Thursday, May 29, 2014

Sync no surf falls in the cracks

I have elevated Bell's 'Bug of Convenience' to 'Miracle Bug of the Greatest Fortune', for this bug maintains their monopoly, and furthermore, they are under no pressure to fix it.

I complained to the CRTC that was equivalent to throttling, and they said no.  They pushed me over to the telegraph people, knowing full well that it was something of this century, and thus not in their mandate.  Here is their response.

Dear Harold Asmis,

Thank you for contacting the Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services (CCTS). The CCTS is an independent agency with a mandate to receive, facilitate the resolution of, and, if necessary, resolve eligible consumer and small business complaints relating to certain retail telecommunications services.

The scope of CCTS’ mandate is set out on our website:

Unfortunately, this matter is not an eligible complaint within the meaning of our Procedural Code and is therefore not within the scope or mandate of the CCTS.

We have reviewed your complaint about getting no support when using a modem not provided by the company. It is our assessment that the subject-matter of your complaint relates to general operating practice(s)/policy matters. Further to Section 4.3 of our Procedural Code, CCTS is not able to issue Recommendations and Decisions that directs or requires a service provider to change their operating practices and policies.

It is also our assessment that the subject-matter of your complaint relates to customer owned equipment. Further to the list of exclusions set out in Section  3.(e), we are unable to assist customers with complaints relating to customer owned equipment.

Therefore, the CCTS cannot process your complaint. The Procedural Code can be found at: .

You may wish to contact your Telecommunications Service Provider (TSP) at 1-800-668-6878 as they may be able to assist you with this matter. We have forwarded your complaint to your TSP for their information.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your complaint, or anything contained in this correspondence, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Amazing that somebody taught them email, but that could be a summer student.  In the end, Bell makes it impossible for torrents and ip phones, and that suits them just fine.

Update:  OMG, I got this sultry voice that said she was from the 'Escalation Desk', and wanted to talk about my 'Internet problems'.  Didn't leave a number, or a company, but she was super high class.  Would nasty people actually read this?  Will my wife kill me?  Can I escalate, or do I need a pill?   :)

Update2:  O-OMG!  There are more ladies!  Must be an army of them!  Now it's the 'Internet Escalation Desk', and they're wondering how I'm enjoying my new Internet connection.  I don't have a new connection!  Who are these people?  So far they are just leaving messages, but I'm hiding from them and they'll never find me!

Final:  They finally got me after weeks.  I said it was all fixed and they can stop calling.  For now I'm on a clean channel, and they've been doing a lot of work around the neighbourhood.

Horrible 401 accident on dash cam

You can worry about global gorming, or my weed spray, or earthquakes, but this is your most likely fate.  Crushed in a little convertible sports car under a truck.  Or at least it was crushed to the size of a sports car.  They were just standing around with a stretcher nearby.  No great hurry.

My camera mount slipped down.  It is the most jury-rigged thing ever, and I keep adjusting it.

I put this at half-speed.

Update:  I can't find this in the news.  'Right to be forgotten'.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

M5.8 earthquake Dominican Republic

This is a fine earthquake on the lower fault of the northern boundary.  Normally, this is all strike-slip, but this one seems to be compression.

So, I have no idea, but it may be the sort of mechanism that destroyed Haiti.  I never did check what that was.  The earthquake may have a higher PGV for its size, but looks like nobody is around there.  Makes the earthquake much more of an academic thing.

The zone between the two faults should be under shear stress, since history has shown that earthquakes on the bottom are followed by the top.  Very weird to have such a double zone.

Old guy on Google

It is my greatest challenge to get my old guy on Google.  He went into a store to get the cheapest phone available, and he got a Chinese Android phone.  He wants the cheapest plan.  I'm writing this to see if he can actually read it.

He is the head of an outdoors club, and wants to do a lot of stuff on the Internet, like crop and send photos, and set up web pages.  Unfortunately, I recent spent and hour explaining cut and paste.  So the best thing for him is to abandon his attachment to MS outlook, since that is really not for simple things.  It's funny that he got a whole bunch of books from the library, and not one of them has the same layout as his version of Office.  I can't even figure out where his contacts are.

So people, give up on MS.  With g+ he can crop his pictures and send them to people.  g-drive gives a very simple document editor.  gmail takes out the spam.  Chrome stops his computer from becoming a spambot, and he really should have got a chromebox or book.  He can now read mail on his phone, when he gets a dataplan.  All wonderful

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The most horrible day

This is total fiction, straight from Homer.  I'm using first person as a literary device.

This old guy I know met me and the puppy in the valley.  He wanted to pump me on more computer stuff, so we had coffee at his place.  He had this green parakeet for umpteen years, even though it bites him all the time.  I've visited often with the old dog, and the bird stays out of the way.

So he let the bird out of the cage, even though I was worried, but Roxie the puppy showed no interest.  She just wanted his breakfast.  Then as we are at the computer, the bird goes nuts, and flies straight towards Roxie's mouth.  The dog caught the frisbee, then spat it out because of the yucky feathers.  End of story.   :(

CRTC responds about Bell monopoly and 'sync no surf'

In summary, I've recently had numerous problems with Bell's infamous 'sync no surf' Bug of Convenience.  This is a mysterious bug associated with the only modem they provide for their Fibe service.  It regularly hits IP phones and bittorrent programs.  Nobody on the Internet can solve it.

Except me!  I have solved it by complaining to the CRTC.  Somehow I am now on a clear channel, and can run everything without a hitch.  The modem just has a bad reaction to internal congestion, but this is a Bug of Convenience in that it maintains the Bell monopoly, since you can never rely on an IP phone.

The CRTC is beyond their technical depth here.  The last person they hired probably worked a manual switchboard.  Here is their response.

Dear Mr. Asmis:

Thank you for contacting us about Bell Canada Internet issue.

We have investigated this issue a couple of times and it seems to be a modem/technical problem and not a Internet Traffic Management issue. We believe your issue would best be addressed by contacting the Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services (CCTS). The CCTS’ mandate is to receive, facilitate the resolution of, and if necessary, resolve eligible consumer and small business complaints relating to certain retail telecommunications services. You can submit your complaint directly to the CCTS by clicking on the following link:

You can also contact the CCTS using the following methods:
• toll free: 1-888-221-1687
• online at:
• by email:
• by mail: P.O. Box 81088, Ottawa, Ontario K1P 1B1
• by fax: 1-877-782-2924

I hope you find this information helpful.

Update:  Internet is dropping again with torrent at full blast.  I'm cutting it down again.  Interestingly, it was a full drop with the Internet light out on the bridge, not a 'sync no surf'.  I'm not making a complaint to these other bozos, what's the use.

Update2:  Now it is dropping for no reason.  Maybe I will go to these telegraph people.

Update3:  Anything I choose is unacceptable to these new people who don't know about the Internet.  However, you can submit a general comment, which I have done.

Update4:  Now, it's up and down like a toilet seat.  Sometimes totally off, sometimes 'sync no surf'.  blah.

Update - July 17, 2014  For some time now there has been no problem.  They did a lot of work around the main fiber-cable interface, and they may have switched me to an empty channel.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Blackfly report

Absolutely terrible. Sucking up the killer smoke like a Ford on crack. No dragonflies. Nobody  on the lake.

Dragonflies showing up!!

The blackflies are horrendous.  I do a little outside work with a net, and start sweating, with clouds of bugs.  For a while I had my own personal dragonfly, but he could do nothing.  This is their last hurrah before the dragonflies wipe them out.  Deadly.

Yeah, I'm back!  Rotten son drank all my beer while I was away.  :(  It should take a week for the dragonfly air force to wipe out those blackflies.  Then we have the mosquitoes, and horse flies!

M6.9 earthquake Greece

Land of the normal earthquakes.

Ah, here I am, sitting on the cottage deck, waiting for that sun to thaw out my fingers.  This is a beautiful tectonic zone, being all pulled apart.  As such, the earthquake is due to normal faulting.

As you know, I give normal faults no respect in terms of the amount of shaking they can put out (PGV).  They are the poor cousins of the other quakes.  If this earthquake does anything, it is because the houses are just piles of stones, as we saw in Mama Mia.  Hopefully, nobody got killed.

Update:  Now downgraded to a measly 6.4

Friday, May 23, 2014

Latest Windsor Hum study confirms the obvious


The Mysterious Island.  You can't get anywhere near it.  I think they're grinding up human babies for expensive Scotch.  :)  Or thousands of human slaves pounding their chains.

Whatever, you'll stop it when they stop injecting frack water, since there is a lot of money in this, and they have government protection.  Hope you like humming, Windsor!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Big Compost Machine

For 20 years I've had compost barrels, and for 20 years the whiny neighbours have complained of the stink on hot days, and the clouds of fruit flies.  Pooey on them!  I've saved the City millions and get good compost for the garden.  For extra measure, I did an annual 'Empty the Barrels Day', where I dumped the barrels and remixed.  The problem with barrels is that no matter how careful I was with stirring and stuff, there were always pockets of anaerobic junk (no oxygen).  On Barrel Day, the stink covered the whole neighbourhood!

I don't like the people at the back, but the other neighbours are nice, so I decided to change.  I got a big Compost 400.

This is huge, and you can get it delivered from Home De-pot.  I emptied all the barrels into it, and rotated a lot.  Doesn't stink and continuously spits out good compost.  No more Barrel Day!  Because I don't like those guys who complained (I passed the City Compost Police!), I'm adding the dog poops.  They don't recommend this because of disease and such.  Heck!  I have a puppy dog who slobbers and drools all over us, we shared all our microbes.  Amazingly it handles the poops very well.  I am not surprised since I have the company's ShitMaster 2000 (tm) at the cottage.  I am a certified Shit Meister, with my diploma, obtained from a nice Island College, which also does MBA's.

The drama for the neighbourhood has ended.  Everybody should get one!

Tech: Changing the Nexus 4 battery

Aaah, the most horrible micro-surgery electronics thing I have ever done!

According to the line above, this is not 'old man friendly', but a man's gotta do......

When you take the discards from the kids, there comes a time when the battery dies.  The old phones made this easy, but all the new ones take the Steve Jobs attitude of 'Screw You!'.  If you are an Apple-er, you just throw it out, but I save old junk, and run Linux on it.  This Android phone is still supported by Mr. Google, and it is pretty good.

There are lots of utube videos on how to change the battery.  They all leave one important thing out, sort of like the NSA versions of Internet bomb making.  :)  Basicially, you have to line up a T5 torx tip, and a fine Phillips.  You will have an endless bitch of a time prying off the case, I ended up using a fine flat screwdriver tip, after breaking the daughters guitar pick.  Then the stupid battery is all glued up, and a heat gun is useful.

I got it all working, and only time will tell if it is any better than the old one.  I got the new one for 12 bucks from the Aliexpress site below.  It takes a month to arrive.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Tech: Darn Tootin' F connectors

Some of my China-buying has ended in tears.  Mainly, I was trying to get some coax F connector adapters to fit to my local coax lightning protector, for my giant China cell booster.  The last booster fried with a close bolt, since you have to put the antenna 50 feet up in a tree.

Such a simple thing, until I inevitably found out there are a heck of a lot of F connectors, some out by only a thousandth of an inch.  So now I have a bunch of weird F connectors on my desk.  :(

So I'm sticking with the antenna-grade N connector, which seems standard, and I haven't gone wrong with it yet.  That means I bought an N-connector lightning thing.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Cottage report

A most remarkable long weekend.  It was characterized by the fact that almost nobody went up.  The traffic was lighter than a regular cottage weekend.  Only every third or fourth cottage had somebody.  Could be the freezing temperatures, and the clouds of blackflies.  These new-breed cottagers are so wussy!

I fixed one part of the pump and something else broke.

Lots of trilliums, and the oak leaves are just a speck.  I put up my new Chinese cell booster, and 5 bars with 4G Internet.  Neat!  Please keep quiet if nobody else on the lake can get cell reception.....

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Earthquakes may come back to nuclear assessment


If you ever watched these things, it pretty well boils down to whether the ducks get disturbed.  Any other issues such as seismic are 'left for the future', and never, ever, picked up.  The Regulator Toadies are supposed to deal with it in their opaque manner.

I guess that this judge doesn't like the situation.  I don't think we're ever building anything again, since all the brains have gone to California, but it might be applicable to the Bruce Black Hole.  We'll see.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Europe goes back


Now, wonder no more about why I make fun of Europe in the technical and science areas.  First, Italy seismologists, now this.  This translates as the 'Right to Rewrite History'.  Basically, newspapers won't whitewash their archives, so it's up to Google to do it.  The silliness can go to endless depths, for example, will G be banned from publishing what it is purging.  If it could publish, then I would set up 'SuperGoogle', with all those links (not really me, come on!).

Then it won't be able to publish that it's not publishing.  So neat!  Like China, Google will have to leave Europe, which makes all those Protectionist Ludites perfect happy in their old houses and tax shelters.  :)  I can't wait until Conrad Black sinks his teeth into this one!

 ps.  I just had to reproduce this from my g+ post, since I'm feeling so good that I got my replacement Nexus 4 battery directly from China for only 12 bucks, which is like a quarter of finding it anywhere else.  Couldn't do this in Europe.  They probably got stone walls around the whole place!  The rest of the world looks like a threat.  :)

pps.  Of course, if anybody from Europe could do this whole web thing, I'd be happy to be proven wrong by their brilliance....

ppps.  In the news, all of Europe is rejoicing this decision, and eager to pile coals on the roast pig of American Imperialism.  They are all calling on more censorship and regulation.  Has the Internet got a surprise for them!

Government buildings are the first to go


This is a sad, sad building for earthquake country.  Probably located on a swamp.  It's collapsing without any earthquake.  Yet, they hope a mere $20 mil will make it ride out an earthquake like a ship on the sea.

Somebody's idiot cousin sold them this in the first place, and the new guy's 'Ford Friend' is selling them this solution.  When a big earthquake hits, these are the types of buildings that will go.  One only hopes that the people can get out alive.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Panama M6.8 earthquake - World's Messiest Tectonics

"Your sub-stratum makes my lava flow, and that's all you need to know."

You won't be able to get that tune out of your head!  I can't.

Anyway, I digress.  You see the beautiful subduction zones above and below this earthquake, and the mess in-between.  Yuck!  Lots of motion in this mess, and one wonders what the max earthquake can be.  It'll do 8's, but no 9's.  I don't think this earthquake had much PGV.  We wait to see the news.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Mexico M6.4 earthquake - tiny helps people

This is one of the nastiest looking subduction zones on the planet.  That means it needs frequent M9's to keep off all the crap washing off those volcanoes.  But we haven't had one since the Aztecs or they wouldn't have all the nice stuff on the lake.  I am perplexed.

But these little earthquakes (and I'm including the M8's) keep everybody  on their toes, and that's good.

Bell's Dirty Little Secret

I've totally researched this 'sync no surf' bug, and it's driving me nuts.  I've got the torrents tamed down to a few connections, and now it never activates it.  But I have no control over MS IP phone calling which the spoose has to use for work.  Basically, the modem barfs when it has connections and it hits congestion up the line.  You have to power cycle it.

I first hit this when I got an Ooma ip phone from Costco.  It worked great for a while, then it always hung up.  Nasty, and I took it back.  Then, I had the torrent working great for a while, then it burned.  Once, I had Bell switch me to a different channel and it worked for a while.  But now that I just use the Sagemcom modem as a bridge, it becomes impossible to get through the robots on the help desk.

Further research show that lots of people have this problem, and it is basically unresolvable through Bell.  The best hope people have is that Bell will upgrade the infrastructure, so that it will go away.  I've noticed down the road, they have a huge underground fiber vault set up, and there are always 3-5 Bell trucks set up there.

Update:  Yeah, I put this to the CRTC since I think it is a monopoly thing, blocking ip phones.

Up2:  Did a full test yesterday, and it was good.  Just means that I've been put into an empty channel again.

Monday, May 5, 2014

USGS ups the seismic hazard in Oklahoma, stopping at M5


I was beginning to lose faith in myself this past week, because the seismic activity has really tapered off.  :)

As you know, I had been expecting an M5 here soon, especially after that week of M4's.  Now everything is sleeping again.  The USGS has dipped its toe in the water, by declaring an uptick in the seismic hazard.  They won't say by how much, nor will they kill the golden goose that is shitting these earthquakes (guess the cause!).

I really want some high M4's with fault mechanisms so I can gloat again.  But it looks like I'll be taking the summer off.  :(  It it entirely possible they are shifting out the corrosive fluids from the main zone (a la Azle, Texas), or that the whole thing comes to some equilibrium and freezes.  I give that little chance, however, but it does occupy my mind....