Morons Unite For FCC Net Neutrality

  • Comments: 0
  • Written on: February 26th, 2015

Net neutrality is an elegant concept.  The system we have now allows a small number of corporations who own data transmission networks to allow, disallow, or charge premiums to deliver content.  That means if you are Netflix, Comcast wants to charge you several million dollars to stream video over their network.  If Netflix doesn’t pay, […]

Think You Won a Gift Card From Best Buy? SMS Text Message Scam Hits

  • Comments: 0
  • Written on: May 7th, 2012

Have you received a text message telling you that you are the lucky winner of a Best Buy, Wal-mart, or Starbucks gift card? If so, you are not alone! One of the newest types of identity theft scam lures unsuspecting victims by sending mass text messages to randomly generated phone numbers.  The batches SMS messages […]

Schrock Innovations Wins 1st Place in the Best of Omaha Competition

  • Comments: 0
  • Written on: January 4th, 2012

Schrock Innovations Best Omaha Computer RepairI am proud to announce that thanks to the votes of our satisfied customers, Schrock Innovations won first place in the Best of Omaha Competition for computer repair.

The Best of Omaha is a competition sponsored by Omaha Magazine, KMTV Channel 3, and Valpack where consumers log into the Best of Omaha website and vote for their favorite local companies in every imaginable category.

Voters’ accounts are confirmed by both IP address and email address to prevent automated voting or ballot stuffing.

Open for a Year and Already Best of Omaha

Schrock has won Best of Lincoln every year since 2001 in Lincoln, so we are familiar with the “Best of” awards and the weight they carry with consumers.

The voting for this year’s Best of Omaha happened in the fall of 2011 – right about the same time as the one-year anniversary of our new Omaha Service Center at Village Pointe South.

When I do the weekly radio shows and explain to my listeners that Schrock is different because we do care about our customers. We are thrilled when they are thrilled and if a customer is not happy with our work we do everything we can to make them thrilled.

Winning this Best of Omaha Award is a validation of our efforts, and we will continue to work hard to earn your votes again in 2012!

Nebraska LB626 is a “Job Creation” Bill That Will Do Anything but Create Jobs

  • Comments: 1
  • Written on: March 9th, 2011

There is going to be a hearing at the Nebraska Capital Building today at 1:30 regarding LB626 the “Electronics Recycling and Job Creation Act.”

This bill will not create any net jobs, will collect up to $1.5M in taxes from local companies, and will burden individual citizens and businesses alike with new rules and regulations.

What Does LB626 Do?

A few years back a similar bill was introduced in the unicameral that I testified against. This bill is very similar to that one and I believe it represents a hidden tax on consumers in Nebraska.

Here is a link where you can read LB626.

LB 626 does a lot in a mere 20 pages. The bill proposes:

  1. If you make your own house brand computers you WILL pay a tax to the state between $1250 and $10,000+ annually
  2. If you do not pay this fee, you are prohibited from selling computers in Nebraska
  3. You are REQUIRED to provide FREE recycling to your customers and you are REQUIRED to pay the cost of recycling collected equipment
  4. If you resell Dell, HP, Gateway or any other national brand that is not participating in the state’s program, you pay the taxes described above
  5. This bill imposes a landfill ban for all consumers and schools and requires recycles to accept goods form consumers and schools at no cost
  6. This bill collects between $1M and 1.5M a year from local manufacturers, and the amounts collected per company operate on a sliding scale. The bill states NE WILL collect $1M – $1.5M annually, regardless of the number of manufacturers. If NE loses manufacturers individual manufacturers pay more.
  7. Although this bill collects ALL of its revenue from Computer manufacturers and recyclers, it promises grants of up to $1M to small towns and villages to demolish old buildings. If the bill collects $1M to $1.5M a year, how can they operate the bureaucracy, grant the million, and “create recycling jobs”?

In my opinion, this bill represents a hidden tax on the Nebraska consumers who patronize our local businesses.

The costs of this bill will be eventually paid by the consumers in Nebraska at a time when Social Security cost of living increases are non-existent, wages in Nebraska are not rising fast enough to keep up with food and energy price inflation, and our state, cities, and counties are running budget deficits.

This is a bill that will reduce consumer choice in Nebraska as businesses choose not to sell PCs in the state, increase the costs of electronic goods, create time and energy burdens on individual citizens, and will kill more jobs than it creates.

The State does not create jobs. Only businesses can do that.

This is a bill that costs EVERYONE involved form the consumer to the manufacturer more money and duplicates many services that the private sector is already providing to consumers at little or no cost.

I know this is VERY short notice, but I will be present to testify against this bill this afternoon in the legislature. Three years ago I was able to kill a similar recycling bill with my testimony, but this is a different scenario. New players and new rules. If there is any possible way you can make it down to the capital today at 1:30 in Room 1525 please make an effort to do so.

Schrock Innovations Welcomes Tim Meyer to the Web Development Team

  • Comments: 15
  • Written on: December 8th, 2010

Schrock Innovations announced today that Tim Meyer has been hired to assist in the development of the company’s growing web services division.

Tim had been working with Schrock for the past several months as a contractor, but earned a permanent position with the organization after demonstrating mastery of a wide range of skills.

“It is really rare to find a single person who can do it all,” Thor Schrock, CEO of Schrock Innovations said. “Tim can code with the best of them, crack a quick graphic when he needs to and still have time to return calls, assist clients, and keep everything rolling.”

Schrock Innovations is pursuing an intense web development schedule in 2011 that includes items such as:

  • Development of video tutorial products
  • Beta testing a new work flow management system
  • Aggressively pursuing local hosting clients who are being undeserved
  • Increasing the frequency and quality of communications with existing clients
  • Refining Schrock’s existing web design packages to improve service levels

Welcome aboard Tim! You have a lot of work to do 🙂

Testing Verizon’s Claims that AT&T 3G Coverage Blows

  • Comments: 23
  • Written on: November 16th, 2009

3g-verizon-att-mapIn early October Verizon started running a commercial series comparing their 3G wireless coverage to AT&T’s 3G coverage. The commercials got AT&T’s attention, and they requested Verizon modify the campaign.

AT&T says that the 3G coverage maps featured in the campaign, as well as the depicted frustration of iPhone users lead viewers to believe that AT&T users can’t use their wireless devices at all across the majority of the country.

Here’s the primary commercial they are frustrated with:

I am an iPhone user myself and I can testify to my level of frustration when I can’t drive down Interstate 80 between Lincoln and Omaha NE without my call dropping. That’s not even 3G – That’s a straight cell call. AT&T finally got coverage across Lincoln, NE – a population of over 230,000 people – this summer.

Here Comes the Judge

AT&T is now suing Verizon over the commercial series. Their complaint states:

Verizon’s advertisements also depict AT&T customers as frustrated or sad and unable to meet their friends as the map showing swaths of white or blank space hovers over the fictional AT&T customer’s head, reinforcing the misleading message conveyed by the maps; that AT&T has no coverage and thus AT&T customers cannot use their wireless devices in large portions of the United States.

AT&T goes on to claim:

[AT&T is] losing incalculable market share, invaluable goodwill that it has spent billions of dollars to develop among consumers, and the significant investment it has made in its wireless network.

I think this comes down to a pretty basic question. Is Verizon challenging the 3G coverage AT&T offers or AT&T’s overall coverage of any kind.

Hello AT&T check out the GIANT “3G COVERAGE” label under the maps. I think it is pretty clear that they are claiming that Verizon has a superior 3G coverage network. How AT&T things the commercials make people fell is irrelevant.

The Kinda-Scientific Test

I decided I would solve this case for whatever unfortunate judge has to hear it before it even goes to court.

I hopped in my car and departed from Omaha, NE where Verizon’s map shows AT&T has 3G coverage and drove toward Des Moines, IA.

According to Verizon, I should lose my 3G coverage when I leave Omaha and should not regain it until I am in DesMoins. Click here for my route.

I updated my findings via Twitter as my wife and I drove the route. Here is the coverage I experienced in reality:

  • Testing Verizon’s AT&T map. 3g signal lost at IA mile marker 11 on I80 in Iowa. So far Verizon’s map is accurate.
  • No AT&T signal whatsoever from IA I80 mile marker 14 through 17 12:14 PM Nov 14th
  • No AT&T 3g from I80 mile marker 11 through mile marker 83. 1:06 PM Nov 14th
  • No AT&T signal at all from I80 IA mile marker 83 through 87 1:07 PM Nov 14th
  • No AT&T 3g from I80 IA mile marker 87 through 101. No signal at all from 101 to 103 1:19 PM Nov 14th

The Verdict

The bottom line is that in the test I conducted, Verizon’s map is accurate and their advertisement is very true.

If anything, they were generous to AT&T because there were many times when I had to type and hold a Twitter update because I could not get ANY cellular or data coverage at all on the AT&T network.

All of my technicians in the shop are flashing their Droid phones and while I love my iPhone, the plan is super expensive and lets be honest – the 3G coverage just isn’t the best around.

Local Insight Yellow Pages Forces Advertising Contract Extensions

  • Comments: 2
  • Written on: July 20th, 2009

Local Insight Yellow Pages is informing its advertisers that their contracts are being forcibly extended – at their existing monthly rates – for three additional months. 140 of the company’s 900 directories are being delayed.

While the company says the move is to allow time to install new printing equipment, it is also obvious that the delay will prevent advertisers who wished to cut back their ads from doing so. In Lincoln, the billing of yellow page directory advertising is linked to your telephone service. If you refuse to pay the bill, Windstream will cut off your phones.

In effect, the delay will allow Local Insight to delay what would most certainly be cuts in small businesses yellow pages advertising budgets.

A few weeks ago I received a letter form Local Insight Yellow Pages informing me that they were delaying the release of their 2010 book by three months. Instead of its normal release in November 2009, the 2010 book was being pushed back to February of 2010.

Schrock Innovations is Hiring

  • Comments: 1
  • Written on: December 17th, 2008

Schrock Innovations is hiring in Lincoln, NE. We are looking for a very special person to head up the administrative side of our operation.

Comment Problems Persist – We are Working on it

  • Comments: 1
  • Written on: April 29th, 2008

We have a ton of maintenance to do on the blog today and we are working on the comment problem as we speak. Normally I would have drawn for the Parallels card this afternoon, but with no one able to comment, that wouldn’t be too smart 😉

Today on Compute This

  • Comments: 0
  • Written on: April 26th, 2008

Windows XP Service Pack 3 is coming out on the 29th and NASA is working on computers that can fix themselves! We have a lot to talk about and of course, your calls and emails!

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