The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Friday, November 06, 2009

I never really thought about website being available via IPv6

So I'm trying to view a website (via Bunny via email) and it's not coming up at all under the Mac. It's just a blank page.

It comes up under Linux, but since I don't have speakers hooked up to that computer, watching the video (“Deer for breakfast, anyone?” in Texas—it's not what you think) would be “suboptimal” as they say.

I then try my standard diagnostic technique in such cases. From the command line, I telnet to the offending website and see what I get:

[spc]marvin:~>telnet 80
Trying 2a00:d00:ff:131:94:228:131:131…

Oh! That's interesting!

marvin (the Mac) is trying to use IPv6 to connect to the site.

Ah! That's right! I was playing around with IPv6 several days ago on the local network here at Chez Boca and I configured Firefox to try connecting via IPv6 if possible. Turning that option off brought the site up immediately.

But! That also explains the difficulties I've been seeing in one of the sites I check daily: The Devil's Panties (think of it as a semi-fictionalized illustrated blog that presents itself as a webcomic). It was taking an inordinate amount of time to come up for the past several days and I kept thinking it was due to a network issue at Keenspot.

Nope—it was my browser attempting to connect to the IPv6 address first.

I think it's cool that there are sites responding to IPv6. I wonder how many more of them exist?

Technologically enhanced synaesthesia

“It was slightly strange at first,” Wächter says, “though on the bike, it was great.” He started to become more aware of the peregrinations he had to make while trying to reach a destination. “I finally understood just how much roads actually wind,” he says. He learned to deal with the stares he got in the library, his belt humming like a distant chain saw. Deep into the experiment, Wächter says, “I suddenly realized that my perception had shifted. I had some kind of internal map of the city in my head. I could always find my way home. Eventually, I felt I couldn't get lost, even in a completely new place.”

Then he brought out his SOES, a mesh of hard-shell plastic, elastic, and Velcro that fit over my arms and torso, strung with vibrating elements called tactile stimulators, or tactors. “The legs aren't working,” Schnell said, “but they never helped much anyway.”

Flight became intuitive. When the plane tilted to the right, my right wrist started to vibrate—then the elbow, and then the shoulder as the bank sharpened. It was like my arm was getting deeper and deeper into something. To level off, I just moved the joystick until the buzzing stopped. I closed my eyes so I could ignore the screen.

Finally, Schnell set the simulator to put the plane into a dive. Even with my eyes open, he said, the screen wouldn't help me because the visual cues were poor. But with the vest, I never lost track of the plane's orientation. I almost stopped noticing the buzzing on my arms and chest; I simply knew where I was, how I was moving. I pulled the plane out.

Via Jason Kottke, Wired 15.04: Mixed Feelings

The topic just keeps coming up.

It's an interesting article about extending our senses into realms we aren't accustomed to, such as an innate ability to tell North, or feeling our way through righting an airplane. Forget about making our lives easier, the tools mentioned in the article give us abilities we don't even have! Tools? Crutches? Very hard to say.

And The Question gets deeper yet …

The world's best bike shed

For Wlofie, an automated bicycle garage. It's a pretty cool concept, although it looks to be rather expensive to install.

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