Sometimes my heart really bleeds when I read a sad story in the newspapers.
This time it was about some analysts who are predicting that the Internet is approaching full capacity and that, when this happens, things are going to slow down to a crawl. They expect the Internet to suffer brownouts, when nothing seems to be happening, and for computers to be dropping their connections all the time.
The analysts could be right but have certainly overlooked the fact that, here in South Africa, we’ve had those conditions for years. We were years ahead of the US with online banking and now we are also ahead with crappy slow Internet; the same organisation, ironically, being responsible for both of those glorious South African achievements.
In one evening at the computer, preparing for this column, I had to restart my ADSL router twice because it lost its connection and forgot where to find Google, and everything else for that matter. It’s so frustrating but that seems to be our lot as South African consumers.
The same report says that the video sharing site YouTube now uses as much bandwidth by itself as the whole the Internet did in the year 2000. Internet traffic is now measured in exabytes which consist a quintillion (that’s a 1 followed by 18 zeroes) bytes of information. An exabyte is apparently equivalent to about 50,000 years of DVD data and the monthly Internet traffic is currently about 8 exabytes.
Some of this is undoubtedly down to my new and close interest in YouTube, where my latest discovery is an elfin comedienne by the name of Sarah Silverman. She is very funny but to say that her sense of humour is robust, is to be guilty of a gross understatement.
There is a brilliant clip on YouTube in which she appears on her boyfriend Jimmy Kimmel’s late night television show with a music video to show him. She plays guitar and sings that she has been having an affair and that “I’m f***king Matt Damon“, who also appears in the video.
It was so funny I nearly cried and, to top everything, the song is so good that that it won Silverman an Emmy award for outstanding original music and lyrics, and I challenge you to get it out of your head, once you’ve heard it.
And that’s not the end of the story, however, because there is also a music video clip in which Kimmel, with the help of Robin Williams, Harrison Ford, Cameron Diaz and a number of other stars, sings that he’s also been having an affair and that “I’m f***king Ben Affleck“.
Kimmel hosts a late-night talk show on the ABC network in the USA and highlights from the show are available on the show’s own channel on YouTube. There’s plenty of interesting and amusing stuff to see there.
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