Tasty, nutritious

...part of this complete breakfast
Everything here is my personal opinion. I do not speak for my employer.
December 2015
February 2016

2016-01-03 »

A pretty well-done report on broadband services, via the FCC:
https://www.fcc.gov/reports-research/reports/measuring-broadband-america/measuring-broadband-america-2015

GFiber isn't included, probably because we're too small.  If we had been, it would be a severe outlier and probably mess up their methodology:

  • Our Internet is ~10x faster than the fastest results in the survey

  • The survey doesn't even mention wifi, which for the ISPs shown, probably isn't the bottleneck in most cases for most users.  For GFiber, it's almost always the bottleneck.

  • They provide some kind of client device with test software that talks to m-lab for measurements.  Based on my own experiences, if this device is anything but an x86 (unlikely due to costs), it wouldn't be able to even saturate a gigabit service like GFiber.

We really are solving problems different from the ones everyone else is solving.

Separately, one major flaw in the report: it tests speeds to the nearest m-lab server.  That tests the "last few miles" bandwidth to your home, but an increasingly essential piece is your connection to the "real Internet."  Verizon FiOS does really well in this report, but I bet it wouldn't if we could evaluate the quality of their peering connections to eg. Netflix.

2016-01-04 »

The EFF is having a hairball about this, but I think it's the most reasonable proposal for zero-rating I've seen so far.  The biggest problem I can see is apparently each video provider has to register their site separately if they want to be zero-rated, even though (apparently?) they're throttled either way for customers using the feature.  I think it should be one or the other.

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2016/01/eff-confirms-t-mobiles-bingeon-optimization-just-throttling-applies

2016-01-06 »

The new Waterloo office has a very large meeting room called "Supercollider."

2016-01-11 »

Last week I got a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 to test it with wifi roaming (long story).  I hadn't used a Samsung-ized Android device before, but I'd just like to point out that it has:

  • A physical home button
  • A popup keyboard that has actual boxes around the letters (did anyone do a usability study before removing those boxes??)
  • A clock app where all the submenu icons have little labels under them
  • A notification pulldown menu that you only have to pull down once to see all the things
  • A redesigned Settings menu with settings in places I expect them
  • A surprisingly good note jotting app to use with the stylus (although honestly, I'd never use this)
  • ...and yes, the wifi supports 802.11v supposedly, which stock Android still doesn't.

Also, I got it several days ago and charged it, and I haven't charged it since, and the battery is still near 100%.  That's not really fair because it has no SIM card and its wifi spends most of its time unconfigured, so there's not actually anything for it to do.  But still, that's kind of cool.

I guess I shouldn't have believed the hype that nobody can make good, well-functioning, non-polluted Android devices.

2016-01-14 »

A tour of the offices of that company that is going to finally make your wifi not suck, so I don't have to: https://medium.com/@dahul/inside-eero-c1c2753e907d#.tnaxwkt4a

I feel like... they really got a lot of investment money.

2016-01-15 »

Bitcoin is reality TV for SWEs, basically. And not the classy reality TV like Rohan keeps telling me Survivor is.

https://medium.com/@octskyward/the-resolution-of-the-bitcoin-experiment-dabb30201f7#.dmjuo9rtu

2016-01-20 »

If dual booting Android and ChromeOS is the answer... what was the question?

2016-01-23 »

On a dare, I took advantage of the New York storm of the millenium, nay, eon, and did something so stereotypically Canadian that almost no Canadian actually does it: I collected some snow and put maple syrup on it and then ate it.

Yes, I used chopsticks.  We're trying to be multicultural here.

It's actually tastier than I expected.

2016-01-25 »

The Cesium app for iOS is basically the old pre-iOS7 classic music player without all the Apple Music crap/adware, and with album shuffle included.  It's so much better I don't even know what happened.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/cesium-music-player/id924491991?mt=8

2016-01-26 »

I don't think I've ever seen an OS review this negative (this page, "Software", in particular).  And I've read Windows Vista reviews.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/9972/the-google-pixel-c-review/8

2016-01-31 »

If you just replaced me with a script that said, "Yes, there's room for improvement there, but do you really need to throw it all away and rewrite it from scratch?" it could get about 70% of the benefit of employing me with none of the inconvenience.  It would also be much more scalable than the current solution.

December 2015
February 2016

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