Over the last few months, I’ve been trialling Telstra’s Next G mobile broadband as part of an experimental “technology seeding program”. Despite my initial doubts, I’ve been impressed.
Previously I’d been using Vodafone 3G, tethering my MacBook Pro via Bluetooth to a Nokia N80. It worked just fine. I subsequently moved to a Nokia N96 and Virgin Mobile, which uses the Optus network under the hood. It’s terrible. I made a big mistake.
But that’s a story for another time…
Sure, Next G is the most expensive mobile broadband out there. But it’s also the best. Clearly.
On our road trip, we could use Next G almost all the way from Cowra back through Bathurst to Sydney. Yes, the signal dropped out as we drove through hilly areas, as you’d expect. But the data link automatically reconnected once it found a new cell — with the same IP address!
Seriously. Here I was in a moving car, running a ping and watching YouTube videos. The link dropped out. It reconnected. And when it did, perhaps six minutes later when the terrain sorted itself out, the video started playing from where it left off. Pings resumed with the very next packet number in the sequence — albeit with ping times of over 370 thousand milliseconds.
In another test, the data link kept the same IP address while I caught a train from Newtown across Sydney Harbour to Pymble. In CityRail’s loop under the Sydney CBD, there was no signal in the tunnels, but the link came back up within seconds of arriving at a station.
Somebody did some great network engineering. They deserve a pat on the back.
But what else?
Continue reading “The pleasure and (minor) pain of Telstra Next G”
Stilgherrian’s links for 12 January 2009 through 18 January 2009, gahered with care and moistened with love:
- All the ephemera that’s fit to print * | Noisy Decent Graphics: A lovely idea: take all the cool stuff your friends have written in the last year and print it in newspaper format.
- P2P is Killing the Porn Star | Perceptric Forum: Hollywood is not the only casualty of P2P, it seems. A nice essay.
- Business Sense | News.com.au Business: Buried in here is Business Sense TV, some Internet-based video productions. I have a reason for bookmarking this which is 100% Secret Squirrel.
- Twitter Spreads News Of US Airways Crash In An Instant | InformationWeek: Yet another story about Twitter spreading the news of an event before the mainstream media could touch it.
- Victoria Cross citation for Trooper Mark Gregor Donaldson | Department of Defence: The official Australian Army citation for the first Victoria Cross awarded to an Australian in 40 years. Terse, army bureaucratic language hides an amazing story of bravery.
- Child porn laws being turn on their heads – by the kids themselves | The Inquisitr: Child pornography laws were designed to cover situations when an adult was coercing a child into sexual contexts. But what if the “child pornography” in question is “just” teenagers taking photos of each other?
- Report Finds Online Threats to Children Overblown | NYTimes.com: A task force set up by 49 US attorneys general to find a solution to the problem of online sexual solicitation of children finds that there actually isn’t a significant problem.
- Right Whales, Wrong Whales | Media Watch: It's from September 2008, but a great story about how journalists got it all wrong because they didn’t fact-check with people who know something about whale. There’s also a bonus photo of a whale penis. I rediscovered this story while researching a piece for Crikey.
- Ten things every journalist should know in 2009 | Journalism.co.uk Editors' Blog: What struck me about this list is that any modern journalist should been across this knowledge well before now. Knowing that your readers are smarter than you on specific topics? Knowing how to use Google’s advanced search? How to use RSS feeds? Are working journalists really this far behind the pace?
- wordpress wiki plugin | Instinct Entertainment: This new plug-in which can turn selected WordPress pages into Wiki-style editable objects could be useful. I should look at it. If I had the time. Would you like to look at it for me and report back?
- BT-1 Bluetooth Webcam for Mac: The new BT-1 wireless webcam streams H.264 video and AAC audio. It’s compatible with Skype and iChat, so presumably it’ll work with Cam Twist and therefore Stilgherrian Live. I want a couple NOW. Available “late Q1”.
- In Venting, a Computer Visionary Educates | NYTimes.com: Ted Nelson’s book Computer Lib: You Can and Must Understand Computers Now was an enormous influence on me and many others. He’s now 71, and this piece based on a recent interview is a reasonable introduction to his work.
- How I Use Twitter at Volume | chrisbrogan.com: “At volume, [Twitter is] a bit different. It’s a lot like showing up to a very busy, very loud cocktail party, but also a business meeting, plus a focus group, plus several other social situations. Twitter, unfiltered, is like someone with mind reading powers walking down 38th Street in Manhattan. It’s not especially easy to manage, and it’s very different how things work at this pace. Looking at unfiltered Twitter at this volume just doesn’t cut it.”
- You are the President of Your Career | chrisbrogan.com: One person’s framework for focusing on your goals in an economically tough year. I like the reminder that a “career path” was something for your father, but not for you.
- The Bush Administration’s Most Despicable Act | Time: Joe Klein summarises the Bush II government’s contribution to the wonderful world of torture.
Stilgherrian’s links for 20 June 2008 through 21 June 2008, collected as automatically as the sunrise:
Continue reading “Links for 20 June 2008 through 21 June 2008”
Last night I managed to publish to the Internet while trapped in a stairwell and from a moving train. Tonight I can prove that it also works while travelling at high speed in a moving car.
It’s the same workflow as before — Nokia N80 camera phone, Bluetooth image to PowerBook, then use the phone’s data link to publish back via WordPress. But it’s still fairly clunky because it’s hard to type in a moving car in the dark, and I haven’t set up any actions in Photoshop so everything has to be done manually.
And I hate to think what this is costing me!
So, what do I do for my next challenge? Any suggestions?
As much as one stairway can symbolise imprisonment, another one at Gordon railway station (pictured) is a symbol of Freedom. It’s deserted, but I know there’ll soon be a late-night train taking me somewhere that dinner can be found. Huzzah!
Yes, I really was trapped alone in an office building, with deadlocking doors at the top and the bottom of the stairwell. One of the tenants is Westpac bank, so everything is solid. And I’d already phoned the client’s people but bounced to voicemail each time. I was looking forward to a long night on the stairs. Not.
And yes, I really did post to my website from The Stairway of Imprisonment.
My PowerBook has a battery. It talks Bluetooth to my Nokia N80 phone, and uses the phone’s 3G data link through Vodafone to teh Internetz. I used the N80’s camera to take the photo, and Bluetooth’d it back to the PowerBook for a quick and dirty bit of Photoshop. The photo transfer happened without disturbing the data link too! Impressed.
Luckily, while I was doing all that one of the client’s staff phoned back. I could take the call while still online, too. Hi, Loraine! She only lives 15 minutes of late-night driving from the office, so I was freed soon enough. And right now I’m on a train back to the City. Indeed, I’m posting this story precisely as I cross the Sydney Harbour Bridge!