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April 17, 2009

Robot servants, and the end of the Internet?

Posted: 04:59 PM ET

Here are a few technology stories is watching today:

ROBOTS: BBC News reports that two (likely unrelated) trends are driving robotics these days: older people and violent conflict. One expert in the story sees it this way: "Even just having robots do lightweight transport of objects from one room to another, whether it's grandma's knitting or a cup of coffee, could be tremendously valuable."

INTERNET: Is there an end to the Internet? Maybe, if your cable company says so. Nielsen Online says Internet service providers and cable companies are putting caps on how much bandwidth their customers can use. That comes as Internet users are downloading more video, particularly from Hulu, the site says.

CLOUD COMPUTING: There's been a bunch of news about cloud computing lately, and a lot of it may be hype, ars technica writes today. The notoriously vague concept generally refers to the process of hosting computer programs online. Many companies are interested, but that may not make financial sense, the site says.

FACEBOOK: Finally, what blog would be complete these days without a Facebook reference. A CNET writer wonders today whether or not the uber-popular social networking site should charge users $1 per month to avoid financial stress. What would you pay?

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Filed under: Facebook • robotics • social-networking sites • technology

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Adam   April 18th, 2009 10:09 pm ET

I wouldn't pay anything. There are all kinds of ways to stay in contact with pals.

Ray   April 19th, 2009 2:18 am ET

I doubt it's the end of the internet, especially if facebook does plan on charging. On that note, I'd much rather facebook remain free, as even $1/mo with a negative balance in the bank is pretty pricey.

tony b   April 19th, 2009 11:32 am ET

1: robots would be a great asset for household use, especially for the elderly.

2: bandwidth limitations are no new thing, its just getting more popular. be an internet intensive person myself, i would change my provider to the one with the highest allocated bandwidth if i had to choose. i use netflix instant watch, hulu, youtube and do online gaming. im a perfect example of someone that requires a high level of bandwidth allocation. ironically though, i plan to shut off my cable programming because legal online streaming sites have rendered cable television obsolete.

3: cloud computing is a fantastic idea! im glad to see it actually happening. google deserves an award for participating in such things so excellently.

4: i wouldnt pay anything for facebook or any other social networking site at that. i only prefer it to myspace because of its lack of adds, otherwise it has inefficient functionality overall and is nearly uncustomizable (which is sort of one of its charms, but im a customizing sort of guy). if facebook started a donation service or added some advanced features for a price they might get some people to pay, but by charging anything for regular use, they would most likely lose most of their existing members.

jake   April 19th, 2009 2:06 pm ET

i wouldn't pay a cent for facebook. the end.

Richard C. Mongler   April 20th, 2009 11:15 am ET

The Internet will NEVER end. Even if cable providers cap bandwidth, the Internet will simply continue on as a separate entity elsewhere. And I want a robot too! It's not fair that the elderly will only be able to get them. I'm gonna get one and name it HAL and it will be AWESOME!

Linehan Computer Services   April 21st, 2009 7:14 am ET

robots are always a good thing (except in mediocre sci-fi)

I will not stay with an ISP that limits my bandwidth because I am constantly streaming video, etc.

Cloud computing is already here. Look up Citrix.

Pay for facebook? Not a chance. That'd be like paying to watch commercials.

Mike   April 21st, 2009 10:33 am ET

I wouldn't pay anything, I'd probably go back to Myspace

Book Face   April 21st, 2009 12:10 pm ET

Facebook is irrelevant. It just goes to show how out of touch the "premier" news sources are that they think they are tapping into something important by reporting about the likes of facebook and twitter. The internet was fine before facebook and twitter, and it will be kicking long after they both fade into obscurity and die.

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