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Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.

One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.


Here's a tip which I was embarrassingly unaware of - if you've upgraded to ADSL2+, without upgrading your line filter - you may be losing out on the speed boost you should be getting! ADSL2+ filters are compliant with the ADSL2+ standard, AS/ACIFS041 (2005). If you're interested in finding out the difference between the older ADSL standard and this one, there's an interesting Whirlpool post on the subject here. Netcomm's channel manager Rochelle White tells us that using an old ADSL filter can strip out 2/3 of your ADSL2+ speed, as well as causing static on the line or even causing your internet to disconnect when the phone rings. She warns that many ISPs are still shipping old filters, even when selling ADSL2+ networking equipment. Netcomm ISP partner Exetel is now shipping Netcomm ADSL2+ equipment with Netcomm's Netcomm EM1550B ADSL2 line filter. And, as of 3 weeks ago, you can also buy Netcomm's EM1550 ADSL2+ Splitter-Filter off the shelf through Harvey Norman and Officeworks for $27. It's not just Netcomm who are in on the act though. Netgear's Andrew Trickett advised us that they're shipping ADSL2+ filters with all ADSL2+ product, and if you buy Netgear through an Optus ADSL2+ package, you'll get *two* filters. I don't recall *ever* getting a new line filter in the box with a modem or router (maybe because I buy retail rather than through an ISP) - I've been using the same old one for years. I just googled my current filter and it's marked as "obsolete" on the vendor's website - and when I doubled checked, it turns out it is an ADSL filter, not ADSL2+. oops. :) I'll be upgrading that today!

Thanks for the tip, Rochelle!


My fellow anal gadget owners will nod in understanding when they read this: The right power strip plug arrangement is essential for anyone with a few energy-sucking peripherals at their workspace. The rest of you shaking your heads, let me make my case. My cordless workspace includes a 12-outlet power strip mounted to the back of the desk, which is awesome. What's not so awesome is that the oft-unplugged plugs weren't easy to get to, and devices that I need always on (like the Wi-Fi router) made it impossible to just cut the power on my whole rig on shutdown in the interest of saving energy. Did I mention I had no way to tell what plug was what? Here's how I perfected the setup.