Posted by: loiscole22 | February 25, 2010

Hitch Wagon to Star – Repeat

Recently I’ve been doing some research for an alarmingly massive project roll out and have come across an alarming/amusing trend.  Basically we’ve been trolling the sites of municipalities in Ca and in a few other states looking for contact information for a pending announcement and have come across over a dozen embedded links directing citizens to “let Google know that we need fiber!” and the like.

There are a few things wrong with this and one really big thing right.  First of all the links direct people to the individual nomination section of the Google Fiber project RFP.   Great idea but not really the execution that Google was looking for when they divided their respondents into “Governments” and “groups or individuals”.

The button refers to inviduals but I’m certain Google stuck that in to allow room for experienced community organizers with a well hatched plan that has legs.  Not random visitors to the Sunnyvale website who arbitrarily decide to click the link and get redirected to this site.  The next page has a bunch of medium specific questions concerning your nomination.  Interestingly it doesn’t appear that all of the fields are required which leads me to believe that Google is currently sorting through approximately eleventy billion partial responses that can easily (annoyingly) be ruled out off the bat. Perhaps a little too accessible, if you ask me.

Another “wrong” is that the cities with the savvy and wherewithal to place links in their home pages and with residents savvy enough to find and use those links aren’t really the communities that are most in need of this service.  This is admittedly a jaded point of view and stems directly from my line of work but really? Sunnyvale? You don’t need fiber.  Watts, Visitacion Valley and Fresno need fiber.  You’re doing just fine.

Of course what is “right” about this is that for better or worse Google is getting people to think about broadband speeds and has hopefully started the lumbering process towards adjusting our expectation from settling for pokey Internet towards demanding real bandwidth.

Posted by: loiscole22 | February 25, 2010

Moleskin Notebooks Make me Feel Warm and Fuzzy

Especially when they look like this.

A very "productive" Tuesday/Wednesday

I’m pretty certain that the doodles that fill the edges of my graphed pages serve solely to make me feel more productive and important.  When the page is simply a list it sucks the life out of my day real fast.

I wonder if my Studio Art professors knew when I was in their class that all of that hard work would result in notebook doodles 10 years later.

Sidenote – holy shit it’s been 10 years since I was in college.

Posted by: loiscole22 | February 23, 2010

Data Visualization and Baby Name Wizards

It’s actually hard for me to articulate how happy this thing makes me.

11 Ways to visualize change over time

Line graphs are sooo last decade.  If you really want to waste thirty minutes of your life check out the Baby Name Wizard.  It creates a rad stacked graph showing the relative popularity of first names over time.  If you type in a specific name it will show you the popularity of that name through the last 100 years.  I peaked at 1930.  Shocking.

Stacked graphs and Bubble Graphs make me happy.  If there was a way to incorporate both I would be exceptionally happy.

Serious things require Venn Diagrams

Posted by: loiscole22 | February 23, 2010

Un-Googling yourself

Image compliments of Gizmodo. Scary/Funny.

This Gizmodo article is meant to teach you how to disentangle yourself from Google’s clutches (which I prefer to consider more of an exuberant bear hug).  It ends up reading more like a compare/contrast which is interesting.

It is hard to remember that there are other search engines and that some of them (Bing!) are pretty good…I still hate yahoo mail.  Mainly because everyone who uses it (you know who you are) constantly complains about it.

Don’t sit in the rain and comment on how wet you are.

Posted by: loiscole22 | February 22, 2010

Mixed response to Google Fiber project

Google announced last week that it would be dipping its toes into the middle mile game with an ambitious RFP that will apparently provide 1 Gigabit speeds to somewhere between 50,000 and 500,000 households. It’s clear from the range they’ve left open that they are hoping the responses will drive the end result – looking, as they so often do, to the collective brain of all of you (us) to help them figure out the best way to do things.  The response has been swift and varied.  A decent round-up of industry responses can be found in this ars technica post.

While I’m definitely looking forward to seeing how they execute on this I really get excited thinking about how they are going to use the sandbox they are building down the road.  I imagine the plan would be to identify, among the thousands of applications they’ve already started receiving, pilot sites with varied profiles.  For instance it would be interesting to see ultra fast deployments in a rural low-income community, an urban multi family affordable housing complex and a suburban hospital or medical campus.  Each bucket presents its own unique deployment challenges, both physical and political, but more importantly each opens a new world of programming and software development opportunities.

There’s a quote I saw once (read: a hundred times) on a magnet or coffee cup or inspirational poster somewhere that said something along the lines of what would you do if you knew you could not fail?  Seems to me that Google is trying to create a world like that for programmers and developers. A world where the primary enemy of any program that seeks to move packets over the Internet – speed – is eliminated.  What would we design for rural communities if we could move any amount of data at any desired speed?  For hospitals? For schools?

Of course most of the media attention is on Google’s contentious relationship with the Big Brothers out there – the incumbent providers, the FCC, the NCTAs of the world.  But I’m more interested in the philosophical implications than the political.  Maybe because it’s easier to talk about imaginary worlds than it is to remember all of the acronyms of DCs telco lobbyists…

Regardless, assuming they can pull it off, it should be fun to watch.

Posted by: loiscole22 | February 19, 2010

Wireless Ypsi

Love this project but really have a hard time getting past the radiating evil mushroom logo.

Wireless Network in Ypsilanti Michigan

Evil Mushroom? Wireless Radio? You decide.

I’ve been watching these guys since they first bought a handful of Meraki’s and started convincing locals to share their bandwidth and stick little repeaters in their windows.  It’s still a happy/sad moment for me when I see folks building networks “based on Meraki’s San Francisco” network.  Makes for an awkward smile/sigh moment but in the end it’s obviously a good thing to have more people connecting, even if the mother ship is dying a slow death here in SF.

Posted by: loiscole22 | February 19, 2010

Obligatory Intro Post

A series of head injuries and bad life choices have left me with little to no short (or middlin) term memory.  This blog is to help me remember the things I think which will likely include notveryhip opinions on music, dangerously uninformed thoughts on politics and mostly lots of stuff that other people wrote/made/sang/thought that I found interesting.  I build wireless Internet networks for people so there will probably be some of that in here as well. Yay.