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Comment: Great (Score 1) 538

by sigipickl (#47290451) Attached to: Teaching College Is No Longer a Middle Class Job

I studied accounting in college- I had CFO's, CPA's, entrepreneurs and lawyers teaching me. Teaching was a labor of love, not a career. They were leaders in their fields of business, not the most published, tenured or "acronym-ed". The demonstrated relationship of theory to the real world was not only valuable, but generally interesting. Even in a major as dull as accounting.

This was at a 4 year university, not Heald Business College.

The biggest buzzkill in my 4 years of college? The 32 year old full-time professor that had a Ph.D. in accounting. Talk about painful. It was like the guy had contempt for the students...

Comment: Not Surprising (Score 4, Informative) 144

by sigipickl (#44532031) Attached to: Bad Connections Dog Google's Mountain View Wi-Fi Network

There are dozens of reasons why Wi-Fi doesn't scale to the masses. Especially outdoors or in large spaces. Here are a few:
- Wi-Fi is half-duplex. Only one transmitter can broadcast on a channel at any given time. If the transmitting radio is slow (weak connection, older technology, bad-driver, etc...), then all other devices must wait for the transmission to end before they can get their airtime to transmit.
- A Wi-Fi radio that conforms to the Wi-Fi spec must co-operate when on the same channel as other wireless networks near it. This means that the google APs should be honoring the management traffic and broadcasts from other Wi-Fi radios near them. In a place like Mountain View, there is a *LOT* of Wi-Fi.
- 802.11n performance is dependent on multi-pathing. An AP on a pole in the middle of a park doesn't give much in the way of surfaces to reflect a signal off of. You end up at my first point- slow transmission, lower cell capacity.
- While two clients on an AP each can "hear" the APs transmissions, they may not "hear" each others'. Collisions galore.
- The ISM bands that Wi-Fi operates in are full of non-Wi-Fi interference. Wireless baby monitors are notorious for killing Wi-Fi, as are cheap wireless video cameras. Cordless phones,motion detectors, microwave ovens, remote control toys all play a part in the general noise within these RF bands.

Comment: Re:wasteful on spectrum (Score 1) 107

by sigipickl (#44010897) Attached to: 802.11ac: Better Coverage, But Won't Hit Advertised Speeds

Yes and no. There is boatloads more space in the 5GHz spectrum, and as another person has already stated, 5GHz doesn't do well with solid objects, so the signal will not propagate nearly as far.

Where .11ac is going to cause problems is when wave 2 of the standard hits the market in another year or two- 160MHz wide channels will eat up the available 5GHz spectrum real quick. We'll have multi-user MIMO with that release though, which will mean much more efficient use of the spectrum.

Comment: Re:I guess it depends (Score 2) 595

by sigipickl (#43449601) Attached to: Is Bitcoin Mining a Real-World Environmental Problem?

Wilson deregulated the *generation* of electricity in California- The only portion of a regulated utilities' electric bill that the utilities were *not* allowed to profit from. The system was begging to be gamed by those who bought up the power plants. On top of that, he took the private, cooperative operation of the transmission grid and handed it over to a state-run agency (CAL-ISO). Have you ever heard of a state agency doing anything efficiently?

As for Rancho Seco- That plant was a meltdown waiting to happen. Bad engineering and even worse management. A little utility like SMUD had no business being in the nuclear generation game in the first place. We are still paying for that nightmare in our bills every month.

And the Kings- They are a failure economically because Sacramento's main industry is Government. For as over-funded as most of our state agencies are, they are not allowed to buy sky boxes or court-side seats. There is not a single Fortune 500 company headquartered within 50 miles of the state capitol. When your 3 largest private employers in town are hospitals (feeding off the very generous health care benefits that government employees receive), you know you are in trouble. I wish KJ would put the energy that he is putting in to keeping the Kings in to fostering a better business climate for companies to grow here. Just look at the SF Bay Area- 8 million people and 6 professional franchises (7 if you count MLS). The greater Sacramento area has 2 million people and we are about to lose our *only* professional franchise because we can't sell sky boxes/premium seats at a rate that would justify building a new arena around them.

Comment: Re:Why arent ISPs using WiFi for last-mile? (Score 1) 174

by sigipickl (#41568557) Attached to: 802.11ad Will Knock Your Socks Off, Says Interop Panel

Why are we all still tied to wires?

Because WiFi is still half-duplex, similar to hubs that many of us used in the mid-90's. 802.11ac starts to address some of the of the simplex issues by placing users on individual spatial streams within a channel, but the communication between the client and the access point is still half-duplex, it's just somewhat isolated from other clients connected to the same AP...

The other major issue is that WiFi is still using ISM frequencies... 900MHz was squashed before WiFi was prevalent, 2.4GHz is squashed now, and with Apple finally putting a 5GHz radio in the iPhone, 5GHz will be a mess in the next few years... though with higher throughput, higher bandwidth and lower signal propogation, 5GHz will be more manageable.

The whole conversation is somewhat moot though, as 802.11ac has yet to be ratified.

Comment: Re:Apples and Oranges (Score 4, Informative) 272

by sigipickl (#37823338) Attached to: Bill Gates On What Business Can Teach Schools

Money is not the problem, accountability is.

Here in California, local property tax money is redistributed throughout the state. Often schools is poorer neighborhoods get more money per student than the schools in more affluent areas. Heck, in some districts teachers get paid more to teach in the under-achieving schools. Nothing has gotten better except the employment at schools.

Comment: Band Steering (Score 1) 165

by sigipickl (#37822822) Attached to: IT Shops Coping With Overloaded 2.4GHz WiFi Band

I don't know if apple fixed their wireless driver in IOS 5, but I have found that the iPad running IOS 4 does not 'steer' to 5GHz when presented with the same SSID on 2.4GHz and 5GHz. This has been a consistent experience using Cisco, HP (E-series), and Ruckus wireless networks. With some of my customers, we have had to create different SSIDs for the bands to get their fleets of iPads off 2.4GHz.

Thus spake the master programmer: "When a program is being tested, it is too late to make design changes." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"