August 27th, 2006

More cowbell

Net Neutrality

If you haven't heard about this yet, it's time you did.

Here's the gist:
Right now, your Internet company doesn't get to choose which websites open quickly on your computer. They can't decide that Google will open more quickly than Yahoo, or that the website of a company they own will open more quickly than a small business competitor. That's because of Net Neutrality—the rule that's been in place since the Internet was created that says Internet service providers can't discriminate between websites.

Telephone and cable companies (like AT&T, Verizon, BellSouth, Comcast, and Time Warner) want to eliminate Net Neutrality so they can put tollbooths on the Internet and speed up sites that pay them the most. They've been quite blatant about it—here's what one top executive told the Washington Post:

"William L. Smith, chief technology officer for Atlanta-based BellSouth Corp., told reporters and analysts that an Internet service provider such as his firm should be able, for example, to charge Yahoo Inc. for the opportunity to have its search site load faster than that of Google Inc." (Washington Post, December 1, 2005)

If Google gets outbid by Yahoo for the right to open quickly on your computer, imagine the fate of small businesses, entrepreneurs, nonprofit organizations, bloggers, and other everyday Internet users.

Links for more info, and to take action.
Net Neutrality - What is it, and how does it affect me?
Network Neutrality F.A.Q. -

Where does YOUR senator stand on this issue?
For even more REAL information about this, read this article on Network Neutrality: Fact vs. Fiction -  (Note that it might be slow to open if you have a slower connection, because its an adobe pdf file.)

Law dork

Query: How's your vocabulary? Follow-up

Here are the definitions to the words I posted about on Thursday:

1) ersatz - substitute, imitation

2) wended - directed one's course or way

3) protean - taking on different forms; exceedingly variable

4) chary - characterized by great cautious and wariness; cagey

5) persiflage - light teasing

6) ukase - edict; decree

7) celerity - swiftness of action or motion; speed

8) hydraheaded - a persistent or many-sided problem that presents new obstacles as soon as one aspect is solved; persistent or multifaceted problem that cannot be eradicated by a single effort
(Note: Hydra was the many-headed monster that was slain by Hercules in Greek mythology.)