Tag Archives: wifi

Google onhub the big picture

Google Onhub

Google Onhub

You may have heard me go on, in recent posts about the way my wifi drops has very load speeds, and in general just does not work, forcing me to use a hardwire link for my internet, where I get speeds in excess of 50mbs instead of less than 1mbs over my wifi, is Google onhub the big picture, being missed, read on.

My experience out and about is not much better, I live on the southside of Birmingham, where you might think I get high speed mobile 3G and 4G, and in the most part I do, but there are glaring gaps, and it disrupts my workflow plus my music far to regularly. Plus the amount of access to the internet given by my provider O2 is so often not enough, I end up with no coverage at all late in the month.

So when I see two separate avenues being created by Google, I started to sit back and look at the big picture, what is the main thing they do not control, yet might be the biggest obstacle to innovation and seriously harm their existing product portfolio, dam right its the mobile access to the internet.

The already well established long term project to get Google Fibre into major cities in the USA, and now Europe, is part 1 of their efforts to move the control of the phone companies to themselves. The introduction of the Google router onhub, is the second part of this movement, first to establish local wifi with some clout, better speeds and a more secure environment, but more important, to allow Google to offer better access to the net, by their customers from the millions of home onhub routers, that almost everyone in the industry sees as over spec’d and far more powerful than is really needed for home use.

You might now wonder why we have both a telephone number and an email address, why not just one, I use google for most of my calls, and after a while I began to see the real benefit of just my email address, no country codes, a fast system, easy video calls, and if connected to google fibre via one on the may onhub systems, a cheap no barrier to use system.

After all this, what does this have to do with CPD and Architecture, well look at the way I run my own practice, I work partly from home and partly from University, I have a Skype telephone number, and can receive calls wherever I am. but as most of my communication is email, and google hangout, with  Skype thrown in.

I rarely get mobile calls these days, so I have to ask, is a phone number really a business tool. Internet and the vast number of excellent apps is far better, all that’s stopping it is the mobile operators who insist on a NUMBER.

Take also my home line, I have no use whats so ever for a land line number, yet bt insist I have one and charge me for it.



Paper light

Some days an innovation so great that its stunningly simple, hits you in the form of a blog piece, in this case it’s an article I saw on the idea connection blog.

The video below says little, but the article on the idea connection site, has a little more.

The whole concept of 3D printing component, objects, and now even surface materials is gain such pace. What if we design paper of varying light colours, or messages, the mind and idea bank go overboard,

No picture today, just this article, worth some serious thought.

If i can print a bulb, what else can I print to paper, small sensors, that switch on the light, all within the paper, ho about zoned areas, even wifi, paper o showing the latest paper, or video channels ,,,,, here we go, the mind is in overdrive…… best to add these to evernote.


Architectural Technologist – Dark Fibre

A Mast @ RossmoreAs if its a big sup prise to any one, that Google , Facebook, and properly Apple, are buying up the remains of the dark Fibre, you know the fibre optic cable left over from the last internet bubble, thats never been used.

If there is one thing that mucks up any overseas holiday, or my travel plans to visit universities to mark, is the crap service wifi and internet access via mobile pnesnwe get, particularly overseas, why oh why do I have to pay so much, and be limited in what I send, O2 have a 50mb limit, what !,  I make a few photos and some video, and my mobile is looking to upload it to both Flickr Google, Apple and Dropbox, thats the first few days only of photos that eaten up the allowance, after that I am looking for free to access wifi, certainly thats what happened in the USA in October when we made a visit.

You might be wondering why I mention it on a CPD blog site, simple, it’s part of my running a practice whilst I travel rant. I need to keep in touch, I can more or less do this anywhere in the UK, I even take a peek at several sites that show the phone towers  to see if I am heading into trouble, its even influenced my hotel choice, never believe a hotel when it says they have wifi, they might have, but it’s limited, or only free for 10 mins after which there is a huge fee. so now I look for masts. look at this database of mast sites, the map is very useful, zoom in to your location, the mast locations do not show until you really get close on.

So back to the original article, Google and the big boys buying up dark fibre, why not, its must be a major chink in their development plans to be controlled by these tin pot ex phone companies who control our access to the net, so why not start to deliver it them selves, best way to allow innovation, and stop the control.

so there it is, the CPD is check out the phone mast to get a reasonable signal, and if your overseas, check the hotel wifi first, it saves frustration and anger.

Architectural Technologist – A day at CIAT

Sorry, but yesterday I attended CIAT in City Road, to view the POPS papers, which I thoughly enjoyed, but the trip down was another thing, the train was ok, not a problem, I had planned to do some work, and at some point write a blog in the almost two hours it takes to get down, but alas, the wifi signal prevented much of that, together with the elbow to elbow existence on a train. So I watched a video blog instead of Twig, this week in google, re the new Google Loon project, of creating a wifi grid overhead using balloons very high up in the stratosphere.

Chiltern Railway advertise an onboard wifi but try using it with just about every one else, and you soon realise how bad their system is, I tried to use my iPhone's hot spot, which normally works just fine, but the bald patches along the route meant it kept hanging, so in a nut shell not a lot of work done. Roll on Google with their loon system, wach the video below.

One thing I do find though was this excellent clock tower right outside the CIAT offices, plus a rather nice gothic brick building, just over the road, a copy of both, which I have posted to my Flickr site. The building is looking rather tired, and in need of a good clean, making me think of the problems of cleaning such a building, and a lecture I attended a few years back on stone cleaning.

Travelling does bring riches, even if at the end of a long trip the legs and back are a little tired. I saw many excellent building in and around the Angle, the corner light stone building is a classic example, Unfortunatly I just did not have time to take a picture, the traffic at these lights is very heavy so you need to wait to get a clear traffic free picture. The clock photo used today was one of about 20 I took with my iPhone, all the others had a car, or a bike creating in. The gothic building I waited, but the best I could get was with a red bus to one side, perhaps better luck next trip.

As always there is CPD here and again it's about stopping to look, I keep saying it, but our rush and pace of police means we rarely stop and look, so I make no excuse, I was late home I had to catch the later train, but it was worth it.


Architectural Technologist – Home Smart house – is it here

Wi-Fi Signal logo

Image via Wikipedia

It will come, there is no stopping it and you should get to grips with it, what you might ask, Home WiFi, no not your normal home wifi to connect to the web, this is to allow all the other bits and pieces your fridge, home security, lights and the rest, talk to the net, and each other. Gigaom has an excellent article that outlines this with a review of the Belkin WiFi adaptor, WeMo system, that does all of this and probably more. The Motion Sensor, is ideal for so many things.

For us as Technologists, I can easily see it expanding to small smart sensors in the wall, looking at temp, humidity, stress/stain gages, tank levels, water and gas pressures, outside temp, in fact a whole host of appliances that help the well being of any domestic house.

So is the smart house creeping up on us, quicker than we might think, well yes, particularly as photo volataic panels gain more ground and wind and other means of power generation in the home are norm, the idea that my system could talk to the next system and sell energy is fast becoming a reality, and not Sci Fi .You might also ask, just how long will satellite continue, in it’s current form,



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Architectural Technologist – Off line for broadband upgrade

Light reflected from optical fiber illuminates...

Image via Wikipedia

At long last, my village, has had fibre optic cables installed by BT, so at long last, I can upgrade to a faster brodband, this brings both joy and heart ache, the joy is the speed, 20 mbs download and 6 mbs upload, the heart ache is the transfer over, last time I had it done, I was off line for the best part of the day, and it took me sveral days to get everything working again, particularly email, so as I write this on Sunday morning, I’m wondering if when you read this I will be online. will my email work, will I be able to get a wifi signal, will the phone site work, , will it be trouble free, so many variables !.



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Architectural Technologist – WIFI Geo tagging

Photo of Robert Scoble, cropped from original.

Image via Wikipedia

You might want to have a look at this technology being promoted by Ford. Robert Scoble was one of quite a few guys inside a car that was equipped with this geo tagging, were each car sends out a low level signal via wifi, that lets other cars know were he is, the software seems to understand this and warn if a car is a danger to your vehicle.

The CPD is interesting in that I can’t see it being applied yet for construction, but I sense that this technology might just expand into out industry.


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