TMP — The Down Side of Streaming

Every Monday, Paula Light, with her The Monday Peeve prompt, gives us an opportunity to vent or rant about something that pisses us off. My peeve today is not so much about something that pisses me off as it is about something that surprised me.

Back in late March I decided to “cut the cord” with my cable TV provider. I switched to streaming using a Roku Streaming Stick and streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Prime TV, HBO Max, etc. It was a lot cheaper than it was to pay for the cable TV package from Comcast/Xfinity. The monthly cost would be less than half about of what my cable TV bill was running.

Of course, I still needed an internet service provider (ISP) and because the only game in town is Comcast/Xfinity, I must use that for internet access.

Here’s the rub. I found out that my internet plan “limits” me to 1229 gigabytes of data per month, a fact I wasn’t aware of before I started streaming instead of using cable. It was never an issue. But then I received this email on April 29th: What? Holy shit. That’s a lot of data usage. And the only thing I can attribute it to is the switch from cable TV to streaming TV.

I checked the status of my account this morning and saw this:My first thought was “Phew, I came in just under the wire in April.” My second thought was that I used 64 gigabytes of data in just the first two days of May. And that was over a weekend when I watch much less TV than I do during the week. At this rate, I’m going to have an overage in May.

Okay then. I guess the lesson here is to turn off the goddam TV and read more books. Yeah, that’s the ticket!

TMP — Ups and Downs

Every Monday, Paula Light, with her The Monday Peeve prompt, gives us an opportunity to vent or rant about something that pisses us off. Today, Paula bellyached about inconsistency, and discussed her frustration with the inconsistencies within WordPress. My “peeve” today is also about inconsistency and WordPress, but it’s not so much a peeve as it is an observation.Look at this chart. It graphs my number of visitors and number of views over the past month. Talk about inconsistencies. Some days I am favored with a relatively large number of visitors and views. Other days it seems like very few are interested in visiting my blog or viewing my posts. It’s somewhat puzzling to me because it often is unrelated to the number of posts I publish on a particular day. The ups and downs or highs and lows seem almost random.

Do your stats look like this, with these ups and downs from one day to the next? Or is it just me?

Anyway, that’s it. See, not much of a peeve. Just an observation. Have a happy rest of the day, whatever’s left of it in your part of the world.

TMP — Another Letdown

Every Monday, Paula Light, with her The Monday Peeve prompt, gives us an opportunity to vent or rant about something that pisses us off. Are you ready for another rant about WordPress?

On Sunday I was really excited that the WordPress iOS app version 17.0 was available for uploading. I figured that by now, five and a half months after releasing version 16.0 last November, and with 11 interim releases up to 16.11, version 17.0, a major release, would surely have fixed the annoying bug that surfaced in version 16.0. I installed the new version, tried it, and the problem was not fixed. So I reached out to the “hapless” engineers. I wrote…

This morning I was very psyched to upload WP-iOS version 17.0, thinking that, after more than five months since the release of version 16.0, a new major release will have finally fixed the problem. But yet again, disappointment, frustration, and anger. I’ve had countless exchanges with various happiness engineers over the past five-plus months, explaining the bug, providing screenshots, and even a video clip illustrating the issue. Over the months I have been told that the developers had been able to replicate the issue and were working on a fix. Meanwhile. You keep on releasing enhancements to that stupid block editor that few people like, you add the head-scratching ability to mark a post as “seen,” a functionality whose value I can’t understand, and add a SnapChat or Instagram-like “stories” feature that most bloggers don’t want or need. But you have still failed to fix a critical bug in your iOS app. WTF, WordPress?

I got a response yesterday saying…

I’m sorry to know it’s not working for you even after updating to the latest version of the WordPress app. We’re not able to reproduce this with our own test sites/accounts. Can we have your permission to log in to your WordPress.com account on the app to perform testing for troubleshooting purposes?

What? After all this time, they’ve done nothing? We’re back to square one. I gave them permission to log in to my account and this morning I saw this…

Thank you for giving us the permission to access your account. I was able to reproduce this on your account and my test account. I have reported this to our developers for a fix.

So, how likely is it that you think this will be my last post complaing about this as yet unresolved bug in the WordPress iOS app?

TMP — iOS App Changes

Every Monday, Paula Light, with her The Monday Peeve prompt, gives us an opportunity to vent or rant about something that pisses us off. And today I’m really pissed off. As a matter of fact, I’m standing at the precipice of ending my WordPress blog.

As most of you know, I blog using my iPhone and the WordPress iOS app for the iPhone. The block editor on the the iPhone is next to impossible to use because there is just not enough real estate on a relatively small smartphone screen to make it feasible to use. But the good news is that the WordPress iOS app has the option to create and edit our posts using the classic editor.

However, when I went to the App Store app this morning to see what updates were available for all of my apps, I saw that there is an updated version of the iOS app, version 16.9, that is available. And then I read with horror that “The classic editor will soon be unavailable for creating new posts.” WHAT?I have been sticking with WordPress since last August when it “decommissioned” the classic editor and tried to force us to use the block editor. I love blogging and WordPress is the best blog hosting site available, so I wanted to continue to blog on WordPress. Besides, the “wp-admin” site still supported the classic editor for new posts and to edit draft posts. And the iOS app for my iPhone still offered its version of the classic editor option for creating and editing posts.

As of today, if I go to my laptop, I still have the classic editor option  via “wp-admin,” although a number of my fellow bloggers have said that it’s no longer available to them, so it’s probably a matter of time (maybe days if not hours) before I, too, lose it.

But if they’re also taking it away from the iOS app, that’s the last straw for me. I give up. Trying to create posts on the iPhone using the block editor, and even the so-called “classic block” within the block editor on the iPhone is just not worth it anymore.

So if this is the way it’s going to be, I am either leaving WordPress altogether, or I’m going to cut back on blogging considerably. I won’t stop reading and commenting on your posts, but I probably won’t be posting much on my own. I’m sorry, because all of you, the community of bloggers I’ve come to know, are important to me. I consider you to be my friends. But I’m just not going to put myself through this block editor nonsense that WordPress is foisting upon us.

If it does come down to discontinuing my blog, I’ll let you all know.

TMP — 5G or Bust

Every Monday, Paula Light, with her The Monday Peeve prompt, gives us an opportunity to vent or rant about something that pisses us off. Today I’m more irritated than peeved, but Paula wants us to share. I apologize that this is, for me, a lengthy post. Anyway, here we go.

I’m the last holdout in my family. I’m the only remaining iPhone user. All the rest — my wife, my daughter, and my son — have the Pixel smartphone from Google, which is an Android device. My son has always had a dislike for Apple products and has been a big fan of all things Google. So ever since Google introduced its mobile operating system, Android, he’s opted for Android devices. And when Google came out with its own smartphone, the Pixel, he was one of the first to order one.

Then, around three years ago, my persuasive son managed to convince my wife and daughter to ditch their iPhones and switch to the Google Pixel phone. But despite the pressure from the rest of my family to follow suit, I did my best Charlton Heston imitation and said, “I’ll give you my iPhone when you pry it from my cold, dead hands.”

At the time we were an all Verizon Wireless family. Except for my son, whose wireless carrier was T-Mobile. But when Google introduced its own cell service, known as Google Fi, my son was quick to jump on board. Google FiAnd then, in late 2019, he managed to convince my wife and daughter to upgrade to the latest Pixel model and to ditch Verizon and switch to the Google Fi for cell service. Once again, I was the lone holdout because I was concerned that Google Fi was optimized for Android devices and wouldn’t work so well on an iPhone. But my son assured me that it would work on an iPhone and then he pointed out that Google Fi would cost about half as much per month as Verizon. So I caved.

The good news is that Google Fi has, indeed, worked fine since I joined with the rest of my family. And because the four of us share the plan, my portion of the monthly wireless bill has been less than $30. So yeah.

Then, this past November, I traded in my iPhone 8 Plus for the iPhone 12 Pro Max. I upgraded primarily because the iPhone 12 is the first iPhone model to support blazing fast 5G connectivity. And that was enticing.

But when I got my new 5G-capable iPhone set up on Google Fi, I discovered that Google Fi does not support 5G on iPhones. My 4G LTE connection worked fine, but 5G? Fuhgeddaboudit. Google Fi does support 5G on compatible Pixel and other Android phones. But not on iPhones. I went to the online Google Fi help center to find out when Google Fi would start to support 5G and here’s what it said.

Right now Fi 5G is not supported on iPhone 12 series; we’ll keep customers updated on the latest via our help center.

So I recently contacted the Google Fi help center and was informed that the Google Fi engineers are working on it but have no date for when Google Fi will support 5G on the iPhone. Hmm, sort of like the WordPress happiness engineers are working on fixing the iOS bug I’ve been whining about for almost five months, but have no date for when a fix will be available.

I admit that with the lockdown, not having 5G on my iPhone hasn’t been a problem because I hardly leave my house and our WiFi is plenty speedy. But with people getting vaccinated and the likely reopening — hopefully — of society by this summer, I’m giving Google Fi until November of 2021, the one year anniversary of getting my iPhone 12, to come up a 5G fix for iPhones. If it’s not available by then, I’m going back to Verizon Wireless.