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Queenstown

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Beautiful Cities of the World Collection

Here is another of the special animated creations for the recent drop on OpenSea. Speaking of NFTs… keep your eyes peeled for an announcement in the coming days. Nearing completion of the latest project and I’m fairly sure you’ll never guess what it is!
Queenstown

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Manzabar
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Cedar Rapids
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Data Again Shows That U.S. Broadband Is Painfully Mediocre

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For literally twenty-five years we've thrown billions in subsidies, tax breaks, merger approvals, and regulatory favors at U.S. telecom giants in exchange for the promise of amazing, competitive, ultra-fast, widely-available broadband (and oodles of high paying jobs). And time and time again, studies show that what Americans got back in exchange was...something notably less than that.

The latest speedtest data from Ookla once again shows that when it comes to broadband speeds, the U.S. continues to be nothing to write home about. The country ranks fourteenth in both wired and wireless broadband download speeds, despite boundless subsidies, rampant "deregulation" (read: doing whatever Comcast and AT&T say to do), a nauseating amount of 5G hype, and lots of promises from industry about the illusory investment benefits of killing net neutrality rules and functioning government oversight.

When it comes to wired broadband, the United States has fallen out of the top ten nations despite the dropping cost of fiber deployments:

On the wireless side, we've never once been in the top ten list. And while we did jump four spots to fourteenth, that's still not great. In large part because U.S. deployments of 5G, despite a ridiculous level of hype, are consistently slower than most overseas deployments:

As always some caveats: speed tests alone aren't the most accurate representation of true network performance, because users are often running tests when there are problems, may not be subscribed to the fastest speed available in their area (often because it's too expensive), or may be testing dodgy WiFi from a bad router halfway across the house. But the problem is that the U.S. rates consistently mediocre to terrible on every meaningful metric that matters, whether it's speeds, coverage, quality of the actual connection, customer service, or, especially, price:

"If we want to talk about international rankings, it's worth noting that the U.S. ranked 21st out of the 26 countries tracked in both standalone fixed broadband price and in mobile broadband price in the FCC's 2020 Communications Marketplace Report, and that's not a departure—it's the norm,” (Dana) Floberg said."

And while geography certainly plays a role, that stopped being a valid excuse a decade or so ago. We've thrown countless billions in favors and tax breaks at these companies in exchange for networks that routinely fail to materialize. I've spent twenty years studying and writing about the U.S. telecom sector and can assure you that regional monopolization and corruption are the primary reason for our continued failures. Canada and the U.S., which both share pretty similar approaches to broadband policy (namely: kiss the ass of regional, ever-consolidating monopolies), see similar outcomes on that front:

Despite the data never supporting it, the narrative du jour in telecom policy is that if you deregulate the sector (read: make telecom regulators so weak they can't hold Comcast and AT&T accountable), miraculous things happen. Despite the data never supporting it, another popular narrative is that you can just throw billions in subsidies at this monopoly logjam to fix it. The reality is U.S. broadband stinks because of monopoly power and the corruption gravy train that protects it from accountability, something U.S. policymakers are rarely willing to acknowledge, much less actually do something about.

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Manzabar
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Watch William Shatner review impressions of William Shatner

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The halting cadence! The pregnant pauses! The swagger!

William Shatner seems to lack any and all self-awareness when it comes to reviewing these famous impersonations of him.

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Manzabar
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Got weird grody space-milk?

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I’m no slouch when it comes to writing my own jokes. But sometimes you just want to seek out low-hanging fruit and let someone else do all the heavy lifting and joke writing for you. Thankfully, I found The Brothers Brick alumni Iain Heath to be both low-hanging and fruit. The Last Jedi answered a dubious question that no one wanted to know; how does Luke sustain himself on the remote, rocky, wind-blown planet of southern Ireland? It turns out he gets it right from the tap as illustrated with this creation that Iain made to look like an official LEGO set. (Don’t let that fool you, space travelers!) It features a Thala-siren, a weird marine mammal-creature with her huge rediculous udders flopping out there in front of God and everybody to see.

GOT SPACE MILK?

The title “Crazy Space Wizard Breakfast Assault” is hilarious. The milk on Luke’s face, Rey’s last name are all also pretty damned hilarious. Even the piece count of 420 may offer up a clue as to where Iain gets all his crazy ideas. See what I mean? The jokes just write themselves!

The post Got weird grody space-milk? appeared first on The Brothers Brick.

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Manzabar
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Read "The Truth," a 1964 SF story by Stanislaw Lem never before published in English

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Polish science fiction author Stanislaw Lem (1921 – 2006) — known for his sophisticated, philosophical stories and novels like Solaris — wrote the 9,500-word "The Truth" in 1964. For the first time, it's been translated into English and posted to The MIT Press Reader. — Read the rest

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Manzabar
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Rover Replies

1 Comment and 6 Shares
I'm so glad NASA let you take your phone to Mars!
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Manzabar
5 days ago
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1 public comment
alt_text_bot
5 days ago
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I'm so glad NASA let you take your phone to Mars!
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