Gelzon de la Cruz

Archive for July, 2012|Monthly archive page

Apples to Oranges and Bits to Bytes

In Technology on July 31, 2012 at 3:40 pm

When downloading torrents, you’re shown speeds in kB/s or kiloBytes per second. To convert to the mbps or megaBits per second boasted by ISPs, multiply by 8 (there being 8 bits in a byte) then divide by 1000 (a thousand kilobits in a megabit).

For example, a torrent download speed of 200 kB/s means your cruising along at 1.6mbps. And, the max speed 3.6mbps of now obsolescent HSDPA connections, if fully utilized, should give you a torrent down speed of 450 kB/s.


Wireless Woes

In Technology, Updates on July 31, 2012 at 9:10 am

Wireless network connections are all about getting a valid IP address. If you get a “cannot connect” warning, it may not be because of a problem logging onto the correct hotspot name with the right password. You may already have connected but your device is not getting a valid IP through the connection.

A typical cause? You had once used your device to share an Internet connection – This often causes your wireless adapter to bind to a given IP such as,, and so on. And, your device itself is trying to serve up dynamic IP addresses to other clients on the network (meaning your device is acting as a Dynamic Host Control Protocol, or DHCP server). Result is that you do not get the IP address and gateway settings appropriate to the wireless network you are joining. Either your static IP address is colliding with that of the designated router on the wireless network (your IP and router IP are the same), or you are stuck on a different logical network (you’re on 192.168.1.xx while the router is on 192.168.3.xx, for example). And, your device is, in fact, competing with the legitimate server that is supposed to dish out the correct settings.

Solution: Make sure your device is automatically getting its IP address and settings from the wireless network itself, is not still using the ones it needed for sharing an Internet connection, and is not still acting as a DHCP server.

A Port For Every Storm

In Technology, Updates on July 30, 2012 at 6:53 pm

Port 587, remember it. If you’re using POP email on a Globe mobile broadband connection, you’d think they only let you receive but not send it out. Nicht so. Just change your outgoing mail SMTP port to 587, replacing default port 25. For some reason, on some of their sub-nets, they’ve blocked port 25 to subscribers. Must be to curb congestion caused by torrent downloaders. I wouldn’t know a thing about that though.

Haiku To Our Storms

In Society, Verse on July 30, 2012 at 2:32 pm

Sea south of China
due west of the Philippines
here, there be soldiers

The Life of Pc

In Society, Technology, Updates on July 27, 2012 at 12:53 pm

Ye old PC: bought with bonus pay in ’99; first flight Pentium III processor, rated at 450Mhz, been overclocked to 600; started off with 32MB of memory, now has 384; ran Windows 95, 98, NT, and 2000, sidestepped with Linux and Ubuntu, and now purrs along with Windows XP SP2; is now on it’s second power supply; has toasted 3 video cards; has burned through 4 monitors; has been manhandled through 4 house moves; went on thousands of flights, drives and incursions with me; compiled years’ worth of code from me; has been my digital darkroom for thousands of portraits and candid moments; has printed out a small forest worth of reports; is nearly a teenager; is now classroom, library, playground, cinema and Internet intriguer for my kids; and, is definitely not for sale.

In 50 Years, Or Less

In Society on July 26, 2012 at 9:33 am

Why so much rainfall? It’s because, so far, we’ve already raised global temperature by 0.8 degrees Celsius. Warmer climate makes for warmer air over oceans, warmer air that holds 5% more moisture than cold. If global temperature rises by 1.2 degrees more, bringing us to the dreaded 2 degree cut-off, our lives will become an unending series of disasters, natural and otherwise.

How much longer before we hit 2 degrees? The timetable is measured in the weight of carbon we dump into the atmosphere whenever we burn fossil fuels. From our 0.8 degrees now, to the 2 degrees of looming extinction, we have just 565 billion tons of carbon left to go. That’s not 565 billion tons a year, not 565 billion tons that runs back up every new year’s day, but 565 billion tons, period, from now til threatened extinction, period.

Is 565 billion tons a big or a small number? Does it give us enough elbow room to not have to think, right now, of every drop of fuel we burn, right now? Turns out that it isn’t. Matter of fact, we already know where to find and unearth enough fossil fuel to dump 2,795 billion tons more of carbon in the atmosphere. Which means that by the time we had burned up just one-fifth, just 20%, of all the fossil fuel in the oil, gas and coal fields we know of, speculated on, borrowed against and paid out executive bonuses for, we will have ended life as the world’s 7 billion people have known it.

And, 40% of the world’s carbon dumping comes from China and the U.S.. That’s death by second-hand smoke for you, on an epic scale.

(See Rolling Stone: Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math)

Geoffrey’s Windows

In Technology, Updates on July 26, 2012 at 12:35 am

This guy I know–let’s call him Geoffrey–he downloads a Windows installer disc image and burns it onto a CD.

He, Geoffrey, then goes to a surplus store where they display pre-owned, branded PCs and finds one with the Windows product sticker still legible on the casing. He copies the Windows product key and leaves without buying anything.

He, this Geoffrey, then runs the Windows installer CD on his 13 year old clone PC and types in the product key he copied from a 5 year old desktop HP he did not buy.

He, our Geoffrey, activates Windows online and what do you know, he now has a legit copy of XP Home on his home PC.

That’s Geoffrey.

Pulp Education

In Society, Updates on July 23, 2012 at 8:45 pm

I am of the generation that knows the meaning of “sacre bleu”, “mon ami”, “jawohl” and ‘gott in himmel’ not as beneficiaries of a multi-lingual education but as kids raised on a regular diet of Sgt. Rock, The Unknown Soldier, and Haunted Tank. Also, there was Combat.

Hey, Hotspot

In Technology on July 23, 2012 at 7:37 pm

When asked why I prefer efficient high gain antennas over powered set ups, I should have said that boosted aerials increase transmission power but not effective receiving sensitivity, at least not commensurately. This means that even if your laptop can detect signals from a distant but boosted hotspot, your own equipment may not be transmitting strong enough to send in your requests. If you’ve ever been frustrated by a WiFi connection that let’s you log in but times out all your browser clicks, then you know what I mean.

I’ll SEO Your Thousand And Raise You A Million

In Media, Technology on July 17, 2012 at 9:03 am

While reviewing my old webwork rate card, I realized that SEO, at least from my perspective, is now just snake oil. A plot device from back when websites were the territory of technorati who would have you believe that on the Internet the world is your audience and you should pay accordingly, through the nose gladly. As if a game of semantics will render people none the wiser about how your site over-reaches to reach the users whom you use to ramp up your stats.

Users, like the people you actually do know and converse with, eventually become savvy after you dangle a whole lot of red herrings. And, like an exchange of saliva between ants, their visceral hearsay about yours will eventually be your undoing. It’s not about search algorithms and word dropping, it never was. It’s always been about relevance.

The relevance of search results was the ideal pursued by mathematicians and theorists who had no choice but to objectify our curiosity in order to feed it. But, their Curious Man can be fooled, by visible catch words muscled in with a crowbar, or by subliminal code tucked in under the radar.

Where search results used to hope for relevance, social media now gives us the candor and context with which to discover it. If its important to the people close to me either figuratively or literally, then it must have claim to my interest. And only then, after I hear about it from people I know, will I want to know more and okay, finally, search for more about it.