AT&T iPhone 3G Speed test in Boulder, Co

[This article was written in July 2008 – speeds are somewhat better as of Aug 2009 but I’m convinced that AT&T voice service is getting worse – dropped calls etc.] Doing some informal 3G speed testing of my iPhone 3G here in the republic of Boulder. I positioned myself under the main cellphone antenna array in the center of downtown boulder. This should ensure me the best signal and 3G speed in the whole of city. I ran a little online speed test and here are my results. Resultant speeds were 250kbps and 259kbps. And the purpose of 3G is ???!!!!! So it appears that 3G in Boulder is piss poor, not much quicker than Edge. Web pages seem to load a little faster but as far as the promised 1.2Mbps I’d say At&t need to get cracking and jack up the speed. I still can’t stream AOL radio over 3G and 3G at my house that’s just 1.5 miles from this tower is almost none existent.

Cell Phone Antenna Array

More 3G Speed Results


Car Tire expiration dates ?

Just saw this piece on ABC news about tire expiration dates. Those who know me have always heard my mantra about buying a good quality tire, after all it’s the only thing that’s between your car and the road. According to this piece on ABC news, the rubber compound in tires dries out over time and becomes brittle after 6 years or so. This can lead to blowouts, nasty rollovers and to the premature pushing up of the the old daisies! The scary thing is that potentially dangerous tires are sold as new at major auto outlets like Sears. Legally they are new, having never been used and having no tread wear at all. A pal of mine just bought new tires for $20 each, so I’m suspecting that they may be old tires, yikes! (Note to self, don’t go on extended road trip in car with $20 tires)

How to figure out how old your tires are – Determine the manufacture date

All tires have a manufacture date stamped on the side of them but this number was never meant to be easily read by the general public as it’s somewhat criptic to decipher:

  • Date will be most likely be on the outside rubber wall of the tire but I found that on my winter tires I had to look on the inside wall of the tire
  • Dates are normally 3 or four digits long and stamped in a recessed roundish rectangle on the sidewall of the tire
  • Before 2000, the date code had three digits so if your little code only has 3 digits then you’re already in trouble, your tires are a minium of eight years old and could potentially be deadly.
  • For tires that have four digits the last two are normally the year this is what you need to look at
  • First two digits are the week so 0504 is fifth week in 2004

Just looked at the tires on my ride and the code I see says 0504, this means the tire was made in 2004 so I’m ok and shite, these are high performance Z rated tires @ $200 + each so I’m happy there haven’t gone stale yet. So peeps it’s time to grab a flashlight and go and check the age of your rubber, EVEN IF YOUR TIRES ARE NEW or the tread looks good!

Some examples from the tires on my Audi

Here are the dates from my rubber! Starting out with my summer tires (firth week of 2004):


My winter ties (35th week of 2005)


Counter view?

Alarmism or under reported? Seems like from a science point of view rubber can break down with age and think about the loss to the tire companies if they have to recall all the new tires older than 6 years. Comments below the video please?


iPhone 3G Photo Test

This is a mini Flickr Photoset test:

iPhone 2.0 Software Bricks Phone – boo hooo! – iTunes Activation Problem

Picture 37.pngPicture 36.png It’s that magical time of the year when a new software update for the iPhone is being released, Ver. 2.0. In my over eager state of folly I decided to update my phone as soon as the software was released.

Another little thing is going on today, the release of the iPhone 3G and it never occurred to me that the tens of thousands of people cuing around the word to get their grubby paws on this thing would also be accessing the iTunes store to activate their phone. So low and behold on the final step of the upgrade, as my phone contacted the iTunes store for some type of validation, it shat the proverbial bed. So now me no have working phone and from what I hear there will be long waits for those poor bastards who want to purchase a phone at the Apple Store. I assume that apple will tell the buyers to go home and sit out the outage and then activate online?


Update 2pm MST – JULY 11

Just got home and the activation work fine. I assume there are lots of happy iPhone owners now. Because my phone was bricked I missed an important call. I’d gotten the date mixed up of a backpack sale and my buddy called me to tell me not to drive the 45mins each way! Oh well, it’s a pleasant drive and I bought some cheap shite on the way home from Savers!

Update 7pm July 11th

After a 2.5 hour wait I finally got my paws on a new 16 gig iPhone. Been playing around with her for the past couple of hours. Seems to work well, audio seems a bit better and it’s wider too, stay tuned for video. end.

Compact fluorescents (CFL) – A Republican Rant but he’s correct

Came across this video on the interwebs. I’ve basically known this fact for a while now, Compact Flourescents (CF) contain mercury and if you break the bulb or one dies you can’t just throw it in the trash. Perhaps the EPA jumped on the CF bandwagon too soon. This video of a Texas Republican Senator is amusing but at the same time highlights some important points about these little twisty bulbs.

Don’t tell the ranting Senator but there is a simple solution and if we make enough of then the price will come down dramatically. The good old LED. Any lighting guru / Architect will tell you it’s the light of the future, lower wattage than CF bulbs, instant on and it’ll last for 15 years or more vs CF’s 4 years. BUT today they are prohibitively expensive. Let’s work on solutions to fix problem and not ones that while appearing to fix a problem, create new sets of problems.