I spend a lot of time working on issues associated with energy and find most people have only hazy concepts of the basics - what is power and how does it differ from energy? or that electricity is not a form of energy storage, but is rather used for distribution. People also only have a sketchy notion of how the Internet works (let alone the component networks) and a huge amount of disinformation exists. Some carriers would have you think that bandwidth is a limited resource like a fuel, when that is far from the truth.
I'll keep this short to give you more time to watch a very useful and fairly non-technical video interview of four experts talking about wired broadband bandwidth caps. When you study this and have access to information (sadly it is very difficult to come by the right kind of information), you quickly learn that bandwidth caps to not control problems associated with overloading, but that they are really part of a business model to extract as much profit as possible without having to invest in infrastructure.
Dan Jasper, Christopher Mitchell, Reid Fishler and Benoit Felten are interviewed by TWiT (episode 133) 1
It is long, but if you aren't an expert I recommend finding the time to watch it or listen like I did - the audio version is here. (mp3)
We really need consumer choice and real competition in the US. The FCC and Congress have failed the country. Several on the panel point out that the decision makers don't seem to understand the tech or its implications - let alone how society interacts with it. That was certainly true in the telco I once worked for. When I had access to data it was clear that caps were effective in supporting an business model and protecting other parts of the business - but had nothing to do with serious network management or the costs of running the network. Since then I've done some work for another carrier and saw the same thing.2
So an apology for the quick and dirty post - I'll return to the normal format next time, but I think the video or audio is worth it.
1 Disclaimer: Benoit is a friend. Not only is he a good guy, but he also happens to be smart.
2 I'm out of the four year NDA on the second and the first was about 11 years ago in a company that was purchased by another. I can't really fault the companies - they are just maximizing shareholder value, but I do fault national policy which has allowed a non-competitive system that doesn't serve Americans very well to sustain itself. This is really important and perhaps it is best to think of it as infrastructure that is centrally important to the economy rather than a service that is allowed to prop up old fashioned services at the cost of innovation.
Tonight I barbecued some veggie burgers - homemade blackbean-quinoa-pecan burgers on whole grain kamut wheat honey bread. I threw on some roasted red peppers (you can never go wrong with roasted red peppers), a homemade cherry catsup (at the bottom of this post), and some very fresh arugula. It was most excellent. I served it with barbecued sweet corn with homemade blueberry ice cream served with berries and nuts.
Here is what I did for the burgers:
Black Bean, Quinoa and Pecan Burgers
° 1 15 oz can of black beans rinsed and drained (you can also use dry beans - just soak em)
° 1/4 cup quinoa (I like Bob's Red Mill)
° 1/2 cup water
° 1/4 cup panko (you can use bread crumbs, but panko seems to work better as a "glue" with the egg)
° 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
° 1/4 cup finely minced yellow or red bell pepper
° 2 tbl finely minced red onion
° 1 large clove garlic - finely minced
° 1-1/2 tsp ground cumin
° 1/2 tsp salt (non-iodized!)
° 1 tsp of a hot pepper sauce (any will do)
° 1 large egg
° Bring the quinoa and water to a boil in a pan. Reduce heat to a simmer until the water has been absorbed - 12 to 15 minutes
° Mash the beans into a paste with a fork leaving some whole beans intact
° Mix everything together in a largish bowl using your hands until well mixed, but not over mixed. I find it useful to put my hand into a "claw" shape for this task.
° Form them into patties - I turned it into a half dozen.
° Barbecue. Slather the catsup (or bbq sauce if you must) on during the process. Don't forget to bbq some red bell peppers and other veggies at the same time!