Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Is the Internet Going To Slow to a Crawl in 2012?

WXPNews: Published by Sunbelt Software since 2001

Vol. 8, #69 - May 5, 2009 - Issue #377

 Is the Internet Going To Slow to a Crawl in 2012?

  1. Editor's Corner
    • Is the Internet Going To Slow to a Crawl in 2012?
    • Follow-up: Many (un)Happy Returns
    • WXPNews Blog and Forums
    • Quotes of the Week
  2. Cool Tools
    • Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without
  3. News, Hints, Tips and Tricks
    • Get Windows 7 RC (and XP Mode) this week
    • USAF gets locked-down version of XP
    • Cell phone rumors: They're all over the place
    • Tricks and Tips for extending your battery life
  4. How To: Using XP Features
    • How to install Windows 7 to dual boot with XP
  5. XP Security News
    • Microsoft updates will disable Autorun to prevent exploit
  6. XP Question Corner
    • Windows Movie Maker won't save big movies
  7. XP Configuration and Troubleshooting
    • "Your system is low on virtual memory" message when you try to start an Office program
  8. Fav Links
    • This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
  9. Product of the Week
    • CyberScrub Privacy Suite: NEW Version 5.1 Completely Erase Evidence of All Internet/Computer Activity & Encrypt Data

Your Current (free) Antivirus Costs You $200 !

Huh? Yes, you read that right. Do the math with us for a sec. We recently asked you how much you paid for your Personal Computer and peripherals. The vast majority answered that it was about $1,000 total. Now, the average old-style antivirus (paid or free) you install, hijacks about 20% of that PC, in CPU and Memory. Bingo, there's your lost 200 bucks! Time to switch don't you think? Get VIPRE. It's not a resource hog, does not slow down your PC, and is only $30 per year. Get your 15-day eval here and experience VIPRE for yourself:

 Editor's Corner

Is the Internet Going To Slow to a Crawl in 2012?

According to some "experts," those of us who are flying down the info autobahn on our 20Mbps FiOS connections or speeding along with 3 to 10 Mbps cable had better enjoy it while we can, because it's all going to come to a screeching halt - or at least slow to a crawl - in a year or two. Analysts with think tank Nemertes Research are warning that bandwidth is finite and that we're about to run out of it.

They say the 'Net is a victim of its own popularity. More and more people are using it, for both work and play. As a cost cutting measure, many companies have a substantial percentage of their workforce working from home at least part of the time. And many of them stay connected to the office for 8 hours or more per day via the Internet. Another common way to reduce expenses is to eliminate or cut back on out of town meetings. Instead, business people are using video conferencing tools to conduct virtual meetings over the Internet.

When the work day is finally over, that doesn't mean we turn off the computers. More likely, we sign onto Facebook to see what our friends are doing, shoot off a few email messages to distant family members, surf the web for the latest news, and then download a high definition movie or TV program. Feeling sickly? The first thing many of us do is look up our symptoms on WebMD. Feeling great and want to celebrate? It's back to the browser to find a fantastic restaurant and make reservations. Depressed over losing your job or your girlfriend? Lose yourself in a video game world. Bills piling up after weeks of sitting around playing WoW? Better get over to Monster.com to kick-start that job hunt. Finally re-employed? Maybe it's time to visit Match.com and find someone with whom you can share your good fortune. After all, if it doesn't work out, you can always do your own divorce with the help of LegalZoom.com.

All this results in increased demand, to the tune of 60 percent per year for the past several years, and Nemertes says demand may double in 2009. They predict that this could lead to Internet "brownouts" and that by 2012, the speed of Internet access will be much slower due to this perpetual cyberspace traffic jam. If that comes to pass, it's going to be difficult for those of us who have gotten accustomed to broadband connectivity to go back to a dialup- like experience.

Of course, this would pretty much kill off the ability to watch streaming HD video over the 'Net - something that wouldn't make the cable companies too unhappy, since those free Internet-delivered TV shows directly compete with their own core services. In fact, a cynic might wonder if the cable companies are the ones pushing this idea that bandwidth is being used up at an alarming rate. It also allows them to justify business moves like instituting bandwidth caps, something that's highly unpopular with consumers. Of course, cable companies aren't the only Internet service providers. However, the major ISPs that aren't cable companies are ... phone companies. And guess what? Low cost fast Internet access also enables Voice over IP (VoIP), which competes with their core services. So they have the same sort of incentive as the cable companies to make sure Internet bandwidth gets throttled back. And sure enough, AT&T has joined the bandwidth cap brigade.

On the other hand, this seems like a golden opportunity for a company that's willing to buck the system and give consumers what they want. Verizon did it once, refusing to publish their mobile customers' numbers in a universal cell phone directory as other major cell carriers had agreed to do. Is there hope that they'll be the one to hold out against bandwidth caps? The problem is that if they do, they're likely to siphon off a lot of the business from the cable companies, and the problem with that is that it will put more of a burden on their infrastructure. And then there are all those folks who are stuck in AT&T Land and can't switch to Verizon even if they want to.

I'm not saying that Verizon can or will save us from the decline of the Internet. It may be that we are, at this moment, living in a Golden Age of access that our grandchildren will never know. But if anyone's going to do it, it will have to be one (or more) of the major players, a big ISP that's willing to invest heavily in increasing the capacity of the infrastructure. After all, access isn't a tangible thing like oil or gold, where only a certain amount of it exists and the more of it you use, the less of it remains in the world. Bandwidth is something that we can make more of - if someone is willing (and has the money) to do it.

Or they could do nothing, and that would solve the problem, too. Because if the Internet becomes excruciatingly slow and unreliable, most people will stop using it - especially if they're expected to pay the same or more. Certainly businesses won't use it if they can't depend on it. And just imagine what a slow, unreliable Internet would mean to the "cloud computing" craze. Cloud services are completely dependent on the Internet.

Of course, it could be that Nemertes is all wet. Remember a decade or so ago, when the "experts" were warning that we were about to run out of IP addresses in a couple of years? It didn't happen. Solutions were developed - NAT devices, IPv6 - and life went on. Could it be that the sky isn't really falling now, either? You tell me. Send your opinions and comments to feedback@wxpnews.com

Follow-up: Many (un)Happy Returns

Last week, I wrote about the frustrating experiences that my son and I were having with some online orders from NewEgg. I'm happy to report that they have finally been resolved. The NewEgg rep managed to intercept the hard drive shipment after it had already gone out and redirect it to the correct address. The replacement for the Asus motherboard arrived two days ago and it works fine - and my son has proclaimed that his new computer is "faster than everybody's." It's certainly the fastest one in our family (he installed Server 2008 in 9 minutes flat), and he saved a lot of money by building it himself.

Meanwhile, many of our readers shared their own experiences. Steve N. wrote: "Like you I quit building my own computers as well. It's just not cost effective anymore and I got sick and tired of defective motherboards. I would guess I had a 50% return rate on them. That takes all the fun out of it. I buy all of my computers at Fry's and have been very happy."

Neal W. said, "Now you know why I use a local clone maker. He's cheaper than Dell or other name brands, and only six blocks away if something goes wrong. If he doesn't have an item I want, he makes a phone call and a kid shows up on a motorbike in about 20 minutes. Use Internet purchases to save dough only if you're not in a hurry!"

James B. agrees: "Went through the same motherboard problems with Egghead only it took five tries to get a good ASUS board! Tiger direct was next with a cheap Bare-Bones and a new nVidia e-Gforce 8600 GT graphics Card ($99)! Guess what the motherboard was NG and the Graphics card was NG also! So....... I scrapped them (Waste of time and money to ship them back and forth) and went to Staples and got a new HP With 2gigs of ram and it ran circles around anything that I probably would have made up! The shipping alone with the Tiger model and the cost of the Barebones rig were more than the HP on sale at Staples!"

Philip L. put it this way: "Many people don't value their time. Building your own systems takes time and if you value your time at your normal hourly rate you will probably find the total cost more than buying from DELL. It's an opportunity cost, by spending the time building a computer I am forgoing the opportunity to do the activity I would have otherwise have done. And you know what? I'd pay to spend the evening with my lovely partner rather than putting together a PC."

Some of you are still pretty happy with NewEgg. James T. wrote: "Personally over the last 8 years or so I have probably spent in the 5 figure range at NewEgg. I build computers for myself and my customers simply because I can chose the parts that are custom to them (and me) and over the years I have had really good success with components and building them from the ground up. One of the main items you get with a computer I build is ... me. I answer phone calls and e-mails in a very timely manner, don't have an accent that you can't understand, will pick up and deliver your computer, don't charge for phone time or e-mail support. I realize I may be a little unique in that field but my customers are happy, I'm happy and although lately there seems to be a drop in reliability in parts, I still have pretty good success."

Chris F. also had good luck with his DIY: "I just recently did a diy project and went to CompUSA, which Tiger Direct owns, and drove a bit to get all I needed. Everything went well and their prices online and in store match, and for the most part carry most items in store as they sell online. The only issue I had was trying to install the OS, long story short I had to reflash [the] mobo bios and all works perfectly now. Now I have purchased many Dells so far and have not had issues, but this time I wanted I great system without the great cost and it has been a week and so far so good."

And Dave says, "If you can afford, time wise, to wait for the parts and take the chance that everything will work out....then by all means go mail order. If time is more important than money because you cannot be without, for whatever reason, then buy local. I have had good and bad luck via the internet and I have had the same results on the local level. I love building my own system(s) and tweaking this and that here and there. My secret is that I have a nice laptop for a back up computer."

Joe S. wrote, "I have been building and repairing computers since the early to mid 80s and in my experience very few items are DOA, it is usually the person installing the hardware that just misses something simple or there is a new twist as to how a board goes together. I have had many clients want to RMA their hardware when it turns out to be something simple, even those who have built computers for years. I would bet that the MB of your son's was perfectly good and he just missed something simple." Funny, then, how the new motherboard worked immediately without doing anything differently. :)

Finally, Richard S. said, "So far everything I have bought from NewEgg has worked except a water pump for liquid cooling which they replaced quite rapidly. I have built all but 1 of the computers I have owned and so far all have worked as well or better that I anticipated ... I would have to say from my own experience that building my own has so far been far superior and less expensive (9 systems, so far). And still fun for someone 81 years old."

Thank you to all of you who wrote on this topic.

WXPNews Blog and Forums

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Please feel free to join in the conversation on the WXPNews Blog and join the WXPNews forums and have some fun! You will find all articles featured in the weekly newsletters outlined on the blog where you can comment and join in discussions with other readers. In the Forums there are OS and Hardware/Software categories as well as some non-sense areas for good family friendly fun!! Post pics, debate, discuss, and make friends with readers of WXPnews!

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'Til next week,
Deb Shinder, Editor

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Quotes of the Week

Never discourage anyone ... who continually makes progress, no matter how slow. - Plato (427 BC - 347 BC)

Sometimes a slow, gradual approach does more good than a large gesture. - Craig Newmark (1952 - )

Slow and steady wins the race. - Aesop (620 BC - 560 BC)

Keep The Bad Guys Out With The Sunbelt Personal Firewall

Why do I need a firewall? Together with antivirus and antispyware, a firewall is a "must" to protect your computer. PC Magazine gave the Sunbelt Personal Firewall a "Very Good" rating with 4 Stars and a conclusion of "good protection". Check out the Reviews on the site and it will be clear why you need the Sunbelt Personal Firewall to protect your PC. One good example: Unlike the Windows XP and Vista Firewall, you can tell the Sunbelt Personal Firewall to look carefully at the data leaving your browser, so that sensitive information like your credit card numbers, email address, bank account, social security number and PIN code do not get stolen by hackers!

 Cool Tools

Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without


I need a REAL program for autofilling my passwords and shipping info - not a toolbar widget. Roboform is the real deal!

If you have any iPod/iPhone device, this software is a 'must have' utility to keep your iPod/iPhone safe. Download the free trial version here.

Registry First Aid 7.0 - New Release Is Faster, Safer and Even More Effective

Turn your webcam into a CCTV with alarm and email notification! Try it before you buy it:

Rip DVDs for your iPod/iPhone or Apple TV. Bundle includes video converter too! Try it free!

Vista gets bogged down very quickly! Advanced Vista Optimizer will tweak Vista for Max performance. Easy to use:

Backups? GoodSync is an easy and fast way to backup and synchronize your emails, photos, iTunes, MP3s, and other important files.

Spotmau PowerSuite Professional 2008: Fantastic! All the tools necessary to fix most common computer problems. Clone and backup too!

Print Screen Deluxe is the realistic upgrade of the Windows version. You can crop - before the capture! Very quick!

 News, Hints, Tips and Tricks

Get Windows 7 RC (and XP Mode) this week

On May 5th, Microsoft opens up the Windows 7 Release Candidate to the general public. Let's hope the servers don't get as overwhelmed as they did last week when the RC became available to MSDN and TechNet subscribers. At one point, my download slowed to 250Kbps - on a 20 Mbps FiOS connection. We don't know what time the public RC will go live, but when it does, the download will be posted to the official Windows 7 website at

Microsoft has said the download will be available through July, and you'll be able to run it for over a year - until June 2010, giving you plenty of time to evaluate the OS and decide how you like it before spending money on it. At the same time the RC becomes available, you'll be able to download the XP Mode virtualization add-on, too. For more info about both, the system resources you'll need to install it, and so forth, see ComputerWorld's FAQ at

USAF gets locked-down version of XP

Who says Windows XP isn't secure? Even though recent reports say it's considerably more vulnerable than Vista and Windows 7, at least in its default configuration, you can get a super-secure version of XP - if you talk nicely and happen to be a branch of the U.S. military. Steve Ballmer got personally involved in providing this "special order," according to the former CIO of the Air Force. Read more about it here:

Cell phone rumors: They're all over the place

First, AppleInsider reported that the Wall Street Journal said that Microsoft was going to build its own iPhone killer, a new smartphone being developed under the code name "Pink" to be carried by Verizon (don't they already have an iPhone rival, called Windows Mobile?). Then Information Week reported that Microsoft denied that they're making such a phone.

Now TechNewsWorld says Apple is talking to Verizon about carrying the iPhone when AT&T's exclusive deal expires (nobody's saying exactly when that is).

Tricks and Tips for extending your battery life

With all the portable electronic gadgets that dominate our lives these days, it seems as if we're always running out of batteries or the batteries we do have are always running out of juice. This article features some interesting ways to get more out of batteries of all kinds, from regular disposable alkalines to built-in rechargeables. Read it here:

 How To: Using XP Features

How to install Windows 7 to dual boot with XP

Now that the RC is available, many people who have stuck with XP are getting the itch to give Windows 7 a try - but without making a commitment. Here's the procedure for installing 7 to dual boot with XP on a computer that already has XP installed:
  1. If you only have one partition on your hard drive, you need to shrink it so you can create a second one on which to install Windows 7 (I recommend if you have less than 30 GB of free space, you should buy and install a second physical hard drive on which to install Win7).
  2. Boot the system from the Windows 7 installation DVD and when you get to the "Where do you want to install Windows?" option, be sure to pick the partition, disk or unallocated space on which XP is not installed.
  3. Proceed through the Setup process.
  4. When the system reboots after installing, pick "Earlier Version of Windows" from the boot menu to boot into XP.
If you had XP installed on C:, when you boot into Windows 7 you'll see that it appears to be installed on C:. Don't panic - Windows 7 calls whatever drive it's installed on C:, which actually makes things easier for applications. The drive on which XP is installed won't show up at all by default, although it's there in Disk Management and you can assign it a drive letter if you want it to show up when you're in Win7 (for example, if it has data stored on it that you want to access). For example, you might assign it drive letter X: to denote that it's the XP drive, and you'll see it as X: in Win7 Explorer. However, when you boot back into XP, the drive it's installed on will be C: (or whatever it was originally) again. Here's a detailed, illustrated tutorial on installing the dual boot configuration:

 XP Security News

Microsoft updates will disable Autorun to prevent exploit

Recently announced in the Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC) blog: Microsoft has decided to disable Autorun for all removable media except optical discs (CDs and DVDs). That means when you insert a USB thumb drive or a flash memory card, Autoplay won't run. This change has been made to the Windows 7 RC and future updates for Vista and XP will make this change to those operating systems, too. Read the blog post here:

 XP Question Corner

Windows Movie Maker won't save big movies

When I make a movie file that's a large size, say 2 GB, in Windows Movie Maker in XP Pro, I can't save it. Either the system just hangs up completely or I get a message that says "Windows Movie Maker cannot save the movie to the specified location." There is plenty of space on the partition where I'm trying to save it. Any idea what's wrong? I can save smaller size movies without problems. Thanks! - Larry P.

This happens when the size of the movie file is greater than the amount of available RAM. There are several solutions: the obvious one is to make the movie file smaller by removing pictures, transition effects, etc. You could also change the settings in the Save Movie Wizard to select "High Quality Video (Small)." But a better solution might be to increase the size of the paging file (see instructions in KB 826513 referenced below). If that doesn't work, you could save the movie in sections. Something else that may work is closing some applications or rebooting the computer to clear some of the memory in use.

 XP Configuration and Troubleshooting

"Your system is low on virtual memory" message when you try to start an Office program

If you attempt to start any of the Microsoft Office 2007 or 2003 applications and you get an error message saying "Your system is low on virtual memory," and are then told that Windows is increasing the size of your paging file, it probably means that your page file value was set too low. You can manually increase the size of the page file by following the instructions in KB article 826513 at

 Fav Links

This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff

Disclaimer: WXPNews does not assume and cannot be responsible for any liability related to you clicking any of these linked Web sites.

 Product of the Week

CyberScrub Privacy Suite: NEW Version 5.1 Completely Erase Evidence of All Internet/Computer Activity & Encrypt Data

A ZDNet Five-Star Editors Pick! CyberScrub Privacy Suite removes all evidence of your online activity, erases data beyond recovery, secures your files with strong encryption and enhances overall system performance. This award winning app sports over 50 new features and enhancements. Did you realize every picture or video viewed is written to your hard drive? Simply opening an email can put you in a compromising situation. Privacy Suite eliminates all web tracks (pictures, video, history, websites visited, cache and temp files, IM, chat, email, etc.), automatically removes newsgroup pictures and binaries, eliminates traces from popular Peer2Peer applications, Real and Windows Media Player, Photoshop and more. You can even create your own customized areas to clean. Remember- "Delete" does not mean "Erase". Deleted files can be retrieved using simple recovery tools. WXPNews readers get the 20% exclusive discount. Get more detailed information about its many features and download the free trial version now.

 About WXPnews

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