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dig·i·tal
Pronunciation: 'di-ji-tul
Function: adjective
Etymology: Latin digitalis
Date: circa 1656

1 : of, relating to, or using calculation by numerical methods or by discrete units
2 : of or relating to data in the form of numerical digits
3 : providing a readout in numerical digits

en·tro·py
Pronunciation: 'en-tro-pE
Function: noun
Etymology: International Scientific Vocabulary 2en- + Greek tropE change, literally, turn, from trepein to turn
Date: 1875

1 : a measure of the unavailable energy in a closed thermodynamic system that is also usually considered to be a measure of the system's disorder and that is a property of the system's state and is related to it in such a manner that a reversible change in heat in the system produces a change in the measure which varies directly with the heat change and inversely with the absolute temperature at which the change takes place; broadly : the degree of disorder or uncertainty in a system
2 a : the degradation of the matter and energy in the universe to an ultimate state of inert uniformity
   b : a process of degradation or running down or a trend to disorder
3 : chaos, disorganization, randomness

band·width
Pronunciation: 'band-"width
Function: noun
Date: circa 1937

1 : a range within a band of wavelengths, frequencies, or energies; especially : a range of radio frequencies which is occupied by a modulated carrier wave, which is assigned to a service, or over which a device can operate
2 : the capacity for data transfer of an electronic communications system; especially : the maximum data transfer rate of such a system

 

God, I love doing this. Dodging from one node to another, skipping along the telecommunications lines of this massive worldwide network, completely anonymous to anyone and everyone. All I am is just a fraction of data, atoms thrown together in a wire somewhere, out there, and pared down to nothing more than a charge of electricity and thought. I am a memory, a pattern, an idea. I am the product of years of research and training and development, all done by the best and brightest minds of our time. I am invincible and unstoppable. I make an invisible dive past someone's chat room conversation, unnoticed and perfectly safe from harm. That's me, a digital apparition, a ghost.

Well, not really. Truth is, I'm just a geek and I'm sitting here at my computer, doing things that I know are illegal in at least 4 different countries. I'm downloading copyrighted material. A movie, if you really must know. I'm not gonna say which one- that's my business, not yours. Data is streaming into my computer, being written onto my hard drive at the whopping speed of 140 kilobytes per second, a tenth of a megabyte, a thousandth of a terabyte. I'm sure that there are another hundred thousand people, just like me, who are doing the same exact thing- flouting the laws of our land in an effort to keep a stranglehold on our inalienable right to movies, music, games and free nudie pictures. They're ours, dammit. They belong to us. It was put there for us to take. Don't our governments know this? Are they so ob-fucking-tuse that they can't see that letting us get what we rightfully demand is in their own best interests?

The world transpires against us to keep the things we hold dear at arm's length. Some of us are suckers and hold down low-paying jobs to pay for a ticket at the movie theater, to buy that new CD of our favorite band, to purchase that new leather-bound edition of Harry Potter. But not all of us. There are a precious few of us who know what awaits us impatiently in the Internet-driven miasma we call the World Wide Wait.

Cable modems, T-(whatever) lines, DSL, A-DSL, SAT-SAM. High bandwidth data transfer mechanisms for the computer adrenaline rush junkie. Go ahead, kid, and dick around with your 56Kbps modem, your pirated CD's of warez that may or may not work that was nabbed out of your elementary chum's grubby little hands. Go ahead and pull your hair out strand by strand on AOL, fighting tooth and nail with NetNanny. We got the big guns, the stuff that your parents never told you about. That's right. I'm the geek you wish that you'd never ignored in high school. I'm the guy with the digital hook-up. Your little Yak box can stroll along all day just to get a single JPG while me and my contemporaries zip along the information super highway at speeds that would make you choke.

We are the alphas and the omegas of your pathetic little keyboard-laden lives. We make the shit hit the fan and love the smell of email bombs in the morning. We cannot be denied. We will hack, we will steal, we will rip and code and pirate and make a laughing stock out of any Net Cop out there.

Just as long as we get our bandwidth.

98 kilobytes per second, now. I look at the clock module on my custom LiteStep desktop: 10:09:32 AM. Shit. The West Coast has finally woken up. Bandwidth is dwindling, slipping down into the 50's, 30's, down down down until it creeps along at the abysmal pace of 11 kilobytes/second. In a matter of minutes the entire Western seaboard has effectively turned my 12-minute download time into a full hour. 135 million nameless, faceless sushi-eating fuckwads, all creeping along at a snail's pace. They're clogging the net's arteries, like electronic cholesteral. Cull the fat, I say. If you ain't got the speed, you ain't got the need.

They really should make high bandwidth net access mandatory. Faster access means faster transfer rates. Faster transfer rates means less time to wait for downloads. Less time spent downloading means you get what you want that much sooner and you can make the shit available for someone else that much quicker. Fast access for all! Make it free! Fight digital entropy!

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