I registered to the Amazon AWS 101 Cloud Computing Business Seminar event happening in Wellington and Auckland. I am a tech guy, and I use technology. A lot. That's how we keep Geekzone running - we use the lot, including databases, performance optimisation, content delivery networks, balanced DNS, analytics, etc. Because that's how we keep the site running, and that's how we have it on the top.
So naturally I thought learning about Amazon AWS would be awesome and I could at some point use this.
But when I registered I put my title as "blogger" instead of "director". Because that's what I do for a living. The "director" at my company is just the signing title.
Then I got a strange phone call from Amazon asking what is my title, followed by this email:
Thank you very much for your interest in our Business Seminar in Wellington on Oct 13. This event is a customer-focus event and therefore not appropriate for Media and Bloggers. However, we would be very happy to answer any of your question and therefore set up a meeting with our PR Manager. Please let me know if you'd like to that.
So, there you go.
After I replied to this note with a clarification they sent me an email saying I am welcome to the event.
I think not.
(Diarist is a metaweblog app for Windows Phone, developed by Kev Daly).
Is TelstraClear having some routing problems? Why is it routing traffic from New Zealand to the United States via Hong Kong?
Isn't enough that we are far away from content, why use the longest route to get something then?
Update: Yes, someone mentioned it's the Internet, if things are not well, alternative routes and all. Yes, I know that. Still, if we are so far away from content that 200ms influences the results, it would be good if a high quality network could make sure things were taking the optimal path and only use the fallback as an alternative for when things go wrong, not as the default for days/weeks. In this case, someone somewhere should be alerted.
I have a Cradlepoint PHS300 and noticed something interesting when using mobile data: if I plug my 3G Sierra Wireless USB modem to the PHS300 and connect my laptop to the router via WiFi I get faster speedtest results than if I plug the 3G USB modem directly to my laptop.
This is obviously for the same network, same location (Auckland CBD), around the same time (as in plug to laptop, test, plug to PHS300, text, plug back to laptop, test)...
Also the connection seems to be more reliable.
Interesting. I know both the laptop USB adapter and the 3G USB modem are USB 2.0, but why the speed difference?
And no, it's not a paid advertising for Cradlepoint products, but I would be interested to know if anyone have similar experiences with other 3G/WiFi routers.
I just read that Telstra is adding a 500GB broadband plan in Australia for AU$119.95. Users on HFC (cable modem service) can get 100 Mbps speeds for an extra AU$10.00
Telstra's presence in New Zealand, TelstraClear, offers a 25 Mbps HFC plan for around NZ$200 a month with a 120GB allowance, which is about five times more expensive, with 1/4 of the speed. Yes, that bad.
Earlier this year TelstraClear ran a HFC 100 Mbps trial, which I was invited to participate. HFC is a brilliant service (on any speed), as anyone who ever used the cable modem service can confirm, when compared to DSL alternatives. But the company have since gone quiet, and apparently have no plans of announcing new services supporting neither those speeds or allowances.
People keep asking on Geekzone when the 100 Mbps plan is coming and the company keeps saying we should wait, something is coming up. But it's been quite some time now and the company is not known for moving fast. I understand their HFC infrastructure is currently ready for DOCSIS3 and 100 Mbps speeds, but somewhere someone is not signing the "Go Ahead" memo.
Disclaimer: as a participant of the 100 Mbps trial I was offered, at the end of the test period, to return to my original plan or move to the top plan while keeping the 100Mbps profile. It was an easy decision, since I was already paying for the top plan, so in our household we do have a 100Mbps HFC connection.
Today I got an invite to a press briefing here in Wellington later this week, with James Reinders (Director, Chief Software Evangelist, Intel) and Nicolas Erdody (Director, Open Parallel Ltd). The invite also mentioned the upcoming Multicore World conference, happening here in Wellington in March 2012:
The World is Going Parallel and New Zealand Software Company has a Leading Role in it
Since the advent of computers, and later of the internet, the processing of massive amounts of data has been growing. Industry has been increasing computing power for decades, but the trend towards increasing speed of processing has reached the physical barrier. Vendors cannot put more processing power into a chip, without overheating it. To solve the problem, vendors changed the architecture, building more processors into a single chip, calling them multicore chips. These new chips entered the mainstream market a few years ago, with all vendors currently selling them.
New multicore chips are also more power efficient, and the potential is basically unlimited for the number of cores that you can put on them. The potential processing power is absolutely unheard of, which will not only allow users to do thing faster, but also add more, and new, conditions to the current problems. Now it is possible to imagine applications that have not been possible before.
However, this new and exciting scenario comes with a challenge. Since the inception of computers, software has been written with a single central processing unit (CPU) in a chip. To exploit the potential of multicore chips, software needs to be written thinking in parallel. Parallel programming is not a new concept, but it is more difficult to write. It is estimated than less than 10% of all the software programmers worldwide are able to deal with parallel programming. In the next 10-15 years, there will be huge opportunities to either deal with all the legacy code written from decades of sequential programming, or to create new software that will take full advantage of thousands of cores in a chip, plus all the range of services, solutions and systems integration in between.
This is an ideal ground for the fertile mind of the technologists, software communities and researchers within NZ. It's mainstream but it's a niche new technology. It's already taken advantage of the skills available in NZ, and parallel computing will be essential to process the vast quantities of data produced by the SKA telescope, a global project that NZ is key part of it. James Reinders (Director, Chief Software Evangelist, Intel) and Nicolas Erdody (Director, Open Parallel Ltd) will be discussing the opportunities and challenges that Multicore presents in a press conference this Wednesday 21 September 2011.
Open Parallel, a NZ based company specialised in Software for Multicore and Parallel Computing has been working with Intel since early 2010. To increase awareness about multicore and to present the ecosystem that NZ already has in place to unveil the potential of multicore chips, Open Parallel organises Multicore World 2012 - a global conference about Multicore Technology (software and hardware) as part of its vision to establish New Zealand as a centre of excellence for multicore and parallel computing. Multicore World will be held 27 - 28 March 2012 at the Wellington Town Hall. The main goal of the conference is to provide IT decision makers being C-level executives as well as software community leaders with the knowledge and the connections they need to make valid business and technology decisions in terms of their multicore software and hardware requirements over the coming years.
James Reinders and Nicolas Erdody will be presenting about Multicore, Parallelism, the SKA project and Multicore World in a press conference in Wellington
I just found out while here on a HP launch event (unrelated because the event I am attending is about imaging and printing, not laptops), that a new HP dm1 laptop version has been released, just eight months after the original model was introduced. The HP dm1 is an ultraportable laptop, not quite as small as a "netbook" (I hate this word), but not as large and heavy as a laptop. The HP dm1 was the first laptop with an AMD Fusion chipset (including AMD CPU and GPU all in one).
I bought one while in the US recently attending the HP Discover conference, to replace my previous HP dv6. It's a brilliant PC. A lot faster than netbooks thanks to its dual core 64 bit AMD CPU, 11" screen, very nice keyboard and light (just a bit over 1Kg). I've replaced the original 500GB HDD with my Crucial 256GB SSD and I get about seven hours battery life with WiFi off, and about five and half with WiFi on. Its Windows Experience Index is 3.8 because of the CPU. My specific model gets 5.1 in gaming graphics (using the standard ATI drivers) and 7.9 in drive (because of the ultra fast SSD). Actually the SSD itself cost more than the laptop.
I recommend this "ultraportable" laptop. It's available in New Zealand now, and I am sure the new model will be out soon.
Full disclosure: I was invited by HP, with a group o bloggers, to attend the HP Discover conference in Las Vegas earlier this year, and I bought the HP dm1 with a gift voucher I won during the conference.
I am in Shanghai today and tomorrow, courtesy of HP, for an HP IPG (Imaging and Printing) launch event. I feel like I have just absorbed more information about printers (laser, ink, networked, managed, etc) than I had in the last five years.
The Kerry Hotel is a beautiful hotel, and the food is excellent. Landed in Shanghai from Hong Kong at 11pm. Flew (no pun intended) through immigration and customs in less than five minutes. Very nice people all around.
Shame HP used an Australian travel agency that put us, New Zealanders, on a QANTAS flight with lots of stops (WLG - SYD - HKG - PDV), when there's a direct Air New Zealand flight Auckland - Shanghai. It could have been twelve hours travel instead of twenty four. My fault too, should have checked the itinerary earlier.
Will post the news on Geekzone later.