I've been connecting with my inner geek out here in Silicon Valley, and so far, it's been quite the interesting week to be here, actually.
First, there have been a number of important firsts for me while traveling across this sacred technology ground.
I saw my first California Redwood all up close and personal like, complete with a picture of me smiling and pointing at the ring of the redwood on display to demonstrate the year where I was born.
(Hint: It was long after the Ming dynasty, and just after the American Revolution.)
I also saw for the first time a performance by the famed "Canned Heat" (Another Hint: Canned Heat was born the same year as I), "going up the country," who played both the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival and headlined at Woodstock.
And yesterday, I had the opportunity to ride in my first hybrid vehicle, a Honda Accord, complete with voice recognition-driven GPS that completely ignored both my and the drivers' pleas to speed things up a bit.
If you don't live here in California, you probably wouldn't know that with the proper accreditation, hybrid drivers can drive with a single driver in the mucho faster HOV lane.
Note to self: Buy a gas-saving hybrid car meant for the slow lane if you want to travel in the fast lane here in California.
But of course, the real reason it's a way
happenin' week out here in the land of cheap silicon wafers and dime a dozen Google-ionaires is the (second?) coming/appearance of the iPhone, the service plans
for which have now been officially announced.I Want My iPhone
Rumors abound of Apple employees publicly flouting units from the first manufacturing run, and I have no doubt the lines will start forming at the AT&T stores for we plebes sometime today.
You can get your first reality check and low, lowdown on the iPhone around 6 P.M. Pacific Standard Time this evening, which is when Walt Mossberg's and David Pogue's first reviews are expected to strike.
Word on the Business2.0 blog street
is the early reviews are "generally positive" but that "downloads are sluggish" over AT&T's current cellular network and that there are "typing difficulties."
Well, uh, yeah.
There's no friggin' keyboard on the thing (well, not the keyboard as we typically have known it)!
That's like saying there are steering difficulties on a Lamborghini with no steering wheel (and on Highway 101, I'm certainly beginning to wonder if a steering wheel is really even necessary).
This is a whole new computing paradigm, people, and,
it's from Apple: You have to will
the thing to do what you want.
It's all about the human mind telepathic connection interface! Don't you get
it??!! Life in the Slower Lane
Of course, no amount of hype can save us from this very sad news: The speed of the U.S. Intertubes are well out of the range of your typical Lamborghini, and in fact, probably fall somewhere closer to that of the Edsel.
I'm talking, of course, about average broadband speed.
The U.S.' own particular series of tubes came in at a whopping average 1.9Mbps in a recent Communications Workers of America broadband speed test
(PDF, Adobe Reader and extreme patience required, particularly in North Dakota):
Compare that to the following:
South Korea: 45Mbps
I can hear hear Jay Leno's opening monologue now.
Not to let California off the hook, which is particularly
slow when it comes to broadband: Its broadband media download speed being a mere 1.52 Mbps, putting it 36th among U.S. states.
No wonder hardly anybody telecommutes in California. The entire global technology economy would come to a complete standstill! Which makes me wonder, does the Governator travel on his Harley in the fast or slow lane?
Alaska, the state from whence the distinguished gentleman Senator Ted Stevens first made us all aware of the clogged series of tubes problem, has informed us that, indeed, Alaska's tubes are completely
Its download ranking? 51st (That there are only 50 U.S. states is an anomaly that even I
cannot explain).My Royalty Check, Please
But, you won't be able to hear any
of this news today via online radio, so we turn instead to the esteemed BBC News,
who inform us that Web radio broadcasters across the U.S. are today holding a "day of silence" to protest the coming hike in royalty payments for playing music online.
In sympathy with the protest, I will be leaning my head out the window and singing for your listening pleasure, all the way to Google's offices in Mountain View, the Buggle's "Video Killed the Radio Star."
That ought to be enough to clear out the HOV lane. : )