Monday, April 27, 2009

The Internet is getting crowded

It's amazing how busy a weekend can get around tax time. Which is a weak way of explaining why the updates have been slow the past few days. I've got a couple more deadlines to work through, then we should be back to regular postings.

In the meantime, I've been enjoying the amazing speed of my brand new 24" IMac, which arrived last week. I can't believe how much fun its been doing regular things, like surfing the Internet or playing with pictures (when I probably should have been working on my taxes!)

It's another wonderful procrastination tool, although I'm finding that the diversions aren't taking as long, which leaves me back with the task at hand far quicker than I'm used to.

Unfortunately, according to this article I came across this morning, all this extra speed I'm now blessed with may be a moot point in just a year or two. A study by a US think tank is predicting that the Internet's explosive growth will overwhelm the infrastructure, forcing people to accept slower speeds and limited capacity. This is not a good news scenario, especially for those of us who have come to depend on the Internet to handle our work - heck our entire life's - activities.

Here's an excerpt:
Internet users face regular “brownouts” that will freeze their computers as capacity runs out in cyberspace, according to research to be published later this year.

Experts predict that consumer demand, already growing at 60 per cent a year, will start to exceed supply from as early as next year because of more people working online and the soaring popularity of bandwidth-hungry websites such as YouTube and services such as the BBC’s iPlayer.

It will initially lead to computers being disrupted and going offline for several minutes at a time. From 2012, however, PCs and laptops are likely to operate at a much reduced speed, rendering the internet an “unreliable toy”.
Link to full article.

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