From:         Patrick Crispen 
Subject:      TOURBUS - 06 JUN 2006 - 802.11n / Flash Flood


The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved

Howdy, y'all, and greetings once again from deep behind the orange curtain in beautiful Irvine, California, future home of the Orange County Great Park. Covering over 3,885 acres, the Great Park will be larger than New York City's Central Park, San Diego's Balboa Park, and San Francisco's Golden Gate Park ... combined.

See [ ] for more information. And, no, this is not a joke. Since Irvine is celebrating its 35th birthday, I figured I should tell you some REAL stuff about my hometown. But don't worry, I'll get back to making stuff up about Irvine shortly. [For example, did you know that Irvine is also the seventh planet from the Sun and has a maximum orbital speed of 7.128 kilometers per second?] On with the show...

802.11n: Wait for it! Audience: Everyone who uses wireless

If you have a laptop computer or if you have connected your Tivo or Xbox 360 to your home wireless network, you already know the joys and frustrations of "Wi-Fi," wireless networking that uses the official Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers' [IEEE] 802.11 specifications. Over the next few months you are going to hear a lot about something called "802.11n," a new wireless networking standard with maximum throughput speeds of 550 Mbit/s, 100 times faster than current 802.11b and ten times faster than current 802.11a or 802.11g wireless networks. You may even be tempted to go out and purchase a new 802.11n wireless card or router. DON'T DO IT! At least not yet.

Why? Well, the 802.11n standard DOESN'T EXIST and won't exist until July 2007 at the earliest. No, really. The only thing that exists right now is a DRAFT of what MAY eventually become a standard, but on May 2nd the IEEE 802.11 Working Group voted NOT to forward that draft on for final ratification. At least not yet. First, the Working Group has to review the TWELVE THOUSAND comments the draft has generated. After the review is complete, there is a chance the draft will be ratified without any noteworthy changes at all, there is a chance [albeit a slight chance] the draft will be extensively rewritten before it is ratified, and there is even a chance [again, albeit a slight chance] that 802.11n draft may NEVER be ratified as a standard.

Ars Technica has the full story at

Long story short: 802.11n ain't done.

Of course, that hasn't stopped computer and wireless networking manufacturers from offering "pre-N" or "Draft 802-11n" compliant networking cards and routers. My suggestion? Avoid these products like they were covered with monkey pox. There is no guarantee that any "pre-N" products you buy today will be fully upgradeable to the real 802.11n standard when [and if] it is ratified. Wait for the *REAL* 802.11n hardware to come out in 2007 ... or 2008 ... or 2009.

But that's just my opinion.

Flash Flood Audience: Everyone

On August 29, 2005, hurricane Katrina struck the southern United States causing some US$75 billion in damage and claiming the lives of 1,604 people. An additional 2,000 people are missing and presumed dead. Huge swaths of the gulf coast were destroyed, and 80% of the city of New Orleans was submerged under as much as 20 feet of water following as many as 30 breeches in the city's levee system.

Reporters at the New Orleans Times-Picayune recently created a timeline of what happened in New Orleans on the morning of Monday, August 29th, 2005, between the first levee breach at 4:30 AM and the last levee breach at 10:30 AM. You can see that timeline at

You may be asked to key in a zip code and your date of birth. [On an unrelated topic, did you know that the zip code for Cafe Du Monde is 70116 and that my beloved hometown of Irvine was founded in 1971? Oh,
the things you can learn on the internet.]

Even more compelling than the Times-Picayune's timeline is a Flash animation

that shows you what flooded and when. The animation has 14 scenes and you have to click on a special "Next" button to advance to the next scene. At the end of the 14th scene you have the option of watching the entire show again as a continuous animation.

We've all seen images of what happened in New Orleans [see and ], but watching the Times-Picayune's animation helps you understand what really happened that morning and how widespread the levee failures were.

Computer Privacy & Security Essential Training Audience: Everyone

This last stop is shameless self-promotion, but Dr. Bob asked me to send this to everyone ... so blame him. Bob thought you'd like to know that my latest video tutorial, "Computer Privacy & Security Essential Training," is now available. You can watch the first hour or so for free at

and subscribers can watch all 8 hours at the same URL. [ charges subscribers US$25 a month for unlimited access to over 12,983 professionally produced Windows and Macintosh compatible QuickTime video clips from over 190 movie-based tutorials. You can find a complete list of's tutorials at ]

I created my "Computer Privacy & Security Essential Training" tutorial for home users. The tutorial covers topics ranging from firewall essentials to wireless security essentials to patch management essentials ... and so on. The PC screen capture videos were created with Camtasia Studio and the Mac screen capture videos were created with Snapz Pro. All of the videos were recorded in a sound booth at the studios in Ojai, CA, while I was on vacation in late December.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy my tutorial. Let me know what you think. Have a safe and happy week, and we'll talk again soon.

           .~~~.  ))
(\__/)  .'     )  ))       Patrick Douglas Crispen
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  `~  -' \    } ))    AOL Instant Messenger: Squirrel2K
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The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved
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