What I’ve Read This Week (February 22 2021 to February 28 2021)

After a long while of not doing these kind of posts on this blog I have decided to bring these back in an endeavour to write blog posts more often and also as a way to actually read more writing on the web. For a while now, my unread queue on Pinboard has been an article graveyard where I add a post and then weeks go by before I just mark it as read instead of actually reading the post. Obviously, this is a terrible habit so I am going to break it by doing these posts. Fingers crossed this will be something I stick with going forward.

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Bell Canada should peer at Canadian IXes

My home ISP for a few years now has been Bell Canada. More specifically their FTTH (Fibre To The Home) service. For the most part this has been quite good and reliable.

However there has been one thing that has bothered me over the years about Bell Canada’s network. It is their tendency to not peer or have a presence at local large Canadian IXes (Internet eXchanges) like TorIX. I am picking TorIX here as an example because its the one most relevant to me personally. As far as I can tell from the publicly available information, Bell Canada does not peer at any Canadian IXes.

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TV Show Review: The Mandalorian

I recently obtained access to a Disney Plus account and one of the shows that multiple people recommended I watch was The Mandalorian.

So this past weekend I started watching it and I finished both seasons in that single weekend. I am not much of a Star Wars fan and going into this I didn’t have any particular expectations. I enjoyed it a great deal.

The characters were all very interesting. I especially adore The Child, so cute. I don’t watch Westerns but I picked up the Western elements in the show. They were well executed. The Mandalorian as a character was very well done and well characterized for someone who’s face we do not see for most of the show. Commendations to Pedro Pascal for a wonderful performance.

One of my most favourite aspects of the show is that there is no filler. The episodes are as long as they need to be and there are no wasted bits. I was enraptured the whole way through. The show balances its seriousness with some lighthearted humour in a way that more shows of this nature should be taking notes from.

As for the Star Wars aspect, it was essentially just set dressing for me. The show is quite enjoyable for someone like me who has little to no knowledge of Star Wars lore or canon. If you are a huge Star Wars nerd I imagine all the little details are a treat. The show never overdoes it with lore exposition, it explains only what is needed and I appreciate that.

One of the better action sci-fi shows I have watched in a while. If you have a Disney Plus subscription, I would recommend it you give it a watch. If you don’t, I would say its worth getting a subscription just for this show.

Verdict: This is The Way. I have spoken.

Account Walls

Screenshot from a blog post page on Medium showing a nag to read the rest of the post with a free account.

I am going to start calling this kind of nag from a website a account wall. This particular example is from a post on Medium which I cannot read without signing up for a Medium account. Why? Well as it always is its for “””engagement””” reasons, signing up for an account makes you more likely to “””engage””” with the service. It means they can possibly send spam you notifications and try to upsell you some subscription service.

Folks, please stop using Medium for your blog posts, go sign up for a WordPress.com account instead so your readers don’t get barraged with Medium’s incessant attempts to increase “””engagement”””.