No show today — 12 Comments

  1. You do great work Jack and missing a show can’t be helped sometimes.

    It’s a work from home snow day (possibly week) here in the hilly suburbs of Northwest Oregon. I’m just listening to TSP rewind, watching the kids sled down our street, and searching for housing with acreage in the Austin area for our walk to freedom. 🙂

    • It is so expensive in Austin right now Brian. I moved from there 2 years ago. It is a beautiful place, but way overpriced right now. Depending on what you are wanting…maybe look into Bastrop area. They have good soil over there. Hill country and anything north and west of Austin is all rock.

      Texas is awesome though. I’ve traveled the states, but I’ve lived here my whole life.

  2. I know the feeling of dealing with them all to way. It’s unfortunate we have them here also and it’s great (when it works)even better when it works correctly. I’ll just have to Be happy and listen to your first 200 episodes while we wait, lol. Literally took 6 hours to download them on charter.

  3. Jack, don’t think of this as a missed episode for the MSB. Think of it as being an opportunity for the MSB and others to explore the AWESOME listen to a random episode.

    I have to agree with Brian, later in the day, I relocated home to work remotely. Though, I did get some work done at the office and help with a few IT issues, since I was on site.

    Hopefully you and the Super Awesome Dorothy, were able to spend some quality time together and with your grandkids.

  4. Jack, is wireless (cellular) Internet your back up plan? What is the best back up plan for those of us relying on a wired connection?

    • 4G is a good backup (soon to be replaced by “5G”, likely widespread by 2019 in the US).

      For email (low bandwidth) if traveling a lot, many still use dial-up. Yes… that’s still a thing. About 6 million Americans use it these days, 2% of the population. It’s ubiquitous, working from any location, and much harder to trace than broadband. Many ‘Snowbirds’ still use it because they’re never in one place long enough to justify a two year contract or get reliable coverage from one provider. Many travel internationally, or to sites which don’t yet have any infrastructure for broadband, or even reliable cellular. It’s a minimalist option.

      Public Wifi is a good option in some areas. A “hacker hint”… Truck stops often have awesome wifi range. To be honest, it’s so adult content can be viewed from the privacy of a truck in the parking lot, not a restroom stall, or worse, a seat at the diner. Icky as it sounds, it’s created demand for really badass wifi coverage at many stops.

      College campuses usually have awesome connections. A simple, “Hey kid, do you remember what the campus wifi password was” will usually get you the password. If not, ask another kid.

      There’s always “stolen wifi”. I don’t recommend this, but you can crack most wifi passwords in a few minutes. Most people use the ISP provided modem/router combos, and the default passwords are often all the same, or follow a predictable formula (like containing a phone number). People don’t change the defaults, or try to keep it “simple”, so it’s not hard for an app on your phone to crack it quickly. No skill required.

      Satellite internet sucks. Fortunately, most areas these day that still use it have at least ADSL as an option. The only places you see satellite anymore are in tough landscapes (like atop a mountain) where running data lines is impractical, on reservations where there’s political issues with running infrastructure, or areas where there are other alternatives, but they hold a monopoly and price many people out of the market. Most people who still have it, only have it because it’s bundled with their TV and they haven’t given it any thought in the last few years. Most could opt for other connection types now, if they choose.

      Back-up Internet is just like any other prep, how you do it depends on your location, needs and probable scenarios where you may need it.

      • You need to save money after a personal financial emergency. In that case, get permission to use your neighbor’s wifi, hit up a public library, etc. Even a McDonalds or Starbucks will let you connect.

      • A natural disaster has taken out the lines. Wait it out, there’s little that can happen to lines that takes more than 2-3 days to fix. It may take months to be back up to full service in some cases, but a limited service can usually be made available in just a few days.

      • A disaster takes out a major hub location. There’s 3 major “Internet Cities” in the US; New York, Sacramento, and Wichita, covering the North East, South West and geographic land center respectively. Their location and the traffic funneled through them makes them ideally suited for server farms. If these places have a disaster, there’s no internet to connect to. Half the sites will be down. If they’re not, most of the DNS servers will be. If they’re not, odds are you ISP has lost some major assets in these areas, and you’ll struggle to connect anyway. Texas and Arizona are starting to become major hub locations (the infrastructure is there, but the data hosting component lags behind the others right now). In a few more years we’ll have enough resiliency to recover from the downing of any one hub site. I wouldn’t worry too much about this scenario right now.

      If you travel a lot, are going off-grid and under the radar, it’s public wifi or dialup. Slow, unreliable, but you can connect from almost anywhere, virtually anonymously.

      The vast majority however will rely on mobile devices. We already have a backup internet with decent speeds in our pockets. Even if you don’t, you can get a cheap pre-paid smartphone any time for under $100 from places like Walmart, Target, even some gas stations.

      • If you are going to rely on a mobile phone as a backup internet connection, be sure to check out the carrier’s fine print on tethering – and test it before you need it. There are still many things you might need to do online that are far easier (not to mention faster) from a traditional computer – and some sites you can’t use properly from a smartphone at all.

        Cellular carriers have done some kind of dirty backroom deal with handset manufacturers, to allow the carrier to control whether or not the phone can be tethered to allow your computer to use the phone’s data connection. I believe this is determined by the phone’s APN settings, which are provided by the carrier as an opaque file that is installed, all or nothing, on your handset.

        If the phone belongs to me, and I am staying within the amount of data for which I pay the carrier, then they have no right to sabotage my hardware by arbitrarily disabling data tethering. I’m guessing there will be class action lawsuits over this outrage, if there aren’t some already. Where they’ll lead is anyone’s guess.

      • ILW,

        What do you know about G.FAST internet? It looks like CenturyLink is testing in WI. Speeds are incredible!
        I live in a rural area of Missouri and get by with slow DSL. I hope CenturyLink brings it to my area soon, but I’m afraid it will probably be a few years.

        • Where I currently live they are about to run fiber down the street. But it’s Centurylink. My issue with them is just they are bastards. I hate giving them money. Every time I have dealt with them they have fine printed things to death, jumping the prices unexpectedly (well, it said we could IF there was a full moon, then a tornado, followed by 3 comets, we could triple your rates!) Their customer service is outsourced and/or inept, and I have just gotten pissed off every time I had to give them money… Wish someone else was running fiber here…

  5. Using a phone as a hotspot is a viable option, unless you have an unlimited data plan, as most providers won’t allow you to hotspot without purchasing a separate plan. It’ll also eat up your monthly data if you have a limited plan. This being said however I myself have had to hotspot for a previous job that required me to work from home, it worked but was less than desirable.

    Hope they get you back up soon Jack, and thanks for all that you do.

  6. Brian, Texas is a great place. Look outside Austin! The company I work for is doing a job there for the city. No tobacco products on site, not even “vapor” cigs. This from the people who want MJ more than anywhere else in Texas. This is just an example of the Austin logic. If you are in tech look to Allen-Frisco, if energy north or west of Houston.