Anti-Net-Neutrality “Fast Lanes” Are Bullshit

Anti-Net-Neutrality “Fast Lanes” Are Bullshit:

Be honest.

This is not building anything new — it’s discriminating and restricting what we already have.

This is not making anything faster — it’s allowing ISPs to selectively slow down traffic that they don’t strategically or financially benefit from, and only permit traffic from their partners to run at the speeds that everything runs at today.

It’s ostensibly the FCC’s job to see through this bullshit language and do what’s right for the country and the people, but only the fool who believed that ISPs are trying to build something beneficial here would believe that the FCC gives a damn about what’s best for American citizens.

And 52.9% of us were that fool for believing in another big, empty political marketing campaign.

[Our government is so biased.]

Haunted Empire review – great title, shame about the contents

Haunted Empire review – great title, shame about the contents | Technology | theguardian.com:

I found the bizarre attribution of meaning to events which didn’t seem to have meaning more and more intrusive. I also found it incongruous to have an American journalist from the WSJ offering her own interpretations; I thought it was an article of faith in that trade to get someone else to express your opinions – just choose carefully so they’re the ones you wanted to express anyway. But hardly any experts are quoted in the whole book; a pity, as they could have provided a narrative framework.

More to the point, didn’t any of Kane’s 200 interviewees or her time on the WSJ team reporting on Apple uncover anything about the tension inside the company about the iPhone 5? It simultaneously changed the screen size and dumped the 30-pin connector it had used since 2003, replacing it with a thinner 8-pin one that was incompatible with hundreds of millions of third-party boom boxes. For third-party developers, it meant rewriting their apps just to fit the iPhone 5 screen, which was longer but not wider. For makers of music players, it meant redesigns and inventory headaches. Would Steve Jobs have done that? Post-Jobs Apple did, with the same lack of compunction with which Jobs used to hand out mandates. Does that mean it’s haunted by the spirit of Jobs (would he had done it)? Or not?

[Clearly… not a fan.]

Surveillance by Algorithm

Surveillance by Algorithm:

Indeed, ever since Snowden provided reporters with a trove of top secret documents, we’ve been subjected to all sorts of NSA word games. And the word “collect” has a very special definition, according to the Department of Defense (DoD). A 1982 procedures manual (pdf; page 15) says: “information shall be considered as ‘collected’ only when it has been received for use by an employee of a DoD intelligence component in the course of his official duties.” And “data acquired by electronic means is ‘collected’ only when it has been processed into intelligible form.”

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper likened the NSA’s accumulation of data to a library. All those books are stored on the shelves, but very few are actually read. “So the task for us in the interest of preserving security and preserving civil liberties and privacy,” says Clapper, “is to be as precise as we possibly can be when we go in that library and look for the books that we need to open up and actually read.” Only when an individual book is read does it count as “collection,” in government parlance.

So, think of that friend of yours who has thousands of books in his house. According to the NSA, he’s not actually “collecting” books. He’s doing something else with them, and the only books he can claim to have “collected” are the ones he’s actually read.

This is why Clapper claims — to this day — that he didn’t lie in a Senate hearing when he replied “no” to this question: “Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?”

If the NSA collects — I’m using the everyday definition of the word here — all of the contents of everyone’s e-mail, it doesn’t count it as being collected in NSA terms until someone reads it. And if it collects — I’m sorry, but that’s really the correct word — everyone’s phone records or location information and stores it in an enormous database, that doesn’t count as being collected — NSA definition — until someone looks at it. If the agency uses computers to search those emails for keywords, or correlates that location information for relationships between people, it doesn’t count as collection, either. Only when those computers spit out a particular person has the data — in NSA terms — actually been collected.

[How broken is a system that allows people to hide behind lies of omission rather than demanding common use, or explain their definition. Sad.]

pCell and Why its a Bigger Deal than Anyone Realizes

How Steve Perlman’s “Revolutionary” Wireless Technology Works – and Why its a Bigger Deal than Anyone Realizes:

My brain almost exploded when I realized this. While 5G is a big leap in performance from existing 4G technology, it doesn’t provide any fundamentally new capabilities to us. Wireless power, though would be a total game-changer. What would the implications be?

  • Consumer electronics that never need to be plugged in again – phones, tablets, laptops, televisions could all be powered wirelessly in the home and office.
  • With transmission towers spaced every kilometer along major highways, electric cars would not need massive, expensive batteries. Everyone could afford a Tesla, and the demand for oil would drop.
  • With transmitters on a few rooftops in a city, you could have drones and quadcopters delivering groceries and mail, again without heavy batteries that limit their flying time.
  • You could build an electrical grid that’s a wireless mesh network, especially in developing countries, and have excess power from solar panels beamed to other locations which need it.

There are probably a slew of other ideas that I haven’t even considered – readers, please comment below!

[A potentially amazing new technology, even if all it allows is streaming of 4k programming. If Verizon wants to get involved in wireless over fiber (don’t be fooled, they serve different needs) let’s see them roll out some of this in an aggressive game changing way.]

Nilay Patel: ‘The Internet Is F****d’

Nilay Patel: ‘The Internet Is F****d’:

Great piece by Nilay Patel at The Verge:

American politicians love to stand on the edges of important
problems by insisting that the market will find a solution. And
that’s mostly right; we don’t need the government meddling in
places where smart companies can create their own answers. But you
can’t depend on the market to do anything when the market doesn’t
exist. “We can either have competition, which would solve a lot of
these problems, or we can have regulation,” says Aaron. “What
Comcast is trying is to have neither.” It’s insanity, and we keep
lying to ourselves about it. It’s time to start thinking about
ways to actually do something.

Netflix paying Comcast is the canary in the coal mine.

[Smack on. There’s so much wrong with what’s going lately (carriage wars) because these are the same companies that argue over these things with the television companies. And the other side of the equation is also unbalanced (how much we get charged for really poor access… (I expect us all to have Gigabit Internet)). I guess the only way forward is around these folks, and I’ll bet based on what I’ve seen recently in network technology that it is possible.]

Source: Daring Fireball

Hunting of the Snark

Hunting of the Snark:

So I’d think twice about deciding your online persona is “righteous asshole.” If it seems like a good idea, think two more times. You are not speaking truth to power. It is not a litmus test for determining your true friends. You are not guaranteed that only the “right” people will be pissed off. And you will build an audience that rewards you for being unkind—which makes it all too easy to cross lines you shouldn’t. When you get called on it, it’s too late to rip off your asshole mask and protest that’s not who you really are.

[Smack on.]

‘Today, the Process Is Faster. It’s Your Brain, a Button, Then Millions of Reactions.’

4 Easy Ways to Grow Your Twitter Followers. by Mark Saldana

Steve Martin: ‘Today, the Process Is Faster. It’s Your Brain, a Button, Then Millions of Reactions.’ quoted by DF who then writes:

“…after a misquotation of a joke he tweeted was spread by Salon. Winston Churchill once said, “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.” It’s a lot faster now.”

Martin goes on to say in his original post:

Comedy is treacherous. I used to try out jokes in clubs and the audience’s feedback would tell me when I had crossed a line, or how to shape a joke so it is clear. Today, the process is faster. It’s your brain, a button, then millions of reactions. But it’s my job to know.”

[When you edge up against the line, which is an essential job of comedy atmo, the modern social networks raise the cost of being wrong to an incredible level. The part that everyone needs to know is that the world is listening, that you can’t really delete things, and the consequences for making a mistake could well be far in excess of the level of the transgression. Tweets are generally treated as the expression of an individual and so the “blow back” is personal and vindictive.]

Source: Daring Fireball