Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

How Google Made Me Feel Better About My Cable Guys

Here’s a move I didn’t expect from Google: A chart designed to make me feel better about my broadband service.

Okay. So perhaps Google (GOOG) didn’t intend to make me feel better about Time Warner Cable (TWC) when it rolled out it a “YouTube Speed History” feature yesterday. But that’s the practical effect of the doohickey, which shows me how fast YouTube clips get to me and compares that with the speed of my neighbors and the world at large.

Check out the black lines on the two graphs below. That’s me (click to enlarge):

Not bad, right? I mean, I don’t really know exactly what it means, but it sure appears as if my broadband guys are getting me my Numa Numa guy clips faster than they get them to most people.

Then again, it’s not as if I could do anything about it if I was unhappy. Until Verizon (VZ) rolls out its high-speed FiOS network to my little patch of Brooklyn, Time Warner Cable is my only broadband choice, which is no choice at all. And it’s a good bet that you’ve got a similar scenario where you live.

Which is maybe what Google is getting at here. Or perhaps this thing only exists so that when Google rolls out its own hyper-fast broadband service and adds that to the chart, I’ll feel less smug about my speed.

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Nobody was excited about paying top dollar for a movie about WikiLeaks. A film about the origins of would have done better.

— Gitesh Pandya of comments on the dreadful opening weekend box office numbers for “The Fifth Estate.”