Getting Rid Of Yahoo Once And For All

I have had it with Yahoo.  A few years ago I wrote about how Yahoo had gotten smaller and smaller in terms of what I used them for.  That’s continued, and now I’m in the process of cutting the cord altogether.  I am getting rid of Yahoo!

When Yahoo Ruled My World

I remember Yahoo as the first bridge to the Internet that I had, and I used it for just about everything.  I used it for searches, e-mail, photo storage, investment tracking, sports information, and even online dating back in my single days.  It had everything!

Those were the glory days.

Who else remembers?

Yahoo Took Less And Less Fingers

Eventually I stopped using Yahoo.  They sold off or closed down various services.  Their photo service merged.  They closed up shop on their dating service (yes, I was still single).  Their searches were not as accurate, so I moved to the Big G.  The number of things I was using Yahoo for was shrinking.  I needed less fingers to count the services I was using them for.  And then it was down to two:

  • Yahoo Mail – For a long time Yahoo was my primary mail address.  Then, when I got Gmail, I started switching everything over as I liked the interface better and it seemed more secure.  The security aspect proved true when I got hacked twice even after changing passwords and security information.
  • Yahoo Sports – For a long time, the sports coverage by Yahoo was second to none, at least in my opinion.  It was better than ESPN or any other sports site.  I used the site regularly and even installed the app on my various smartphones.

Why I’m Getting Rid Of Yahoo

I heard a story last year where Yahoo admitted that a billion accounts had been breached.  A billion!  I could tell just by empirical evidence that they’d been breached a number of times, and that the breaches were big.  I was breached.  My wife had been breached.  And about once per month I still get e-mails from former Yahoo contacts that are obviously false.  They’d been breached.

Yahoo has let just about everyone get breached.  And, I finally had enough.

Yahoo Mail – The Few Last Items

It didn’t hurt that my Mail account was being used less and less.  There’s only about two or three things that I actually use it for.  One of those is kind of the catch-all e-mail for when you sign up for a coupon or some other deal.  I’m not losing anything there.  The couple of other actual newsletters or services I can switch over, and am in process of doing so.

I have some old archived e-mail that I would potentially like to save, but I’m pretty sure you can export this somehow.   I’m looking forward to completely deactivating my Yahoo mail account.

Image via MorgueFile courtesy muvaca

Yahoo Sports – A Shell Of Itself

The only other thing I was using them for was Sports.  As I said, their sports page used to be awesome. However,  they’ve gone through a few rounds of changes over the years.  Each time they seem to have less coverage of their own and more outsourced stuff.  Last year I was looking around and realizing that about 5-10% of what I was reading was from Yahoo. About half was links to outside sites.  The rest was click bait, articles not even associated with sports.  I was sticking with a site where 90% of the content sucked.  That did it!  I now use ESPN to catch my sports news. Their mobile page is pretty useful.  I just need an app that I can use to follow scores of my favorite teams.  I imagine those are a dime a dozen.

Goodbye, Yahoo

Everybody knows that Yahoo sucks now, right? Even Yahoo does, as they’re selling themselves to Verizon.  That is, if Verizon even wants to complete the deal.  After the huge data breach was revealed in terms of actual size, I think they started to have some doubts.

I held on to Yahoo for far too long. I think I stuck with them largely out of nostalgia. For a while, Yahoo was involved in probably 75% of everything I did on the Internet. Soon, they will be involved of absolutely nothing.  Of mine, anyway.

Readers, have you cut the cord on Yahoo or one of the other Internet dinosaurs that just couldn’t keep up?

 

Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.

If You’re Told To Evacuate, Then Evacuate

Hurricane Matthew hit the United States over a week ago now, but the cleanup and damage assessment still goes on.  One of the things that I saw in the days after Matthew was finding people that had died or that needed to be rescued.  While I felt bad for the people, I had a nagging feeling that many of the people that died could have lived. Many of the people that needed rescued could have avoided their harrowing situation had they done what many of their neighbors had done, which was to get out of dodge.  During disasters, why do some people fail to evacuate?

Technology Doesn’t Help

Matthew didn’t come out of nowhere.  It didn’t go wildly off course (and the times it did actually helped things from being worse as it stayed further offshore than anticipated during the strongest points).  So, if it wasn’t a big surprise, how come so many people still ended up in harms way?

Simple, because most of them didn’t listen.

Evacuation was suggested.  In some cases it was more than a suggestion.  It was basically a ‘get out now’ mandate.  The thing is that people can’t be forced to evacuate, so while many smart people got out, many decided to stay and tough it out.

I’m sure that some of these people made it through just fine, but others didn’t come through.  Instead, some people died.  Some people had to be rescued.  Some people lost pets.

Many Costs If You Don’t Evacuate

Lives and money could have been saved.  Every person that loses their life to a storm like this is a tragedy, but I can’t help but feel that some deaths could be avoided if more people left.

Similarly, every person that’s rescued is a great story, but rescues cost money and they put the people doing the mb-2016-10-stormrescuers in harms way as well.

I’m lucky in that I live in Michigan and we don’t get hurricanes.  The worst we typically get from  a hurricane is once it’s done and finishes its path and we’ll get a bunch of rain for a couple of days.  I get it.  We have it good.  But, I can’t understand why people don’t leave when they ought to and they’ve been told to.  This isn’t 1916 when I imagine hurricane warnings often consisted of someone looking out to shore and saying “Uh-oh, hurricane”).  In those times, devastation and loss of life was a lot more unavoidable.

But we can avoid it now.

And we should.

So the question is, when will we start avoiding it for good?  When will we have a storm that comes and wreaks havoc on buildings and roads and beaches, but doesn’t claim a human life?

It can happen.  But it doesn’t.

Maybe some day.

Readers, why do you think that people choose not to leave when forecasting and communication make it easier than ever?  Have you ever stuck around in a storm?  How did you feel about it later?

Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.

How Many Ways Can One Repair Shop Break an iPad?

Every once in a while, my sister-in-law stays over at our house.  We live fairly close to her work, and if she has something else going around our part of town, she’ll sometimes crash in the guest bedroom.  A few weeks ago, she was staying over and came out of her room, upset.  She had dropped something on her screen and now had a cracked iPad.

It was still usable but definitely not something you want to live with long term.

Repairing A Cracked iPad

She looked around but was finding most screen replacements to cost in the neighborhood of $125-150.  Money has been a bit tight so she was holding out for a better deal.

I came across a Groupon where it advertised that they would do replacements for “as little as $85.”  Trying to be helpful, I sent her the link.

I looked up the place and it was basically a side business off of a cell phone sales shop, where I’m guessing they sold phones from different carriers and plans.

She called and asked some questions and they directed her away from the Groupon and said that they actually had a deal where they replaced the screen on the iPad mini for $75.  So, she dropped it off.

mb-2016-05-crackShe said that to this point, everything seemed pretty straightforward, and that they said they would have the repairs done the next day.

Starting To Get The Runaround

The next day they called and said that they were running a day behind.  Hmmm….red flag?

So, the following day she drove down there to pick it up and was told that it still wasn’t ready.  She was a bit upset by this point because the shop is out of the way and added about an hour drive to her day.  Time that she would now have to repeat.  They promised that it would be a day or two longer (I think Sunday was somehow part of it and they may have been closed).

On Monday, she called and received even more bad news.  They admitted that while replacing the screen, they had somehow broken the power button.  So she now had a new screen but they needed to fix the button.

At this point they refunded the money and promised that it would be another day or two to replace and repair the button.

From Bad To Worse

Another day or two passed, and shockingly, things didn’t improve.

At this point, my sister-in-law turned the handling of the situation over to her boyfriend, who she figured would be a little bit more forceful to the situation.  (He’s a big guy and I definitely wouldn’t want to mess with him). At that time, she also mentioned potentially taking them to small claims court, at which point the relationship started to break down and the guy got mad and said that they would not award her anything if she didn’t give them time to fix it.

So, they waited a few more days.  By this point, I think the reality was setting in that they had really screwed up this device.  They still had the opportunity to make it right.

They didn’t take it.

10 Days In With No Signs Of Improvement

On about day 10 to this whole thing, the person from the store said that he couldn’t fix it but that he was going to make it right and that he had personally made an appointment to take it into the Apple store the next day and would have it repaired.

My sister-in-law’s boyfriend found out that you can call the Apple Store and verify, by the device serial number, if in fact there is an appointment scheduled.

I’m sure you can guess that there was no appointment scheduled.

He texted them asking them why this was, and tried also calling.  At this point, they stopped responding altogether.

My sister-in-law is good friends with a lawyer (they went to college together), and she called and asked for some legal advice.  He advised moving forward with small claims court, and also offered to write a letter on her behalf.  I don’t think the letter really said much, but the lawyer speak was largely designed to get them to respond.  Basically, at this point they just wanted to scare him.

It worked.

A Less Than Ideal Resolution But Still A Resolution

The guy called my sister-in-laws boyfriend and said that he was done, that he was not working on this anymore and that they could pick up the f-ing iPad. Exact quote!

My sister-in-law took to the web.  She went on Yelp and a couple of other sites and immediately posted one-star reviews and detailed the situation,of course advising people against ever working with this business.

The guy called and cussed some more at her and tried the ‘scare tactic’ threatening to sue her for slander.  She laughed and told him that it’s not slander if every word is true, which it was.

The day after that some reality called in.  He called again and offered to pay her near-replacement cost for a new iPad.  She just had to go down and pick up the money.  The following day she went (with others as backup) and picked up the money.

The funny part about it is that the owner’s father was in the store when she went to pick up the money, and he got mad and started cussing….at his son.  He knew that his son had messed up the situation so badly that he couldn’t even come to his defense in the slightest.

Unbelievable.

When A Repair Shop Makes It Worse

It turns out that they completely messed it up.  She has her iPad with a new screen but everything else doesn’t work.  Her boyfriend knows someone who looked at it and said that on top of everything else, the system board was damaged and that it is useless.  She’s wondering if they did it on purpose.

Looking back, several things pop to my head:

  • My sister-in-law really put up with a lot.
  • She admitted that she probably should have just paid more up front to a qualified facility.
  • If a deal is too good to be true, it probably is.
  • The Groupon purchase may have been more effective in reaching a conclusion once things had started to go wrong.  They will typically get involved and stand behind sales that had gone through their site.
  • It was really cool that my sister-in-law didn’t get mad at me at all for passing along the referral.  I’m sure she wishes (as do I) that I had simply scrolled past that Groupon.  In the end, it was just something that didn’t work out.

Readers, have you ever had a repair gone bad?  Tell me your experiences in the comments below.

Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.

I Almost Lost My Fitbit…Twice!

I’ve been really happy with my Fitbit now that I’ve had it for a little over six months.  For the most part, it’s worked flawlessly.  I’ve had some sync issues, but have been able to work through that.  I also had an issue where it stopped ‘buzzing’ when I hit my step goal for the day.  For this, I found that modifying the goal to a different number fixed that.  Other than that, it’s been great.  Except when I almost lost my Fitbit.  Twice!

Putting Away The Camper

We recently got back from a quick weekend trip and after getting the camper cleaned out.  I headed back to the storage yard on Sunday evening.  One thing that I had to do was empty out the dirty tanks.  We do this at the storage yard because there’s no line.  When we leave a campground on a Sunday, the line tends to be long.  So this is a huge time saver.

I pulled up and put on a pair of disposable gloves, and took note that I wanted to make sure they covered my Fitbit.  This ended up being very critical.

I did what needed to be done with the tanks, drove it over to the spot and got it all settled in, and then went home to get cleaned up for dinner.  As I was getting ready to jump in the shower, I looked at my wrist, and there was no Fitbit.

Ugh.  I did a quick look around the house to make sure that I hadn’t taken it off, but it wasn’t anywhere obvious. mb-2015-02-oops Lucky I had the memory of covering it up with the gloves, so I knew that I had to have lost it during the brief window from when I put on the gloves until getting home and in the shower.  I still had the gloves in a plastic bag ready to be thrown out. Since the Fitbit wasn’t there, I was able to narrow it down further.

I had dinner, and then drove over to the storage place.  Lo and behold, sitting right next to the camper was my Fitbit.  It was a twenty minute round trip, but I was still, as I told my wife, a little “Fitbit to be tied”.  Get it?

Yardwork

Not more than a couple of weeks later, my wrist came up empty again.  This time, my memory stretched a lot further back.  Unfortunately, I’d been out in the yard doing a bunch of stuff.  Cutting grass, potting plants.  I was all over the place!

Yikes.

This time I was ready.  Having almost lost my Fitbit once, I did some online reading.

One piece of advice was to use a device that you have it synced with as a mechanism to find it. Brilliant!  Since I sync it to my smart phone, I pulled that out, fired up the Fitbit app, and told it to sync.  I was in the kitchen and sure enough, within a few seconds, it told me that it was connected and had completed a sync.  Cool!

I walked around the house and noted that it stayed synced.  I went outside into the garage and in the yard and started walking around.  It would not sync in either place.  So, this told me that the device was inside the house, and that thankfully I did not have to comb through the entire yard looking for it, and it also took away the fear that I would have to dig through the re-potted tomato plants looking for the buried Fitbit.  That would have not been fun.

Going back into the house, I started retracking my steps.  It occurred to me that before I went outside, I’d changed into my work shorts.  I went over to where the pair of shorts were that I’d worn earlier, and sure enough, there was the Fitbit in the pocket of the shorts.

The biggest bummer in all of this was that I didn’t get credit for any of the steps I’d taken while cutting the grass and working outdoors!

Lessons From Nearly Losing My Fitbit

After having this happen more than once, there are a couple of things that I regularly do.

  • Keep it in sight –  My Fitbit has a wrist band.  This is great because I can almost always see it. Some people, even with devices that are wearable, prefer to keep it in their pockets or hooked around their belt loop.  This gets it out of the way, but if you lose it, you’ll have a harder time remembering when you last had it.
  • Take notice of it – Both times that I lost my Fitbit, I was able to remember a recent time that I last saw it.  Anytime you lose it, you’ll end up having to retrace your steps, but the less time you have from when you last saw it can mean a lot less steps to retrace
  • Sync it – If you have a mobile device, install the app and keep it synced.  As worked with me, this will help you at least know if it’s in the area where you think it might be.
  • Consider a label – I haven’t figured out a way to do this, but I’m trying to think of a way to label either the device or the band. The device is tiny and the little crevice that it slides into often gets damp, so trying to put paper in there would be a mess.  I’ve considered trying to scratch in some info into the inside of the stretchy band, but I’m afraid of slicing through it or creating a weak point that would cause the band to fail.

Readers, have you ever lost or known someone to lose a Fitbit or other wearable technology?  What tips can you think of to keep your stuff from going missing?

Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.