There are a lot of reasons to cancel service with an ISP or cable TV provider. Perhaps the quality of service has gone done hill. Or maybe a competitor has offered a better deal. It could also be something as simple as moving out of that particular company’s service area. Whatever the reason, these companies have become notoriously difficult about letting customers cancel their service.
That’s where a clever new service called AirPaper comes in. For a small fee of $5.00, AirPaper removes the hassle of calling Comcast yourself when it’s time to cancel service. AirPaper will cancel the service using a quasi-loophole in Comcast’s terms of service.
Apparently, Comcast offers its customers two ways to cut the cord. The first one (and the one everyone would prefer to avoid) is by phone. The other is thru the mail. AirPaper gathers a customer’s details, determines which Comcast office is closest to them, and then composes a goodbye later and mails it directly to Comcast.
And AirPaper isn’t stopping with Comcast. The company is currently planning on developing systems to help with obtaining a San Francisco parking permit, registering a San Francisco business, and getting a Visa to travel to China.
Is there a bureaucratic process you think AirPaper should tackle? The company has an open form on its website where it’s accepting suggestions.
I am a Comcast subscriber and although I have never gone over the data it’s always something that is the back of my mind. Today Comcast announced that they are discontinuing the 250 GB month data Policy and are looking for other alternatives. The two alternatives they are looking at are as follows
*Customers of Comcast’s least-expensive Internet plans (Internet Essentials, Economy, and Performance) would receive 300GB of data per month. Those who subscribe to faster plans would get “increasing data allotments for each successive tier of high-speed service.” Anyone who still exceeds the limit could purchase more data—$10 for 50GB.
*All Comcast customers would get 300GB data caps and could purchase extra data for $10 per 50GB
If you are a heavy user than of course you would want to for them to go with the first plan which would allow you to choose a plan for the amount of data that you use. Comcast will be testing these options in various locations this summer. Comcast says they’re doing this because of the increase use of devices such as the Roku, Apple TV, iPad and many other devices. Comcast said that the reason they had the usage threshold was they wanted to make sure that all users were treated fairly. Comcast also insists that it treats all video coming thru the public Internet equally no matter if it comes from Netflix, iTunes, YouTube or any other source. Critics of Comcast are quick to point out that Comcast videos that are streamed to the Xbox doesn’t count against the cap, although the same video from Netflix would, which means that they are still favoring themselves over third-party vendors.
This is a good first step and one that is necessary in today’s world where more and more people are cutting the cord and streaming their videos off the Internet.
Feeling a 100% better and it is time to have a serious discussion about privacy and actions in the internet and public space. Looking for your feedback in a big way on these issues. Lots of great tech stories to share with you tonight as well.
I watch over a lot in the Over the Top Television space. Internet TV, IPTV, whatever you want to call it, it’s a great way to get watchable content without having a full cable lineup.
Last week, Steve Ballmer announced their TV initiative over XBox Live. Over 40 providers have signed up for this venture, including Comcast, HBO, BBC, Rodgers on Demand (Canada), Televisa (Mexico), and other countries including Germany and Italy (20 in all). Best part, if you already have an XBox 360, you have the hardware to do this.
“Today’s announcement is a major step toward realizing our vision to bring you all the entertainment you want, shared with the people you care about, made easy,” said Don Mattrick, president of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft. “Combining the world’s leading TV and entertainment providers with the power of Kinect for Xbox 360 and the intelligence of Bing voice search will make TV and entertainment more personal, social and effortless.” – Press Release
Add to conventional TV line-up the on-line video providers like Crackle, YouTube, Zune and more. Then there is audio content from Last.fm and iHeartRadio. Finally, Social networks like Twitter and Facebook to round off the service.
The Game System that Became More
Whereas companies like Roku that integrated smaller games like Angry Birds, XBox won’t have that problem. It’s a game system over a TV content distributor. You can play Gears of War, Tweet about it, then watch a video on how to play Gears of War (or another show).
Unified Dashboard in XBox Live
With the unified dashboard (looking similar to the Zune software), you can browse your shows, play the games, work your social networks and more. You will connect to the Comcast Xfinity service to get all that service has to offer.
Getting Rid of the Remote with Kinect
This might be the best part about the XBox TV. By using voice controls and your Kinect, you can gesture to a channel, play, pause and move on. It might get harry if you have more than one person wanting to watch different shows. Still, could you imagine a world without a remote control?
It won’t all be free, though.
Right now, to get HBO Go, you need to have a cable subscription with HBO. I don’t expect that to change anytime soon – especially with channels like HuluPlus. Of course, that is just like many of the OTT systems out there. Pay for a subscription and get the content.
Once again, there could be conflict if you have multiple family members where one wants to play a game and the other wants to watch a movie. So this might not replace a cable box or DVR just yet.
The Xbox Live TV service is expected to come out before the holiday season. The announcement comes before then so you can plan purchasing an XBox 360 or Kinect system for your loved ones to connect up quick. While the OTT solution is more pricey than a Roku or Apple TV, it does do more than just watch video, view pictures or listen to music. It also has some great game titles. It also has a new way to browse through your content.
Headed back to Honolulu, I have had a great week here in Texas, much accomplished. Planning a return trip in Mid June followed by a potential east coast trip as well. Lot’s of tech with a political slant tonight kinda weird but seems that at times themes develop in the news reporting.
Fellows you want an immediate trip to the dog house? Listen to hear what I did by mistake on Sunday that has landed me in the dog house in a big way. Your going to get a good laugh on my behalf but I guarantee you will not make the same mistake I made. The show is action packed full of tech, I am reminiscent of some of the reasons I started this show for apparent reasons as you listen today.
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I have to admit, I would rather be here in Hawaii for the next couple of days, but when I was a kid there was nothing more fun than a snow storm. Enjoy the time off work, and know that I will be flying out on Thursday nite to head to the windy city for a couple of days and then back to Honolulu. I have a full load of news and commentary for you. Make sure you are subscribed so as not to miss any episodes.
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