When my business laptop connects to the internet, the following events occur:

  • Windows checks for updates and automatically begins downloading any important ones.
  • Firefox checks for updates for itself and any installed extensions.
  • FoxMarks synchronises my bookmarks.
  • Google Talk connects, and checks for any new emails.
  • AVG checks for anti-virus updates.
  • Windows Defender checks for spyware updates.
  • Adobe Updater checks for updates to installed Adobe products.
  • Daemon Tools checks for updates for itself.

There are probably more, but you get the idea. Generally, this is a wonderful thing, but not when I happen to be sitting in my car in Cornwall, connecting to the internet via a GPRS connection, and simply trying to check my bank balance. The traffic from all of the above automated events makes this simple task take ages. I wish there were some kind of system-wide setting so that I could prohibit such events occurring if connection speed was below a certain level. Any ideas?