Friday, October 9th, 2009

How Much Would You Pay for Reliable Over-the-Air Bandwidth?

October 8, 2009 by Rico Mossesgeld  
Filed under Ramblings of a Gadget Geek, Services

How Much Would You Pay for Reliable Over-the-Air Bandwidth?

During a speech at the CTIA conference, AT&T CEO Ralph de la Vega “hinted at an unpleasant way of dealing with… the disproportionate wireless bandwidth usage of iPhone users”. PC World’s Mark Sullivan thinks de la Vega will start throttling bandwidth for iPhone users, who according to Sullivan represent only 3% of AT&T’s smartphone users, yet are responsible for 40 percent of over-the-air (OTA) bandwidth usage. AT&T apparently can’t keep up with the demand, especially since the wireless spectrum in the US is getting more crowded nowadays.

Too Many Customers, Too Little Capacity
The problem with “rationing” OTA bandwidth is of course, …read more

What do You Think of iSinglePayer’s Rejection for Being “Politically Charged”?

What do You Think of iSinglePayer’s Rejection for Being “Politically Charged”?

To recap: the creator of iSinglePayer, an app that claims to document “the inefficiency of the US health care system”, is complaining about Apple rejecting the informational app, preventing it from appearing from the company’s widely popular App Store. The creator has thus accused Apple of “censorship”, claiming that it is inconsistent by allowing “certain propaganda” on the App Store.
In a certain sense, that claim is valid. How many RSS readers are available on the App Store? Ranging from free to several dollars in price, these kind of apps allow users to subscribe to liberal websites like The Huffington Post, …read more

What Gadgets Can’t You Live Without?

What Gadgets Can’t You Live Without?

It’s true that technology has created new needs for us, which are ultimately not really vital to our existence. Laptops and desktops have made internet access “important” for a lot of people, but they won’t literally die if they can’t go online, right?
Still, the necessity that gadgets create in our lives is still very significant. We use them to work, avoid boredom, socialize with others, collaborate, and a whole lot more—in ways that are constantly changing.
That’s why these essentials also change, based on our changing sentiments. My laptop used to be a frequent companion, letting me work practically anywhere with …read more

Rest in Peace, Senator Edward Kennedy

August 27, 2009 by Rico Mossesgeld  
Filed under Ramblings of a Gadget Geek

Rest in Peace, Senator Edward Kennedy

Despite his old age, he was quite the geek, reportedly the first member of the US Congress to have a website:

He is known for his brief speech supporting Net Neutrality, given way before many of his colleagues found out what the term even means:
See what Senator Kennedy did there? He was able to package a core value of the net culture—free access to information, any kind of information—into a cohesive whole, understandable by any reasonable person, regardless of how frequently they’re in front of the computer screen. Most importantly, he presented the open internet as important to the future of …read more

Down With the Walled Garden Apple!

Down With the Walled Garden Apple!

Update: Whoops, correction time! Got this in my inbox a few hours after this post was published:

As stated in your article, Kevin Duerr is not “the leader of the team behind the high-profile Google Voice iPhone app.” His company, Riverturn, developed a Google Voice-related app for the iPhone called, VoiceCentral. The VoiceCentral app was accepted, then removed from the App Store. Can you please make this correction? Thanks.
The original post with corrections is below. Apologies to Kevin Duerr.
Apple-bashing seems to be en vogue nowadays. Both Mahalo founder Jason Calacanis and Kevin Duerr, leader of the …read more

An Experiment on Acceptable Racism

An Experiment on Acceptable Racism

C’mon, I dare you, watch the two online videos below:
So, without thinking whatsoever, which one did you funny (if at all)? Which do you consider patently racist? I’ll be honest, I found the Poker face spoof funny, but was outraged by the Boom Boom Pow spoof. Yes, I’m of Asian descent.

So How Do You Determine if Your Computer’s Part of a Botnet?

So How Do You Determine if Your Computer’s Part of a Botnet?

You’ve probably heard of botnets, those unsuspectingly evil tools of hackers, basically hijacked computers spread throughout the world used for nefarious purposes.
A bit of a sensationalist exaggeration there (and just to be clear, not all botnets are evil, or used for such). What’s most important though is determining if your computer is a botnet, if only to remove that pesky overhead on your rightfully owned bandwidth. The question is, are the egotistic Slashdot community members willing to settle on a consensus, that’s easy to read for John Q. Public? The smart money (mine) says: no!
That doesn’t mean you can’t visit …read more

RIAA’s Proof That Digital Downloads are Killing the Music Industry

August 3, 2009 by Rico Mossesgeld  
Filed under Audio, Ramblings of a Gadget Geek

RIAA’s Proof That Digital Downloads are Killing the Music Industry

The New York Times recently came with an infograph charting different kinds of media and the sales they’ve enjoyed. Here’s a breakdown of each medium and their respective peak years and sales for those respective years:

Medium
Peak Year
Sales (in Billion $)

8-Track
1978
3.1

Cassette
1988
6.1

LP/EP
1978
8.1

CD
1999
16.4

Download Album
2008
0.6

Download Single
2008
1

The first impression that the graph leaves is that digital downloads are killing the music industry, as relatively lackluster sales are hurting the machinery needed to get our favorite tunes out.
To be fair though, it’s not clear if that was the RIAA or the NYT’s intent. It’s worth noting the chart paints a clear trend: the sales of older …read more

Paul Graham: It Was too Easy for Segway

Paul Graham: It Was too Easy for Segway

So why hasn’t the Segway taken off? Why hasn’t it delivered its promise of providing personal transportation for everyone? Paul Graham thinks he has the answer: it makes things look too easy:
The reason you look like a dork riding a Segway is that you look smug. You don’t seem to be working hard enough.
Someone riding a motorcycle isn’t working any harder. But because he’s sitting astride it, he seems to be making an effort. When you’re riding a Segway you’re just standing there. And someone who’s being whisked along while seeming to do no work—someone in a sedan chair, for …read more

Can Anyone be Allergic to WiFi?

Can Anyone be Allergic to WiFi?

So you may have heard about the man who’s apparently allergic to WiFi. Steve Miller has to live in a house with 18-inch thick walls, and can’t just go anywhere, as he has to avoid the “electrosmog” that aggravates his claimed “electromagnetic hypersensitivity” and characterizes his allergy to WiFi. The increasing number of WiFi hotspots definitely doesn’t help his case.
On the other hand, the Telegraph’s Ian Douglas claims that WiFi-allergy is impossible, and that something else is causing Steve Miller’s reaction. Douglas explains that WiFi operates on a frequency similar to radio waves and mobile phone signals, and that hotspots …read more

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