Linksys N600 Wifi Router doesn’t do Gigabit with Apple Thunderbolt to Ethernet Adapter

I’m filing this under the “Things that suck” category.

My two mac’s when connected directly to each other using a Cat 5e ethernet cable connect at 1 gigabit/second.

Take the same cable and plug it directly into a Linksys N600 which is supposed to support Gigabit ethernet, and it’s stuck at 100 megabits per second.

Used the ethernet cable bundled with the router as well as my own Cat5e cable and no luck.

Guess I’ll buy Netgear from now on.

Post a comment if you arrived here via Google and had a similar experience.

An unpleasant Herman Miller experience in South Africa

Update: HM’s Director of Comms was kind enough to post a response here (see below in comments), Elmarie responded in the comments, today the issue was resolved when the owner of the HM distributer in South Africa called Elmarie and apologized for the way things were handled and it sounds like they’ll be working together on getting a few more Aerons for the office. Nice to see a brand that has their ear to the ground and responds to consumer feedback within 24 hours.

My good friend Elmarie ordered her first Herman Miller Aeron chair for her office. She responded to an ad placed in Gumtree by “All Office” who are the exclusive Herman Miller agents in South Africa.

She was pretty excited when her Herman Miller Aeron Chair arrived, as were we all, but it turns out the price she was charged was not the advertised R6995 (approx $765.50) but instead she was charged R7974.30 (approx $872.68), over $100 more.

She called “All Office” slightly irate and was told the price she was quoted was excluding VAT (South African sales tax). For my American friends/family and anyone in a non-VAT country, one of the first principles of the South African VAT act is that you include the tax in the price.

What really soured this experience was the following: When chatting to a manager at “All Office” Elmarie was told that if she doesn’t want to be a “good citizen” and pay the full price, then he would take the balance out of the salary of the sales person who placed the Gumtree ad.

So after hearing ads for the Herman Miller Aeron chair by Sit4Less on National Public Radio for the last year in the States – and thinking we’d get a few for our office in the USA, I’ve pretty much done an about-face on the brand and won’t be buying any Aeron’s any time soon.

PS: I’d like to hear from Herman Miller in Germany about this. Elmarie has emailed them and is waiting to hear back.

Enough Pretending to Ban Assault Rifles. Just Do It.

Until January this year I lived in Elizabeth, Colorado for a year and a half which is 30 miles from where the shooting occurred 3 days ago. Many of my extended family still lives there. My brother called me in France from Cape Town to tell me it was going on in real-time, via Reddit, so I got hold of my nephew in Denver who was watching the opening of Batman, but thankfully at a different theater. It’s a connected world.

While living in Colorado I went to a gun range in Montana and played with just about every gun they had including of course a 50 caliber handgun an AR-15 and a fully automatic assault rifle that was similar but older for legal reasons. Then did a gun course later in Colorado. I don’t own any guns.

According to the news an AR-15 assault rifle was used in the Aurora Cinema Shooting on Thursday night along with a shotgun and two handguns. The AR-15 is an M-4 assault rifle used by the US military in places like Afghanistan and Iraq. The main difference is that it is semi-automatic. In other words it can only fire as fast as you can pull the trigger. There are a few hacks available to fix this like bump-firing where you attach a device to the stock that keeps pulling the trigger thanks to the recoil.

I never had much of a point of view on this, but I’m beginning to strongly question why on Earth we need to be able to own AR-15 assault rifles. They tried to ban them in California but there are “California Legal” AR-15’s available. The Federal Assault Weapons Ban was another half hearted attempt – the law only banned weapons made after the law passed and it expired in 2004.

The AR-15 is a mean weapon. It fires a .223 round at an extremely high velocity and a single shot to a human can do terrible damage. A single shot to the body can cause brain damage due to hydrostatic shock. Contrary to what they tell you in movies, there is no such thing as a “Flesh wound” and every gunshot wound is serious.

The idea that making the AR-15 semi-automatic somehow makes it safer is absurd. On a course I attended our instructor trained us to fire in bursts of 3 to four which is the only way to stay accurate with an assault rifle. So you’re really just removing 2 to three rounds from each shot and ensuring the shooter maintains the discipline of not holding down the trigger too long.

The AR-15 has a short barrel which makes it useless for hunting, even though a few unsporting folks use it to hunt. It’s designed for close quarters assault style combat. When you hold and point it you are hunched over the weapon in a combat stance designed to minimize recoil, present a small profile and keep you moving aggressively forward.  It’s designed to very efficiently kill multiple people in close quarters in a war setting.

Magazine sizes of 60 rounds or more are available from sites like gunbroker.com for the AR-15. Imagine a single AR-15 with three magazines of 20 to 60 rounds. I don’t think “home defense” captures the possible uses for that configuration. [Edit: After writing this article I discovered a 100 round AR-15 magazine was found at the scene in Aurora according to this article.]

The argument for the need to “defend ourselves from the government” is absurd because they already have the tanks and the nukes and they’re not going to let us have any.

The argument for home defense doesn’t hold water either because your AR-15 may be up against another AR-15 or an illegal M-4 or how about 5 guys with assault rifles.

There’s never going to be a scenario where you are “fully equipped” with legal weapons to “take all comers”. So lets stop fantasizing, lets keep weapons for sport legal and stop lying to ourselves that we are somehow empowered because we have an assault weapon stored in the place you will probably be furthest from when the boogie man comes to visit.

 

Blogger to customers: Your blog will now run on multiple domains so we can censor it

The worlds largest blog host by a wide margin, Blogger (or Blogspot.com) has now actively started redirecting visitors to top level country domains (ccTLD’s) based on which country they are in.

I run a real-time analytics service and we have roughly 700,000 Blogspot customers. At 1AM on January 30th (UTC time) we saw a huge number of new domains appearing on our radar. Most of these were new blogspot domains ending in the .in top level country domain and we saw several others.

The way this new configuration works is as follows. If you have example.blogspot.com as your blog:

  • If visitors arrive from a country in which this is not enabled by Blogger, they will see example.blogspot.com as per usual.
  • If visitors arrive from a country that has requested, or may request in future, that Google censor content, the visitor is redirected to example.blogspot.ccTLD, where ccTLD is replaced with a country top level domain. This is example.blogspot.in in India or example.blogspot.com.au in Australia, for example.

The effect of this is:

  1. Blog owners are likely to be looking at their blog on a different domain to their visitors. E.g. you will see your blog on example.blogspot.co.nz if you are in New Zealand and your visitors will be visiting your blog using domains like example.blogspot.co.za, example.blogspot.in, example.blogspot.com.au, etc.
  2. Because your blog now lives on multiple domains, your content is duplicated on the Web. Google claim they deal with this by setting a canonical tag in your HTML content that points to the .com domain so crawlers will not be confused.
  3. Your visitors are now spread across as many websites as Google has top level country domains for Blogger. Rather than having a single page about bordeaux wines, you instantly have 10 or 20 pages about bordeaux wines, they’re all identical in every way except the URL and your visits are spread evenly across them.

A URL or Uniform Resource Locator has always been a canonical string that represents the location of a page on the Web. Modifying the worlds largest blog hosting service to break this convention in order to enable Web censorship, by Google no less, leaves me deeply concerned. I can only speculate that either Google is throwing Blogspot under the bus, or Google’s view of their company and its role on the Web has become deeply flawed.

I’m calling it: Google+ is a flop.

Does anyone else not care about Google plus? Hitwise released a report that says Google+ traffic had declined by 3% for the week ending July 23. Google are of course in damage control mode and claiming that Hitwise ignores Android, iPhone and traffic to the web app and only takes into account traffic to the site itself.

Shouldn’t they all be growing virally? Google claims they’re in limited field trials, it’s invite only, etc, but I can get in and so can you I’m sure.

What worries me is that a social app that is truly engaging and social should have a very strong viral loop. New users invite new users.

If you’re Google, you’re starting with an audience of over a billion people. That’s a pretty good seed for your viral loop. They should be having to fight the traffic off with a sharp stick.

I think their strategy of softly-softly when launching new products hurts them in the long run. They’re so worried about down-time they’re sacrificing valuable PR buzz and new product momentum to avoid it. Twitter still goes down regularly and that hasn’t hurt them yet.

But the real problem I have with Google Plus is it’s fugly.

I don’t mean purely on design. The language they use to describe each product feature is like something out of The Boo Hoo Bird: “Circles”, “Hangouts”, “Sparks”.

I also think the designers are still suffering from PTSD from the Google Buzz debacle:

[box]Circles let you share with just the right audience.[/box]

i.e. We didn’t screw up this time. Pinkie promise!

 

 

WTF is up with Dell?

Screen shot 2009-11-05 at 11.01.06 AM[Update at end of post] I love Dell servers. In fact I even love their network hardware. I’ve spent 0000’s (yeah that’s four zeros) with them during the last 2 years and Mick my old sales guy rocked! As did his hardware team.

I’m ready to spend more money. Yup, I’m going to take my hard earned dollars and hand it over for more of that great hardware they have. Unfortunately Mick got laid off. So now I’m dealing with a team of 5 people.

I get almost daily emails from someone called Loree Brown reminding me of how much Dell rocks and telling me about the great deals they have. I even have this cute guy with his cute chin fluff, silk tie and his cutsie pie little smile appearing in my emails. He’s really been a huge influence on my buying decision. He looks like he just got laid and I’d like to look like that right after I buy my servers.

But I’ve been emailing “Loree Brown” @ Dell with requests for quotes and I get nada response. Nothing. Hell I even put the $4000 server that I want to buy in my shopping cart ready for him or her or it to turn into a quote.

I’ve sent reminder emails. Follow up emails. To multiple addresses. Nothing.

So really what’s happened is that they fired Mick and “streamlined” operations and I’m going to end up buying my machines somewhere else. Which means getting rid of Mick cost them probably several 0000’s (four zero’s again) over the next 2 years from me alone.

Get your shit together guys, I want my quote!!

Update: Got a call from Loree’s manager Reed West apologizing profusely for the confusion. Apparently the problem is that Dell’s marketing emails come from username@midmarket.dell.com and the reps don’t actually receive emails at those addresses. I had sent several emails to Lori at the ‘midmarket’ address instead of her real address. Their real email addresses are username@dell.com. So Reed has undertaken to fix that issue – their marketing emails will now come from real email addresses.  Nice to know Dell reads the blogosphere and twittersphere and responds – they got back to me less than 3 hours after I posted this. As I mentioned in the original post, their servers are unbeatable – looking forward to a better relationship with the new sales team.

I’m so dumb

Don’t ever leave a website that starts to get any kind of traffic on the joke that calls itself GoDaddy. As a registrar they’re not bad but their DNS tool is very broken.

I won’t bore you with tales of my screaming match at a manager there at 2am when a simple A record IP address change caused my image server’s address to drop in and out of their DNS at random. Or how the crankier I got the more he called me sir. Or how his colleague explained that if I choose to use their DNS service I need to know intuitively that I can’t make more than one change a day or their zone file gets corrupt – and how it’s standard procedure that you call them to do a “zone file refresh”. Or how he explained that a record I hadn’t changed at all dropped off their servers and the reason was because it’s an “Internet Thing”.

I moved over to dnsmadeeasy.com today and so far they rock. They’re the lowest cost host that offers Anycast on their servers which gives pretty good protection against DDoS attacks – something that took out dnspark a while back when I used to use them.

Nissan vs Nissan – Trademark Lawsuit

If you’ve ever visited Nissan.com you’ll know the story of Uzi Nissan being sued by Nissan Motor Corp. Having been sued over trademark infringement before, I know how hard this must have been for Uzi – and how hard the decision to appeal must have been.

Nissan.com is a descriptive name in the case of Uzi Nissan, which means that it’s not a strong trademark (he can’t sue anyone else who is using it descriptively) but he also can’t be sued for using his own name – especially with a history of 20 years of use. Any junior TM attorney will tell you that. And yet Nissan went after him with a vengance, all the way to the supreme court – Nissan Motor Corp’s petition was rejected.

Uzi finally won and kept the name and it must have cost him a small fortune to do so.

Nissan’s behavior makes me ashamed to own a Nissan XTerra and I’ll be considering this when I make my next purchase decision.

CTRL-C CTRL-V

I’m not a copyright nazi and I’m all for sharing. But it really pisses me off when I see people plagiarize my blog entries verbatim without even giving a link back to the source and without adding so much as a single sentence of their own content.

Add a couple of sentences of your own and you can call it a mashup or use two sources and you can call it research.

Om Malik also had a run-in with content thieves a while ago.

UPDATE: Seems there was no bad intent on Brad’s part and he sounds like a pretty cool guy actually. Check out this awesome ad video he posted recently titled ‘the wind’.