Macbook networking issues

I noticed recently that my macbook was having issues communicating with certain websites. One site was a management portal for a customer and another was the entire suite of apache.org websites. Since I’m using the apache projects on a daily basis, not being able to access these websites is a major issue.

The behavior that I was seeing was that certain web pages would take over a minute to load each time. However, almost every other aspect of networking was working just fine. So I started to dig in more on what was going on. The issue started at approximately the same time that I had turned on encryption for my wireless network, so this was an obvious first suspect. I tried for sometime to see if there was anything on the web dealing with speed issues with WPA, but didn’t come across anything that was relevant.

A ping of tomcat.apache.org was showing that DNS resolved immediately and that there was a decent ping time of ~100ms. However, trying to load the page at http://tomcat.apache.org still took minutes.

My next test was to try to telnet to tomcat.apache.org port 80 to see how that performed. What was odd was that like the webpage, this took quite some time. As it was processing though, I noticed that it was trying to connect to an ipv6 address instead of the ipv4 address that was reported by ping.

So as a test I went into the OSX System Preferences > Network and tried disabling ipv6 networking. Immediately, all of the pages that were having issues were snappy again.

Moon over Redwood City

My wife Jaimie, purchased a Meade telescope for me a couple of years ago, but I was never really able to get into using it. My eyes just weren’t meant to look through an eyepiece. While browsing Amazon recently I came across an interesting little gadget, the Meade LPI Digital Camera. It fits into the telescope instead of an eyepiece and connects to your computer through USB. It’s just a basic camera sensor that allows you to take pictures of what you’re seeing through the telescope.

Last night I booted it up and snapped a few photos of the moon and I’m pretty impressed with how they came out. It was amazing to see the movement of the moon through the finder. The software has the ability to interface with the telescope and to track objects, but I didn’t have the right connector on my laptop. Instead I just used the software’s ability to define an object in the window and then to track it across the screen. The imaging software is pretty powerful and takes several images of the objects and then combines them for a better composite. All and all, I’m very happy with the equipment. Now I’m just going to have to get a bigger telescope.

moon4

The market needs a few more failures

After reading a post over at Daily Kos, it seems like at some point companies are going to have to wake up and realize that they’re not promoting the type of behavior that they want to by handing out golden parachutes. Of course if we keep bailing out these companies they’ll just never get  the lesson. Business is all about risk and sometimes if the wrong things happen then it’s appropriate that the business fails. It’s the job of the board of a company to make sure that these risks are minimized.

I’m not sure I agree with the concept of “too big to fail”. If the largest player in a market goes belly up and closes their doors due to some really poorly placed bets, then the market is designed to allow for new competitors to jump into the space. It would be an easy bet since it would be obvious that there was a need to fill. I would like to personally see a lot of the firms we have now in both banking as well as other industries go under. Share holders should lose everything, share holder lawsuits should go after the executives for idiotic decisions that destroyed the company, and a fresh breed of companies (that survived by not taking outsized risks) fill in the gap.

Risk taking is great, money is made off of taking well thought out risks, but if you never lose, then bad bets and bad ideas are never cleared out of the system. From the reading I’ve been doing lately on finance it sounds like there are just a whole lot of bad ideas that need to be cleared out of the financial system.