3G Bandwidth Revisited

Last year I downloaded a speed test app and tested the speed on my iPhone 4 from the confines of our lovely local downtown Irish pub, Dargan’s. The results were impressive, clocking it at a healthy 2.6 Megabits download, and 1.2 Megabits upload, the phone competed ably with my home DSL service from DSLExtreme. When the signal is good, bandwidth is darn nice.

iPhone 4 Speed Test
iPhone 4 speed test on

Almost exactly one year later, I conducted the test from the interior of the Majestic Ventura Theater before the George Clinton concert started. I had received at least two text messages from AT&T telling me that signal in my area had been improved. I decided, therefore, to see if these improvements had any effect, and, indeed, they did. The theater is located 100 yards from last year’s test site, and the improvements seem to have doubled my bandwidth to 5 Megabits down and over 3 Megabits up. These speeds are, in fact, vastly suprior to the DSL service that I used to have. I now have cable service from Charter, and it clocks in at 12 Megabits down and 5 Megabits up.

iPhone 4 Speed Test 2012
iPhone 4 Speed Test 2012

Do I need 12 Megabits of speed? Not really. I was quite happy with my DSL service, but AT&T’s anti-competitive behavior made DSL grossly cost ineffective compared with cable modem. Now, all I have to do is wait for unlimited bandwidth via tethering to be cheaper than the $30 I pay monthly for cable service. Having one fewer bill to pay and three fewer modems and routers to operate will be very nice.

The End of Chemical Weapons

World is safer with Utah chemical stockpile gone, Army commander says | The Salt Lake Tribune

It’s hard to believe, but there is good news out there. At least, there was two months ago when I cam across this article. The efforts to eliminate chemical weapons according to the Chemical Weapons Convention treaty to which the United States became a signatory in 1997.

This particular facility in Utah is but one facility in which chemical weapon stockpiles were destroyed, and the numbers are quite staggering:

Since the Utah plant burned its first GB nerve agent-filled rocket on Aug. 22, 1996, it has destroyed more than 1.1 million munitions containing 13,617 tons of chemical agent, said Ted Ryba, the Army’s site project manager, who has worked at the depot throughout the incinerator’s life.

Wikipedia claims that as of July, 2010, approximately 60% of the known stockpiles had been destroyed. The above story is dated January of 2012. It will be interesting to know how much that percentage has increased.