If I make the unfortunate joke about how, between two streaming services and cable television, the one constant result is regretting ever having thought there might be something worth watching, then, sure, it probably stands to reason I will eventually notice that the actual television provider, i.e., Comcast Xfinity, would drive the nail by being utterly unable to serve television.Last night, my DVR fouled; today, it turns out the on-demand recording is also fouled. Couple that with news programming—any time of day—unwatchable for audio loss and actual static snow, and the same for what few sporting events I bother with, well, hey, I can always get a cooking show, and if not, maybe I can watch rich people buy property in the Caribbean.Maybe.They can’t even serve the bloody music in the 900s. Actually delivering product is apparently bad for the business model.Which, in turn, is another unfortunate morbid comedy verité.
So, I’m really, really curious: What happened? No, seriously, it’s enough to make sunspot and solar flare jokes, but in truth I might as well be checking lucky numbers.
• Perhaps yesterday was ominous, because my car suffered a bizarre, one-time symptom by which everything else was working, but there was no signal to the dashboard gauges. No tach, speed, temp, or fuel, but all the lights were working, and the odometer continued counting. It was a quick run down the hill to the grocery store; so the test was simple enough to shut the car off and then start it again, and yes, everything worked fine.
• This morning my bank’s phone system failed; as near as I can tell, when they updated for the holiday weekend, someone forgot a switch. For all the system asked for the usual information to access the account, it simply could not receive, and thus disconnected for lack of anyone to communicate with. Perhaps the problem is the phone.
• To wit, the iPhone lost its preferences and histories today, and could not write new data to either. This was a mysterious symptom not apparently concomitant to an update, and seemed easily enough solved by shutting down and rebooting the phone.
• By the time weirdness hit the laptop it was easy to feel superstitious. But this collapse of basic shell functions like copy and paste was easily enough remedied. The problem was, of course, HTML 5, and as with most such problems these days, shutting down browser tabs or windows running website applications will eventually allow your system to copy information to its own clipboard. So, hey, there’s one that isn’t a mystery.
• The Samsung television can no longer access its own system features. At the very least, the power switch and input selector still work. And the volume buttons. But anything that requires that candy-looking, branded button in the middle of the remote? Sorry, it’s a Samsung, so you can’t have it. The most likely solution is to disconnect all cables including power supply, leave the thing to wallow in its own oblivion for a few minutes, and then put it all back together and turn it on again. And then the system will work long enough to automatically update, and then collapse. Some products are like that, and apparently no part of watching television can be done these days without a software update. Continue reading