It takes me 5 minutes to eat lunch.
My mother would like to have a word with you. You're going to end up choking one of these days!
you don't just reboot before asking for help (the "common sense" answer)
I think you may have overestimated the common sense of the average user...
"There is a reason we want to provide our customers with better service, faster speeds, and a diverse choice of programming: we don't want to lose them."
If Comcast's customers aren't happy with the company's customer service, speeds, programming, etc., where else could they go? It's not like most people have a lot of options to begin with. And if Comcast is allowed to expand it's empire, that will only ensure that US consumers have even less options in the future (for cable providers anyway). You can't lose a customer if you're the only viable game in town.
To me, the images seem more like abstract art (which I generally don't connect with) than a revolutionary camera technique.
300ms is definitely not the norm. I live on the US east coast and my latency to LA or Seattle is usually 100ms or less. However the OP doesn't mention whether the latency is ~300ms to all addresses or only the mentioned test servers. If you're pinging 300ms to all machines in the same country on a modern broadband connection, that connection is definitely broken. Since you mentioned it's DSL, my quess would be trouble in the phone lines.
Bad routes can also be to blame for poor latency, although that would only affect the latency to destinations on certain networks. I once had a ping of 200ms from Atlanta, GA to a server in Houston, TX. Turns out the traffic was being routed from ATL, to DC, to NYC, to Chicago, to Seattle, to San Francisco, and finally back east to Houston. No joke. Luckily, I was at a university who happened to have a very understanding IT staff. They were able to force that traffic to go out over a secondary ISP that was available. The average Joe Customer of any big box ISP usually isn't that lucky though. Bad routes are something that many users just have to deal with.
Reality must take precedence over public relations, for Mother Nature cannot be fooled. -- R.P. Feynman