The random rantings of a concerned programmer.

Fuck you again, Comcast

March 20th, 2009 | Category: Random

I just got my Comcast bill today. After being pissed off that I’m paying $100/month for cable TV (internet is only $33, but IIRC that’s because I got a package deal or some shit like that), I glanced through some of the other shit they threw in there. One of them was another change to the residential service contract which included the following clause –

You agree that by using the Services, you are enabling and authorizing Comcast, its authorized agents and equipment manufacturers to send code updates to the Comcast Equipment and Customer Equipment, including, but not limited to cable modems and digital interactive televisions [...] Whether a cable modem, gateway/router, MTA or other device is owned by you or us, we have the right, but not the obligation, to upgrade or change the firmware in these devices remotely or on the Premises at any time that we determine it necessary or desirable

Seriously, what the fucking hell.

Look, I’m pissed off enough that I have to blow $80 for a worthless piece of shit consumer-grade cable modem. You could break into my house and take a hammer to the piece of shit, I don’t fucking care. (I’m going to buy a better one anyway, fuck you).

But stay the fuck away from the rest of my goddamn network. I don’t need your goddamn filthy hands all over my fucking equipment.

Moreover, the mere fact that you can do this remotely raises some serious fucking questions. What kind of security measures are there? Are you working with the fucking hardware manufacturers to put backdoors for updates? Are the updates cryptographically signed and verified, or are you just using security through obscurity and hoping that no one RE’s the port knocking pattern?

Despite my warranted aggression, I’m still sucking your dick Comcast, because you have a fucking monopoly in Charlottesville and there are no other providers to choose from (unless I grab a beefy 802.11 repeater and piggyback off the University’s network — it’d cost less in the long run).




February 04th, 2009 | Category: Random

Ugh. So last Thursday one of my housemates found a Comcast bill stuffed into a corner of the room. Laughingly, they handed it to me (since my name is on the account). It was a bill stating that we were three months overdue on payment and that I owed $300. Fair enough, I don’t need a good credit score for shit so I sent off the check which cleared Monday morning.

Tuesday evening, I got an automated phonecall from Comcast stating that there was some serious business to attend to and to call them at some number which I wasn’t able to write down. So I just ignored it.

Got another call this morning, this time it was a human on the phone. He told me I was behind in my payments and that I needed to make a payment for $145 (which made sense to me — 1 month + $45 pay-per-view), so I gave him my credit card information. Seemed legit enough I guess.

Then I got kind of paranoid and called Comcast in the afternoon. After dicking around with their shitty automated customer service system I finally got ahold of someone by telling the menu that I wanted to order some more pay-per-view. Gave the guy my account information and he pulled up my file — last payment was the $300 and I didn’t owe anything. Furthermore, there was no record of a representative calling my phone (or for the pay-per-view I ordered, strangely enough).

At this point I started shitting bricks because holy shit gave out credit card shit to some guy on the phone who might not have been Comcast and nothing’s gone through yet and what the balls. So I called my bank and canceled my credit card.