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2006 April 24 — Why Now?
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Mary McCarthy Revisited

Robert at Interstate 4 Jamming pointed me to NBC’s political blog, First Read, where Andrea Mitchell has talked to Mary McCarthy’s lawyer.

Ms. McCarthy claims that she couldn’t have leaked anything about the secret prisons, because she didn’t know anything about them. The only crime she may have committed, other than making political contributions to Democrats, was talking to the press occasionally. She actually retired back in February, but it won’t be official until April 30th.

For those who aren’t familiar with civil service, that happens a lot as they “burn off” your accumulated vacation days, rather than having to make a lump sum payment. They pulled her security clearance that she doesn’t need anymore and she still gets her pension, but she’s lawyered up and ready for battle. She’s angry about the anonymous claims that she “leaked” classified information.

She was on the National Security Council in the Clinton administration, so she would have had contact with the media while there.

April 24, 2006   4 Comments

Internet Neutrality Again

A month ago I wrote about a Christian Science Monitor opinion piece on Internet neutrality, but Congress is still attempting to help its campaign donors.

There were people who commented on that post who felt that the government should butt out and let the “market” decide. Well, folks, the “market” and private enterprise had nothing to do with the creation of the Internet, and they have been profiting from the taxpayer-funded creation for quite some time.

Those who don’t understand the lack of participation by private enterprise should read: A Brief History of the Internet.

When you type in HTTP, HTML, and many other related acronyms you are using trademarks that belong to W3C, not a telco or cable company. Private enterprise didn’t create the TCP/IP Internet protocol, it was paid for by US taxpayers.

This has nothing to do with competition; you don’t get to choose the routing when you go to a web site, the ‘Net routes based on what’s available. These people have added to the “backbone”, but they don’t provide point-to-point access; everything they carry has to travel over other people’s lines, use other people’s routers, pass through other people’s equipment, use other people’s domain name servers.

If they want to start their own system, like The Source or Compuserve did in the “bad old days”, fine, but they don’t get to jack up prices on one section of the ‘Net, while getting a free ride for their customers on the rest of the ‘Net. Understand that the Internet only works because everything is treated equally. If things receive different treatment, the concept fails. Ask AOL users how their hybrid system is working?

No one forced them to carry Internet traffic, and they knew the rules when they joined. Congressmen who mess with the rules could find themselves looking for new jobs.

Move On has a petition and more information is available on Save The Internet. This is no different that the current oil prices. Have you noticed any competition form the oil companies? Have you compared the prices of your local cable company and telco for Internet services? These are corporations: they don’t believe in risk or competition.

April 24, 2006   2 Comments

Just When You Thought It Couldn’t Get Worse

The current digital copyright law is a mess, and people are losing their traditional rights to use copyrighted material to those who control the copyrights.

Everyone has been expecting the law to be amended to return things to the traditional balance that we all grew up with, but that is not what has happened.

CNet reports: Congress readies broad new digital copyright bill that gives all the rights and powers to the people who sell anything in a digital format.

The big media companies have the power to buy Congressmen, so users are screwed again, and the people are going to be turned into criminals if they buy CDs, DVDs, or download them legally and try to use them as they always have.

What the media companies don’t seem to understand is that they are reducing the value of legally buying their products if people can no longer use them as they have become accustomed. No one is going to be willing to buy a separate copy of a CD or DVD for every device they own.

April 24, 2006   2 Comments

Bloggered Again

Since both Elayne and skippy are reporting it, it must be true, although Blogger Status is mute on the subject.

Blogger will be down at 4PM in LA, which is 7PM in NYC, for 45 minutes.

Many have been complaining about problems today.

April 24, 2006   6 Comments