I have written a semi-long rant regarding the sorry state of ISPs available in my region: link
It was mostly just me blowing off steam, but it really is frustrating to have to deal with Verizon, especially since I don't exactly fit into their nice little customer model that their entire corporate bureaucracy is based on (e.g., I like to ssh from somewhere else to get to my home network to check my email or program or whatever). Their services have become unsatisfactory to me and the people that I have access to are completely obstinate and refuse to work with me to get me a product that suits me.
Finals again: this time in graduate school. Let me say this - it sucks. Many graduate faculty just think that the university schedule and policies don't apply to them (which sometimes is nice, but not during finals). They assign homework and projects and tests during the "dead" days when nothing is supposed to be scheduled to give students a chance for uninterrupted study time before finals start.
Anyway, grad school so far has been pretty good. I enjoy having more challenging courses than I did as an undergraduate. This semester, I've been taking a security course with a live hacking exercise (I took the same course last year as an undergrad), a hardware/software embedded systems codesign course, digital communications (undergraduate course, for kicks and giggles), and computer architecture, which I'm studying right now. Tomasulo's algorithm, speculation, predicated instructions, other ILP stuff.
For the summer, I'm registered for an undergraduate electromagnetics course and will probably add some sort of upper-level math like numerical analysis or maybe even quantum physics or something like that. (for my own gratification, like the communications course)For the fall, I'm registered for operating systems (which is a heavy workload), cryptography I (taught by George Blakeley, somewhat renowned in the field and one of the best professors at TAMU, also a heavy workload), and a secure communications course in the EE department taught by a new faculty member who has an interest in covert communications and such. I've got to think of an idea for a thesis soon.
Federal grants are offered for... research into the recreation potential of interplanetary space travel for the culturally disadvantaged.