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Archive for September, 2009

Black Gives Way to Blue

September 30th, 2009 12:13pm No comments

AIC_FINAL_COVERsmall

When the first single A Looking In View was released and over 7 minutes long, I didn’t know what to think. I wasn’t a complete fan right away, but it grew on me. Check My Brain was released over the summer and I first heard it while in a car driving through the Bronx. “This is more like it,” I thought to myself – maybe this album has some potential.

And now that it’s released and I’ve been listening to it nonstop, I’d like to point out that the album is amazing. Of course, it can’t be compared to earlier works like Facelift and Dirt, but even with a new lead singer, it does an excellent job capturing AIC’s original essence. DuVall and Cantrell have some haunting vocal harmonies that take you back to the 1990s. Acid Bubble is byfar the most melancholy and is comparibale to the song Dirt from the album Dirt. This is an example of true 1990s grunge being released in 2009! Other songs such as Your Decision and When the Sun Rose Again focus more on acoustic guitar work. It’s a great mix. Usually when I get an album, I only like 2-3 songs, but as I listened through, they are all unique in their own way and I can never skip any of them.

Categories: Music Tags:

Crippled Internet

September 8th, 2009 1:56am 4 comments

Okay, so I’m back at school if you haven’t noticed lately. I haven’t posted because I’ve been busy. You know, I devote 100% of my time to studying and other scholarly activities, so I have zero free time for any fun. Anyway, a big F you to our network people here on campus for crippling our internet. I am completely jealous of all you bitches in your beach houses with your Optimum Online (and that’s saying a lot because I hate Optimum Online – Verizon FiOS is 10000 times better, but we don’t get that here because AT&T owns Connecticut’s ass, with the exception of Greenwich because that really doesn’t count as CT. As a matter of fact, Westchester should just take that over to make us richer). But I digest…

So I do a speed test and it’s telling me my down/up speed is 20MBPS/10MBPS. Awesome. But in reality, internet pages take forever to load. When I go to youtube, 30 second videos don’t load for a few minutes. My Pandora radio is choppy. Why? Packet inspection and manipulation. In very simple terms, they have a machine that says “Hey, this is YouTube (or internet radio, or other video, etc). It’s not important, let’s delay this traffic and let some other thing through” or “OMG this is a torrent. Let’s not let this through at all.”

The only proof you need that my school fucks with the internet connection:
tits on a fish

Let’s explain that graphic to our non-technical folks. The red lines you see represent download bandwidth as I loaded a YouTube video. As you can see, it is very choppy. Each gap is about 1 second long, and where you don’t see red, nothing is being downloaded. A very good internet connection (or one without packet manipulation) will not have gaps and will download the video continuously. The speed will only be limited by your ISP’s max downstream bandwidth or Youtube’s servers. As you can see here, not only is YouTube traffic limited to about 500kbps, but it downloads for a second, then pauses for a second. According to my speed test, I should be loading things at 20MBPS right? Wrong. As the image above shows, YouTube videos max out at 500kbps. Although the speed reported my internet speed to be 20MBPS, only web traffic gets that full amount of bandwidth. When the packet shaper detects that it’s downloading YouTube video, it crushes the speed to almost nothing. While I should be getting 20MBPS, but when watching YouTube here on campus, I get a measly 0.48MBPS. So this is why it takes a long time to load a video here on campus. Now I did these tests at 2:30AM with very little network traffic. During the day and peak homework times, that 20MBPS may go down to 2MBPS. So imagine what the packet shaper has to do to keep that traffic flowing (and this is when things don’t load).

Is this packet manipulation necessary? Yes. Unfortunately if they didn’t have a packet shaper, everyone would kill the traffic and it would be unusably slow. But it’s just very inconvenient and doesn’t work well, and I’m grumpy all day long because of it. I was at the beach earlier and downloaded about 700MB of [completely legal, non-copyrighted content licensed under Creative Commons] in about 15 minutes. Over here, that doesn’t fly. And if you try to pull that off by bypassing their filters (yes it’s possible if you’re skillful), you get put on the “holy shit you just used too much bandwidth” list. I’ve been on that asshole a few times before. It’s not fun because they take your connection and make it 56k in some sick effort to punish you. Then you need to fight them to re-enable your internet while they sit back and laugh at your for weeks at a time. “OOOOOOO you used over 1GB in one day. I’m telling… You’re the new anti-Christ.”

You all suck and I hate your shitty network. I go from Verizon FiOS to this junk. Huge downgrade and disappointment.

Categories: Computer/ Tech Related, Rants Tags: