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Data networks to be pounded tomorrow.

It looks like tomorrow is going to be a big day for mobile broadband in Washington DC, so much so that some of the mobile carriers are actually asking people to cut down on their cell usage during the actual event. According to the New York Times, AT&T, Verizon and Sprint are all asking customers to cut back on their usage tomorrow especially in DC itself. All three major carriers are bringing in lots of extra capacity to be able to handle the call volume, this being in the form of temporary towers and COW’s (Cell On Wheels), that are being brought in to increase the capacity. 

This is a problem that honestly cannot be completely overcome. There is only so much capacity that is physically possible in one particular area, and considering that they are figuring on as many as three million people on the mall tomorrow to watch the Inauguration, that is a lot of people, who are all going to be taking pictures with their camera-phones, uploading them to flickr, facebook, and twitter amongst other places. 

I use the cell networks a lot for getting online while I am out in the truck, as well as for general communications and email. In the news industry we often use cellular telephones in the trucks for IFB (audio to the reporters ear) and PL (Producer Line) back to the station, which in this situation is going to be pretty impossible. Hopefully all of the news networks in the area all are going to be running with regular landline connections. Wireless is great, but there is only so much that it can do when demand increases. 

What is my suggestion for keeping in touch, if you are lucky enough to be down there tomorrow? Use text messaging, as text messages use an incredibly small amount of capacity to send and receive, and have a much better chance of getting though. 

This also brings up a question about overall network capacity in the area, as even if the airwaves are saturated, might the switching networks and backbones have issues tomorrow with everyone trying to send those millions of photos back through the network? I also wonder how many social networking sites will end up going down, or experiencing some downtime due to the dramatic spike in posts during such a short period of time. 

Original Article in the New York Times

January 19, 2009   No Comments

Busy Busy

So it has been awhile since I wrote at poptech, so I figured I’d get you up to date on what is going on now. Alina is really busy with classes as a matter of fact she has spent all weekend at a class. I just got back from work a little while ago, went up to Lowell this morning to do a live shot for fox news. Tomorrow I am going to attempt to get an absentee ballot and vote at the town hall before heading off to Columbus, OH to cover the elections there on tuesday. I’ll try to actually post some pictures from columbus while I am there, as well as get better on being a timely blogger. I am in the middle of a move over to my new domain (and host) I think I am going to install WordPress completely new and then see if I can do an import into the new version. Don’t worry, I’ll forward all of my links, so if you have bookmarks for posts here, they should forward over correctly to the new site once I move it. I am also working on a design project for a web site for a friend, I’ll let you know once that one is up and running as well.


November 5, 2006   No Comments

This is the first post

This is a test post for wordpress. I am moving from blogger over here to wordpress, it might take me a little while, but well worth it. -Ken

[tags]wordpress, blog[/tags]

April 4, 2006   No Comments

Howto: Secure Files in Mac OS X

I have recently come across several people who have been looking for a way to transfer files over the internet, from one Mac to another. There are many services like Usendit that will do this quite easily, however the way they work is they just send on a link to the recipient to download it. Anyone who obtains this link can download your files as well. The solution I came up with is to encrypt your file and send the password to the recipient separately, there is such a way to do this built into the Mac OS, and you can use it to secure any type of file, and even use files that are on it. Quite helpful for doing things such as securing tax or banking information you store locally on the hard drive. So here is how it works.

Step 1. Launch Disk Utility, which is located in the Utility folder inside of the Applications folder

Step 2. Click on New Image.

Step 3. In the Dialog that comes up type the name you want to make the disk, select what size disk image you want to make (be sure it is large enough for the files you want to send) and select AES-128 from the Encryption box. Then click Create.

Step 4. The program will then ask you to supply a password to use so that the disk image you just created can only be opened by those who have it.

Step 5. This leaves you with a file that you can double click on to mount as a disk, when you mount the disk it will ask you for your password, and when mounted you can use it just like any other disk on your computer. Make sure to “eject” the disk when you are done using it, so no one else can get at your files.

February 25, 2006   2 Comments