It’s perfectly natural to have a crush on a fictional character

…but there’s a very fundamental problem with such one-sided love affairs that never occurred to me before today: unless you’re in love with HAL 9000, there’s a real human voice actor somehow entangled in your sick crush.

I came to the conclusion somewhere around the end of season 1 of Arakawa Under the Bridge that I was, like, majorly in love with P-ko. I’d only seen two shows that I knew of at the time in which Chiaki Omigawa had played a prominent character, P-ko from Arakawa Under the Bridge being one of them and the other being what’s-her-face from Seitokai Yakuindomo. At that point, I didn’t see the conflict, since I don’t go for sporty-types; I mainly like klutzy-types.

Mitsuba MutsumiP-koHotori Arashiyama

But watching Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru forced me to realise a strikingly basic flaw in my thinking; how do I know whether I am in love with the klutzy characters or the voice itself? Or is it a combination of the two factors? I don’t like the idea of being in love with a voice. On the other hand, I don’t have any strong objections to being in love with a fictional character. As I said, that, at least, is perfectly normal.

In order for that to work though, I need to ignore the rather glaring coincidence that the two characters this season whose klutziness continues to prove irresistibly alluring are both played by none other than Chiaki Omigawa.

It’s troubling to think that the voice actor plays any part in this sad inequality, since for all I know, Chiaki Omigawa could be a cannibal, or even worse: not clumsy. To the viewer, she’s just a name and I don’t like the idea of being in love with a living actor.

Still, it’s hard to ignore the coincidence. Maybe she should play some unappealing class representative-type characters soon so that I can prove to myself that it’s the clumsy characters I like, not the actor(s) who play them.

Also, I hit 4.0MB/s upload speed briefly the other day. Fibre optics is great.

I finally got FiOS

I can’t write a review of it yet or anything, but the installers did, in fact, come yesterday and managed, more or less, to complete the installation. I must say that these installers were some of the most professional and friendly people you could every hope to meet. To say they knew exactly what they were doing would be an understatement. I cannot praise them enough. There were four installers, which seemed like a really smart move, since three of them worked on the wiring while one of them worked on mounting and testing the ONT (which turned out to be defective, though they had extras with them).

The installers were scheduled to arrive between 8:00 AM and 12:00 PM. They arrived right on time at about 10:00 AM to look around the apartment before unloading and bringing their equipment inside. Unfortunately, Con Edison was digging up the street for some reason. Meanwhile, some other construction crew was digging up the street for an unrelated reason on the next block. It was bad timing because it meant that the Verizon installers didn’t have anywhere to park their truck. Since all of their equipment was in the truck it ended up taking an hour and a half for them to load it all up onto some handtrucks and wheel the stuff the several blocks from the truck to my building.

So if you include the time it took them to get the equipment from the truck to my place the whole installation took about 8 hours. But that’s not a complaint really, it wasn’t their fault that it took that long.

They actually finished most of what I expected to be the difficult bits of the installation in about an hour or two. That is, they ran fibre from the hole in the wall through which it enters the apartment to the place where they ONT was going to be installed. They finished that in about an hour. This was really where having four installers was a great idea, since three of them worked on running the fibre while one of them mounted the ONT, which presumably sped things up quite a bit.

Of course, I already had coax in all the rooms as well as in the hallway from Earthlink, so that also sped things up considerably (it was also cheaper since they may charge for running coax around an apartment, depending on what exactly they need to do). They actually got me a working Internet connection in only about two hours (four hours if you include the time spent waiting for them to get all their stuff into the apartment).

The rest of the time they spent doing various things, such as finding out that the ONT was somehow defective. I missed exactly how they figured that out, since the Internet connection had, at least, worked using the first one, but the guy said that one of the other installers had told him that he had performed some sort of test and that he had determined the ONT was no good. So they went ahead and got another one from the truck which was apparently working.

Once it was determined that the second ONT was working, it was just a matter of connecting it to the existing coax. Setting up the set top boxes was very easy; as soon as they were connected to the coax they did some sort of automatic activation procedure that took about ten minutes per box (had to restart that procedure for one of the boxes). I wasn’t actually required to do anything for the activation; the STBs just did it automatically without any user interaction being necessary. Afterward they all worked fine.

There are three telephone lines here. Two should be POTS and one should be what I think is called “FiOS Digital Voice”, which, to the extent that I understand it, is similar to VOIP but it never actually leaves the Verizon network, so it’s not exactly ever reaching the Internet. In any case, the digital one worked as soon as they replaced the bad ONT with the good ONT, but that’s the fax line. The two other lines are for voice calls. They didn’t work while the installers were still here. The installers said that it was not a problem with the setup here in the apartment or with the ONT but rather a bureaucratic issue that can only be fixed by someone essentially “turning on” the two telephone lines by changing some records in a database somewhere and that I should more or less just wait and see what happens. Though I was skeptical at first, the installer said to call him directly if the phone lines didn’t start working some time tomorrow (since by that point it was ~5:00 to 6:00 PM) since he could get through to the proper department that could make the fix more easily than I could. Sure enough, the phones did start working this morning. At this point the only thing that is not working is caller ID.

Now for the most important part: the speed tests. When the installer did a test using Verizon servers he got about 42Mbps downstream and I think 40Mbps upstream. Now that’s obviously amazing, but it wasn’t a proper speed test since it never left the Verizon network. Actual tests that I’ve been doing to non-Verizon servers are much lower. I like this website called Speed Guide, since it lets you look at results from other people based on hostname. So, for example, if I wanted to only see speed test results from FiOS customers in and around the New York City area, I could filter the search results to only view speed tests from people with RDNS ending in “”. It also lets you save your own speed test history, so now I can look back at my results from my ADSL connection and marvel at how I didn’t kill myself. The top six tests below were from yesterday, right after the installers left at around 6:00 PM.

FiOS Speed Test

The nwrknj tests were not done with my connection. They were done elsewhere with a 15Mbps/5Mbps connection.

So I wasn’t getting the best results even when I used the New York test server. At other speed test sites I was getting mixed results, which were often much better than my results at any of the SG servers. I got carried away and ended up taking 40 speed tests at using servers in various places around the world. I was really surprised at the 42Mbps download speed from Nuuk, Greenland.

The router they gave me was an Actiontec MI424 WR Rev. F. It seems fine so far. They even let me keep my old ADSL modem/router that they initially gave me when I got the ADSL connection, not that I have any use for it now.

Torrent upload speeds vary. I have not yet hit 4MB/s, as I should theoretically be able to do based on some of the speed test results I’m getting. I did hit 1.7MB/s upload once though. The fastest I have uploaded to a single peer so far was 800KB/s to another FiOS customer in Syracuse, NY, but I’ve also managed to upload to a few Japanese peers at a sustained ~700KB/s. I still think that I need to do some reconfiguring of my client, such as increasing the maximum number of peers I connect to per torrent and the number of upload slots per torrent.

I’m not sure how uTP will work with this router yet. It always crashed the old Westell ADSL modem/router as well as my Linksys WRT54G with DD-WRT. I haven’t gotten around to trying uTP yet since I tend to have it turned off in uTorrent by habit.

All in all, I’m really very pleased with this.

UPDATE: Oct. 20 at ~4:00 PM caller ID started working. Now there’s not a thing at all that’s not working properly.

Verizon’s TOS kind of suck

I was looking at the Verizon TOS for some reason today, I suppose to psych myself up further about my forthcoming FiOS installation, and I noticed that there are some ridiculously vague (and therefore massively prohibitive) clauses in the agreement.

For example, according to the FiOS Acceptable Use Policy, customers are not allowed to,

post off-topic information on message boards, chat rooms or social networking sites

generate excessive amounts of email or other Internet traffic

use the service in any fashion for the transmission or dissemination of images containing child pornography or in a manner that is obscene, sexually explicit, cruel or racist in nature or which espouses, promotes or incites bigotry, hatred or racism

I agree with some of the terms of that last one. Specifically, I agree that the customer ought to be required to agree not to use the Service to engage in activities of any nature at all that violate a federal, state or local law (but the customer is already made to agree not to violate the law in a different clause, so the child pornography part should have been covered by that). However, most of those things aren’t illegal. In fact, Verizon specifically states in the same agreement that the customer must agree essentially to not be a prude and blame Verizon if they accidentally come across something on the Internet or via FiOS TV that they find offensive:

You acknowledge that the Service will allow access to information which may be sexually explicit, obscene or offensive, or otherwise unsuitable for children. You agree…that Verizon is not responsible for access by you or any other users to objectionable or offensive content.

So it seems like a clear contradiction, if you ask me. On the one hand, you must acknowledge that the Service gives you access to materials that may be “obscene” to some people (which cannot be legally determined until someone actually asserts that something is “obscene”, since something is not “obscene” until it is subjected to the Miller Test, which cannot be done without a jury). Yet on the other hand, you’re not allowed to transmit “obscene” materials. In fact, the TOS are impossible to agree to, since if I agree that the Service gives me access to obscene materials, I cannot also agree that I will not “transmit” any of the “obscene” materials that the Service is giving me access to.

I think FiOS TV has the Playboy Channel if you pay extra for it. If you had a jury full of puritanical zealots from Evangelicalville, TX then I think there’s a pretty good chance they’d call it “obscene” on all three prongs of the Miller Test. They’d consider “community standards” to refer the community standards of Evangelicalville, TX, so of course it violates those. As for depicting sexual conduct in a “patently offensive” way, they’d almost certainly agree that it does (again, since they can be assumed to be a bunch of prudes). Finally, they would most likely quickly agree that it has no artistic merit. Hell, I think that under that last prong at least, most shotacon would stand a better chance than Playboy.

The “excessive amounts of email or other Internet traffic” thing is also irritating. It’s only irritating though because Verizon has this big sparkly announcement on their FiOS front page about how, unlike their nasty competitors, they don’t throttle their customers.
fios home page
But if they reserve the right to arbitrarily impose bandwidth caps on their customers without prior notification, that’s equivalent, abstractly speaking at least, to what their competitors do. At least it’s with the same intention in mind. It wouldn’t be annoying at all if Verizon would come off their high horse and be honest about it. In fact, I would even respect them quite a bit if they came right out on their TV commercials and said, “We currently offer FTTH with no throttling or bandwidth caps so you should sign up today. Be aware though that if you sign up today, we may introduce a 1GB per month transfer cap tomorrow. Then again, we may not. It’s your gamble”.

I guess the lesson here is that TOS are better left unread. Now I know that not only can I not generate “excessive traffic”, download pornography or watch it on TV, post off-topic messages on forums or message boards, or do anything, “harmful to the…Internet generally or other Internet users”, but I’m also not allowed to

exceed the bandwidth usage limitations that Verizon may establish from time to time for the Service, or use the Service to host any type of server. Violation of this section may result in bandwidth restrictions on your Service or suspension or termination of your Service.

How frightening. If I exceed my bandwidth limit the punishment is the imposition of a bandwidth limit!

In all seriousness though, I can’t fucking wait until the installation is complete. This will be one of the best days of my life.

I thought of doing this myself once

When I went ahead and bought this stupid domain name I considered using fake contact details to prevent spam and also avoid paying for “private” registration (where the domain registrar’s contact details are posted in the whois data instead of the registrant’s). But I used my real email address at least. Anyway, I know it’s common to use the postal address of your company headquarters and some email address such as [email protected] for abuse contact, instead of the actual contact information for the person who registered the domain, but I rarely have seen contact information that can properly be called fake.

In any case, this one was downright silly.
Looking at the details for the organization “DUNDER”…

Also, I can’t believe someone else already had taken “”. It must have been one of my various nemeses. If only I had had FiOS back then I’d surely have beaten that scoundrel to the punch.