So it’s 4G now

AT&T has relabeled their existing 3G data network as a 4G network. By definition, 4G network standards like LTE (Long Term Evolution) run at speeds of 1 Gbit/s for low-mobility connections like cellphones.

AT&T claims:

“The whole industry has come to equate more speed with 4G,” said Ralph de la Vega, chief executive of AT&T’s wireless unit. He says consumers generally won’t notice the difference in speed between AT&T’s HSPA-plus and upcoming LTE networks, so it makes sense to call both 4G.

John Donovan, AT&T’s chief technology officer, said speeds on HSPA-plus and LTE phones will feel similar now, but users will start to notice a difference in the two technologies once richer applications become available. [Source: Motherboard]

Mayor of Iceland capital a comedian

Mayor of Iceland capital Reykjavík is a funny man. Before he is mayor, he is a comedian. He now refuses to form coalition with any party whose members haven’t seen all five seasons of “The Wire.” He sang about polar bears and pet a rock in his campaign video:

Besti Flokkurinn – The Best Video – Subtitles

“We are the best” – Video from the Best party – Jon Gnarr Mayor of Reykjavik 2010

Icelander’s Campaign Is a Joke, Until He’s Elected

Last month, in the depressed aftermath of the country’s financial collapse, the Best Party emerged as the biggest winner in Reykjavik’s elections, with 34.7 percent of the vote, and Mr. Gnarr — who also promised a classroom of kindergartners he would build a Disneyland at the airport — is now the fourth mayor in four years of a city that is home to more than a third of the island’s 320,000 people.

In his acceptance speech he tried to calm the fears of the other 65.3 percent. “No one has to be afraid of the Best Party,” he said, “because it is the best party. If it wasn’t, it would be called the Worst Party or the Bad Party. We would never work with a party like that.” (Source: New York Times)

Did I mention that his wife is also Björk’s best friend?

Dancing in a train station

Op Zoek naar Maria gaat van start op vtm, en dat zullen ze in Antwerpen geweten hebben. Ruim 200 dansers hebben de hal van het station op z’n kop gezet.

No I don’t know what the above means. Op zoek naar Maria (Looking for Maria) is a talent competition program that aired in Belgium on Vtm. It premiered on March 25, 2009. The premise of the series was to find a musical theatre performer to play the role of Maria von Trapp in the 2009 Albert Verlinde and Roel Vente revival of The Sound of Music at the Efteling Theatre. The show is hosted by Koen Wauters and featured Frank Van Laecke, Linda Lepomme, and Peter de Smet as the judges for the show. (Source: Wikipedia)

Op zoek naar Maria – Dans in het Centraal Station van Antwerpen

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More viral marketing fun.

Why I joined Media Temple 2 years ago and now am leaving

I previously set up a blog with one of those cheap web host that probably stores like a 150 websites in one server. The price is low and the service I got is alright, typically a one day response time which I am fine with. It was until that low-cost web host start insist on me having one of those VPS plans that I started to turn away. I couldn’t afford the VPS back then and I wasn’t that keen to let them suspend my account due to high activity.

So I was pretty determined to get a good host and stay there for the next few years. Changing hosts is such a chore. Media Temple has a lot to offer:

  • Professional looking: A professional made website with good design and nice pictures of servers. I gotta admit that at one point of time I actually thought their servers look like that.
  • Supports large websites: Media Temple hosts multiple huge websites that I go to. Today they host 9rules and Django Project. And they load pretty quickly. Of course those are under their premium plans but I thought that they would offer me something roughly on par.
  • Marketing gaga: I’m totally into the marketing term “grid”. Even though Media Temple’s Grid Service is not the same grid computing I later understand, the term “grid” was a key deciding factor. Back then I did not understand the term. It just sound like one of those plans I should be having.
  • Designer control panel: Media Temple actually has a wonderful control panel. I’m sick of CPanel and was looking for something fresher. Media Temple’s control panel is almost like a designer panel. And well, the demo control panel also loads quite quickly.
  • Transparency in hosting: Media Temple also has this RSS feed where they reveal incidents of their clusters. This is a huge plus to me. I see the transparency of the hosting provider. I like that level of transparency and they keep updating their customers with rather detail ongoings.
  • Customer centricity: Media Temple has generally positive reviews and does a lot of damage control around the web. This appeals to me. It appears that they’re listening.

So I signed up for Media Temple’s Grid Service thinking that it’s the end of all my worries. But it rarely is the case as I explain below:

  • So what if it’s professional looking: This just means Media Temple hire good designers and have the revenue to do so. A good design invites people but is hardly representative of the level of service they provide.
  • So what if it supports large websites: Media Temple is likely to have place much of their technical resources in these large websites. Media Temple has a stake in maintaining the online time of these websites as they placed their logos on these sites and has become closely associated with them. If you ain’t going to be paying for some of their really expensive services, I doubt you get anything close to that level of dedication.
  • And yeah I believed the marketing department: Well, the word “grid” is totally meaningless. In fact I feel kinda stupid believing it was the holy grail or something. “Grid” turns out to have lots of problems and these includes slow database access which mattered greatly to me.
  • So what if there’s a designer control panel: Designer control panel that is slow, may I add. I found it crawling. When you really need something like accessing the database with phpmyadmin, you will realized how many clicks it takes to reach there. You can’t open a control panel page into a new tab also and that’s bad usability. Control panel takes longer than it should and I pretty much given up using it. The demo control panel does not reflect the speed of your control panel.
  • So transparent but no improvement: Sure they post lots of issues and are still rather transparent. But it just took too long for them to fix their problems. Having an RSS feeds detailing the server faults makes customers slightly more forgiving but what I want to see is a change. It’s almost like someone recognizing his/her mistake and apologies but commits the same thing all over again. After a while, I realized no news is good news. Media Temple have some issues with their vendor Blue Arc and somehow these issues affected a portion of their customers. They took a long time to resolve. I am not sure to what extend it has been resolved.
  • Customer centricity non-existent: I wrongly assumed the level of support from Media Temple judging on the way they perform damage control. Media Temple support is rather poor. They take long to reply and complained that my database activity is too high on several occasions. The database analytic tool that they provide reveal no spike in activity. I mailed them and they insisted that I should check their analytic tool to resolve issue. Want to know how it feels like talking to a wall? Try Media Temple.

Ultimately, what mattered more than webhosting support is not having the need to request for support. Today I hardly request for support because I just don’t need it.

And that is what I call great service.

[If you are interested in Slicehost, consider using my referrer link. Thanks!]

The weakness of open-source projects

Note the difference between the way Apple and open-source community does things. GNOME is just not cool enough.

This is what Apple iChat looks like in one of Apple’s site:

Apple iChat user interface
Apple iChat user interface

Apple essentially have gotten some happy people in their screenshot. At least they look happy too me.

And this is how GNOME Empathy looks like as one of GNOME’s screenshots:

GNOME Empathy screenshot
GNOME Empathy screenshot

GNOME got 2 guys who appears not to have been that pleased with being selected for a screenshot demo. Granted both Apple and GNOME likes the racial diversity.

Open-source major weakness is with marketing, or rather the lack of. Now I really empathize…

How fast can 24 Samsung SSDs in RAID perform?

These guys got 24 SSDs from Samsung and look at what they did with them! Awesome. A 6 TB rig with RAID. And it hits 2 GB/sec. Another awesome for you?

We took 24 256GB Samsung MLC SSD’s and put them in RAID to make this awesome computer! See how we did it, and what the results were!

And BTW this is great viral marketing too. Good choice of handing out the SSDs to these guys, Samsung!

“We decided to ship the Windows 7 code as Windows 6.1”

And so… Windows 7 is the name for the new version of Windows, the successor of Windows Vista. The thing is… It actually is Windows 6.1 if you check system properties and this has been confirmed by the Windows Team Blog. I don’t think it’s that great an idea honestly. I prefer the marketing version number to coincide with the development version number.

we decided to ship the Windows 7 code as Windows 6.1

Windows 2000 code was 5.0 and then we shipped Windows XP as 5.1, even though it was a major release we didn’t’ want to change code version numbers to maximize application compatibility.

That brings us to Windows Vista, which is 6.0. So we see Windows 7 as our next logical significant release and 7th in the family of Windows releases.

We learned a lot about using 5.1 for XP and how that helped developers with version checking for API compatibility. We also had the lesson reinforced when we applied the version number in the Windows Vista code as Windows 6.0– that changing basic version numbers can cause application compatibility issues.

So we decided to ship the Windows 7 code as Windows 6.1 – which is what you will see in the actual version of the product in cmd.exe or computer properties.

There’s been some fodder about whether using 6.1 in the code is an indicator of the relevance of Windows 7. It is not. (Source: Windows Team Blog)

In the case, I think it would be better to just call Windows 6.1 Windows 7. I think it’s clearer for developers who are going to start using the Windows platform.

When a downgrade seemed more like an upgrade

This is kinda sad:

Free downgrade to Windows XP Professional Singapore

(Free downgrade to Windows XP Professional Singapore.)

Honestly, I prefer Vista but many people are apparently thinking otherwise. Where’s Mojave Experiment? One, two, three, everyone pronounce – “Mo-har-vay”. Oh, so it’s not “mojo”.

Mojo Jojo powerpuff girls

Mojo Jojo.

There was this guy who was skeptical that Windows Mojave is Windows Vista. When told, he calmly (and skeptically) remarked, “then why is it faster?” Windows Vista is not slower, but it is not faster either. It feels faster as much of research on perception is apparently being applied into Vista. Plus, it’s a fast HP computer anyway.

I like the Mojave Experiment, it proves how quickly people accept things without trying first. Mojave is a good marketing move. The rest of Vista marketing is largely a failure.

Microsoft fails to identify the need for people to switch over.