Configuring Prosody for iOS and Chatsecure Push

I’m one of those people who run their own XMPP server because I like my privacy. In my case I use Prosody and by default it communicates directly with the client apps such as ‘Conversations’ or ‘Pix-Art Messenger’ on Android. Unfortunately, iOS is much less cooperative and in the name of power saving, cuts the connection to clients a few minutes after they have gone to the background. Sending messages to these clients then requires the use of Apple’s push service to wake up the client app, e.g. the Chatsecure app, so it can pull the message from the server. So how is that done in practice?

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Number of Subscribers per LTE Base Station

Back in 2016 I wrote an article in which I calculated the number of users that are served by an LTE base station site. I made my calculations based on the number of base station sites and subscribers in Germany that are publicly available. My conclusion was that an LTE base station site serves about 750 subscribers. A few days ago I came across this presentation by Nokia given at Aalto university in October 2018 which has interesting numbers on this topic as well.

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Book Review: The Man Behind The Microchip

Book Cover - The Man Behind the MicrochipFurther and further back I go to find out why things in computing today are the way they are. The latest book I have read on computing history is actually a bit away from computing and is about the development about the transistor, microchips and finally, microprocessors. One person that significantly stands out in this story is Robert Noyce and Leslie Berlin’s book ‘The Man Behind The Microchip‘ is a fascinating biography of a man who’s ideas have changed the world in a big way with something very little.

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Reaching Almost 600 Mbit/s with 802.11ac

Back in October 2016, I ran my first Wifi 802.11ac speed measurement at home. At my desk with one wall between me and the Wifi Access point plus a nasty corner, I could get up to 368 Mbit/s versus a ‘measly’ 70 Mbit/s with my 802.11n based Lenovo X230 notebook I had at the time. What I didn’t do back then was to note the top speed I could get when I was closer to the Wifi access point. Now that I’ve upgraded to a Lenovo X250 with an 802.11ac Wifi card built-in and supporting access points popping-up in many places, it was time to see what the practical maximum could be.

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Book Review: For We Are Many

A couple of weeks ago I got away very impressed and entertained by ‘We are Bob‘, a crazy story about a programming whiz kid that gets run over by a car and waking up a hundred years into the future, not in his own body, but as a replicant in a sophisticated computer. He’s then pressed to become the brain of an ‘unmanned’ interstellar probe and leaves the solar system just before mankind is about to blow itself up. And that was just the beginning of the story. I very much enjoyed it so I couldn’t wait to read the second part of the trilogy by Dennis Taylor ‘For We Are Many’.

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Price Cap For Calling to Other EU Countries Comes Into Effect Tomorrow!

I was quite surprised when I read that tomorrow, in an attempt to further push the single EU telecommunication market, a cap will come into effect for fixed and mobile phone calls from a user’s home country to other EU countries. I was aware that debates about this were going on but I had no idea this was already decided. How could I have missed that!?

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Sailing Straight Past Gopher To The Web in 1994

Web page from 1994
Fraunhofer IPA Web page, scrennshot taken 28 September 1994

In the early days when the Internet was about to get popular, i.e. in the early to mid-1990s, there were several novel approaches to search and find information. The first to reach a wider audience in the early-1990s was  ‘Gopher‘, a program and protocol to ‘surf the Internet’ and the accompanying ‘Veronica‘ search-engine. It was in the mid-1990s when I used the Internet for the first time but I only vaguely remember Gopher and Veronica. When I recently saw this toot on Mastodon that lead to a great article on Gopher and this video on Youtube from 1995, it started to dawn on me how narrowly I missed the Gopher hype at the time and sailed right past it to the World Wide Web.

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Book Review: Only Human

I usually don’t write about books of which I did not quite enjoy and thus I would not have written about ‘Only Human‘ by Sylvain Neuvel if I had not written about the two earlier books of the trilogy ‘Sleeping Giants‘ and ‘Waking Gods‘ before. I already noted in the first blog entry on the trilogy, I don’t very much enjoy dystopian science fiction. After reading the first book, things were still o.k., the story line about discovering a huge robot from another world and making it work again was incredibly good science fiction. Things already changed in the second part as more robots appear and things got much less peaceful but I was hoping for some more utopia rather than dystopia in the final part of the trilogy.

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How To Tether When Library Wifi is Poor

Band Selection for TetheringIn this day and age it rarely happens that I’m in libraries with poor Internet access. In most cases, library officials have recognized the signs of the times and installed a usable Eduroam Wifi network on their premises. The University of Vienna is a good example. But there are unfortunate exceptions as well. One of those is the Library in the Centre Georges Pompidou. It’s a great place to study in the center of Paris, used by thousands of people at any time. They have a great selection of books as well as video and audio content, no doubt about it. When it comes to Internet access for online research, however, it’s rather a place not to be unless you have a trick or two up your sleeve.

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