John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

New From Comcast: Really Friggin Fast Internet With 'Unnecessary Superlative Boost' ™

memorexguy.jpgFormer Motion Picture Association of America president Jack Valenti once famously compared the VCR to the Boston Strangler. Were he alive today, I wonder what malefactor he’d choose to describe file-sharing over one of Comcast’s next generation of ultrafast, Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification (DOCSIS) cable modems–Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot?

Comcast CEO Brian Roberts kicked off the Cable Show yesterday in Las Vegas with a demonstration of a DOCSIS cable modem capable of download speeds of up to 150 megabits per second–25 times faster than current models. Appearing before the National Cable & Telecommunications Association convention in Las Vegas, Roberts watched as a 32-volume set of the Encyclopedia Britannica and the Merriam-Webster Visual Dictionary were downloaded in less than four minutes. Done with a conventional cable modem, at 3 mbps to 5 mbps, the same task would have taken considerably more than three hours. “If you look at what just happened–55 million words, 100,000 articles, more than 22,000 pictures, maps and more than 400 video clips,” Roberts said, “the same download on dial-up would have taken two weeks. It really is a whole new technical platform. With wideband, we’re going to unleash a whole new generation of video, voice and data services.”

Comcast hasn’t yet set a hard date to launch the service, but Roberts said it will likely arrive at market within the next few years. “That was real. Everything you saw was real. It’s near-term,” he said. “I think it is hopefully a reminder that we have an incredible future of innovation ahead. And personally, I think broadband penetration is going to go way higher than anybody ever imagined.”


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald