Archive for the ‘internet’ tag
Really good piece about the secret world of high volume internet backbone operators and how their small political squabbles redound on the average person’s ability to have the internet work in the way they want.
“Right now, YouTube doesn’t work too bad on Free,” Felten said earlier this month. “Three weeks ago it was horrendous. A 30-second video, like an Angry Birds solution video, would take 12 minutes before the first frame moved. Right now, you get some lags but it’s acceptable. I suspect whatever they’re doing, they’re constantly shifting it so it doesn’t look like it’s constantly horrible.”
As always when the topic of internet comes up in a US context, it’s worth noticing how much worse the problem is made by the near monopolies most television and high-speed internet providers enjoy in the areas they serve.
The premise of this piece — stop using the acronym “IRL”! — is thin, but its substance resonates with the way I use (and love) the internet.
8. When you spend your online time on what really matters to you, you experience your time online as an authentic reflection of your values.
9. When you embrace online conversations as real, you imbue them with the power to change how you and others think and feel.
As an IE hater, I’m a fan of the globe metaphor theory.
(via Gems Sty)
That’s apparently the time that internet congestion is the worst. And though I’d take this result with a grain of salt, it makes some sense to me.
Speaking of international figures doing unexpected things, Demitry Medvedev has a video blog.
Google Blogscoped shares (of all things) a comic book explaining Google new browser initiative. I wasn’t expecting much from the book, but it’s really quite good. It offers plain-spoken explications of all that they’ve tried to do with browser. Now I just want to try it out.
UPDATE (9/2/08): It’s now available for Windows XP and Vista. I’m using it to write this update and have to say that it’s pretty smooth. It seems faster than Firefox 3, but then it’s also not been running with 20 tabs open for three days. Oh, and there is, as promised, (at least) one system-visable process running for every open tab.
Andrew Simone points to a piece of internet history.
…on Wikipedia. And enjoyed it. An interesting story:
Why I was compelled to be the one to change it, I couldn’t tell you, but that’s what I did. I added a “2008” as an ending date on his tenure at the show. I changed everything else to the past tense. And I did so post-haste.
I don’t know if the impulse was the same as the one that compelled that NBC subcontractor to go out and kill Tim Russert on Wikipedia. But I can tell you that it didn’t stem from a desire to make sure that the public was well-informed.
No, it was more like the primal instinct that makes people shout “First!” on online forums, a recognition of the improbable act of stumbling across a special place at just the right time. After I had done my duty, dozens of others piled on, tweaking, retweaking, fixing and updating until my work was moot. But I got to that particular page first, and that left me ever-so-slightly chuffed.
Small Google Changes
I noticed two interesting things on Google today, so I thought I’d share.
It appears that the few-commercials honeymoon that TV-on-the-internet has enjoyed is closer to ending:
“Disney-ABC Television Group will begin conducting research next week on inserting multiple commercials into ad breaks for primetime series on its broadband player,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. “Upping the ad load would amount to the most aggressive move yet from ABC.com in its quest to draw as much ad revenue.”
Clay Shirky’s pedaling some of the most interesting ideas about the internet and collaboration I’ve ever heard. This speech/essay is probably nearly as good as his Bloggingheads appearance.
Did you ever see that episode of Gilligan’s Island where they almost get off the island and then Gilligan messes up and then they don’t? I saw that one. I saw that one a lot when I was growing up. And every half-hour that I watched that was a half an hour I wasn’t posting at my blog or editing Wikipedia or contributing to a mailing list. Now I had an ironclad excuse for not doing those things, which is none of those things existed then. I was forced into the channel of media the way it was because it was the only option. Now it’s not, and that’s the big surprise. However lousy it is to sit in your basement and pretend to be an elf, I can tell you from personal experience it’s worse to sit in your basement and try to figure if Ginger or Mary Ann is cuter.
And I’m willing to raise that to a general principle. It’s better to do something than to do nothing. Even lolcats, even cute pictures of kittens made even cuter with the addition of cute captions, hold out an invitation to participation. When you see a lolcat, one of the things it says to the viewer is, “If you have some fancy sans-serif fonts on your computer, you can play this game, too.” And that’s message — I can do that, too — is a big change.
EDIT (4/28/2008): If video’s more your thing, Blip.tv now has that.
I’ve heard a lot in the last year about how the growing distribution of video and other big files over the internet will effectively kill the thing. The Economist’s Tech.view columnist is not sold on the idea:
While neither the DSL nor the cable companies have beefed up their local connections as fast as the internet backbone operators have boosted their capacity, there’s still enough bandwidth over the last mile for current traffic. And soon there will be a whole lot more—at least for Verizon, Sprint and even Comcast.
The latest episode of Bloggingheads, a conversations between Will Wilkerson and Clay Shirky — author of the recent Here Comes Everybody — is fascinating. Truly the most interesting thing I’ve seen in well over a week.
I enjoy a piece of technology forecasting from time to time, and Joel Johnson offered an interesting one:
I never want to touch a piece of proprietary hardware to access content again. There’s no need! We’ll be able to stream HD content soon enough; in the interim, even these browser-based solutions could pre-fetch and cache it. The only reason companies like Blockbuster and Vudu want dedicated hardware is because it locks you into their service. They’re recreating the Blu-ray/HD DVD format war for streaming digital media. How silly is that?