Category Archives: Random Tech

Verizon Wireless outage in Santa Clara and San Jose

Verizon Wireless service has been down all day in parts Santa Clara and San Jose in the heart of Silicon Valley.
After spotty service last week, whatever the problem was took the service out completely for a while. Verizon Wireless service does seem to be back up for now. Who knows if there will be any word from Verizon on what caused the outage or even if they will admit to having an outage. Customers of AT&T and Sprint seem to still have cell service so it doesn’t seem to be the dreaded Solar Apocalypse.

NASA Solar Flare
NASA image of a massive solar flare on April 16, 2012. Better put on that sunscreen.

It could quite possibly be a localized Sharknado swirling around a Verizon cell tower. Flying sharks get hungry and they’ll eat just about anything.

“Verizon is working to restore your services” is the blanket statement on their Verizon Service Outage Information web page.

Happy data streaming Silicon Valley and beware of flying sharks!

Happy System Administrator Appreciation Day!

Happy System Administrator Appreciation Day to all of you who keep the zettabytes of cat videos constantly streaming. Also known as Sysadmin Day, SysAdminDay or just a SAAD day. System Administrator Appreciation Day is celebrated on the last Friday in July.

Thank you for your service to the internets!

ThinkGeek may still have some SysAdmin Day survival packs laying around.

Welcome to day 100 of the year 2014

We are 100 days into 2014, the internet is half broken with a bleeding heart and there are still no flying cars. Where are my self driving flying cars? Google? Richard Branson? Elon Musk? Anyone? Maybe that should be a kickstarter project.

Goat Simulator, yes that’s right, just watch!

Arstechnica found this hidden gem at the 2014 Game Developers conference at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.


Check out the arstechnica story here. Because you know you’ve always wanted to drive a goat.

Costa Concordia cruise ship is visible on Google Maps

The Italian cruise ship that ran aground and capsized in 2012 has been half submerged off the coast of the island of Giglio so long that it is visible on Google Maps. Just enter these coordinates: 42°21′55″N 10°55′17″E and use Satellite view:

Screenshot of the Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia on Google Maps
Image credit: Google

After a 19 hour industrial scale maritime operation, the Costa Concordia is now upright as of Tuesday morning September 17th Italian time. The ship is twice the weight of the Titanic.     Link to Google Maps satellite view of the Costa Concordia here. Time lapse video of the Costa Concordia salvage operation: The Discovery Channel is airing a special, INSIDE RAISING CONCORDIA, premiering Friday, September 20 documenting the massive engineering effort required to raise the stricken ship.

The Costa Concordia is also visible in this detailed satellite image from Digital Globe.

Peter Capaldi named as 12th Doctor in long running Doctor Who series

TARDIS_Police_Phone_Box_Doctor_WhoPeter Dougan Capaldi, the Scottish actor and film director will play the next Doctor, replacing Matt Smith. Interestingly, Peter Capaldi played a WHO doctor in the recent zombie apocalypse film, World War Z. Now he will be The Doctor.

Matt Smith is set to hand the keys of the TARDIS over to Peter Capaldi later this year.

Happy Independence Day Silicon Valley!

Happy Independence Day Silicon Valley and the Bay Area!

Have a safe and happy 4th!

Happy Pi Day Silicon Valley!

  Today, March 14, or 3.14 is Pi Day. It also happens to be Albert Einstein’s birthday. Though he hasn’t celebrated one in a while. Pi day is popularly celebrated by geek culture with copious amounts of pie.

Larry Shaw, founder of the first organized Pi Day in 1988.



Thomas Sullivan Magnum IV and Jonathan Quayle Higgins III in Magnum P.I. not Magnum Pi.




Originally organized in 1988 by this guy:



Not this mustached guy:









So while you’re munching a slice of apple pie and woofing down some pizza pi, remember pi is what makes circles so tasty.

A few digits of pi:


And a couple of Think Geek pi t-shirts:


Comcast Cable Box Slow?

Is your Comcast DVR/Cable Box slow to respond to inputs from your remote? Did you already try changing the batteries in your cable remote control?

Before you try getting a new cable box from your cable provider, try unplugging your cable box from the power to reboot the whole system. It will take a minute or so to reset, but once the cable box is back up, it should be more responsive.

The cable box is basically a computer that will need to be rebooted from time to time to clear out dead processes and refresh the system. It’s just like any other computer running an operating system, in this case the cable box is likely running some form of embedded linux, it can begin to suffer from slow response times after running non stop for a long period of time.

Comcast HD DVR Cable Box DCX3400-M

Your cable box can also become slow it is left on constantly and overheats. So be sure to switch it off occasionally and give it a break. Maybe go outside and take in some fresh air.

Happy 2013 Silicon Cali!

Happy 2013 Silicon Cali and the Bay Area! Hope the new year brings peace and prosperity to your friends and family.