So this metric needs to be changed to unmetered broadband access. There is no point in having lots of bandwidth if you don't have the allowed bits to use it. The speed metric should be allowed_bits/time.
I use 2 computers with 3 monitors. One machine is my linux desktop driving a pair of monitors. The other computer is my windows laptop driving a 3rd monitor. The windows laptop lets me run all the corporate required windows only programs comfortably. I run synergy across them, so that I use a single keyboard/mouse/cut&paste buffer across both machines. It lets me have all the utility of linux desktop, while still running Outlook and other IT mandated software tools.
From a workflow point of view, the windows machine is often my "communications" gateway -- it runs my email and IM clients, as well as acting as the persistent reference window when working on tasks that spawn multiple virtual desktops. The linux machine is where I do all my real work.
I've been very pleased with how smoothly this works.
So I look at this and think "some machine, some where has to be running the code". When you play flash games, all the work is being done on your local machine. When I play wow, its pegging a 2ghz processor to the extent it slows other things running in the background noticeably. When you start doing complex work in photoshop, your limitation is often the amount of memory in the machine running it. While this is awesome for streaming content from remote servers, I really question the ability to provide the server resources to run these applications in any sort of high volume situation. What would the system requirements be to be able to run 10,000+ users through a single machine?
My preference for how to work is with a closed door with sufficient sound isolation that I can play music without disturbing others. My current employer's 5 ft cube walls, with no doors, near a well traffic'd hallway probably halves my productivity through a mix of frequent distractions and folks stopping in to chat.
It is important to have good intragroup communications. The challenge is doing it in such a fashion that it does not cause undue loss of productivity. The best group I've worked in used an internal IRC server extensively -- including have social channels as well as official channels. It allowed people to be chatty, without the chat causing active interruptions of work. Face to face meetings were still needed, but they were used sparingly.
This study is comparing apples and oranges.
The study assumes you are getting rid of your car to use public transit. There are so many things that are not public transit accessible that still require a car that they are not putting any replacement cost in for.
In Boston, a rental car for a weekend with insurance is ~$300. I use my car 3 weekends a month to travel outside of public transit range. Adding in the cost of getting a rental each weekend and suddenly 12.6k I'm saving is reduced by 7.8k (plus fuel costs and a lot of overhead dealing with rentals). The study is assuming depreciation of the car -- which likely means its assuming a purchase of new car. The cost conscious folks are either purchasing used cars or driving cars for far longer than a normal depreciation period.
And this doesn't even count the opportunity cost of travel time. I live in a near suburb (Arlington) and work in Cambridge. I can walk/bus to the T, and take the T to work. It takes about 1.25 hours each way. It takes me 20 minutes each way driving. I value the ~2 hours per day I save by driving pretty highly. Admittedly, if I have to drive during rush hours, my commute goes to 45-50 minutes each way and public transit becomes much more attractive.
Link to Original Source
The link from the White house above brings you a Presidential Directive that would allow unprecedented control over the functions of the government — given to the office of the President, in case of an emergency of "mass" proportions.
This policy: "prescribes continuity requirements for all executive departments and agencies, and provides guidance for State, local, territorial, and tribal governments, and private sector organizations in order to ensure a comprehensive and integrated national continuity program that will enhance the credibility of our national security posture and enable a more rapid and effective response to and recovery from a national emergency."
And seems to effectively allow the President to usurp the system of checks and balances without oversight.
Does this give the Office of the President too much power?
Link to Original Source
From the C|Net article