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Comment: 'bout time. (Score 5, Interesting) 90 90

Nearby communities are not far behind in bringing broadband to their residents; they see high-speed Internet as an economic boon akin to rural electrification in the 1930s, one that could bring higher home values, better business climates, and easier access to the modern economy.

I've been saying that for a while. First was electrification, then telephonication, now internetification. High speed internet has become a basic service and necessary baseline for habitability.

If you're buying a house, you don't need to ask whether it has electricity, phone service, water, and sewage service. The last two might be self-service in the form of a well and septic system (hopefully not too close together) but you can be pretty sure they're in place or the home wouldn't be on the market. But you can't count on high speed internet. (Satellite and other services metered in 10s of gigs per month don't count.)

Last year, I picked the region where I wanted to semi-retire but I had to cross the entire area off my list because I couldn't get decent internet access unless I lived right in the middle of one of the little towns. Other areas were "up to" 6 meg DSL at best. I could have got 100mbit cable if I lived in town but, if I'm going to live in town, I'll live in a town with a Walmart, Home Depot, Best Buy, etc. A realtor said the first thing people ask is what kind of internet access they can get but, when I asked him what kind of internet access I could get, he had no idea. "I guess you could go ask one of the neighbors." Oh, sure. "Hi, I'm some random stranger. Can I come in and run some speed tests on your internet connection? I promise I'm not a serial killer."

So, instead of buying a cabin in the woods, I'm on the outskirts of a city within the sphere of influence of a cable company. As the rest of my generation retires in large numbers (in 20 years or so), those areas are going to continue to get passed over if they haven't got decent communications infrastructure in place.

And it's even more critical than electric/water/sewer. These days, it's possible for an individual to provide their own power. Solar panels, batteries, inverter, backup generator. Water can come from a well, sewage can go into a septic system. But creating a terrestrial internet connection 10 miles to wherever the local ISP is located can't be done by an individual.

Comment: Re:Bah! Media! (Score 1) 173 173

How much did they move? A terabyte or so? I move hundreds of gigs a month in and out of my house and I'm just...counts on man.

Obviously, they should be paying attention to where these outgoing bulk transfers are going, but the volume of data on its own is small enough to barely make a blip in the stats of a large organization. If it went out ten megs here, 5 megs there as email attachments or whatnot, it would be easy to miss.

Comment: Re:Farms (Score 1) 278 278

I was going to suggest that but realized that there currently isn't a way to transport the poopwater from urban areas where it's generated to rural areas where the farms are without using the existing potable water transport systems. If you're going to make it clean enough for that, there's no point in transporting it.

Comment: Dumbest question I'll see all day. (Score 1) 435 435

If there's no driver, will the passengers want to look outside?

What an asinine question. You don't need windows on buildings but they have them because PEOPLE WANT TO SEE OUTSIDE!!! And buildings don't even move. They added a window to the freaking Mercury capsules to get a better view. Yes there will be windows on automated vehicles.

You are an insult to my intelligence! I demand that you log off immediately.