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Old 08-29-2009, 06:04 AM   #16
mjolnir
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Congrats Sasha, 3458 posts with all the associated searches, etc. on dial-up! Move over kewpie your post totals are in trouble.

Last edited by mjolnir; 08-29-2009 at 06:05 AM.
 
Old 08-29-2009, 08:59 PM   #17
blackhole54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrapefruiTgirl View Post
Up here, where we have so much land, vs relatively un-densely populated areas, the infrastructure is understandably (and sorely) lacking, which *might* influence why there may be so many caps on stuff like this: there simply isn't enough companies, providers, infrastructure, and competition, for big companies to be bothered giving a good deal on anything.
Lacking infrastructure may help explain caps where you live, but I don't think it explains caps in the U.S. However, I would say we don't have nearly enough competition. I am still on dial-up (but with better connection rates than you had). The main issue is I haven't put enough effort into finding a broadband ISP I think I could be happy with (if there is such a beast), of course, considering their price, but also terms of service, caps, and how they treat Linux users. With some serious competition I think the search would be a whole lot easier. It also might help if I would get off my duff!

(Actually speakeasy.net sounds good, but they are a little expensive for my budget. I am also uneasy aobut the fact that they are owned by Best Buy.)

EDIT: I also don' want to have *anything* to do with Microsoft, which leaves out Qwest and Comcast w/o even thinking about what else I may find objectionable with them.

Last edited by blackhole54; 08-29-2009 at 09:02 PM.
 
Old 08-29-2009, 10:29 PM   #18
GrapefruiTgirl
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Lightbulb ISPs supporting *nix clients?

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackhole54 View Post
...broadband ISP I think I could be happy with... and how they treat Linux users.
The issue of ISPs vs Linux users comes up from time to time, but I really wonder how relevant, if at all, it really is (other than just from "an irritant" POV)?

I mean, it takes no special software or equipment to be able to be connected to the internet, regardless of OS.. You need a working modem+/NIC, a browser, and (usually) DHCP.

That said though,

I do understand from one perspective: **IF** one were to phone up the ISP and try to get some tech support about something (I've done this), they usually try to tell ya a bunch of crap about what to do with your WinXP machine to solve a/the connection problem, and when you mention Linux, they tell you that they don't support it. But what does "..don't support it.." actually mean? Nothing -- they just read it out of their little book, because that's the company line. They don't know any different (sheep).

Oddly, much of the ISP equipment probably runs Linux or some *nix, and they don't know that either! They're surely not running an ISP off MS-Server-2003

This-all is unfortunate and annoying, but it's also irrelevant; they really don't know whether they support Linux or Win or Mac, or *whatever* -- the fact is, they support *everything* if it meets the basic criteria of being able to get an IP and connect to the net.

In the couple cases where I did phone an ISP and get into this situation, looking for answers about something, I got the 'company line' too, but always discovered something I had screwed up on my end, which was causing the problem (except in the one case of a really sh***y dial-up ISP that used to chop our bandwidth, contrary to the contract agreement).

Sasha
 
Old 08-30-2009, 06:36 AM   #19
blackhole54
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What you say is all true. The one exception where it might matter what OS you are running is when they want to give you some software to run to connect for the first time rather than just telling you what you really need to do. (I recently read an article in Linux Planet where they sent out a tech to do whatever needed to be done.) Its just a question of what my tolerance for pain/aggravation is.

Anyway, you have broadband. Congratulations!

I don't. That may change some day.
 
Old 08-30-2009, 09:08 AM   #20
GrapefruiTgirl
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackhole54 View Post
..The one exception where it might matter what OS you are running is when they want to give you some software to run to connect for the first time rather than just telling you what you really need to do.
Very true! Just like when one buys new hardware, and it comes with a CD full of Win stuff. Blah!

(case in point: I got some new monitors a little while ago; they came with CDs full of Win stuff -- LOL, I just had to connect them to the computer(s) so whatever might be on the CDs is-- well, a waste of a CD )
Sasha
 
Old 09-02-2009, 10:38 PM   #21
GrapefruiTgirl
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Thought I'd tag on a bit more to this thread, rather than make a new thread, since it IS on the topic of my new ISP..

1) Seems the reviews my roommate read about the shi**y customer service at this ISP are all true, or at least, are so far proving true. Talking to tech support is like talking to the Borg, or to a desk or wall.

2) They don't reply to email inquiries. Seems replying to customer inquiries is not part of their daily operations.

3) Give me your thoughts on this: We are allowed 5 free email accounts with our subscription. So that's great, I call them up to set up 2 of the accounts, mine + my roommate. I give Borg-guy the name of the 1st email address. Borg-guy asks, "What do you want for the password? It has to be at least 6 chars, including at least one digit." So I tell him, "Just set them both as our phone number for now, and we'll change them when we log in." Borg-guy tells me, "You can't do that. You have to call us at tech-support if you want your password changed.", so I asked "You mean to tell me, we can't choose & set our own passwords, on our email accounts?", to which he replied, "Yes, that is correct."

Needless to say, re #3, I told him I might call him back on that, and that was the end of that.

Now, I haven't gone researching privacy laws, nor will I go so far as to suggest that that practice might be in violation of privacy laws, but it sure strikes me as just plain WRONG! It's highly unusual -- I have never encountered this, with ANY ISP or telephone company or email provider. Have you?

EDIT: It should be noted that none of this particular post should reflect badly on the Motorola technology that is actually being used to provide us the wireless internet. That seems to work very well, though I did find that during very heavy rain, the service seemed to lag or be intermittent. This post only describes the ISP providing us the service.

Sasha

Last edited by GrapefruiTgirl; 09-02-2009 at 10:50 PM.
 
Old 09-03-2009, 06:03 AM   #22
salasi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrapefruiTgirl View Post

3) Give me your thoughts on this: We are allowed 5 free email accounts with our subscription. So that's great, I call them up to set up 2 of the accounts, mine + my roommate. I give Borg-guy the name of the 1st email address. Borg-guy asks, "What do you want for the password? It has to be at least 6 chars, including at least one digit." So I tell him, "Just set them both as our phone number for now, and we'll change them when we log in." Borg-guy tells me, "You can't do that. You have to call us at tech-support if you want your password changed.", so I asked "You mean to tell me, we can't choose & set our own passwords, on our email accounts?", to which he replied, "Yes, that is correct."
My opinions run to:
  • that's bad
  • IANAL, and I have less knowledge of the legal situation in your locality than I do of those in mine, but my impression is that is probably not illegal. There might be some technicality on which you could get them (data protection?), but, as part of a general contractual offer, if they are offering a 'free' e-mail with something else and they choose to set unreasonable conditions along with that, and that makes their offer of free e-mail accounts less than valuable, that's up to them. And up to you what you decide to do about it.
  • That said, data protection, unreasonable contractual terms (hidden at the time of agreement), and deceptive advertising are possible lines of attack, but it may just be easier to make alternative arrangements for your e-mail.
  • Also, a possible line of attack is to try to talk (or send an e-mail? sorry I mentioned it!) to someone higher, say director level, in the organisation and try to ask 'Did you know that your org is indulging in this bad practice? Given that you condone this activity, are you aware that you can be liable (or would be here, again I'm not sure about your jurisdiction*) for acts taken by your employees, whether you approve of them, or not, and this puts you in a poor situation if you have a 'rogue' employee? Do you also realise how this might appear to potential customers, and the effect that this might have on your business, if it were more widely known?
  • If they merely meant, you can't change your own password because you might choose something weak, like password, I think most people would accept that as reasonable (you are deprived of the liberty to set 'password' as your password, but it is in your own interests, and acts to increase your security rather than to decrease it), but normally that is done in a far more reasonable way than getting you to tell someone what your password will be.
None of these are really guaranteed to endear you to your new-found source of 'net bandwith, and, as I said earlier, not bothering has a number of advantages as far as friendly relations are concerned.

Friendly relations may not be a necessity, but if this is your only possible source of broadband, you may want to preserve them.

Quote:
That seems to work very well, though I did find that during very heavy rain, the service seemed to lag or be intermittent.
If this service uses anything close to 2.4 GHz, this will be a 'feature'. 2.4 G is the first water resonance, and the fact that this frequency is effectively useless for long range communication made it easier for the powers that be to free up that frequency as an ISM band for unlicensed communication (and, for the use in microwave ovens and diathermy machines, whatever they are). As you say, rain (or mist or snow...) affects the path loss. Getting a bit more gain from a directional antenna can help, but remember that if the antenna is too directional, keeping it in adequate alignment becomes more problematic. And, if the attenuation is too high, no use of a better antenna will help.

* This is a complex point, and really would reguire someone who is a lawyer to explore in detail and is affected whether it is something that occurs in the normal course of employment and whether they org has taken all reasonable measures to prevent it. In this case, given that they have effectively given access to your e-mail accounts to their admins, it is difficult to see how they could argue that they have taken all reasonable measures.
 
Old 09-03-2009, 09:39 AM   #23
GrapefruiTgirl
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Hi salasi,

Thank you very much for your detailed evaluation of my post! I really appreciate the time you took.

To address a couple points:

1) You're right:
Quote:
None of these are really guaranteed to endear you to your new-found source of 'net bandwith, and, as I said earlier, not bothering has a number of advantages as far as friendly relations are concerned.

Friendly relations may not be a necessity, but if this is your only possible source of broadband, you may want to preserve them.
I'm not going to risk making the relations so unfriendly as to start having "service interruptions" over differences in POV with them. I agree with all your points made about the email password situation; well said/written. The 'rogue admin' angle is certainly valid in these days. There are rogues in every aspect of daily life-- just look at the investment scams & ponzi schemes afoot lately. It's sad, that a "position of trust" means relatively little to some.
I sum it all up to the lone two words you wrote as your first point: "that's bad". I probably just have to drop it at that. I have sent three emails to them in total now, and have yet to receive a reply to any of them. The last one was to their "Privacy Officer". Still waiting...
While I find the email thing highly annoying, my roommate may well go ahead and use the email anyhow. I won't -- I'll stick with hushmail.

2) It operates on 900MHz, this service. (we had to get a new cordless telephone because of same frequency). The radio comes equipped with a particular horizontal antenna, about 3 feet long with little fins along it, so it looks kinda like a spinal column with little ribs. I noticed while watching them install it, that there was not a great difference in signal strength as they turned it in different directions; it varied by a few dB depending on the direction. Initially they were just standing on the roof testing signal strength, and were getting approx -80 to -90 dB and eventually they decided to put the thing on a 10-foot extension pole. The end result is IIRC about -79dB strength. I'm not sure what 900MHz means WRT rain/snow -- I can Google it up I'm sure -- but I notice it isn't a multiple of 2.4 GHz

Thank you again for your considerate reply.
Sasha
 
Old 09-03-2009, 03:34 PM   #24
blackhole54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrapefruiTgirl View Post
3) Give me your thoughts on this: We are allowed 5 free email accounts with our subscription. ... Borg-guy tells me, "You can't do that. You have to call us at tech-support if you want your password changed.", so I asked "You mean to tell me, we can't choose & set our own passwords, on our email accounts?", to which he replied, "Yes, that is correct."
FWIW, when I first signed up with my ISP we could not change our own password -- we had to place a phone call to the ISP to do so. That has since changed. As far as whether it is legal: a) IANAL, and b) I live in the U.S.

But other than being inconvenient, I don't see it as a big deal. At the very least, they already have access to an encrypted version of you password. (And if the encryption scheme is no stronger than on winXP, I understand it is pretty easy to crack.) If they wanted your password, they could just save it as plain text when you entered it and you would be none the wiser. The admins (at least some of them) already have root access anyway, so it's not like you could be keeping anything from them. Besides the inconvenience, the sole thing that verbally telling an ISP employee your password does is increase by some small amount (probably one) the number of people who can access your email acct. other than you.

The "bad guys" do try to obtains email passwords for the purpose of sending spam (so I've read). That is the only serious downside to somebody having your email password. Remember that unless you encrypt it, your email can be read by anybody as it traverses the Internet. By virtue of having root access, your ISP's admins can read it anyway. So there now is (probably) one addtitional person the "bad guys" can try to bribe or threaten to get your password. As I say, I just don't see it as a big deal.

Just my

P.S. As far as "Borg-guy" goes, my understanding is that tech support (at least tier 1) almost always is just operating from a script. Just be thankful if this person is a native speaker of your native language. (One of the selling points of my ISP is that they don't outsource their tech support.)

Last edited by blackhole54; 09-03-2009 at 03:37 PM. Reason: minor wording change
 
Old 09-03-2009, 04:40 PM   #25
GrapefruiTgirl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackhole54 View Post
...But other than being inconvenient...verbally telling an ISP employee your password does is increase by some small amount (probably one) the number of people who can access your email acct. other than you.
I admit to being picky, determined, and maybe overly paranoid on some things. This is one of them.

Not so much the "inconvenience" factor, as the having that other person whom I don't know, having the password. To me, it just doesn't make sense. I liken it to a construction worker having completed building me a house, and then keeping a key for himself after he's done and gone. Doesn't make sense, in today's world for sure.
Quote:
At the very least, they already have access to an encrypted version of you password. (And if the encryption scheme is no stronger than on winXP, I understand it is pretty easy to crack.) If they wanted your password, they could just save it as plain text when you entered it and you would be none the wiser.
I'd like to believe that if it IS stored in an encrypted fashion, it would be a one-way encryption comparable to md5 or sha1 or something like these. I guess it depends on how the DB is set up on their end; but if it were stored plaintext, a hacker who compromised the DB would have all the passwords, whereas if they were one-way encrypted, the passwords would be no good to them.
Quote:
The admins (at least some of them) already have root access anyway, so it's not like you could be keeping anything from them.
True, they most likely have Admin access, but the privacy laws are under constant flux in Canada, particularly where it concerns online privacy. This in my POV (admin access) theoretically would provide for the Admins to access such things as email accounts, ONLY by court order and/or to otherwise assist law enforcement who have legal grounds to access the information. Other accesses outside of legal directive, would be fraudulent.

Quote:
Remember that unless you encrypt it, your email can be read by anybody as it traverses the Internet.
True. Another reason why I may just stick with hushmail: automatic encryption and PGP signing of emails.
Quote:
Just my
And I appreciate your input!
Quote:
P.S. As far as "Borg-guy" goes, my understanding is that tech support (at least tier 1) almost always is just operating from a script. Just be thankful if this person is a native speaker of your native language. (One of the selling points of my ISP is that they don't outsource their tech support.)
Yeah, the "reading from a script" part I accept as being pretty normal for anyone on the other end of a telephone support call these days. But these guys take the cake for monotony and dead-pan attitude too. It's as though answering the phone pains them.


Thanks again for your feedback.
Sasha

Last edited by GrapefruiTgirl; 09-03-2009 at 04:41 PM.
 
Old 09-04-2009, 05:11 AM   #26
salasi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrapefruiTgirl View Post

2) It operates on 900MHz, this service. (we had to get a new cordless telephone because of same frequency). The radio comes equipped with a particular horizontal antenna, about 3 feet long with little fins along it, so it looks kinda like a spinal column with little ribs. I noticed while watching them install it, that there was not a great difference in signal strength as they turned it in different directions; it varied by a few dB depending on the direction. Initially they were just standing on the roof testing signal strength, and were getting approx -80 to -90 dB and eventually they decided to put the thing on a 10-foot extension pole. The end result is IIRC about -79dB strength. I'm not sure what 900MHz means WRT rain/snow -- I can Google it up I'm sure -- but I notice it isn't a multiple of 2.4 GHz
900 MHz is low enough that the path loss shouldn't be affected dramatically by a little water in the air. It could be the water on your antenna, I suppose. Or, if there is something like a tree in the line of sight between the antenna at your end and the other end, getting that very wet could have and effect. Not much you can do about it, though....unless maybe you want to complain to customer support about 'poor performance when it rains'...no, given the evidence, so far, I don't think you'll get far with that unless it gets really terrible under some repeatable and predictable condition.

Going 10 feet up and getting a large boost (although your text may be 1dB or 11 dBs....not clear) in strength would sound like having something like a tree in the way (trees are particularly interesting because they are clearly worse when in leaf and so can be responsible for a suimmer to winter difference).

Your description sounds like a yagi antenna, by the way.
 
Old 09-04-2009, 08:26 AM   #27
GrapefruiTgirl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by salasi View Post
Going 10 feet up and getting a large boost (although your text may be 1dB or 11 dBs....not clear) in strength would sound like having something like a tree in the way (trees are particularly interesting because they are clearly worse when in leaf and so can be responsible for a suimmer to winter difference).
I'm not sure where you're unsure about 1dB vs 11dB, but to clarify what I wrote:

Quote:
Originally Posted by sasha
it varied by a few dB depending on the direction. Initially they were just standing on the roof testing signal strength, and were getting approx -80 to -90 dB and eventually they decided to put the thing on a 10-foot extension pole. The end result is about -79dB strength.
I hope that's clear

Oh, ok.. I see now, previewing my post, why it looks confusing.
To clarify: Without the 10-foot pole, the worst case was -90 dB strength; and WITH the pole, the best case (the final solution) was about -79dB

Sasha
 
Old 09-04-2009, 08:43 AM   #28
GrapefruiTgirl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by post # 21 -- sasha
2) They don't reply to email inquiries. Seems replying to customer inquiries is not part of their daily operations.

3) Give me your thoughts on this: We are allowed 5 free email accounts with our subscription. So that's great, I call them up to set up 2 of the accounts, mine + my roommate. I give Borg-guy the name of the 1st email address. Borg-guy asks, "What do you want for the password? It has to be at least 6 chars, including at least one digit." So I tell him, "Just set them both as our phone number for now, and we'll change them when we log in." Borg-guy tells me, "You can't do that. You have to call us at tech-support if you want your password changed.", so I asked "You mean to tell me, we can't choose & set our own passwords, on our email accounts?", to which he replied, "Yes, that is correct."
UPDATE: A customer service person called today to do a follow-up on how our installation went. I brought up some points of concern/interest with her and she seemed motivated to look into them and get back to me later on. She was particularly interested in investigating the email-password situation, and agreed with me that it was not ideal, the way it apparently is now.

I look forward to hearing back from her.
 
Old 09-04-2009, 02:59 PM   #29
blackhole54
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True, they most likely have Admin access, but the privacy laws are under constant flux in Canada, particularly where it concerns online privacy. This in my POV (admin access) theoretically would provide for the Admins to access such things as email accounts, ONLY by court order and/or to otherwise assist law enforcement who have legal grounds to access the information. Other accesses outside of legal directive, would be fraudulent.
Not to belabor the point too much, but I am sure if anybody you told your password to as a part of doing business with your ISP either used it to access your email or told it to anybody else that they would also likely be breaking one or more laws. Now if Borg-guy was lying to you about not being able to change your password, I imagine somebody is already in trouble!
 
  


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