It started out with me not being able to remote in properly to multiple devices on my home network while I was traveling for work. I got home a week and a half later, thinking I’d probably just need to reboot my DSL router and perhaps a few other network devices and everything would quickly be back to normal.
Well, not so fast. It seems that my trusty and heretofore reliable telephone-company-provided Siemens Speedstream 4200 DSL router had somehow lost it’s configuration data – things like the phone number, the username and the password. I put all of that back in, and everything seemed to return to normal. That is, until I decided to see what would happen if I pulled the power plug. To my chagrin, it suffered yet another total identity crisis. Something must be wrong with it.
Hummm. The DSL installer had given me a second modem just in case the first one didn’t work when he initially got the DSL installed a couple of years ago, a unit designated as Sagem Fast 1704. I pulled it off the shelf and plugged it in to my system. This one is not nearly as user-friendly as the Siemens Speedstream 4200. After an extended amount of wrangling with it I got it working, but I still couldn’t get my remote IP camera, a Loftek CXS 2200 (an excellent inexpensive IP camera by the way) to work. I was doing everything exactly right, and it was still no go. The Loftek IP camera could not connect to the outgoing email server, and no matter what I did I couldn’t remote in to the camera itself from outside of my home network.
After wasting hours trying to determine what I might be doing wrong, I finally got the idea of going to a website where I could scan my home network IP address for open ports, and I immediately discovered what the problem was. Even though I was enabling port forwarding in the Sagem Fast 1704 DSL router, virtually ALL ports were closed. No matter what I did, unless I’m missing something, the ports cannot be opened on this router.
The moral of the story is if you are having problems with your router and port forwarding, potentially save yourself a bunch of time and go to a site such as http://www.yougetsignal.com/tools/open-ports/ and find out if the ports you are working with are actually open or not.
Additionally, I took advantage of Geek News Central’s DynDNS discount offer and quickly set up an inexpensive account that enables me to easily view my Loftek IP camera without messing around with finding what my dynamic IP home IP address has switched to. With a camera app on my phone and other mobile devices, I can simply open up the app and always get a live view without having to go through any additional steps.
Imagine a school that passes out Amazon Kindles instead of printed textbooks. No books at all, zilch, zero, nada – everything electronic. Printing costs could be completely eliminated, along with a myriad of associated problems – replacement books, textbook obsolescence, and book disposal to mention but a few. A single high-battery-life device such as a Kindle would suffice for replacing all books.
Let’s take this electronic book thought experiment a bit farther. The next logical step would be for the teachers to pass out tests and other traditional paper handouts electronically, eliminating paper altogether. At that point, the Kindle or other reader or tablet would have to be able to allow student interaction, say on a multiple-choice test.
The stickiest problem with this scenario would revolve around having an easy-to-use input system on these devices that allowed students to write phrases, paragraphs, papers, and draw images or diagrams to send back to the teacher.
All of this technology already exists in various forms. Perhaps the iPad comes close to meeting many of these requirements, but some form of the dreaded pressure stylus input would still be needed. Also, two separate devices would be needed – a reading screen, and an input screen on which to write, type and/or draw.
Are we there yet? Not quite, but we are getting close. With the success of the Kindle, iPad, smartphones and maturing touch screen technology in general, the day of eliminating the need for tons of paper is finally becoming a practical, desirable reality.
I was looking at maps of the U.S. Grid system on the NPR Web site. This got me thinking about how our whole Internet structure and all our gadgets are dependent on a utility that has been around for over 100 years and some of its structures are more then 50 years old. Many people are worried about the Internet being interrupted by cyber attacks, but the weakest point in my eyes is the electrical base that it depends on. I worked at a Midwest electric company for more then five years so I am aware of how easy it is to disrupt the electrical service to an area. Without electricity, the only connection you have to the Internet is through cell phones. Even those need to be charged at some point in time. Like the Internet itself the electric grid is so interconnected that trouble in one area of the country can effect service hundreds of miles away.
As our applications and connections are increasing in the cloud we are becoming even more dependent on our electric grid to communicate and to remain connected. The load on the electric system is expected to increase by 40% in the next few decades. At the same time the the electric grid is getting older and is more apt to breakdown. However electric companies have very little incentive to upgrade, first it cast money, second it requires in most cases permission from various public service commissions, and third the results may not show up for five to ten years. This leaves the electric company often with angry stockholders, who see their stock values go down and angry customers who see their electric rates go up. It is difficult to convince people that it is worth spending money on something that will not show results until many years in the down the road. Especially in a world where people expect instant gratification. I do not know the answers to these questions, but I do know that the problems has to be dealt with, because its only going to get worse, ignoring it will not make it go away.
I have been really busy getting ready for the Podcast Awards ceremony at Podcast Expo. Trophies are due to be finished next week, the grand prize awards have been ordered. The ceremony program is in final design phase, and will be going to the printer next week. We have banners due to be ordered at Kinkos this Saturday a couple of the guys from techpodcasts.com will be photographing the event.
We need someone to video tape the event, looking for a podcaster of video caster volunteer.
I am pretty excited about November as I have several major initiatives that are underway. The Podcaster News Network is set to launch, the gang is working hard at TechPodcasts.com to move to phase two of that site, and I have some things up my sleeve that I have been working on over at Podcast Connect.
The list does not stop there we are looking for a marketing manager and content manager to join the team at RawVoice.com. I plan on having a bag of swag when I show up at the Podcast Expo so if you come talk to me I will be sure to have something for ya to take home.
We are working very hard to make sure we have a live stream of the Podcast Awards Ceremony, should be a lot of fun for all! Their is nothing like boot strapping a business though lots of fun but exhausting to say the least.
For all of you that are coming to this website today visiting for the first time after attending the podcasting training webinar that Rob and I put on for you. I encourage you to check out our shows and check back often. Feel free to drop me an e-mail it has been a pleasure doing the training Podcast and live training events for you today. Good luck podcasting and remember to have fun!