Internet by signs

New regulations regarding internet use are being extended to the places with access to Cuban information providers. Yahoo and Gmail will bear the brunt of it, along with the mischievous Google which saves – accessible through its cache – those pages that the ideological filters want to block.

Nor do the few internet cafes left in Havana allow many possibilities for real navigation. The slow speeds and the deterioration of most of the computers that still work, coupled with a price ranging between 5 and 6 Convertible Pesos an hour, make this network of networks a bitter tasting luxury. A good number of the hotels have restricted their internet service to guests only, and in the so-called “correosdecuba.cu” [mail of cuba] people must be careful about what they send and receive.

If the users have it so bad, what about those of us who want to program and design for the web. Uploading one megabyte takes about ten minutes, ftp (File Transfer Protocol) doesn’t work in public places, and in most cases it is impossible to download small programs. Bloggers are scarce and to chat on-line is a nightmare.

I propose, then, to jump over all these difficulties by suggesting we return to smoke signals and drums to communicate – I will find the latter especially difficult because I have a tin ear – and a conch shell to transmit the news. Do not be surprised, reader, if the next post from “Generation Y” comes in the form of a scroll or through the peal of bells.

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