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Monday, August 10, 2009

Progress: Internet News Delivery Accelerates -- From Speed of Snail to Speed of Sanchez

Posted By on Mon, Aug 10, 2009 at 7:30 AM

click to enlarge News travels fast ... as fast as Freddy
  • News travels fast ... as fast as Freddy
The other day, we wrote about how our "Google alert" shot us an article reporting that San Francisco had adopted mandatory composting -- a mere five weeks after it happened.

Considering the article ran in a Chico paper, and tabulating that the information had to travel there and back, we figured the speed of this article at 0.38 miles per hour (that's 346 miles in 38 days -- with no bathroom breaks).

Well, we're glad to say that virtual technicians appear to have taken note, and Internet news delivery time has markedly improved. Yesterday, our Google alert informed us that the San Francisco Giants had traded for Freddy Sanchez -- only 11 days after the fact. How fast was that? Let's do the math.

The distance from 24 Willie Mays Plaza to Glendale, Calif. is 376 miles. Sanchez was obtained by the Giants at around 4 p.m. on July 29, and Google saw fit to beam this article to my inbox at noon yesterday (it should be noted that the reporter penned the story on deadline, back in July. I would never demean a well-run paper such as the Glendale News Press. I've even slept in the garage of its top editor. True story.).

So the news traveled 752 miles in 260 hours. That's 2.89 miles per hour.  This is an improvement! That's nearly eight times as fast as the city's composting news moved when it went to Chico and back. The news about Freddy Sanchez traveled as fast as -- Freddy Sanchez! If the Giants' new second baseman took off on a stroll from AT&T Park and didn't stop until he hit Glendale, then wheeled around and returned north, it would take him just about the same amount of time. Now, 2.89 MPH isn't a particularly fast walking speed and Sanchez is a 31-year-old professional athlete. But he also has a little bit of knee trouble, so we think that's about right.

We can only hope the Giants continue to improve as rapidly as the speed of our Google alerts!

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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