[e2e] Re: evolution of bandwidth as a term

Jon Crowcroft Jon.Crowcroft at cl.cam.ac.uk
Sun Oct 5 14:42:44 PDT 2003

dunno if this adds any more to this noisy channel, but
 the natural language use of bandwidth (e.g.
"she is a really hi bandwidth kinda guy")
applies to information rate. not data rate.
and modems use compression so (assuming some none half-baked
distinction between data, information, and some half-baked
idea of what compression does) it just isnt as simple as anyone
pretends, or cares.

of course, if i am paying, i will measure something, even if i have to
measure its 2nd (and entire taylor series of terms of) differential
w.r.t time to establish the correct point in dinosaur to neal
stephonsen point at which we agree the d/dt of data

now, havin discussed bandwith to the detriment of meaning, 
lets move on to decoding the word
shall we?


p.s. I think verisign were greatly misunderstood - they just meant to
fulfil the post structuralists dream, to bring meaning to ALL
signifiers, as is their eponymous duty :-)

as a cyber-shakespeare might have said "entropy, where is thy sting?"

In missive <3F807B60.8554776D at attglobal.net>, Cannara typed:

 >>Yes, Kostas, the 2nd definition shows how dictionary writers can be misled by
 >>poor interpretations of previously well-defined terms!  You need only look at
 >>the latest Oxford dictionary to see how easily terms can be added.  However,
 >>distorting an existing term for no reason other than personal
 >>convenience/laziness is hardly commendable or acceptable.  The writer of a
 >>dictionary is not an expert in every field, so must rely on a few 'experts',
 >>who may indeed be somewhat sloppy in their own use of language.  What does
 >>that prove?  What behavioral advice does that give us?  If Orwell had the year
 >>wrong, should we distrust others of his musings?
 >>If Cnet can't describe why Baud & b/s differ in one sentence, but waste a
 >>sentence waffling about "pedants", what does that say about Cnet?  What other
 >>definitions and pronouncements from Cnet are fishy?  I guess if we went back a
 >>few years we'd find quite a few, eh?  :]
 >>Kostas Pentikousis wrote:
 >>> On Fri, 3 Oct 2003, Cannara wrote:
 >>> |Exactly, Nitin.  "digital bandwidth" means what?  The true bandwidth of the
 >>> |channel(s) carrying the digital signalling?  The bandwdith of each line in a
 >>> |bus x the number of lines?  Bits/bytes per second?  What, indeed?  Using the
 >>> <snip>
 >>> Looking up "bandwidth" in m-w.com...
 >>> One entry found for bandwidth.
 >>> Main Entry: band*width
 >>> Pronunciation: 'band-"width
 >>> Function: noun
 >>> Date: circa 1937
 >>> 1 : a range within a band of wavelengths, frequencies, or
 >>> energies; especially : a range of radio frequencies which is
 >>> occupied by a modulated carrier wave, which is assigned to a
 >>> service, or over which a device can operate
 >>> 2 : the capacity for data transfer of an electronic communications
 >>> system <graphics consume more bandwidth than text does>;
 >>> especially : the maximum data transfer rate of such a system
 >>> And you may want to take a look at
 >>> http://www.cnet.com/Resources/Info/Glossary/Terms/baud.html
 >>> "Most people use baud to describe modem speeds in bits per
 >>> second--but they're wrong. They may say a 9,600-bps modem
 >>> transmits at 9,600 baud, but really baud is a measure of how
 >>> frequently sound changes on a phone line. Modern modems transmit
 >>> more bits with fewer changes in sound, so baud and bps numbers
 >>> aren't equal. However, only editors, pedants, and communications
 >>> engineers now care about the distinction. But if you run into
 >>> members of these groups, use bps instead of baud."
 >>> I think that the Language Police should get on the case ASAP.
 >>> What about past sins, you ask. Should we get the Ministry of Truth
 >>> involved too?
 >>> "Somehow you will fail. Something will defeat you. Life will
 >>> defeat you." -- George Orwell, 1984



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