At least on the interwebs and all things computing. I swear I remember dial-up being faster than all of the modern, big super tech.
WANT AD: Seeking manual typewriter, mid-20th Century model, in good condition.
I’ve been saying for some time that the internet is almost dead, at least speed-wise. I think it peaked around 2005 and has been slowly inching backward since. Hooray! It’s like 1996 all over again. Others agree:
Some of this nationalistic dis-integration of the internet has been foreseen as the 1990s’ open/global internet gradually became a principal domain of war, news, espionage, politics, propaganda, banking, commerce, entertainment, and education since around 2005. The process of creating hundreds of individual, national internets has been slow because the global Internet — the network of networks — was never designed to recognize national borders and because the United States had been a forceful opponent of a fragmented set of national internets. Both of these conditions have changed — and they are changing rapidly.
At this rate, in another year or three, your cat videos will be delivered by a pigeon or a cloud of smoke.
Much like the economy, the internet was already dragging along at 2000 levels of performance before the Chinese virus hoax surfaced. It has made things noticeable worse.
And last week, as a wave of stay-at-home orders rolled out across the United States, the average time it took to download videos, emails and documents increased as broadband speeds declined 4.9 percent from the previous week, according to Ookla, a broadband speed testing service. Median download speeds dropped 38 percent in San Jose, Calif., and 24 percent in New York, according to Broadband Now, a consumer broadband research site.
So, 5G will look even better when it’s rolled out. 2018 video streaming speeds will seem like great comfort to the home population while the primary uses facilitate the next phase. Got it.
The useless UN aims to further its irrelevance in 2020.
The United Nations on Friday approved a Russian-led bid that aims to create a new convention on cybercrime, alarming rights groups and Western powers that fear a bid to restrict online freedom.
The General Assembly approved the resolution sponsored by Russia and backed by China, which would set up a committee of international experts in 2020.
The panel will work to set up “a comprehensive international convention on countering the use of information and communications technologies for criminal purposes,” the resolution said.
The United States, European powers and rights groups fear that the language is code for legitimizing crackdowns on expression, with numerous countries defining criticism of the government as “criminal.”
Say what now? I’ve watched these past few years as all those wonderful western governments and rights groups did nothing as people slightly to the right of Bernie Sanders were deplatformed right and right (never left). And, the European powers have laws criminalizing criticism of a government, if not their own; the US is working on that as well, the 1A be dead parchment. So, what is all the fuss suddenly about? Must be those dastardly Russians. If not for the UN support, I possibly could get behind this. As is, I just don’t care. I’m starting to see the internet, maybe even electricity even, as a mistake. Running from one Br’er Rabbit villain to another certainly is.
Sometimes the Old Gray Lady has a very interesting idea or story. Here’s one about the fading tranquility of happy, wireless-free life in a land gone media mad.
The off-grid places are disappearing. And that’s as it should be. We must wire up rural America; cell service is now a utility almost as essential as electricity or heat. In April, the Federal Communications Commission announced that it will hold the biggest auction of radio spectrum in this country’s history; the auction, scheduled for late this year, is part of an effort to spread cell coverage to even the most remote towns ahead of the rollout of 5G networks.
Unfortunately, ownership of the telecommunication grids will go to corporate giants rather than to the communities themselves. But even so, small towns are fighting to be wired up. It’s likely that in 10 or so years, the country will be blanketed with signal, from sea to shining sea.
I’m hopeful that when that happens, we might retain just a few quiet places where it’s still possible to disconnect.
Activists have already created “dark sky reserves” to protect wilderness from artificial light. In the future, might we also create “privacy reserves” where we can go to escape the ubiquitous internet?
The irony is that, even as I type this on a laptop, wi-fi connected to Skynet, and with a stupid phone by my side, I consider that maybe all the technology could have been a mistake. To back 20 years. Or, 40. 400?
Google tells me this is the Internet’s 30th anniversary. I suppose, here or all places, a celebratory salute is in order. Hurrah.
Now, lately, I grow leery of this web thing. Toooooooo much of a good thing? Or, tooooo much of not so good a thing? More on that later.
Two things of mild amusement:
First, I watched one of my own YT videos the other day (kind of rare event). On the sidebar, where YT picks “related” material, there were a plethora of Ben Shapiro links. Not what I would call related but, hey, it’s a “free” site.
Perrin Lovett vs Judeo-Christian Activist????
Second, just after posting another fun anti-robot story (about a murdering robo doctor), I looked at Drudge. There, I found this:
This “force for good” company made the model (or a similar model) that ran over a toddler at an office park last year. Yeah, sure! I’ll buy stock in the outfit that will make the monsters which will surely kill me one day!! No…
As you were.
Now industry groups are pushing Congress to pass a national privacy bill that would block states from implementing their own standards.
Privacy advocates are skeptical of the industry proposals and concerned that internet giants will co-opt the process in order to get protections that are weaker than the California standard implemented across the country.
“They do not want effective oversight. They do not want regulation of their business practices, which is really urgently needed,” Jeff Chester, the executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy (CDD), told The Hill. “They’re going to work behind the scenes to shape legislation that will not protect Americans from having all of their information regularly gathered and used by these digital giants.”
“They see federal law as an opportunity to preempt stronger rules,” he added.
Next week, executives from Google, Apple, AT&T and other major technology and telecommunications companies will testify before the Senate Commerce Committee as the panel’s Republican chairman, Sen. John Thune (S.D.), prepares to introduce a new privacy law.
I noted this potential probability back in April in a TPC column:
His other motive was the afore-mentioned collusion. A dirty little secret of the political world is that large corporations are absolutely, head over heels, in love with government regulation. State mandates price out competition, prevent startup challenges, foster monopolies, and raise profits. One of “your” political heroes hinted around this fact; Zuck nodded along sheepishly.
And preempt stronger rules. One will note that its the giant tech companies that are invited to speak to Congress, the same companies with a history of privacy violation, spying, and selling to the highest bidder. I imagine the law, as they want it, is already drafted. Just a matter of bribes now.
Somehow this “highly respected web log” missed the cut for Time’s 25 Most Influential People on Them Interwebs. I’m sure we fell in the second 25 … second 25,000 certainly…
In a field of pop culture garbage, a few figures stand out. Drudge is a given. Trump too; Tweets with a purpose. I imagine he’s the one right-winger safe from the safety and trusty councily SJWs.
The inclusion of “Q” was a surprise. His entry was tinged with doubt but there, too, was a sense of foreboding. What if he’s right about some things?
And, what if he is? Q or not, things keep changing. Dinesh D’Souza has a new documentary coming in August: Death of America. I’m not sure if that’s already happened, something we’re desperate to head off, or if it’s just a historical certainty. My gut feeling is that it’s a mix of all three.
If you’ll excuse me, I have to go work on the blog CV for next year’s list…