This blog is mostly professional, but may have some personal notes in it as well, as it affects my professional activities.

Its namesake stems from my PhD research into regional identities in the late eighteenth century in what is now southern Bavaria.

I blog about issues related to information literacy, access to library resources, the environment, and the Historical Geography of Rupertsland.

Some sources regarding his life and work.

Fischer, H. (1988) ‘Schön und vortrefflich’: die ‘Charte von Schwaben’: Ein kartengeschichtlich bedeutsames Werk zu Beginn des 19. Jahrhunderts, in: Beiträge zur Landeskunde: Regelmässige Beilage zum Staatsanzeiger für Baden-Württemberg, Juni 1988, 3:1–8.

Fischer, H. (1988) Die ‘Charte von Schwaben’ im Massstab 1:86,400: Erläuterungen, in the series: Reproduktionen alter Karten, Stuttgart.

Fischer, H. (1993) Die ‘Charte von Schwaben’ 1:86,400, Cartographica Helvetica 7 (1993) 1–10.Gradmann, J.J. (1802) Das gelehrte Schwaben: oder Lexicon der jetzt lebenden schwäbischen Schriftsteller, Ravensburg.

Günther, Siegmund (1922) Eine Kartierung Oberschwabens um die Wende des achtzehnten Jahrhunderts, Sitzungsberichte der mathematisch-physikalischen Klasse der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften zu München, Jahrgang 1921 315–330, 317n.

Wolfart, P. (2008) Mapping the Early Modern State: the Work of Ignaz Ambros Amman, 1782–1812, Journal of Historical Geography, 34(1):1-23.

"Ignaz Ambros von Amman" in Wikipedia [short entry but cites Wolfart (2008).]

Indigenous Studies Portal News

Friday, February 18, 2011

Fragility of Internet Access

Here are two examples yesterday that demonstrated the fragility and cost of internet access.
I was in line yesterday to pay for my lunch at a University eatery, and the net was down. And with net being down, so too was the debit machine, so cash only. The two people in the line in front of me, had to abandon their lunch plans, left the food behind, presumably to be thrown out (i.e. no sale). Multiply that by number of people who don't use cash and we can only imagine the number of sales lost in a very short period of time.

In my second example I was part of a test with colleagues in Vancouver regarding conferencing using web based conference calling. The net went down, and we were stranded in mid-conversation. There were a few chat messages before they too didn't go through. Thankfully this was a test run, but the conclusion is we're not there yet, and will have to persevere with the more costly and clumsy option of teleconferencing.

In a model that is actively discouraging what the vendors / IP providers are labelling overuse this kind of thing is bound to be devastating to small and medium sized businesses in this country. Back in the day, millions were invested (admittedly to varying geographic degrees, since much of the investment was provincially regulated, or on a for-profit model) to create a strong and profitable infrastructure. Ironically, part of that infrastructure was a system of 'residential schools', and while I'm sure everyone is glad to see the demise of those, we are missing some glorious opportunities to create a viable network of education facilities if we're going to persist with a for-profit model of communication, and especially one that punishes over use, regardless of its purpose. Surely there is a difference between stable cash transactions, information flow for education, and streaming of entertainment. And even that, didn't the broadcasters in this country once have a mandate (at least in practice) to transmit the same quality of programming throughout the country? In Manitoba last spring, an opposition MLA tabled a list of some 200 communities that didn't have adequate internet access. Regardless of what that means exactly, I find it shameful that this kind of situation doesn't merit public outcry, in light of all the possibilities, and in light of the minimal financial cost to implement a suitable infrastructure. As with railways before, it sounds very much like if they want it -- if the political will is there -- it can happen. Course, like the railway, lets hope the lessons from that experiment are taken to heart, and the geographical distribution of crisis are well understood and addressed.

1 comment:

  1. Small business asks consumers to help battle high credit card fees by paying with Interac or cash

    Further to restricted access. Credit cards pass on costs to consumers. What about internet providers? How might small businesses cope?