Random Musings (and associated non sequiturs) v. 3.0


Wired is still king. Repeaters tend to add a layer of complexity.

Best to get a second wifi AP, wire it up and know you get a stable network.


I’m holding off on ‘major’ tech changes until we move or do major renovations. I could put one behind the TV stack, I guess… There’s wired connectivity there.

Using the 1811w is an idea because I have it. Realistically, step one is to see if VzW picked a channel with congestion due to the neighbors turning up their wireless or similar.

The problem is:

  • I only think about the bandwidth issues when I’m in the bedroom, which tends to be early AM or before bed. I seriously go big chunks of days without touching the top floor of the house otherwise.
  • Those are, of course, bad times to go down to the basement and start fiddling with wireless router settings.


Is the Verizon router like the Comcast ones, where they share a wireless connection with anyone who has Comcast and has their device configured right? I’m not a big fan of that “feature”. When I read articles about Comcast customers who get cut off or charged ridiculous amounts of money for using too much data, I always wonder if the data used by the shared wireless has contributed to the usage recorded by Comcast, especially with the customer/victim is an IT guy who has measured/recorded/documented the usage and his numbers are nowhere near what Comcast claims he used.

Fun fact: $Stepdaughter never bought internet service the whole time she was in Seattle. She used her brother’s Comcast account credentials to access the internet through the neighbors’ Comcast wireless connections. Apparently, Comcast ‘owned’ the neighborhood, so she rarely didn’t have an internet connection. If you’re a Comcast customer, I guess it is a nice feature when you’re traveling, but the shared connection has a different SSID from the local network, so it would seem that the Comcast modem/router/WAP has at least two sets of wireless gear inside, presumably using different channels. That just seems wrong, especially since I doubt there is a way to opt out or turn off some of the wireless gear in their network box. Yeah, something about that just doesn’t sit right with me.


You should be able to turn off features like sharing. My current gig uses cable modems, albeit on commercial accounts, as backup internet connections for many sites and features like this get disabled. We actually disable the WiFi completely, as we have a corporate system in place.

I don’t think Verizon does those tricks: My gear does broadcast two SSIDs, and it’s the same channel for the AP I believe. We have a Guest network that shouldn’t have access to anything but internet, but I give out access (You’ll need to know my dog’s name!) not someone else.


True, my router has that, too, so I guess the Comcast box wouldn’t need two hardware setups. And the Comcast roaming wireless connections seemed to be segregated from the subscriber connection, so no sharing, or at least, not without some shenanigans.
But I still suspect that could be a factor in the data cap news stories, I’ve just never seen it addressed. I’ll try to remember to ping @Lee_Ars the next time I see one of those articles on Ars Tecnica.


I had a student talk about this just the other day. His bill showed a sudden jump in data usage, even though no one in the house’s browsing habits had changed. He bought his own router that didn’t have the sharing enabled and, voila, his data usage dropped back down to normal. He thinks one of the neighbours was using the xfinity sharing.


Bam, there ya go! If it didn’t need cooling, I’d put it in a foil box. Ha! I don’t have Comcast/Xfinity, but I’m so glad my ISP didn’t try to give me anything other than a simple cable modem the last time I got it swapped out.


Stealth Destroyer has had so many modifications that it’s no longer all that stealthy… so all the compromises that were made in favor of stealthiness now no longer make sense.

The guns have been downsized to where it has less firepower than a platoon of bradleys. Something that matters as swarms of fastboats become the real danger at sea.

But hey, let’s go ahead and build the third one, but make it even less stealthy.


Mobile phones for satnav have come a long way. The first device I used for a Satnav was a PalmPilot, and it worked, ish. Then I used a Nokia, and other than overheating and crashing after half an hour it wasn’t that bad.

As the generations have gone on they’ve got more stable, and more reliable, but still the problem of the battery running down has remained. Then today for the first time I used my Pixel XL (first gen). Not only didn’t the battery run down, it actually charged quickly over the trip.

(Today was the first time using it, because my previous phone suffered from terminal kinetic energy poisoning the other day, and the XL was on a massive discount at a nearby shop, almost like they were trying to get rid of them for some reason… :stuck_out_tongue: )


I get the same kind of experience with my Essential Ph-1. My favorite phone since the original Evo.


Weren’t there originally supposed to be like 20 of these Zumwalt class destroyers? When I first heard about them they seemed super cool but the cost overruns have been ridiculous (kind of like the F-35). But hey all the defense contractors are fat and happy and that’s what really matters. /sarcasm


They only are making three.

And the defense contractors aren’t making the money either it appears the whole thing is a bust. One of the main cost drivers is the fewer of them you make the more each one costs.

But that’s ok, Germany’s latest apparently won’t even float or something.


Speaking of boats, remember the Vasa.

Also, reading ‘Superiority’ by Arthur C Clarke is highly recommended.


It’s amazing how friendly people get when all you say to them is “Thank you” in their own language.


From a purely scientific standpoint, is “enormous” a sufficient measurment of fun being experienced by a group? Furthermore, is the amount of fun available a fixed amount or does it increase as the number of participants increases? If the former, then at what point does the fun being experienced drop below the point where it could be quantified as “enormous”.

I am also curious to know if other variables have been accounted for, such as what if the group was comprised of a different species than elephants, and whether a group of mixed species would have any effect. Has the weather and time of year been factored in? Would the same level of fun have been achieved if it hadn’t been sunny or if it occurred at night or if it occurred in a different month than May?

We must also not forget the tensile strength of the spider web the elephants are playing on. The disparity between the weight of one or more elephants versus the weight of the spider web is several orders of magnitude higher. Has the spider web been reinforced to handle the weight? Has it been inspected to verify it is up to code for that level of load? It would be irresponsible for the spider to allow an elephant to play on its web if it has not designed it for that application.

If, however, the elephants took it upon themselves to play in an area that was not specifically constructed to meet their requirements, then the spider should check its homeowners policy to make sure indemnification and compensation is included should there be an incident while the elephants are playing on its property. Provided, of course, the spider isn’t summarily ruled as being a squatter if it makes its web in a new location each time without owning the land where the web is built.

(The above is in reference to hearing this song being sung to a group of about ten kids. By about elephant number 5, my mind decided it wasn’t going to put up with that any more and started working on the above analysis.)


It irks me when people try to make a billion sound so much larger than a million. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard the argument:

That’s absolutely true. However …
therefore, it is exactly the opposite of what they are trying to say.
One is to (only) one thousand as one million is to one billion.

One million divided by one equals one million.
One billion divided by one million only equals one thousand.
The first analogy of one second to 11 days is WAY LARGER than 11 days to 33 years. A thousand times larger, in fact.

That’s just basic chemistry.


People can’t understand scale. We’re not that far developmentally from 1, 2, some, many.

Numbers that get too high are literally harder to understand. Especially when the difference between a million and a billion years ago is moot since they weren’t there for either of them.


So apparently, Tumblr feels that if you attempt to visit one of their pages that “may contain sensitive media” and you haven’t logged in yet, the appropriate thing to do is to display that message on rapidly-shifting image that’s stuck in a loop and could very well induce seizures in people that are sensitive to that.


If I ever am in the position to do detail work in a post apocalyptic setting one thing I will look for will be tread on tires.

You haven’t had access to a Tire Barn in 25 years.

Also, people who don’t have access to showers don’t have a couple smudges on their faces. Even in desert climates most people can afford enough water to wash their faces off. Having your side characters have the same smudge on one cheek for days just isn’t realistic unless they are psychotic.

In addition, white people who go shirtless in the blazing sun day after day end up seriously screwed up, or at least no longer all that white skinned.

And please, while I’ve known women who can kick a dudes ass straight up, none of them were 110 pounds and built like a runway model.

And I’d use Wilhelm more often.

Also, if you are in a Camaro and shift three times between 200 and 220 I want to know how many damn gears that thing has.

Yes, it’s my fault for watching Death Race:Anarchy, but really.



What, you’ve never heard of the 27-speed transmission Camaro ME*?

ME=Movie Edition