• on a comment on AT&T Concedes to Net Neutrality over 7 years ago

    Gov't control of speech (and technology) is about as old school as it gets.

    It's also old school to imagine that our telecoms situation is similar to the days of Teddy Roosevelt. You seem to be making the argument that we should emulate those days. Can you imagine that it's 2006, and perhaps we should be looking forward?

    Regulation is an excellent way to ensure that gov't-sanctioned companies dominate. Just look at PG&E out here in Cali.

    AT&T is not a monopoly. They compete with Verizon, Level 3, Sprint, Global Crossing, Comcast, Cox, you name it. There are lots of pipes, from lots of companies, unless you are new to this internets stuff. "Monopolistic" is a nice semantic fudge, though.

    I don't buy anything from AT&T. Yet somehow I am able to use the Internet. Weird that the robber barons control my life, somehow.

    If I don't like AT&T, I can get get onto the net by many other means. If I don't like the government's judgment of acceptable speech, well, I am out of luck.

    Where is the real monopoly?

  • on a comment on AT&T Concedes to Net Neutrality over 7 years ago

    Well, Google's name has been on there for well over a year, as long as I've been involved. So even if it ever was "the people", it hasn't been for a long time. It's big money on both sides, looking to protect their interests.

    If you happen to agree with one of the sides, that's fine, but don't imagine that it's anything but a commercial fight between behemoths.

    Even if they were, it is trivial to regulate them out of existence, especially when dealing with the public airwaves.

    Should I take this to mean you are comfortable in using gov't to regulate certain kinds of speech out of existence? Google has a commercial interest in net neutrality. If they fund an ad to that effect, is it not a commercial ad?

    More to the point, do you want gov't deciding the line between acceptable and unacceptable speech?

    The better solution is not to regulate it at all. You may like the idea of gov't shutting down speech that bothers you. But that isn't free speech, and it is most certainly not good for the people.

  • comment on a post AT&T Concedes to Net Neutrality over 7 years ago

    We don't like thousands of advertising messages a day from people who lie to us for profit, but we accept it because it doesn't seem like there's any choice.

    Actually, we put up with it because of this funny thing called the First Amendment. In that sense, yeah, there's not much choice if we consider the alternatives.

    This creates a weird sort of muted anger that comes out in flashpoints on the right and the left (anger at free trade, immigration, and anti-media sentiments for starters).

    What? Advertising is the driver behind the immigration debate? Anger (muted or otherwise) is best handled on the therapist's couch, not in telecoms policy.

    Anyway, the net neutrality fight has shown us what happens when a frustrated public begins to organize against corporate elites.

    Do you imagine that the multi-billion companies like Google, who are funding neutrality proponents, are somehow not corporate elites? It's not "the people", it big content companies versus big network companies.

    Please, there is a lot of good discussion to be had here without such spin.

  • comment on a post Lies and the Lying Liars at ZDNet over 8 years ago

    It was never about Cox directly and it was never about neutrality. Craig himself explains it here, and even gives props to Cox. They were a (dare I say) neutral middleman.

    It was a beef between third-parties, the customers suffered, but everyone acted in good faith. It happens every day in every industry and no one suggests we go to Congress to resolve it.

    Neutrality legislation would have no bearing on this at all. It wasn't about neutrality in the first place, and the neutrality legislation that I've seen makes an exception for security software (the culprit in this case).

    It was an obscure end-user software bug and an unusual setup on the Craigslist servers. So what? I had a bad meal in Sacramento the other day, too. It ain't a federal case...

  • comment on a post Net Neutrality: On to the Senate over 8 years ago

    ngay, thanks for pointing this out. This is not in any way "of the people". It is a bunch of billion dollar coroporations trying to make the other guy pay.

    Also, there is plenty of packet prioritization going on, it is technologicaly necessary and works to consumers' benefit.  Most of us -- and I include myself -- are over our heads on this. Check out George Ou to get an idea.

    Which is another good reason that Congress should not be legislating network architecture. We need to have all technological options on the table, regardless of how you feel about one corporation or the other.

  • comment on a post Craigslist Blocked by Cox for Three Months *ALERT* over 8 years ago

    Respectfully, give it a rest. It's a software glitch, in particular related to some sort of security software. Of course they should fix it. Using engineers that is, not lawyers.

    It's not a neutrality issue. It's bad customer service. It ain't a conspiracy.

    By the way, security software is exempted in the neutrality proposals that I've seen, so it wouldn't apply here even if we did have such a law.

  • comment on a post The Internet Freedom Fight: A Round-Up over 8 years ago

    RT, there is no neutrality mandate right now.

    Congress can't take away "net neutrality". It is a concept, not a law, and was never granted by Congress in the first place. It is not theirs to give or take.

    Neutrality advocates are asking for new laws which dictate how private bits cross private wires. Think of it this way: you should expect the FCC to handle "neutrality" with all the nuance and expertise they have applied to "decency".

  • Yup, it started that way, back in the days when it was measured in baud. The current success of the net is entirely predicated on private investment. Everything from the PC you type on (private invention), over the Ethernet (private invention) or WiFi (private), through the router (private) over the DSL (private) or the cable modem (private), back to the central office (private), and over the long-haul fiber (private) to a server (private). The Arpanet, while seminal, has little to do with the benefits we all derive today. Unless you believe it is still 1970. That is some strange nostalgia you got there.

    Seriously, as you read this, exactly which part of the chain was provided to you by the state?

    Why you want the gov't to sponsor and legislate your speech is beyond me.

  • comment on a post Mike McCurry and Astroturfing Net Neutrality over 8 years ago

    Agreed, inform yourselves. Firstly, understand the First Amendment. It says that government shall not dictate the means of communication. Net neutrality legislation intends to do exactly that.

    The First Amendment does not ask government to guarantee a platform for anyone that wants to speak, or what form speech can or cannot take. It says, government has no say.

    It is not a question of finding the right laws for the 'net, it is a question of whether you believe it to be within the government's purview. The 'net is private bits flowing over private networks. It is the speech of private citizens. Neutrality legislation takes that speech and makes it the government's business.

  • Free speech, as defined in the First Amendment, means that the gov't does not have any say in private speech, pro or con. AOL is entirely within their rights on this, and in fact are protected by the First Amendment: private speech, private company, consenting customers.

    Now, if the practice pisses you off, great, take your business elsewhere. But the simple fact is, this is no more dangerous than Fedex. It's a premium delivery service, that's all. Fedex's existence does not help or hurt regular mail and the Goodmail system won't help or hurt regular email. Senders and recipients of Fedex generally seem satisfied, no?

    If you really believe it, make a specific prediction and we'll check it in a couple of years. Are you predicting that AOL's spam filters will show an increase in false positives? Give us a metric.

    Regarding AOL's motives, "control" but not profit? How strange. More here.

  • Well, reasonable points. I am not sure that data traffic was ever under common carrier rules, but OK.

    Regarding the duopoly, as I said, 3 firms total less than 50% and that's just traditional telecoms. Add cable and mobile (and WiMax, cross fingers) and it is indeed a competitive market.

    The problem with forced line sharing is that it retards new investment. That sort of sharing has given us a middling copper infrastructure with little incentive to improve. I am thinking more about the next network, the one that hasn't been built.

    When SBC and Verizon managed to stop line sharing requirements on new fiber, investment exploded. Of course it was profit-driven and self-interested, and the result is a lot of new fiber to a lot of homes. We should continue that trend.

  • comment on a post The Right-wing Seeks to Take Your Internet over 8 years ago

    Hi gang, let me offer 2 cents from a conservative on this. I also happen to be a web developer.

    What "we" stand for is an absence of government regulation, and in the net neutrality debate it's even more critical than ever.

    (If you want to skip my attempt at cliff notes below, you can go here, pardon the link whoring: http://www.onlyrepublican.com/orinsf/net _neutrality_and_municipal_wifi/)

    The 'net is better with less regulation. Proponents of neutrality mandates are asking for more regulation, such that government dictates how private bits flow over private wires. It is punishment is search of a crime, and an expansion of government control over the best conduit of speech that I've ever seen.

    We conservatives also don't much care about the motives or "morality" of any telco. Any one of them can live or die, just so long as it is consumers making the call. It is a competitive market, btw, the top three firms don't even add up to 50% of it.

    Barton's bill does not mandate neutrality but it does give the FCC the authority to investigate claims of abuse. I think the latter of those two is still too much, but I would consider it a reasonable compromise.

    We've done well to this point because we haven't passed laws for the 'net. If you agree with a hands-off approach, you should fight new legislation, period. Oppose Barton, by all means, but don't substitute it with something even more restrictive.

  • comment on a post Polling Project: First Numbers over 8 years ago

    First, nice work regarding being meticulous and professional on this.

    I'd like to offer two cents on the job numbers as well. Objectively, the US is creating more jobs at higher wages than any Western economy.

    I don't doubt that the above numbers represent people's feeling about jobs, but by any historical measure the current situation is extraordinary for job seekers -- whether or not they actually feel that way.

    Still, it's 55% positive versus 36% negative. If Democrats want to make it an issue, it will be one of perception, not reality, and the facts point to good conditions.

    The negative sentiment may be more of a reflection of our high level privilege than anything...

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