Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Priority Data Access: the one smart pipe feature I want to see now

Mobile carriers, even if they have the best network (e.g. Telstra in Australia), will always at some point suffer from congestion on their network. If you're a Telstra mobile broadband user that spends time in the CBD of either Sydney or Melbourne you may have experienced slow and unreliable data connections whenever you are near one of the (many) Telstra offices, particularly around lunch time. My suspicion is that this is directly caused by the large number of phones in the vicinity that are connecting to the available towers.

I would say that somewhere in the vicinity of 80-90% of my data access is for work, on a mobile plan that is paid for by my employer. This means that I am more than happy to have my employer fork out extra, say $10 a month more to have priority data access on congested nodes. This deviates from the current service offerings of a large number of ISPs that punish users of bandwidth hungry services, such as bit torrent, without giving anyone the ability to easily raise their connection priority above that of other users. Additionally, there is no reward for being a user that doesn't use services such as these.

Further refining this offering you could even pay a lesser amount, say $5 and have the priority access to only a selected number of sites, say your employers domains, thus covering business access as required. This solution would obviously be harder to implement than blanket priority for a given user.

What are your thoughts on this?

Friday, February 24, 2012

Synology and External Drives

I was having trouble with my DS211J taking ages, in the order of 2 days, to backup ~1TB to the external drive (A Samsung Story Station 3). Occasionally it would also fail at some random point and require restarting further prolonging the pain.

Initially when I set-up the external drive I used NTFS thinking that I would want to be able to read it from my Windows PCs. After some digging around on the Synology Forums and finding plenty of posts like this one I decided it was time to reformat the drive to native format (i.e. EXT4).

All I can say is wow, the backups are 4 times as quick now.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

QuickLoc: A Robust “on the fly” Indoor Localisation System Using Ad-hoc Sensor Networks

So I stumbled across my Electrical Engineering Undergrad thesis the other day. It was excitingly titled

Design and Implementation of QuickLoc: A Robust “on the fly” Indoor Localisation System Using Ad-hoc Sensor Networks

We engineers sure know how to come up with titles! :)