How people outside the U.S. enjoy their superior Internet service

“Americans pay far more and get far less when it comes to the Internet than many other people around the world.”—HuffPo, America Pays More For Internet, Gets Slower Speeds, Than Other Countries

While we dupes here in the U.S. contend with internet service providers fighting for their right to continue offering the least service for the most money, people in other countries have been enjoying faster internet speeds at lower cost for years. In fact, internet users in those countries have developed ways of using the internet we couldn’t even think of, such as:

Grocery delivery—Move over PeaPod and Greenling. In Norway, where they get download speeds of 5GB/sec for $14/month, the clever Nords don’t have to wait for their groceries to be delivered after ordering them online. Now using a 3D bioprinter they can download their groceries directly (after carefully placing a reusable grocery bag under the output chute, of course). Over there, “printing” groceries for a family of four takes around 15 minutes. Contrast that with your house, where downloading a single cocktail onion would take the better part of a day.

Streaming video—A while back I posted a video showing the different download speeds I get on different streaming services. But even my relatively quick Amazon Prime streams pale in comparison to what they get in Peru, where they pay the equivalent of $8/month for 10GB/sec service. There even home users of limited means have banks of monitors, allowing them to watch multiple ultra-high definition streams at once. A Peruvian man recently boasted on Twitter that he watched the entire run of Breaking Bad in 90 minutes. Granted, he probably missed some stuff—he admitted he wasn’t sure who “Heisenberg” was—but still.

Telemedicine—Here, we brag about the latest advances that connectivity has brought to our medical care, such as when a rural hospital is able to fax an x-ray to a big city specialist in just under 9 hours. But let’s look at Albania. There, where users take for granted speeds of 20GB/sec for around $3/month, your doctor can perform a “remote physical” exam on you in real time, via your government-issued tactile sensory responder. (Citizens themselves are responsible for removing and replacing the disposable lubricated rubber finger on the tactile responder after each exam.)

Audio in/out ports (shown) optional for extra chargeE-Learning—More and more U.S. students are attending college courses online. Sure, the audio and video can be as much as a minute out of sync, making it seem like your professor is a raving schizophrenic. But, hey, at least you can attend class in your PJs, right? Well, screw that. In Tanzania (40GB/sec, $.50/month) you can have a USB3 port installed in your skull that lets you transfer a bachelor’s degree’s worth of knowledge into your brain in just under a minute. (Example reflects liberal arts education. STEM-related degrees may take slightly longer.)

About "Your" Privacy



“Your” privacy is important to us. How could it be otherwise—selling off little pieces of it to the highest bidder is how we make our money. So we damn sure better safeguard it or there goes our third quarter revenue, right down the crapper. Accordingly, we have made some updates to our “Privacy” Policy.

By “your” privacy, of course, we mean “our” privacy, because, let’s face it, we both have a very real stake in it. Admittedly, our stake in it is more or less strictly monetary, while your stake in it has more to do with avoiding the humiliation and embarrassment you’d face should anyone find out about that one very unfortunate night in L.A. three years ago. Come now, you remember the night we’re talking about—the night when people turned out to be not who or what you thought they were? Riiiiight. You get where we’re going with this. So, as you can see, neither of us wants “our” privacy to become compromised, do we?

So be a good little fellow, won’t you, and check the small box at the very end indicating you’ve read and agree to all of this, which, of course, you haven’t and you don’t. Well, grudgingly, I guess, you will agree. I mean, you are going to check the box, after all. It’s not like you have much choice. But we understand if you have to hold your nose to do it. Safeguarding “our” privacy can be a dirty business sometimes.

This next bit contains some Important Details that probably won’t make much sense to you, but don’t worry—that’s by design. We hired a crack team of lawyers to say exactly what we mean in precisely the most difficult way for you to understand. Ultimately, we think it’ll be better for both of us that way. What you don’t know that you don’t know won’t hurt you. More than likely. So if we were you, we wouldn’t even bother pressing the link that says:
+Important Details: Click to Expand

Good move. It would’ve taken you almost as long to read that nonsense as it took for our lawyers to translate it into indecipherable (but legally binding) jargon. Who’s got the time? And what’s the point anyway, since we all know you’re going to click the little box below. Because you wouldn’t want anything to happen to “our” privacy, would you? There’s the good little fellow!

[ ] I have read to and agree to the terms of “Our” Privacy Policy.


Video of sloth loving on cat to pop song permanently breaks internets

AUSTIN, TX The internets was permanently broken today by the discovery by me of a video (on of a sloth loving on a cat—which I know sounds disgusting, but, trust me, turns out to be really so freaking cute—set to the accompaniment of this hippish sounding pop song called I’m Yours, by Jason Mraz (sp? really?).

The synchronicity of over-the-top endearingly odd cuteness and harmlessly catchy song that could be from a car commercial overloaded the internets with it’s overpowering meta-memeness. 

“That’s it,” said a representative at internets headquarters. “We’re done. Closed. Permanently. What the fuck more could you people want after this?”

What to do for fun once the terrorist zombie robots destroy our internets

The EconomistChinese cyber-attacks: Hello, Unit 61398

Business Insider: Newest Cyberattacks on US Banks are Destroying Data Rather Than Stealing It

When international cyber-armies of evil-doers give you e-lemons, make e-lemonade! That’s what I always say, anyway.

 As you may have heard, pretty soon they will be taking our internets away from us. Not because we’ve misbehaved and we don’t deserve nice things, but because people from countries with less freedoms than us are mean.

Needless to say, with no internets, the way we live, work and play will change drastically. To be more specific, without 24/7 access to porn, shopping for cute shoes and cat pictures, all of us will have a LOT more time on our hands.

This could be dangerous. Without the ability to waste hours of idle time on the internets, some of us could resort to such atavistic behaviors as reading books or writing letters.

Lest that happen, I’ve compiled a list of activities anyone can do to kill time until they invent a way to bring us an internets that is free from terrorist zombie robots. I recommend that you download and print out this guide while you still can.

Activity 1: Pipe cleaner animals

1. Print out the picture at the top of this post while you still can, so you know what the hell it is you’re supposed to be making.

2. Go to the store and buy some colored pipe cleaners. You may not be able to use your smartphone’s map app to locate the store, so you may wish to look up directions now and print out a map while you still can. Or buy some colored pipe cleaners online now, while you still can.

3. Here’s an online guide for how to actually make pipe cleaner animals. I’d print it out now if I were you, while you still can. 

4. Once pipe cleaner animals are complete, do whatever it is one does with such things.

Activity 2: Watch movies you downloaded from the internets while you could still do that

1. Download as many movies from the internets as you can while you still can.

2. This may take awhile, because the terrorist zombie botnets do not want you to be entertained.

3. Watch the movies.

4. Watch the movies again.

5. Sit in a chair and think about something.

Activity 3: Plant a vegetable garden

1. Slash and burn an acre of pristine rainforest.

2. Till the soil. It’s probably best to wait until all the embers have cooled and the last animals have succumbed to their burns.

3. Plant seeds. Edible plants are best.

4. Water.

5. Wait approximately as long as it took to download a full season of The Walking Dead while you could still do that. 

6. Harvest.

7. Repeat for next 5 years.

8. Gather up members of tribe, abandon plot to lie fallow, migrate to a new pristine acre of rainforest, and repeat Steps 1-6.

Activity 4: Gnaw at the little webby piece of skin in the crook between your thumb and forefinger 

1. Bring hand to mouth. It’s best to use your opposite hand for this, so if you’re right-handed, use your left hand, and if you’re left-handed, use your right hand.

2. Position your hand in your mouth so that you can just gnaw on that little webby piece of skin in the crook between your thumb and your forefinger.

3. Graw on that little webby piece of skin.

4. If irritation or bleeding develops, dial it down. This is not a hot dog eating contest for chrissakes.

Activity 5: Seethe

1. You may do this activity sitting, standing or lying down.

2. Grit teeth.

3. Assume an emotional state somewhere between fuming and spontaneous angry outbursts.

4. Don’t worry if you don’t get it right immediately. It takes practice, and you’ll have plenty of time.


Jerry Seinfeld gets the Internets

The Times today has a story about Jerry Seinfeld’s web series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee being picked up by Sony for a second “season.” Something Seinfeld said about the inspiration for the series really struck me:

“Mr. Seinfeld said he was taking ideas that held personal interest and adapting them for the Internet. ‘I thought of all the things I liked,’ he said, which included almost anything about cars, talking with other comics, and coffee in its various forms. He put that together with his observation that all around him ‘people were watching stuff on phones and pads,’ and he concluded, ‘Well, this is stuff I like, and this could be a match.’”

I realize that Jerry Seinfeld is richer than God and is well-positioned to make his own breaks. But he got there for a reason. This Seinfeld profile from the Times Magazine a few weeks ago discusses his relentless drive to keep after his craft, in spite of the fact that he never has to work another day in his life if he doesn’t want to.

The bit from the quote I included above that really impressed me was that Seinfeld observed people engaged with their portable devices and wondered, essentially, “Since I love to create stuff, what can I create that will serve the needs of those people engaged with those new types of devices?”

Contrast this with the dinosaur-style thinking of so many other show biz pros of his generation who have only seen fit to try to preserve the status quo, even as the status quo shrinks into irrelevancy. Too bad there weren’t any Jerry Seinfelds in the music business 10 or 15 years ago. 

The original version of this post called Seinfeld’s web series Comedians Getting Coffee. As corrected above, it’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. Oops.