Redmond, Washington…We have a huge problem…

Recently, Microsoft pushed Windows 10 to all who have not installed it yet.  While the one computer I had installed Windows 10 in was working correctly, recent glitches have forced me to revert my traveling laptop with touchscreen to Windows 8.1.

I have spent many months trying and failing to get Windows 10 to work properly for the professional laptop, but having (until tonight) success with the touch screen laptop running it.

Now that I have seen it fail miserably, I fail to see why Microsoft would push such a crappy product into consumers’ PC’s.

To me, Microsoft has lost its’ vision, and should go back to the drawing board for the most comprehensive transformation of an operating system from one that is begrudgingly purchased with several expletives said about the purchase to one that consumers would really enjoy.

Windows 95 was a great OS, so too was Windows 98, 2000 was OK, from what I have heard.  Meanwhile, Windows ME was a disaster, XP did fairly better, Windows 7 is phenomenal, Windows 8 was the belly flop, Windows 8.1 did OK…and 10 did good until several glitches took hold of the registry and decided to crap totally out.

After a rebuild of the Operating system, I will not update to Windows 10.

Frankly, if I could turn both machines to Macs, I would.

I’m sure I’m not the only one to want to do that…


Animal Cruelty: The Innocent Ones EDITORIAL

I’m including the coverage of the Animal Cruelty investigation by Moulton, Alabama Police Department from WHNT News 19.  It’s available here.

I have two dogs I love and care for, both are mother and daughter.  Both are spoiled, and well taken care of as best as we can with what we can afford as a family.

We are satisfied with two dogs in our house, and that is well.

The Coverage from WHNT News 19 showed me what cruelty is.  It’s not just beating an animal, or not feeding them, it’s hoarding them, keeping them in very unkempt conditions and not providing the basic necessities like medical attention, clean water, good and nutritious food.

Moulton Police Department asked the ASPCA to help in the investigation, and many of the dogs need medical attention.  They are getting it and it is very fortunate for the ASPCA to help law enforcement in this regard.

I have an idea for the action that should be taken.

For the now former director of the Animal Shelter in Lawrence County, Alabama, the maximum of the law should be levied on her for cruelty to animals, fraud against the County, and whatever other charges turn up in the investigation.  Her “home” which doubled as her shelter should be seized, inspected, and razed to build a new shelter for the animals, and this time the Lawrence County Commission needs to do it right, and not go about it cheaply.  It was their greed that caused this, and any commissioner who brought this on should at the very least resign.

As for the dogs who are in the middle of this process and the innocent ones without a voice, they should receive loving homes with people who will take very good care of them.  And those who can’t adopt should help spread the message to make a contribution to the ASPCA to help them perform the essential life saving work they do each and every day.

I want to commend Al Whitaker, reporter for WHNT, and former Shoals Bureau Chief for that other station…WAAY, for the most excellent work he’s been doing on this story.

Taking Action, Getting Results in the process.

If you want to help the ASPCA, Here’s a link to them.


Yes, I treated this headline for this editorial with the yelling I wanted to do from behind the camera as I was capturing some everyday rail traffic in LaGrange, GA.

I saw something disturbing, NO ONE for a full 2 minutes before the train got to the crossing took regard for the gates.  They drove around the gates, taking a huge gamble with their lives and cars, trucks, and vans.  I have it on videotape, and I will post it.

I don’t know who you are or why you chose this day, March 27th, 2015, to cross the tracks with the gates down and the train coming down the tracks, but I want you to think for a second about what you’re doing.  I want you to think about who you will leave behind if you lose the gamble next time.  If the train were to crash into your car it would be your fault since you disregarded the safety barriers, gates, flashing lights, and other necessary precautions to get to your next destination.

Still, the railroad gets the bad reputation because they are in the way.  Think about it, how much of your grocery items came by way of Truck, Train, and other methods of transit?  Pretty much every bit of it.  They have not perfected the Transporter yet from Star Trek, so it’s going to be a long, long time before anything gets sent by way of intergalactic technology.

Railroads OWN the right of way, and they put crossing gates and lights for YOUR safety, so YOU can stop and know a train that OWNS its’ right of way is coming through.  Too many stories I’ve seen recently about people taking a gamble with trains and losing have brought me to the point of making this statement.

So, find the Youtube video below, and see your car making the crossing while the gates are down, and then think about it.  When the train collides with your car, who will you be hurting the most?  Your friends, family, the community, yes, because it is a SENSELESS tragedy when a car gets hit by a train for such negligence of the driver’s part.  Your part!

The automobile is a great thing, but your life is even greater.  Please think about it before you cross through that gate next time.

James M. Barcus

Anchor/Managing Editor/Blogger
The News with James Barcus


Editorial–If you have no income and you’re older than 26, You’re just out of luck…Obama-Care

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as “Obamacare” has been a favorite punching bag of Congress.

What about for the Americans who have been out of luck, especially in Alabama where Medicaid Coverage has not been expanded, where college students don’t have many choices for the healthcare they need.

I’m type II Diabetic, and I can’t afford the $75 per visit, nor can I afford the emergency room bill every other year just to get the care I need…frankly, if I were to take the most drastic measure, I’d be better off Dead under “ObamaCare”.

And my experience with the help center in the website has been so far from lackluster it’s not even funny, it’s grotesque to be more precise in my disgust with the whole situation.  Frankly, I say fire the whole crew and start over from scratch.

Obviously, the health care system was broken to begin with, but people like me deserve so much better than what we are getting, which is a lot of impotent politicians throwing copious amounts of hot air out and contributing to Global Warming…hell, it’s London Broil by now.

Congress is obsessed with deflating, defunding, and dismantling “ObamaCare”, but until a better solution that is more accommodating for those of us who have no money to get plans through the private way, unless we sell our organs on the black market to pay for it, there is no other way out than the way we have had PRIOR to “ObamaCare”.

While we are on the subject, there is one hospital that needs to be taken over and owned, and that is Randolph Medical Center’s former location on Highway 22.  Regional Medical Center has a golden opportunity to help the people of Roanoke by operating this location as a satellite ER and facility to RMC in Anniston.

Consumer Alert! SquareTrade Warranty not willing to serve…At First

Tonight, James Barcus, being a tireless advocate for consumers, has a consumer alert for you, so pay attention!

“If you use SquareTrade warranty service or have purchased it recently, you may want to look into a different provider soon. I’ve been dealing with them for the last several days, and while they are rebuilding my computer, they have not said when my reimbursement would come for a previous hard disk replacement I did myself since I couldn’t find a service center and the original hard disk was grinding inside, the DVD drive replacement I paid out of pocket for with a local provider, nor the Recovery Media which turned out defective three times so far. (First time was bad disc 2, then the whole thing was sending drivers to devices I didn’t have installed in the laptop, causing conflicts galore.) I have received a huge runaround from every attendant I have talked with, and demanded supervisors, who would say one thing, and not communicate with the others. I have been dealing with them for the last two weeks. They told me they would send the check for what I had to pay for and it would be within 7 business days. Well, it’s been seven business days and no sign. I call them, still the run around.

I urge and Tiger Direct to find another warranty service provider and leave Square Trade. I paid $89 for a three year warranty, and I expected service, and didn’t get it. Tiger Direct did me very right and just and I applaud them for it, but the warranty service provider, Square Trade, isn’t trading squarely like their name implies.

–From his personal Facebook Profile tonight.

James Barcus tells The News with James Barcus that he submitted the claim for all three receipts at one time, and that he requested the compensation back on August 2nd, 2014 at 7:58 PM Central time, according to e-mail correspondences he showed The News With James Barcus.  For the last nine days, though, he’s received nothing except a huge runaround, and he has had enough of it.

SquareTrade is offered through many vendors, including Sam’s Club, Tiger Direct, and other electronics stores online and retail.  SquareTrade offers warranty service on an extended basis usually after the manufacturer’s warranty runs out.

Also on the consumer alert tonight, if you have recovery media, it may be loading drivers that you do not necessarily have.  James Barcus also experienced this as he rebuilt his Toshiba Laptop, the very one he had sent off to repair, four times in one weekend last week.

Barcus said, “I found out there was alot of bloat ware and junk in the recovery discs, and I let Toshiba know of the situation, and needless to say they didn’t listen to me at first, but they are replacing the media again, though I expect the same thing this time as before.”

Update 08/12/2014–Barcus tells us that they in fact sent the check USPS to the street address, which would explain why no one was pulling in with the check.  Barcus said to SquareTrade, “I’ve never seen such a level of incompetence.  This is ridiculous!”  The check is expected to be returned to sender.

Barcus also said he was placed on hold for long periods of time, and that he is lucky to have a headset rather than holding the receiver to his ear.

Barcus tells The News, “They did void the check they sent and will deposit it through PayPal.”

Update 08/13/2014–Gone from Improved to worst ever! 

James Barcus has done it again, but this time, they ignored his request for a supervisor. 

And now Mr. Barcus, being the ever persistent watchdog, has demanded of Square Trade Warranty service the job of a certain attendant named “Charles” for being rude, ignoring customer request for supervisor, and not abiding by customer service standards.

All because Barcus sought clarification to try to determine whether he needed to take another week of academic leave for the potential return of the laptop.

“Yes, I did tell the attendant to shut up and let me speak, because he was completely ignorant of the request I submitted to get a supervisor.  I did end up yelling and at that point he hung up on me.  I was tired of the incompetence and rudeness, which I never got from anyone else, so I sent a request to fire the associate who handled my call today.” Barcus told The News

In his e-mail he wrote, Barcus did spell out his demand for his laptop to be returned as stated on the FedEx tracking information and confirmed by attending supervisors on the 12th, when he made his inquiry.  He also stated he would never bring any business to them ever again for the incompetence and stupidity by the telephone representatives.  “All I’ve seen, for the most part, is fraud, and I don’t handle fraud well, I turn it over to people who handle it a whole lot better than I can.” Barcus usually never loses his temper, but after all he’s been through, he couldn’t help it this time and now he’s seeking any consumer advocate’s advice and assistance. 

Update 09/02/2014–Final resolution and vast improvement 

Having been through many phone calls, e-mails, and posts and twitter links, this case has had final resolution, according to James Barcus, the consumer who had enough and took to Twitter to get results.

“I got the laptop back, and no one told me they shut off the radio on the wi-fi, so I called back in and while I was on hold, I figured out what had happened and performed the keyboard function to restore the wi-fi, everything was working and still works and I’m back in school now with a 95.88 grade in my latest class.” Barcus told The News.

Square Trade reached out to Barcus through Twitter and through phone calls, and all had been satisfactory.  

Barcus took to Twitter to say that getting my laptop back would be the true test, as classes would start the following Tuesday.  Once he resumed classes, he came up with a system to use the computers together, networking them with an app called TeamViewer 9.  “It works great and it helps me to face a more receptive posture in the office.  Rather than turning to my side to look, I can be flexible and look either at the monitor on the tower or the monitor on the laptop.  

His viewpoint on SquareTrade has changed, and he would approach it differently, but strongly encouraged supervisors to make sure the operators didn’t talk over the clients