call to their telephone support.   Props that they even HAVE telephone support.  (Unlike the ITUNES STORE, where I am still awaiting feedback on my “this rental didn’t play at all properly” report, and a refund.)

While I waited for support to answer, I restarted the CinemaNow app, and the movie came up as not expired. But still no Ultraviolet movies (after all that agony of selecting the 10 least sucky ones!).  But then it would only allow me to download the SD version of the movie I had rented.   I figured I’d start that and find out how to get the HD version from the support person – since it said I could watch either once I had paid the HD price.

NOWHERE on the site or in the app, does it tell you how far the download has progressed, or how much longer it will take.  ARGH.

Despite the support queue being relatively short,  I was so dissatisfied with the support guy following the SCRIPT he had in front of him,  and not LISTENING to the problem, that I finally escalated to a manager.  The support person said, “Before I transfer you, I need to find out why you are asking to speak to a manager”.  Dude. Seriously?  I said, “Because I am not at all satisfied with the level of support I am currently receiving.”

The manager came on and finally admitted that their that their app and website only detect HD compatible TVs, game consoles and  blu-ray players, despite the fact that many laptops now have full HD capability, and that they were “having problems” with their software detecting HD-compatible Sony PCs right now.   Never mind I might use this, or any other MEDIA PC, to STREAM a download to an HD-compatible device, like a projector.    Their “protection” does not allow you to download or play the HD version if you are on a PC.  This is just ridiculous.    And it’s NOT AT ALL CLEAR on their website that HD versions are not available to download if you are on a PC – it still lets you buy/rent that version.  WTF?

And then there is the issue with the “free” UltraViolet movies. Admittedly free but still, CinemaNow, WHY do you have a DOWNLOAD button, if Ultraviolet movies are NOT downloadable and can only be watched in STREAMING mode?  (After yet another support request).  BZZZT. #FAIL   Oh, and when I tried to send a support request, I got THIS error:

error-1

When I tried to submit another support request, attaching the above screenshot error, I got THIS error (I know,I’m a glutton for punishment, but HOW HARD is it to get a damn support WEBSITE right? I mean, this is OUT OF THE BOX stuff people.)

error2

#CinemaNow #EPICFAIL

Dear entertainment industry. I REALLY REALLY want to be an honest citizen, but I don’t want to BUY a whole DVD just to watch a movie once.  I just want to rent it like I used to be able to, until all the rental places went out of business.  Besides, my new laptop doesn’t even HAVE a dvd player.  I’m willing to pay reasonable money to rent.  But you aren’t giving me any workable options.  If I could pay the rental price and download from iTunes and play in VLC, I’d happily do it. But Apple can’t see fit to PROPERLY SUPPORT anything not in the Apple Universe, despite being willing to take our money.

And while on the subject of Apple. SERIOUSLY.  I’ve read the support forums. LOADS of people are having problems with video playback in iTunes. People are upgrading their laptops and finding whole LIBRARIES of purchases no longer work.  Windows 8 has been out for a YEAR, and you still can’t get a decent iTunes/player for it?  This is the kind of  HUBRIS that killed RIM/Blackberry.  If you have a player for PCs then fucking SUPPORT IT.   And your technology is NOT the great wonder it once was.  My iphone battery barely lasts a day in most cases, and the touch interface is intermittent/flakey at best.    Maybe it’s time to move to Android. (When my current plan expires).

And there’s my dilemma.  I want to be a good, honest citizen and be able to pay/compensate all the people who put all that work into making movies, but I can see why so many people don’t.   The movie industry is driving people to theft because they don’t give so many of them ANY workable solutions that allow one to rent/buy and play a downloadable copy.

 

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Why is it so hard to find a good hosting provider?

by Natalie P.

July 25, 2013 | Filed Under The Heartless Bitch Way | 2 Comments

This site has been with Webhostinghub.com for almost a year now, and barring a couple of minor hiccups, it has worked relatively well.  Initially, support was good.

Then, a couple of weeks ago, I found that some key scripts that USED to work (and had not been changed – god knows, I’ve had no time to mess with anything), stopped working. I couldn’t diagnose it due to the limited access I have to my account at this provider (i.e. no shell access). I logged a support request, and that started a litany of nightmarish interactions that, as yet, have no resolution.

Initially they told me it was a problem with the scripts themselves – i.e. MY problem.  Oddly, some worked, some didn’t, and I couldn’t see any distinguishing characteristics between the working/non-working. The non-working ones throw a 500 error, but oddly, that 500 error does NOT show up in the error log files I have access to – so I had no details that one might normally see in the log results to help me diagnose. (One support guy actually said that was really weird because ALL errors thrown by apache should show up in the error logs).

I tried adding logging to the scripts to see if I could see why they were failing no avail.  I tried reducing one to just an output to the screen and nothing else – it still tossed a 500 error.  I looked at permissions. I looked at EVERYTHING.   So I figured maybe something in the Perl modules they use is corrupt. I tried to reinstall them.  My ENTIRE ACCOUNT HUNG – I could not log into my cpanel.  I got my account reset which got me back into cpanel (after HOURS waiting for/interacting with support), and tried to explain to them that if CPAN is hanging my entire account, SOMETHING IS CORRUPT and that I have no control over it.

I have lost count of how many support people I have tried to explain this to, and I detailed it very clearly in my ticket responses via email. While on the phone I had one support person try the install and so he could see how it hangs my account – he initially acted as if this was somehow something of MY doing.  Once again I had to explain how the CPAN and PERL installs are out of my hands – they are installed by the sysadmin team.  Another said it started forking a bazillion subprocesses just trying to do a CPAN search.  As if somehow this was MY doing. Again, I had to explain to him that I HAVE NO CONTROL over the CPAN install.  If it’s going bezerk, it’s because there is something CORRUPT in the install.  This was ALL DOCUMENTED. And yet, some “Tier 2” support person followed up (DAYS LATER) to graciously tell me the line numbers my scripts were failing on and to say that  he had “reinstalled” my perl modules for me.  And, of course, my account was hung, because he never checked to see that the modules were really installed, nor did he get to the root of the CPAN fork-storm that is a symptom of this whole clusterfuck.

(And don’t get me started on their new “support center” that requires you to log in with Facebook or Google+, the app for which requires that you give it access to your FRIEND LIST and your personal information on facebook.  Like fucking hell.)

Whereas I used to be able to talk with a support person in a few minutes on the phone, I have now been left hanging for 60 to 90 minutes (or longer) on either phone or support chat. I’ve had chat sessions dropped after waiting over an hour in queue, only to be requeued to the end of the line, I’ve had my tickets mishandled, mismanaged, and closed inappropriately without resolution. I’ve had my site taken offline for HOURS only to NOT have the problem resolved.  I’ve waited DAYS for replies on what is now surely a CRITICAL escalation.  I’ve had “manager feedback” tell me that they were sorry I had so many problems but that they were happy to see  my ticket was now resolved after I complained – to which I angrily responded that it was NOT FIXED, (and I restrained myself from using the profanity that was surely warranted at the time) and that their support team should start by reading ALL. THE. WORDS  in a ticket.    I’ve had to repeatedly explain over and over again to various support people WHY this is NOT my problem, and why it is NOT fixed just because they kill all the subprocesses in the fork-storm that blocks my cpanel login.

It’s now with their Tier 3 support (supposedly the highest) – I found this out via email after waiting 48 hour from my last escalation, and still they have no explanation of the root cause, nor any ETA on the fix.

Near as I can tell, SOMETHING changed on their servers on or after July 2nd. (the last date that some of the scripts wrote to log files). I logged my first ticket on July 11th. It’s now been 14 days and the latest response is “we have no ETA” on a fix. Give me shell access and a root account and I’d have it fixed in a few hours….

So, sadly, I may be moving HBI, AGAIN, because I’m very nearly DONE with the incompetence and poor customer support that I have received. Even in trying to post this blog entry, I’ve received random 500 server errors.  Our discussion forum is randomly available/not available, and new members cannot register for the forum, nor can existing members have a password sent to them.

I tried to use their site backup utility only to have it tell me that my 384MB was greater than the 3GB limit. (WTF?) and didn’t run properly. So I’m manually compressing and downloading everything I can in prep for the move.  (Like I have time for this kind of shit).

I’ve given them until Monday to get the problem fixed, or I’ll move to another provider (I hear hostgator is highly rated).  At this point, based on my experiences this week, I’m not holding out a lot of hope.   I don’t want to move but I can’t go on like this indefinitely….

I’ll post an update on Monday as to whether or not the site is moving and you can expect outages…

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“Interesting Women”….

by Natalie P.

July 7, 2013 | Filed Under Popculture, Social idiocy | 1 Comment

Dustin Hoffman talks about his revelations regarding his own misguided attitudes after his first makeup test for Tootsie…

How many “interesting women” (“or “interesting men”) have you completely ignored because you are pursuing some media-mandated, culturally brainwashed ideal of physical beauty/attractiveness?

 

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#BadParentShaming

by Natalie P.

July 5, 2013 | Filed Under Lifestyles of the Heartlessly Bitchy, Parenting, Social idiocy | 1 Comment

I know being a parent is hard.

I know you have to sacrifice.

I know there’s lots of things you don’t get to do that you did before your bundle(s) of joy came into your life.

SUCK. IT. UP.

Let me set the record straight for some people who are REALLY unclear on what is appropriate vs inappropriate parenting behaviour.

1).  It is NOT OK for you to bring your INFANT or TODDLER to a movie theatre unless it’s a mom & tot afternoon screening.  I don’t CARE if it’s expensive to get a sitter – if you cannot afford a sitter, you CANNOT AFFORD TO GO TO THE MOVIE.  Cope.  Your wants do not give you the right to a) disturb other patrons when your kid freaks out and ruin THEIR experience that THEY also paid money for, and b) expose your child to loud, scary and inappropriate content.

2) It is NOT ok for you to let your toddler run around a restaurant you are in unless you are in the play room of a Burger King or McDonalds.  The servers are carrying HOT FOOD and heavy, dangerous (if dropped on your kid’s HEAD) dishes.  Show some RESPECT and teach your kids some DISCIPLINE.  It is not MY job, nor is it the restaurant staffs’ job to look after your child.  If your child cannot sit still through a restaurant meal without disturbing other patrons, guess what? He/She IS  TOO YOUNG to take to a restaurant.  Order take-out and eat in, or get a sitter.

3) it is NOT OK  for you to take your INFANT or TODDLER to a rock concert (indoor or outdoor!) – and if you take a child and you don’t ensure it has hearing protection, that just classifies, IMNSHO, as NEGLIGENT.  A typical rock concert is around 115dBs, but can be much louder if you are right near the stage/speakers.  Children are increasingly at risk for hearing loss, and the effects of so many kids listening at too high a volume to mp3 players/ipods  is starting to take its toll.  This will only be compounded by their bozo parents taking them to things like rock concerts when they are babies and not providing any hearing protection.  Repeated (unprotected) exposure to loud sporting events, concerts, etc. will take its toll on anyone’s hearing – and children are even more at risk.  Even brief exposure to very loud noises can cause permanent damage:

“Children’s ear canals are small and particularly susceptible to loud noises, and even brief exposure can induce permanent hearing loss. Sustained exposure to sounds greater than 85 decibels are known to damage the sensitive hair cells in the inner ear.”  – http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/ask-a-health-expert/is-it-ok-to-bring-my-baby-to-a-loud-concert/article4665564/

And it’s ESPECIALLY NOT OK to take your infant or toddler to a concert AT NIGHT – a) your kid should be in bed ASLEEP, with some kind of reasonable schedule, b) you shouldn’t be exposing your child to all that second-hand weed and tobacco smoke, and c) large drunken crowds can put your child at real risk for getting stepped on/injured.

There were 25,000 people at the festival concert I went to tonight.  I saw parents with INFANTS and no hearing protection, at a location where the base was so loud it was causing my heart to skip beats (in other words, MUCH louder than 115dB)!  And I wanted to smack the “mother” and I use that word loosely, who, AFTER DARK, while puffing on her cigarette, took her toddler out of the stroller (that people kept bumping into and tripping over because she was TOO CLOSE TO THE STAGE with it), and put a leash on him so he could toddle around.  Sober people were dangerous enough trying to make their way through the crowds in the dark. Druken ones even more so.  I breathed a sigh of relief when she picked the kid up.  I was THIS close to saying, “What the FUCK are you thinking? Bringing a toddler HERE, after dark, and then letting him wander around?”

Get a grip parents.  You are NOT entitled to ruin other people’s enjoyment of a movie, concert, dinner and/or put your kid at risk because YOU feel entitled to some fun.  Parenting requires a great deal of sacrifice.  Just like your kids, you won’t always get to do what you want.  Suck it up and act like a grown up.

 

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We have always fought…

by Natalie P.

June 11, 2013 | Filed Under Popculture, The Heartless Bitch Way | No Comments

Great article by Kameron Hurley on challenging the status quo and misogynistic narratives:

“Somebody needs to be the person who says something is wrong. We can’t pretend we don’t see it. Because people have been murdered and assaulted on street corners where hundreds of people milled around, pretending everything was normal.

But pretending it was normal didn’t make it so.

Somebody has to point it out. Somebody has to get folks to move.

Somebody has to act.”

“‘We Have Always Fought’: Challenging the ‘Women, Cattle and Slaves’ Narrative”, by Kameron Hurley

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You are NOT entitled to SEX – no matter how “nice” you are. GET OVER IT.

by Natalie P.

June 10, 2013 | Filed Under Relationships, Social idiocy | 2 Comments

Great article on Jezebel regarding the (unfortunately ongoing) issue of NICE GUYS (TM) – this time it’s about riffing the postings of these characters on OKCupid.

“Besides the near-universal sense that they’ve been unjustly defrauded, the great commonality among these Nice Guys is their contempt for women’s non-sexual friendship…..It’s a monumental overask to expect women to be gentle with the egos of men who only feigned friendship in order to get laid. “

AMEN.

And this is something we at HBI have been doing for YEARS:

“Nice Guys of OkCupid provides an excellent opportunity to reiterate a basic truth: there is no right to have sex….Mama firmly set me straight on the distinction between the right to want and the right to be given. Nice Guys need a similar sort of come-to-Jesus talk to disabuse them, once and for all, of their insistence that in a just and democratic society, hot young pussy ought to be distributed equally to every Tom, Harry, and Dick who demonstrates a minimal level of civility.

Read the full article at Jezebel:  No One is Entitled to Sex: Why We Should Mock the Nice Guys of OkCupid

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Intelligent, reasoned and ASTUTE commentary on the Steubenville Rapists

by Natalie P.

March 24, 2013 | Filed Under The Heartless Bitch Way | 6 Comments

Totally impressed that we are finally hearing a man tell other men that WOMEN DON’T OWE YOU AN EXPLANATION when they say NO.
And he’s absolutely right -the coaches, the parents, the school – the whole society FAILED in this affair and failed in teaching their kids the difference between RIGHT AND WRONG.


Steubenville Football & Rape Culture

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