Grumbles Over the Rumble
Apparently, things did not go smoothly for many of those who paid to watch the John Stewart - Bill O'Reilly rumble online through Roku. There were troubles logging on to the debate and staying logged on for the first half hour.
At the Speakeasy blog of The Wall Street Journal, what was supposed to be a real-time account of the Rumble instead recorded for 42 minutes a blogger’s inability to connect to the online stream. On Twitter, Roger Ebert complained that he could not get coverage of the debate from the video-streaming service Roku, writing: “I promote Stewart vs. O’Reilly on ROKU on FB and Twitter and can’t log in myself. Bad image for ROKU.”
Roku is going to replay the mock debate and make it available for download-- and offer refunds to those who want them. But it is a good reminder that the internet needs a backup plan when it comes to anything important with a firm deadline. [More...]
What if the only way to vote was online, and your server crashed or you couldn't log on because of a network traffic problem between your computer and the voting site? When the failure is at the source, adjustments and extensions can be made, but if it is at your end or even somewhere in between, you could be out of luck. It's also a good reminder not to leave important things like voting or e-filing your taxes to the very last minute.
One thing that rarely malfunctions is your television. Other than a power failure, I can't remember the last time I turned on my TV and it didn't work. It would be nice if we could vote at home through our TV the same way we can check out of a hotel. For example, you click on a certain channel and a screen comes up. You put in your voter registration number and last four digits of your social, and then the various ballot options come up with a yes or no choice. If the TV later has a problem transmitting the votes, there would be a record of the time it was stored and all votes entered before the polls closed would count. It might take longer to tally the votes, like waiting for all the absentee votes to be counted, but at least no one would lose out because of a technical glitch.
In any event, reading about the Rumble problems (and similar glitches like trying to log onto Apple the day a new iPhone comes out) just made me think the internet is not yet at the point we can rely on it as the sole means of doing anything important.
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