Light bulb! moment with FIOS

Speed test while wired into the FIOS box

Every now and then I recall the words that one of my friends always asked when we were doing some work.

“Right. What are you trying to accomplish exactly?”

I had migrated a while back from Optimum Online to FIOS and put my new cable model where the old one was in the basement. I hooked it up to my Linux home server/firewall. At the time that was a good arrangement since Optimum did not provide me with a firewall like device.

The design from Optimum at that time was very simple. You hooked up your PC to the cable modem and got a valid IP address. If you wanted, you could replace that PC with a Linksys like device with Wi-Fi and hide your PCs behind that device. But you had to provide that device yourself.

My old setup had the PCs in the basement hooked up to the cable modem and a pair of draft-N wireless AP used to bridge the basement and the second floor. Once of those PCs was a Linux box doing double duty as a NAT’ing firewall.

This worked out only marginally well and my transfer speed was ~12 Mb/s download from my main PC upstairs.

FIOS comes with a cable modem/4 port hub/802.11B/G access point. It also doubles as a RFC 1918 private network so you can hide many IP devices behind it.

When I upgraded from Optimum Online I just replaced the old cable modem with the Verizon one and turned off the Wi-Fi and enjoyed the same slow speeds upstairs and contemplated running Ethernet cable from the basement to the attic. Running cable would be the best solution but unlike my previous early 20th century homes, this house has no straight runs from the basement to the attic. That translated into a lot of work and I was not really looking forward to that task.

The light bulb moment occurred when I realized that a) no one used the network in the basement, and b) I already had TV cables running upstairs.

Speed test using Wifi from another floor

All I did was turn off my 2 draft-N APs and moved the FIOS box up to the second floor. My main PCs run directly off of the FIOS device (and get amazing kick ass speeds!) while the rest of the house gets 802.11G. The Wi-Fi speeds are not bad at all (see graphic) and peace and harmony once again resides on my network.

This does mean that for the time being I do not have any network connected PCs in the basement. But except for an occasional goofing off in the basement that is not a bad thing.

The Linux firewall was suffering from a lack of updates and patches. I was running an old distribution and updating to something newer has been on my to-do list for months. Now all access is via the Verizon box. It’s one less moving part and should be easier to support than my old setup.

And in the meanwhile I get to enjoy the benefit of the speed that I’m paying for from FIOS. It also means I have to rip out all the cables from my main PC setup. It’s a huge mess and screams “FIRE HAZARD!” just looking at it.

My subconscious at work?

I’m beginning to believe my subconscious has developed super powers. I am jonesing for a new smart phone that works better than my antiquated iPhone 3G. Given the age of my phone that’s not a tall order.

To help me in that direction, my subconscious has disabled the ability of my phone to vibrate when someone calls me. I don’t know how I managed to do it but the phone does not shake anymore.

I dislike my phone ringing but (obviously) don’t wish to miss calls. I’m going to do the factory reset of the phone to see if that fixes it. I remain hopeful since I’m not quite ready to get a replacement.

This is not a new ability for me. I’ve been jinxing electronic equipment since my Dad had a TRS-80 Model I. But I now work in a field where this is not a desirable trait so it must be I am doing it subconsciously again.

Since I’m looking for a new phone I’ve been gathering information. Did you know that you cannot surf the web while speaking on Verizon’s network using an Android phone? I had heard that but thought that was just a rumor. Apparently it’s a CDMA limitation, but more information is needed. I’ve also read that while using LTE that limitation is gone.

I’ll take another look at T-Mobile and Sprint just to see if their networks are up to par. In the meanwhile I will continue to be impressed with my latent super powers.

P.S. No, I have not lost my mind, and yes I am kidding about the super powers. The phone is still broken though.

Hello? AT&T? Can you hear me now?

Any consumer subscription service is about getting what you pay for. 4 bars, a 3G icon, and no Internet connectivity is not acceptable.

What good is it to have a grandfathered-in data plan from AT&T if their data network is unavailable half the time?

I usually can’t use my phone in Penn Station at all. The phone does work consistently in the same areas (just not Manhattan) so while the iPhone 3G is dated, I hold that AT&T’s network is just sub-standard.

I’ve had my Apple iPhone 3G for over 2 years now and am well out of my contract time. I could get a Verizon iPhone 4 after next month but I’m not going to for two reasons.

First, I think I want to try something new and another iPhone is not it. Before the iPhone I had the Blackberry Pearl. It worked well but I wanted to combine my music player and phone. The 3G was part of my decision process because I do like to connect to the Internet during my commute.

My second reason is that the iPhone 4 does have antenna issues. It’s a 2010 phone and in June the next iteration of iPhone will be announced. Why get dated technology?

The model that I am looking at is the HTC Thunderbolt. This is essentially an updated EVO phone but for Verizon. Sadly, Verizon has not bothered to publish an availability date but I’ve read that it will be sold in March.

I can wait till March.

Arizona shooting

Not a good week for Arizona.

“The anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous. And unfortunately Arizona I think is the capital. We are the Mecca for prejudice for prejudice and bigotry,”

via ABC News: Police Hunt for ‘Person of Interest’ in Tucson Shooting

Yesterday a deranged murderer interrupted a gathering arranged by Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. She was shot and is in critical condition. 6 innocent people were killed including a 9-year-old child.

The Not-Our-Fault reverse blame game started immediately. Some shrieking radical right-wing blogs wasted no time declaring that the shooter was not one of theirs. This always starts with “the victims are in our prayers” but degenerates into “the left are scum”. This is not a surprise since I rarely come across a conservative blog that’s not a radical pool of nuts. Some of the sites I frequent were actually subdued. The commentators? Not so much.

That doesn’t surprise me. Blog comments are easy and do attract the radical fringe.

Naturally, many people are pointing the finger at the half-term governor. I think that’s only partially correct. When you have political protests and people talk about armed insurrection, they’re culpable for atrocities like this one. The half-term governor is more at fault because she claims to be a leader.

Leaders take responsibility, so except for some quaint statements I’m not anticipating much from her.

You can’t yell “Fire!” in a crowded theater and claim no responsibility when someone get’s trampled in a stampede. That the shooter may not be Tea Party inspired doesn’t change the fact that they were encouraging people to do this.

Do you think if this happens again, the radicals will stand up and say “yep, that one was ours. Here’s his membership card.” Also, why is this not being called a terrorist act?

I’m just asking. Don’t worry, I don’t like to incite violence either.

Is Arizona’s new motto “Latinos Not Welcomed”?

I’m beginning to believe that Arizona’s State Government just hates anything remotely Latino.

For all of that and more, Mr. Acosta’s class and others in the Tucson Unified School District’s Mexican-American program have been declared illegal by the State of Arizona — even while similar programs for black, Asian and American Indian students have been left untouched.

via Arizona Orders Tucson to End Mexican-American Studies Program – NYTimes.com.

The emphasis above is mine. I question why they leave any other program’s alone. Maybe they’re just aiming for the low hanging fruit? I mean, seriously, “Programs that promote the overthrow of the United States government are explicitly banned”? The curriculum covered that?

Good thing Arizona doesn’t manage CUNY.

One of the things that has always infuriated me is that there are legitimate concerns and questions about the United States immigration policies and enforcement of those policies. But the wingnuts on both sides of the debate always go to the extreme, so nothing gets done and nothing changes.

Take this exchange in Arizona as a perfect example: this is targeting Mexican’s by people who just don’t like anything Mexican. They conveniently exclude (for now at least) other “non-American” material just to express their dislike.

Aside from targeting on minority (or not minority!) what does this accomplish?

Not TIME’s Man of the Year is right

The more I learn about this man, the more I dislike him.

Once Assange and Davies came to agreement over the other documents Assange mentioned in their discussion, Assange passed Davies a password he could use to get at the initial trove, the magazine reports.

via WikiLeaks’ Assange Threatened Lawsuit Over Leaked Diplomatic Cables | Threat Level | Wired.com.

What’s comical about this is that good and noble Assange didn’t want this information releases unless he controlled how and when. That says more about him than it does about the Guardian.

Read up over on Threat Level, it’s a peak into how this man operates with The Big Media.