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Downsides of Working From Home

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
At first glance, I thought you said you did a 44 person surprise birthday RPG! I was like, wow, how does that even work? :D
Zoom has "breakout rooms" that can allow folks to split off into separate work and discussion spaces, so you might well be able to pull it off....
 

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Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
A favorite house con of mine that runs every summer has cancelled this year's event, so I've done some thinking on how we might do an online equivalent without getting into huge software expenditures, and this was a possibility.
 

tomBitonti

Explorer
Garbled or fuzzy video can be the result of low quality hardware (using a tiny camera on a laptop) or because of software limitations (delivering smooth and synchronized video plus audio is not trivial; having sufficient bandwidth is just the beginning of requirements).

But also, not everyone is looking for a video feed with more faces. And not all conversations are improved by face-to-face video. I find that in most of my technical meetings (which is a fair percentage of my work), I don't use the video feed to look at folks faces. I do care about hearing folks voices clearly, but am usually too immersed in other information to glance at their faces much.

Be safe, be well,
Tom Bitonti
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
But also, not everyone is looking for a video feed with more faces. And not all conversations are improved by face-to-face video.
That also depends on what you want to call a "conversation".

When your meeting is largely a series of people presenting unequivocal information, then video may not be relevant. In fact, the meeting may not be relevant - having that unequivocal information in an e-mail or other documentation may serve the purpose just as well.

But, when requirements need to be hashed out, issues worked through, priorities haggled over, or you otherwise need to be able to collaborate with the other human being, broadly speaking, video makes the communication more efficient and effective.
 

Ryujin

Adventurer
That also depends on what you want to call a "conversation".

When your meeting is largely a series of people presenting unequivocal information, then video may not be relevant. In fact, the meeting may not be relevant - having that unequivocal information in an e-mail or other documentation may serve the purpose just as well.

But, when requirements need to be hashed out, issues worked through, priorities haggled over, or you otherwise need to be able to collaborate with the other human being, broadly speaking, video makes the communication more efficient and effective.
But it's still fun to watch the expression on your co-worker's face while you throw shade at the presenter, via text chat ;)
 

Eltab

Hero
The school-at-home infrastructure may not be as expensive as it first looks. Many middle- and high- school students already have their own cell phones. Use that as the home-end connection for the student wireless network. The problem of "can this gear talk to each other?" has been solved already.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
The school-at-home infrastructure may not be as expensive as it first looks. Many middle- and high- school students already have their own cell phones.
About one third of the nation does not currently have broadband internet access/service.

"Notwithstanding this progress, the Report finds that approximately 19 million Americans—6 percent of the population—still lack access to fixed broadband service at threshold speeds. In rural areas, nearly one-fourth of the population —14.5 million people—lack access to this service. In tribal areas, nearly one-third of the population lacks access. Even in areas where broadband is available, approximately 100 million Americans still do not subscribe. The report concludes that until the Commission’s Connect America reforms are fully implemented, these gaps are unlikely to close. Because millions still lack access to or have not adopted broadband, the Report concludes broadband is not yet being deployed in a reasonable and timely fashion."

 
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tomBitonti

Explorer
About one third of the nation does not currently have broadband internet access.

"Notwithstanding this progress, the Report finds that approximately 19 million Americans—6 percent of the population—still lack access to fixed broadband service at threshold speeds. In rural areas, nearly one-fourth of the population —14.5 million people—lack access to this service. In tribal areas, nearly one-third of the population lacks access. Even in areas where broadband is available, approximately 100 million Americans still do not subscribe. The report concludes that until the Commission’s Connect America reforms are fully implemented, these gaps are unlikely to close. Because millions still lack access to or have not adopted broadband, the Report concludes broadband is not yet being deployed in a reasonable and timely fashion."

Yup, the US of A is massively behind connecting its people. Meanwhile, other countries move forward and ahead. Not sure what more to say. We have the means but lack the will.
Be safe, be well,
Tom Bitonti
 

Aeson

Adventurer
The school-at-home infrastructure may not be as expensive as it first looks. Many middle- and high- school students already have their own cell phones. Use that as the home-end connection for the student wireless network. The problem of "can this gear talk to each other?" has been solved already.
I think what he's talking about is using the phone as a hot spot. That's a good short term solution for some.

The plan I'm on limits the data for a hot spot. I wouldn't be able to use it that way but maybe others could. The providers could even create a plan tailored to it.
 

It isn't that simple, at all. Because the roads are owned by the states and communities in which they live. Our digital infrastructure, on the other hand, is based on some very complicated leasing arrangements with various companies that provide internet services. Government(s) cant' just put people on it, because they don't own it.

And, more importantly - put up all the wire you want, you still need a service at the end of that wire, and the ISPs are not running those services for free. Also note that the FCC has stepped back from governing ISPs like common utilities, so the public cannot mandate their policies.
But that is one thing that needs to change. Internet NEEDS to be reclassified as a common utility.
 









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