Net Speeds Drop in Autumn, But Productivity Rises


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By Kevin Purdy, 5:40 AM on Wed Oct 7 2009


Metals lose conductivity as temperatures rise, but net speed measurements show the fastest bitrates occur in summer. Network engineers and Harvard economists' best guess as to why? We're working harder and pushing more data in the fall.

Wired writer Cliff Kuang surmises, with the help of some Cisco data studies, that people in the Northern hemisphere are outside more in the summer and spend less time inside with computers, thereby freeing up a good chunk of bandwidth. By that token, you'd expect the dead of winter to be the most congested space for web data, right? Not so much, as September sees the most traffic. Productivity thinkers then bring the lesson back home:

It makes sense, according to Joe Robinson, who coaches massive corporations like IBM on work-life balance. "I can cite eight studies indicating that performance and productivity go up after vacation," he said. When you return from a long stint at the beach, you're not just recharged, you're more efficient. Even reaction times go up by 30 to 40 percent.

So, plan your bigger projects for the fall, or after a sunny vacation? Maybe. At least one solid thing you can take away from this excursion into seasonal studies: Your downloads are bound to get faster from here on out, into the rest of the year.

From - Lifehacker, tips and downloads for getting things done