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zalternate

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Posts posted by zalternate

  1. Finally the money that was hoarded by the CRTC, via an illegal MaBell phone line tax in order to expand VOIP, is being released to help expand wireline Internet to unserved areas(hopefully unserved areas). The CRTC says Bell/Bell Aliant can not just use cellular wireless to expand Internet and has to do it via wireline.

    This should also allow Telus to expand to more unserved areas as well(other MaBell).

    So you still have a chance for high speed Internet without the interruptions, that many posts have mentioned, of wireless or satellite.

    Also see...

    sept 1 2010

    Barrett Xplore 'disappointed' with CRTC decision

    Telco: Regulator orders home-phone providers to pay $310.8M rebate, extend broadband services

    Officials with Barrett Xplore Inc. are "disappointed" with a decision made Tuesday by the federal telecommunications regulator, which the New Brunswick company says will give Bell Canada money to enter its territory.

    In a decision delivered Tuesday, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) said big-city dwellers will get cash back from their phone companies, while tens of thousands of rural residents will get access to high-speed Internet.

    Urban Canadians in Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia will get between $20 and $90 back from the large phone companies within the next six months. Subscribers in 287 rural and remote communities will get access to high-speed Internet by 2014.

    The windfall comes from a $770-million fund collected from the so-called Bell companies by the CRTC.

    The CRTC said in its decision that $310.8 million will go to urban, home-phone customers. Another $421.9 million will be spent on better rural Internet access and $35 million will help improve accessibility for disabled Canadians.

    The companies involved in the rebate and the improvements to rural broadband include Bell Canada (TSX:BCE) and Bell Aliant (TSX:BA.UN), Telus (TSX:T) and MTS Allstream (TSX:MBT). SaskTel will use its $1.5-million share of the fund entirely for improved access for the disabled.

    C.J. Prudham, chief legal officer for Barrett Xplore, says the decision provides Bell with cash to enter Barrett Xplore's territory in Ontario and Quebec.

    "The CRTC is granting money to Bell from urban subsidization to overbuild our existing footprint in the southern Ontario and Quebec area," she said in an interview.

    According to Prudham, the CRTC verdict gives Bell $5,000 per household to serve 61,000 "supposedly unserved households."

    The reality, she says, is that over 60 per cent of those households are already served, mainly by Barrett Xplore.

    So, there is no need for Bell to receive money to provide a service that Barrett Xplore, and others, already provides, she said. As well, Prudham said Barrett Xplore and other firms could provide high-speed Internet to the remaining 40 per cent of households more quickly than Bell.

    According to the CRTC, Bell Canada and Bell Aliant will connect 112 communities in Ontario and Quebec.

    "There are faster, affordable and reliable services out there already - without subsidization," Prudham said. "We are disappointed. We do think there are more efficient ways of doing this."

    Barrett Xplore, based in Woodstock, runs Xplornet Internet Services, Canada's largest rural broadband provider. The company operates in every Canadian province and territory, with a particular focus on providing high-speed Internet in rural areas.

    Back in May, Barrett Xplore completed its province-wide Xplornet broadband network in New Brunswick - ahead of schedule.

    Barrett Xplore uses both wireless and satellite technology to provide broadband access throughout New Brunswick, regardless of region or remoteness.

    In a statement released Tuesday, CRTC chairman Konrad von Finckenstein said his organization's announcement is "a positive solution for Canadian consumers."

    "Subscribers of the major telephone companies in urban areas will enjoy a rebate on their home telephone service. And residents in hundreds of rural communities will soon be able to take advantage of the many social and economic benefits broadband Internet access provides," he said.

    In 2002, the CRTC stopped the phone companies from lowering their rates in urban areas in order to protect new competition in the local, home-phone market. The commission diverted that money to a so-called deferral account.

    By 2006, competition in local phone service was established and there was no more need to keep an artificial floor on the rates. The commission then had to figure out how to distribute the money.

    The issue went to the Supreme Court of Canada in 2008, with a consumer group arguing that the entire amount should go back to consumers in a rebate. The phone companies wanted to spend the fund on service improvements in the rural areas. The court sided with the commission's formula for allocating the cash.

    For its part, Bell also decried Tuesday's decision, which came only a day after the CRTC ruled that the large phone companies must offer smaller Internet service providers access to their highest broadband speeds.

    "It's a bad week for broadband for those reasons," said Mirko Bibic, senior vice-president of regulatory and government affairs. "It's rather backward-looking ... it reflects further how out of touch CRTC thinking is."

    Source: http://telegraphjournal.canadaeast.com/search/article/1199282
  2. that a bunch of National Guard troops were deployed to the border ..... Ahhhh, politics.

    -D

    Well better the "U.S. National" guard is guarding the "U.S. National" border, rather than guarding "some other countries" National border. About 400 national guard killed in Iraq. They didn't sign up for going to war offshore. Guard the Nation for when regular soldiers have gone overseas.

    No one has made the push to guard the borders by much other than drones and cameras for a long time. Hopefully it will last. Catch and detain and then tag and release back to Mexico.

  3. The only other thing I can think of is either you have too much line noise, or maybe the ISP dropped your speed package speeds to the lower speed tier.

    Your speed tests show a steady general speed area for the tests. So your modem is going with the fastest speed that it can do or is allowed to.

  4. Do you have DSL Filters(see pics below. White items.) on your phones, where the phones plug into wall outlet?

    Unplug all phones and unplug DSL filters too, So that 'only' the DSL modem is plugged into the wall phone outlet and reboot your DSL modem and see if any change. And if you get faster speeds over the next couple of days or for long term, one of the little DSL filters is bad and needs to be replaced.

    click to enlarge.... The larger black item is a DSL pots splitter that goes into the service box where the house phone line comes in from the street. It is for to eliminate the little DSL filters all over the house.

    post-58433-062768500 1283280300_thumb.jp

    post-58433-077543300 1283280312_thumb.jp

    post-58433-064204700 1283280401_thumb.jp

  5. And heres the Ugggg side of satellite based Internet for Australia.

    Would be nice with the new high throughput satellites, but not enough people per satellite investment, for anyone but government to run the satellites according to the article. The outback is a big empty place with pockets of civilization and the new generation spot beams would have to be modified to fit the profile of Australia's needs. And carry other transmission platforms(TV, communications, etc) to make a profitable go at it.

    Will satellite broadband crash?

    31 Aug 2010

    With rural policy now front and centre in determining the country’s political future, the most overlooked element of broadband policy – satellite broadband – needs a rethink to win the support of the three independents seeking a better deal for those in the bush. It seems that the roles of both commercial operators and government in delivering satellite broadband to remote areas still needs serious attention from both parties.

    Although much of the election debate has centred around the battle between Labor’s expensive but advanced fibre offering and the Coalition’s cheaper but less ambitious approach, both parties agree that when you get to the most remote locations the only choice is satellite.

    Labor’s current NBN plan is to spend around $1 billion on two satellites and 11 land-based gateways to provide a wholesale network to these locations – roughly 200,000. The service would offer rural users peak download speeds of 12Mbps and upload speeds around 3Mbps, with underlying prices comparable to what their city cousins on the NBN fibre network would pay.

    The Coalition’s plan is lighter on detail, but was put forward as a “better” solution than Labor’s NBN satellite component, also offering $700 million in grants to stimulate improved satellite broadband services. But neither plan appears to deliver the best solution for those on the fringes in the long term.

    Even though many existing satellites already provide coverage across Australia, to deliver the speeds promised by the NBN the satellites need to operate in a higher frequency band – known as the Ka-band.

    When the NBN implementation report was released in May it raised the option of leasing commercial Ka-band capacity from a third party, but citing a lack of plans for commercial Ka-band coverage across Australia it was recommended the satellites should be built as part of the NBN – a component later revealed to be worth around $1 billion. But the commercial Ka-band satellite market is proving to be quite a dynamic industry.

    Earlier this month, leading satellite operator Inmarsat announced a $US1.2bn order with Boeing for a new Ka-band system slated to provide global coverage commercially by 2014. In North America, ViaSat already provides Ka-band service to rural users in the US through its WildBlue offering and Hughes is set to commence a Ka-band HughesNet service on its new Jupiter satellite in 2012.

    Over in Europe, Eutelsat is also due to start offering commercial Ka-band service to 20 countries later this year. Closer to home, Australian company NewSat – who were excluded from the recent NBN shortlist – are still planning to launch their Jabiru satellite in late 2012 to offer Ka-band capacity over Australia, Asia and the Middle East.

    Even without mentioning other more speculative or unknown plans that might be in the pipeline, it’s clear that the Ka-band market is evolving commercially and should not be discounted categorically just yet. In addition, money is available for commercial operators to build and launch such systems – importantly, not using Australian taxpayers’ money.

    Over half of the financing for Inmarsat’s new system is expected to come from the US Export Credit Agency, Ex-Im. The deal continues the recent trend of export credit agencies funding large slices of ambitious satellite projects (propping up their own aerospace industries in the process), with over $US3 billion of loan guarantees provided to commercial satellite operators this year alone.

    With extremely favourable repayment terms and fixed rates in the 5 per cent range it’s easy to see why these operators are prepared to spend big on new systems. Hughes – which formed a new Australian subsidiary in May – recently opted for a French launch provider over an American counterpart for their Jupiter satellite due to the availability of cheap money from Coface, the French export credit agency.

    Commercial satellite operators are clearly interested in new Ka-band market opportunities, and access to cheap export credit finance is helping these experienced operators to turn these plans into reality. With an up-front $1 billion investment on the table for a government owned and operated satellite network, the idea of a creative new approach utilising such conditions seems an obvious angle to explore further – and the satellite operators would be willing to talk. Beyond the question of who funds, owns and operates the satellite network, a privatisation endgame is also a dark cloud on the horizon that needs to be reconsidered.

    Under the current timeline – right around the time of the planned NBN privatisation – a large satellite replacement capital cost will be looming as the first generation satellites reach the end of their useful lifetime (usually ten to fifteen years). With a likely replacement cost in the region of $600 million it would be a big immediate hurdle for any new owner of the satellite network.

    Under the NBN wholesale model as it stands, it is difficult to see enough future cashflow being generated to warrant a capital cost of this magnitude on a commercial basis. Such a prospect would certainly not have commercial operators lining up for their piece of the NBN satellite pie – unless there was a significant government incentive.

    From an investment perspective, the NBN satellite component in its current form could in fact look like a hole of hundreds of millions of dollars in net present value terms to any potential buyer. A privatisation scenario such as this would not provide much comfort for rural satellite users or potential purchasers.

    Even with a current user base around five times of what the NBN satellite platform expects, government still plays a strong part in supporting commercial broadband satellite operators in rural America. In the last year alone, the two key US players – WildBlue and HughesNet – received around $80m of combined government grants. Even so, the commercial operators have been successfully able to fund, launch and operate these satellite networks. In Australia it’s clear that rural satellite broadband offerings need some form of government support to deliver pricing equality between city and country. What’s not clear is that committing $1bn to building a government owned and operated wholesale satellite system – with a possible privatisation exit strategy – is the best form of government support. But in the absence of a clear satellite business plan with realistic assumptions it is difficult to get a clear picture of the best way to move forward.

    With experienced commercial satellite operators having proven their ability to work creatively with government in delivering rural service outside of Australia, the expansion of the commercial Ka-band market and the potential of cheap export credit financing it’s time for a serious rethink from both sides when it comes to satellite broadband. And that would please the man in the big hat and his colleagues as they ponder who to “give the gong”.

    http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/NBN-broadband-satellite-Ka-band-pd20100830-8T4KM?OpenDocument&src=sph

  6. Looks like a good place for this news article.

    So I am guessing that instead of the third party resellers being limited to 6Mbps as the fastest speed on the main carriers lines, is now the third party can offer the higher speeds over 6Mbps to customers.

    And the third parties compete via higher caps, as some ISP's in Canada don't like high caps(keep them so low, it is a guarantee to go over), but will offer the user 'overage insurance' $$ to get the high caps that should be there in the first place.

    aug 30 2010

    OTTAWA — Canada’s telecom and broadcast regulator ruled on Monday that incumbent telecom carriers must give new entrants access to their high-speed fiber networks at the same speed they offer their own customers, but that they can charge a 10% mark-up.

    The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) also said cable companies, which have provided "speed-matching" for third-party providers since 2006, must make it easier for secondary Internet service providers to access their networks.

    The CRTC said the ruling will ensure that Internet services in Canada remain competitive.

    "Access to broadband Internet services is a key foundation for the digital economy," said Konrad von Finckenstein, Q.C., Chairman of the CRTC. "The large telephone and cable companies are bringing their fibre networks closer to Canadian homes and businesses, which allows for faster Internet connections. Requiring these companies to provide access to their networks will lead to more opportunities for competition in retail Internet services and better serve consumers."

    http://www.financialpost.com/news/CRTC+boosts+access+small+Internet+providers/3460901/story.html

    CRTC ruling page. It's nice and long.......

    http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/archive/2010/2010-632.htm

  7. Just say NO to the shakedown from your kids school.

    Budgets are tight, but why should you spend a bunch of money on maintenance supplies to keep the school running? Parents really need to wake up and see what becomes of education when school budgets are cut to nothing and no one does anything about it.

    My kids elementary school in British Columbia says you can buy from the school, the basic pencils, pens and notebooks. And thats it. Or you can go out and buy your own. And our government cuts school funding here too. But if you cut the school funding too much and you end up graduating a bunch of morons for the next generation.

    Beware of that "user fee" for the 'standard required class work/supplies', to graduate to the next grade class, that the school charges. It may not be legal under Federal laws.

    http://www.komonews.com/news/local/101522654.html

    aug 25 2010

    SEATTLE -- With budgets tight and the needs long, school districts want parents to help pick up the slack.

    More than ever before, families beginning back-to-school shopping are being asked to buy paper towels, cleaning supplies -- even refills for mops!

    "We've always had a list... this list just happens to be longer," said mother Kristie Garrett.

    Garrett is getting ready to send her two sons into third and sixth grades. In addition to notebooks and glue sticks on their school-issued supply lists, a few new things caught her attention.

    "Such as painter's tape, or tissue, or reams of paper that teachers will need to print things out -- that was different," she said.

    It's more money families need to fork over at a time when most families are watching every dime they spend.

    But public school districts, and even private schools, say they have no choice, they have to lean on parents more than in the past.

    "As schools have to make tough decisions about budgets, that anything they can do to keep their personnel in place, they will do," said Anne Haskins with St. Joseph's School.

    At Seattle's St. Joseph, parents can pay to have Haskins do all the back-to-school shopping for them. She buys in bulk and saves money.

    This year, nearly 400 bags are ready to go for students, priced from $50 to $140, depending on the grade level.

    But mingled with pencils and folders are rolls of paper towels, disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer, even Ziploc bags, and plastic cutlery and bowls.

    Families were even asked to supply wet Swiffer refills so the floor can get mopped.

    "The 7th and 8th graders have what's called "clean teams," so they're responsible for cleaning not only their classrooms, but the hallways at the end of each day," Haskins said.

    Buying more than "just the basics" could be enough to rub some parents the wrong way. But others say if the schools are coping with cutbacks, they're ready to pend a few more bucks.

    "I'm fine buying it," said Ali Feary. "I realize that budgets are tight and things like that. That's easy to get -- two rolls of paper towels? Not that big of a problem."

    But some parents say they've already been told that once school starts, they'll most likely get another shopping list. And across the country, a few districts are telling kids to come to school with a batch of toilet paper and garbage bags.

    Fee's for extracurricular actives are legal to do since the school does not have to have the programs like after school football, etc.

    http://blog.cleveland.com/metro/2010/07/schools_charge_more_fees_for_m.html

    july 23 2010

    BRUNSWICK, Ohio -- When Patricia Cox started her teaching career in Youngstown decades ago, the school system provided everything her students needed in the classroom, down to the crayons and writing tablets.

    Now retired, the Brunswick resident doesn't have to look far to see how things have changed.

    "My own son has to pay over $300 a year in fees for each of his three kids," she said. "There's nothing much free about a public education these days, is there?"

    Parents of public school students in Northeast Ohio have gotten used to shopping for long lists of school supplies as summer winds down. But in more and more cash-strapped districts, they're also getting a bill for fees.

    In Strongsville, parents of every student in grades 1 through 12 will have to start paying a $60 general fee this fall. It will raise more than $300,000 a year to cover the cost of student handbooks, interim progress reports, report cards and paper used in classrooms.

    While such districtwide fees are fairly uncommon, many -- Strongsville included -- charge for classroom materials like workbooks that aren't reused from one year to the next. In elementary and middle school grades, the sum usually ranges from $30 to $75. In high school, the charges apply to certain courses, with a science lab or art class typically costing $15 to $30.

    On top of that, an increasing percentage of districts make students pay to participate in sports and clubs. Strongsville is charging $100 per student athlete for each sport. But in Medina the price tag is $660, in Brecksville-Broadview Heights it ranges up to $675, and in Parma it could go over $1,000 depending on the size of the team.

    Parents now must pay

    The charges are just a fraction of the $10,173 that is spent, on average, to educate each Ohio student. But they don't feel so small to the parents who have to pay them.

    "Up and down the street, people are very upset about the fees," said Dean Triplett, whose daughter attends Muraski Elementary School in Strongsville. "I haven't seen the accounting that explains exactly how they came up with that $60 figure."

    Strongsville Superintendent Jeff Lampert says he doesn't like the fees either but rising tax delinquencies, falling interest earnings and pessimism about state funding have forced the district to cut costs. Measures include closing an elementary school and replacing only one of 40 teachers who have retired.

    "We gave a lot of thought to what [fee] amounts we'd need to help us get through this," Lampert said. "We do not take this lightly -- it's a very painful decision. We've gotten some calls from people about their personal economic status, and we'll be working with those folks on a case-by-case basis."

    David Gusman, the lone board member to vote against the fees, said he thought there should be some other way to balance the budget.

    "I felt we needed to make other cuts before laying on an extra cost to students to attend public school," he said. "The general fee is more of a way to recoup some of our expenses rather than a form of tuition, but it's a fine line."

    Ohio law gives a lot of leeway to districts that are struggling with the same pressures as Strongsville. They're not allowed to charge for textbooks. And since last year, they can't charge fees for required instructional materials to students whose family income qualifies them for a free lunch.

    Since Ohio is a local-control state, the state's education department doesn't have the power to disallow a fee, said spokesman Scott Blake. "That would have to be taken up with the local board and potentially with the court," he said.

    Many Ohio schools charging fees

    No one keeps track of all the different kinds of fees in the state's 600-plus districts and vocational schools. But Brittney Jarvie, a Bowling Green State University student, is finishing up a survey of pay-to-play fees as part of her internship with the Ohio High School Athletic Association.

    She sent the form to 829 public and private schools that belong to the association. Based on the responses that she's received so far from 356 schools, more than 40 percent have athletic fees.

    That compares with figures of 20 to 30 percent cited in various surveys done in the 1990s and 2000s.

    The most common amount charged was $100, Jarvie said.

    Pay-to-play has been around for more than 25 years. Passing on the costs of extracurriculars to families doesn't need voter approval, and it appeals to over-burdened taxpayers who grumble that parents should be responsible for their own kids.

    But parents like Linda Powers see the down side firsthand. She has two children in the Brecksville-Broadview Heights system, where pay-to-participate fees range from $50 for lacrosse to $675 for varsity girls volleyball.

    At the same time we're all getting the message that kids need to be more active, the fees are taking away options, she pointed out.

    While the stars who have a shot at a scholarship probably will find a way to pay, the student who doesn't play much will weigh whether it's worth hundreds of dollars to spend time on the bench, she said.

    "I go to a lot of high school sports events, and I can look at the size of their bench and tell you which schools are pay-to-play," Powers said.

    Brecksville Superintendent Thomas Diringer agrees that "we want students involved in sports and we know extracurriculars have educational value, but we're not required to offer them. We've got to look at the bottom line."

    The district is asking voters to approve a levy in November. If they agree, it will be the first tax to bring in new operating funds since 2004, and the board may decide to reduce fees. Meanwhile, officials there and elsewhere will continue to wrestle over what's the fairest method to assess the fees.

    The Brecksville board decided each team should be self-supporting, resulting in charges that vary by sport instead of the single fee many districts use.

    Parma -- which is taking its sixth try at getting a new tax passed in September -- has a similar approach, taking the entire cost of a sport or activity and dividing it by the number of participants. Some were canceled last school year because not enough students signed up.

    Some districts cap fees to ease the burden

    Strongsville officials put a cap on their fees so that a family pays no more than $180 a year for the general fee and no more than $300 a year for sports.

    There is no cap in Medina, where 93 teaching positions have been cut despite rising enrollment. Families who have more than one child playing more than one varsity sport will have to shell out thousands of dollars.

    That was the only way to make the sports program totally self-supporting, said Assistant Superintendent Rick Forney. If a levy passes in November, fees probably will be reduced but not disappear entirely, he said.

    Upcoming elections also will determine the fate of pay-to-play fees in other districts. North Olmsted's fees will kick in if a tax request is turned down next month. If two tax issues pass in Lorain County's Columbia district in November, fees "will return to a manageable amount," according to a letter to parents.

    In the meantime, booster clubs like the ones in Parma will hold fundraisers to help lower the pay-to-play fees. And student athletes will find jobs to help pay their way. In Medina, a website links them to community members who'll hire them to do chores.

    In the end though, most area parents will have to come up with the money for one fee or another. Districts often ease the process by having them pay online with the same system that's used for depositing lunch money.

    Many districts sternly warn that class schedules and report cards will be withheld if money is owed.

    The Mentor district tries to work with parents and will set up installment plans when necessary, said Treasurer Daniel Wilson. If there's still no payment after a series of invoices and letters, the matter is turned over to a collection agency. That usually happens in a few dozen cases a year, he said.

    "We try to be sensitive by having a long drawn-out process and multiple opportunities, but at the end of the day there has to be a consequence in order to be fair to everybody," Wilson said. "Most people have understood and accepted that."

  8. Nice article. Some sales people are honest and others are looking to make the largest commission possible on your back to school computers and supplies.

    There is lots of free software, instead of paying big bucks for the same thing. http://www.smashapps.org/2010/02/free-open-source-software-for-windows.html Make sure to search for and read online reviews of the products to see which one best suits your needs.

    http://www.idreamoflinux.com/2010/08/back-to-school-computer-buying.html

    aug 22 2010

    There are only a few more weeks before school begins again and technology companies are gearing up for one of the most busy seasons of the year.

    Even though having a laptop is not mandatory for college or university studies, students often justify the purchase by saying that they need it desperately for school. I have worked in several large computer stores that have back to school specials for students and let me tell you that its all about revenue and scamming the customer. These large businesses want to extract as much money as possible from customers and are willing to go the distance in confusing students and their parents in order to make that extra profit. For example, I was told shamelessly straight to my face when buying a netbook that the company does not make a lot of money from the sale of a laptop and that I should purchase something else on top.

    This is why all associates are forced to upsell and skew the truth. These people tell you that you need a CD created in order for your computer to have a backup. This extra service is only $60. For extra $100 they will setup your computer to be "ready to use". This is a major scam because anyone can do this setup by themselves with only a few clicks of the mouse when they boot up their system for the first time. My wife was once told that she can get a recovery disc created by them for only $100, as the laptop she was purchasing did not come with one. When she asked if she could do it herself, she was told that it definitely wasn't possible, but that she can bring the laptop back later on and it can still be done. When she got home and booted the computer for the first time, it gave her an option to burn a recovery CD at the end.

    However, even if you do not buy into the "setup your computer" argument the associate will tell you that there are tons of viruses out there that will destroy your precious data and you will have to buy antivirus. But don't worry because its on special for just $80. Another tactic they like to use is to sell you extended warranty that is about $120 to $250. This enables you to bring the computer back to the place you bought it instead of shipping it to the manufacturer. Just a side note: Manufacturers have a great service and will replace your computer for free if its still in warranty and shipping is paid by them. I shipped several laptops back to various manufacturers and the service is very fast, professional and efficient.

    After pressuring you to hand over hundreds of dollars for a laptop or a netbook, they try to sell you optical drives, mice, cases and many other peripherals. Many times I have overheard associates lying to customers about what they need just to sell the extra package so that they can get a bonus/commission or just to get their manager of their backs. Even though associates in these large stores try to be polite and smile to your face, they are scamming you for hundreds of dollars out of your hard earned money just because you are unaware about what you really need. And if that fails, many stores increase the price of the product and try to sell you the whole "better value" package, without having the option to buy the computer without those unnecessary "upgrades".

    Therefore, this back to school season do some serious research about what you need and don't need and do not be pressured into buying additional things that you might regret later or realize that it was a waste of your money. Majority of these businesses are making huge profits on the ignorance of many individuals about technology and computers.

    A few good examples that you should think about might include: Do students really need the latest MacBook Pro for $2000 to type essays that can be done on a Netbook or a regular laptop? Do you need to pay additional $130 for Microsoft Office if Openoffice http://www.openoffice.org/ is free to use and download? Do you need firewall and Antivirus if you are smart about what files to open and follow some simple security rules? Or you can download AVG Free Anti-virus http://free.avg.com/ca-en/homepage or Avast for free http://www.avast.com/free-antivirus-download and many universities provide you with anti-virus for free while you are their student. Do you need additional warranty for $200 if shipping to a manufacturer is free and easily set up online? How long do you expect your laptop to last you? Do you really need to pay hundreds of dollars for an extended warranty if your netbook cost $350 and it is cheaper to buy a new one than keep fixing an old one in 3 years? Try to see through manipulative associates in big computer stores that try to scam you for hundreds of dollars and make you think that you need every one of the things they offer or your computer will blow up. Play it smart and use the money you save for your books or tuition instead because those things are not getting any cheaper....

    I prefer a software firewall on the computer too.

    ZoneAlarm. Free Firewall

    http://www.zonealarm.com/security/en-us/free-upgrade-security-suite-zonealarm-firewall.htm

  9. So if I use my style of board "TMN 2010", I don't get the "whats on your mind" column. And I don't get the "recent topics added" column either.

    But if I use "IP board", I can see them.

    So I'll change over to the "IP board" version I guess. It is a bit better for text reading anyways.

    I know you are extremely busy. :occasion14:

    Edit: and the "What's on your mind column" directs oddly to update it when using "TMN 2010". But I had accessed it via "profile", to change the comment.

  10. The speeds from the tests are consistent except for the testmy.net speed, which was, as you said, 8x slower than the other sites, which seems to be my max download speed from any site.

    Nope, I said that the download speeds are all the same on all sites mentioned. Except the upload, which is showing slower here.

    It is a factor of little "b" for "bits" and big "B" for "Bytes.

    So Mbps is mega bits per second and MBps is Mega Bytes per second.

    Or.

    Kbps is kilo bits per second and KBps is kilo Bytes per second.

    So download speed on a direct download tends to register as KBps in the little download dialog. Meaning KiloBytes per second

    I hope I wrote that right. It tends to get confusing sometimes.

    http://blogs.smh.com.au/digital-life/askchris/2009/03/06/bitsbytes.html

    Bits & Bytes

    March 06, 2009

    Head into any technical forums and watch the discussions. You'll see endless references to Mb (megabits), kBps (kilobytes per second), GB (gigabytes) and combinations of these and other units of measure. If you'd like to have a better understanding of these common measures, read on, it's not actually that difficult.

    Let’s start with the “bit”. A bit is the basic unit of data. Its symbol is “b”. Everything else expands on that. The metric system applies to data, so when you have 1000 bits, you can call it a kilobit, or kb. Similarly, 1000kb is a megabit (Mb), and 1000Mb is a gigabit (Gb). Note: the capitalisation of these symbols is very important.

    If you are transferring data, you measure it in bits per second, or bps. These days you’re likely to be transferring larger quantities of data, so it follows that you’re likely to measure it in kilobits per second (kbps) or megabits per second (Mbps).

    Hopefully this hasn’t been too hard to grasp so far. Personally I like the bit as the base unit for measuring data transfer, but because the byte is the common measure for data storage, some people and products moved to measuring data transfer speeds in bytes rather than bits. So what’s a byte?

    A “byte” is 8 bits of data, and its symbol is “B”. Simple as that. Note the symbol for a bit is a little b, and a byte is a big B (a common area of confusion).

    The metric system applies to bytes, just as it does to bits. So 1000 bytes of data is called a kilobyte (kB), and transferring kilobytes of data is measured in kilobytes per second (kBps). To compare the 2 measurements, 1kB of data would equal 8kb of data (because there are 8 bits in a byte).

    Hopefully you’ve been able to follow me through this brief explanation, and can now understand why you can see and hear comments like “I was downloading the latest update at 50kBps across my 512kbps ADSL connection”.

    8 times 50kBps equals 400kbps.

    Does your DSL provider provide a DSL 'modem only' unit? The combo units tend to have issues for whatever reason(Firmware is crap!!!). I think that unit can be put in 'bridge mode', so you can connect your own router and not have the combo unit try to do the routing.

    The DSL providers would do better to sell a 'modem only' unit and let the customer get their own router. It sure would save a waste of time for the call support dealing with connection and speed issues.

  11. Those download speed test results are all just about the same(1.29Mbps). But your upload test here is showing a bit slower compared to the other two.

    You could Google your modem or router to see if there are issues with maxing out the connection with multiple regular file downloads at the same time.

    If it's filesharing there are various settings in the filesharing program to control the speed of each data download. Note the upload seeding. Some Modems freak out if you max out the upload.

    And 150KBps is times 8 = 1.2Mbps

  12. The 'Simbar' shown in your 'browser user agent' from the test is AdWare.

    Or do you need it installed for some other program?

    MalwareBytes. Anti-Malware. free download and install and update and scan.

    http://www.download.com/Malwarebytes-Anti-Malware/3000-8022_4-10804572.html?tag=mncol&cdlPid=10896905

    "Warning that removing the AdWare may cause the program that it came bundled with to stop working."

    Is the 'MySpace' add-on using bandwidth as well?

    http://vil.nai.com/vil/content/v_131206.htm

    This is not a virus or trojan. It is a direct-marketing adware application. This application generates extra pop-up ads while using Internet Explorer.

    This kind of application generally comes bundled with another program, which usually discloses the fact that it is ad-supported. Users agree to have the Adware installed in the license agreement, although they may not realise at first that this file was packaged with the product they installed.

    Is your wireless network password protected? And something better than WEP. Like WPA.

  13. Most browsers won't display custom 404 pages anymore. At least that's what I assume. I haven't seen that error page in forever. I found that image as tought it would be funny.

    I probably have posted it here already. Found it during the changeover, me thinks.

    If it's the website doing an "error page" for a "missing page" from a link, OK. But if it's the users ISP hacking hijacking assisting a user to find the right missing page, Grrrrrrr.

    I like an error page. And my ISP(it's DNS) doesn't try to do redirects for wrong typing. Only OpenDNS does that, because I choose to use it for my DNS lookups.

  14. The forum is being upgraded. So there might be times when things don't work so good!!

    I think 'skywavedoug' means your signature links. They is still the old forum section links.

    I like this 404 error better.

    click to enlarge.

    post-58433-12818265522033_thumb.jpg

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