Friday, November 14, 2008



Direct link to the episode:

MP3 ->

m4a ->

Video Links

This is episode 19

And I have a serious point to make.

Interspersed with the music, off of the album "From The New World", I'm going to make some comments about something incredibly pernicious that just happened potentially to all ComCast customers...

"The Revolution Will Be Cybercast" by "Karmella's Game" off of "The Art Of Distraction" here on WSPCs ThymeWarp.


We got PSAs:


Campus Safety urges students, faculty and staff to sign up for text alerts, online @

This will be used to inform students, faculty and staff in an emergency.

This was useful last year in the bomb scare.

To sign up, students must know their Spirit ID # (Bring their Saint Peter's College ID.)


There are still no prerecorded promos, well except for "moi."

bed: Oilsands by John Jack

Tuesdays at 5 at WSPC:

"Peak Oil" , what it is, what it means to us all (and believe me it does, if you thought that $4.00 a gallon gasoline was bad, (and don't let the pre election slump and sag fool you,) the price of oil will reveal just how incomodious a commodity it is.

I'll be featuring podsafe music so I can retransmit them on a full-blown podcast, with an RSS feed, on iTunes without having to pay my soul out to the RIAA.



THE STORY STARTS with my waking up, way too early, the same as I always do, and going to my computer, the same as I always do.

On Wednesday morning, November 12, 2008, I woke up to find that my ComCast cable modem was dead.

I uttered a few expletives, got on the phone and scheduled a maintenance tech.

I was supposed to wait all afternoon for them.

Well, I have a life. I cant hang around half the day waiting for them.

I have a show to record and put on air. (WSPC's ThymeWarp Episode 18 :-)

Well, I don't know if they came of not, I wasn't here, so I called again.

This time a spoke to a young woman who informed me that I'd have to hook up my PowerBook directly to the internet, WITHOUT my router/firewall. (I already don't like having my machine exposed to all the nasties out on the internet. I wanted to get back behind my firewall ASAP.)

We eventually got a DHCP address from them and I thought that I'd be able to get my router hooked up again and that was going to be the end of it.


It didn't work. After speaking to ComCast tech support, it turned out that they didn't support my router.

'Scuse me? Support my router?


"Fanfare for the Common Man" by ""Aaron Copland" here on WSPC's Thyme Warp.


'Scuse me? Support my router?

Why is your modem which is supposed to be a simple dumb device providing a simple dumb service interrogating and worrying about my router?

Oh, I see. One of your supported routers, Like the one you sell?

Meaning that my existing equipment which I bought only months ago is now landfill?

Uh, that's a blatantly anti-competitive, illegal, coercive, strong-arm tactic.

YOUR router will work fine while MY router wont.

Why does your CABLE MODEM even care?

I'm not going to shell out any money for a device which does not do what it says its supposed to do.

If ComCast doesn't "approve" of the equipment (or if the equipment maker hasn't paid a kick-back to ComCast,) then the equipment doesn't work on ComCast's network.

Heck, by extension, lets think big here, there's millions of Digital TV sets about to go live on February 2009, and if a TV set manufacturer doesn't come across with the dough, they suddenly find that none of their TV sets work on ComCast's network.

Oh and if you bought one of those sets... Well you're screwed, blued and tattooed aren't you?


"West Side Story: Scherzo and America" by "Leonard Bernstein" here on WSPC's Thyme Warp.


The kind of mentality that can come up with this crap is so small and tight-assed that you can see whence came the "company stores" (for whom you carried sixteen tons and what did you get and ended up owing your soul to the company store.)

Is that the kind of America we have? Where you can only buy crap the company sells you, at the prices they want you to pay, for lease terms they happen to like.

And if it doesn't work very well or for very long, well tough.

Is that the kind of Republican "Uber State" that we're left with after eight years of Bush policies.

Is this any kind of legacy to leave to your children?

If you were in at the creation, good for you because you can forget about any more creation.

Remember when leasing a pink "Princess Phone" was Ma Bell's ultimate expression of condescension to consumerism. (Note leasing, NorthernElectric actually owned the handset.)

I DO. And I'm only fifty five.

I was already six or seven when my dad, feeling flush after a promotion, got a pink "Princess Phone" for our apartment.

We broke up Ma Bell because of their extremely restrictive policies which were a brake on the economy, on innovation and on personal freedom.

I guess that now its the cable co's turn.

We cant afford the kind of blinkered Philistine pig ignorance that would be quite happy at stifling all innovation, so that nothing interferes with corporate greed.


"Union - Paraphrase de concert" by: "Louis Moreau Gottschalk" here on WSPC's Thyme Warp.


Now its Thursday afternoon and I'm beginning to think that I may have underestimated how petty and vindictive ComCast might be.

After tweets back and forth with some entity describing themselves as "ComCastCares" where I stated that I was not interested in taking the conversation "off line" with this entity, my connection is now dead.

Its easy enough to do. They just have to disable the IPv6 address of my cable modem. Now I'm renting an ugly RCA door stop.

They're actually making my case for me.

If it wasn't for the internet connectivity available through the school, I'd effectively be silenced.

But guess what guys? You've got some competition.

What next? Am I going to meet with an unfortunate accident?


"Rhapsody in Blue" by "George Gershwin" here on WSPC's Thyme Warp.


Screw it!

I call's 'em like I sees 'em.

They think they can push me around. Well, I don't need a wheel chair yet.

Something smells rotten in the walls of Philadelphia where ComCast is headquartered.

If "Seigneur" Roberts, the CEO of ComCast, doesn't like it ... tough.

I can see the slope he wants to push me down.

Its the same one we spent the past five decades climbing up.

Some ignorant intern, the kind of MBA with no memory who expects everybody to be a stupid as he obviously is, without a thought in his head or a scruple in his breast was all proud of this scheme he thought up.

"Oh Mr Roberts, "tugs on forelock", if only we could just make it truly addictive. We could save millions on advertising alone... As it is the suckers'll have to buy our modems, our routers, our TV sets, at the prices we set, serviced on our terms for the most we can gouge the suckers for to watch the cheap crap we shovel at 'em."

ComCast is in serious need of some busting up and some competition.

Lets break up the monopoly over districts that the cable use to prevent you from having any choice in you cable provider.

Lets engage in some "good ole fashioned Trust Busting." The kind of thing that can make an attorney's reputation and do a State AG's political status plenty of good.


"A Child of Our Time, Negro Spiritual: Deep River" by "Michael Tippett" here on WSPC's Thyme Warp.

"Maple Leaf Rag" by "Scott Joplin" here on WSPC's Thyme Warp.

"The Stars and Stripes Forever" by "John Philip Sousa" here on WSPC's Thyme Warp.

"Rodeo: Hoedown" by "Aaron Copland" here on WSPC's Thyme Warp.


The show notes, incuding the complete text of this episode, and any and all links to the artists featured, are on a server ... somewhere.

And this show is also being podcast in m4a format, which means that it you use a compatible player, like iTunes, you get the content divided up into chapters with images and "hot links" to the the web, on the topic of the chapter or to accompany the music.

You can send me feed back. suggestions, or just some sign that there's anybody actually outside the studio.

Address email to charles at

1 comment:

Charles-A. Rovira said...

Further to the debacle.

They have managed to rouse the ire of my wife.

And she gets what's happened, why and who's responsible...

Because of their greed, the router her PC depends on is knocked out of the loop.

NG (No Good.)

TB (Too Bad.)

KW (Know Why?)

Because she'll cut them off from their source of income.

That means I can look forward to Verizon FiOS...

Uploading the shows should not feel like watching a race between molasses and a wounded rabbit anymore.

(ComCast service starts slow and then slows down about 1kbps per second. With a 59 MB file per ThymeWarp episode, I always end up watching the 'time remaining' widget go UP the more of the file I manage to squirt up to the server.)

I know its not LibSyn or any of the servers and I don't get any slowdown at school, so its ComCast (or, considering the behavior, they should call themselves 'ConCant'.)

Screw you Mr Roberts and screw your greedy soul.

I hope ComCast's network gets the same "common carrier" treatment that AT&T got when we broke up Ma Bell.

You could use some competition...