Category: Without Internet Access

Powerless (aka Life Without Internet, Round 3)

On July 5, 2011, I walked in to a Sprint store to make absolutely sure I was locked in to an ironclad contract for unlimited data service off my mobile hotspot.  The service representative (henceforth known as just another idiot sales person) swore that I could continue to receive the exact same level of service as long as I continued to make timely payments on my monthly contract.  I asked for double clarification.  I stated that I was willing to lock myself into a 5-year contract if necessary, just to keep my data plan.  “Oh no,” said the idiot...

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Little House in the Big Woods (or … why it’s difficult to get Internet)

Joel showed me that you can go on Microsoft Virtual Earth and get birds-eye views of your house that are disturbingly clear. To do it yourself, go to Microsoft Virtual Earth Live Search and put in your address. We know these pictures (which Joel thinks were taken by drones), must have been taken in the last 2 years because you can see the white satellite dish. They were not, however, taken in the last week, because now we have a black satellite dish in the same place. The disturbing, and somewhat voyeuristic part, is when you start looking at what’s really going on in your neighbor’s backyards (behind those 6-foot fences). I thought the mess under my side deck was bad last year … but it didn’t hold a candle to this mess a few houses south of us! So if you’ve always wondered … now’s your chance to get a view from 20-25 yards up. Possibly Related Posts: The Four Processors: A Neogeneralist Problem? My New Work Colleagues Momentary Lapse of Memory New Chapter: Life Reboot Self Evaluation: List of...

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Now We All Learn (not)

One of the keynotes I attended in Madison was by Curtis Bonk. The premise of his talk (from what I can gather) was the statement “Now We All Learn” – that everyone can now be involved in wonderful learning on the Internet. NOT At least, not in the good old U.S. of A. The U.S. census report (1996) projected that the number of households in 2008 woud be somewhere around 111 million. The latest Leichtman Research Notes suggest 64 million subscribers to broadband Internet from Cable and Telephone companies in 2Q 2008. This brings us to the harsh truth that somewhere around 57% of U.S. Households have wired broadband Internet at home. Certainly there are others (like myself) who pay for expensive satellite broadband service, but the best I can find for (just) under $100 a month is 1.5 Mbps download (and let’s just not talk about upload, shall we?). What are the likely reasons for not having Internet at home? No computer ((for example, Leichtman Research says that 44% of households with annual incomes under $30,000 that do not have a computer at home) No wired broadband is available (again from Leichtman Research, 14% of rurual internet subscribers, or those interested in going online, have no wired broadband access). Can’t afford it. While the blogging world (including myself) loves the idea of OLPC bringing computers to developing and...

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