Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Completed games and bandwidth caps

Anyone who lives in the States and uses the internet regularly has already heard about one of these 2 things, the other, well, I'm sure I'm not the first person to beat Dead Space 2.

Anyway, the more interesting point of this post is likely going to be the part about At&t capping their DSL and U-verse internet services to 150 gigs, and 250 gigs, respectively.  I honestly can't believe that people still use DSL, but people do things that are much crazier on a regular basis, so whatever.

The reason why this is important is because with every tomorrow, the amount of internet bandwidth the average person uses goes up without them even thinking about it.  Pandora, Rhapsody, Netflix, iPad/pod/phone, Android devices, XBox Live, Playstation Network, and a million other things, these are all things we use on a daily basis, and all things we dont readily know how much bandwidth they do or do not consume.

I personally don't use Netflix or connect my mobile devices to my wireless router at home, so those are kind of moot to me.  But I use Playstation Network a lot, and I play online computer games with a decent amount of regularity, so my bandwidth is constantly ticking up.

Further, with the changing distribution market, and people increasingly using download services for movies, games, and books, whether for the sake of "going green" or otherwise, the amount of bandwidth usage per person on average is about to go way up in the next few years, and sharing 250 gigs between a family of 4?  Yeah, the system is designed to suck all the extra bucks out of consumers.

This really gets under my skin, because the current market trend is pushing for bonus online content, discounts for purchasing digital content, and in some cases, only available digitally, so At&t is really playing the role of a headhunter on this one. 

Especially considering the amount of unused, unsubsidized bandwidth service providers keep, just in case.  I know in some areas there is as much as 80% of unused bandwidth potential that service providers hold onto for businesses and the like.  And that is with businesses already having access to the bandwidth that they currently need.

The argument is that this option is better than throttling speeds to keep people from going over their data caps, and better than just shutting their service off completely once they have reached their caps.


The first is definitely the better option, the second is archaic and shouldn't even be considered.  Throttling bandwidth is the option that should be taken, and putting data caps should be totally thrown to the wind.  People don't like the idea of not accessing the information they want as fast as others, but simply, you dont need 18 megabit download speeds if you are playing farmville or cruising youtube 4 hours every night. 

At&t is an INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDER.  If they start capping bandwidth usage, they punish consumers for following market trends, and they make it less profitable for internet based services to function, because the services they offer through the internet are now going to be chosen more carefully by consumers, and they will see profit declines that are directly cause by service providers.

I don't think it is going to last long, but if it does, holy shit I see bad things happening if it becomes common place.

This is especially funny in light of the recent FCC rulings that broadband speeds nationwide need to be increased to keep the United States on par with other countries in terms of what broadband provides.

Anyway, on to Dead Space 2...

I finally beat the game, and I really have mixed feelings about it.  On one hand, I really like it because unlike the first game, it was actually difficult.  But on the other hand, the story was pretty ambiguous and not fully fleshed out.

The game was fun, no lie.  Its definitely better than the first, but there are just aspects of it that didn't feel complete to me.  And again, the game was formulaic.  You could tell what was going to happen pretty much as soon as you opened a door.  Aside from the times when Isaac just went batshit.  Those were the best parts of the game.

I don't know.  I'm confused as to how I feel about this game.  Gameplay wise, its fantastic, but storywise, it just feels like I played through Dead Space again.  I really like the game, thats for sure, I was just expecting the plot to be propelled forward a little bit more.

All the same, I highly recommend picking it up.

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