Second Tier Upstream

I get the “Age of Context”. I get the desire to share the stuff you’re doing, the stuff you’re creating, even if it’s fairly mundane.

I have a PS4, and I like that Sony thought sharing was so important that they put a Share button on every controller. It’s easy to take the last few minutes of gameplay and turn it into a video, and then post it online for anyone to watch. This is cool.

You can even live-stream your game.

I use online backup for my Mac, via BackBlaze. It’s great.

My iOS devices automatically upload photos I take to iCloud.  They can even automatically make backups whenever I plug the devices in.

I had to turn this off, as much as I love this feature, because my upstream bandwidth is terrible.

I have DSL at home. It’s the best option available to me, and my upstream bandwidth is 800kbps, which works out to about 80k/second when uploading.

So if I take a photo on my iPhone, it takes about a minute and a half for it to upload. If I take a bunch of pictures, there goes my network connection for the next hour or so, because while my network connection is saturated with uploads, the latency on downloads goes way up and web browsing becomes nearly impossible.

I have BackBlaze set to only do backups when I’m sleeping.

And we just don’t use the sharing or streaming features of the PS4, as much my son would like to.

It sucks. And, because I already have “high-speed internet”, it’s not going to get better for me any time soon.

This is nothing new, of course, but I was reminded of it when I looked at DropCam, a connected camera service that uploads video to the cloud so you can watch it from anywhere.  I love the idea of DropCam, a camera that you can just place somewhere and then connect to from your phone or a web browser to see what’s going on or receive motion alerts, but I can’t have a device in my house constantly uploading video. It just wouldn’t work.

And DropCam doesn’t have any option for a local server. It’s the cloud or nothing.

Companies shouldn’t forget that a lot of people don’t have a fast internet connection, and for those that do, sometimes it’s only fast in one direction.  I looked at Manything, as another great-looking camera option, but I can’t use it either for the same reason.

Google clearly wants the “hub” for your home automation to be their servers and for me, at least, that’s not going to work.