Tag Archives: Internet

Would You Go to an Internet Cafe?

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I was recently asked if I thought Internet cafes are a thing of the past. I really hate when people go around declaring something is going to die or become obsolete. You may not see a need for a particular thing or place any longer, but does that mean it doesn’t serve a purpose for others?

Just when someone comes along and declares something as dead, it doesn’t really die. What are the chances we will never need to socialize with another human being? Granted, I don’t often go outside and interact with people that way. Thank God for social media outlets.

I don’t think Internet cafes, as such, are going to die out. People are always going to want to use an Internet connection. Perhaps their connection at home will go out (God forbid!!). Maybe they don’t have a connection of their own at all. What if their computer breaks? Why not go and get a cuppa Joe at an Internet cafe?

Seriously, folks. Stop trying to push your own thoughts off on the rest of us by trying to declare something as dead.

Do You Love Broadband?

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Ars Technica reported that 23% of U.S. households don’t have Internet anywhere in the house? Why not? many people just don’t see the need for this “Internet” thing at all. Really? Lamarr thinks broadband should just be something in the house like electricity, water, and heat service so that it’s just normal to have.

The largest reason is listed as a lack of interest in the Internet, with cost being second. Stop spending so much money on dinners out and get yourself online instead. Broadband should be a required utility in the house like water or heat.

How can someone not want to be connected to the Internet? The world is out there. You can find everything online. Don’t you want to expand your mind and your opportunities?

Do you think these 23% are living in the dark ages, are ignorant, or are they on to something? Maybe the Internet causes more problems than it’s worth. I’m just playing Devil’s Advocate here; leave a comment below.

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What is the Purpose of the Internet?

Avenue Q is a wildly popular show which has run all over the world. It is the story of Princeton, a bright-eyed college grad who comes to New York City with big dreams and a tiny bank account. Poor Princeton quickly finds out that the only place he can afford to live is on Avenue Q. The neighbors seem harmless enough, so why not take a chance? Brian is an out-of-work comedian engaged to therapist Christmas Eve. Nicky is a complete slacker with a big heart who is roomies with Republican investment banker Rod. Trekkie is addicted to the Internet… and porn. Kate, the Kindergarten teaching assistant, is sweet and naive. Princeton and the gang sail through the entire show struggling to find jobs, dates and their purpose in life.

JobbeJoe created a fantastic music video to go along with this fun song, and included many characters and backdrops from World of Warcraft. It’s very well put together – nearly seamless. However, I didn’t only embed this particular video for the laughs it is sure to bring. If you really listen to what is being said, you’ll see how true it really is.

The Internet is not “for porn” as Trekkie claims. Many older people who do not use the ‘net regularly actually assume that connecting to a website will result in being faced with all sorts of dirty things. Yes… there is porn online. Yes… it can be found quite easily. However, WE all know that’s not what it’s all about.

The Internet is a gateway to information. You can find anything your heart desires online, from health care reform to taxation and politics… to porn. I’m not sure where the hell I was going with that though. No matter what I say, all of you will jump to remind me that “The Internet is for Porn!”

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Gogo Inflight Problem

The other day, I was on an Alaska Airlines flight to Dallas, TX (on my way to speak at OpenCamp). My dendrites were quite thrilled to discover that the plane was WiFi-enabled. Yay! I realize that some people refuse to pay for in-flight Internet, but… the alternative is to “bored” the plane. Get it?! Anyway…

I fired open my Web browser on the iPhone and was greeted with a simple fee structure for the day:

Okay, $7.95 sounds quite doable. I was expecting it to be a bit more, to tell you the truth. Then, I wondered if I should just sign up on my iPad (since I’d be able to browse the Web easier with a substantially larger screen). That’s when I was smacked with this:

Wait a second. It’s the same Internet, it’s the same access point, it’s the same time of day, it’s the same flight – and somehow, Gogo Inflight wants to charge me $3 less on the iPad versus the iPhone? Something smells fishy – and it’s not the fish from First Class.

Yes, this “pointless” price discrepancy really pissed me off. Most people would use one device over another, never thinking of using both – and, certainly, they’d expect to see a quick explanation of the limitations of either usage model. I wondered, then, if Gogo Inflight was profiling (!) me – thinking that since I was an iPhone owner, I could afford to pay more – versus the iPad, which was seemingly being detected as a laptop?

Then again, can’t a laptop “do more” than an iPhone? Why charge more for one over the other? It made absolutely no sense to me – but before sharing my extreme disappointment with the world (via this blog, since I initially tweeted my concerns), I waited to hear from one of their representatives, who kindly explained:

I’m Caitlin, I work on Gogo Inflight Internet and I saw your tweets about the issue that you had with pricing yesterday. I’ve copied Mike on this email, who works directly with our customer care team. We’re both genuinely sorry that you had a frustrating experience, and wanted to take the time to try to explain what happened.

Our prices are based on both device type and flight time, as our team communicated on Twitter. You can see the basic pricing structure here. However, if flight data is not available, as sometimes happens on our equipment, we automatically default to the lowest price available for that device. It sounds like what happened with you yesterday was that the mobile site (which your iPhone would see) was able to give you the correct price based on flight time. However, your iPad, which runs on our laptop site, didn’t get that data and automatically gave you the lowest possible price. We try to always err on the side that benefits the customer, so you got a lower price since we couldn’t find the specific flight data.

Additionally, purchasing on a laptop, netbook, or iPad actually allows you to switch back and forth between that device and any mobile device, although you can’t use both devices at once.

Sorry, guys – but I don’t buy it. In fact, I’m even more confused now.

Why is Gogo Inflight charging less to allow the user to do more?! That’s Caitlin’s assertion: if you buy access from the iPad (“laptop”) for $4.95, you can switch between devices in-flight, but if you buy access on your iPhone for $7.95, you’re stuck with one device?

Dude. Seriously. Gogo Inflight needs a serious altitude adjustment.

Every person should pay the same amount for a flight, regardless of device. Once access has been paid for (once), let the user flip between devices so long as only one of them is on the network at any given time – lest they pay extra for a second device.

Anything less than that is just… devicist.

The Future of the Internet

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Over on Lockergnome, Slick asked what our thoughts are on the future of the Internet. With speeds and capabilities ever-increasing, it can boggle the mind to think of what we’ll have available to us in 20 years or so. It will be funny to look back to the year 2010 and think about how SLOW we thought the connections we have now were.

It’s interesting that this question came up when it did. I learned today that Australia is going to be giving all of their citizens fiber-optic connections in their homes. Finland recently said that citizens have the RIGHT to broadband connections. How many other countries will soon realize that the only way to bring their land and their citizens into the future with free and easy access to the Internet?

We already know that the Internet is much more important than eating, drinking, sleeping or having somewhere nice to live, right? Maybe it’s not AS important as those other needs. However, I do think that it’s pretty high up on the list. Wherever you are, you need information. Getting info from the library isn’t practical these days. They’re great, yes, for certain things.

We have knowledge. How are we going to turn that knowledge into wisdom? The future of Internet connections is omnipresent. Anywhere you go and any device you have should be able to quickly connect to the Internet at any given moment of the day, without muss or fuss.

What are your thoughts? What do you think we’ll see in the future as far as the Internet and its connections and speeds go?

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Could Comcast Become Extreme?

Extreme Internet speeds from Comcast will apparently come at an extreme price. To those of us who work from home and rely on fast (and reliable) connections, no price is too high to pay for awesome download speeds. Well, in my case I need superb upload speeds. However, I digress…

Comcast has quietly unveiled an entirely new level of service that will become available in just a few days. Extreme 105 Cable service will offer download speeds of 105 Mbps, and upload speeds of 10 Mbps. Ohhh yeah baby! I can live with those, can’t you? However, as I said, something this extreme doesn’t come cheap. The cost for installation will run $249.00 and monthly service weighs in at $199.95 per month (plus modem rental cost).

There weren’t any official announcements about this service that I have come across. A customer noticed a small advertisement on his recent Comcast bill and called the company to find out more information. The notices on the bills you’re receiving this week aren’t a hoax. Comcast Extreme 105 really IS coming June 1st! Are you going to attempt to upgrade?

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Why Do You Need Social Media?

I had a great time in Hawaii last week. I was there to be a presenter at the Next Level Hawaii conference. Kelly Mitchell and her team did a fantastic job of putting this event together.

The team at Believe and Succeed stopped me to talk about the power of social media and the Internet in general.

People need to know that they’re missing out if they’re not participating. Sometimes, participation can mean just looking and listening. Most of the participation that happens in social media is passive via lurking and watching what’s happening. Ignoring it, however, is only done at your own peril.

There’s a lot that can be gained by watching, reading and exploring. Social media isn’t as “technical” and difficult as some would make it out to be. These tools being used by Geeks can honestly be used by anyone.

Social media as a suite of tools is dynamic and always changing. Twitter may not be around when I hit 80 years old. We don’t know where these tools will go in the future, but they can still help us on a personal and professional level.

Don’t cut yourself off. I have heard a few people say that they don’t feel they need an Internet connection. That’s frightening to me in this age of information and online tools and consumption.

If your business isn’t making use of these tools, you’re wasting time and money. Don’t miss out. Take advantage of what’s out there to help you to succeed.

I have to thank Bruce and his team at Hawaii Aloha for helping me once again make the trip down to paradise.

Internet Society

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What kind of impact has the Internet had on you (personally or professionally)? Do you remember what life was like before the Internet? Could you imagine your life without the Internet? Could you imagine a world without the Internet?

Michael sent an email to me. He’s a high school student, doing some research on the Internet. Specifically, he’s writing about how the Internet has changed the World. He claims that I am pretty knowledgable about this particular topic. I beg to differ, but will do my best to help him out! He has a few questions he wanted me to answer.

  • In your opinion, what is the best benefit the Internet has given us as a society? – To me, it’s all about information access. When I was in high school, the Internet didn’t exist the way we know it now. It was a true eye-opener the day I realized what type of information I would have at my fingertips thanks to the ‘Net. Information is power, and the global community has become a lot more powerful, and a lot more aware. We are easily able to discover a lot more than we were previously able to.
  • In what ways has the Internet negatively affected the way we interact? – Chances are, you could go to the page where you found this video, and see people leaving idiotic and rude comments. They do this simply because they can hide behind the anonymity of the Internet. Many people feel that they can lose all social graces when they are online, and treat people like utter crap. I, however, always try to treat people online the same way I do in my physical life… with respect.
  • If someone who doesn’t know anything about the Internet asked you what the main purpose is of the Internet, how would you respond? – Connection… either to information, or to people. The Internet is a lot like a screwdriver. It’s a tool, which can be used for good – or bad. If you’re not using the right tool for any particular job, you won’t get very far. The results won’t be what you expected them to be. If you don’t respect and understand that this tool that connects you to information and other people, it could have disastrous results for you. The Internet is empowering.

If you are doing any type of research project that I may be able to help with, feel free to shoot me an email with your questions. Also, I’m interested in hearing what YOUR answers are to the above questions. Feel free to leave me a comment here, and let us know your thoughts.

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How Do Kids Under the Age of 12 Use the Web?

There’s an interesting survey going on right now, via ReadWriteWeb. They are attempting to gather data on how a child under the age of twelve might use the Web, and how much of it they really understand.

The survey is designed to have parents along for the ride. Children will draw their responses to specific questions, and then the parents will upload them to the survey response center. They are even being cautious with anonymity. There’s no need whatsoever to reveal a child’s identity, nor any identifying information. A parent can make up a first name (or nickname) for their child when beginning the survey.

The survey aims to discover how children use and understand Web technology, the environmental factors that contribute to these understandings, and the extent to which children can think ‘innovatively’ about web technology. The study also intends to deduce real-world applications from the drawings that the kids create.

If you are a parent of a child in this age group, I urge you to consider taking this survey with them. It will not only help gather important research information, it can also help you understand your child’s level of knowledge when it comes to the Internet. Talk with them about what they know, and set specific rules and boundaries for their online time. This will benefit both of you in the end.

What Will the Internet Look Like in Ten Years?

I came across an interesting question on Lockergnome earlier this morning: What will the Internet look like in ten years?. The author states:

… the idea of adverse changes, in my mind, is anything that would change the complete freedom that we have to do just about anything. Certainly crime should not be allowed, but anything that is not criminal should be fully allowed.

That’s an interesting thought. Sure, I agree that crime shouldn’t be allowed on the Internet. However, how the heck are we ever going to stop it? Thousands upon thousands of people fight hard every day to try and curb the growth of crime online. Sadly, for every criminal they take down, more are waiting in the wings to step up.

The author states at the end of the article:

The internet policy is something almost as important as health care, and no matter where you stand on health care, you can see that much twisting of the truth is coming from all parties. How much like that will the fight over the progress of the internet be?

Chilling to think about, for sure. It’s also likely very true. Everyone wants to control the Internet. How ugly do you think that fight for control will get? What direction do you see the Web going in over the next ten years? I’m interested in hearing your thoughts.

This wasn’t the only great article I read today. If you have something you want to share that I haven’t already highlighted here, please pass it along. I’m always looking for something interesting, funny or thought-provoking to read.

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