net neutrality

Barack Obama, John McCain and Net Neutrality

Change is coming. In fact, if you look over the past 15 years it's already here: the Internet. What it is now, with blogs and social networks, software-as-a-service and 'net-enabled applications, bears scant resemblance to what it was like in 1995. Think about how much it has changed just since you got on the net. No question: the Internet is evolving faster and faster. Do we know what it will look like in 15 years? Ten years? A year from now?

No. The Internet is changing too fast too fast.

Why Net Neutrality is important

The phrase "Net Neutrality" itself is unfortunate because, alliteration aside, it doesn't really have punch, but it's very important. Liza Sabater describes it as "digital civil rights." It's a clear concept when you talk about governmental control of the Internet. China, with the collaboration of its state-run ISPs and American search engine companies, has already demonstrated that control and censorship of the Internet is already possible.

Comcast buys a friendly (or sleepy) crowd

There's something seriously wrong about this.

Comcast — or someone who really, really likes Comcast — evidently bused in its own crowd. These seat-warmers, were paid to fill the room, a move that kept others from taking part.

[Update: Comcast admits to paying people to stack the room in their favor. Read the report.]

They arrived en masse some 90 minutes before the hearing began and occupied almost every available seat, upon which many promptly fell asleep (picture above).
MarkeyComcast’s sleeper cell

One told us that he was “just getting paid to hold someone’s seat.”

I am thankful

snow on branches in Colorado

[Cross-posted from BlogHer]

I am thankful for so many things. It's so easy to take them for granted, especially these days when it can seem like there's so much to fear, so much that needs fixing, so much tragedy in the world. And most of my day is spent focusing on what's next to be done, what problem needs to be solved, what challenge I want to undertake. So, at the risk of sounding self-indulgent, here I remind myself of the good things for which I can be thankful.

I am thankful to be alive and in reasonably good health. I am thankful for my family. I am thankful for my friends.

I am thankful to be living in a country where we can still enjoy the freedoms we have. I am thankful for the education I received. I am thankful for my upbringing. I am thankful that we haven't destroyed the world yet. I am thankful that most of us want to make the world a better place. I am thankful to be living in a time when we all have so much potential to effect so much change for the better.

Department of Justice argues for an internet more like the post office

The Department of Justice has weighed in against Net Neutrality:

The Justice Department said imposing a Net neutrality regulation could hamper development of the Internet and prevent service providers from upgrading or expanding their networks. It could also shift the "entire burden of implementing costly network expansions and improvements onto consumers," the agency said in its filing.

Such a result could diminish or delay network expansion and improvement, it added.

Are these the same network providers who already were paid huge government stipends and tax breaks to expand and improve broadband internet?

The agency said providing different levels of service is common, efficient and could satisfy consumers. As an example, it cited that the U.S. Postal Service charges customers different guarantees and speeds for package delivery, ranging from bulk mail to overnight delivery.

Cyberbullies and Community Standards

It has taken me a few days to recover from the intense energy and excitement of attending, participating in and speaking at the OSCMS 2007 (and sundry adjunct events of equal intensity and delight), and so I've been publicly quiet so far about the obscene and possibly illegal cyberbullying that has happened in the past several days regarding one of my favorite bloggers, Kathy Sierra.

If you've somehow had your feedreader in the sand this past week, here's a brief snippet of what Kathy wrote about it on Monday:

We all have trolls--but until four weeks ago, none of mine had threatened death. (The law is clear--to encourage or suggest someone's death is just as illegal as claiming you intend to do it yourself).

New Net Neutrality video explains it pretty well

[via Cory Doctorow who nods to Lawrence Lessig.] Still, the standard for net neutrality videos is set by the Ask a Ninja video embedded in this post.

We Are the Web (and never mind the tights)

[Flash video would not cache. Follow link below.]

More info here [Warning: This is one of those all-Flash "web 1.0-style" websites that starts talking at you by default as soon as the page loads, so you might want to turn down your speakers. Enjoy the cheese.]

Via Jeffrey Zeldman.

"Net Neutrality" loses in the House

Net Neutrality San Jose
["Net Neutrality San Jose", posted by jimiinc]

The news is not reassuring for anyone who counts on unrestricted and uncensored access to the internet.

Despite the flurry of phone calls, emails, videos and pleas from a wide base of passionate pro-Net Neutrality constituents, representing hundreds of thousands of people from all political persuasions and hundreds of consumer groups, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives crushed an amendment to safeguard an equal opportunity Internet.

With a coalition that includes ninja, anything is possible

It's not very often that you see MoveOn.org, the Christian Coalition, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the Gun Owners of America, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the American Library Association, and Craig Newmark of Craigslist on the same side of the political fences. (Where's the ninja? Read on....)

Today was a small victory:

The broad, nonpartisan movement for Internet freedom notched a major victory today, when a bipartisan majority of the House Judiciary Committee passed the “Internet Freedom and Nondiscrimination Act of 2006″ — a bill that offers meaningful protections for Network Neutrality, “the First Amendment of the Internet.”

20 members of the Commitee (6 Republicans and 14 Democrats) voted for the bipartisan Bill, and only 13 against.

Today’s vote would have been unthinkable three weeks ago.

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