iPhone location data

Much has been made today about the fact that iPhones evidently collect some location data and store it in your backup files. I’ve only had my iPhone for a few weeks so it might be interesting to see what it’s collected so far.

All the location data for my phone
This is all the data on my phone. Although I’ve driven to Ithaca and back with the GPS on, and driven around Rochester with the GPS on, the data seems far too regular and grid like to correspond to anywhere I’ve actually been. There is a cluster of points in and around the town of Auburn NY, even though I haven’t been nearer than about 10 miles from there. There is a small smattering of points along the route between Rochester and Ithaca, but not what you’d call a smoking gun showing where I’ve been.

Zoomed in on Rochester
Here I’ve zoomed in on Rochester, and I defy you to find some correlation between the position or size of those dots and where I’ve been since buying the phone, especially where I live.

The regularity of the grid makes me think that either the iPhone data or the analysis program is doing some sort of grouping of the data into regular intervals. Either way, I’m not sweating this.

Assembling the KayakPro Speedstroke Gym

I got the Speedstroke on Tuesday and I started to assemble it. I didn’t finish it on Tuesday, and because I had to spend Wednesday night in Ithaca, I had to wait to tonight to finish.

I started assembling it with the guide that came in the box with it.

First impressions: The erg goes together really easily. It’s very well designed for easy assembly. The quality of construction was absolutely amazing. Everything is built to extremely tight tolerances and it all just fits together without having to bend anything apart or crimp it back together. Ikea could learn a lot about precision from these guys. So could the manufacturers of all my kayaks. I love the fact that almost all the screws and bolts are already screwed and bolted into where they are going to go – no more hunting around in various bags and trying to match up part numbers, just unbolt it, bring over the part that’s going to be bolted to it, and bolt it together again.

That was great until I got to the bit where you start threading the ropes and bungies, at which point the manual *sucks*. Fortunately Kayakpro had sent me a link to a different assembly manual, and this one went into way more detail regarding the ropes. With nice clear close-ups of the individual pulleys everything was just as clear and easy as the original assembly. Within a few minutes I had everything assembled and ready to paddle. And another link they gave me described setting up the built in computer and how to calibrate it.

I got on and paddled for about 150 to 200 metres, which was where I felt the barest twinge of pain so I stopped.

There was only one small niggle. I could not for the life of me found any description of how to set up the strap that controls the foot brace position. Fortunately I’ve paddled a few of this model of erg so I could figure it out pretty well. Oh, and one other thing – they tell you not to extend the paddle any wider than the “maximum” width, but they don’t clarify whether that means with the paint marks showing or not showing.

As It Happens

I’m listening to the CBC “As It Happens” podcast. Because it’s a podcast, I’m not sure if some or all of the stories are “April Fools” jokes. But one of the stories is about His Imperial Majesty Steven Harper only deigning to answer 5 questions a day while on the campaign trail, and I immediately thought of a particular scene in “The Simpsons”.

  • Will you really only answer 5 questions a day?
  • Yes.
  • Really?
  • Yes.
  • Just 5 and that’s it?
  • Yup.
  • No matter what happens that day?
  • Yes.
  • Every day?
  • Yes.
  • So what about those tax cuts?
  • Thank you, come again.

Continuing Saga, last (I hope) episode

Continued from here. I got the disks out to the colo facility, and swapped them in. At first, things didn’t come up right because it didn’t have a network. Funny, because I’d remembered to fix /etc/network/interfaces and /etc/resolv.conf back to the values they need in the colo facility before I’d shut down at home. Grepping through the dmesg results showed that for some reason, eth0 had been renamed to eth2 and eth1 had been renamed to eth3. Something tickled my memory about the last time I’d been through this – it remembered the MAC addresses on the machine you set it up on, so when it boots the new machine it thinks “aha, I already know where eth0 and eth1 are, so these new MAC addresses need to be mapped somewhere else”. Unfortunately my own blog was down, so I couldn’t find what I’d written about this before, but a quick google on my iPhone and I removed /etc/udev/rules.d/70-persistent-net.rules, and rebooted, and it all came up.

Made sure I was talking to the net, and I could ssh into it from home, and then started up the guest domains. Made sure they were up and talking to the net as well. Made sure one of my web sites showed up on my iPhone. Buttoned up and went home.

Once I got home, I made some further checks that everything was up. As far as I can tell, it is. Now to run tiobench on the updated system.

Let’s have a look at some of these compared to the results I got with the Caviar Green disks running on the same hardware.

Test Old New
Sequential Read best rate 44.49 168.26
Random Read best rate 0.39 1.37
Read Max Latency 1036.44 743.22
Sequential Write best rate 10.36 82.46
Random Write best rate 0.09 1.76
Write Max Latency 143896.67 1748.55

Basically the huge latency will be the biggest difference. I don’t know if that’s because of the WD Caviar Green “spin down” or because there were disk errors, but either way, it’s going to be a relief to see some performance again.

Raw results after the cut.
Continue reading “Continuing Saga, last (I hope) episode”