Archive for January, 2009

Now 18

You know that birthday I was talking about. Well, it’s today :). Yay for being, in most senses of the word, an adult!


So my birthday is coming up in about a week (Jan 28). 18th birthday to be exact. And it seems as though I’m hard to buy for, gift-wise. Hope this helps/is unpretentious…if you’re in the area hanging out is appreciated 🙂

Gift Cards:

Cash (if you’re nearby)

Small Stuff:

Sanyo Eneloop Batteries (AA) – Yes, I want good batteries, and these seem to fit the bill.
MicroSDHC 8GB w\USB reader (2x is even better!)
Wii Component Cable, Nunchuck (up to 3), Classic controller (up to 3)

More expensive stuff:

Jabra BT3030 or here
Shure SE110 Earbuds

Western Digital 2TB hard drive (internal or external, when it comes out)


Searching for God Knows What

If you’re really sure I’d like something, go ahead and get it. If you want to get somethig bigger, that’s cool too…oh, and if you want to donate to a worthy cause in my memory, that’s freaking awesome!

WiMAX Is The Future

Something near and dear to my heart here, since I want to build a network using this tech, to provide broadband to underserved areas. The copetitive technology is LTE, and while I don’t think LTE will be a flo, I think you’ll see WiMAX being a more pervasive technology, especially in the US., sort of like how CDMA/EvDO is now…here’s why…

  1. WiMAX is IEEE 802.16. It’s a consumer electronics focused standard, versus a cellular/telecom standard (decided by the 3GPP). This puts it closer to WiFi than cellular, so consumer electronics makers will be more ready to put WiMAX into anything and everything they come out with.
  2. WiMAX is here. Products are on store shelves in some cases (like Clear’s), and in other cases providers can order components directly from manufactureres to deploy within weeks to a customer base. LTE, not so much.
  3. WiMAX is fast. Not as fast as some LTE tests, but it’ll beat regular ADSL with little to no problem.
  4. WiMAX is easy to et into. The 2.5 GHz spectrum is totally taken by ClearWire, it’s true, but the 365 GHz band is a promising situation The band carries a “light license”…providers just have to pay a small fee, tell everyone where they’re putting their base station, and work with other providers in the area to make sure their signals don’t interfere. That’s it.
  5. WiMAX has multiple uses. While LTE is more of a successor to 3G technologies, just faster, WiMAX is already being used for more traditional internet service proivder roles. Granted, LTE will get similar treatment, but the huge amount of spectrum available for WiMAX comapred to LTE allows for setups comparable to cable and DSL, rather than as a simple supplement to landline broadband.


So yeah, WiMAX is here to stay. I for one would switch to Clear WiMAX in a heartbeat if it was here. LTE from Verizon or AT&T? They’ll probably cap it too low, so a really hard sell there.

Crazy Telco Predictions

So Alltel has been purchased by Verizon. Let’s put forth a domino-effect scenario. All in my head, but fun to think about, or not fun, as the case may be…

  1. Verizon has to divest a lot of territory from their purchase of Alltel, to keep areas competitive. Some of these areas will go to U.S. Cellular, the U.S.’s last regional carrier. Others will go to AT&T. People in AT&T areas will have to get new phones, or Verizon will try to lure them away to their own system. End result: no new carriers, though the nation’s last regional gets stronger.
  2. Verizon isn’t going to improve GSM roaming coverage, something that Alltel did as a big roaming carrier for everyone else. This will force AT&T to build out, or buy out, territories where Alltel had been giving service. Particularly the divested areas.
  3. No more big roaming carriers, and very little, if any, EvDO roaming for Sprint outside of Verion. Which means that, come a few years hence, when roaming contracts expire, Verizon and AT&T will turn the screws on anyone wanting to have coverage outside their own network. Roaming rates may double or more, forcing Sprint and T-Mobile to cap roaming minutes at a much lower amount, rending their “national” plans network only, like we had four or five years ago. AT&T and Verizon will have large enough networks to make sweetheart deals with local companies where such deals are needed, so they’ll keep roaming-charges-included nationwide plans.
  4. Sensing danger n the air, Sprint, grasping at roaming straws, buys U.S. Cellular. the added customer base is more rural than average, but keeps Sprint from dying of roaming charges to Verizon and AT&T.
  5. CricKet and MetroPCS merge, maybe taking several smaller unlimited-access companies with them.
  6. Endgame: Verizon is the biggest carrier, followed closely by AT&T. Sprint will play a more and more distant third fiddle, and T-Mobile will start losing customers as their network slowly loses roaming to Verizon and AT&T’s takeovers. The fifth carrier will then be MetroPCS/CricKet. Everyone else? Inconsequential.
  7. Qwest will be bought by Verizon or AT&T, most likely Verizon. The one good thing to come of all this: FiOS in densely populated aras. Qwest’s ADSL2+ network will be maintained in more rural areas by Verizon, though non-ADSL2+ markets currently won’t get any upgrades beyond 7 Mbit DSL if your loop is short enough.
  8. Windstream merges with/buys Frontier Communications and integrates their network, much to the delight of all Frontier customers, who were going to see a 5 GB monthly cap on service. The new conglomerate may then merge with Embarq/CenturyTel to create a new third-largest-telco, more rural in nature than ever before, but with decent speeds and customer service. This new outfit may pick up assets from Verizon’s purchase of Qwest.
  9. Charter Communications and BroadStripe will fail, and be bought up by Comcast and Time Warner, same as Adelphia. The two cable giants will sell unprofitable areas to Suddenlink, who still won’t know how to provide decent service to most of its customers. The most unprofitable customers will be sold to JetBroadband, where service stinks even worse. There will be a few independent cable companies (Insight, Cablevision, maybe Northland Cable TV, yech) but most people will be served by Comcast, who will increasingly roll out DOCSIS 3, and Time Warner, who will roll out the tech in a slower fashion, with caps anywhere they can put them. Comcast will have higher caps (250GB+) but will have more and more congestion problems, causing quality of service issues for anything but their own TV and voice content.
  10. Co Communications will stick around. Acquisition target? Maybe, but not before they build out first a CDMA, than an LTE network. Who knows, your phone miht be roaming on Cox before too long…
  11. Clear expands their network to as many places as possible. Sprint becomes more and more an MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) for Clear, selling CDMA/WiMAX dual-mode phones to compete on performance with AT&T and Verizon 3G.
  12. AT&T and Verizon finally roll out LTE, but not before WiMAX gets another revision, making sure it stays in the race. Especially since all small network operators will use WiMAX for high speed data outside of where the big boys will put cable, copper and fiber. Though Verizon may bring “WiFiOS” to a lot of places, via the 700 MHz spectrum.
  13. Verizon and AT&T will ditch landline communications altogether, packing features into VoIP and cellular options. Cheaper and more profitable for them that way Quadruple-play, which Sprint will have a hard time offering (Clear will be working directly with cable companies) will be the name of the game; $125-per-month will be the price point for a basic cellular, home phone, internet and TV plan from Verizn and AT&T.
  14. AT&T will finally have to upgrade its U-Verse network to fiber. Verizon will laugh its head off in the process, as AT&T starts losing more money than Verizon, who has overbuilt in strategic places.

kay, I’m done speculating. What do y’all think?

Kaspersky: Good Intentions, Bad Execution

Maybe I’m a bit hard on this Russian-made security suite, in beta for Windows 7. Yet I gotta say, if you want antivirus that’s low on resources, ihigh on functionality, and low on the annoying factor Kaspersky isn’t exaclty the way to go. Full scans slow down the computer (somewhat expected), and while otherwise resource usage is fine, I still get popups warning me that svchost.exe has chaned in version numbering (it hasn’t), notifications I then have to dismiss to go on iwth my day.

Bottom line: when given the choice between security suites for Windows 7, use AVG, not Kaspersky. They make goos antivirus software I suppose, but they’re for-pay eventually, and they’re just plain annoying compared with the get-out-of-your-way-as-much-as-possible AVG.

No, I haven’t uninstalled Kaspersky 8.0 from my Windows 7 system yet, but if I had to do things all over again, I wouldn’t have put it on in the first place.

Push E-mail…we need a better standard

I used MobiPush ( for push email to my HTC Mogul…until it went down…and stayed down. I’ve now found out about Z-Push, but it’s a server-install solution that seems rather ugly and just mght infringe on Microsoft’s software parents for ActiveSync, which it uses (wisely) to get email down onto your phone.

My submission: there needs to be an open-source standard for push e-mail, and everyone needs to get on board. A good one already somewhat available is IMAP-IDLE, however most devices don’t support it. The only other somewhat open standard (BlackBerry doesn’t count) is Microsoft ActiveSync Direct Push, what I was using. The problem there is it’s supposed to be proprietary.

No, I wouldn’t be writing this if my push email service hadn’t gone down a week and more ago, but still, there should be a push e-mail standard for “the little people”, one that can be , and will be, implemented across the board both on mail servers, on third-party services if need be, and on devices. I’m looking at you, Android and Palm WebOS: Microsoft, BlackBerry and to an extent Apple have their own irons in the fire but an easy, open push standard included with every device sold would absolutely make my day.

In the meanwhile though, I’ll see what I can do to make zPush work with at least GMail…

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Need Windows XP?

On a Mac? Need Windows XP otherwise? Need a clean OS to test stuff on? Time to virtualize, and do it for free. VirtualBox + XP Performance Edition for the win. Legit? Meh. Works great? You betcha.