Slow Internet Connection

One of the blessings we have these days is an Internet connection in the form of fast reliable WiFi. WiFi is a technology that needs to be ubiquitous as it is essential to a lot of what we do almost similar to electricity and water. In other words it is becoming like a utility. For the most part, major modern cities around the world (at least those that I’ve travelled to) have WiFi readily available.

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Now the question is their speed and reliability. This is where most ISP (internet service providers) lack quality or ease of use. You could go to a good mall or a coffee shop or an airport or even an airplane and enjoy free WiFi but some places have to nickel and dime you to what is my number one pet peeve (well almost number one): slow Internet Connection. If you’re already shopping at a mall or paying, paying airport taxes, airline taxes just include the darned 4 dollars and change cost of the use of a lousy Internet connection for the duration (at most less than 24 hours at an airport or an airplane) a traveller is there. Let him or her be in communication with the family. Is that so difficult to understand and implement?

Google is working on what it calls Project Loon to provide wifi access via balloons. Let’s see how far that goes and how people manage to screw that up [have some confidence in the screwability of people].

Other places such as hospitals, government offices, banks and other such places should have free WiFi available to make things easy for folks. True 3G, 4G and LTE is often available on mobile devices but not everyone has it nor can travelers get it easily. So it behooves major modern metropolises to work on this and integrate it to their utility offerings of electricity, water and gas.

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Voyager 1 & 2

I have long been fascinated with the exploratory spacecrafts sent into space by NASA some 37 years ago. Human beings do not have much capacity to travel in space as we are dependent on so many things on this planet, including the air that we breathe, the water we drink, the food we need to consume and the temperature that must be maintained constantly for us to survive. Still the desire to discover what lies beyond the solar system remains. Both the energy required for us to travel on such a journey and the sheer time that the travel takes, is formidable. For now we have to rely on the spacecrafts: Voyager 1 and 2.

Voyager 1 entered interstellar space (outside of our solar system) in August 2012. NASA’s web site dedicated to the Voyage of Discovery is pretty detailed: it contains a lot of the images taken by the spacecrafts, among other things.

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Voyager is carrying a disc, dubbed the golden record, which contains a sampling of sights and sounds from our planet. The idea behind it carrying data from earth in case it is discovered by some other space explorers far far away. There is a list of all the stuff that’s on the disc on the web site as well. While browsing through it, I found that there is an image of a street scene from Pakistan – complete with rickshaws, taxis, people on bicycles, a woman beggar, a goat and cow sitting on a heap of what looks like garbage, horse carts and a family on a vespa scooter. Isn’t that something?

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