Although it may be hard to believe, in the same modern America in which most people appear to be talking on a cellphone or texting/reading/etc on a Blackberry or smart phone on top of whatever else they are ostensibly doing (notably driving), overall "connectivity" really is weak in the U.S. compared with most other places. For reasons examined here.

Thus it is with grateful surprise that I discover, in real time, that Amtrak is offering free (for now) and pretty fast Wi-Fi service on its East Coast corridor Acela trains, like the one in which I am just passing through Baltimore on the way to New York. Last time I made the DC-NY haul I took the BoltBus, as described here, precisely because of its onboard Wi-Fi. Plus, what a bargain! The Acela is pricey but has prided itself on offering a "civilized" way to go from city to city. This is a nice step -- on the whole. That is, it's a good sign for American infrastructure, and for me slightly more good than bad for peace of mind en route. Nonetheless, I will try to make this the last post I ever file from inside a moving vehicle.