Tuesday, December 21, 2010

In which the Internet is Threatened, and the Author is Lazy

The Federal Communications Commission is about to pass regulations that will let internet providers limit what applications can be used on their networks, and even allow paid prioritization of speed for certain sites and services. Net Neutrality is threatened, and because of the way our wishy-washy government does things, loopholes in this legislation aboundeth.

I'm a supporter of Net Neutrality, which by definitions means this: if you have a nifty idea, game, service, site, or what have you, you get the same kinds of speed, the same kind of service, and the same chance for viewer attention as any big company (with the exception that they have more cash to spend on advertising than you do).

This regulation should really not become law because it is not only extremely broadly tailored, it also doesn't serve a compelling government interest, and actually harms public interest. There are loopholes in it large enough to drive an intergalactic cruise liner through. For example, Verizon and AT&T could block all access to Skype on their internet services and on their phones. While it seems reasonable to say 'well, we don't want people using our phones for free,' it's also been my opinion that since people are paying something like forty dollars per month for unlimited data transmission, they should be able to use it for anything they want, VOIP programs like Skype included. I'm paying forty dollars a month just for phone service, much less any kind of internet.

Worse yet, paid prioritization of speed is only 'discouraged,' not banned. This means that if you really like, oh, say, Wordpress to blog on rather than Blogger, Wordpress can pay the internet provider to make their site load faster, upload faster, et cetera. What does this mean for a few years down the road, when Revelation hits the fan? Will sites with Christian agendas just be shunted down to the lowest tier of pokey slow? Or does this pave the way for blocking it entirely, and that this regulation is just the beginning of censorship and an erosion of our First Amendment rights? FEAR MY PARANOIA!!! (AND MY CAPITALS AND EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!!!!)

End of rant.

As for my non-ranting personal life, I have been exceptionally lazy for the last few days. I dedicated my first day of winter break to doing nothing constructive whatsoever. I'd forgotten how relaxing it is to just be totally worthless as far as productivity goes. I couldn't keep it up, though. The next day, I wrote about 1,200 words on my next book (!!!) and wrote another song for my musical. It may be the only piece of literature (if that's what you can call it) that contains the lines "You may kiss the bride. You may now defend the bride from bandits."

Less back pain is always a good thing. Those shots I got the other day continue to work their medicinal magic, and I'm feeling good enough to get back to work. They have a followup with me on January 11 to get another round of them, but things should be pretty shiny after that. The sooner I don't have to deal with very long, very uncomfortable needles, the better.

I'm going to nip out and get a haircut now. The amount of shagginess this mane of hair has developed is starting to get inconvenient. My fedora no longer fits. Fortunately there's a place in town that does 5 dollar haircuts. Perfect for my famished college student budget.

You may now continue your pedestrian existences, peasants. May the Force be With You, and may your internets always be free of regulation.

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