Make AT&T Uverse i38HG access point behave

i38HGWhen AT&T hooks up residential Uverse Internet, it sometimes puts the actual router in a box outside the house, and the box inside the house is just an access point. This can prove problematic to customers who want to install their own routers for purposes such as setting up Unblock-Us.

Because the AT&T Uverse 2Wire i38HG access point and its i3812v router provide only limited settings options at their 192.168.1.254 address, a third-party router may be required. Unlike other home Internet configurations that allow customers to plug their wall cable directly into a router, the AT&T router’s outside-the-home location makes it difficult for customers to use their own routers to manage Internet traffic.

This post will explain how to make the i38HG access point and i3812v router behave more like they’re in bridged mode.

The best way to do so is to follow the instructions found here:

1. Set your router’s WAN interface to get an IP address via DHCP.  This is required at first so that the 2Wire recognizes your router. (On my router, it was configured to get IP addresses via DHCP by default, so I didn’t have to change any settings.)

2. Plug your router’s WAN interface to one of the 2Wire’s LAN interfaces. (The WAN interface is the one that’s labeled “Internet” on some routers.)

3. Restart your router, let it get an IP address via DHCP.

4. Log into the 2Wire router’s interface (by visiting 192.168.1.254 in your browser).  Go to Settings -> Firewall -> Applications, Pinholes, and DMZ

5. Select your router under section (1). (Select your router by finding its MAC address. On a Linksys router, find your MAC address by navigating to 192.168.1.1 in a new browser window, clicking on “Setup” and then “MAC Address Clone.” A MAC address may also be found by looking at the label on the bottom of the router.)

6. Click the DMZPlus button under section (2).

7. Click the Save button.

8. Restart your router, when it gets an address via DHCP again, it will be the public outside IP address.  At this point, you can leave your router in DHCP mode (make sure the firewall on your router allows the DHCP renewal packets, which will occur every 10 minutes), or you can change your router’s IP address assignment on the WAN interface to static, and use the same settings it received via DHCP.

9. On the 2Wire router, go to Settings -> Firewall -> Advanced Configuration

10. Uncheck the following: Stealth Mode, Block Ping, Strict UDP Session Control.

11. Check everything under Outbound Protocol Control except NetBIOS.

12. Uncheck NetBIOS under Inbound Protocol Control.

13. Uncheck all the Attack Detection checkboxes (7 of them).

14. Click Save.

That should do it. Your router will now handle your Internet traffic and settings after it passes through your AT&T equipment largely uninterrupted. For wireless access, connect to your new router instead of the 2Wire access point. I took the extra step of turning off wireless in the 2Wire’s settings, but I’m not sure whether that’s necessary.

Suburban Atlanta voters hated T-SPLOST

Voters across the Atlanta area rejected a proposed transportation tax this week, but its most spectacular failure was in suburban communities. Only Fulton County and DeKalb County voters came close to passing the measure, which would have funded a long list of regional transportation projects with an extra 1 percent sales tax.

Overall, just 38 percent of voters in the 10-county Atlanta area supported it, and 62 percent were opposed.

The initiative was narrowly defeated in the city’s two most urban counties during the July 31 election. About 49 percent of voters backed the measure in both Fulton and DeKalb counties, short of the majority needed for passage.

Opposition was much stronger in the suburbs. In Cherokee County, 79.5 percent of voters cast “no” votes. Excluding Fulton and DeKalb counties, the rest of the region was against the new tax by a 70-30 margin.

Here’s the county-by-county breakdown:

County………….Yes%/No%
Cherokee………..20.5/79.5
Clayton…………46/54
Cobb……………31/69
DeKalb………….49/51
Douglas…………32/68
Fayette…………23.5/76.5
Fulton………….49/51
Gwinnett………..29/71
Henry…………..29/71
Rockdale………..30/70

Almost everyone made up their mind about how to vote on T-SPLOST by the time they got to the polls, with only 0.6 percent of voters leaving the T-SPLOST question blank in the Atlanta area.

Including blank votes, the region-wide vote breakdown comes to 37.4 percent in favor, 62 percent against and 0.6 percent not answering the T-SPLOST question.

Sources: Georgia Secretary of State county-level election results.

Download my spreadsheet and calculations by clicking here.

Game change

Major League Baseball has entered a new era of pitching dominance, in large part because of an unprecedented jump in strikeouts over the last 35 years. One result is an increasing likelihood of no-hitters in a season, with pitchers already having thrown five of them so far in the 2012 season.

Strikeout rates, measured in K/9, have set record highs every year since 2005. The long-term trend dates all the way back to baseball’s beginnings, according to data from 1871 to 2012 compiled from FanGraphs.com.

 

Strikeout rates surged in the pitchers’ era of the 1960s, peaking at 5.99 K/9 in 1967. That rate stood as the all-time high for 20 years.

But strikeouts today far exceed those rates of nearly 50 years ago.

Pitchers are on pace to reach a new K/9 record this season. So far in 2012, they’ve been fanning 7.51 batters per game.

Ideas for better baseball

Baseball is fantastic as it is, but it could be better. Over the years, my friends and I have discussed ideas about how the game could be improved. Some of these suggestions are practical; others are a bit off the wall. But these suggestions would make America’s Pasttime even more fun:

1. Increase instant replay

It’s not acceptable to dismiss poor umpire performance as “the human element” of the game. With the technology we have today, there’s no reason not to get calls right with a high degree of accuracy. Why are we settling for less?

Instant replay should be vastly expanded to cover almost any contested play. A fifth umpire could handle replay duties. Challenges from managers could be limited, or umpires could have the discretion to review plays as they see fit. The details are unimportant. What’s needed is more accountability for getting calls right.

2. Runners shouldn’t have to stay within the basepaths

Why should runners be confined to a narrow strip of land that’s arbitrarily enforced by the umps? It drives me crazy when, in the middle of a thrilling rundown, the runner is called out because he had the audacity to try to avoid the tag. Enough already. Let runners be free to dodge tags in whatever way they want. If enacted, this rule change wouldn’t change the game much because the fastest path between two bases is a direct line, and runners usually prefer to get to the next base as soon as possible. MLB should let runners run. It would make the game more exciting.

3. Change the structure of the commissioner’s office

Bud Selig has ruled as MLB’s all-powerful commissioner since an owner’s coup in 1992, and he has held office despite repeatedly saying he would step in. There’s a reason he’s called “commissioner for life,” and in January he received a contract extension through 2014. While I support many of Selig’s initiatives — interleague play, realignment, the wild card, the World Baseball Classic — he has also catered to the owner’s interests to the detriment of the fans.

A better system would decentralize power and make baseball more democratic by creating a five-person committee to oversee the game’s governance. As suggested my friend Erin from squaretender.com fame, two committee members would represent owners, two would represent players, and the fifth would be the key: the fan’s representative. The fan’s representative would case the tiebreaking vote in disputes between owners and managers, acting for the benefit of the game itself on behalf of the customers who pay billions of dollars to watch it.

4. End the idea of sacrifice flies

MLB Rule 10.08(d) allows batters who hit flyouts that score runs to not be charged with an at-bat. Unlike a sacrifice bunt, these batters get credit for a sacrifice fly even though it’s difficult to tell whether they were actually trying to sacrifice themselves to score a run. In many cases, batters are trying to get a hit, not a sacrifice. When a batter hits a fly ball that scores a run, he should get an RBI, but he should also be charged with an out and an at-bat.

5. Eliminate the designated hitter

There are many good reasons for consigning the DH rule to history, but one stands above the rest: the game is more strategic and interesting when pitchers have to hit. I would be happy if, in exchange for the killing the DH, each team were allowed to expand its roster from 25 to 26 players. This move would go a long way toward accommodating the players’ union.

For more game-changing ideas, check out a three-part series that ESPN published:

_ Five radical game-changing proposals

_ Your game-changing proposals

_ Upon further review …

Saving the best for never

When you have a problem and you know how to fix it, the solution should be obvious. Unfortunately, it’s not apparent to the Atlanta Braves and many other baseball teams.

The Braves have lost six in a row, but their best relief pitcher, Craig Kimbrel, hasn’t thrown the ball once during that stretch. This is a common managerial strategy by manager Fredi Gonzalez and other big league managers, and there’s no good reason for it.

A team’s best relief pitcher should pitch in the most important situations. Preserving closers for save situations often doesn’t make any sense because those situations may never come. You have to get there first.

How do we know when the “closer” should get in the game, if not necessarily the 9th inning? The answer is to use the Leverage Index, which is a table that shows how important each game situation is. The Leverage Index comes from “The Book,” by Tom Tango, Mitchel Lichtman and Andrew Dolphin.

High leverage situations occur when the game hangs in the balance. That’s when you want your most effective reliever in the game. Closers typically appear in situations with leverage of about 2.

In Saturday’s game, that situation came when the game was tied 4-4 in the top of the sixth and there was a runner on third base with one out. The chart shows the leverage of that situation was 2.0, higher than at another other point in the game, but Kris Medlen was left in there to face Chad Tracy, who hit a double to put the Nationals ahead 5-4 on their way to an 8-4 victory. (The website Fangraphs lists the LI in that situation at 2.55, presumably based on a more detailed calculation than what’s provided in the chart. Under both the chart in “The Book” and on Fangraphs, that situation had the highest LI in the game.)

In Friday’s game, the Braves trailed 3-4 in the top of the 7th with the bases loaded and two outs, but starting pitcher Tim Hudson was allowed to continue pitching even though he had already thrown 105 pitches. Three pitches later, Ryan Zimmerman hit a bases-clearing double and only then was Hudson pulled from the game. In that situation, the game leverage was 3.1.

The trend also can be seen in the Braves’ previous losses.

When Medlen gave up a grand slam to the Reds on Thursday, the leverage index was about 4.0 when the bases were loaded in the bottom of the sixth with one out and the Braves led 2-1.

Again with the bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth and one out on Wednesday and the Braves ahead 1-0, Tommy Hanson was left in to pitch to Jay Bruce, who tied the game with a fielder’s choice. That LI was about 3.3.

On Tuesday, during the Braves 9-2 loss, there weren’t many high-leverage situations because the Reds took an early lead and then built on it. The 4-1 loss on Monday was also a low-leverage game–it game was tied at 1-1 in the second, and then Mike Minor gave up three consecutive solo home runs in the fourth.

So out of the last six games, the Braves had four high-leverage late inning situations where Kimbrel could have been used.

Instead, inferior pitchers were put in the game, Kimbrel rode the bench, and the Braves found themselves in fourth place.

Cloud comparison

I’ve been using three cloud services recently — Google Play, SugarSync and Dropbox. Here is a brief comparison of the three.

Google Play: This service is incredible for music storage and mobile device music streaming. Google Play allows you to upload up to 20,000 of your songs for free. With a conservative estimate of 3MB per song, Google Play is giving away somewhere in the neighborhood of 60GB worth of storage, which is pretty incredible. There’s a free Google Play app for Android devices, and for the iPhone, I use a neat app called Melodies that I downloaded for $0.99.

SugarSync: With 5GB of free storage and syncing of any file type, SugarSync is a great option both for backup storage and cloud access of frequently used files. I recently upgraded to SugarSync and dropped Dropbox.

Dropbox: The Dropbox cloud service is the easiest to use. It creates a folder on your PC/Mac desktop, and any file you put in that folder is automatically uploaded. You can also set upload folders more specifically in Dropbox’s preferences. The big downfall of Dropbox is that it only provides 2GB of free storage, which is a pretty strict limitation as personal data needs grow.

iPhone wins

I held off buying the popular iPhone for years, instead using the Blackberry Pearl, Palm Pre and Samsung Epic 4G as I resisted my eventual conversion. Now that I’ve joined the Apple empire with an iPhone 4S, I’m satisfied that I finally own such a high-quality phone.

My personal phone evolution was an attempt to find the best smartphone for me. In some ways, I held off on the iPhone because I feared if I jumped to it too early, I may never give other phones a chance. My fears were justified; the iPhone is the best phone I’ve ever used.

Compared to the Epic 4G, it’s not much of a contest.

Reasons the iPhone4S is superior to the Samsung Epic 4G:

1. Longer battery life. The iPhone battery lasts me a good 16 hours on work days. The Epic 4G, even with the JuiceDefender app, could go about 12 hours. Without Juicedefender, battery life on the Epic was more like six to eight hours. I’m glad I don’t have to constantly keep a spare battery fully charge and tucked into my wallet.

2. Speed. The iPhone is more responsive to the touch. There’s none of the lag I sometimes experienced with the Epic.

3. Boot times. The iPhone starts within seconds. With the Epic, I had to wait about five minutes before I reached the start screen, the SD media card was scanned and the “today” widget loaded. It was a waste of time.

4. GPS/Google Maps. The GPS on the iPhone seems to pinpoint my location more accurately and faster than the Epic. Sometimes, the GPS on the Epic would fail entirely unless I rebooted the phone, which was unacceptable.

5. No 4G. Sprint charged me $10 extra per month to have 4G on the Epic, which I rarely used anyway. I’m happy that with the iPhone, I have a better phone and I save that $10 monthly.

6. Siri is fantastic.

7. Applecare>normal phone insurance. I paid $8 per month in insurance for a two-year contract on the Epic ($196). With the iPhone, I paid $100 for Applecare up-front on a two-year contract.

8. Apps. Apple’s App Store is still the standard that other phone marketplaces are trying to emulate. The Apple app ecosystem still has the best app selection.

9. Ease of use. The iPhone attracted so many fanboys for good reason — it simply works well and feels intuitive. The iPhone experience is bug-free and pleasant. I never want to throw my iPhone against the wall when it doesn’t do what I want it too. Frustration shouldn’t have much of a place in phone usage. There’s enough hassle with technology.

10. Autocorrect on the virtual keyboard. It works very well, and I make fewer mistakes on the virtual keyboard than I did on the Epic’s physical keyboard.

There are some downsides to the iPhone too, including its attachment to iTunes, its closed nature, the lack of good cloud integration (iCloud isn’t there yet) and the need to hook up to a computer to load media. But those disadvantages are offset by user happiness — my happiness with such a fine piece of tech.

Computer cleaning

I want to record a few links of computer cleaning software that I find useful. Much of the advice and links came from MajorGeeks.com and this post about malware cleaning and removal.

Use these along with an antivirus program, which is essential for a Windows computer.

SUPERAntiSpyware: Gets rid of cookies and other more obvious threats.

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware: Pretty self-explanatory — this utility scrubs malware.

Combofix: I’m not sure about this one. McAfee antivirus detected several supposed trojans when I tried to run Combofix, which could have been a fluke, but it could also indicate the version of Combofix I downloaded isn’t safe.

TDSSKiller.exe: This utility from Kaspersky is supposed to get at some of the more difficult trojans that can infect your computer.

Infinity Blade review

Infinity Blade opening scene

Soon after a friend passed me a note recommending Infinity Blade, I was hooked.

The swordfighting game on the iPad is a lot of fun and completely addicting.What kept me interested for such a long time is that it really does take skill and practice to improve at this game. And of course, it’s fun to upgrade your character.

The first time through the game wasn’t too difficult, especially once I looked at curi’s Infinity Blade Guide, which gave some helpful tips about everything from how to fight the God King to what items are important to buy.

Unfortunately, I didn’t read the guide closely enough, and when it came time to continue to the NewGame+, I had neglected to sell any of my items.

That failure on my part left me penniless as I started the game over again in NewGame+, which greatly increased its difficulty. The hardest part for me was against the Level 300 God King, when I had to work hard to learn how to beat him because I didn’t yet have a shield with resistance to light. It took me about a week before I finally took him down.

After that, the game moved steadily. I set a goal of beating the Level 1,000 God King and again vanquishing the dungeon bosses. It was only a matter of time after passing the Level 300 God King and buying the Infinity Blade before I killed the Level 1,000 God King.

It’s a testament to how fun the game is that I couldn’t stop there. I continued on, buying up more and more expensive items. I don’t want to start over again on another NewGame+, so now I’m just maxing out my character so he can always live on as a badass. Then I’ll try to set the game down and move on to something new.

As of July 2, the last God King I had beaten was at Level 1,400, and I’m only one bloodline over the minimum (due to how pour I was when starting the NewGame+ with no money).

UPDATE: Defeated Level 1,500 on July 4.

UPDATE 2: Defeated Level 1,550 on Aug. 6.

Phone evolution

Nokia 5110

Nokia 5110, Dec. 2000 to ~May 2004: This ancient phone seemed like the most popular model in the world for a few years when everyone was first starting to get cell phone plans. It was simple and easy to use, which led to its widespread appeal. Carriers: PowerTel, which quickly switched to VoiceStream before becoming T-Mobile.

 

 

 

 

Motorola v300

Motorola v300, ~May 2004 to June 2005: I bought this phone a few months before traveling from Atlanta to Chile, where I decided I didn’t want to have a cell phone anyway. So I found a better use for this phone — as an alarm clock. Even in that purpose, it didn’t last too long because the different electric sockets in Santiago eventually burned the phone out. Carrier: T-Mobile

 

 

 

 

Blackberry Pearl 8100

Blackberry Pearl 8100, June 2005 – July 2009: My first smartphone, the Blackberry Pearl served me well. The full keyboard made a huge difference in texting, and its email system kept me on top of my messages. I was proud to have the original Blackberry Pearl, which I believe to be the only model in which you could change the color of the scroll wheel using a program called BlingBall. I went through two Pearls, with my first getting smashed when I fell off my bike on the way to work at the Hawaii Capitol. Carrier: T-Mobile

 

 

 

 

Palm Pre

Palm Pre, July 2009 – March 2011: The Pre was a step up from the Pearl. If it had been released a few months sooner, marketed better and run faster, it could have competed with the iPhone. I especially liked its card metaphor multitasking system, which had a look and feel that still hasn’t been replicated outside of Palm products. The battery life was terrible, and the hardware was weak. I went through three Pres and eventually got frustrated with its speed, small screen size, battery life and lack of apps. Carrier: Sprint

 

 

 

 

Samsung Epic 4G

Samsung Epic 4G, March 2011 – present: By far, my best phone yet. It’s speedy, has a large screen and good battery life with the Juice Defender app. I like the horizontal keyboard better than the portrait keyboard on the Pre. It’s also much more sturdy. On the Pre, my microphone jack would eventually lose connectivity with my earphone plugin, which forced me to get the Pre replaced a few times. That issue hasn’t happened with the Epic, and it’s survived quite a few drops already. It’s larger than I was used to, but I wanted the bigger screen. I enjoy the Android operating system. The only phone that currently rivals the Epic and meets most of my preferences is the Evo 3D, but it doesn’t have a physical keyboard, which is pretty nearly a dealbreaker for me. Carrier: Sprint