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Comcast Shoots For New Image, Rebranding As Xfinity 356

artemis writes "Comcast is making efforts to repair and restore its 'former glory' by the act of transformation, rebranding itself as Xfinity. Hopefully step 2 is an actual change in quality and customer service. 'Comcast will use the Xfinity rebranding to talk up its improved customer service as well as its technical upgrades. “There’s a lot to be proud of,’’ said Steve Hackley, Comcast’s senior vice president for the Greater Boston region. “We want to take credit for it.’’ W2 Group’s Weber said such a rebranding is “a bit old-fashioned’’ and a new name is unlikely to impress consumers. “I think the public is smarter than that now,’’ he said.'"
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Comcast Shoots For New Image, Rebranding As Xfinity

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  • by aardwolf64 ( 160070 ) on Monday February 15, 2010 @02:43PM (#31146782) Homepage

    Xfinity = the amount of time you'll be on hold if you call Customer Service.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      More like XTarded, never again will I use comcast.


      • Re:Xfinity equals... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Evil Shabazz ( 937088 ) on Monday February 15, 2010 @03:21PM (#31147290)
        Eh, it's not like Comcast is any worse that TimeWarner. In fact, if you can believe it - cable/internet got a ton WORSE in Southern California when TimeWarner took over for Comcast here. TimeWarner has just as crappy hold times, just as incompetent tech support, and don't worry - when you leave, they'll intentionally charge you for your returned hardware even though you returned it.
        • Mod Parent Up (Score:3, Informative)

          by mpapet ( 761907 )

          I can corroborate all of the claims made about Time Warner.

          The universally horrible service of subscription television is why we don't buy any service. It's a nice chunk of change at the end of the year. The shows are out on DVD the next year anyway.

        • Re:Xfinity equals... (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Monday February 15, 2010 @03:45PM (#31147606) Homepage

          News flash: They all intentionally suck when there is no direct competition.

          The ONLY places I have seen cable not suck is the rare community where there are two cable providers. Most of the time the likes of Comcast search out a franchise agreement with the city to make competition "illegal" or very expensive.

          • "Competition" (Score:3, Insightful)

            by ePhil_One ( 634771 )

            Alas, the exclusivity agreements were a requirement to get the infrastructure built, noone wanted to invest the millions to string cable unless they were confident of recouping their investment, and as a one way network, installing it as a "shared resource" where competitors could access the lines after the installation investment was recovered isn't practical.

            I suspect part of the real reason Verizon and other Telcos are stringing fiber to compete with the cable companies is because:

            1) Their cable inf

        • Re:Xfinity equals... (Score:5, Informative)

          by supernova87a ( 532540 ) <> on Monday February 15, 2010 @04:48PM (#31148330)
          I have to add my experience with TimeWarner idiocy here.

          About a year ago I called their technical support line on behalf of my aunt in NYC, who had just gotten their HD upgrade or something I don't recall, and the picture was missing the red portion of the signal. (note that your reading that last sentence, there wasn't much room for misunderstanding, was there? You can understand the situation I'm describing, right?)

          The conversation began badly, and went downhill from there:

          Me: "Hi, we seem to be having a problem with our HD cable signal -- the picture is missing the red channel, so everything looks a little bit blue. I've tested this by swapping out the cables from the RGB (whatever it was), reversing them, so I think it's definitely a problem with your cable box, not our cables or our TV. Can you help me with that?"

          Her: "sorry sir, looking in your channel lineup, I don't see any Red Channel."

          Me: @#$!%#@

          Me: regathering politeness, and for the next 20 minutes: "Sorry, I must not have explained that well -- you know how the tv signal has red/green/blue parts? Well, it seems to be missing the red part, so that the color is off."

          Her: "no sir, I don't understand, and please, don't fiddle with the cables, please follow my instruction to turn the unit off and reset it."

          after 20 minutes:

          Me: "Maam, you don't seem to have the technical knowledge to even understand the problem I'm having -- could you please transfer me to someone who does."

          10 more minutes of me getting angry that she won't transfer me. Followed by my filing a complaint with a request to be called back. I get called back, the guy on the line understands the problem immediately, and sends someone out the next day.

          I cannot stand incompetence that doesn't recognize itself. And that a customer service assistance unit would staff its helpline with someone of such stupidity.

          The other thing I learned -- don't get frustrated with stupidity, just leave. Politely hang up (there's no sense in angering yourself, or offending the moron) and call back until you get someone who knows what they're talking about. And I'm not just talking about with cable companies, I've discovered that this applies about life in general....
          • by brkello ( 642429 ) on Monday February 15, 2010 @08:05PM (#31150588)
            I understand your frustration but your expectations are way way too high at that level of support. Talking about color channels will just confuse them. You have to talk "dumb" to them and they have to follow their script. This is how you would have to say it:

            "Hi, my picture looks funny." They then read from their script and do the things you have already done. You can't do it out of order, or they get lost. Then finally. "Ok, it looks like it is a problem on our end, I'll send someone out."

            I know that sucks for us people who are technical...but it makes sense. No one with real technical experience is going to work that job. We would all get better paying ones elsewhere. Just have to know how to talk to them to minimize how long you are on the phone with them.
          • Re:Xfinity equals... (Score:4, Interesting)

            by seeker_1us ( 1203072 ) on Monday February 15, 2010 @10:06PM (#31151354)
            If you have a real problem, and have done diagnosis, do not waste time with first line.

            90% of first line tech support are idiots because 90% of calls are from idiots whose problems can be solved with simple scripts.

            I've had this problem with Comcast alot.

            "Hi comcast, please activate my cable modem. Here is the MAC address."

            "OK, please run this webpage and it will set it up for you" (note webpage works only for Windows and Mac).

            "I use Linux, please set the modem up for me."

            "We only support Windows and Mac Operating Systems."

            "Listen to me because I'm only going to say this once. I do not want you to support my operating system. I am paying you to provide TCP/IP protocol service. You do not need to know what my operating system is. Go and configure my cable modem now. If you do not know how to do your job, find someone who does."

            (Idiot taken aback because he/she has a response that the flowchart doesn't include.) "Ummm... please hold on a minute"

            Two minutes later "OK we have your cable modem configured now."

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Conchobair ( 1648793 )
        Xnfinitely stupid move.
      • Name me one big ISP or telco that isnt incompetent. I have been fighting with AT&T to get uverse without the video and they more or less told me. After several angry calls I finally got one person who would let me (after putting me on hold for 20 mins and being transfered 5x) and then on top of it all gave me another hard sell for the video service when I asked if they could minimize the downtime between DSL shutoff and uverse install. At that point I just hung up and called Comcast.

        Comcast's phone n

      • Hell - Hell has announced plans to rebrand itself as XBoilingHot as part of its bid to transform itself from the realm of Eternal Damnation into a kinder, gentler den of infinite punishment.

        "This is part of an overall strategy to change our image in the eyes of our customers." Hell spokesman Adolf Hitler said. "I think we've got a bid of a bad rap, in part deserved, but in part because a lot of people just haven't given us an adequate chance."

        "There's a lot to be proud of!" Nebraska regional director Pol P

    • by pitchpipe ( 708843 ) on Monday February 15, 2010 @02:55PM (#31146948)
      I think that their marketing guys have been reading too much Slashdot!

      1. Change name to Xfinity.
      2. ???
      3. Profit!

      What a great business plan!

    • by hellfire ( 86129 ) <> on Monday February 15, 2010 @02:56PM (#31146968) Homepage

      Xfinity = how many times smarter you are than the average customer service rep

      Let's keep this rolling!

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by frosty_tsm ( 933163 )

        Xfinity = how many times smarter you are than the average customer service rep

        Let's keep this rolling!

        Xfinity = how long you'll wait for youtube to load.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Moryath ( 553296 )

          Xfinity = the number of customers they want to have locked into their monopolistic areas so they can jack their prices up.

          As opposed to Comcrap: It's Crapatastic, which referenced their crappy service.

        • seXfinity? its where the bandwidth goes.

          We used to joke with their employees who shared the building (who joined in:)
          Commiecast (we were calling each other comrade too.)
          Comquest (I think their line should be "All your internet belong to us.")

          Xe didn't help that corps image. People still call it Black Water.

          Well, Arther Anderson pulled it off-- how many forgot they are now known as Accenture? (The people who brought you Enron.)

          Who set us up the takeover?

    • This was on The Office [] too! Remember "Dunder Mifflin Infinity," the brainfart of "whiz-kid" Ryan?
    • Xfinity = how long it will take for your "network congestion profiled" P2P packets to arrive.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by RobDude ( 1123541 )

      I'm not sure why Comcast gets so much hate. Maybe it depends on the local market you are in?

      I've called Comcast a handful of times and I've always had very short waits and someone who speaks and understands English.

      The most recent call was because of poor signal quality. I spent about 10 minutes on the phone and they sent out a tech the next day. The tech showed up, ran a new line and then took the time to properly attached the cable line to my house; it was a major improvement.

      After that, internet worke

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        I'm not sure why Comcast gets so much hate. Maybe it depends on the local market you are in?

        Yes, this is exactly their problem.

        I'm here on a beautiful 16/2 connection that always rocks. I've seen a 5-minute outage at 4:30AM once. It's former Adelphia territory.

        But if you go 60 miles away, everybody who only has Comcast just hates it. You'll hear similar bipolar stories from all over.

        They seem unable to find their winning processes and replicate them into company-wide success. Perhaps they should spend m

    • by nmb3000 ( 741169 )

      What is it about current marketting groups that somehow destines them to come up with the worst possible name, especially when re-branding something? Xfinity? Oh wow, it starts with X and has 'infinity' in it! Pure win! That name is so bad I'd almost cancel my Comcast service just so I don't have to hear it again (to be fair, I've had really good luck with Comcast. It's only been down once in about 5 years and speeds are usually great).

      Reminds me of the line in Wormhole X-Treme! []:

      With the X, I know what yo

    • ... and a pr0n site probably owns "Assfinity."
  • by EWAdams ( 953502 ) on Monday February 15, 2010 @02:44PM (#31146796) Homepage

    It ain't gonna help, guys. You're still in seriously deep trouble.

  • And Yet.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by GabriellaKat ( 748072 ) on Monday February 15, 2010 @02:45PM (#31146806)
    I still can't wait for Verizon FIOS to be available in my neighborhood. I loathe Comcast. Its not just that their internet service is shoddy, but even my TV service has shown visual lag and dropping way too often.
    • As much as I also loath Comcast, they have never even come close to delivering the horribly bad customer service I got from Verizon. Be careful what you wish for.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by KingSkippus ( 799657 )

      I still can't wait for Verizon FIOS to be available in my neighborhood.

      Verizon? Sure, that would be nice, but what I can't wait for is Google's gigabit to the home [] service.

      You know, even if Google itself doesn't roll out to all markets, I really think this could be a game-changer. Anyone else here remember pre-Gmail days, when your ISP or a service like Hotmail may give you all of a whopping 5 MB or so for free, and we were told that that was a lot?

      Google came along and said, "Screw that. You get a GIGAB

  • bad branding (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tverbeek ( 457094 ) on Monday February 15, 2010 @02:46PM (#31146818) Homepage

    I really don't see how a harder-to-pronounce name will make the company any more appealing to customers.

    • Re:bad branding (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Jeng ( 926980 ) on Monday February 15, 2010 @03:00PM (#31147020)

      It makes it harder to identify the problematic company.

      Your friends may talk shit about Comcast, but they have no idea how good Xfinity is, but damnit they have gotta be better than comcast.

      I believe that is the line of thought.

    • by eln ( 21727 )
      Rebranding is usually done for one of two reasons:
      1.) The old brand is so horribly tainted that it can't possibly be revived. See: Philip Morris/Altria
      2.) The company is failing. The rebranding in this case is a last-ditch effort when everyone has run out of actual good ideas.

      In either case, it rarely does any good. In the first case, the company will change the name but not anything else, so the bad reputation gets attached to the new name fairly quickly. In the second case, the company is too far
      • You forgot ego.

        They're buying NBC. Can't be Comcast and buy NBC, ya know. Gotta be X-something, because X is cool. Maybe Xfinity is where the stock price will go.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Glendale2x ( 210533 )

      They probably just want a name that angry customers can't tweak into something negative as easily as "Comcast" becomes "Comcrap" or "Crapcast".

  • AT&T rebrands as Compu-Global-Hyper-Mega-Net, hoping to shed its previous reputation as a bad wireless carrier.

  • by goodmanj ( 234846 ) on Monday February 15, 2010 @02:49PM (#31146846)

    Nobody changes their name because they "want to take credit" for things they're "proud of".

    Comcast, do you really want to have your name mentioned alongside Phillip Morris ... errr, "Altria"? At least you're not *killing* your customers.

  • by jmanforever ( 603829 ) <> on Monday February 15, 2010 @02:49PM (#31146856)

    Xfinity sounds like it should be the name of a sports car company... or perhaps an adult film company.

    • by Jimmy King ( 828214 ) on Monday February 15, 2010 @02:53PM (#31146922) Homepage Journal
      Well, I do use Comcast to access the majority of my adult films.
    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by TinBromide ( 921574 )
      I'm glad you mentioned comcrap, even my grandparents call it comcrap, that has filtered down from the nerds down to EVERYBODY and they realized that the brand was... soiled.

      Thank you, I'll be here all week.

      So how can we integrate some sort of fecal synonym into xfinity... I wonder if part of the market testing was bringing a bunch of teenage nerds into a room and they were like "come up with a catchy insult name for this" after three weeks, they couldn't get any results.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Nope, they must not have done that -- Hell I'm half a century old, bet kids could come up with many more. :)
    • by Korin43 ( 881732 )
      A sports car company? No sports car company would choose such an idiotic name.

      Comcast Marketing Team: Ok so the name we came up with was Xfinity. Our research conducted in the 90's says that people like "x-treme" things, so we basically just put an x in front of a word that sounds cool.
      Comcast Executives: That's brilliant! Our retarded customers will love it!

      Sports Car Marketing Team: Ok so what do you think of Xfinity? We came up with it while we were drunk and watching power rangers.
      Sports Car Execu
    • Xfinity sounds like it should be the name of a sports car company... or perhaps an adult film company.

      At Comcast, we're all about bringing the content you want, but not necessarily faster. We're proud of that fact, and thus are rebranding as Xfinity; We bring the Bomp to the Chigga-wow-wow.

    • so this is another attempt of a distribution channel trying to become a vertically integrated content provider.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I say it's a fairly transparent attempt to shuffle previous bad behaviour under the carpet, not the hard work to seek redemption that they should be doing instead. Bad management is bad management no matter the name, it'll show every time.

  • by Ryanrule ( 1657199 ) on Monday February 15, 2010 @02:52PM (#31146902)
    they want their "x" back.
  • You know (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Monday February 15, 2010 @02:52PM (#31146906)

    I'm going to go out on a limb and say that your name is NOT your problem. I'm going to say that your problem is that you suck ass at providing service. You can change the name all you like, so long as your service blows, people are going to hate on you. Conversely, fix the service and it won't be a problem.

    Seriously, I'm amazed how bad Comcast is. Where I live, both Cox and Comcast provide cable service of the TV, Internet and phone variety. Which you get depends on which part of the city you live in. I live in the Cox area. In general, I'm happy with them. They aren't prefect, but they are pretty good. They fix their problems, their speeds are good, etc, etc. My friends on Cox seem to feel the same way.

    Not long ago my parents came to visit, and stayed in a condo owned by friends of theirs. This condo was in a Comcast area. I couldn't believe how bad it was. Not even dealing with tech support, just general usage. The net was amazingly slow, their DVR was a massive POS, etc, etc. I made very little use of it and I found it to be poor quality. I can't imagine how dissatisfied someone who uses it all the time is.

    Rebranding won't fix shit. You have to fix your quality if you want people to respect your brand.

  • Seriously? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by algormortis ( 1422619 ) on Monday February 15, 2010 @02:53PM (#31146926)

    “I think the public is smarter than that now,’’

    Everyone knows this isn't true. Why do you think Comcast still has customers?

    • Re:Seriously? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Pojut ( 1027544 ) on Monday February 15, 2010 @02:55PM (#31146962) Homepage

      Because of people like me who live in an area where my choices are Comcast or Dial-up.

      • I live in such a place and my landlord renovated and removed the phone line just before I moved in. I literally have a choice between comcast and tethering my PC to my phone 24/7. In fairness, though, after an abysmal period getting it installed, my internet service has been fairly benign (excepting the occasional 4 am drop-out of service, which is probably scheduled then anyway, and nobody but night-owls like me would even notice).
        • by Pojut ( 1027544 )

          Our Internet service is ok, but our TV service is screwed. Frankly, my lady and I would be just fine without TV, but our room mate would not. Because we don't want to create a "you aren't paying for it so why are you watching it" kind of situation, we just agreed to pay our half. Our roomie never brought it up, and he likely wouldn't have cared if we pay for it, but meh. If it's already going to be there...

          SatTV isn't an option either, as we are surrounded by trees.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Why do you think Comcast still has customers?

      Because they have an effective monopoly in many regions.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Lumpy ( 12016 )

      Because most of their areas they are a monopoly.

      your choice is Nothing or Comcast, pick one.

      Ohhh, AOL dialup is still available! or you can get $299.00 a month dsl speeds with 600ms latency with satellite broadband....

  • Reminds me of a branding for a local bank... Their commercials talk about how big banks don't give you personal service, and that they're not all that big. Then they get the nerve to call their bank "Magnabank". []

  • Installing 1Gb fiber to communities will be much more effective than an empty name change.
  • Meaningless names (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fiannaFailMan ( 702447 ) on Monday February 15, 2010 @02:55PM (#31146956) Journal

    WTF is it with this trend of conjuring up completely meaningless words to use as company names?

    On NPR in the mornings I hear about a company that used to be called Horn Murdoch and Cole (a sensible name that tells you they've been around for a while and actually means something) who for some unfathomable reason decided to call themselves "Acretive Solutions," or something. I mean, aside from the impossibility of being able to tell if it's "Acretive" or "Acrative" just by listening to it, what the hell is that supposed to mean? It sounds almost like "Excretive" which calls to mind images of someone taking a dump!

    Accenture, Cingular, Elementis, Altria, I mean, what the fuck is that? At least the idiots at "Consignia" had the sense to revert back to the name that everyone understood and recognized for decades, i.e. 'Royal Mail.'


    There's a transcript here [] of a BBC radio show talking about this very subject.

    • Re:Meaningless names (Score:4, Informative)

      by russotto ( 537200 ) on Monday February 15, 2010 @03:14PM (#31147204) Journal

      Accenture, Cingular, Elementis, Altria, I mean, what the fuck is that? At least the idiots at "Consignia" had the sense to revert back to the name that everyone understood and recognized for decades, i.e. 'Royal Mail.'

      Accenture lost the Arthur Andersen name when they split from the accounting firm. Just in time for the Andersen name to be blackened by the Enron scandal. So, definitely a good name change for them.

    • by pileated ( 53605 )

      This called: Geniuses in Marketing.

    • I would wager that part of the trend has to do with trademarking issues. Obviously, Comcast isn't going to rebrand themselves as "Boeing" or "Ford" or "Wendy's", since those are existing companies with trademarks. Coming up with a non-dictionary word as a company name probably lessens the chances that they're going to run into trouble with domain squatters or some-guy-in-mom's-basement-with-an-LLC-who-wants-a-payoff types. I've heard that the trend with new car names (WTF is a Yaris?) has some of the same r

  • Why? (Score:2, Informative)

    by ldconfig ( 1339877 )
    Why does Comcast screw up everything it touches? I still have fond memories of Tech TV.
    • by Jeng ( 926980 )

      You may have seen their board of directors.

      They are often featured on the Dish Network commercials.

  • Is there some rule that says all rebranded [] company names have to start with 'X'?

    On a positive note, at least Comcast isn't trying to hide after killing a bunch of innocent civilians (yet).

    • by Jeng ( 926980 )

      Hard to kill people by providing bad cable service, but they did their best.

      They now have their goal.

  • by gestalt_n_pepper ( 991155 ) on Monday February 15, 2010 @03:04PM (#31147072)

    More accurate, anyway. At any rate, I'll believe something has changed when I can talk to somebody who's not in India, knows something, can make a decision and can understand words like "I measured the Comcast line signal strengh for the last 24 hours and it dipped to just above zero 7 times in that period for a total of 95.4 minutes of non-functioning internet time so GET AN ENGINEER TO YOUR SWITCH AND DON'T SENT OUT THE LOCAL DUMBASS AGAIN."


    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by nwf ( 25607 )

      That was basically my experience. Tons of clueless techs who weren't authorized to actually fix anything. The "inside" tech blamed it on the "outside" tech and vice-versa. Why one guy couldn't touch wires inside AND outside my house is anyone's guess. The TV picture was full of static, but he said the signal level was great. Amplify a poor quality signal and you get a strong, yet poor signal. Whatever. I'm with Verizon now, but I still get a mailer from Comcast at least once a week wanting me back. Not goin

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by nhytefall ( 1415959 )
      Won't ever happen as long as I continue to have conversations like with their "tech" support:

      Comcast rep: I don't see any problems in your area
      Me: Please check again. I am seeing high lag, dropped packets, and randow route changes in the Comcast network.
      Comcast rep: Everything's okay within 750' of your location.
      Me: The problem isn't there, its further out Actually, it's at [ip address] which is [hostname], and is probably near [address]
      Comcast rep: Wow, how did you see that?
      Me: Traceroute
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Culture20 ( 968837 )

        Me: The problem isn't there, its further out Actually, it's at [ip address] which is [hostname], and is probably near [address]
        Comcast rep: Wow, how did you see that?
        Me: Traceroute
        Comcast rep: I need to learn to do that

        You're lucky that didn't become "Why are you inspecting the network sir? Hold please while I transfer you to Hostile Services."

  • Clearly, "Xfinity" is inteded to sound like "ex-finity", thus the opposite of "infinity". The opposite of infinity is zero... whether that refers to quality of service, chance of getting a useful response from customer service, throughput, or bytes transferred without overage fees, I don't know. I'm certain it's nothing to do with the bill, though.

  • XFinity? What happened to Comcastic?

  • A rotten company will be a rotten company, no matter how many times it changes it's name.

    You get customers back, and customers to like you by actually DOING something for your customers, even if it hurts your bottom line. Companies like Verizon know this better than anyone - Verizon was more or less a 'last resort' until they brought out FiOS, improved their customer service, and basically focused more on what their customers were demanding. That's not to say they're perfect, but a LOT better than before,

    • by Algan ( 20532 )

      When will companies learn, it's the customers, stupid!

      When customers do something about it, i.e. take their money and go to the competition. No competition due to govt. monopoly? Vote!

    • Nobody ever went broke underestimating the stupidity of the American public.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by maxume ( 22995 )

      Verizon, formerly known as Bell Atlantic (and GTE)...

  • Who's going to design their logo? Rob Leifeld or Jim Lee? I really hope Jim - Rob's a hack.
  • by honestmonkey ( 819408 ) on Monday February 15, 2010 @03:18PM (#31147260) Journal

    Wow, Xfinity! That sounds great. Where do I sign up? I want better service, faster internet and cheaper prices, and Xfinity sounds like it fits the bill. It's got an "X" in it, so it must be ten times better than what I have now.

    Can't wait until it's available in my area.

  • Is still Comcastic!

  • Big step (Score:3, Insightful)

    by QuietLagoon ( 813062 ) on Monday February 15, 2010 @03:35PM (#31147476)
    Hopefully step 2 is an actual change in quality and customer service.


    That step is going to be a huge one for comcast who, in the past, has proven they are unable to traverse to chasm.

  • by tigheig ( 546423 ) on Monday February 15, 2010 @03:36PM (#31147482)
    ... so does that make me an XCustomer?

They are called computers simply because computation is the only significant job that has so far been given to them.