A colleague ordered the OnHub and I got a chance to mess around with it. I was disappointed. What I expected was a device that makes WiFi very simple, and yet has power features. It is definitely one step in the right direction but has quite a way to go.
The internet is scattered with reviews about the OnHub and what it does and how it does them (Wired, The Verge). I am going to look at a few tiny things I feel that Google should have added to make the OnHub a killer router.
Most people have a growing number of devices on their home network that they’d rather prefer be not accessible to the friend’s friend who showed up for that dinner party one day. Personally I have a network storage where I back up my code. Yes it is protected, but I’d still not have people I don’t know on this network.
Sharing WiFi Passwords easily
Lets face it, this should have been a problem Google tackled head on. They have both the chromecast and the onhub use high frequency sounds to pair with the app, but they haven’t added a feature for me to transmit a password to my visitor without me revealing my password and making him type it. There are so many ideas that they could have used here right from bluetooth, the sound thing, NFC, QR codes, and finally if all these failed they could have fallen back to sharing the password manually.
WiFi access with expiration
I’d think it be great feature if I could grant wifi access to someone who visits my house and automatically remove their access after a duration of my choice, say 4 hours.
These are just some features I expected the Onhub to have. The saving grace here is the fact that since most features like these can be achieved with a simple software upgrade, there is a good chance we’ll see them in the future.
Don’t get me wrong. The Onhub is a pretty neat device which simplifies WiFi a great deal for people who don’t have the time or don’t know how to manage one. But Google is yet to build in those killer features which would make me get one.
I recently enabled cross posting of my tweets to my Facebook profile. This was pretty awesome for the most part, reach two sets of my audiences with one post. Less work and a neat solution you got me. However a couple of days ago I saw myself tweeting quite a bit, and that was when I realized I was spamming the my friend’s Facebook timelines.
I have just over a 1000 friends on Facebook and I am spamming all of them with content when I most my posts are targeted only at a specific group. Yes I know I can create multiple lists and share my content with only the people on that list. This can probably be improved….
Interest based sharing/following
Here is my two cents on an improved sharing mechanism
- Let people categorize their friends into interest categories.
- Each friend can be a part of multiple categories.
- My friend should be able to “unfollow”/”follow” any of the categories their friends originally put em in.
- Each persons timeline should only show posts from the interests categories of his/her friends that he/she follows
- However anyone visiting my timeline should be able to see all my posts …all of my noise.
This would let me share my noise without shouting out all I have to say to everyone, and yet reach the people I want to. This also leaves way for people who might be interested in the other random things I want to say to go look it up, and if they find that kind of stuff interesting maybe follow that category too.
Yes this will considerably reduce content discovery which is something Facebook might be worried about. The solution -> the “#discover” page which shows me a timeline with all the noise, everything that everyone is sharing.
My dad had internet issues this morning. I was in the process of blaming our ISP back at home in India, and then I noticed a Twitter trend of Belkin routers causing an internet outage across the globe. NO! That seems a bit messed up. What I found most interesting was the fact that it supposedly wasn’t a firmware update which caused the issue. So how did devices which are supposed to connect you to the internet fail on their own without a firmware update?
Belkin hasn’t clearly put down what the issue was but after reading their workarounds and a couple of other websites including a reddit thread, here is a quick analysis of what happened.
- A certain subset of Belkin routers seem to ping heartbeat.belkin.com to see if they have internet access.
- If they don’t get a response they stop doing a bunch of DNS related things which includes forwarding requests from all devices to DNS servers.
- Belkin’s workaround was to set static DNS to Google’s DNS Servers (126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52), while they danced about trying to fix the issue.
In very simple terms, a Belkin router assumed it could connect to the internet only if could connect to a certain Belkin server. And if it could not it just assumed the internet was dead and sat there looking pretty.
Sure heartbeat.belkin.com need not have been just one server, but for Belkin to have programmed their routers such that their service had to be up for the routers to work seems retarded to me. Yes everything is back up now, but definitely a fun story.
Being completely bored and I decided to give Badam Barfi a second shot. My mom is a pro at this and my brothers and I would constantly be walking into the kitchen to get us some more.
Of course I asked her for the recipe and if you follow this you should be able to end up with heavenly diamond shaped objects which everyone will be vying for. I usually work better with dropping in ingredients based on what I feel while cooking as opposed to following numbers, but I shall put down the numbers here for anyone else who might want to follow. Also I took some shortcuts along the way, I will put down what my mom told me to do, and what I did. You are welcome to pick.
- Badam (Almonds) – 2.5 cups
- Sugar – 4.25 cups
- Unsalted butter – 550 grams or so
- Milk – you’ll need a little…. About a cup I think
Thats it for this post. Let me know how it turns out :). And if you have any questions feel free to give me a shout.
Hunting around for tickets to Google IO 2013 is something I’ve been hooked on to for the past few days. Funnily enough none of the major sites like Gizmodo or Tech-crunch have a post out there for their readers to know when the registrations open.
With a bit of digging I did manage to find out that ticket sales open on the 13 of March 2013. Mark your dates folks… its going to be a rush. “How do I believe you?” you ask me? I stumbled upon a page on the IO site … sadly they seem to have taken it down…. but i do have a screen grab.
https://developers.google.com/events/io/?2012=ticket-terms (it was here)
However just having thisi info may not be enough…. I am willing to offer cookies and more to anyone who can get me an academic pass
Yeah I know expandrive is easier to use…. install, enter credentials, and you are done. But lets face it, expandrive isnt the fastest and most stable stable thing you’ve used. try to copy a lot of files and it leaves a few. The other problems … you know them
So after messing around with the MIT Kerberos and OpenAFS I found a solution (Windows for now). With a bit of work I’m sure linux users would be able to replicate the same.
So here’s a simple walkthrough to getting this done.
- Download and install the MIT Network Identity Manager tool (64 bit users need both the 32 bit and the 64 bit).
Edit : Use version 3.2.2 . Version 4 doesnt seem to work properly.
link : http://web.mit.edu/kerberos/dist/index.html
- Download and install Open AFS. The versions which work together with MIT seem to be a bit messed up. Below are the links to to the versions which worked for me
- Once you are done installing everything, its just a matter of getting everything to talk. open the NIM (network Idenitity Manager). Add a new credential with details as follows.
username : YOUR_UNITY_ID
Realm : EOS.NCSU.EDU (capitals seem to matter)
password : UNITY_PASSWORD
- Add this and it should add it to the list of your credentials and it should also say something like “Expires in 9 hours and 59 minutes”.
- Choose the credential that just came up.
options ->general->identities (left tab) ->move to the identity which you just created -> AFS (tab)
- Add new cells
leave realm and method as auto
- You should be done. Try navigating to \\afs on explorer….
- Your home folder is at
- if you have a locker it is at
If you set up NIM in such a way you can make it mount these drives to a particular drive during startup…. or you could use shortcuts…
Give it a shot ! trust me when i say its sooo much “cleaner”. People facing trouble can give me a shout
I’ve started blogging many-a-times before….Each time with a sudden burst of interest I started a new blog vowing to myself to be better than last time and not let it die. The first one was not even a blog… a bunch of HTML pages strung up together and hosted on the once popular geocities (yes I was a kid back then!) When I look back i realize that I did manage to better myself each time, but somehow, all those blogs died a gradual death as I realized my interest waned.
My last blog however started of with a different concept and had a couple of my friends posting articles as well (on any random thoughts under the sun). Some of those articles were pretty popular too. (the blog can be found here)
This time however, I start a new blog not with the hope of posting articles once every n days, but rather as a space to put down anything I might find of interest… (you have been warned!)