Sprint rides again, stumbles

In the hope that fellow Justin from Sprint might visit: Sprint has redesigned their site again, this time concentrating on the billing and payment section and unfortunately making it rather difficult to figure out whether you’ve paid the current bill. Formerly, on login you would be brought to a single account summary that showed your latest bill and whether you had paid it. Now it’s more complicated.

When you select Pay bill, instead of showing you the outstanding balance as the default amount to pay, it seems to think you don’t owe anything and so says the default payment is $.00. So you need to go to View bill – where it inconveniently doesn’t say whether you’ve paid or not – and note the amount of the bill, then go to Payment activity to see if you’ve paid recently, then go back to Pay bill and enter the amount you owe. Hardly efficient.

sprint-redux

My prediction is that they will soon be shutting off service to a fair number of people who mistakenly believe they’ve paid because Pay bill implies, fairly heavily, that they don’t owe anything and who then do not proceed to click here, there, and everywhere to see if it’s true.

My current bill from them is paid, but only in Payment activity can I figure that out, sort of. To fix this redesign problem, they should:

  • In View bill, show whether the bill is paid, as they used to.
  • In Pay bill, show the amount still due on the current bill next to the Total radio button as they used to, not “$.00”.

Postscript, 9 December: It appears they saw the error of their ways because they tossed their recent changes onto the scrap heap and went back to the original code. Smart move.

This and the previous episode make me wonder if the root of the problem is perhaps that Sprint employees only rarely visit their own site. I mean, they get free cell service, so who needs to pay a bill? T’huh. Proposal: Make the web programming honcho and a few lead coders pay for their cell service and reimburse them monthly. I’ll wager there would be fewer – if any – problems with rollouts of site changes from that point forward.

Cease!

If every damn full moon is a supermoon, then there are no supermoons. Therefore, shut up.

super-duper-moon

Don’t be a luddy-duddy! Don’t be a mooncalf! Don’t be a jabbernowl! You’re not those, are you?

W.C. Fields in “The Bank Dick” (1940)

Vote

This year, for the first time ever, there’s early voting in Massachusetts. Not many seem to know about it – two people I’ve mentioned it to did, but four others had no idea. Perhaps those not in the know get their news from Dingleface, I dunno. Similarly, around half the drivers on the road don’t seem to know about a state law that came into force early last year requiring that you turn on your headlights whenever windshield wipers are in use.

The clerk of my fairly small town told me that 180 voted today, the second of eleven days of early voting, and there was still an hour to go. There was no queue and on the ballot were just a handful of offices and four questions, so I was on my way home, three blocks away, in about six minutes. Free sticker, too.

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Instant metaphor

Earlier today, the Clay County (Florida) Sheriff’s Office and emergency services safely extricated this beautiful bald eagle, who’s now resting comfortably at the B.E.A.K.S. Wildlife Sanctuary on Big Talbot Island.

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eagle2

eagle3

Going to be okay

Details, details

The first Mars flight could take place in 2022, according to SpaceX’s timeline for Mars colonisation.”

So Musk is going to solve those pesky radiation, bone density loss, and optic nerve problems, amongst several others, in just 72 months, eh? Impressive if true.*

Buy why is there no mention of these forthcoming almost miraculous developments in that BBC article? Perhaps it’s simply a rewrite of a press release that didn’t mention them due to their peskiness.

marvin

“Yes, I have a follow-up question, please: Huh?”

 

*Headline used in some Civil War era newspapers, often above bogus stories: “Important If True”

The end of projectors

I recently bought a 17″ Dell laptop and didn’t find out until yesterday about a little feature it has – and most recent PCs and laptops have – called Miracast. The 50″ 4K SUHD Samsung TV I bought in an irresistible deal last week also supports it, as do most new Smart TVs. To use it in Windows 10, you simply click the Connect button in the Notification Center, then on the TV that shows up on the network listing – that’s it. Miracast is essentially HDMI-over-WiFi projecting (Intel’s version is called WiDi), and it’s so good that I’d advise selling any projector manufacturer stock you own. To wit:

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Click for a larger version

My Samsung phone also supports screen mirroring, so I can display its screen live on the new TV as well.

For fixed setting projection needs, I don’t see why anyone should ever again shell out US$700 or $800 for a projector – that was the price last time my company bought one six years ago – when one can spend the same amount and get a 50″ TV with 3840 x 2160 resolution, triple that of a typical projector, or spend a hundred or two more for a 60″ version. The quality is several tons better than projecting on a white screen, the speed is fine on 802.11n wireless, and you don’t even have to turn the lights off.