Friday, June 23, 2006

Antonia Zerbisias - Toronto Star On Net Neutrality

azerbic - Antonia Zerbisias - Toronto Star Blog:

Antonia Zerbesias, Toronto Star columnist has weighed in on the issue of net neutrality - and as she says "there is no neutrality on this" issue.

As I've mentioned in previous blog entries, this is an extremely importnat issue that will affect all of us for a long, long (till death and beyond) time.

If you can't find anything on TV worth watching on those 500 channels you have to pay for from your cable/sateellite provider (though you only watch 10 regularly, if that) just think of what the internet will be like when the telcos take over. They will be in there "shaping" what you get to see, redirecting you to their preferred customers, and restricting the access speeds to the premiium accounts. Free access, free speech, free sharing, networking and remixing - will be diminished if not altogether destroyed. Telus has already blocked us from viewing websites critical of their union busting activities. Just a sign of things to come should they and their cabal get control of the Internet pipes.

Ottawa Politician High Tech Touch

The Hon. Garth Turner, P.C., M.P. brings Ottawa to his constituents and to Canadians via the web. using podcasts and streaming technologies Garth has created MPTV - Parliament's new TV station, a joint venture by Garth Turner, M.P. and the House of Commons, broadcasting across Canada and the world on the Internet.

I watched a few of Garth's vids and listened to some of his podcasts - informative and interesting, but a little too tame. I'd like to see some sparks fly, or at the least, some verbal sparring. Maybe Garth is just warming up...regardless, a great use of technology to keep the MPs in contact with those who pay their bills.

See Parliament, and maybe your MP being interviewed on

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Sharing Files? recording industry wants to fine you

The RIAA is out to get you as they "protect" their assets. Teenage data swappers have been hit with the win against P2P - who's next? - everyone it seems - beware - the RIAA is moving on, seeking to redefine copyright infringement in their self protective mold - read on at Lifehacker and seek the advice of Law Geek who will tell you how afraid you should be - very, it seems.

You are being trolled: Spies in your space

New Scientist Tech - Technology - Pentagon sets its sights on social networking websites:

Always remember that the web is one big, huge neighbourhood, and someone other than benevolent readers (others like voyeurs, bosses, CSIS, RCMP, NSA and other acronyms) is peeking at you from some vantage point. So be somewhat circumspect about what you post - it could come back and haunt you - or your descendants...

"'I AM continually shocked and appalled at the details people voluntarily post online about themselves.' So says Jon Callas, chief security officer at PGP, a Silicon Valley-based maker of encryption software. He is far from alone in noticing that fast-growing social networking websites such as MySpace and Friendster are a snoop's dream.
New Scientist has discovered that Pentagon's National Security Agency, which specialises in eavesdropping and code-breaking, is funding research into the mass harvesting of the information that people post about themselves on social networks. And it could harness advances in internet technology - specifically the forthcoming 'semantic web' championed by the web standards organisation W3C - to combine data from social networking websites with details such as banking, retail and property records, allowing the NSA to build extensive, all-embracing personal profiles of individuals."

Blast to the Past: Internet regression

Internet headed back to Dark Ages:
Once upon a time in the (very) early days of online computing, there were three little services that couldn't talk to each other - Prodigy, AOL and Compuserve - and that's the model we may well have in the future. So much for "connectedness". Via Sascha Meinrath:

"At one time firms like America Online, GEnie, Delphi, Prodigy, and Compuserve offered consumers proprietary data processing and data communication services over incompatible and noninterconnected networks. This approach to selling data services ultimately faded as the public Internet became available. Most of the firms that pursued the network differentiation business model no longer exist, and those that do survive have combined Internet access with their proprietary offerings.

Consumers have already voted with their feet away from the proprietary data network model, once given the opportunity to consume electronic data and communication services in an open-access environment. The reason for this exhibited consumer sentiment is the same in the broadband world as it was in the dial-up world consumers place a high value on services based on policies which encourage protocol standardization, interoperability, and network effects. "

And what gives with the restrivtive business model being used by Verizon Wireless' broadband service ? It bars the user from uploading or they think they can get away with this? How will it benefit them or the industry in the long run?

"The fact that Verizon’s 3G wireless broadband service has usage restrictions associated with uploading, streaming, VoIP, or peer-to-peer will hinder innovation in these areas. If these types of restrictions were placed more broadly on network users, due to the rise of "differentiated" last-mile networks, the impact on innovation would be pronounced. If, for example, end-users have limited upload capabilities or cannot use a service for streaming, then the incentive and ability to innovate in these areas is greatly reduced. Similar restrictions have been introduced on an intermittent basis whenever the principle of network neutrality has been relaxed. The threat that network operators may introduce such restrictions on an intermittent basis also pollutes the open environment for innovation on the Internet."

Welcome to the door closing on innovation, and the stifling of progress. Restrictions are in, openness is out.

Monday, June 12, 2006

A Leafs fan in Alberta?

Being a transplanted Ontarian now residing in the city of champions – Edmonton – this little joke is particularly fitting….

Hockey in Alberta

Two boys are playing hockey on a frozen pond in Red Deer, Alberta, when one of the boys is suddenly attacked by a crazed Rottweiler.

Thinking quickly, the other boy takes his hockey stick, shoves it under the dog's collar, twists it, and breaks the dog's neck, saving his friend.

A reporter is strolling by, sees the incident, and rushes over to interview the boy. "Young Flames Fan Saves Friend From Vicious Animal," he starts writing in his notebook.

"But I'm not a Flames fan," the little hero replies.

"Sorry, since we're in Alberta, I just assumed you were," says the reporter and he starts writing again. "Oilers Fan Rescues Friend From Horrific Attack" he writes in his notebook.

"I'm not an Oilers fan either," the boy says.

"Oh, I assumed everyone in Alberta was either for the Flames or the Oilers. What team do you root for?" the reporter asks.

"I'm a Maple Leafs fan," the boy replies.

The reporter starts a new sheet in his notebook and writes: "Little Bastard From Ontario Kills Beloved Family Pet."