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And, yes, I DO take it personally: 02/07/2010 - 02/14/2010
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And, yes, I DO take it personally

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Google to "test" 1GB internet download speed in U.S. which is currently #29 worldwide

here's the current top 14 world-wide in internet download speeds...

Top Countries by Download Speed

  • 1. 23.35 Mb/s Korea, Republic of
  • 2. 18.17 Mb/s Aland Islands
  • 3. 17.38 Mb/s Japan
  • 4. 16.73 Mb/s Latvia
  • 5. 15.24 Mb/s Romania
  • 6. 14.76 Mb/s Lithuania
  • 7. 14.58 Mb/s Sweden
  • 8. 14.08 Mb/s Netherlands
  • 9. 13.99 Mb/s Andorra
  • 10. 13.77 Mb/s Bulgaria
  • 11. 12.28 Mb/s Moldova, Republic of
  • 12. 10.73 Mb/s Hong Kong
  • 13. 10.64 Mb/s Portugal
  • 14. 10.24 Mb/s Slovakia

the united states...??
  • 29. 7.57 Mb/s United States
woo-hoo, right...? but google might, just might, bring as many as 500,000 of us UP TO ONE WHOLE GB...!!!
Google, the world's biggest online search engine, wants to turbocharge your Internet connection.

The company said Wednesday it is getting into the broadband service business with trials for fiber networks that will deliver Internet access speeds that are 100 times faster than what most Americans are getting today.

The company said in a blog that it will build fiber-to-the-home connections to a small number of locations across the country that will deliver Internet access speeds of 1 gigabit per second. The company didn't say what areas would be part of its experiment, but said prices would be competitive and that its network would reach at least 50,000 and potentially up to 500,000 people. A source who spoke on the condition of anonymity said the company doesn't currently have plans to expand beyond the initial tests but will evaluate as the tests progress.

and, in typical wapo, head-in-the-sand, context-free fashion, completely neglects to mention that there are a full TWENTY-EIGHT COUNTRIES that have faster internet than the u.s... great going, wapo...!!

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Snow, snow and more snow - in D.C. and in Afghanistan


i'm sitting here looking out the window at the blizzard currently hitting the virginia, maryland and d.c. area, glad i'm inside and warm, and wondering if the airport will re-open tomorrow for my afternoon flight to europe... after having my flight from buenos aires on sunday canceled due to the snow in d.c., i landed here early yesterday morning, luckily as it turned out because the airport had only been re-opened for less than 36 hours from the last storm when it was closed again yesterday shortly after noon...

however, my complaining sounds like a whine when reading a story like this from afghanistan...

At least 150 people have been killed in a series of avalanches that have blocked a mountain pass north of Kabul, Afghan officials say.

Rescuers are trying to reach hundreds more people who are trapped in their vehicles in the Salang Pass.

Some 2,500 people have been rescued so far, but scores more are feared buried following several days of heavy snow.

More than two dozen avalanches have hit the pass since Monday, blocking 2.1 miles (3.5km) of road.

Interior Ministry spokesman Zemeri Bashary told the AP news agency rescuers had recovered 157 bodies from the road, which connects the Afghan capital with the north, over the past two days.

Officials said crews were working to clear the route near the Salang tunnel for ambulances, bulldozers and other road-clearing equipment.

"There are many other cars swept away," Gen Mohammad Rajab, the head of the Kabul-Salang highway, told Reuters news agency.

"The death toll may rise as we dig out dozens of other frozen bodies."

there's just no good news for afghanistan, it seems...

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Monday, February 08, 2010

Perfectly capturing the essence of Afghanistan


i haven't had the pleasure of traveling outside of kabul either by road or otherwise but i hope to have the experience one of these days soon and, yes, i would very much like to drive this road...

Kabul Gorge near Sarobi
Kabul-Jalalabad Highway

Kabul Gorge near Sarobi
Kabul-Jalalabad Highway

dexter filkins, the nyt correspondent who has spent years reporting from afghanistan, almost perfectly captures the essence of the country in this article...
Afghans Don’t Let a White-Knuckle Highway Slow Them

The 40-mile stretch, a breathtaking chasm of mountains and cliffs between Kabul and Jalalabad, claims so many lives so regularly that most people stopped counting long ago. Cars flip and flatten. Trucks soar to the valley floor. Buses play chicken; buses collide.

The mayhem unfolds on one of the most bewitching stretches of scenery on all the earth. The gorge, in some places no more than a few hundred yards wide, is framed by vertical rock cliffs that soar more than 2,000 feet above the Kabul River below. Most people die, and most cars crash, while zooming around one of the impossible turns that offer impossible views of the crevasses and buttes.


One day last week, 13 accidents unfolded on the road in a mere two hours, all of them catastrophic, nearly all of them fatal. The daylong drizzle made the day slightly more calamitous than most. At one scene, a bloodied family grieved for their kin trapped in a flattened car. At another, a minibus lay crushed beneath the hulk of a jackknifed truck. At still another, the bottom of a ravine was filled with a car’s twisted remains.

And yet even as those accidents spread themselves across the roadway, the cars sailed heedlessly past. Taxis and buses weaved and passed one another at bone-chilling speeds, with only millimeters separating them from bloody catastrophe.

i learned to drive in the mountains of colorado, both on and off road, and there's nothing i like more than a good driving challenge... i've driven in many countries and dealt with extremely dangerous and truly insane driving habits but, i must admit, afghans are perhaps the most insane of the lot...

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Sunday, February 07, 2010

Rest in peace, Brother Tim... You were a good and kind friend...!

Tim O'Donnell
Deceased 1 February 2010

i'm stunned...! i just found out from a comment left on the previous post by betmo that brother tim is no longer with us... i never had the good fortune to meet this fine man in person but we had many a long chat by phone, usually when he was co-hosting my blogtalk radio program... a kinder, more decent human being I can't imagine... bless you and your family, brother tim... i for one will sorely miss you...!

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Cole on Palin: "We've had enough narcissistic sociopaths in politics"

amen to THAT, brother...!

read professor cole here...

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