In general I agree with you, that rural areas are mostly no better off than before Google. But like Karl said, what Google has done is kick the incumbents in the nads and make them compete at least a little bit, no matter how lame and uninspired said competition is.
Also to show the rest of the country how much better their service could be.
"And, just think, instead of spending all that money on lawyers and press releases about future plans to deliver faster broadband, AT&T could actually be investing in building a better network for its subscribers. But what fun is that?"
"they said the driver attempted to deliver and found me not home. (Another lie; I was there the whole time and no one ever came.)"
I've had that happen with Fedex. Was waiting at home for it, sitting 15 feet from my door, and went out a bit later to find a note "sorry we missed you, come pick it up tomorrow". A-hole, couldn't you at least be arsed to knock on the GD door?
Or 2-3 times I left a note on the door instructing them to leave the package in the leasing office and they leave it on my doorstep anyway. In the rain, snow, whatever.
I agree with all of the above except the part about IMAP. They finally do have it (mail.twc.com), at least for us (Austin TX). This is within the last 6-9 months, after the rest of the entire civilized email world has had it for at least 10+ years.
Just another example what a lack of real competition results in.
Yes, the CDs had a data track with the rootkit on it, and it would install itself even if the user declined the EULA. Also there was no uninstaller until Sony released one after the s**t hit the fan, and even then it didn't work until they patched it a couple times. Obviously the whole thing was never intended to be uninstalled, and of course extremely intrusive. How no one (AFAIK) went to jail is just amazing.
This is why disabling autorun was one way to avoid the issue, but IIRC at the time WinXP had autorun enabled by default.