I found it amazing that while I was un-employed that I was busier than when I was working… what gives?

The sun is finally shining, the spring rains are here, the flowers are growing and spring has finally decided to show up, We’ve already pulled out the grill twice, the kids are outside nearly daily and the house is getting a thorough cleaning. With that comes out a whole new segments of thought processes.

I’m rather disgruntled with Internet broadband companies in the States lately. Many of them are putting on MAJOR Bandwidth caps. Comcast has a fairly reasonable 250g a month limit, and while I do not think I’ve EVER hit that much it still bothers me. The latest one that irritates the heck out of me is Time-Warner. (I.E. AOL) Recently instituted a 1 Gig Bandwidth cap. I looked at my routers usage numbers for a normal month for my family. We hit 90 gig playing an online game only. No downloads no erroneous torrents. Just a game. Granted you’re talking 3 pcs Running nearly 24×7 and playing a game that is fairly bandwidth intensive.

1 gig is unreasonable. If they continue this complete absurdity of methodological control they will lose subscribers like crazy. They need to wake up and smell their profits burning away.

Let’s take a look at the current state of the internet globally. In the U.S we have (to my knowledge) 5 major Pipelines., Berkley, University of Utah. University of Chicago, Pittsburgh, and Washington DC. The first major public Internet company was Prodigy, they did mostly news, newsgroups, (I.E. Usenet) and Sports and weather. It was a good 3 years before more companies jumped onto the internet bandwagon. I remember when Virgin Entertainment had purchased website and it took them 6 months to do development. (no one understood HTML back then and it wasn’t standardized like it is now.) I remember surfing through yahoo and after 3 months there wasn’t a search I couldn’t do that didn’t come up with links that I had not already visited. The screen was a gray background with no fancy buttons, it’s was a listing a links; It was physically possibly to “Complete the internet”. Now that term is just a joke. However, at first there wasn’t a limitation. You could use as much bandwidth as you could get through a 56k modem. A whole 5.6k per second of data. It was BLAZING SPEED. Then we got broadband – and a whole new world appeared. Hotmail was purchased by Microsoft and your in-box storage went from 100 meg to 25 meg to 10 meg..

Rocketmail was purchased by Yahoo.com the same thing happened. Then the bandwidth caps came. At first it was 10 gigs a month, and after you hit that cap they just drop you to 56k modem speeds. Then Google showed up, And companies started to refuse to up their caps. Google started to purchase the Fiber line that covers the country, citing that the internet and information should be free. Caps started to increase. When Google came out with Gmail and had it had no cap, and it’s popularity for being a well developed site with no restrictions caused a chain reaction. The result was that over a number of years the caps placed on the public eventually they went away. Over the last year they started to come back. Their reasons are that people are being bandwidth hogs and providers are citing that “The internet isn’t free, bandwidth cost money”. AOL wanted to restrict what you could and could not visit while logged into their provider, citing it would save them bandwidth. Google objected and proceeded to purchase 300,000 miles of Fiber optics. (props to Google) While I can argue the absurdity of that statement, (made by AOL) it makes business sense to state such a thing. The internet is all being paid by someone. I pay for this Website who pays for the equipment to maintain it and they pay someone else.

However False advertising is luring people into a false sense of security. Comcast by my house is STILL advertising “Unlimited internet!” Unlimited? Well, it’s unlimited as long as you don’t hit that 250g a month cap. If you hit the cap, you get shut off and you are NOT ALLOWED to have broadband access through them for a year. Comcast Said that they had to put some limit on it because of the nature of the usage in my state. Some people are breaking 1-5 Terabytes a MONTH in bandwidth usage. I’ve never broken 90gig… ever.

Wow.. that was ranty and longer than I expected. Let’s take a break , go ahead and get a drink and take a trip to the bathroom.

You back? Good?

Now let’s look at Europe. Europe was the first to remove Bandwidth cap citing that the internet is for everyone, and that information is free. The Public should be informed and educated of what is going on in their world.

What’s the difference here?

Mindset. The European people are enlightened to the fact that people should be well educated, and that by putting caps on people, you are giving a restriction to how much people can learn. However this also promotes piracy to a point. Thus enter the Geneva convention, but that’s for another blog for another day.
However Europe has LESS bandwidth usage than Americans do, They are statically healthier. Have a more outgoing and ambitious attitude.

As a friend of mine from Leipzig, Germany very profoundly stated yesterday. “you Americans are rare (In reference to my development team) most have no foot culture.”

Through his own broken English he illustrated a fabulous point. We live with all kinds of restrictions all kinds of things that are “Not okay to do.” and this isn’t secluded by legal restrictions but social and religious restrictions. We remove our own rights to freedom by our own inability to say “No!” There are people who go out and break the law because they can! Because it gives them a rush to do things that is “Not okay to do”. People in the U.S. do not get out, we do not exercise as we should, we are not as active as we should, We are not as social as we should, we live in this world of capitalistic corporate fear, we are a society of gluttony. We shove whatever we can in our face (wither or not it’s bad for us) we’ll consume it by the thousands. We are a nation of consumers not idealists. The percentage of people in this nation that fall into the healthy category is dwindling. As proof of this statement, did you know that hostess produces 500 million Twinkies a year. We consume 35 million pounds of Sugar and junk every year. Enough Twinkies are consumed on a daily basis that it averages out hat every man woman and child are eating 4 a day. I’ve not had a Twinkie in a couple of years, someone is eating my share.

So now I’m sure you’re trying to figure out what in the hell this has to do with bandwidth usage.

A lot actually once you think about it. Europe has unlimited bandwidth but they also have “foot culture” as my German friend so aptly put it. They aren’t a stagnate people, In Germany, they have events monthly they have culture and things in their society that gets them out, and around. They prefer live events to recorded ones. This isn’t to say that they don’t pirate software, this is to say that it’s not as important to them. They don’t have to be “The first” or the “The best” they aren’t so dependent on that social status symbol. However, Ironically, some of the world’s most profound advancements are done in other countries. Europe, and Japan cited for some of the world’s most noted achievements. Why? Because they have Foot Culture, They have fewer restrictions on their society. History comes from Europe, it is what is mandatory learning in schools, and as time continues History is STILL comes from Europe.

Germany and Japan have a particularly interesting work ethic. Companies in Japan give up to 6 weeks off PAID a year at a job. However, Many Americas business men view this as a waste of money and time. A lot of work can be done in 6 weeks. Americans businesses stress out our employees by overloading them. Stress can destroy a man, lowers your lifespan, and Lowers your immune system, it’s deathly. Other countries that many Americans view as “primitive” figured this out Decades ago.

I’ve worked in the tech sector for years, it is not an uncommon thing for someone to say “oh yeah my (insert title here) software is hacked I downloaded it” it’s also not terribly uncommon for nearly everyone in IT to be extremely overweight.

Me and my private development team have tackled an undertaking that is both suicidal and ambitious. We are pushing the boundaries of “what is not okay to do.” It was also noted by our European members that my group appears to be a rare breed. We all have jobs, families, and spent an insane amount of time on our PC’s however. We all have things we go and do, most of us work out. Two are into martial arts. One lifts weights. A few of them play sports weekly. There are only two of the 10 of us that are “slightly” overweight, both only about 20lbs over what would be listed as our ideal weight, and we both do regular work outs because we don’t want to be classified as “typical fat lazy Americans”

Would bandwidth caps do us some good? It’s hard to say. We’re often really demanding of our own self entitled “Rights”