I was watching a DVD of the film that catapulted Boris Karloff into the cinematic monster's hall of fame when the doorbell rang.
It's not too important who came knocking (pizza delivery). But it did set off an odd and possibly revelatory string of thoughts.
When I tried to pause the DVD with my remote, it didn't work. It's an infrared connection so nothing too peculiar about that.
But on my way to the door, my synapses started triggering randomly. (Having one's mind jump from topic to topic like water on a hot skillet is an occupational hazard of being a journalist.)
Be that as it may, here are the exculpatory facts: I still had 802.11n on my mind from earlier in the day. There was a beast on TV, and my remote didn't work.
I started wondering. What would happen if I were using 802.11n to stream the video from the DVD to, say, my laptop, and my wife was using her laptop in the dining room? Could that scenario reduce a 2.4 GHz-based remote to the whimpering impotency of IR?
We hear a lot about 802.11n's spectral efficiency. Could that also make it a beast in the band?
I think the unfortunate answer may be yes, particularly when it comes to wireless PC peripherals. There's no such a thing as a free lunch. If "n" does such a great job of utilizing an unlicensed band, that spells i-n-t-e-r-f-e-r-e-n-c-e to me.
So with "n" on the loose, the mouse that roared might become the mouse that yawned, so to speak.
I have to add that "n" is not really the culprit. Rather, it is the bandwidth hungry applications such as video that "n" will encourage us to run. Technology is amoral: either good or bad depending on how we use it.
Much like Frankenstein's monster, non? As Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley made clear in the novel, it was not the monster but its creator who must take responsibility forand solvethe problem.
I don't know about you but I'm going to try to locate that pitchfork I found in the garage when we bought the house.