Monthly Archives: May 2013

DirecTV’s Customer Support – Oy!

imageLast weekend I upgraded my DirecTV DVRs to the company’s brand new Genie system. One of the cool features they highlight on their website: “Catch up on past episodes, as far back as 5 weeks.” This was particularly important to me since when you upgrade, you lose all the shows you had previously recorded on your DVRs which they take away with them after the Genie is installed. No problem, I thought. Most of that stuff was recorded in the last 5 weeks so Genie can just re-record it, right?

Maybe not. After pulling out what little hair I have left searching for a way to record “as far back as 5 weeks,” I sent a note to DirecTV’s support asking:

“The ad for Genie says that you can “Catch up on past episodes, as far back as 5 weeks.” Now that I have had the Genie for a few days, I cannot find a way to do this, can you point me to the directions?”

Here’s their response:

“Thank you for writing to ask on how to catch up on past episodes when using the Genie receiver.

We do not have any receivers that have the ability to start a show over if it was not recorded and it has already aired or begun. This is because the tuners in the DVR store a cache or buffer of each program (up to 90 minutes), so none of the programming is missed. However, if the receiver was just change to another channel then nothing has been stored, it cannot be recorded or restarted.

In addition, I would like to let you know a great feature you may be interested with your Genie receiver. “Genie Recommends” is a feature of the Genie HD DVR that offers recommendations for shows you might like. These recommendations are based on shows you already watch, so they are tailored just for you. The feature also makes episodes of its recommended shows available so that you can watch them instantly to see if you like them or not.”

So in short, let me paraphrase their response —

“We don’t really offer the feature that we advertised and you really wanted, but so what? We have a totally unrelated feature we think you’ll like and maybe it’ll take your mind off the one you wanted.”

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Posted by on May 28, 2013 in Uncategorized


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In observation of Memorial Day…

In observation of Memorial Day...

“Depth of Field”
Photo © 2002 Abe Kleinfeld

I captured this image in San Francisco’s Golden Gate National Cemetery in 2002. I recall walking among the tombstones noting that so many had died in Vietnam, and the majority were still teenagers when they were laid to rest here.

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Posted by on May 26, 2013 in Uncategorized


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Juanes Concert at Saratoga’s Mountain Winery

Juanes Concert at Saratoga's Mountain Winery

Photo by Abe Kleinfeld (taken with an iPhone)

We go to the Mountain Winery for concerts every summer. It’s hard to imagine a venue — anywhere in the world — more beautiful and intimate than this. Overlooking Silicon Valley on a full-moonlit night, this place just oozes positive energy. Add Juanes’ rapid paced Latin beat, a couple of thousand screaming and dancing Latinas and you’ve got a night to remember!

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Posted by on May 25, 2013 in Uncategorized


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When I grow up, I expect my house will have a pool like this…

Roman-Pool-8-09Photo © 2009 Abe Kleinfeld

… but first I have to grow up.

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Posted by on May 23, 2013 in Uncategorized


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Sunset in Mendocino, CA

Sunset in Mendocino, CA

Photo © 2010 Abe Kleinfeld

Few places on earth match the serenity that Mendocino’s northern California coastline offers. I’m feeling its gravitational pull — must return there soon.

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Posted by on May 22, 2013 in Uncategorized


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Because sometimes we just need a place to think…

Because sometimes we just need a place to think...

Photo © 2004 Abe Kleinfeld


Posted by on May 21, 2013 in Uncategorized


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Bleep yeah, Yahoo!

Everyone has by now heard that Yahoo has agreed to acquire Tumblr for $1.1B. Smart move by Yahoo? Getting Tumblr’s 134 million eyeballs is a good thing. Paying that much for a company that did just $13M in sales in Q1 and burned through $25M in cash last year, is… a big bet.

But Tumblr CEO David Karp’s note to his users this morning? Priceless (particularly the end):


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Posted by on May 20, 2013 in Uncategorized


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“Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings.” ― Salvador Dalí


As a CEO I’ve often remarked that the best hires are those that are really smart, and really motivated. Any other combination is just plain bad.

Smart and unmotivated? Lots of talk, no action. These people waste everyone’s time. Not smart and unmotivated? Obviously not good. But the worst kind of hire? The not smart but highly motivated. These are the people that do dumb things in big ways. They FAIL with all CAPS. They make mistakes with gusto and then repeat them.

Dalí had it right.

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Posted by on May 20, 2013 in Uncategorized




Every morning I wake up, sit on the couch to watch the news and eat my breakfast. And then this happens…

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Posted by on May 19, 2013 in Uncategorized


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My latest conclusion…

“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere”  — Albert Einstein

“Good girls go to heaven, bad girls go everywhere” — Mae West

Therefore, bad girls have imagination

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Posted by on May 19, 2013 in Uncategorized


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