Sunday, January 11, 2009

It's Like the Internet. Only Slower.

Mark Goldston, CEO of NetZero, a vulture and, in the words of Dickipedia, a dick.

NetZero, in case you have forgotten, is a supplier of dial-up Internet service. Goldston's pitch is that the 56 million households in the U.S could save billions of dollars a year by ditching broadband and going back to dial-up.

That compares to the amount of money that people will save if they put on really heavy clothes, heat their homes with wood fires and draw water from a hand-dug well in their back yards.

More and more websites are video and image heavy. If you try to view those with dial-up, you have to click on the link to the website and then go pour yourself a drink while the web page loads. If you want to watch any video on YouTube or anywhere else, you'll have to get a video downloader (like UltraGet) and then a video player like FLV Player. You paste the video URL into the window in UltraGet and then go have a snack while the video slowly downloads.

Remember, you've got a 56Kb/s modem, maybe. If, for example, you want to download the "Mom's Day William Tell" video:

that's about 7,750Kb. At the fastest possible speed, that's a bit over seven minutes. Most 56K modems tend to connect a tad bit slower, so you may have time to cook dinner while that one video is downloading.

The "Rick Roll" video is 8.3Mb, which will take you nearly 8 minutes to download. The "Passport to Pluto" documentary that I mentioned over at my home blog will take over 37 minutes to download.

Those numbers assume that you do not try to open another browser window while the download is going on. They assume that your youngest kid doesn't pick up an extension and start whistling into it.

Oh and while all that is going on, your phone line is tied up (and you presumably still have wired phone service).

Want to work from home and telecommute into the office by a remote link? Do research online for a project? Not with dialup.

Goldston's ad campaign is an attempt to use a bad economy as a means to rescue a dying method of connectivity. If anything, it is vulturism at its worst.

Hang this bastard high with a modem cord.


  1. I stubbornly clung to dial up for many years before I ditched it.
    The difference is like trading a Model T you had to crank to start to a muscle car that performs well (unless the wind is blowing).

  2. The idiot thinks dialup is the cats meow? It's more like the spent fuel rods from the other end of the cat.
    it is the best tech when there was no other better tech and thats about it.

    I used dialup till I could get DSL then flilpped that for FIOS. Dial up only had one thing going for it, it worked (mostly) anywhere there was a phone and usually far slower than 56k as the TelCo mandated a limit at 43K. Assuming you could get a connection better than 33K.

    At 33K that 7750kb movie is about a 40 minute wait minimum.

    However from last I hear there are some 70million households that modem is the best you can do, assuming the phone is passably reliable.



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