Yup; the Internet is screwed up.

Joe Greco jgreco at ns.sol.net
Wed Jun 22 22:07:53 UTC 2011

> > Be that as it may, I don't think current methods and techniques in use =
> will scale well to fully replace antennas, satellite and cable to =
> provide tv and radio signals.
> >=20
> > (remembering for example the recent discussion about multicast)
> >=20
> They won't, but, that's not what consumers think about when they decide =
> where to get their content.
> Consumers look at convenience, cost, and availability. In some cases, =
> quality also enters the picture.
> If you don't believe that consumer content acquisition is shifting away =
> from traditional methods towards internet-oriented mechanisms rapidly, =
> you haven't been paying attention to the bandwidth growth at Netflix as =
> just one example. Hulu, Youtube, and even the various networks own =
> web-based episode streaming services are all additional examples that =
> cannot be ignored.
> We're going to have to either find a way to convince consumers to change =
> direction, or, we're going to have to develop new methods and techniques =
> that will scale to fully replace antennas, satellite, and cable because =
> that's what consumers are starting to do.

I've been arguing that we're going to see this for years now and even
so it comes up and catches me a bit unaware at times.

I can think of two trivial examples. 

I used to like doing long-haul driving on the weekends because it'd 
give me a chance to listen to "Car Talk" and a few other things that 
I found amusing ways to keep myself from being totally bored.  With 
the advent of podcasts, I got away from that... it became possible 
to download them and stick them on an iPod so I could listen to my 
convenience.  But wait... it gets worse...  now I can run an app on 
a phone that actually downloads the podcast over the cellular 
internet and plays it to me on demand, so I don't even need to plan 
ahead and download prior to leaving the house or office.  From a
network operator's perspective, this is worst-case behaviour because
it's using a scarce resource (cell bw) for something that I could
have done on normal Internet in advance, but from a convenience point
of view, I get to ditch having to worry about iTunes and syncing and
all that - I just ask for the content when I actually want it.  It
works.  I feel moderately justified in saying that I pay for the
privilege, given what the carrier charges for cell data.  It's so

I also picked up an Aluratek AIRMM01 clock radio a while back because
I wanted to be able to have a radio that played a specific kind of
music in a specific room, without much advertising.  While I had
originally planned to load up a USB thumb drive with some CD's worth
of content I already had, upon plugging the thing in and playing with
it a bit, it fairly easily hooked up to our wifi, and had a really
massive list of available stations, including some of the type I was
looking for, and which I've yet to hear any advertising on.  From a
network operator's perspective, it'd be much better for me to load up
a USB flash with some content and let it play that, but from a user's
perspective, it's actually more convenient to just let it stream
audio over the Internet.

Both of these represent use cases where the outcomes were not what I
had originally envisioned, and are causing more load on bits of the
Internet than what's ideally required.

Your average person cares a whole lot less about what's crossing their
Internet connection than they care about whether or not "this works" 
than I do.

I continue to be amazed at the quality of Netflix video coming across
the wire.  Our local cable company just recently upped their old 7M/512K
normal tier to 10M/1M, and is now offering much higher speed tiers as
well, which isn't going to be discouraging to anyone wanting to do this
sort of thing.

I guess the most telling bit of all this was when I found myself needing
an ethernet switch behind the TV, AND WAS ABLE TO FILL ALL THE PORTS, for

Internet-capable TV set
Internet-capable Blu-Ray player
Networkable TiVo
Video Game Console
Networked AV Receiver
and an uplink of course.  8 ports.  Geez.

That keeps striking me as such a paradigm shift.

... JG
Joe Greco - sol.net Network Services - Milwaukee, WI - http://www.sol.net
"We call it the 'one bite at the apple' rule. Give me one chance [and] then I
won't contact you again." - Direct Marketing Ass'n position on e-mail spam(CNN)
With 24 million small businesses in the US alone, that's way too many apples.

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