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Quick Hits — Why Now?
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Quick Hits

Dr. Jeff Masters has a long post exploring the possibility of 2010 – 2011: Earth’s most extreme weather since 1816?

This isn’t good – the cable box and DVR use more electricity than a new 21 cubic foot refrigerator.

I had to order a modem over the ‘Net because none of the local stores carry a modem that works with the local DSL system. Understand, they have DSL modems, but none of them work with the local system. Apparently the inventory decisions are made elsewhere, with no attempt to review applicability in the local market.


1 ellroon { 06.25.11 at 9:52 am }

Logic and common sense have nothing to do with marketing. And thank god I have easily available computer advice from my sons; I did not know some modems would not work with certain DSL systems. Do they HAVE to make them so specific? Like having to buy cell phone chargers every time, couldn’t the corporations agree that they should have one generic plug? Would prevent a lot of irritation and save some money…. oh never mind.

2 Kryten42 { 06.25.11 at 11:51 am }

That’s insane Bryan! *sigh* But you know that of course. And, in answer to your question ellroon, NO! They most certainly do not HAVE to be so specific (or proprietary)! They do that to lock customer’s in. Once you sign up, you have nowhere else to go. They tried that here (well, Telstra (of course) tried that here.) They didn’t get far, and the response from the public was massive! So, here all internet providers must follow one of the approves standard’s, and all modems sold here must also follow those same standards. The only escape from this, is that if they provide a cable service, they must follow certain rules but it can be proprietary, to a degree. It still must adhere to one of the internationally recognized standards, and all equipment required by a consumer must have more than a single source, and be easily obtainable. 🙂 DSL here must be either: ADSL 1, ADSL 2, or ADSL 2+. An option that’s rarely used, is that it can also support ANNEX M, which basically makes the uplink speed faster. I have 2 WiFi routers with inbuilt ADSL modems, and a standalone modem. I can use these anywhere in Australia, and pretty much anywhere in the civilized World, except several places in the USA (if one assumes the USA is civilized of course). 😉 😆

Standards have been around a long time. However, Corporations in the USA can do whatever they please, and consumers have little, if any, say in it. American companies believe in monopolies, and proprietary systems. That way, consumers have little if any choice, and can’t go anywhere else (at least, not easily), no matter how bad the *service* (or product) you pay for is. 🙂

3 Bryan { 06.25.11 at 1:03 pm }

The problem is the way you are identified as customer on the service, the authentication process. The local provider does use one, but makes the assumption that you are there customer because you are on their wire.

That was fine when it was “their wire” and no one else could use it, but that is no longer the case. They also do some things on their servers that are better and more securely done by the user’s equipment. They did it this way to make the modem they now lease dirt cheap and non-standard, which they definitely are.

All that is required for the system is a modem that allows you to selectively turn off certain functions, like sending the user name and password.

4 Steve Bates { 06.26.11 at 9:59 am }

My DSL modem has worked for well over 10 years now. It was a freebie with my first DSL account. They sent a technician to “install” it… oh, he installed it all right, and broke my LAN in the bargain. At the time, it was possible to buy one’s own DSL modem, same make and model, from a third-party source; I made sure of that before I committed to it. By now, if it goes out, I’m probably stuck with calling Ma Bell.

Stella’s DSL modem (yes, we have separate lines… mine used to be primarily for business) is one of those that store a username and password; I always forget that when I have to do something with it.

5 Bryan { 06.26.11 at 8:15 pm }

The modem I’m getting has set-ups in firmware for most services, including mine, and costs under $45. It handles through ADSL 2+ and basically you talk to it through your browser, so you open the box, plug in the cables, and type in the IP address. I’ll let you know if it works.

6 Bryan { 06.27.11 at 11:24 am }

Mr. Duff, nothing in that paper contradicts anything Dr Masters said, and I don’t think that the people of Maritime Canada would agree that 2010 was a slow year in as much as they experienced one of the most damaging hurricanes in their records, Igor. Nor would the people of Queensland feel it was a light year for storms given the effects of Super Typhoon Yasi.

There was a very rapid switch from a strong El Niño to a strong La Niña which is not a usual occurence, but despite the presence of the La Niña, we had an active hurricane season. That is not the way things are supposed to happen.

A lot of semi-permanent weather features, like the Bermuda High and the Summer Jet Stream, are not where they should be. Florida is having its hottest temperatures in June, rather than August. In the US there is massive flooding in the northern half of the country and drought to the south. Things are screwed up, and Dr Masters points out they were really screwed up last year all over the world. Hurricanes only make up a small portion of the overall weather picture.

7 Steve Bates { 06.27.11 at 3:18 pm }

Bryan, none of that matters if your understanding of climate has an ideological component…

8 Bryan { 06.27.11 at 3:37 pm }

I’ve never seen a lightning bolt that moved right or left based on the politics of the person being struck.

9 Steve Bates { 06.28.11 at 10:31 pm }

“… based on the politics of the person being struck.”

Only in my dreams…

10 Bryan { 06.28.11 at 11:12 pm }

Tsk, it is almost as if you would consider ‘striking’ a deal with one of the out of work weather gods 😈

11 Kryten42 { 06.29.11 at 12:17 am }

We’ve suddenly switched from a decade of drought to… “Ummm… the rain can stop now… Please!” We have now had floods over much of Aus in the past year. We now have snow in places it hasn’t been seen for years, and Winter started in May! We had tornado’s in Vic! Our Airports were closed for days because of the ash cloud from the Chilean volcano, and so on!

NZ is still copping a beating, and it doesn’t seem to be ending any time soon.

And most importantly, almost all of is is categorized as *unusual*!

“move along now! Nothing to see here… move along!”

12 Badtux { 06.29.11 at 2:18 am }

We just got rain here. In the last week of June. That doesn’t happen here. It just doesn’t. We have a rainy season and a dry season, and this is the dry season. It’s called the dry season because it is, duh, dry. But this year’s been ridiculously unusual. Our Jeep club is going to do our spring opening of our Jeep trail in the Sierras the SECOND WEEK OF JULY! We usually do that the third week of April, but even in the middle of May, the snow drifts were taller than our Jeeps! Crazy, crazy weather… and Mr. Duffer is gonna claim that some paper about hurricanes proves that everything’s just fine? WTF?

13 Bryan { 06.29.11 at 12:11 pm }

The Florida Panhandle and much of the rest of the state is above 700 [out of 800] on the drought scale and under burn bans as Gulf moisture is drowning everything to the North. The local power company is replacing poles all over because they are drying out and splitting. Things are just weird.