Is it real or is it

Everything here is my personal opinion. I do not speak for my employer.
Back: October 2015
Next: December 2015

2015-11-10 »

If you have more devices using the wifi, your wifi will go slower.  But how much slower, Avery?  This much slower.

2015-11-15 »

I had low expectations for the new Apple TV, and this is one of the signs (combined with my theory that "apps" are not what people want on their TV anyway). Chromecast already did authentication right; how are they still so far behind?  (Also, just check out that onscreen keyboard layout.  Absolutely user-hostile, and vastly worse than the old Apple TV.)

2015-11-16 »

Working from Seoul this week.  I'm a little embarrassed to tell people what I work on.  "We're GFiber, we're going to bring super fast inexpensive fiber optic internet to–-"  Yeah, they have that already. Also LTE works on the subway.

2015-11-18 »

I'm unreasonably pleased to note that American food in Korea is about as much like American food as Chinese food in America is like Chinese food.

2015-11-23 »

I spent a few years working in the banking world (no, not investment banking: the super slow-moving savings & loan stuff.  If you think that doesn't sound like me, well, it doesn't sound like me :)).

While I was there, the international banking crash of 2008 happened (not my fault).  Around that time, a couple people mentioned the idea of negative rates to me, and that was shot down by anyone with "real experience" as being totally mathematically impossible; they treated zero interest like an asymptote, not a threshold.  I kind of suspected they were incorrect though I wasn't sure I understood the economic theory well enough.  Well, I guess they were incorrect:

I find it amusing how hard people have to work to rationalize negative interest rates.  It isn't that complicated; if my savings account rate drops from 1% to 0%, or from 0.25% to -0.75%, the absolute value difference in my account balance next year is the same.  The rest just follows from there.

2015-11-26 »

Experimenting with stack charts wifi speed "bins" instead of percentiles.  This removes the distraction of comparing "how great" the great wifi connections are, so you can focus more easily on how bad the bad connections are.  "Green" is essentially "fast enough to stream Netflix at full rate."  Still getting some odd results even at pretty high signal levels, though they may be bugs in the test rather than in the wifi.

2015-11-29 »

White privilege with a Canadian twist:

That thing where you're trying to get back into the U.S. and you forgot your work visa form and the immigration guy decides to let you in anyway, "just this once."

2015-11-30 »

On my iPhone I have the TomTom GPS app, which I bought 5+ years ago for $80.  Best $80 I ever spent.  It has a number of really great things about it, especially that it works even in places where I have no Internet, because it has offline maps of all of Canada and the US, and it fits them in ~1.5 GB.  Sure, its routing isn't ideal, and its points of interest are always out of date, and its search feature is terrible.  But that one offline maps feature makes up for a lot.

When I come to visit MTV (such as this week), I always give Google Maps at least one try to see if I prefer it yet.  Unfortunately, still no.  The offline maps aren't that important for me on California highways because the cell coverage is pretty good (although if you want to go hiking or something a bit of out of the way, you're still at risk).

But there is one "killer" (almost literally) behaviour of Google Maps that I really dislike: it doesn't tell me soon enough where I'm supposed to turn.  I realize it's very hard to tune this sort of thing for everyone; the TomTom app obnoxiously over-communicates, with messages like "in 500 meters, continue straight" every 30 seconds or so down the highway as it tells you not to exit, again and again.  And yet, it's still way less stressful than Google Maps, where instead of "in 2.5km, turn right" it says "continue straight" (no distance given) and then "in 500m, turn right" even though I'm in heavy traffic and don't have time to get into the right lane.

Is this on purpose?  What is the point of the "continue straight" message without any extra information?  Why not give me more than 500m to make my turn?  Even a message like "in 36.5km, turn right" would be quite welcome; I can easily decide if I really need to get into the right lane yet, if I have that information.

Back: October 2015
Next: December 2015

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