WHY YOUR INTERNET IS SLOW

If you subscribed to Times Select, you’d already have seen Paul Krugman’s column and know the answer. The French are more connected than we – at three times the speed. The Japanese – at twelve times the speed. (Guess what: enlightened regulation matters. We were doing fine until about six years ago.) In small part:

The numbers are startling. As recently as 2001, the percentage of the population with high-speed access in Japan and Germany was only half that in the United States. In France it was less than a quarter. By the end of 2006, however, all three countries had more broadband subscribers per 100 people than we did.

Even more striking is the fact that our ‘high speed’ connections are painfully slow by other countries’ standards. According to the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, French broadband connections are, on average, more than three times as fast as ours. Japanese connections are a dozen times faster. Oh, and access is much cheaper in both countries than it is here.

FARECAST

Predicting the whether to buy your airline ticket now or later. Anyone tried this? Interesting, powerful, potentially money-saving site. (Thanks, Juan!)

A GOOD IDEA

Mark Lefler: ‘A Malaysian teenager I read about [in a Yahoo news clip that has expired] used text messaging on her cell phone to warn her mother there was an intruder, and was saved. How come you cannot just text right to emergency services? Calling is too noisy and could capture the attention of a bad guy. And what if you are wounded and cannot talk? Think of the Virginia Tech massacre. You could at least text ‘help’ and your address. A smart company might just set up a web service where you can register, and anything forwarded to that site gets sent to your local emergency services.’

BOREALIS

Stephen: ‘Finally, good coming from Borealis – just not yours. But this Borealis says its lighting makes compact fluorescents obsolete.’

 

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