Antonio Vivaldi was born in 1678 - Jim somewhat more recently.
In honor of the day and something to mark the end of the season ... (this is in ogg vorbis format as it was the only cc version I could find. There are a lot of non-standard versions. My favorite of them is Yo-Yo Ma's cello variation .. You may need to play it in Chrome)
This past Saturday my niece Magi won the female division of the Coldwater Rumble - a 50 mile ultramarathon in Arizona. She specializes in ultramarathons and had about an hour on the second place female competitor.
It is remarkable enough to win an ultramarathon, but Magi doesn't have the time or resources to train as she is going to nursing school and has to manage two very young children. She signed up for the race a week before...
The current 4 Mbps Internet access goal is unquestionably shortsighted. It allows the digital divide to survive, and ensures that the U.S. will stagnate.
A smarter goal would be to give most Americans access to reasonably priced 1 Gb symmetric fiber-to-the-home networks. This would mean 1,000 Mbps connections, speeds hundreds of times faster than what most Americans have today. Only fiber can meet the growing demand for data transmission.
Think of it this way: With a dialup connection, backing up 5 gigabytes of data (now the standard free plan offered by many storage companies) would take 20 days. Over a standard (3G) wireless connection, it would take two and a half days. Over a 4G connection it would be more than seven hours, and over a cable DOCSIS 3.0 connection, an hour and a half. With a gigabit fiber-to-the-home connection, it can be done in less than a minute.
If the U.S. had a fully fiber-based network, Hollywood blockbusters could be downloaded in 12 seconds, video conferencing would become routine, and every household could see 3D and Super HD images. Americans could be connected instantly to their co-workers, their families, their teachers and their health-care monitors.
To make this happen, though, the U.S. needs to move to a utility model, based on the assumption that all Americans require fiber-optic Internet access at reasonable prices.
How much would it cost to bring fiber to the homes of all Americans? Corning Inc. (GLW), the American glass manufacturer, and others have estimated that it would take between $50 billion and $90 billion.
The Internet has taken the place of the telephone as the world’s basic, general-purpose, two-way communication medium. All Americans need high-speed access, just as they need clean water, clean air and electricity. But they have allowed a naive belief in the power and beneficence of the free market to cloud their vision. As things stand, the U.S. has the worst of both worlds: no competition and no regulation.
Susan is a friend, but even if she wasn't I strongly reommend the book. Required reading if you care about society and technology and its intersection with business and government.