Entries Tagged as 'Web'

High Speed Internet Gateways

Several of my friends have ask for help on a very similar problem — they disconnect a computer directly from a cable modem or DSL router, plug in a residential gateway (wireless or wired router) and can’t get reconnected to the internet.

It’s actually a very common problem; and there are several things that can contribute to it.

The first thing you should do is make sure you that have the newest firmware available for your device — particularly older routers have issues with DHCP (that’s how most of the devices get the connection information from the service provider).

Also, you’ll want to check your computer to make sure what type of connection you were using to get to the internet (some older DSL modems particularly required that you setup your computer to do PPPoE — most newer DSL modems will handle all of that transparently, but even they may not be setup that way).

But after you check all that you’re still likely to find that you simply cannot make a connection to the internet.

The problem is that the internet service provider setup the profile of your modem so that it will only allow a single device to connect to the internet at a time (the MAC address to DHCP table has a limit of one).  Each Ethernet device in the “universe” is supposed to have a unique MAC address; and the specification allows for what’s called locally administered MAC addresses as well, but no two devices should ever have the same permanent MAC address (and technically no device should be allowed to copy the permanent MAC address of another).

There are two ways to get around this.  One is to use the MAC address cloning feature of your router (that’s long term a HORRIBLE idea — it violates the rule that no two devices should have [or use] the same permanent MAC address; and the only advantage to it is that it might provide instant gratification).  The second, and better, way is to simply allow your modem time to reset — and you can hasten that by unplugging the power from it and letting it sit for about ten minutes.

There is potentially another way to hasten the re-binding of a new MAC address to the modem.  Some modems have a hardware reset button — but you’ll have to check the manual to see how to use it.  Most modems also have a web interface and resetting the device is one of the options.

Most cable modems have the ip address of 192.168.100.1, most ADSL modems have the address of 192.168.1.1, and VDSL modems have the address of 192.168.1.254 — but let me underscore I said most, not all (you’re going to have to read the manual if these don’t work — and to make it worse, some inexpensive modems have no web interface at all).

Once you bring up a web browser and point it to http://192.168.1.254/ (or what ever the address for your modem is) you’ll probably be able to just view much of the information with any authentication (and you need not have an internet connection for this to work).  However, to reset the modem (or possible run diagnostics) you probably will need to log in.  Many ADSL and VDSL modems will simply want you to enter the information printed on the modem (that’s to prevent a hacker from doing it, since it require physical access to the equipment), but again, you really will have to review the manual to be sure.

The option you’re looking for will be called something like “reset: or “restart”… and there should be a warning that the internet connection will be interrupted, and that it will take several minutes (worst case) for the connection to be re-established.

If all this sounds like too much work; there is a third way, and that just involves patience.  The MAC address from the old device connected directly to your modem will age out over time — you just have to wait for it to happen (and it could be a hour or more).  If it’s late at night, just hit the sack, and when you wakeup the next day everything should be working with your new residential gateway.

Also, many service providers offer a wireless residential gateway (with built in modem) in place of just the modem — for most residential users just selecting that instead of the modem makes sense… for “power users” you might want a router that has more features or better performance; but the service providers residential gateway, out of the box, will allow you to connect as many devices as you’d like (including another gateway if you like — just make sure the ip network addresses they use are different).

  • DOCSIS is used by most cable companies, and technically it’s not a cable modem, but a DOCSIS “cable” modem.
  • SDSL isn’t used much in the US any longer, so it’s unlikely you’re going to find one of these modems.
  • ADSL is used by most of the Telcos, including AT&T and Verizon.
  • VDSL (ADSL2+) is used by AT&T in their U-Verse service and Verizon in their FiOS service.

Originally posted 2010-10-14 02:00:49.

Chromium

I’ve been using the Chromium browser a fair amount lately, and while it takes some getting used to, it’s quite an admirable browser.

Initially I installed Chromium in order to test web sites under it to make sure I didn’t need to handle any glaring issues (like is often needed with Microsoft Internet Explorer and Opera); but it seem to render most everything almost identically to FireFox and Safari (though there’s definite differences in the timing of the rendering).

For the most part I work on web pages that use fairly simply JavaScript to alter the appearance or provided better user interaction (Web2.0), I really know very little about HTML5 (I’ve run some tests on various browsers — but let’s leave HTML5 to those who really know something of substance).

I don’t know if it’s because it’s what I’m used to or because the human engineering in FireFox is better… but it certainly feels more natural using FireFox to browse and download (plus I like the “Page Info” and the “Error Console” tools a great deal).

One other thing I like about FireFox is that it’s ostensibly the same experience on Windows, OS-X, and Kubuntu… and it’s not the default browser on any of them — of course I can same the same thing about Chromium (well, except for OS-X).

Chromium, though, really takes a slightly different approach to browsing the web; and I think the developers really felt like their approach was simpler… and maybe it is.  After all, humans do not have any innate ability to use a particular tool — they have to learn, and maybe the FireFox tool has become somewhat ingrained in the tool-box of any internet user since it builds on the original web browser (Mosaic) and really has never attempted any large paradigm shift.

Chromium also presents the feel of something larger than a browser (and it is — after all, it’s a fundamental part of the Chromium OS project as well); and perhaps that’s what makes it feel slightly alien no mater what environment you run it in (of course, to me, Chromium OS feels very fairly alien in itself — but then again, I’ve only run hacked builds, so we shouldn’t draw too many conclusions about the OS just yet).

One thing I’ve fairly confident of is that Google will evolve Chromium until it has a reasonably large share of the market (I think Wave might be the only Google project that was abandoned — and I suspect that will find itself re-incarnated in some future Google effort).

While I don’t see the “resistance is futile” tag line on Chromium any time soon, I think it’s probably worth taking a look at — you might find it less alien than I do — and it certainly seems to work well as a browser (once you learn what buttons to press and how to hold your head).

Originally posted 2010-10-20 02:00:35.

Dynamic IP Filtering (Black Lists)

There are a number of reasons why you might want to use a dynamic black list of IP addresses to prevent your computer from connecting to or being connect to by users on the Internet who might not have your best interests at heart…

Below are three different dynamic IP filtering solutions for various operating systems; each of them are open source, have easy to use GUIs, and use the same filter list formats (and will download those lists from a URL or load them from a file).

You can read a great deal more about each program and the concepts of IP blocking on the web pages associated with each.

Originally posted 2010-08-17 02:00:55.

Internet Service Provider Mail Servers

This is a listing of server names for various internet service providers and hosting companies I’ve complied.  Use your browser (page text) search feature to locate the one you’re interested or browse them alphabetically (this is a lengthy post).

1&1

  • pop3:  pop.1and1.com
    port 110; 995 ssl
  • imap4: imap.1and1.com
    port 143; 993 ssl
  • smtp: smtp.1and1.com
    port 25; 587 ssl

Adelphia Internet Service

  • pop3: mail.adelphia.net
  • smtp: mail.adelphia.net

AT&T Internet Service

  • pop3: postoffice.worldnet.att.net
  • smtp: mailhost.worldnet.att.net
  • nntp: netnews.att.net (dial)
  • nntp: netnews.worldnet.att.net (dial)
  • nntp: inetnews.worldnet.att.net (broadband

AOL Internet Service

  • imap4: imap.aol.com
  • smtp: smtp.aol.com

Bell Altantic Internet Service

  • pop3: pop.bellatlantic.net
  • smtp: gtei.bellatlantic.net

BellSouth Internet Service

  • pop3: mail.bellsouth.net
  • smtp: mail.bellsouth.net
  • nntp: newsgroups.bellsouth.net

BlueLight Internet Service

  • pop3: mail.bluelight.net
  • smtp: mail.bluelight.net

Brainstorm Internet Service

  • pop3: mail.gobrainstorm.net
  • smtp: mail.gobrainstorm.net

Cableone Internet Service

  • pop3: mail.cableone.net
  • smtp: authmail.cableone.net

Charter Communications

  • pop3: pop.charter.net
  • smtp: smtp.charter.net

Comcast Communications

  • pop3: mail.comcast.net
  • smtp: smtp.comcast.net
  • nntp: newsgroups.comcast.net

Compaq Internet Service

  • pop3: pop3.compaq.net
  • smtp: smtp.compaq.net
  • nntp: news.compaq.net

Compuserve Internet Service

  • pop3: pop.compuserve.com
  • smtp: smtp.compuserve.com
  • nntp: news.compuserve.com

Concentric Internet Service

  • pop3: pop.concentric.net
  • smtp: smtp.concentric.net
  • nntp: news.concentric.net

Cox Communications

  • East
    • pop3: pop.east.cox.net
    • smtp: smtp.east.cox.net
    • nntp: news.east.cox.net
  • Central
    • pop3: pop.central.cox.net
    • smtp: smtp.central.cox.net
    • nntp: newscentral.cox.net
  • West
    • pop3: pop.west.cox.net
    • smtp: smtp.west.cox.net
    • nntp: news.west.cox.net

Cypress Communications

  • pop3: pop.cypress communications.net
  • smtp: smtp.cypress communications.net

DirectNIC Internet Service

  • pop3: pop.directnic.com
  • smtp: smtp.directnic.com

Dotster

  • pop3: pop.registerapi.com
  • smtp: smtpauth.registerapi.com

Earthlink Internet Service

  • pop3: pop.earthlink.net
  • smtp: ssmtpauth.earthlink.net
  • nntp: news.east.earthlink.net
  • nntp: news.west.earthlink.net
  • ftp: ftp-www.earthlink.net

EasyCGI

  • pop3: mail.[yourdomain]
  • smtp: smtp.[yourdomain]

FrontierNet Internet Service

  • pop3: pop3.frontiernet.net
  • smtp: smtp.frontiernet.net
  • nntp: news.frontiernet.net

GoDaddy

  • pop3: mail.godaddy.com
  • smtp: [none]

Google Mail

  • pop3: pop.gmail.com
    port 995 ssl
  • imap4: imap.gmail.com
    port 993 ssl
  • smtp: smtp.gmail.com
    port 465, 587 ssl/starttls

HughesNet Internet Service

  • pop3: mail.hughes.net
  • smtp: smtp.hughes.net

Internet America Internet Service

  • pop3: pop3.airmail.net
  • smtp: mail.airmail.net

iPage

  • pop3: mail.[yourdomain]
  • smtp: mail.[yourdomain]

IX Web Hosting

  • pop3: pop.ix.netcom.com
  • smtp: smtp.ix.netcom.com

Juno Internet Service

  • pop3: pop.juno.com
  • smtp: smtp.juno.com

JustHost

  • pop3: mail.[yourdomain] port 110; 995 ssl
  • imap4: mail.[yourdomain] port 143; 993 ssl
  • smtp: mail.[yourdomain] port 25, 2626; 465, 587 ssl

Lycos

  • pop3: pop.mail.lycos.com
  • smtp: smtp.mail.lycos.com

Mac

  • pop3: mail.mac.com
  • smtp: smtp.mac.com

Mail.com

  • pop3: pop1.mail.com
  • smtp: smtp1.mail.com
  • nntp: news.mail.com

MegaPath Internet Service

  • pop3: mail.megapathdsl.net
  • smtp: mail.megapathdsl.net
  • nntp: news.megapath.net

Mediacom Online Internet Service

  • pop3: mail.mchsi.com
  • smtp: mail.mchsi.com
  • nntp: netnews.mchsi.com

Mindspring Internet Service

  • pop3: pop.mindspring.com
  • smtp: smtp.mindspring.com

Mpower Communications

  • pop3: pop.mpowercom.net
  • smtp: smtp.mpowercom.net
  • nntp: news.mpowercom.net

MSN Internet Service Provider

  • pop3: pop3.email.msn.com
  • smtp: smtp.email.msn.com
  • nntp: netnews.msn.com

Netscape

  • pop3: pop3.isp.netscape.com
  • smtp: smtp.isp.netscape.com
  • nntp: news.netscape.com

Network Solutions

  • pop3: mail.[yourdomain]
  • smtp: smtp.[yourdomain]

NetZero Internet Service

  • pop3: pop.netzero.net
  • smtp: smtp.netzero.net
  • nntp: news.netzero.net

onehost worx Internet Service

  • pop3: mail.emailworx.net
  • smtp: smtpsecure.emailworx.net

Pacifier Internet Service

  • pop3: mail.pacifier.com
  • smtp: smtp.pacifier.com

PeoplePC Internet Service

  • pop3: pop.peoplepc.com
  • smtp: smtpauth.peoplepc.com
  • nntp: news.peoplepc.com

Pipeline Internet Service

  • pop3: pop.pipeline.com
  • smtp: smtp.pipeline.com

Rediff Internet Service

  • pop3: pop.rediffmailpro.com
  • smtp: smtp.rediffmailpro.com
  • nntp: news.rediff.com

SBC Yahoo!

  • Ameritech
    • pop3: pop.ameritech.yahoo.com
    • smtp: smtp.ameritech.yahoo.com
  • NVBell
    • pop3: pop.nvbell.yahoo.com
    • smtp: smtp.nvbell.yahoo.com
  • PacBell
    • pop3: pop.pacbell.yahoo.com
    • smtp: smtp.pacbell.yahoo.com
  • SNet
    • pop3: pop.snet.yahoo.com
    • smtp: smtp.snet.yahoo.com
  • SWBell
    • pop3: pop.swbell.yahoo.com
    • smtp: smtp.swbell.yahoo.com

  • Flash
    • pop3: pop.flash.yahoo.com
    • smtp: smtp.flash.yahoo.com
  • Prodigy
    • pop3: pop.sbcglobal.net
    • smtp: smtpauth.prodigy.net
  • Wans
    • pop3: pop.wans.yahoo.com
    • smtp: smtp.wans.yahoo.com
  • – Other –
    • pop3: pop.sbcglobal.yahoo.com
    • smtp: smtp.sbcglobal.yahoo.com

Seanet Internet Service

  • pop3: pop.seanet.com
  • smtp: mx.seanet.com
  • nntp: news.seanet.com

Sonic.net Internet Service

  • pop3: pop.sonic.net
  • smtp: mail.sonic.net
  • nntp: news.sonic.net

Speakeasy Internet Service

  • pop3: mail.speakeasy.net
  • smtp: mail.speakeasy.net
  • nntp: news.speakeasy.net

SprintPCS

  • pop3: pop.sprintpcs.com
  • smtp: smtp.sprintpcs.com

Sprynet Internet Service

  • pop3: pop.sprynet.com
  • smtp: smtp.sprynet.com

Starpower Internet Service

  • pop3: pop.starpower.net
  • smtp: smtp.starpower.net
  • nntp: news.starpower.net

Time Warner

  • Alabama (Birmingham)
    • pop3: pop-server.bham.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.bham.rr.com
  • Alabama (Dothan)
    • pop3: pop-server.sw.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.sw.rr.com
  • Alabama (Eufaula)
    • pop3: pop-server.eufaula.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.eufaula.rr.com
  • California (Bakersfield)
    • pop3: pop-server.bak.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.bak.rr.com
  • California (San Diego)
    • pop3: pop-server.san.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.san.rr.com
  • California (Southern / Los Angeles)
    • pop3: pop-server.socal.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.socal.rr.com
  • California (Desert Cities)
    • pop3: pop-server.dc.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.dc.rr.com
  • Florida (Cantonment)
    • pop3: pop-server.panhandle.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.panhandle.rr.com
  • Florida (Central Florida, Orlando)
    • pop3: pop-server.clf.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.clf.rr.com
  • Florida (Cape Coral / Naples)
    • pop3: pop-server.swfla.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.swfla.rr.com
  • Florida (Lake City / Live Oak)
    • pop3: pop-server.se.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.se.rr.com
  • Florida (Palatka)
    • pop3: pop-server.se.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.se.rr.com
  • Florida (St Augustine)
    • pop3: pop-server.se.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.se.rr.com
  • Florida (Tampa Bay)
    • pop3: pop-server.tampabay.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.tampabay.rr.com
  • Georgia (Ft. Benning)
    • pop3: pop-server.sw.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.sw.rr.com
  • Indiana (Indianapolis)
    • pop3: pop-server.indy.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.indy.rr.com
  • Indiana (Terre Haute)
    • pop3: pop-server.ma.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.ma.rr.com
  • Kansas (Kansas City)
    • pop3: pop-server.kc.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.kc.rr.com
  • Kansas (Colby)
    • pop3: pop-server.we.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.we.rr.com
  • Louisiana (Houma)
    • pop3: pop-server.sw.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.sw.rr.com
  • Louisiana (La Place)
    • pop3: pop-server.sw.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.sw.rr.com
  • Louisiana (Monroe)
    • pop3: pop-server.jam.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.jam.rr.com
  • Louisiana (Shreveport)
    • pop3: pop-server.sport.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.sport.rr.com
  • Maine (Southeast Maine, Portland)
    • pop3: pop-server.maine.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.maine.rr.com
  • Massachusettes (Athol)
    • pop3: pop-server.mass.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.mass.rr.com
  • Massachusettes (Berkshire County)
    • pop3: pop-server.berkshire.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.berkshire.rr.com
  • Michigan (Detroit)
    • pop3: pop-server.twmi.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.twmi.rr.com
  • Minnesota (Minneapolis)
    • pop3: pop-server.mn.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.mn.rr.com
  • Mississippi (Jackson)
    • pop3: pop-server.jam.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.jam.rr.com
  • Missouri (Kansas City)
    • pop3: pop-server.kc.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.kc.rr.com
  • Nebraska (Lincoln)
    • pop3: pop-server.neb.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.neb.rr.com
  • New Hampshire (Keene)
    • pop3: pop-server.ne.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.ne.rr.com
  • New Jersey (Bergen)
    • pop3: pop-server.nj.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.nj.rr.com
  • New York (Albany)
    • pop3: pop-server.nycap.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.nycap.rr.com
  • New York (Central Northern)
    • pop3: pop-server.twcny.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.twcny.rr.com
  • New York (Hudson Valley, Catskills)
    • pop3: pop-server.hvc.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.hvc.rr.com
  • New York (New York City, Manhattan)
    • pop3: pop-server.nyc.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.nyc.rr.com
  • New York (Rochester)
    • pop3: pop-server.rochester.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.rochester.rr.com
  • New York (Binghamton, Vestal, Johnson City)
    • pop3: pop-server.stny.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.stny.rr.com
  • New York (Staten Island)
    • pop3: pop-server.si.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.si.rr.com
  • North Carolina (Raleigh, Durham, RTP)
    • pop3: pop-server.nc.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.nc.rr.com
  • North Carolina (East Carolina, Wilmington)
    • pop3: pop-server.ec.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.ec.rr.com
  • North Carolina (Greensboro, Winston-Salem, High-Point)
    • pop3: pop-server.triad.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.triad.rr.com
  • North Carolina (Charlotte Metro)
    • pop3: pop-server.carolina.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.carolina.rr.com
  • Ohio (Cincinatti)
    • pop3: pop-server.cinci.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.cinci.rr.com
  • Ohio (Columbus)
    • pop3: pop-server.columbus.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.columbus.rr.com
  • Ohio (North East)
    • pop3: pop-server.neo.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.neo.rr.com
  • Ohio (Western)
    • pop3: pop-server.woh.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.woh.rr.com
  • Pennsylvania (Erie)
    • pop3: pop-server.ma.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.ma.rr.com
  • Pennsylvania (Philadelphia)
    • pop3: pop-server.ucwphilly.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.ucwphilly.rr.com
  • South Carolina (Columbia)
    • pop3: pop-server.carolina.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.carolina.rr.com
  • Tennessee (Memphis)
    • pop3: pop-server.midsouth.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.midsouth.rr.com
  • Texas (Austin)
    • pop3: pop-server.austin.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.austin.rr.com
  • Texas (El Paso)
    • pop3: pop-server.elp.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.elp.rr.com
  • Texas (Houston)
    • pop3: pop-server.houston.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.houston.rr.com
  • Texas (Rio Grande Valley)
    • pop3: pop-server.rgv.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.rgv.rr.com
  • Texas (San Antonio)
    • pop3: pop-server.satx.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.satx.rr.com
  • Texas (Heart of Texax – Waco, Temple, etc.)
    • pop3: pop-server.hot.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.hot.rr.com
  • Texas (Greater Texas, Beaumont)
    • pop3: pop-server.gt.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.gt.rr.com
  • Texas (Corpus Christi, Eagle Pass, Kerrville, Laredo)
    • pop3: pop-server.stx.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.stx.rr.com
  • Texas (Witchita Falls)
    • pop3: pop-server.sw.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.sw.rr.com
  • West Virginia (Clarksburg)
    • pop3: pop-server.ma.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.ma.rr.com
  • Wisconsin (Milwaukee)
    • pop3: pop-server.wi.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.wi.rr.com
  • Wisconsin (North East Wisconsin, Green Bay)
    • pop3: pop-server.new.rr.com
    • smtp: smtp-server.new.rr.com

Verizon Internet Service

  • pop3: incoming.verizon.net
  • smtp: outgoing.verizon.net
  • nntp: news.verizon.net

Verizon Wireless

  • pop3: pop.vzwmail.net
  • smtp: smtp.vzwmail.net

WildBlue Internet Service

  • pop3: mail.wildblue.net
  • smtp: mail.wildblue.net
  • nntp: news.wildblue.net

Windstream Internet Service

  • pop3: pop.windstream.net
  • smtp: smtp.windstream.net
  • nntp: news.windstream.net

Yahoo! Mail

  • pop3: pop.mail.yahoo.com
  • smtp: smtp.mail.yahoo.com
  • nntp: news.news.yahoo.com

Legend:

  • ftp: File Transfer Protocol
  • pop3: Post Office Protocol (incoming mail)
  • imap4: Internet Message Access Protocol (incoming mail)
  • nntp: Network News Transfer Protocol (news)
  • smtp: Simple Mail Transport Protocol (outgoing mail)

Notes:

Unfortunately, I cannot confirm the accuracy of most of this information; however, should you notice an error (or oversight) please contact me and I will correct it.

As I determine the encryption and ports for each provider I’ll add them as well.

Originally posted 2010-10-29 02:00:41.

AT&T, the death of Netflix

On 2 May 2011 AT&T will implement usage surcharges for their high speed internet services.  DSL customer will have 150GB included with their package, and U-Verse customer will have 250 GB included with their package.

AT&T maintains that only 2% of their customers will be effected…

As I’ve said before, if only 2% of the customer are going to be effected, AT&T wouldn’t take any action —  it’s easy to see that AT&T is doing this because they feel this is a way to produce a larger revenue stream for a service they previously advertised and sold to be “unlimited” — so you can view this as nothing short of radically changing the service after the fact, and charging more for less (remember, AT&T just raised their rates).

The effect of this type of cap is that if you used your internet service to watch movies, you’d better be careful — you won’t even be able to watch one per day; you’ll have to worry about watching one HD movie every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

I personally have always felt AT&T was a horrible company, and certainly from my view point it reenforces that view every day with actions like this.

 

Monthly Activity 150 GB 250 GB
Send/receive one page emails 10,000 emails

-and-

10,000 emails

-and-

Download/upload a medium resolution photo to social media site like Facebook 3,000 photos

-and-

4,000 photos

-and-

MP3 Songs downloaded 2,000 songs

-and-

3,000 songs

-and-

Stream a one-minute YouTube video (standard quality) 5,000 views

-and-

5,000 views

-and-

Watch hour-long TV Shows (high quality) 100 shows

-and –

200 shows

-and –

Stream full length movies (Standard Definition: SD; High Definition: HD) 20 SD or 10 HD movies 25 SD or 13 HD movies

Usage examples are estimates based on typical file sizes and/or duration of file transfer or streaming event.

http://www.att.com/internet-usage

Originally posted 2011-03-31 02:00:25.

No Flash

I’ll start by saying that my view of Flash is that it’s total garbage – completely unnecessary – and a huge security hole.  Before I dive too deep, here’s what Adobe says about flash on their product page:

Adobe® Flash® Player is a cross-platform browser-based application runtime that delivers uncompromised viewing of expressive applications, content, and videos across screens and browsers. Flash Player 10.1 is optimized for high performance on mobile screens and designed to take advantage of native device capabilities, enabling richer and more immersive user experiences.

What the hell is “richer more immersize user  experiences” supposed to mean?  Is that the way to say that the vast majority of sites that use flash on their first page are done by idiots who don’t know how to build a standards based web page and think that annoying glitz is all that people care about?  I dunno — but the whole spiel reeks of a load of crap to me.

No one has ever (successfully) explained to me why they feel they need to use Flash.  Does it actually do anything that can’t be done in a standards based way that doesn’t require that you update a crappy plug-in almost as often as you change your underwear?  Any one got an explanation as to why Adobe feels that they need to us a download manager and update manager that further pollute your machine?  Wait, maybe it’s because Adobe engineers are nearly as clueless as their target audience.  I dunno — seem like more crap from Adobe.

Flash is just crap — and it’s from a crappy company that lives in the past and tries to sell over-prices products to clueless individuals who don’t understand what they’re doing.  I dunno — maybe Adobe should just be used as a synonym for “crap”.  It would fit; some Adobe huts look a little like a huge pile of dung; and Adobe and it’s software share more than a slight resemblance to a huge pile of crap!

I have (on several occasions) republished a Flash video by embedding it in a post – but I certainly would rather provide a link to a h.264 or MPEG4 video in a standard container that didn’t require individuals to install any proprietary trash on their computer to view or hear it.

Join me in moving forward to make the web a “NO FLASH” place… just say no to flash.

FLASH

NOTE: One of my good friends tells me that I shouldn’t just rant on how horrible Flash is without presenting a solid argument.  I don’t, in fact, have to substantiate my opinion — my feeling is that Flash is such a huge pile of crap that it wreaks such that anyone who’d understand the argument already realizes it’s crap — and those who are clueless are hopeless… but, I’ll present a link to Wikipedia which describes what Flash is, and I’ll emphasize that anything legitimate that can be done in Flash can be done using open standards (that require no browser plug-ins) in HTML4 with JavaScript (ECMAScript) with some work, and allegedly they can be done much more simply in HTML5.  And for those with only a basic understanding of JavaScript you can find free and open source JavaScript foundations and widgets to help you build a web site that works on virtually any browser (or degrades nicely) and doesn’t require a huge stinking pile of crap from Adobe.

Flash (aka ActionScript) on Wikipedia

Originally posted 2010-10-21 02:00:39.

Web Servers

For several years I’ve used a combination of Microsoft IIS and Apache, which fits in with my belief that you choose the best tool for the job (and rarely does one tool work best across the board).

About a month ago I “needed” to do some maintenance on my personal web server, and I started to notice the number of things that had been installed on it… like two versions of Microsoft SQL Server (why a Microsoft product felt the need to install the compact edition when I already had the full blown edition is beyond me).

As I started to peel  away layer upon layer of unnecessary software I realized that my dependency on IIS was one very simple ASP dot Net script I’d written for a client of mine and adapted for my own use (you could also say I’d written it for my use and adapted it for them).

I started thinking, and realized it would take me about ten minutes to re-write that script in PHP and in doing that I could totally eliminate my personal dependency on IIS and somewhat simplify my life.

In about half an hour (I had to test the script and there was more to uninstall) I had a very clean machine with about 8GB more of disk space, and no IIS… and the exact same functionality (well — I would argue increased functionality since there was far less software that I would have to update and maintain on the machine).

Sure, there are cases where ASP dot Net is a good solution (though honestly I absolutely cannot stand it or the development environment, it seems to me like an environment targeted at mediocre programmers who have no understanding of what they’re doing and an incredible opportunity for security flaws and bugs)… but many times PHP works far better, and for very complex solutions a JSP (Java Servlet / JavaServer Pages) solution would likely work better.

My advice, think through what your (technical) requirements are and consider the options before locking into proprietary solutions.

Originally posted 2010-03-24 02:00:33.

AT&T, the company we love to hate.

On May 2nd AT&T will implement usage caps for all their DSL and U-Verse.

ADSL customer will be allowed 150GB per month, and VDSL (U-Verse) customer will be allowed 250GB per month. There’s vague language about exceeding the caps incurring a $10 fee for every additional 50GB used. And I say vague because it seems somewhat discretionary.

AT&T stated that only 2% of their customer would be effected by the changed in the terms of service imposing the new caps (that seems to be what AT&T always says, but if only 2% are effected it would seem that they are going to a great deal of trouble to address a non-issue).

AT&T will provide tools for monitoring usage, as well as pro-actively alert customers when there usage approaches the caps.

Using a notification structure similar to our new wireless data plans, we’ll proactively notify customers when they exceed 65%, 90% and 100% of the monthly usage allowance.

We are committed to providing a great experience for all of our Internet customers. We will communicate early and often with these customers so they are well aware of their options before they incur any additional usage charges. Importantly, we are not reducing the speeds, terminating service or limiting available data like some others in the industry.

And while AT&T insists that this change is only to deter the bandwidth hogs — one has to ask the question, what about people who just want to watch Netflix (or other streaming video) every night… are they “hogs” or just using their internet service in a manner that AT&T originally committed to them they would be able to.

To me this is yet another case of bait and switch where American big-business does as they want.

I certainly have no love or allegiance to AT&T — and I will be happy to jump ship the moment something better comes along; and something better always comes along.

Originally posted 2011-03-24 02:00:09.

AT&T U-Verse – Internet

AT&T offers three separate services through their U-Verse branded advance communications offering.  This post will deal with high speed internet.

Essentially AT&T U-Verse internet is DSL broadband — though at much higher rates that you’re likely used to… the particulars of the speed offering depends on the package you pay for.

  • Max Turbo – Up to 24 Mbps downstream Starting at $65/month
  • Max Plus – Up to 18.0 Mbps downstream Starting at $55/month
  • Max – Up to 12.0 Mbps downstream Starting at $45/month
  • Elite – Up to 6.0 Mbps downstream Starting at $43/month
  • Pro – Up to 3.0 Mbps downstream Starting at $38/month

Upstream bandwidth increases with downstream, and is generally much more generous than AT&T’s older ADSL plans; though the pricing of the lower bandwidth U-Verse services aren’t as attractive as the older AT&T ADSL plans (particularly with the promotions you can probably still get for the older ADSL combined with voice or even “naked” DSL plans)..

Not shown on their ordering information is a 30 Mbps downstream plan to be offered later this Summer that will ahve a 5 Mbps upstream.

Remember from my earlier post — you must use the AT&T residential gateway.  The gateway is a descent piece of consumer technology, though I’m not sure it’s a very high performance internet router.

My tests of it show that it’s definitely capable of sustaining the advertised bandwidth of your connection (and you really get the bandwidth your order); however, my tests also show that the router isn’t capable of sustaining a large number of simultaneous connections without rather dramatic performance degradation.

Which mean in plan old English — if you’re going to do Peer-To-Peer file sharing, the AT&T residential gateway will not be your friend… you’re probably going to end up having to reset it every day or two to keep it running well (I’ve noted that simply shutting down the connections doesn’t seem to help — but that could be that other P2P nodes are continuing to bombard your IP address).

For most people P2P isn’t a requirement, and certainly most people won’t be doing P2P much — and if they do, they certainly understand how to discontinue P2P services and reset the connection (remember it affects voice and video when you reset) when they need high speed connectivity for something else.

My gut tells me that the equipment is operating as designed — and intended to enforce a “fair use” policy by penalizing individuals who try and do P2P (after all — unlimited really doesn’t mean as much as you want, it means as much as your provider is willing to let you have).

And my gut feeling about the router operating as designed is further re-enforced by the fact that a great deal of though has been put into the design of the software and interface for the router… it will do pretty much anything any use will need for it to do (don’t think along the lines of a Cisco router with IOS, think along the lines of a prosumer / SOHO router).

Overall, my feelings are that the AT&T U-Verse Internet is a good deal, that it performs well, and at the high speed levels (well, not at the highest — I think there you’re getting gouged) it’s a reasonably fair price, and a very solid technology.

U-Verse Internet is really all I wanted from AT&T; and it’s the one service I will keep.

Originally posted 2010-05-17 02:00:38.

Google Music – Beta

Google has launched their cloud based streaming music service as a beta; you can request an invitation (using a Gmail account) via the link below.

What does it get you?

Well, up to 20,000 songs in your cloud storage; play back support on most Android devices; play back support from a browser; and an upload program that will sync your library to the cloud.

Not bad for free.

Apple provides a similar service for $25 per year; there’s no limit to the amount of music you can store.  The main differences being that there’s no Android support (basically devices iTunes supports is supported), and Apple actually finger prints the files and serves their iTune version of the music rather than your copy (likely at a higher bit rate — they, of course, don’t incur the storage overhead).

Amazon provides a similar service for $20 per year (you also get some storage for other files); and there’s no limit to the amount of music you can store, but you might find their uploader is a little less friendly to use (OK — to be fair it’s been updated since I tested it — so maybe not).

You can play with the free 5GB version of the Amazon service and decide if you like it, and it’s worth the $20 (I was hoping they’d just bundle it into Prime — but if they’re serious about Hulu they really need to start Al-a-cart charges for services, or Prime is going to have to go up).

Anyway, if you have an Android device, I highly recommend you go ahead and request an invite to the Google Music Beta — you can try the Amazon out as well… if you have an iOS device, you’re probably stuck with the Apple solution (but you’re an Apple customer, so you’re used to having to shell out money for everything).

Also, the Amazon tablets will reportedly ship with a free Prime subscription, possibly a free year of cloud storage might be thrown in as well (that’s speculation on my part).

http://music.google.com/about/

Originally posted 2011-09-10 02:00:28.