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From Google with Love? [Or just another rant from the Mega Bus]

Google and MTA are making my week sad. When will the inconveniencing news stop? First I get word (embarrassingly delayed for someone as connected and wired as I am) that MTA is hiking up the cost of my beloved unlimited card to $104/month (up 17% from its current $89/month price tag). They threaten that those who plan on hoarding inactive 30-days passes with plans to activate them after the December 30 fare hike will be out of luck, because those cards won’t work. Although, given my feelings toward MTA’s ability to place anything into action, I bet the technology will fall short enough and wish the hoarders success. At the end of the day, I can afford the increase, but I am certainly not happy about it. The single-ride fare is jumping from $2.25 to $2.50, and the unlimited weekly pass from $27 to $29. My thoughts are that if they plan to make these kinds of increases, on top of the budget cuts, how do they plan to keep riders? They already have completely unreliable buses, outages on weekends, and yet they will be implement WiFi into the stations. It’s a luxury I might enjoy, but is it worth it?

As for Google, they announced that on November 12, they plan on discontinuing their Google 411, an automated telephone directory assistance system. I used this service many a time to avoid AT&T’s overpriced 411 directory assistance service, and I have to say, Google was on to something. Its service will surely be missed, but it seems that they have repurposed its featured throughout other applications, enough so that information is still readily accessible. An added thank you to Google for its amazing web browser, Chrome. I downloaded it last night, and have been happy with it so far.

Don’t Go CHASING to Try and Please Me

I hate Chase Bank. This is not new news. I love its bankers back in Michigan, specifically the branch on Woodward near Huntington Woods, but its many locations in New York have proved to be seedy and tacky.

I went to Chase today, because I had many a check that required depositing. The entire experience felt like I was at a car dealership (a used car dealership, at that). They had a representative waiting in the vestibule. If the representative was merely there to greet customers, then fine, I would have had no qualm.

That being said, he was one of the seedy representatives trying to sign me up for a credit card and online bill pay. They assign their slimiest bankers to this position, or so I’ve observed. I understand that they want people to sign up for their services, but I bet that I could implement a much better, more efficient, and as a result, more effective protocol for doing this. I delighted, then, in telling the skeezy banker that Chase foolishly used the wrong social security number when applying on my behalf for the College Credit Card that they offer. The SSN that they used was not qualified because of too much credit. I then reapplied, and was sent an application for a platinum card. I had barely any credit, how in the world could I have qualified for said card? FOOLS.

Will I return? Yes, because they have my money. Will I be nice? Only time will tell.

Mo money, mo problemz.

What the fork?

According to an article I came across on my Google Reader from NJ.com, AMC is trying to start a new trend in the movie-going experience by offering dinner-style concessions as opposed to (or possibly in addition — the article was not clear) to the traditional theater noshes of popcorn, candy, and soda pop. The actual auditoriums where movies are screened will be complete with tables and recliner-style chairs. I do not agree with, nor will I partake in the fork and film venture.

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Spirit Airlines takes the spirit of travel away from its customers

Contrary to my criticism of Spirit Airlines (which has been at an all-time high for the year of 2010 due to personal, anecdotal experiences), I’m a fairly simple, standard traveler. In fact, I am a member of the Spirit Airlines $9 Fare Club, where I pay $39.95/year to enjoy barely discounted rates, especially after taxes, luggage, seat, and now potentially “interaction,” charges.

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Operation Underground: Slow and steady wins the race

After four months commuting between Astoria and Midtown, I have adjusted well to the idea of not having WiFi while underground. Certain metro stations throughout the country have deals with different carriers to provide some sort of connectivity, but New York fell behind in the times. Until now.

Mashable released a story on July 30 announced (via Bloomberg) that Transit Wireless LLC will be slowly but surely outfitting the NYC’s underground with WiFi connectivity. They make note that it will not likely reach whole tunnels, but parts of them, as well as the platforms.

While they take their sweet time to reach Astoria, I’ll likely stick to playing Scrabble on my iPhone.