[iDC] MySpace staff cuts

Andreas Schiffler aschiffler at ferzkopp.net
Thu Jun 25 15:23:01 UTC 2009

Patrick Anderson wrote:
>> To cut something out of (b) many, many people would need invest into
>> devices that use less power and last much longer, build community mesh
>> networks and mini-clouds, and consume less server-based streams.
> We, the Users simply need to begin buying and building that
> infrastructure with the money we had been using to pay our bill that
> includes the overcharge called Profit.
Agreed - but to do that I need to first run a "profit" at the family 
level which can be spend on building up this infrastructure. As for 
myself, I find that hard to do. So generalizing a bit, achieving that 
amidst inflated living costs of unowned property (rent) at the locations 
where we work (cities) and the gazillions of omnipresent spending lures 
of the amazon.com's of the world takes a level of dedication that most 
of us don't possess.

Personally, I try to be extending the life of the devices I own. And 
yes, that means no iPhone as long as the GSM of my first gen Nokia is 
supported. But it is genuinely hard to dodge the temptations to upgrade. 
Next, all my device power-bars have a switch which is off over night to 
take out the wall wart "vampires" for half of the time at least. But in 
the end it is a drop in the bucket, and equipping my house with a solar 
roof is not an option due to costs and other circumstances.

For community mesh networking, the previous "cost of lawyers" post 
already indicates that this is a legal impossibility for the individual 
or groups to build in this day and age. Many government around the world 
(take Germany and France as an example) are tightening the rules around 
3rd party obligations, leaving the potential mesh network builders the 
option of community unfriendly darknets or the obscurity of packet radio.

What is more interesting in my view, is the idea of giving up data 
streams based on their system cost.

This is ultimately the "choice" we as consumers of these bit feeds can 
make right now with the click of the mouse-button. If one considers a 
stream any "feed" of modulated bits from a central server, be they the 
traditional Netflix or YouTube video, Google search results, Twitter and 
Blogs, or even the slideshow or blog of my friends holiday pictures. So 
what's the "system factor" for the various forms of media? I don't know, 
but anything which requires a big server farm behind could be 
categorized as worse. email for example has a very low impact, since one 
does not need much server power to support a lot of participants (i.e. 
this mailing list is "good" in terms of system cost). Search is 
somewhere in the middle, or maybe worse, if one takes the data sources 
into account (i.e. there is only something to "search" when there are 
all these billions of websites running ready to "serve"). P2P is also 
not really that good, since all the peer-devices need to be up and 
running all the time to make it work. P2P traffic seems to also be one 
of the biggest bandwidth hogs according to the providers. Who know? 
Current cellphones are probably pretty bad as well, since they require a 
ton of infrastructure at each cell level for the network to function - 
and as us users call for more coverage, it gets worse. Twitter, due to 
its reliance on the cell system plus the network seems hardly worth the 
system cost for what its worth. Blogs incur a marginal system cost when 
they are abandoned but kept online - and 90% of blogs are said to be in 
that state. MySpace and Facebook are probably relatively cheap to run on 
a per user bases since most of their function is to maintain all these 
personal bits data people collect over the years - that is until they 
start allowing video clip uploads - but Wikipedia uses a smaller server 
farm and has more users, so wins.


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