Independence Day…….

"We need to sound the alarm now … use the Internet to Save the Internet." -Narrator, Independence Day

save the internet

Save the Internet.Com has produced a fun, entertaining video clip which does a good job of explaining what net neutrality is and how important neutrality is to everyone who uses the Internet.

See the clip here.

Net Neutrality at Risk with AT&T Merger…….

the internets

Net Neutrality is again at risk.

Robert McDowell, former lobbyist for the telco industry, has changed his mind and decided to vote on the AT&T merger with BellSouth. Earlier, Mr. McDowell had recursed himself due to a conflict of interest. This would break a two-month stalemate among commissioners of the US Federal Communications Commission regarding the proposed merger..

Tell the FCC: no merger without net neutrality.

read more | digg story

Crotch Bat on the Internets…….

"Mr. Madison, what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul." –from the movie Billy Madison

Crotch Bat

I’m no fan of reality television, but I absolutely loathe the America’s Funniest Home Video sub-genre.  Watch a man get hit in the crotch as his young son tries to connect with a baseball.  See a woman fall off a ladder as she tries to dust the chandelier.  Giggle with glee, as a man takes off from the high dive, misjudges the distance, and lands on the concrete.   

It was fine when these types of video clips were confined to television but now, thanks to You-Tube, they have found their way onto Digg.  What exactly does a man smoking a pipe through his eyes have to do with geek culture or technology?

I understand the gawker pull is pretty overwhelming to the tender young souls who think pain and suffering only happen to other people, but for the rest of you, I would like to share a few words. 

First off, there is nothing rebellious or remotely cool about acting dumb or playing stupid.  Don’t get me wrong, there once was a time and place when these things were cool, but the uptight cultural environment  these tactics were used to subvert has long since past.  Take a look around, stupid won or to paraphrase the Commander-in-Chief, "We are the masters of low expectations."

The Geneva Conventions are considered quaint and no one seems to care.  Habeas Corpus dies a quick, silent death and no one could be bothered to attend the funeral. 

I will support your right to celebrate the first amendment by rolling around in the gutter but I expect a certain amount of common sense in return.  The same primitive instincts which makes other people’s suffering funny also drives our species lust for power at what ever the cost.

Your Constitutional Rights are not accessories to be tried on and then discarded depending on your outfit.  You either have them all or you don’t have any.  Remember that the next time you watch some guy get the crotch bat.

Net neutrality…….

"Today, in the fast-changing, affluent nations, despite all inequities of income and wealth, the coming struggle for power will increasingly turn into a struggle over the distribution of and access to knowledge." –Alvin Toffler, Power Shift series of tubes

Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) likes to do things old school. During the Katrina aftermath, Senator Stevens vowed to hold up recovery funding unless his pet project the infamous Gavina Island Bridge or "Bridge to Nowhere" was promised every pork dollar necessary for construction.

He threw another hissy fit when Senator Marie Cantwell (D-Washington) suggested oil company executives testify under oath while explaining high gas prices before the Senate Commerce Committee.  One guess as to who is pushing to open the ANWR (Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge) to oil drilling.

Now Senator Stevens is playing footsie with the telco industry. One of the most powerful members of the ownership party now wants to help the telcos privatize the Internet by rewriting the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

 Instead of the open platform we have now, the plan is to let the telcos decide what content you have access to. This scheme is roughly based on the cable-tv pay-per-view format. So, the more money you pay the more bandwidth you will be allowed.

 And who has the deepest pockets to purchase bandwidth and dictate the content streaming over the Internet, private citizens or corporate America?

Anyone who decides to overhaul the Telecommunications Act of 1996 must have a deep and rich understanding of the intricacies of the Internet? Well, the hard working people at AlterNet have an answer for you. Listen to Senator Stevens explain how the Internet works with A Series of Tubes. Afterwards, visit Save the Internet and contact your representatives. Demand they support net neutrality.