This is a couple of years after dumping my cable for Netflix.
So what I want now is some kind of data service that lets me cut off my ISP. I don't know how that would work but I suspect that 10+ years ago the cable/telephone companies didn't see much of a threat from anyone.
To call it spaghetti code is insulting to visual basic programmers everywhere.
To me this is like what people are realizing with many police departments; it isn't just a few bad apples. If the good apples condone the bad apples then they are all bad apples. It is the same with OpenSSL it was a shitty project before heartbleed and keeping anyone with the project from those days is just wrong. If they were programmers with the slightest sense of decency or capability they would have grouped together and forked the project.
For any politician and especially party to genuinely take these on is pretty much the end of the show for them.
This is not an American phenomena. Just about all elections everywhere end up with politicians promising "Change" "Hope" or "A better future." But even if one party replaces the other the forces that put them there have the exact same agendas and thus nothing changes. Quite simply there are no billion dollar loobby groups fighting any of the above with vaguely the exception of eco groups who no longer seem to have the big domestic companies as their primary targets.
This way some morality police lawmakers can't step in and turn this in to an abortion/anti-abortion debate where the actual consumer of these services then lose.
The key is that most people quickly develop a sense that they have landed somewhere bad in a moment; just like most people have developed an internal ad-blocker for their eyeballs for that occasional ad that slips through.
"This domain is for sale." is a huge give away for instance.
Some NSA good slides up to you in your favourite Dublin pub and hands you this warrant with all kinds of legal threats on it. What do you do? Threats like 20 years in solitary confinement. Yes they are way on the wrong side of morality but the reality is that the US court system more often than not is bowing down to this sort of authoritarian behaviour. So even if you win in the end the costs will be extraordinary.
But where I see them really kicking ass and taking names is in agriculture where you could have a robot sweep down a field of fruit and only harvest that fruit that is perfectly ripe, then to come back hours later and harvest the now ripe fruit, and so on for the entire harvest. The same with earlier phases of growing, such as diligently picking the weeds every day, or watering and fertilizing only those plants that exactly need it. Can you imagine some working walking along taking soil samples by each plant and then making the correct adjustments. Or picking the bugs off each plant and crushing them?
Then there will be things like road construction, landscaping, building construction, road maintenance, etc. With these I can see a situation where not only are the robots cheaper at doing these things but they do them with such perfection that people would take any suggestion to use people as just foolish. For instance right now my city is filled with potholes and cracks in the road that will pretty much certainly become potholes. I would love a robot that went around filling these in to perfection. 50-100 of these robots could probably keep the streets in my city basically perfect. The same with sidewalk/park/road cleaning robots as the streets in my city are filthy. The occasional large sweeping machine is just not enough. Again 50-100 machines could make my city Truman show perfect.
So quite simply I hope that the various cell manufacturers are presently working on technology that won't allow a cellphone to connect with anything but the known towers. Plus I hope that the FCC is going to shut these down. If the police are allowed to use these without a warrant than why can't I use a stingray to gather interesting marketing data about my customers? Didn't google end up in a pile of trouble for mopping up wifi data with their streetview cars?
I will make a prediction. Before 10 years some North American utility will attempt to create a law that all occupied houses must maintain a minimum connection to the grid. This minimum would of course come with a fairly steep minimum charge. They will really fear even a small group of upper middle class people just snipping the wires because the cost to actually produce the electricity to a house is fairly negligible compared to the overall cost of the entire grid. Thus the loss of even 5% of the customers could result in the utility approaching zero profits. The worst part is that these customer would typically be reliable bill payers, and above average consumers. This will scare the shit out of the utilities.
But there will be a grey area where people will have to spend more on an off grid system than it is worth but will do it for a variety of reasons ranging from green thinking to screwing the utility companies.
But as those first few go off the system I suspect they will be fairly rich people who are then permanently off the grid. They will pave the way for better systems, bigger markets, larger volumes, and thus more people down the economic scale to also go off grid. This is a one way street unless the utilities suddenly figure out a way to deliver at a much lower cost (fusion, cheap high temperature super-conductors, etc)
So right now going off grid in an urban environment would be costly, a huge pain in the ass, and full of compromises. 10 years from now, probably something that people could take or leave. 20 years people will look at people still on the grid as a bit foolish; sort of like how people now with netflix look at people still with cable. The cable people still make up the majority but we consider them a bit stupid.