Monthly Archives: October 2009

Laptops Are Easier on Cellular Network Usage than Smartphones

It’s no secret that cellular providers price-gouge and under-deliver, but apparently they’re not well informed on what devices are worse for their networks. Ars Technica reports that smartphones use up to eight times more cellular capacity as laptops, based on a recent study by mobile internet provider Airvana.

“While a smartphone user downloads a fraction (typically 1/25th) of the data consumed by a laptop user, the signaling load produced by the smartphone user is much higher and in fact one third of the laptop user on average,” wrote Airvana. “In other words, while it takes 25 smart phones to equal the data throughput from one laptop, it only takes three smart phones to equal the signaling network impact of one laptop (25/3 ≈ 8x).”

The basic idea is that a cellphone does a lot of polling, making various checks and requests as long as the device is on, and most people leave their phone on pretty much all day.

Providers of cellular internet service traditionally have charged steep rates in order to have service for your laptop, and then cap your transfer at an almost unusable level. For instance, the $60/month “DataConnect” plan from AT&T “includes 5 GB of data,” meaning you will pay rather pricey overage rates if you download more than 5GB of data in a month. Unless all you do is check your email, and maybe do some light web surfing, you’re going to blow through that limit pretty quick. (And if you don’t do much more than that, it’s pretty hard to justify paying $60/month for mobile internet service for your laptop.) You’d better make sure your operating system or applications don’t run any software updates, otherwise you’re probably screwed.

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WordPress’s WPDB Class

WordPress has a class, $wpdb, that contains several useful functions for manipulating the database. (The $wpdb object is a global variable that WordPress automatically creates.) This is used throughout the core, and by plugin and theme developers to easily run custom MySQL operations. It…

BlogBuzz October 17, 2009 is the Top URL Shortener

According to Mashable, is the most-used URL shortener, having passed up the aging TinyURL in terms of traffic. But didn’t we already know that? They’re the default shortener for Twitter, they’re the least likely to close their doors (for reasons of funding and…

Beyond Super Cache: W3 Total Cache

Donncha O Caoimh’s WP Super Cache plugin has become very popular in the WordPress community, especially with bloggers with medium-traffic blogs on shared hosting plans. But what if you’re running on your own server, be it VPS, dedicated, or something else along those lines?…

Quotes on Design

Here’s a neat project of Chris Coyier’s that I had forgot about: Quotes on Design. Basically it displays a random design-related quote, and you can load more by pressing the AJAX-ified “Get Another!” button. You can submit ones you like, and search for ones…

How to Create a Basic “Retweet This” Link

Are you looking to create a simple link to retweet a page, but you don’t need a fancy Tweetmeme counter with it? Try something like this: When clicked, it takes the visitor to Twitter, where it fills-in the update box for you. Just be… URL Shortener to Close

Hey, remember the epic saga of announcing they were going to close, then deciding that they weren’t going to after all? The sequel has arrived! The shortener is shutting down now, though they’re handling it much better. You’ll be able to export…

BlogBuzz October 10, 2009

Cufón JavaScript Font Replacer

Cufón is a neat font-replacement script that has been gaining popularity of late. It’s easy to set up, and works in modern browsers, and IE6+. To use a custom font on a web page, you first run a TTF or OTF font file through…