Monday, August 27, 2007

Silence = Death

Well, I'm rotisserie-cooking some chicken legs. I had a brief conversation with my girlfriend but she was on her way home and I guess too busy to bother with the likes of me. That's okay, since the beautiful smell of roasting chicken legs is enough to boost my bottomed-out self-esteem, for some reason. My problem with women is that they don't seem to realize that once they get their hooks into me, their time is mine and I expect service! It's not my fault they've got lives.

While I'm waiting for those legs to quit a-walking, since that's what they look like they're doing as they slowly rotate in my George Jr. flesh searing device, I thought that I'd go through my unpublished drafts and see if there was anything even remotely interesting in there since it's been a while since I've published anything new. Here's something sorta interesting . . .

I would like to propose that marriage is inevitable. Not the "horse and carriage" variety, but that of modern man (or woman, for you sticklers) and the confounded Internet, as envisioned by that champion of environmental doom, Albert Gore.

Now, I think a little background is in order. I have been "surfing" (and sometimes drowning in) the Internet for, oh, I don't know, twenty years or so. I used BBSes (Bulletin Board Systems) extensively and was able to access early public connections via EDU organizations to what we now call the Internet. I had company websites up and running by 1992 and was even first in Google (when they started out), Yahoo, AOL and whatever else was popular at the time.
In the late nineties, there was a sort of IT movement toward thinking about thin clients and web-delivered applications, including OSes. This meant that the end user would have a disk-less workstation and that he could rent application time for Word or Lotus Notes or Borland dBase and be constantly using the newest app without having to own the "seat." That didn't quite pan out, as we know, but lots of other things did happen and the common folk discovered high-speed connections through work and hep friends.

Today, media delivery, social networking, dating, bill pay, tax filing and job searches are all done online. When was the last time you used a phone book to look for services? Food shopping and pizza are easily available online. None of the Fortune 1000 rely on faxed or mailed resumes for vetting applicants because the software used to score the applications won't work with those forms of application. Oh, yes, humans only come into play later - if the score meets their requirements!

That's as far as I got with that draft. I guess it stayed in the Drafts folder since it was just okay and displayed little of my searing wordplay (thinking about the chicken again) or the Bon Mots my Dear Readers crave. But yesterday, I read about how Comcast is limiting downloads for their customers! The story is this: Comcast has been sending out warning letters and disconnecting customers that exceed their usage limit. Comcast had been, until recently, advertising download quotas as unlimited but apparently, they have throttled back on this policy in order to manage their bandwidth buys.

Some customers have asked Comcast, according to the CBS article, for information about their usage and for information on what the limits actually are, only to get no answer whatsoever. So, a customer has no idea when and if they're crossing the line. Shame on Comcast. Further, shame on Comcast for cutting off their service for twelve months if they continue to cross the moving, invisible line.

I happen to dislike DSL. It's kludgy and sometimes unreliable in my somewhat rural area. I did use cable, not provided by Comcast, and found if was faster and totally reliable. But I thank my lucky stars that I have DSL at this point because what would happen to my ability to look for a job, do graphics or video editing work or web development without a high-speed connection, not to mention, surfing for free porn and chatting to my girlfriend? I also have no short-term memory left, so, without Google I'd pretty much be a drooling idiot in white CRT glow.

What worse is this kind of shenanigans will lead to regulation, which is a really bad thing for the brave new world of the Internet. In the news this week are the preliminary arguments in the Yahoo/China case, where Yahoo is alleged to have shared IP addresses and other information about bloggers in China that lead to ten-year jail sentences for a journalist and another man. Not cool at all.

To make a good solder joint, one needs the right amount of flux. Too little and the solder won't stick. Too much and the joint may be cold and fragile. Bummer.

So, my chicken's done and I need to get back to the kitchen at this late hour here at Chaos Manor, but I'm a little shook up by all these eyeballs on my Internet pipe. I sure wish they'd cut it out.