Friday, February 21, 2014

Welcome back to the 1990's

Telegraph by denzombie. Creative Commons License.
Ok, so maybe my photo selection is from the 1890's and not the 1990's.

But sometimes living in San Diego is like going back in time. Back to the 1990's. I thought California was the avant-garde of technology innovation and use? IBM? Apple Computers? UCLA and Stanford?

Slow Internet
In Portland we had the Comcast cable monopoly. But it was at least possible to get high speed Internet. Here in San Diego we have the Cox cable monopoly. TV, telephone, Internet. Bundled. You have to get them all. No good TV channels for basic cable, and no ISPN sports on basic cable. Besides, no matter what cable package you choose, Satellite TV is the only way to get the NFL football games you want to see, not cable. So forget broadcast television, Netflix at <$20 per month is the way to go--even if they started charging $10 now for streaming movies that used to be free. And wired telephone? Really? 1993 saw the introduction of the 2G SmartPhone from IBM.

I did see a Time Warner advertisement for "High speed" Internet of 3 Mbps. Whoa! That's about dial-up speed, isn't it? Don't try to watch streaming video with that! One can get 15 Mbps speed on Cox cable at a "reasonable" rate (if you can call $90 bundled with basic TV "reasonable"). You know what? We had Fios fiber optics at 50 Mbps 8 years ago in supposedly backward Oregon. And that was nowhere near $90 per month.

Traffic lights
The traffic lights in San Diego are not synchronized to improve fuel efficiency and traffic flow. After you stop for a red light in Hillsboro, Oregon, and it turns green, you get all the rest of the lights green through town when you travel the speed limit. In San Diego the lights are not synchronized and they stay red a l-o-n-g time. Thus, because you don't want to hit a red light, jackrabbit starts and high speeds are the order of the day to make the next intersection before the light turns red.

Doesn't everyone have a smart phone or Internet device to look up businesses? This is not just a California problem, but the books don't biodegrade here in the sun as fast as they did in rain-drenched Oregon. How many Yellowpage books are sitting unwanted and uninvited, run-over in driveways in your neighborhood? Notice how people don't even pick them up from their own driveway? "I didn't put it there. I'm not picking it up!"

When Marlene and I went to take our driver's license test recently to get our California licenses, we didn't use the computerized test system that has been used in Oregon for over 10 years. We were flabbergasted when they handed us... paper and a pencil! We looked around for Alan Funt-- like it was 1990 or something!
Pencil by Kilian Evang. Creative Commons License.

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