Congratulate me, I'm average.
I won't know for sure for another week, but I've done the numbers and I'm quietly confident.
Last week I remarked that, despite a downloading frenzy since having my broadband Internet connection hooked up, my "stats" page on Optus says I'm only at 0.4 times average usage. The "reasonable use" policy of Optus allows it to cut me off if I exceed 10 times the average use. Which means the people on the Optus "suspect" list are using 25 times more bandwidth than me.
And I, foolishly, asked with what could they possibly be filling their bandwidth.
Thanks largely to the e-mail I have received in response to that query, I believe I will be a candidate for the suspect list myself.
I was not surprised to find that much of the great mass of Internet traffic turns out to be pornographic. Given that pornography has turned out to be the only sustainable business model on the Web, it's hardly newsworthy to discover that the ratio of naughty to non-naughty sites has shifted somewhat since the dotcom downturn.
What did surprise me was how many of you were willing to admit this to me. I mean, really, I'm a journalist! I publish stuff! I'm flattered you trust me to keep a secret and all, but sheesh!
(A side note. Simply saying to me that a lot of porno gets downloaded probably would have been sufficient. I didn't really need such a graphic demonstration.)Aside from the vast array of wobbly, jiggling video I've been sent (and I'm not referring to picture quality), I also received a wide variety of pirated software and links to same. Again, this was not a surprise to me.
What surprised me was the people sending it to me. It shouldn't surprise you to learn that most of the people who read this column are in the business of selling computers and software. What may surprise you (it sure got me) was that many of these same people would tell me how to get software without paying for it.
Apparently the prestige of being the first to crack the copy-protection outweighs the imperative of making money for some readers.
I wanted to know what the great sea of downloading contained, and I've been told. And in the process, my morals and my ethics have been sorely tested. It was quite an experience, and I thank you for it. Now, for all of our sakes, please stop.
Matthew JC. Powell deleted everything he was sent during his bandwidth binge. Accuse him of being a wowser on firstname.lastname@example.org.