Monday, May 4, 2009

Net Neutrality

Discussing “Net Neutrality” is like discussing “Gasoline Neutrality for your car. Ford motor company does not have an exclusive deal with British Petroleum so that you have to buy BP gasoline to get optimum fuel efficiency. In much the same way, net neutrality is a given when what you are purchasing is bandwidth, not connection to specific services. The neutrality of the Internet needs to be maintained in the same way that long distance providers are not allowed to be partial to any specific local carrier.

If Comcast or AT&T is allowed to select who you are going to get access to at full speed, what is to stop them from extorting money from Google or any large content provider to allow unfettered access? The Internet is a utility in this modern day and age, and must be treated as such and legislated in the same vein.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

what is Net Neutrality anyway?

Net Neutrality is really a misnomer; it’s not just about neutrality. Calling Common Carrier requirements for Internet providers “Net Neutrality” is like calling your car gasoline neutral. If Ford or General Motors made an exclusive deal with Exxon-Mobile so that their vehicles only got the rated gas mileage using that brand of gasoline, and all others would produce sub-par results, there would be no question about legislating against that.

So why then are the carriers allowed to try to hold content providers hostage over bandwidth and performance?

When I purchase Internet access through my ISP, I am buying bandwidth to the net at large, not to the companies that have cooperative agreements with my provider. I expect that the content provider may throttle requests and responses to mitigate issues such as being slashdoted and having unusually large amounts of traffic at an unpredictable moment, but that is in their business model not in the business of the Internet Provider who has sold me bandwidth.

The Internet has become a utility just like electricity, telephone, cellular phone, cable, water, gas, etc. and must be regulated with the same methods. Common Carrier law for phone companies must extend to the Internet providers both local and backbone. These rules are needed so that companies cannot be forced to pay what amounts to protection money to keep their bandwidth and their customers happy.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Thankful for the Internet

This time Google found the hint I was looking for.
I use SciTe to edit when I am working on Python projects. But on the brand new machine running Vista it was coughing up the "No module named ..." error.
A couple of Google searches later, I actually found this blog that had the answer to editing the Windows path and XPATH variables to find Python.

One would think that the Windows installer for Python would have done that already, but apparently not.


And now back to my regularly scheduled programming projects.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Strings - a movie review

Well, first let me say that I just watched a movie whose characters are all marionettes. That should put the rest into a little more perspective.

The theme of Strings is that we are all bound to one another. The metaphor of strings is obvious in the strings that control the actors, but is also carried throughout the story in other more subtle ways. When our hero is exposed to the world outside the city, he sees some of these connections, and has some shown to him.

The story itself is a hero saga, with our hero the young price setting forth to avenge his father that he wrongly believes to have been slain by their historical enemies. Of course there is an evil uncle who is furthering this for his own ends, being control of the kingdom, but that is about as trite as the story gets. Our young prince disguises himself and leaves the city with his general alone to seek the rebels who he believes murdered his father, leaving behind his sister in the clutches of the evil uncle and his henchman.

From here, however, we begin to learn that father was not always a great man, and that these rebels are really the victims of war crimes. Our hero saves the young brother of a member of the tribe of rebels, and ends up meeting them shortly after learning a horrible family secret. His father in his youth had murdered women and children of this tribe at one time.

After much travel and travails, our hero ends up back in the city without the evil uncle knowing. He learns see from his heart (or use his ki, if you think that way) and escapes from the prison just in time to hold his sister while she dies. Deposing the evil uncle our hero rides forth to save the love of his life who happens to also be the leader of the rebels, and brings her home to live in the city his ancestors kicked them out of generations ago.

The story is well told, and well worth the watching if you don't mind the marionettes.