3rd trick on dd-wrt on FIOS

As soon as I went to work the home network dropped off the internet, wouldn’t you know it. It turns out that was the time the old lease ran out, and it wanted my router to ask for it again. As I’d configured it to static to deal with their lease issue, no such luck.

Fixing it when I got home taught me another lesson, it’s actually really important to clone the MAC address as well of the old router. With the original MAC address in place I couldn’t get a DHCP lease. With a clone of the FIOS router, all was good.

The 2 tricks to installing your own dd-wrt router on FIOS

I finally got around to installing my own wireless router on my FIOS network, a Linksys e2100L with dd-wrt installed on it. After the router is setup (that’s beyond the scope of this post) there are 2 tricks to make this work.

First, Verizon FIOS gives out really long dhcp leases, and doesn’t want to give them up. So you need to not only clone the MAC address for your router, but actually set it to the ip addresses that your old router was given. I’m told that after about 2 weeks you’ll be able to start using DHCP again, but you can’t for the switch over.

Secondly, you have to set the upstream MTU. Presumably Verizon is doing some VLAN tagging, which would explain why your IP addresses can jump all over the place after a major network change on their side. 1496 should be a safe value, and it looked like it worked, but I left mine down at 1450, for no good reason other than superstition. This was the trick I was missing before, and since I’ve been dealing with bizarre networking issues at work recently the idea was still floating around in my brain.

It’s now working, and my port forwarding is setup enough that I can do any fixes I need remotely via vpn.

Google Chrome 9 for Linux

I realized last night at our replacement MHVLUG dinner that I was the only one there who was still using Firefox on Linux. Everyone else was on the Chrome bandwagon. And that’s where I thought it would stay, until Chrome 9 came out today.

Yes, Chrome is faster, and doesn’t die on javascript randomly, but the thing that pushed me over the edge was the fact that Google bothered to support WebGL on Linux with the release. I loaded it up to test and found the WebGL demos ran with barely any CPU usage. Ok, I’m sold for now. It’s my new default browser, and we’ll see if it sticks this time.

Planets, Planets everywhere

The Kepler mission dumped another 3 months worth of data into the public yesterday, which brings their candidate planet list up to 1200 right now. It’s clear by the rate of finding candidates vs. confirmations, that most of the confirmations of real planets here are going to come from other teams. What’s most important is the density of these signals. This represents 1/400th of the sky, and is proving out that planets are everywhere, and are vastly more varied than we ever imagined.

Kepler uses planetary transits to see there is something there, so it can only detect solar systems whose disc is pointed right at us.

This means that they are only able to find a small fraction of the the possible systems out there, which makes the number of candidates even more impressive.

As you keep slicing that data down they eventually got to this slide:

Yes, that’s 54 candidates which exist in a temperature range that could be habitable. While one might dismiss the giants for a moment, remember that they could very well have moons that were earth sized, which would put those moons in the habitable zone. I’ve got to imagine the race is on big time to get confirmation on these targets.

Lastly, they had a new confirmed solar system, with 6 planets, all within the orbit of Venus.

These 6 planets are all in the super earth category, which makes some of them definitely rocky.

All in all some really impressive stuff. You can learn lots more about all of it at the Keppler Mission site, where they’ve also got some great videos on how this all works.

Happy Imbolic

Ever wonder where Groundhog day comes from? Notice that it’s about 1/2 way to Spring?

We are now halfway between the Winter Solstice (December 21) and the Vernal or Spring Equinox (March 20).  It’s called a cross-quarter day is known as Imbolc (or some variation of that spelling) in the Celtic world  It’s also a modern Neopagan celebration and part of the Wheel of the Year.

Imbolc is most commonly celebrated on February 2 (same as Groundhog Day and Candlemas on the Christian calendar) but it actually occurs, according to the position of the Sun on the ecliptic, at 11:20 pm EST on Thursday, February 3 this year.

This cross-quarter day has been known since antiquity – a 5,000 year-old Neolithic passage tomb at the Hill of Tara in County Meath, Ireland has an alignment with sunrise on Imbolc.  The word Imbolc comes from the Celtic i mbolg or “in the belly” referring to pregnant ewes who soon give birth to spring lambs.  It was viewed as the start of spring (even though snow may yet be on the ground), a time for weather prognostication, and to watch for animals emerging from their winter dens (sound familiar?  Groundhog Day has its roots in similar Germanic pagan beliefs).

Read the rest over at Hudson Valley Geologist.