Comcast upgrades begin

This news item was a pleasant surprise:

Comcast said today it is offering a new tier of service called Blast that tops out at 16 megabits per second for downloads, twice the speed of its Performance Plus, while retaining the same price. Comcast users will still be able to purchase the basic Performance service, which offers 10 Mbps. Upload speeds also are getting a boost from 768 kilobits per second to 2 Mbps…

To create the upgrade in speed, Comcast has been building more capacity into its network of nodes, which serve hundreds of homes each. The upgrade is part of Comcast’s $663 million investment in the Bay Area since it acquired the former AT&T cable system five years ago.

This reaction to AT&T’s U-verse upgrade shows that competition works, even for people like me who can’t get U-verse.

Burning ears

Check out the latest Tech Policy Weekly podcast, Network Management Redux:

Two networking / IT experts join us for the podcast this week to discuss the ramifications of potential government regulation of broadband network engineering issues. The experts are Matt Sherman, a San Francisco Bay Area web developer and a technology policy blogger who blogs at, and George Ou who is the Technical Director of ZDNet, and is a former IT consultant specializing in Internet engineering and IT infrastructure and architecture issues. Also on the show are Adam Thierer of the Progress and Freedom Foundation, Jerry Brito of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, and Tim Lee of the Cato Institute.

It’s a frank and lively discussion of broadband policy from several points of view.

Not Impressed By Barack Obama

Seth Finkelstein explains it all:

I am not impressed by Barack Obama.

Yes, he makes nice speeches. Yes, he’s anti-war. That’s great. I don’t hate him. He’s a good guy for a Presidential candidate. However, I feel no great inspiration, and there’s a lot of ways he seems to me to be an inferior candidate to Hillary Clinton. He’s a lightweight in terms of track record, with no experience in dealing with all the mud that can be thrown at a Democrat by the Republican campaign apparatus.

These days, when someone makes an emotionally appealing speech to me, my guard goes up and I start considering how they might be trying to take advantage of me.

That’s pretty much my take. Hillary is, let’s face it, stronger all the way around than Obama. It was a tad worrying that her husband was doing so much damage to her campaign recently, but she’s reined him in, which is no small feat. Obama is doing the same tired old emotional populist appeal that Edwards has been doing forever, it’s just not credible.

Experience counts.

Google takes the wrath of Fake Steve Jobs

Brilliance on Google’s crocodile tears about Microsoft’s takeover of Yahoo! from The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs:

This is Google’s favorite song. They sing it whenever they want to get their way. Whether the issue is net neutrality, or the bid for wireless spectrum, or now this — these guys do their best Eddie Haskell impersonation and look everyone straight in the eye and say it’s not that they’re concerned about their stock price or their revenue growth, it’s that they’re concerned about users, because gee whiz these evil guys who are opposing our efforts could really mess things up for everyone. The Google guys are the good guys, see? They’re the ones who put the needs of Internet users first. The amazing thing to me is that so many people believe this bullshit.

Ahem and indeed.