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i haven't traveled in a while, so when i went on a recent trip this past week, i wasn't sure what the experience would be like in light of the recent threats in london, etc.

i had heard that 'no liquids' would be allowed on the plane.  i was only on a trip for overnight, so i just had a change of clothes and my overnight kit (which has toothpaste).  so i decided to ask if it needed to be checked...i was assured it did, so i checked it.

as i browse through the airport i see tons of people with their carry-on suitcases which surely have some type of overnight items in it?!?!  i am about to generalize, but i think it is a pretty fair assumption, but i did see several women with suitcases board a plane.  c'mon -- have you met a woman who doesn't at least have some form of gel, spray, make-up, liquid, etc. that they travel with?  i'm convinced that if i didn't ask, nobody would have said anything.

when i walked through the airport, the impact of the policy was clear as depicted in a few photos here:

Airport Security Impact 2

this is the sign posted all over the place.  i took this picture at 'the body shop' whose #1 selling product is soap:

Airport Security Impact 3

needless to say the 5 times i passed the store, not a soul was even in there -- heck the warning signs they seemingly were required to display were larger than any sale or brand sign in their entire shop.  perhaps the funniest one i saw was on all the water stands:

Airport Security Impact 4

you can see the sign right above the water sales.  yeah, i know you may want to drink it before you get on the plane, but you can see the rack is fully stocked, and nobody was buying drinks wherever i went (outside of the restaurant areas).  it was very interesting to see the impact of the security on retail within these locations.

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in writing some plugins for windows live writer i started out creating a deployment package.  first, i suck at writing installers.  i rely on tools to do it for me.  for writer plugins, it really is a simple process to ensure the plugin is installed in the right directory, that's it.

so using the visual studio 2005 package project, i went about creating my msi.  add file, put destination directory, build.  when i run the msi, it takes FOREVER.  what gives?  why does a simple operation take so long.

it frustrated me, so i gave up and went to .  simple, lean, fast.  installer runs in nanoseconds (okay, not nano, but compared to msi, it is).

so someone enlighten me...what gives with MSI and simple operations?

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the windows live writer team has just announced that they will be supporting a new section in the for writer plugins.  this is a great opportunity to get your plugins ready for primetime and ensure that you are listed in the directory.  jeff has been doing a good job keeping track, but now he won't have to worry about it :-).

submissions aren't automatic, so be sure to review the criteria.  namely, you need to ensure that you are putting them in an installer package (apparently the preferred is an MSI - more on my opinion here) and bootstrapping any .NET 2.0 installation if needed.

of course with submitting things to microsoft properties, there are things you have to agree to, so be sure to read the guidelines appropriately.  this is a pre-approval process...so be one of the first to be on the gallery!

read the announcement here:

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um, yeah. and check out some on the related videos too...

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a while back i ranted about my woes with high speed internet companies and choices.  when is a monopoly not a monopoly?  apparently when it is a utility. argh, i get frustrated thinking that i have 1 choice for electricity, 1 choice for telephone, 1 choice for gas, etc. -- argh.

anyhow, because of the cox acquisition of cableamerica and my concerns about cox services and customer service, i figured i'd jump on the opportunities presented to my by qwest dsl (higher speeds).  anyhow after some bumpy starts (i placed the order 45 days ago and it is just getting connected today.  hmmm...vision of what is to come on customer service?

anyhow, so it got connected (and i finally plugged everything in correctly -- yes, i had to open mouth, insert foot on one incident).  so here's some speed results.

i first used bandwidthplace.com for my pre-tests:

cox internet:
[using setting: cable, arizona region]
first test: 795KB/second
second test: 1.2 MB/second

then i used speakeasy.net for comparison:

cox internet:
[using los angeles location]
first test: 1215KB/second
second test: 2184KB/second

now the same tests using dsl:

qwest dsl:
[bandwidthplace.com - same settings]
first test: 2.7MB/second
second test: 3.9MB/second

[speakeasy.net - same settings]
first test: 5881KB/second
second test: 6067KB/second

wow.  i had to run a few more just for giggles...here's the results:

Download Speed: 5984 kbps (748 KB/sec transfer rate)
Upload Speed: 674 kbps (84.3 KB/sec transfer rate)

Download Speed: 6000 kbps (750 KB/sec transfer rate)
Upload Speed: 741 kbps (92.6 KB/sec transfer rate)

Download Speed: 6031 kbps (753.9 KB/sec transfer rate)
Upload Speed: 674 kbps (84.3 KB/sec transfer rate)

Download Speed: 5709 kbps (713.6 KB/sec transfer rate)
Upload Speed: 475 kbps (59.4 KB/sec transfer rate)

so it's hooked up and piped through the house now (although i have to get a dsl filter for my patch panel, which is en route)...seems to be doing fine!