Tag Archives: Firefox

Getting Authenticated

I spent a good part of the weekend watching the Olympics (can I use that word without IOC permission?). Authentication FailNBC is wall to wall with them across all of their networks and it’s great. It’s truly the smorgasbord of sports – a grand buffet with a little something for everyone. Just in case you’re still hungry, NBC is also streaming everything to anyone who can prove they have a cable TV subscription. Seems fair – why have to pay for the same content a second time?

As an aside, that availability of this streaming has me confused about why people are complaining via social media about NBC’s TV coverage – what they choose to air  on which networks, etc.  You can be your own producer, and if you’re tech savvy enough to complain in the Twittersphere about it you’re probably savvy enough to figure out how to hook a computer up to a TV screen to watch the streaming as if it was TV.

I tried to get myself authenticated to do exactly that and found out that the weak link in the chain is actually the cable operator.  Well, specifically MY cable operator.  Every time I went through the process, which involves going to the NBCOlympics.com site and entering your cable user ID and password via your own provider’s site, I got a weird server message.  Not an error message as if I had the wrong information – a message you see in the graphic that’s indecipherable.  I finally emailed Cablevision support.  To their credit, they emailed me back within the hour that I was now authorized.  I wasn’t – same message when I went to sign in.  I used an online chat link they sent me to try to resolve it.  The very nice person (named Keith, coincidentally) let me know after a few minutes that he was a TV support guy and I needed to chat with the Internet guy.  Start a new chat.  Kevin (the new rep) asked if I had Cablevision’s internet service, which I don’t.  I reminded him that as long as I had TV I was supposed to be able to watch the streams.  He checked (5 minutes) and discovered I was right.  The issue turned out to be Chrome on a Mac – I was authorized instantly on a PC using Firefox.  Once I installed Flash into Safari, it worked on my Mac as well.  Strangely, it now works on Chrome too.

I suspect we’ll see a lot more of this as the pipe we use to access content becomes less important than the content itself.  I’m hoping the bumps will vanish and that rather than a great product such as this surfacing once every four years, we can use it every day.  What about you?  Have you tried the streaming?  What do you think?  Any issues getting it to work?

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Filed under sports business, Thinking Aloud

Facebook And Browsers

Anyone here still using Netscape Navigator to read the screed today?  Oh sure, you might be using one of its descendants but that browser is long gone.  What you just might be using is Internet Explorer, so let’s pause for a minute and think about some numbers.  Five years ago, in July of 2007, there was roughly an 80% chance that you would be accessing the web via that browser.  It had a dominant market share although a relative newcomer named Firefox was chipping away.  IE was buggy, full of security issues, and consumers hated it.  Of course 10 years prior, in July of 1997, one would have said the same about Netscape – it had 72% of the market then when IE declared war.  Today, IE has about 30% market share, about the same as Chrome.  Firefox is not far behind, and a few others make up the rest of the desktop web browser world.

I raise this today because of a few articles last week about Facebook.  Obviously it’s the dominant social network but it can’t seem to get any love.  Both pieces talked about customer dissatisfaction with the service.  Here is the first from MediaPost:

Facebook doesn’t seem to be particularly well-liked by its own users, according to the latest figures from the American Customer Satisfaction Index E-Business Report, which was produced in partnership with customer experience analytics firm ForeSee. Overall, Facebook scored a 61 out of 100 in terms of customer satisfaction — down 8 points from 69 last year. That’s a new record low for companies in the social media category.

Most interesting to me are the comments which demonstrate the dissatisfaction within the ad community as well.  Your users and your customers both unhappy isn’t the best situation.  The second piece from CNet adds another angle:

Now Google+, which has been dubbed by some as a ghost town, is gaining some traction with a higher customer satisfaction rating, according to the numbers released from the American Customer Satisfaction Index today. According to the new numbers, Facebook’s rating drops 8 percent to 61 on a 100-point scale, while Google+ makes its index debut with a 78, putting it in line with Wikipedia.

In other words, we’re only on Facebook because that’s where our friends and family are.  Sound like a browser you know?  Hard as it might be to imagine, Facebook is in a pretty precarious situation.  No, they’re not gong to implode, but history has a way of repeating itself.

What do you think?  How do you feel about Facebook lately?  Are you using other networks in lieu of it?

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Filed under digital media, Thinking Aloud

Out Firefoxed

A few days ago, videos stopped playing nicely on one of the computers we use here at The World Headquarters.

Image representing Firefox as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

It happened right after a Firefox update. Now, while it’s not a computer (or browser) I use very often, other team members use it regularly and they need to watch videos from time to time. I spent the better part of an hour diagnosing the problem (since I’m the I.T. guy around here) and after reading a lot of web postings in which Mozilla blamed Adobe (it’s a Flash problem), and vice-versa (it’s fine on other browsers) and where they both blamed Real Player, I’d had enough. I had spent several more hours updating video drivers, uninstalling and reinstalling components, tweaking settings, rolling back to old versions, and wading through the general snark that’s around the various support sites that mention this issue. No, it’s not resolved, but it’s not an issue any more. I installed Chrome on the damn thing and that is that.

So here’s the broader business point.  According to Adobe’s site, the issue is fixed.  Mozilla says the same since they give you a few workarounds.  How can I sum that up politely?  Hogwash?  A load of crap?  Who are you going to believe – me or your lying eyes?  The very last thing we as businesspeople want is for our installed base (customers to you non-tech types) to migrate to an alternate solution (blow us off for a competitor, in English).  I’ve been using Firefox since the early days.  I’m now gone forever, and I understand I’m not alone.

How would I have handed it?  Transparently:  we have a problem, we don’t have a fix that works for sure so we’re suggesting you roll back to an earlier version – here’s the link as to how to do it.  I’d say it loudly and in as public a way as I could.  I certainly would NOT suggest users turn off high-end video acceleration (those cards are expensive), uninstall other software, disable virus protection (seriously?) or muck about in configuration files that are best left to people with Computer Science degrees.

Stuff happens.  It doesn’t go away when we deny it, minimize the issue, or suggest things we don’t know for sure will solve the problem.  The only thing that does go away are customers.  We’re happily watching video on another browser.  People have choices about most products.  Keep that in mind and work hard to earn their trust and business.  You’ll need it when the fan is turned on and something hits it.

Thoughts?

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Filed under digital media, Huh?, Reality checks