In “Your complete guide to the murder of net neutrality,” Michael Hiltzik explains exactly why the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposal to allow Internet service providers to charge certain clients more for access to a fast lane spells the end to new neutrality. The proposal, being championed by Tom Wheeler, President B. Obama’s appointee as chairman of the FCC, is a direct contradiction to positions Obama championed during his campaign for the presidency.
Wheeler’s proposal, which is scheduled for a preliminary vote by the full FCC on May 15, has been assailed as a full-scale retreat from the open-Internet principle traditionally upheld by the commission, and explicitly supported by President Obama. Wheeler claims he’s not backing away from net neutrality at all, and that assertions to the contrary are the product of “a great deal of misinformation.”
He’s blowing smoke. The critics are right. Wheeler’s proposal will turn the Internet as we know it into the private preserve of a handful of rich and powerful companies. It will make them richer and more powerful. And you’ll be getting the bill. If the commission votes for the proposal, it will then be subject to months of public comments. But the risk is it could become law by the end of this year.
In later parts of his column, Mr. Hiltzik explains why the big corporations will be able to use these developments to their advantage and to the detriment of we consumers. He also explains what we can do. It’s well worth reading.
14 March 2014. Yerp. 3.14 it is.
If you haven’t already, now’s the time to do it. Run that update. It’s under “Settings:General” And, until Apple releases a patch for OS X, you shouldn’t use Safari to browse the Web when you’re connecting to the Internet via a public WiFi on your laptop, either.
For the geeks, Adam Langley explained over on Imperial Violet and John Gruber of Daring Fireball opined why he figures NSA conspiracy theories are a bit of a reach.
Dear Michael Sam,
I don’t follow American football—let alone college American football—with the great passion that many people do in my neighborhood or my country. But I do know enough about it to understand that, as a football player, your declaration of your sexual orientation will be met with a lot of passion by people. I fear that the passions many people will express will be thoughtless, heartless, and worse (if that’s possible). I am glad that you will have supporters.
I admire you for pre-emptively standing before all those people and saying, in effect, “Here I am.” Continue reading
Those folks at Barebones.com not only create marvelous pieces of software, but they have a sense of humor. Someone (Patrick, perhaps?) embedded in the support documents for Yojimbo, one of those products, a caution about users fiddling with some of the settings in that product:
The Yojimbo synchronization system contains no user-serviceable parts, and the cover should not be removed except by authorized service personnel in a static-free clean room environment.
Over on the NN/g Web site, Jen Cardello has an educational post about how to make the Healthcare.gov Web page much more readily navigable. It’s heavily focused on usability in the account set-up process, and it’s a beauty.
Alert readers will recognize NN/g (AKA the Nielsen Norman Group) as the public face of Jakob Nielsen, Don Norman, and their colleagues. Jen Cardello is a director for the operation. Learn more at http://www.nngroup.com/people/.