I don't think it's a secret that we're staying with our current ISP primarily out of spite. We've got DSL, delivered through copper wires, and AT&T does not want to do that anymore. They keep begging us to switch to fiber optic, but since fiber optic won't actually deliver any higher speed, we're holding out on copper so they have to keep maintaining those wires. Besides, the real problem is that since we're in a working-class neighborhood with a lot of rental properties they don't want us as customers and want to shove us off on someone else, which is surely why we can't get any faster service by fiber optic.
They seem to be aware we'd dump them except for the hassle of getting a replacement, probably cable, installed, and because it'd be a sentimental pity for the old Ameritech e-mail address to die. The past week, particularly, the Internet's been sluggish and while an annoyed call to their help line --- the one with a voice menu system that could not understand what I said, even though I have the lightest New Jersey accent known to humanity --- helped with the speed in the same ways that turning the modem off and on would have done, it hasn't helped reliability any. We've been losing connections a couple times a night and that gets old really fast.
When this happened in the past the eventual excuse AT&T delivered was that wind was blowing on wires, which makes sense because wind is the traditional enemy of electromagnetism. Conceivably since the weather is finally warming up and Michigan is flooding this is behind some or all of our current problems, and a week or two will let things naturally clear up. Or we'll just have more of this.
Trivia: Brooklyn's 8 April 1834 charter, incorporating it as a city, forbade the city government from regulating the price of any commodity except bread, and prohibited it from infringing on any chartered rights of the City Corporation of New York. Source: Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898, Edwin G Burrows, Mike Wallace.
Currently Reading: Dimensional Methods and their Applications, Charles M Focken.
PS: Reading the Comics, March 10, 2015: Shapes Of Things Edition, third mathematics post since the last roundup. In this one I talk a bit about vectors and how to describe shapes with them. As ever, these can be sent to your Friends page or your RSS reader.