Thursday, June 3, 2010

Rant: Bandwidth

Of late I’ve been mulling the “price per bit” over time (not in depth, nothing to show for the thoughts yet). The price has plummeted. Where we used to treasure every byte received, we now have a “cloud” serving vast piles of data which we give a scant glance then discard.
With this iPad thingie, I moved an average of 10kb/sec all last month – one bit every 0.0001 seconds. Small wonder AT&T is throttling users on the large-but-limited bandwidth 3G network. They’re getting $0.000001/bit (or less).
-          The iPad is a hit, moving huge volumes of product. Apple sold 2 million in two months, and that was just to the “early adopters” in the USA. About half of those run 3G.
-          The iPhone 4 is due soon (today?). That front-facing camera will open the floodgates of videophone calls, magnifying the data demands of otherwise normal calls.
-          Google just announced GoogleTV – another huge draw on internet video. Expect a revamping & push of Apple TV in response.
-          4G wireless is gearing up, with Verizon about to throw the nationwide on switch, AT&T soon to follow, and Clear & Sprint already running it. Lots more bandwidth to cover the aforementioned load, once we consumers upgrade our hardware.
Tangent while I’m blathering:
The fight over Flash on the iP* makes me think we’re on the cusp of a “Tower of Babel” moment. So far all internet-connected devices speak pretty much the same language and follow the same technosocial protocols. There may be “dialects”, but everyone kinda gets along.
At some point some faction (*cough*Apple*cough) will choose to stop supporting some part of the “internet language” outright (*cough*Flash*cough*), causing a sharp separation of network participants, a separation which cannot be bridged without concerted effort. New cultural divides will form, defined by users’ inability to “just go there”; millions of iP* users won’t give up their uber-mobile life-changing devices, and TimeWarner/NBC/CBS/whaever won’t give up Flash just for a small fraction of their customers ... a division which just won’t be bridged.
Let the balkanization of the “exascale web” begin. There’s enough bandwidth & data out there to support it.
BTW: Google is about to introduce their outright replacement for Windows. They expect a million users on day one.

Rant: Rampage in Whitehaven

Somebody killed a bunch of people in England.

Dave writes "How? I thought the people were all disarmed in England to make it safer?"

I ... I don't understand. It can't be. It must be untrue. It's unpossible. 
I mean ... there are words on paper somewhere that prohibit such things, right? Not that anyone but the elite keepers of the law have seen those words. I mean, really, there are WORDS ON PAPER! This can't happen! The evil nature of ... of ... I can't say the word* ... THOSE THINGS ... must be overwhelming and awful. That poor man ... somehow he ends up with ... one of those THINGS ... and he just couldn't help himself. Let's all pitch in ... I mean ALL, the police will encourage community cooperation ... to give this poor man a comfortable life to help him cope with such a dire experience. And where did that ... THING ... come from? We must scour every home to ensure there are none of those ... THINGS ... in our community. Oh, it's not a violation of "right to be secure in one's home and effects" to do such a search, it helps enhance that right by ensuring such ... THINGS ... do not threaten our community. So it's settled then? It should be unanimous, so it is. We raise taxes to pay for that poor man's retirement, and we send our kind SWAT team to search every home for those ... THINGS ... and everything will be much better. I'm feeling very sunny and cheerful now. 

My word, I'm starting to understand how people end up thinking that way. I need to go shoot something and then have a stiff drink.