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Get Throttled

If everything works as planned, your internet will be just fine. No slow down, no throttling, no unavailability. But as every computer geek knows, Murphy is alive and well when it comes to computers – if something can go wrong, it will. Constants aren’t and variables won’t.

Thanks to the two Korean cretins who played on the computer for hours ignoring their baby to death, South Korea will implement gaming curfews for children.  The government is planning on enforcing some form of internet curfew for the precious little snowflakes, but is leaving the implementation of that up to the games providers.

Given the highly incestuous relationship between Korea, Microsoft, ActiveX and Internet Exploder 6, there’s a good chance someone will dork up things just right and we’ll all lose access to the internet. Or, if you’re an optimist like me, their efforts won’t amount to a fart in a windstorm and not a single kid will lose level points in his favorite game.

Anyone who’s ever tried to conduct any business on the internet here knows that it doesn’t work for foreigners. The nation’s  programmers have taken their shortcuts and unless you’ve stolen someone’s Korean ID card you’re not going to being playing their games or ordering a pizza on the internet. While that may sound like even more reason for foreigners not to worry about getting locked out due to some clown’s poor programming, as a former software engineer I feel confident in saying that all bets are off when it comes to bugs. Murphy didn’t declare his laws just because he was bored one day.

And while I applaud the intent behind getting the kids off the games for even a few hours a day, I have little faith that this will a) solve the problem, b) work as planned and c) not dork things up for the rest of us.  What they’re asking is just too complex to implement without knowing exactly who – and I mean biometrics like finger prints and retinal scans – is doing what, where, when and for how long.  I see it as just another lame, poorly thought out, poorly planned attempt to use technology to solve the problems created by and for humans. This is a problem that parents should deal with – not government.

We may as well have the robots that are going to be taking over all of our classes to go from door to door and demand that children put down the mouse and slowly step away from the keyboard.  But now that I think about it, that’s actually a damn good idea… Robocop roaming the apartment buildings, asking nicely to have the little nippers drop their joysticks.

But the mental image I like even better is having the ED-209, OCP’s second robot with much heavier firepower but far less intelligence, take over the job. It too, could roam the vast apartment complexes of Korea patrolling for internet addicted gamers. The Ed-209 could never tell if the suspect had dropped the weapon or not and simply opened fire after repeatedly advising “you have x seconds to comply. Please drop the weapon.”  I think the internet curfew will end up being about the same in the grand scheme of things – some kids will go on playing when they should have been shot, some innocents will pay the price.