Saturday, July 12, 2014

Rogers High Speed Internet Hybrid Fiber – Fast and reasonably priced … at least as compered to the competition (what competition?) ** Updated

I’ve been trying to get the new 150mbps service for quite a while. Of course, Ottawa being a backwater when compared with the 6 million people in the greater Toronto area (GTA), we tend to get such luxuries a long time after they do in Metropolis …

But Rogers has recently changed all their plans and obsoleted all the older modems, including the one I own. They also took the $10 unlimited bandwidth surcharge and boosted that cost to $25. And yes, you guessed it, the existing surcharge is incompatible with the new accounts so if you want a new account you get to pay 150% more for the unlimited privilege.

But there is an upside. The bandwidth allocations are decent (as they should be at these prices) and they have an intermediate level for 15 bucks that should be sufficient for most people. And the kicker is that they have doubled the upload speeds, and that is useful to me.

So I decided to get hybrid fiber 60, which will raise my download speeds from a modest 45mbps to 60mbps, still modest :-) … but the upload speeds will go up by 150% to 10mbps from 4mbps. Cool. Of course, I regularly measure around 60mbps now, and if I do all this for no gain (i.e. the new speeds are somehow throttled to match the plan) then I won’t be all that happy. But the upload speed is still there.

There is also a promotion right now that allows you to get the basic model for 8 bucks rental instead of the 12 bucks for the advanced modem. I won’t need the advanced modem until we get the real speeds here, so for now I will grab the basic modem. That promotion will disappear soon, so get ‘em while you can.

Meanwhile, here is the speed of my link, which is still on the old speed until I go in to Rogers in the next few hours and pick up the new modem.

That’s a decent speed for a 45mbps plan and I have no complaints. Since the price for the new plan is the same (with the exception that I have to add the 8 bucks for the model rental for now) I will finish this article after the new service is installed and running.


Ok … easy to pick up the modem, easy to set up the new network. Well, sort of … I am trying to figure out how to get the wireless set up correctly (turned out to be trivial … just disable WiFi in the cable modem.) But meanwhile, my main machine is hardwired and the new speeds are pretty decent. Bearing in mind that my service has gone from the 45/4 speeds that measure out at 58/4.1 … the new speeds are:

So 76/11 effectively … not too bad at all. Rogers seems to have hit a decent sweet spot here …

Update: A few days later and I am still getting excellent speeds. The closest server is not actually the fastest server it turns out. TekSavvy runs one in Toronto that gives stunning speeds, starting with a ping of only 11ms!

Wow … I only wish all server responded like that server Smile

I have to say that Rogers continues to impress me with superb technology. I don’t really see how Bell can compete with their Fibe service being considerably slower than this in my neighbourhood …of course, both Rogers and Bell have much faster services, but not here … I am especially interesting in Bell’s Fibe 175/175, which is priced pretty close to what I already pay (minus the infinite bandwidth I get.) So I’ll continue watching to see if they ever deploy it here. The 50 has finally hit the neighbourhood, so they are obviously upgrading slowly but surely …

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Published in the Ottawa Citizen Ourtown section …

I was published last week but managed to be up to my eyeballs enough to forget to blog it … this was the Monarch image … many thanks go to the Ottawa Citizen Ourtown section editor, Robbi Hay.

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This Thursday, I’ll be published again with the hummer image …

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Grab an Ottawa Citizen this Thursday to see what’s shakin’ in the citizen and surrounding areas this week and weekend …

And again, thanks Robbi!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Funniest internet handle?

A clip from the Absolute Sounds (TAS) internet audio magazine’s forum where a recent article discussing identical bit streams being sent over a proprietary interface trouncing the same stream sent over USB. The quality of system required is astounding, and of course one has to wonder if the golden ears required to actually hear the difference in digital streams where the only difference is the transport is actually a definition of hallucination.

Anyway … that’s not what this is about …. this is about the funniest internet handle I have seen to date …

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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

A video that explains very clearly the true level of devastation wrought in the USA in the last 35 years against the middle class and the poor …

I really enjoy the YouTube channel TYT (The Young Turks) because they give really good analyses of current events in language that is crisp and yet can be very amusing. But sometimes they are as serious as a heart attack and it is those essays that I like the best. Especially when delivered by Cenk Uygur, their lead reporter (not sure what title he actually holds.) And given that I have an interest in social politics, i.e. the policies that have destroyed the middle class in western society, I thought this video would be very interesting.

What an understatement.

Cenk goes through a series of statistics that show that the USA has fallen to #2 overall for both middle class wealth, and for median income. The first is what the middle brackets take home, and the second is the line where 50% of people make more and 50% less.

Each of these numbers is important because they show how the primary tax base is doing. And it is not doing well in the USA. In fact, it has been stagnant since 2000 where Canada and Britain (for example) have risen 19.7% …. that is a staggering difference. But to underscore it, Sweden and the Netherlands also had solid growth and even Spain had 4.1% growth!

So WTF happened? Well, that’s actually pretty simple … the 1% in the USA figured out how to sucker voters into believing in trickle down economics – where you reduce taxes on the 1% and they pay you back by trickling that down in jobs and health care and so on. So the voters gave them what they wanted and the socked all that money away, leaving the poor and middle class quite literally devastated.

I’ll stop there, since what you really should do is watch this video. If you are an American, this should give you serious pause. He’s not lying … he’s showing you want independent research says has really happened since 1979, not what the prevailing fantasy would have you believe. And if you are Canadian, Swedish, Dutch, etc. then this should not only make you proud, but also very wary of right wing governments and their penchant for servicing corporate greed. We absolutely cannot allow these same policies to devastate our countries’ middle classes and poor as they have the USA!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

The Greatest Car Ever Made – ‘57 Chevy

I’ve always loved this car. When I was 16, I wanted to buy one but could not find one that was not already ruined by rust. So I bought a ‘65 Plymouth Savoy instead and enjoyed it. Later, I got a ‘67 Mustang and then traded it for a ‘67 Chevy Convertible.

But I never got over getting the car of my birth year. Here is an image of the car that I shot at the Kanata Cruise Night last summer … you can see why it is so prized.

And this year the car and I both turn 57.

So when I saw this video I admit that my mind was totally blown ….