WiFi Management for Parenting

I’ve been futzing for what feels like a year with the WiFi trying out various things. Basically, instead of the wife turning off all the WiFi and none of us having it, I’ve been playing with a few things to bring some sanity.

  1. The first approach was the wife disconnected the wifi router. That meant all of our devices were dead in the water too. No streaming devices. No laptops. Phones were using up data.
  2. Technically, I have a couple routers. One from the ISP and another I bought. So, I moved the devices to use the ISP router. However, I only want the devices on it, so I have not provided anyone else access to it. That still left the problem of the wife yanking the router all the humans are using for their phones.
  3. So, next, I replaced the router with a newer one that included a guest network feature. I built this router so that we connect to a new name and the teen connects to the old name which is the guest network. The nice thing about it was I the ability to schedule when it was available. We tried various settings to deal with different issues. For example, it doesn’t come on until 8am after the bus comes because when it was coming on at 7am, the bus would be missed a couple times a week due to watching videos while getting ready to lose track of time. We have not really settled on a shutoff time in trying to figure out what is appropriate for getting homework done while not enabling playing video games.
  4. I could manage access to the video games through router, but it is one of those things where you block one thing and the activity just moves on to the next thing. (Youtube, Netflix, etc.) So, it is a game of whack-a-mole where I want a sledgehammer.
  5. He complained about the WiFi being unstable. He described sudden extraordinarily high ping rates, a pattern of issues in the hour before cutoff, and other stuff. Part of that problem is he is in the basement while the router is a floor up, 25 feet away, with a staircase, ductwork, pipes, and stairs in the way.
  6. So, I rebuilt the guest network on an extender. Now, in theory, the WiFi router talks to the extender down the hallway. The extender sits directly overhead. It still might have to deal with some ductwork and pipes, but it should be significantly better.
  7. Also, I have Smart outlet that will turn it off when we need to cut him off. I set it on a schedule which is nicer because I can say an earlier time Sun-Thu and later Fri & Sat. Also, it can also be managed through an app which is easier than an obscure webpage URL and desktop designed web page.

Family Stories

The adult table was the place to be growing up. I knew a story was particularly good when an adult looked at me, looked at my Mom, and my Mom asked me to leave the room AND close the door. I became pretty good at silently listening at that or another door (or the window when I got taller).

Photos are nice, but they are frozen moment in time. The moments leading to the photo, the significance, and how things changed are all not captured. The story does.

My grandmother wrote down her stories at one point, I think around 2003. With my digital point-and-click camera acquired in 2005 being able to take video, I thought about recording her telling them, but she commented on the camera any time I had it out. Then I noticed she stopped commenting about the camera, so when I had her to myself for a week in 2008, I recorded many stories and otherwise just getting her to talk. Occasionally since, when she was in a talkative mood and my camera was available, I would get more.

Maybe my sibling and cousins will find them interesting.

I definitely need to do the same with my parents.

Schrödinger’s Politician

Here is good explanation for Schrödinger’s Cat. I’ll continue below the video.

If the embedded video does not work, then go to Schrödinger’s Cat on Youtube.

So the cat exists in two states both dead or alive until something forces the universe to choose one.

It seems like many political decisions follow something like this. Until all the votes are cast, any particular decision is both yes and no at the same time. Tracking the campaign monetary pledges can be a guess, but people could surprisingly have a conscience. Polls rarely use the same language as the actual vote and so framing in both can distort the results.

This is all to say, the American election for president is still over a year away. Yet the pundits are guessing at who will win the nomination over 6 months away and the presidential vote. They have no idea. They know the guesses will change over the next several months all the way up to hours before the election. Probably good for them no employer will fire them for making wrong predictions.

Then again, that the decision is both yes and no at the same time until all the votes are cast is why people should cast their votes.

Google Video EOL May 13, 2011

Google Video told me I have to move my videos before they delete them on May 13, 2011. They suggested Youtube (since Google owns Youtube). Instead of a button to move them all to Youtube with the titles, descriptions, and view counts intact, they gave me a link to my video status page where I can download my videos and start all over. I only used Google Video on the occasions where I had trouble with Youtube. So I only had eight videos to move. If I had 80, then I would be quite annoyed at having to download them all from Google Video, record all the titles and descriptions, and recreate all that on Youtube.

Anyway, here is a video I rescued. It is of dancers at the St. Philothea Greek Festival. A couple of friends were dancers. I am really disappointed with the quality. I should go look for the originals and repost those instead. Oh, of course there I have a Greek Festival Flickr photoset.

Rethinking Education

A new Michael Wesch video.  He wrote as the introduction:

This video was produced as a contribution to the EDUCAUSE book, The Tower and the Cloud: Higher Education in the Age of Cloud Computing, edited by Richard Katz and available as an e-Book athttp://www.educause.edu/thetowerandth… or commercially at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0967…Produced in 2007 as a conversation starter in small groups. Released in 2011 as a conversation starter online.

TED Talk: Taryn Simon

My favorite quote from Taryn is, “Photography threatens fantasy.” Disney uses intricate interior design, photography, and video to construct fantasy. Advertisements, magazines, weddings, and portraits are about showing others the ideal instead of the reality. Have you seen the Dove Evolution video? (This one has music and singing by a Baha’i musician Devon Gundry.) What about the Ralph Lauren photo?

Reality bites. Hard.

(See Taryn Simon photographs secret sites on the TED site)

TED About this talk: Taryn Simon exhibits her startling take on photography — to reveal worlds and people we would never see otherwise. She shares two projects: one documents otherworldly locations typically kept secret from the public, the other involves haunting portraits of men convicted for crimes they did not commit.

Also: Taryn on Charlie Rose, Discomfort Zone (Telegraph)

Bayeux Tapestry

At least a couple years ago I read 1066: The Hidden History in the Bayeux Tapestry which is a great book. It has all the great elements of an epic story. Betrayal, decapitation, romance, impalement, and prisoner exchange make appearances. The Battle of Hastings amuses me just setting the stage for the merging of Frisian and French. Of course, my brother was named somewhat for William the Conquerer.

Elizabeth posted this well done Youtube video.

Animated version of the Bayeux Tapestry. Starts about halfway through the original work at the appearence of Halley’s Comet and concludes at the Battle of Hastings in 1066.

Healthcare

Lorenia posted a funny video about the United States health care system being ranked #37. I briefly looked at The world health report 2000 – Health systems: improving performance. It is a 1.73MB PDF.

I’d like to better understand both the claims that the United States has the best or 37th best health care system in the world. Unfortunately the WHO report is 200 pages and has more about car crash deaths in the United States than what they mean by responsiveness level (25% of the overall level of health). Responsiveness appears to be dependent upon expectation, so we could all just stop complaining about wait times, autonomy, and not want our own hospital rooms to improve our ranking.

Except the WHO might not produce any more reports after this first one because it was too complex compiling the first one. Charts compare  1990 through 1999, so really the United States was ranked 37th in the 90s. The age of this number bothers me. How have reforms in the United States and worldwide changed the number? Let’s assume no change, do proponents of United States health care reform really expect their favorite bills to get us a better ranking than 33rd in 2015 once this is fully implemented?

There is also the Commonwealth Fund 2006 report placing the United States dead last among 5 industrial nations regarding health care. Their donor page shows millions invested in the CF to improve health care in the United States and New York. Seems a little myopic for an organization funded to improve health care to say health care needs improving.

Does the United States have health care issues? Sure. In my opinion the real problems is all this talking without something like Baha’i consultation (everyone participates, objectivity, detachment, unity). Similar to research indicating workers without the ability to make decisions experience more stress, patients and doctors without autonomy get stressed. Instead we have explicit policies creating a incomprehensible environment where people are hurt inadvertently because systems are cold and uncaring.

Week Two Almost No Twitter

Since I cut back on Twitter, my sneezypb account’s password was changed to something completely random and unknown to me. Tweetdeck was uninstalled. Most of the few on my subscription list I still need to follow now reside in my RSS reader for now.

Productive? Check.

  • We tell real stories instead of how talk about how Twitter is good/bad/indifferent.
  • I’ve posted 11 times to this blog in the last 16 days vs 22 in the 120 days before the change.
  • Work days seem significantly shorter. I only still have to transition between meetings notices, IM notifications, people dropping by my cube to understand my emails, phone calls, conversations over the cube walls, people lost in the cube farm, and YouTube watchers.
  • I’m only having to read status updates once.

Twitter was obviously way too much of a time sink.

Heather asked about my absense from Twitter. Changing the password broke Ping.fm from updating my Twitter status. I’d just need to give Ping.fm the password to keep those on Twitter in the loop. I’m starting to think I’d rather those few left on Twitter just to sign up on Facebook rather than give up on the cold turkey.

I’m such a bad friend.

Christmas Blog Post 2008

Last night I read Uncle Bill’s Christmas letter. He mailed it, but he apparently doesn’t have my postal address so I got the electronic version. Woohoo! His letter recaps the year for his family. Do any of you have such a tradition? Or a family member who does? Oddly my blog doesn’t provide much basis as it is devoid of personal information.

So here goes….

Family

Mom went off to Houston in January to consult with one of the best doctors in the country about a health issue. How things fell into place to allow her to get better amazed me daily. I got to grandparent sit for a week where I made Nannie tell stories so I could post them on Youtube. 😀

William married Nicole, his high school sweetheart. I finally have a sister. It rained on us briefly, so if you are into superstitions, that means either: 1) kids, 2) money, or 3) good luck.

I met Dad’s girlfriend, Sally, this year. She is definitely very nice. I’m happy with the match.

Friends

My only New Year’s Resolution for 2008 was to read 25 books this year. I completed that goal back in October. I’m thinking for 2008 to do a similar resolution. This time I’ll count up the number of pages and set a goal to read 20% more pages.

Some fellow Flickr users started an Athens Flickr Meetup. I’m hoping this is something to continue in 2009 as the weather improves. (Though who knew Georgia would be 20 degrees Farenheit above normal in December?)

RingsAdrianne and Britt asked me to be the photographer for their wedding. I spent hours looking at professional photographer portfolios for ideas about what I should capture. You see, while I do have a camera, I had never really taken photos at a wedding. Heck, few people invite me to weddings, so I was a little unclear what happens. In the end, I think it all turned out pretty well. Adrianne is happy. So I am happy. Working in computers became a profession because it was a hobby. Maybe photography will end up the same in the end? Posted 840 photos to Flickr this year. Started freelovephotography.com to show off my photography.

Las Vegas in July? Dumb. Star Trek: The Experience made my geeky heart soar.
NCC-1701-DNCC-1701-D @ ST: TXP