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October 12, 2007

Comments

The internet is becoming less and less useful for us folks who can't afford broadband.

We seem less and less to exist. Folks don't even think of explaining what they're talking about, to us poor people.

I wave my hands. Us folks who can't afford broadband should just figure out what the topic is by deduction, I guess.

My guess is that it has to do with Americans.

"...but everyone should check out Dahlia Lithwick's foray into animation."

Which is to say, everyone can't. Jeebus, does this not even occur to you folks who can pay for this stuff?

What are you paying for dialup monthly?

There is a basic ATT/Yahoo package with 768 down speed including a free modem for 14.99 a month.

This PC has sound but is so over age that videos turn into slideshows and the sound is hacked to pieces.
The PC at home is fast enough but has no sound.
The band may be broad enough most of the time but the neck is bottled otherwhere ;-)

Sheesh, Novakant, you might understand that they don't offer DSL everywhere, as it requires excess, already installed phone lines, and in good shape, too. DSL is utterly unavailable across wide stretches of the country.

I, for instance, had to suffer years with dialup that went out when it rained, until a wireless company put up a tower in a nearby town.

The antenna to connect to it had to be 40 feet in the air, that mast wasn't cheap.

To add a secondary point, my wife is no morning person, so I surf mornings with the sound shut off.

Why, even a third point: Text can be read at the reader's own pace, which is substantially faster than spoken in most cases.

Text: It works.

It's only since I bought a new laptop (which was a couple of months ago) that I was ever able to watch videos online - unless I was working late and the video was guaranteed OK for my work Internet connection.

The video is pretty funny, Gary. You might go see if your public library has a fast enough connection.

Brett, I listen with iPod buds plugged into the computer.

, I thought the video was an actual documentary just in animation rather than film.

Looked pretty believeable to me.

Gary, I do understand. It was only 3 months ago I went from dialup to broadband.

It would have taken me at least 30 minutes to download this thing, if it even worked then.

Well, I thought I remembered Gary was living in one of the bigger cities, but might be wrong - anyway, my post was only intended to be helpful, because I remember the horrible dialup days too.

Cheers

I'm not positive, but I think Gary might actually be my Grandma Ethel.

Q: How many Jewish grandmothers does it take to change a light bulb?

A: None. "Oh, I don't mind the dark..."

Oy, the guilt!

That wasn't nearly as entertaining as I thought it was going to be, tho Dick Cheney has apparently lost alot of weight.

Anyone else have an adolescent chuckle at the line "Dick's in your hands now"?

Gary Farber: The internet is becoming less and less useful for us folks who can't afford broadband.

This is true (and has been true for years now), but I'm surprised something like this would be such a trigger point for frustration. It's a funny little bit of animation, but it's not anything earthshaking, and you can get the gist of it from the post's title (assuming your first thought is Jack Bauer, not Gary Bauer). Personally, I'd save most of that angst for all the godawful websites out there that require you to have Flash to even view basic content like text and images. To say nothing for what Flash overload does for usability, even if you have broadband.

Good animated short, though Gromit is right that once you see the joke about Scalia acting as if he's on 24, there's not much else to it.

lame

The one good part is the snark about Scalia's main sources for inspiration being the immortal wisdom of the founders, and Fox Entertainment Network.

"Well, I thought I remembered Gary was living in one of the bigger cities, but might be wrong"

Boulder, Colorado, a university town, and DSL is available, if you pay for it.

Apologies for my burst of middle of the night frustration. It comes out when I don't keep a hammerlock on it.

If anyone has $20/month to spare, and finds that painless, feel free to use the "subscription" option at my blog to sign up for donating that, and my getting broadband will be more of an option. (Hey, if it's so casually unimportant, after all.)

But I'm getting rather panic-y at the sight of my running out of rent and living money in December, or January, at present, so overall I'm not in a happy place at present, I'm afraid. That tends to spill. Apologies.

OT: Al Gore's trophy shelf is starting to get crowded.

I got $10 that says Scalia's downloaded this to his own Ipod.

Europe is almost all (allegedly low cost) broadband now. The governments decided it was a needed technological advance. Here, you need to depend on Comcast or Verizon or whoever. They are slow to implement these capital improvements because they have to pay all those CEO bonuses.

Somehow it reminds me of how the domestic steel industry and now the automakers crawled their way into the future.

Europe is almost all (allegedly low cost) broadband now. The governments decided it was a needed technological advance.

Yet another area in which we (the US) are missing the boat through an unwillingness to make public investments in infrastructure. Or think strategically in any way as regards our own economic development.

This is off topic, but Mudge's comments remind me of the points made here.

We (the US) are living off of investments (of all kinds) that our parents and grandparents made. We still think of ourselves as rich because we can buy a lot of stuff, but a lot -- way too much -- of that is on borrowed money. In almost every area, we're resting on the laurels of a generation or more ago.

I could go on (and on, and on) but I think everyone can provide their own laundry list(s) of examples.

We have, what, about 143 people running for President right now. Is anyone talking about this?

Thanks -

Actually, I concluded that the company providing local phone service wasn't investing in the new land lines necessary for DSL for the simple reason that landlines to private homes are going obsolete; If I hadn't needed mine for the internet, I would have dropped it the moment I got a cell phone, and did drop it once I got the wireless broadband.

They're the owners of a legacy infrastructure that's doomed in the relatively near term; The only rational course of action is to spend as little as possible on maintaining it while extracting what little profit they can before closing up shop and selling the wire for scrap prices.

Just watched the video. Heh. It is pretty funny.

"Europe is almost all (allegedly low cost) broadband now. The governments decided it was a needed technological advance.

Yet another area in which we (the US) are missing the boat through an unwillingness to make public investments in infrastructure."

One of the few good things Philly's Mayor Street did in his nearly 8 years in office was to have the whole city wired for Wi-Fi internet. Critics have complained loudly about the cost, but I think this will prove to have been worth it many times over in the next few decades.

BREAKING: SCOTUS Declares Bush the Nobel Peace Prize Winner

To some extent, (And this isn't an advantage I'm eager to share!) Europe has 'benefited' from periodically destroying it's infrastructure in murderous wars, forcing them to repeatedly rebuild it. While we've got phone lines in use that were personally laid by Bell... I think in large measure we're suffering from the sclerosis that comes from domestic stability.

Even though I do have broadband, I share a fair amount of Gary's annoyance at stuff like this. I use an RSS reader precisely because I prefer more control over the formatting of the text I read, and having video links embedded in it nullifies a significant portion of the point.

Why is it so damn hard to just put in a link to something the poster finds funny? I've had this same clip re-downloaded for me three times now because three different people just had to stick the whole thing into their own weblogs, and I just don't get it. If it is more than a few not-huge pictures, it should be a link, not an embedding.

Brett: Why, even a third point: Text can be read at the reader's own pace, which is substantially faster than spoken in most cases.

Text: It works.

Agreed. (Not that I mind bloggers linking to non-text material, but I do prefer it to be a link or below the fold, and for the point of the post to be available in the text of the post, with all non-text materials merely providing decoration.)

landlines to private homes are going obsolete

That's wrong. If you want cheap broadband coverage for everybody, you will have to do it through landlines, because it's the cheapest and easiest way to achieve it. This is the way it's been done in Germany quite a while ago and in the UK more recently. The landline based coverage in the UK is now somewhere around 98% and that was achieved in a rather short period of time.

What you also need is government regulation, to break up the monopolies of the providers.

While most broadband in the UK is still dependent in one way or another on BT, they're obligated to lease their lines to resellers, so that in the UK you can now choose among some 50 different providers all competing for price. Also, the EU and Ofcom issued regulatory directives that favoring Local Loop Unbundling further decreasing the dependence on BT and increasing competition.

But all of this has only been possible by gradually building on the good old landline infrastructure, simply because almost everybody has such a line and they're cheaply and easily converted. Cable comes in second but will always be limited for obvious reasons. Close to nobody uses satellite and it sure isn't going to be the backbone for broadband for many years to come.

Tom the Dancing Bug has already done the same schtick, but actually funny (and it's dial-up friendly). Do a ctrl+f search for "Scalia" to find them all.

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