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Random Ramblings

SpeedTest Update…

A while back I installed a dedicated line splitter/filter for the home phone line so that I have a dedicated extension for ADSL & one for voice, this has given me the benefit of getting a more steady ADSL signal and so I can take advantage of the profiles provided by my ISP. A test done using SpeedTest has my current download/upload speeds as follows…

My router has the following figures (theoretical)

So as compared to the last time I was testing out the different profile settings (prior to the installation of this line splitter/filter) it has made a significant different as I could not use the fastest setting because it would randomly drop out several times a day (not good when you are hosting your own Email/Web Server!)

You can see the comparisons from the previous test results here and here

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Random Ramblings

Internode have blown the competition away!

Now seriously, does your ISP give you this much ???

Now that Internode have just released their new plans now is the time to question your ISP if are not getting a fair deal.

See the full list of Internode T-shirt plans here

Internode T-shirt plans

Posted from WordPress for Android

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Random Ramblings

Tweaking ADSL profiles on Internode

Most ADSL customers may not have the ability to change the ADSL profile that their ISP allows but hey Internode do! they have a selection of profiles that are targeted for different situations. So I thought I'd have a play to see if there was any gain in this. Well I can say yes there is! my speed once I was migrated onto ADSL2+ was around 8Mb down and 1Mb up. I'm now on a higher theoretical speed and on a few tests so far it looks like I'm now on around 14Mb down and 1Mb up.

So speedtest.net gives a rough guide to what you can expect to get out of your connection speeds.

The DSL speed reported by my ADSL router (modem)

As you can see the router hasn't been up long enough to make a true statement of better efficiency!  but its certainly a faster connection that my previous post on my ADSL2+ speed So does your ISP provide such an option? if so experiment to see how fast you can get.   😉

Categories
Nonprofit Random Ramblings

What makes a good ISP ?

Ok another subjective topic I know! but that question comes up regularly, and for you what does make a good ISP (Internet Service Provider) OK let me start with a little history from my experience with ISP's …

The early days …

I first got myself connected to the Internet back in 1997, yes this was certainly the "Dial-up Days" and as two friends of mine where using a local Tasmanian company call Southern Internet Services (aka southcom) now I can't recall the plans that were available at that time, but I used to use their pre-paid service where you purchased time by the hour. The rate was $2.50 ($AUD) per hour block and this suited me quite nicely in the early days as I could keep my usage in check and never had to worry about a large bill or worrying about going over any quotas! Around 2003/04 southcom were eventually bought out by a company called KeyPoint, for users of southcom, it was still business as usual just under a different name. The KeyPoint were bought out by yet another company called Eftel, it was at this stage the old southcom accounts were being phased out and the push was on to convert existing customers to plans instead of a pre-paid arrangement, also the company's offices are based in Perth Western Australia and it was around this time I started looking into other ISP's.

True discovery of Internet usage

So I started to ask myself  the question "What makes a good ISP?" and although I was certainly happy being a southcom customer, the service being provided was only simple (email & web access) after looking around at some of the competition, I soon realised that most ISP were offering some sort of "free to download" content, Now this is where things can get rather interesting! so of what benefit is free to download to the end user? well again depending on what you do this can vary greatly from person to person. My Internet usage was increasing and I was finding I was spending more time online so the pre-paid situation was now starting to cost more than a basic dial-up monthly plan so I decided to switch to Telstra BigPond as I could bundle and get my home phone & Internet access at a slightly cheaper rate (Dial-up access $24.95 per month $AUD) Now Bigpond do offer certain content from their website as free to download to their customers, they also have a download mirror where you can get software that counts toward "free to download" this was of use to me as around this time I was starting to get a little more experimental with both Internet applications and operating systems (namely Linux) In early 2007 Telstra had a big push to move people from dial-up accounts to Broadband, I was sweet talked to switch over and I was connected at 256/64Kb at a cost of $29.95 ($AUD) but this was discounted for the first 12 months because of taking up a new 2 year contract by bundling the home & mobile (cell) phones and Inter into one package, the discounted access for Internet was $14.95 ($AUD) with a 12GiB download quota and if you exceeded this your service was throttled to 64/64Kb but you were not penalised for excessive data as this was an "unlimited" plan.

Enter the breath of fresh air! …

Once the contract period expired with Telstra BigPond, again I was starting to notice that one company was offering a good deal that had me wanting to swap to them as soon as I could! this company name is Internode, Now what makes Internode stand out from the others? well for starters they offer better price point for end-users/businesses with a wide range of plans to suite your needs. their free to download content has to be one of the best on offer within the country! (no I'm not getting paid to say all this!) And recently Internode has been rolling out more ADSL2+ enabled exchanges making them also one of the largest to offer such speed. Even more recently with their announcement on entry pricing for the FTTH (Fibre To The Home) as part of the NBN (National Broadband Network) has many competitors lagging behind.

So have I answered my question?

Well I believe so…   😀

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Random Ramblings

Editorial: Gigabytes and gibberish ¹

THERE is little doubt digital data technology has revolutionised much in our lives.

THERE is little doubt digital data technology has revolutionised everything from televisions, cameras and telephones to cars, computers and newspapers.

The past 15 years have seen the technology creep into the fabric of life. We are now reliant on it in some way, shape or form. Texting and email have become a part of everyday life. As such, we know it works. We know its advantages.

But many of us remain wary of the obsessive computer geek who rants gibberish about the latest technology. Incomprehensible jargon with grand, majestic statements are a cause for mistrust.

This is a problem for the federal and state governments in the $43 billion National Broadband Network rollout.

Take for example, Tasmanian senator Carol Brown, who says the NBN is the "largest nation-building project in our history". What's that mean exactly?

"It will be an enabling platform across the economy, critical for small businesses, future healthcare delivery, the education of our young people and our ability to work cleaner, smarter faster," she says.

What's an enabling platform?

She goes on to say it will "help drive productivity and increase growth". How?

Australian Computer Society president Anthony Wong says the NBN will start a revolution in online services.

"Technology underpins all forms of production, transport and communication, and enables the delivery of an enormous range of products and services in eduction, banking, health and entertainment," Mr Wong said.

What services? What products?

In layman's terms, why would a Midway Point householder connect?

This has not been properly explained.

We have heard grand statements about the revolution, but, in plain English, how will it change our lives?

If people do not understand, they will not connect.

NBN Tasmania chairman Doug Campbell predicts fewer than 30 per cent of premises will take up its service in the first few years and industry sources suggest 17 per cent.

In December, Telstra offered a million cable customers in Melbourne three-times faster download speeds on a two-year contract (at similar speeds to the NBN), but in the first few months only a few hundred took up the offer.

The world's most comprehensive optic-fibre rollout, in South Korea, has attracted only 39 per cent of households.

How will it go down in Tassie?

The State Government is funding forums statewide to help explain the NBN and the Tourism Industry Council of Tasmania, the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association, the Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Tasmanian Small Business Council are promoting its benefits.

The Tasmanian public's reaction to the NBN will set the tone for the national rollout. Any perception problems in Scottsdale can be expected to be replicated everywhere from Greendale, in Victoria, to Coffs Harbour, in New South Wales.

At this stage — only weeks from the first connections — the information has been far from grounded.

Combined with early issues about training and workplace practices, the rollout has got off to a shaky start.

With Tony Abbott vowing to wind back the rollout and ready to pounce on the slightest slip, it is imperative it goes to plan — the political survival of the Rudd Government may depend on it.

Every Tasmanian home, business, school and hospital is set to get high-speed broadband.

That sounds great, but how will that affect Gary and Norm down at the local, or Shane and Barry at the sawmill, or Terry and Sue at the school, or Maria and Dan down on the farm? We need to know.

¹ sourced: themercury.com.au
Categories
Random Ramblings

What You Get for $50 (AUD)

Ok there is a lot of ISP's around these days, they all want your money and promise you the world!  I put out the challenge for you to find a better deal than Internode

So can you get a better deal like this from your current ISP?

Categories
Random Ramblings

"Control" will the end-user be recognised?

Well the campaign against mandatory ISP filtering by internetblackout.com.au has certainly been causing a stir both in the media & on-line forums. Some statistics are always good viewing!

  • 500+ verified participating sites
  • 296,000+ unique visitors to the campaign site
  • 438,000+ views of the blackout info popup

Here is some information provided by Jonathan Barnett (via facebook) detailing the history of the proposed bill…

Internet Filtering Policy

Stuart Fenech

28 January 2010

The Internet filtering policy has changed around six times since it was an election policy back in 2007. The office of Brett Raguse MP has constantly raised concerns of constituents in this area since the 2007 election. This document aims to provide an overview of the current state of the policy.

Overview

The Internet filtering policy, originally a 2007 election policy, has evolved as a result of industry and community feedback. The current policy proposes two levels of Internet filtering:

1. Mandatory Internet filtering of Refused Classification (RC) material.

RC material includes child sex abuse, bestiality, sexual violence and similar material. The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) already orders his material to be 'taken down' if is hosted in Australia. There is a credible debate about what this may mean on the edges and public consultation is taking place on this subject.

This system is proposed to block a list of Internet sites called a blacklist. This relatively simple technology is quick and used in many countries. I am advised by Information Technology professionals that this system will have a negligible impact on Internet connection performance.

The policy in this area was originally that there would be a mandatory blocking of 'offensive material'. This was narrowed to the 'ACMA blacklist' and has now been narrowed further to RC. This is a far more limited scope than that used in countries such as China and is similar to the systems in the UK, Norway, Denmark and Sweden.

2. Optional Internet filtering of broader 'offensive material'.

The second level of Internet filtering is the one that has attracted the most controversy. This is an optional higher level of Internet filtering to be offered by some Internet Service Providers (ISP's). Individuals will only have this 'clean feed' on their service if they request it. ISP's do not have to offer this 'clean feed' but may access Federal Government grants for providing this service.

Originally, it was planned for this level of Internet filtering to be mandatory for individuals and ISP's, with an 'opt out' option for individuals. This has been sensibly altered to the current policy, where individuals have to 'opt in' if they want a 'clean feed' and ISP's are not forced to offer such a service.

Current technologies for this level of censorship present technical issues including overblocking, underblocking and performance impacts. There are also critical social issues relating to the role of government in censorship. As technical barriers are inevitably eventually overcome, the social issues will become of more importance than the technical issues in the long term.

Policy

The following issues have been overcome:

The policies as proposed will not slow down the Internet unless people deliberately choose a censored connection.

Scope of censorship issues have been largely resolved – RC for all Internet connections, and higher levels only for people who want it.

Cost issues have been reasonably contained by limiting the scope and not forcing Internet Service Provider's (ISP's) to offer censorship beyond RC.

ISP competition issues have been resolved by assistance to implement the blacklist filter and not forcing them to implement higher levels of censorship.

The following issues remain:

The Internet filtering technology is likely to be overcome by technical experts.

The optional higher level of Internet censorship will still have overblocking, underblocking, effectiveness and speed issues, but this will not affect most people.

Oversight of sites to be blocked, though a discussion paper has been released by Minister Conroy on this subject.

Risks of scope creep in censorship.

There is a technical issue relating to the boundary between RC and illegal material.

So will you just sit and watch as your internet freedom is taken from you (like you are a child) or will you make a stand and voice your opinion to your local MP? The decision is yours to make, but do nothing… and well you just may not be able to view my blog as who knows it may get "FILTERED" …

Categories
Random Ramblings

"Control" will the end-user be recognised?

Well the campaign against mandatory ISP filtering by internetblackout.com.au has certainly been causing a stir both in the media & on-line forums. Some statistics are always good viewing!

  • 500+ verified participating sites
  • 296,000+ unique visitors to the campaign site
  • 438,000+ views of the blackout info popup

Here is some information provided by Jonathan Barnett (via facebook) detailing the history of the proposed bill…

Internet Filtering Policy

Stuart Fenech

28 January 2010

The Internet filtering policy has changed around six times since it was an election policy back in 2007. The office of Brett Raguse MP has constantly raised concerns of constituents in this area since the 2007 election. This document aims to provide an overview of the current state of the policy.

Overview

The Internet filtering policy, originally a 2007 election policy, has evolved as a result of industry and community feedback. The current policy proposes two levels of Internet filtering:

1. Mandatory Internet filtering of Refused Classification (RC) material.

RC material includes child sex abuse, bestiality, sexual violence and similar material. The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) already orders his material to be 'taken down' if is hosted in Australia. There is a credible debate about what this may mean on the edges and public consultation is taking place on this subject.

This system is proposed to block a list of Internet sites called a blacklist. This relatively simple technology is quick and used in many countries. I am advised by Information Technology professionals that this system will have a negligible impact on Internet connection performance.

The policy in this area was originally that there would be a mandatory blocking of 'offensive material'. This was narrowed to the 'ACMA blacklist' and has now been narrowed further to RC. This is a far more limited scope than that used in countries such as China and is similar to the systems in the UK, Norway, Denmark and Sweden.

2. Optional Internet filtering of broader 'offensive material'.

The second level of Internet filtering is the one that has attracted the most controversy. This is an optional higher level of Internet filtering to be offered by some Internet Service Providers (ISP's). Individuals will only have this 'clean feed' on their service if they request it. ISP's do not have to offer this 'clean feed' but may access Federal Government grants for providing this service.

Originally, it was planned for this level of Internet filtering to be mandatory for individuals and ISP's, with an 'opt out' option for individuals. This has been sensibly altered to the current policy, where individuals have to 'opt in' if they want a 'clean feed' and ISP's are not forced to offer such a service.

Current technologies for this level of censorship present technical issues including overblocking, underblocking and performance impacts. There are also critical social issues relating to the role of government in censorship. As technical barriers are inevitably eventually overcome, the social issues will become of more importance than the technical issues in the long term.

Policy

The following issues have been overcome:

The policies as proposed will not slow down the Internet unless people deliberately choose a censored connection.

Scope of censorship issues have been largely resolved – RC for all Internet connections, and higher levels only for people who want it.

Cost issues have been reasonably contained by limiting the scope and not forcing Internet Service Provider's (ISP's) to offer censorship beyond RC.

ISP competition issues have been resolved by assistance to implement the blacklist filter and not forcing them to implement higher levels of censorship.

The following issues remain:

The Internet filtering technology is likely to be overcome by technical experts.

The optional higher level of Internet censorship will still have overblocking, underblocking, effectiveness and speed issues, but this will not affect most people.

Oversight of sites to be blocked, though a discussion paper has been released by Minister Conroy on this subject.

Risks of scope creep in censorship.

There is a technical issue relating to the boundary between RC and illegal material.

So will you just sit and watch as your internet freedom is taken from you (like you are a child) or will you make a stand and voice your opinion to your local MP? The decision is yours to make, but do nothing… and well you just may not be able to view my blog as who knows it may get "FILTERED" …

Categories
Random Ramblings

GNOME Internode Applet 1.6.1

I had mentioned a GNOME applet available from Internode for keeping tabs on your Internet usage, well this has recently been updated to now work with Python 2.6 …  Below is the instructions for installing.

Installation Instructions
————————-

Firstly, make sure you have the following installed:
– Python (>= 2.3)
– GNOME 2
– PyGTK
– Any additional gnome-python-extras or python-gnome-extras
packages for your system.

Extract the archive and run the following as root:

# python setup.py install
# killall gnome-panel

You should now be able to right-click on your GNOME panel, choose
'Add to Panel' and select the Internode Usage Meter Applet.

Good luck and enjoy!

Sam Pohlenz <retrix@internode.on.net>

NOTE: as of the time of writing version 1.6.1 does not report usage with Internode easy plan.

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Random Ramblings

Internode make monthly quota to 30Gb

Here's a copy of the bulletin that Internode has just released…  So no more concerns for going over your quota! (well at least for me!)

Dear Internode Customer,

In this Internode bulletin:

* Internode Easy Broadband launched
* Internode Sponsors the Global Green Challenge
* Follow Internode online!

----

* Internode Easy Broadband launched

Internode has just launched a new broadband service called Internode
Easy Broadband.

It is designed to be a single plan, no hassles approach to choosing a
broadband service that avoids the potentially confusing decisions
often associated with choosing a conventional broadband plan.

Easy Broadband is available now for existing and new ADSL broadband
customers nationally.

Please click here for more information:

http://www.internode.on.net/news/2009/07/143.php

* Internode Sponsors the Global Green Challenge

Internode has become a Platinum Sponsor of the Global Green Challenge
(the evolution of the famous World Solar Challenge).

The event will run from Darwin to Adelaide in October this year and
will feature the participation of the Internode Tesla Roadster!

Please click here for more information:

http://www.internode.on.net/news/2009/07/141.php

* Follow Internode online!

Internode offers you a variety of ways to interact with us online.

Please click here for details about following us through Whirlpool,
RSS, Twitter and Facebook!

http://www.internode.on.net/about/follow_us_online/

Regards,

The Internode Team
support@internode.on.net