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So long Internet... it was nice knowing you


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#41 dsp

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 10:55 AM

I'm going to quote all of this from NPR. Tim Wu, Columbia Law Professor, coined the term "net neutrality." Emphasis is mine, but all of it is good - dsp

For more reaction, we turn to the person credited with coining the term net neutrality. Tim Wu is a law professor at Columbia University. He says if the proposed changes go into effect, consumers can expect prices to rise.

TIM WU: Companies like Netflix, companies that - like Amazon that rely on not paying cable and telephone companies to reach consumers will have to pay. And therefore it will end up costing the consumer more.

CORNISH: Now, advocates of usage-based pricing are arguing that, you know, why shouldn't a company like Netflix or Google have to cover the cost of being a bandwidth hog. And they're also saying things that this should in some way enable people to buy cheaper broadband packages.

WU: Well, the problem is there's no real competition in broadband and so prices will not go down. They have never gone down. So I don't think that's going to happen. And as for contributing, these companies are already make enormous contributions. And, in fact, users pay a lot for their broadband to be fast. So it's kind of a strange argument.

Really, what they're talking about here is a new way for cable companies mainly to make more money. And that's one part of the economy I think that doesn't need to make more money.

CORNISH: Now, the head of the FCC has argued that there is a lot of misinformation about their proposal. And there are provisions in the draft that would provide some oversight to deter companies from taking kind of drastic actions. What's your reaction to what they've put forward?

WU: My reaction is that the commission is not omnipotent nor omnipresent, it doesn't know everything that's going on, that there will be a serious cost in terms of free speech. That's very hard to measure economically, very hard for them to see. And so that their idea that they can supervise and see everything that's happening on the Internet, and know that speech is being hurt, is not correct.

CORNISH: But you also have an incredibly active Internet activist community, right? I mean I think people saw that with the Stop Online Privacy Act, that debate. Isn't this a scenario where, again, the Internet in a way polices itself, that people would highlight what they think is abuse by these companies?

WU: I think that community may start policing Tom Wheeler and the FCC. I don't think the community is able to police monopoly carriers. There's no real other option. There's a lot of economic power there. And, as I said, activism needs to be directed towards the FCC to protect net neutrality and not abandon this important principle.

CORNISH: Now, one other thing. Tom Wheeler also says that the new rules would look at any paper priority arrangements carefully, and on a case-by-case basis, and block the ones that aren't found to be commercially reasonable. That's still not enough protection for you, it sounds like.

WU: No, commercially reasonable and free speech are not principles that coexist well.I think we've learned from the history of free speech in this country that you need to have a clear principle, not a case-by-case adjudication of free speech performed by an unaccountable federal bureaucrat.

CORNISH: What's the worst-case scenario here for you, Professor Wu, as far as you're concerned?

WU: I think the worst case is that we see the Internet kind of wither and disappear as a forum for free speech and new companies getting started, a world in which to get started it's more like cable television, you need a lot of money to even open a website and really reach a number of users, that things become entrenched and kind of frozen.

And we've seen what cable TV has become, what it could have become. I think Internet could very easily become that, something where it's only a forum for the rich to speak and nobody else gets heard.

#42 Sinan

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 11:14 AM

Don't agree with Wu's closing line. The Internet is vast and with IPv6, the amount of address space for devices is enormous. In order to do what he said here, routers would have to be set up to only let certain ip addresses in or out. Too much work for no real benefit. What you will see is applications running locally on servers that let you use the internet like you use your phone. The class of service from the carrier will determine what you pay and what speed you see it on. Remember, the carriers want to spend you money on them. When you stop, they can react fast. All it takes is a policy change using a management system and bingo, you get a new service.
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#43 AnBr

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 12:31 PM

http://www.slate.com..._you_think.html
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Pray for Trump: Psalm 109:8

"Science is more than a body of knowledge; it is a way of thinking. I have a foreboding of an America in my children's or grandchildren's time - when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers arc in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what's true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness.

— Carl Sagan
The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
1995


“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

— H.L. Mencken
On Politics: A Carnival of Buncombe


“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

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#44 cmk

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 01:38 PM

I heard Wu on NPR last night while making dinner. My subjective reaction to it was "hysterical" -- especially his bottom line.
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#45 J-CA

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 03:24 PM

View PostTim Wu, on 25 April 2014 - 10:55 AM, said:

WU: My reaction is that the commission is not omnipotent nor omnipresent, it doesn't know everything that's going on, that there will be a serious cost in terms of free speech. That's very hard to measure economically, very hard for them to see. And so that their idea that they can supervise and see everything that's happening on the Internet, and know that speech is being hurt, is not correct.
... I think Internet could very easily become that, something where it's only a forum for the rich to speak and nobody else gets heard.
I do not understand the free speech argument. Also, for those who may not have noticed, the Internet is already a forum for the rich to speak and nobody else gets heard.
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#46 Traveler

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 03:42 PM

Wait, what about us?
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#47 indy

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 03:47 PM

Did somebody say something?

#48 dsp

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 03:53 PM

View PostJ-CA, on 25 April 2014 - 03:24 PM, said:

I do not understand the free speech argument. Also, for those who may not have noticed, the Internet is already a forum for the rich to speak and nobody else gets heard.

Not sure that's true. Think Brown Moses and or Glenn Greenwald before he joined Salon. He started as a humble blogger and built up a large enough following for a high-traffic site to hire him on. People can now bubble up out of no where if they have interesting things to say. In the past, they could not. With a non-neutral net, Comcast (or whoever) will be able to throttle anyone they want.

#49 Traveler

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 04:06 PM

View Postindy, on 25 April 2014 - 03:47 PM, said:

Did somebody say something?
Who me?
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#50 drdredel

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 06:29 PM

View PostJ-CA, on 25 April 2014 - 03:24 PM, said:

I do not understand the free speech argument. Also, for those who may not have noticed, the Internet is already a forum for the rich to speak and nobody else gets heard.

It will go from "free speech" to "speech for just 6 easy payments of $19.95"
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#51 J-CA

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 08:47 PM

View Postdsp, on 25 April 2014 - 03:53 PM, said:

... People can now bubble up out of no where if they have interesting things to say. In the past, they could not. With a non-neutral net, Comcast (or whoever) will be able to throttle anyone they want.
This dystopic future Internet is certainly possible but mostly this is just about bandwidth hogs, of course it is possible that Comcast will throttle views they don't like, but just about anything is possible. This is really about "Mom and Pop Streaming Service" which itself is about a lot more than just NN, it is about content licensing and a whole host of other issues too.
It is not a free speech issue in the 1A sense.
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#52 AnBr

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 11:31 PM

I see it as companies like Comcast rigging the market for their own benefit. Netflicks might not be paying for bandwidth on their end, but they certainly are on their end. If the concern is that bandwidth is not being paid for, the solution is simple, even obvious. It is also mostly in place. Monthly fees are tiered based on bandwidth. Many having a cap inplace. People paying higher fees for larger packages should get the extra bandwidth that they are paying for.

Keep in mind that as Comcast gets closer to what they want, they are buying more and more media and cable companies.
“Trump’s a stupid man’s idea of a smart person, a poor man’s idea of a rich person & a weak man’s idea of a strong man.”

— Fran Lebowitz


“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we've been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It's simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.”

— Carl Sagan


Pray for Trump: Psalm 109:8

"Science is more than a body of knowledge; it is a way of thinking. I have a foreboding of an America in my children's or grandchildren's time - when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers arc in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what's true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness.

— Carl Sagan
The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
1995


“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

— H.L. Mencken
On Politics: A Carnival of Buncombe


“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

— Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Second inaugural address January, 1937

#53 drdredel

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Posted 26 April 2014 - 02:19 AM

View PostJ-CA, on 25 April 2014 - 08:47 PM, said:

This dystopic future Internet is certainly possible but mostly this is just about bandwidth hogs, of course it is possible that Comcast will throttle views they don't like, but just about anything is possible. This is really about "Mom and Pop Streaming Service" which itself is about a lot more than just NN, it is about content licensing and a whole host of other issues too.
It is not a free speech issue in the 1A sense.

I'm sorry, I'm not a network guy, so perhaps I'm wrong here, but as far as I know "bandwidth" isn't actually a thing that costs anyone any actual money. Yes there's a value associated with the data the people transmit, but that value is entirely arbitrary. It doesn't cost Comcast anything extra to send HD video data as opposed to email data. So... my patience for their crying about how there's not enough room in the pipe for everyone to get their House of Cards is extremely limited. And if they were to put fiber into the ground there'd be enough room in the pipe for every computer to be streaming 4K video simultaneously and they could charge the end user a little extra to recoup their capital investment pretty quickly and then it's all gravy.
The Blind have lost their sense of "sight";
The Deaf have lost their sense of "hearing";
Republicans have lost their sense of "common".

#54 Banty

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Posted 26 April 2014 - 07:50 AM

View Postdrdredel, on 26 April 2014 - 02:19 AM, said:

And if they were to put fiber into the ground there'd be enough room in the pipe for every computer to be streaming 4K video simultaneously and they could charge the end user a little extra to recoup their capital investment pretty quickly and then it's all gravy.

Who gets to put all that fiber into the ground, and how do they get paid for that, and who maintains that?

Bandwidth can be thought of as a flow or current and it is not limitless, but it can be metered.
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#55 indy

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Posted 26 April 2014 - 07:59 AM

The fiber in the ground is a lot easier than the fiber across the oceans.

Obviously there is a lot of infrastructure that has to be built, maintained, and upgraded.

Comcast is not the problem here, because they will soon see a ton of competition from wireless. The last mile deliveries can be challenged through competition, and the moat is shrinking every day.

It's AT&T, Verizon, and the other backbone services who have the most at stake here.

#56 J-CA

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Posted 26 April 2014 - 09:14 AM

View Postdrdredel, on 26 April 2014 - 02:19 AM, said:

I'm sorry, I'm not a network guy, so perhaps I'm wrong here, but as far as I know "bandwidth" isn't actually a thing that costs anyone any actual money. Yes there's a value associated with the data the people transmit, but that value is entirely arbitrary. It doesn't cost Comcast anything extra to send HD video data as opposed to email data. So... my patience for their crying about how there's not enough room in the pipe for everyone to get their House of Cards is extremely limited. And if they were to put fiber into the ground there'd be enough room in the pipe for every computer to be streaming 4K video simultaneously and they could charge the end user a little extra to recoup their capital investment pretty quickly and then it's all gravy.
If you read some of Sinan's posts on this stuff you will notice that having the backbone ridiculously oversubscribed is pretty common, so "bandwidth" costs money because if everyone uses a lot of it there not enough infrastructure to support actually delivering all those bits, so upgrading is required. This seems easy to understand if you are a network guy or not, information theory is also bound by the laws of physics, right?
As Indy points out, last-mile and core infrastructure are actually separate issues with different parties concerned about them.

You you don't have patience for people crying about House of Cards because you think people should just live with DVD quality instead of 1080p so that your work emails can get through? That is how I feel about it, finding a way to make people pay a little extra for that 1080p stream seems like a solution, making Netflix pay is another way. The problem of course is making sure that Netflix is paying for service and that money being paid is going towards upgrades and not is not just being blackmailed.
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#57 AnBr

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Posted 26 April 2014 - 11:22 AM

Let's not forget about all of the dark fiber when talking about infrastructure. A lot of that fiber is already buried, lying dormant and unlit, so there is infrastructure in place waiting to be used.
“Trump’s a stupid man’s idea of a smart person, a poor man’s idea of a rich person & a weak man’s idea of a strong man.”

— Fran Lebowitz


“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we've been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It's simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.”

— Carl Sagan


Pray for Trump: Psalm 109:8

"Science is more than a body of knowledge; it is a way of thinking. I have a foreboding of an America in my children's or grandchildren's time - when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers arc in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what's true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness.

— Carl Sagan
The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
1995


“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

— H.L. Mencken
On Politics: A Carnival of Buncombe


“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

— Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Second inaugural address January, 1937

#58 Traveler

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Posted 26 April 2014 - 11:28 AM

AnBr, can you elaborate on that a little?
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"Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices" Voltaire

#59 AnBr

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Posted 26 April 2014 - 11:57 AM

Before the dot boom crash a lot of optical fiber was laid in anticipation of wild growth. After the crash, a huge quantities of it was left lying unused. At one point Google was buying up some of the unused capacity as a long range investment. While some of this has been lit up, it is also compounded by Moore's law in that the capacity of the same fiber doubles every nine months. In other words they can push twice the data through the existing used fiber.

Disclaimer: it has been a while since I paid any attention to it, so I cannot be that certain as to exactly how much is currently unlit, but there was so much of it that I would be surprised if they had made that much of a dent in it.
“Trump’s a stupid man’s idea of a smart person, a poor man’s idea of a rich person & a weak man’s idea of a strong man.”

— Fran Lebowitz


“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we've been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It's simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.”

— Carl Sagan


Pray for Trump: Psalm 109:8

"Science is more than a body of knowledge; it is a way of thinking. I have a foreboding of an America in my children's or grandchildren's time - when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers arc in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what's true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness.

— Carl Sagan
The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
1995


“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

— H.L. Mencken
On Politics: A Carnival of Buncombe


“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

— Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Second inaugural address January, 1937

#60 Traveler

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Posted 26 April 2014 - 12:21 PM

Learn something new every day here. Typically a lot of things. Thanks.
"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."-- Winston Churchill
"Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices" Voltaire





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