Thursday, February 12, 2004

$15,000 for a cell phone anyone?

I like watches, I have a few - I particularly like those from Skagen of Denmark. I am also fully aware that there are 'upscale' watches that cost several thousand dollars - but let's face it, the likelihood of me being a Patek Phillipe is virtually non-existant.

Still, I recognize the fact that there are those fortunate individuals that have the ability and desire to 'take care of a Patek for the next generation'. I guess that is what Vertu was thinking. They have cellphones that cost between $5-$20,000! For that money I could buy a cell phone, a car charger, and the car to charge it with!.

My only question is given the abuse that my cell phone goes through, I can't imagine how nasty my Sterling Silver one would look after some usage!

Monday, February 09, 2004

A topic I haven't visited in a while...

I used to harp on securing wireless networks and listed 5 simple things you could to to secure yours:

  1. Change the default SSID and Administrator Password
  2. Enable MAC address filtration to only allow PCs you know to connect
  3. Limit DHCP to the number of addresses you need so that you will have IP conflicts if someone gains unathorized access
  4. Disable SSID broadcast if your router supports it
  5. Install a personal firewall on each of your computers - this will not only help if your home network is compromised, but also protect you when you use public hotspots.

In any case, netgear has a similar document on their web site. Needless to say, it contains a lot of advice specifically about their products, but it is great generic Wi-Fi security info.

Thursday, February 05, 2004

Why I love VoIP

Last June, I lost my phone and DSL service for two weeks due to a cable short that occured during a massive thunderstorm. I quickly came to the realization that we couldn't go without a phone in the house (a not just a cell phone, for various reasons), nor without broadband as well (my wife works from home one day a week, and I do on ocassion). So, we switched to a cable modem, and I went out and signed up with Vonage. My logic was if the phone went out, I would still have broadband and my VoIP phone; if the cable went out, I would still have phone service, and be able to use it for dial-up Internet access in a pinch.

Recently we switched our POTS (Plain Ol' Telephone Service) to an all-inclusive package with unlimited calling within the US and Canada. My wife wanted me to cut off our Vonage line, but I was hesitant, and it paid off.

Wed. Night, our phone went out of commission for several hours. I immediately reported the problem to the folks at IDT and they were able to route my home phone to my Vonage line - it was as if my phone never went out of service!

I think we'll keep the vonage phone. At about $17/mo. it is a good insurance policy.