My swim trunks and a tiny island

Today at my parents house I swam 1/4 mile to a tiny island (the lake is called Little Island Pond, but it's actually a lake and it has two islands; a little one and a big one). I wasn't planning on swimming all the way there but I decided it was a nice day so why not. I've been wanting to start training for a triathlon and swimming is definitely an area where I need to work on my endurance and technique. I tried to stay close to shore and raise my hand and splash my feet whenever it looked like a boat coming towards me might not see me.

When I got to the tiny island (a big pile of rocks with a few shrubs and lily pads all around) I found a suitable sized flat rock and laid down in the sun. It was so peaceful. Boats and jet skis would roar by every now and then, sending waves rippling towards the rocks, eventually crashing and lightly splashing water on me. My iPhone was a 1/4 mile away. No buzzing. No ringing. Not even the possibility of it. It was literally just me, my swim trunks, and a bunch of rocks in the middle of a lake.

I had no way of tracking time and I don't know how long I ended up staying there. I wasn't thinking about time. I was just enjoying the moment. It's amazing how quickly time can pass when you're thoroughly enjoying the moment. Eventually I slipped back into the water and made my way back. I practiced the combat side stroke, a technique used by the Navy SEALs. It's amazing how well the technique moves you through the water. When I looked up at the shoreline, it seemed like I was moving at the speed of a slow jog!

One thing I like to do is track my distance in various activities. If I spend an hour swimming, I'd like to know how far I swam so I can try to improve on the time. A few days ago I started using an app on my iPhone called RunKeeper. It tracks distance and time using the built-in GPS and even plots your route on a Google Map. Awesome. So I thought, "Hey, if I could get my iPhone in a waterproof case and drag it along behind me while I swim, I should be able to track the distance in the same way!"

With the plan in my head seeming flawless, I purchased a waterproof case from Eastern Mountain Sports. When I arrived at my parents house I put the iPhone in the waterproof case, stole a shoelace from my brothers' boot, tied the case to my ankle, and started swimming. I took a peek at the case to make sure no water got inside. So far so good. I swam about 100 feet and checked again. Hmm, the app stopped recording the distance. It looked like someone touched the screen. Maybe the iPhone touchscreen was being finicky and responding to the temperature of the water? Weird. I turned around and swam back.

When I got to the shore and looked at the iPhone through the case, I noticed water inside. WTF? That would explain the weird touchscreen responses! I was pretty shocked. There was water in the waterproof case! Luckily, the iPhone still worked. (The Griffin hard case I've kept it in since the day I bought it probably helped.) I returned the case to EMS today.

Thanks to Google, I figured out an easy way to estimate my swimming distance using Google Maps:

Swim Route

The total distance round trip was about 1/2 a mile. I plan to continue swimming on the weekends, even as it gets colder. If the Navy SEAL trainees (BUD/S) can swim and train in near freezing water, then so can I (check out some of these videos if you feel like being inspired).

The Three W's: What to Write Where?

I'm not sure why, but lately I've felt as though I haven't had much to write about. I'm not sure if it's that I haven't had much to write or that maybe I just haven't felt the desire to write what's on my mind.

As I've mentioned in the past, I intentionally don't write a lot of personal things on this blog. That's not why I started it and I'm not narcissistic enough (yes, we're all narcissistic to some degree) to think that my thoughts, dreams, and personal observations are all that important. I don't really feel compelled to express myself or talk about what's on my mind and it's not that I don't feel like people will care what I have to say; it's simply that I don't care what I have to say. In this age of information, I feel as though anything to be said has already been said and so why should I repeat it?

But I digress. Perhaps all the definitions and various places to write are slowly killing my creative outlet. Perhaps making the decision of what to write and where is becoming difficult enough that I choose to simply not write anything. My time can be used for more important things than figuring out where I should write, let alone what I should write.

Writing about events and places is easy: I simply recount what happened and maybe include some pictures for eye candy. But nobody wants to hear about the ride into work, or the meetings, or the support emails, or... or maybe some people do? Well, to those people I say go find another hobby. Or at least, find another blog. I find it absolutely revolting and a total waste of textual space and time to see people writing about things that have absolutely no substance. I will not become a twitter shitter or an iRaam. The last thing I want this blog to become is my personal diary. (This post is coming dangerously close to what I'm trying to avoid.)

Then there is the question of where to write. When I started this blog, it was easy. Facebook wasn't even open to the public and Twitter didn't even exist. Now I find myself posting thoughts, activities, and other updates on Twitter (trying desperately to stay within the 140 character jail) with my Facebook status automatically being updated by Twitter. (Then my Facebook friends, who probably never read my blog, comment on my updates and make me feel compelled to reply on FB.) Anything that doesn't fit on Twitter I usually put on my blog as an Aside (it appears without a post title), and longer stuff, like this post, get the honor of being a full-blow blog post with a Twitter update announcing it being published.

So why haven't I been writing more? I've been asking myself that question a lot the past few weeks and the only answer I can come up with is that my rule of not writing about passing thoughts or seemingly pointless observations is leaving me without much to write. I've been very busy concentrating on work and fitness and I haven't had much time for exploring my various interests or writing about them. So I'll try to start writing more asides with what's on my mind and see where that takes this blog.

Google's Growing Visual Clutter

Google's latest "feature" is nothing short of annoying. I fell in love with Google Search for the clean, textual layout of the search results. The colored text I can deal with, but not visual buttons next to every single result! To make matters worse, Google doesn't provide a way to disable this feature either, so your only two options are logging out of your Google account or installing a Greasemonkey extension.

Oh, and my rant doesn't end there. Another feature that was recently added, Google Suggest, has been more trouble than it has help. I can't even count how many times I've went to Google something only to have a big list of suggestions instantly erase the original search query from my head. There are hacky ways to disable that too, but come on Google! There should be options to disable this stuff!

eBay Listing Removed for Search and Browse Manipulation

I just received this email for an auction I listed almost 24 hours ago:

The listing was removed because it violated the eBay Search and Browse Manipulation policy. The violation occurred when you included the following information in your listing:

Title...- LIKE NEW

Sellers are not permitted to include unrelated keywords in their listings in a manner that unfairly diverts attention to them. Using 'new' in a title to describe a pre-owned or used item is misleading information that confuses buyers when they are searcing for items that are actually new.

You'd think that eBay would be smart enough to make those checks BEFORE I publish my listing! I had over a dozen people already watching the item with several bids already in place and then eBay just spontaneously removes my listing. This is unacceptable!

Case Sensitivity in Mac OS X

Case sensitivity in Mac OS X does not exist.

The OS X command line is probably the most commonly used feature of my MacBook Pro. I love the fact that almost all the Linux commands I'm used to using on a Linux box work the same way in OS X. So, as you can imagine, I was shocked when I couldn't rename a simple directory:

eris:~ raam$ mv Downloads/ downloads/
mv: cannot move `Downloads' to a subdirectory of itself, `downloads/Downloads'

That command should allow me to rename 'Downloads' to 'downloads', but apparently OS X thinks 'Downloads' and 'downloads' are the same thing! That's absurd! In the Unix world, case matters!

So how did I eventually rename it?

eris:~ raam$ mv Downloads/ downloads2/
eris:~ raam$ mv downloads2/ downloads/

That's just ridiculous.

I installed the Fluxbox window manager on my MacBook Pro a while back and decided to start it up to make sure I had access to a "real" command line. Sure enough, the command worked as expected within Fluxbox. Maybe I'll start using Fluxbox a lot more often.

Check out this snippet from an article on InformIT:

Mac OS X, like the classic Mac OS before it, is not case sensitive; it doesn't care whether you said File1.txt or file1.txt. Only one of them can exist in a folder at the same time, and there's no ambiguity for either computers or humans in telling which file you meant. Even Unix commands like ls will work if you give them filenames to operate on that don't match the capitalization of the actual files (try it: ls /library).

That's really quite disappointing. I have suddenly lost so much respect for the OS X command line. Being derived from BSD in the Unix world, you would think Apple would keep something as fundamental as case sensitivity in OS X.

Apple's home page not viewable in 1024×768

Apple's Site Requires 1280x1024

I do all my browsing with my web browser resized to 1024x768, mainly because I don't need the window to take up the whole screen, but also because I like to see how compatible sites are with lower resolutions. As you can see from the screenshot above, Apple's home page is not fully viewable in 1024x768.

According to Google Analytics, 30% of all the visitors to my blog are browsing with a screen resolution of 1024x768. I'm not alone: According to W3Schools 48% of their visitors are browsing their site with 1024x768.

Come on Apple, don't lose sight of usability!

Syntax Highlighting Plugins

I'm getting sick of the iG:Syntax Hiliter bug that causes it to lose its configuration every time I do anything in the Plugins section. I also hate its proprietary syntax tags ([php] or [html]) because if someday the plugin author stops maintaining it and a newer version of WordPress breaks the plugin, I'm screwed (unless I wade through the code to fix it myself).

Here is what my code looks like whenever the plugin options are reset:

And here is what I want it to look like:

It makes so much more sense to use a plugin like Snippet Highlight which uses <pre> tags with CSS classes. The code for the plugin is dead simple, so maintaining it should be easy. Speaking of maintaining it, there's a bug that causes Snippet Highlight to allow WordPress to parse HTML. I already notified the author, but if I have some free time this week I'm going to see if I can fix it.

I Use Twitter, But I’m Not a Twitter Shitter

Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?

I approach new services and tools the same way I approach a problem holding nothing but a roll of duct tape: How can I use that roll of duct tape to solve a problem?

Sure, Twitter has an intended use, but is there a law that forces people to limit themselves to that use? The hacker mentality is all about finding unconventional uses for existing things. I'm very anti-social. I have few friends. The friends that I do have are mostly like me and using a tool like Twitter to keep each other updated on what we're doing would be pretty boring.

Penny Arcade Comic: Le Twittre

A recent comic on Penny Arcade about taking the Twitter question "What are you doing?" to an extreme gave me a good laugh. This morning David, my co-worker, told me that the blog post follow-up to the comic explained exactly the way he felt about Twitter. Here is an excerpt from that post:

The last "tweet" I ever did really explains it all, for me. I was up in Vancouver, and I put up a message saying so, and what kinds of activities I was engaged in. After I did it, I heard a voice - my own voice - saying, "Who the fuck do you think you are? Who are you that you can force your Goddamned minutia on other people, your stupid bullshit, your stone-ground artisanal condiments? How dare you. You should be ashamed." And I was.

Excuse me, but what makes Twitter any different than a blog with an RSS feed?

The post length. That's it.

I'm against spending time authoring content that ends up being scattered all around the net, inside different free services that I really have no control over. They could disappear at any given moment, erasing all of my written history, all that time. I'd rather not give that power to anyone. Not Facebook, not MySpace, and not Twitter.

The only reason I'm using Twitter is because I have a plugin that automatically turns my "tweets" into a blog post -- not just a normal blog post, but one that is placed inside the Asides category so that it shows up specially formatted to make it clear that it's not something worthy of an entire post. If Twitter disappears, big deal. I still have all my tweets saved in the database for my blog.

But why use Twitter at all? It's simple. They provide an interface (SMS) that allows me to save my thoughts when they occur.

Quick, short thoughts. That's what I use Twitter for. Once in awhile I'll use it to say where I am or what I'm doing. If there happens to be someone following me on Twitter who's interested in that information, all the better.

The "hundred and forty character cage"? I like it. Since my tweets show up on the front page of my blog, I need to think about the importance of the message. If taking a shit is of great importance to me, then I have bigger things to worry about than whether or not I should use Twitter.

Forward Slash, not Backslash!

I was listening to the radio last night and heard the radio host announce their MySpace URL:

"Check us out at www dot myspace dot com backslash blahblah"

It's not called a backslash! It's called a forward slash!

I wouldn't mind if this was a rare occurrence, but I have heard so many people, even people who work in the computer industry, confuse the two slashes. An easy way to remember which is which is to simply "read" the slash like you do a regular sentence.

Think of a tiny person standing in the middle of the sentence: | <-- that's the little person. Now, if he leans back (\) it's called a backslash. If he leans forward ( / ), it's called a forward slash (or just a slash).

A surge in auto GPS receivers?

Has anyone else noticed a sudden surge in the use of auto GPS receivers? It seems as if 1 out of every 10 cars I pass on the highway has a GPS receiver! They are easy to spot, especially at night when they look like a big glowing boxes mounted on the dashboard.

I don't like the idea of using GPS receivers to find my way around well defined routes. I think GPS receivers are more of a crutch than a useful tool for the average person. If you know how to read a map and follow signs, you shouldn't need a GPS receiver. For delivery drivers and anyone else who frequently travels to new places, I can understand the time saving ability of a GPS receiver, but for all you other drivers, learn to read a map!

If you're hiking a mountain or camping in unfamiliar or unmarked wilderness, I can see how having a GPS receiver could save your life. But trekking into such a situation without also knowing how to use a compass to find your way around is even more stupid than going unprepared all together.

Don't rely on electronics to do something you're capable of learning how to do. There is no electronic fix for human stupidity.

ETRADE Grammar Errors

How does a company as big as ETRADE allow for such content to be displayed on their website? I understand that the content isn't actually provided by ETRADE but by But come on -- Stock Fall Further? Stocks Fall Further!

I decided to read the whole paragraph underneath the title to see if I could find any more grammar mistakes... and waddya know: "The financial sector continues to weight on the broader market,".

It really makes me wonder how many people are needed to proofread something that will be seen by so many visitors.

Political Bullshit

I'm so sick of all the political bullshit I hear in the news.

I don't own a TV because there simply isn't anything on it worth my time or money. The TV has become a mind-control device for those with money. Do you know why there are so many 'reality TV shows' on now? Because the people in power want to distract you from the real reality of whats happening in the world. So many people have become so entrenched in the reality TV shows that they're the furthest from what's really real: reality.

I read foreign news websites because all the domestic ones are so full of bullshit (both are full of bullshit, but foreign ones seem more realistic). Hell, I even enjoy reading foreign tech news websites! The media with all their advertisements, and opinions, and suggestions -- all bullshit. I trust talking face-to-face with a stranger on the street more than I do listening to a news anchor -- how sad is that?

The amount of bullshit that comes at me on a day-to-day basis, from every direction, is mind-numbing. Others who may write similar statements would probably say, at some point in their text, "Wake up!". But I'm not going to say that. Do you know why? Because so many of us are already awake to whats happening -- the problem is we just don't give a fuck. Hell, why am I writing this? Why aren't I out there doing something about it? Well, its my nature to observe and act when the time is right. The time doesn't feel right and I don't feel that I've observed enough. I just know there is something seriously wrong with this country and with the world.

Bush's mortgage plan doesn't help MY situation!

Forbes has an article today about the "Bush Administration's plan to rescue the housing market" -- well I'm a landlord who owns three multi-family houses, all of which have adjustable rate mortgages and all of which have seen interest rate hikes of double what I was originally paying. If my profit margin was $300 per-month when I originally bought the properties, all of that has been washed away with mortgage payments increasing by $700 per month, per property!


It also won't help the 16% of subprime borrowers who are already delinquent or in default, and it won't help millions of other homeowners who either will be deemed able to pay the higher rates when they adjust, starting in January, or who have the unhappy circumstance of having a house worth less than their mortgage or a loan that has already reset to the higher rates.

Well let's see... I'm already delinquent and in default on all of my properties, check. I'm one of those in the "unhappy circumstance of having a house worth less than their mortgage", check. My mortgages have already reset to higher interest rates, check. Great, I don't qualify.

The big problem with the sub-prime situation doesn't only apply to the single-family owners who bought a bigger house than they could afford -- it also applies to all the landlords who purchased or refinanced multi-family properties and who provide housing for the more than 34 million renters in the USA. Speaking of the rental market, it is projected that the number of renter households will increase by more than 1.8 million between 2005-2015 [1]. I'm sure that number doesn't even take into account all the people who lost their homes (and their good credit) and now need a place to live.

I've given up trying to afford my properties. I'm ready to walk away. There is no help in sight and stressing about trying to pay for them isn't worth my health. I already know its financially impossible for me to afford them (rental income is $7,000 per month, new mortgage payments are $10,000 per month), so why fight the inevitable? I have all three of my properties listed for sale with a broker, at prices totaling $195,000 less than what I owe the banks. The real estate market is bad because everyone is waiting for the prices to keep falling. Even if my properties do sell, I'm going to end up owing the banks over $200k -- which I also cannot afford.

Don't fix what isn't broken: XP, Tiger

I have long been an advocate of not immediately upgrading software. Most people upgrade simply because they're expected to or because they assume that newer stuff must be mean better stuff -- it doesn't. This "newer is better" mentality is the driving force behind our economy and advertisers are juicing every bit of attention from the younger generations, molding them into the perfect consumer. Many times consumers are presented with no other choice than to accept what is being sold. For example, if they purchase a new computer it's going to come pre-installed with the "latest and greatest" -- that is, latest and greatest piece of junk.

Software is a tool, designed to help you get something done. If the software already does the its job as expected, why change it? There are clearly differences between changes that effect usability and those which are meant to increase stability (the stone wheel, when first invented, worked as a wheel, however improvements increased its practicality and usefulness). The problem is that software companies need to make money -- if they created perfect software that gets the job done and never needed to be upgraded, where would their profits come from? The driving force known as greed creates competition between software companies, who then rush to get their latest and greatest software out before their competitors. The end result? Buggy, rushed software which adds as little "help-you-get-stuff-done" functionality as possible.

I mean really, how necessary are the added features of Windows Vista and Apple OS X Leopard? When Windows 2000 was upgraded to Windows XP, I recognized lots of extra unnecessary junk in XP. Windows 2000 ran smoother and faster than XP (and still does!) on all the machines I installed them on. However, there were certain features of Windows XP that became a requirement for business use, namely Remote Desktop. So I've accepted that Windows XP is probably the best option for those business users who need a Windows machine. But Windows Vista? I have yet to find one thing about Vista that makes it a better option than Windows XP.

People have come to accept that their computers will become obsolete within a few years -- but why? The only reason a system becomes obsolete is if the software you wish to run on it needs better hardware. If properly taken care of, the hardware will last a very long time. But perfectly working hardware is useless if the software you need runs slow, if it even runs at all. The solution? Write better software that requires less processing power. But wait, that's not advantageous to software and hardware vendors. The more they can sell you, the better. And after all, "newer is better", right?

I use Apple OS X Tiger on my MacBook Pro and even though Leopard has been released, I don't plan to upgrade. The only thing that would force me to upgrade is if there was some piece of software that required the newer Operating System. But thats a whole other issue altogether -- software vendors updating their software to work with newer operating systems and dropping support for the older systems. I'm discovering that a great portion of the Mac user-base tends to jump on the newest OS X, which causes developers to drop support for the previous version, ugh!

When I use vi, cat, grep, ssh, or any other Unix command, I don't wonder if they're going to be compatible with my system. I don't fear that running one of those commands will crash my entire operating system. Why? Because they're small, proven pieces of software that do their job and do it exceptionally well. That's the way software should be -- it should just work.

The comments in a recent Slashdot article prompted me to write this post. Read the comments and you'll see how many people are sick of software vendors releasing crappy software.

Plain Text E-Mail Signatures

The only thing I hate more than HTML emails are HTML email signatures. I can forgive the use of simple HTML formatting inside emails, but adding images or doing fancy things with your email signature is just ridiculous (that includes plain text fancy things!).

One of my biggest arguments for not using HTML in emails is that I believe email is designed to convey information and that formatting should not be necessary to make it happen. Where else can you practically guarantee a block of pure information other than in an email signature?

Here is the signature I use when responding to emails for my web hosting company:

Raam Dev
Owner & Systems Administrator Web Hosting

I have a couple of rules I try to follow when creating my signatures. First of all, signatures should only be 3 - 4 lines long and span a maximum of 72 characters wide. The signature should not contain your email address, since that's already found in the From field. You may include a phone number but a physical address should be reserved for your website.

The signature start indicator is a combination of three characters placed on a single line by itself. The three characters are two dashes and a space (-- ) and should be placed on a line by themselves. When an email client finds these three characters it changes the look of the signature so it appears separate from the content of the email. This makes your "information" more easily readable.

Remember, email clients have signature options built-in to help you avoid retyping a signature every time you send an email. When you design your signature, ask yourself if you would consider retyping the signature each time you send an email. If it would take you 3 minutes to retype it, then it's probably too big.

Plain Text E-Mail

I have always disliked HTML email because I have always felt that the point to an email is to convey information. Adding styles to the message (borders, backgrounds, embedded images, etc) does not help convey the information. They distract the readers attention away from the message and may even inhibit the information from being conveyed altogether (if the recipients' email client doesn't support HTML, they would see garbled HTML code mixed in with the message). Sure, sending multipart emails (both HTML and plain text) may partially solve this problem, but then you nearly double the size of your email message and end up relying on the recipents' client to support multipart messages.

The bottom line is if you're trying to convey some information, how necessary is it to have the information formatted with HTML? Any information that needs to be formatted with HTML should not be placed in an email. The formatting should be done outside of the email client in a word processor and added to the email as an attachment, preferably as a PDF document (to insure the document looks the same to the recipient as is does to you).

You could attach a Word Document or a PowerPoint presentation, but then you'd need to worry about your attachment being stripped due to restrictive mail server configurations. The recipient needs to worry about viruses embedded in the attachment (MS Word macro viruses, for example) and you'll also need to worry about the recipient being unable to read your attachment because of an incompatible version of the software (your doc file was created in Word 2007 but the recipient only has Word 97 and cannot read it!). The BBC wrote an article back in 2003 about how HTML emails are becoming more and more dangerous.

Please, send your emails in plain text.

I am including directions for sending plain text email from several common email clients. If the one you use isn't listed here, or if you're having trouble configuring your client to send plain text email messages, please leave a comment and I will update this list. Here is another large list of email clients with directions for turning off HTML composition, as well as specific notes for each client.

Outlook Express

Tools -> Options
Click the 'Send' tab
Make sure 'Plain Text' is selected under 'Mail Sending Format'

Outlook 2000

Tools -> Options
Click the 'Mail Format' tab
In the 'Message Format' section, change 'Send in this message format' to 'Plain Text'

Note: If you're using MS Word to compose your emails, then shame on you! These plain text options won't be available to you.

Windows Live Hotmail

When composing a message, click the 'Show plain text' link to change your email from HTML to plain text:

Hotmail Plain Text

I haven't been able to find a way to make plain text the default for composing messages.


There are two places you can set composition options in Thunderbird. If you don't use multiple identities, you'll probably only need to worry about the first one.

Tools -> Account Settings
Underneath your account on the left, choose 'Composition & Addressing'
Make sure 'Compose messages in HTML format' is not selected

The second place is inside your identity settings:

Tools -> Account Settings
Select your account on the left
Choose 'Manage Identities'
Select your identity and click Edit
Choose the 'Composition & Addressing' tab
Make sure 'Compose messages in HTML format' is not selected


By default, GMail composes messages in plain text. If you see the formatting bar above the composition area, you should see a link to switch to plain text:
GMail Plain Text

Problems with Speakeasy's Billing Procedures

A couple of weeks ago, I canceled my Comcast broadband service and transferred my Speakeasy DSL service from my house in Lowell to my apartment in Cambridge. On October 4th, the DSL and VoIP service was installed and working at my apartment. When I checked my bill the other day, I was surprised to see new charges for the Lowell address:

Why am I being charged for 11/18 - 12/18? The service should have been canceled on 10/04! Apparently, Speakeasy doesn't cancel your old service when you transfer service from one location to another -- you have to specifically call to request the old account be canceled after you confirm the service has been successfully transferred to the new address. This is not what I was told on the phone when I placed the order for the transfer. I simply stated that I wanted to transfer my service and cancel service at the Lowell location. The sales rep said OK and started the transfer order. After hassling a Speakeasy sales rep and asking to speak to his manager, I managed to get a refund for the 11/18 - 12/18 charges as well as 10/04 - 11/18.

When I transferred my service back in October, I kept my existing line-speed - 1.5/384. A few hours before I discovered the discrepancy in my bill, I called Speakeasy and requested that my line-speed be increased to 6.0/768. (It's almost double the price, but I've been doing a lot of transfers lately and I need the faster speed.) When I looked at my bill a few hours after placing the request, I was surprised to see charges for 10/04 - 12/18, for the 6.0/768 service I ordered only a few hours earlier!

When I spoke to the Speakeasy sales rep, he explained the actual charges. I wasn't being charged for the 6.0/768 line-speed ($26.77 for 10/04 - 10/18, $59.28 for 10/18 - 11/18, and $59.28 for 11/18 - 12/18). Speakeasy always charges for the first two months on a new install, so these charges made sense once the sales rep explained them to me. What was throwing me off was the line-speed: 6.0/768. The sales rep admitted there was a bug in the billing software which caused the package name on the bill to change when you upgrade your line-speed. That goes to show how such a bug can lead to so much misunderstanding.

But in the end, I'm happy with the outcome. The Speakeasy sales rep was very helpful. He even called me back to give me the final refund total and send me an email with that information as well. As usual, I'm very happy with Speakeasy's service. My new line-speed is nice:

Download Speed: 5179 kbps (647.4 KB/sec transfer rate)
Upload Speed: 646 kbps (80.8 KB/sec transfer rate)