20 February 2009

Guarantee Net Neutrality NOW!

Holy Polis the internet is ours! But will we keep it?

If history is a constant struggle consolidating power against efforts to empower broadly, today we are amidst a battle of recently unrivaled import. When you showed up to the internet you were a consumer. You clicked your links, checked the weather and sent email. The computer was an appliance, you shortcutted your tv and your mailman to get what you wanted when you wanted it. Congratulations, that's about as impressive as ditching the Sears Roebuck catalog for a shopping mall.

But then you joined the we. Technological babysteps towards user driven content spawned an emotional and personal stake in the internet. If you want to be cooler than a twelve year old with a skateboard he drives with his finger tips you'd call this Web2.0 (Full disclosure, delvv would like to be that cool, thats why we've affixed a mirror effect to our logo and added a permanent beta). Alas, I digress, I doubt a reader of this blog needs much convincing that the new internet transformed pop culture, won a presidency, earned a person of the year Time cover, and confused most people over thirty-five.

Traditional interests would rather not roll over and die, however. Proponents of a so-called tiered internet would like us to pay for the internet like we pay for tv. Give them the big stuff cheap, the ads will pay for it anyway. But anyone who wants to go deeper will have to pay for it. You see, the problem is that we piggybacked the technology for the internet on the backs of cable and phone companies. These company's started the game with entrenched interests, and if you don't think they're throwing their weight around to protect them, you're in for a rude awakening.

Here we lead into what ticked me off today. This morning, the Wall Street Journal reported that America's cable companies want to restrict viewing of those online TV shows to tv subscribing customers. I'm sorry what?! You're a utility, shut your mouth and sit down. If I pay for the internet, I get what's on it. End of discussion. It's bad enough that Comcast charges a "subscriber fee" for non-cable tv customers which is the same price as basic cable. We have to end these games now, or we'll lose the internet. Tiered internet could kill YouTube, it could kill Blogs and . . . you know what, we had tiered internet once.

Remember AOL, with its little channels trying to get you to do everything it could to use its stupid "Keywords" rather than using the world wide web. Thats tiered internet. We could be back in that nightmare in a blink of an eye. You would never let your car decide where you were driving. You would never let your grocery store decide what you're having for dinner. Internet Service Provider is not Internet Service Decider. ISPs are public utilities and should be treated as such. Thank you, that is all.

19 February 2009

CNBC Journalist has Kanipshan on Chicago Commodity Floor

This video may bring out a chuckle or too, but I'd like to throw a little back in Mr. Santelli's face.

See, if it was just about responsible people and irresponsible people, he might have a point. But here's the deal, buddy, your näive over simplification of economics is exactly what got us here to begin with. If my neighbor can't pay his mortgage because he was irresponsible, you're right, I don't care. He can sell his house, move into something else and its his problem to get back on his feet. But guess what, when it's half the neighborhood my responsible billpaying household suffers too, and suffers bad. My home, the basic unit of wealth in this great nation, loses value at a hemorrhaging rate. This kills my access to credit and deals a punishing blow to my school district. So guess what, this plan is probably in my rational and your rational self interest unless you want to own worthless real estate and look forward to a future generation of American's who "graduate" high school with absolutely no marketable skills.

By the way, you know what else is a moral hazard? Health insurance, and yet, you look reasonably healthy, Rick (if you don't mind me saying). Why not just smoke some crack and play real life Frogger on the interstate. It's fine, I'm sure CNBC is giving you real nice health insurance, they'd fix you up quick - and hey, it might be fun. Oh you wouldn't? Oh right, that's because Moral Hazards aren't an absolute are they. I bet you think Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, LiHEAP, food stamps, WIC, unemployment and their "ilk" are moral hazards too. Well sir, you'd be right, but guess what, we don't live in a world of absolutes, instead we're forced to balance interests. I for one am happy to balance my interests with the interests of those less fortunate, realizing that in the last few generations we've reduced senior poverty, reduced childhood hunger, decreased unnecessary illness related deaths and provided countless opportunities for American's to get a chance or two to reach the American dream. Huh, I bet functioning citizens with good jobs and stable financial situations actually benefits the American economy too, wouldn't that be something.

Also littering is so uncool. Like, pink-double-popped collar uncool.

18 February 2009

Cartoons are funny, right? NOT

So, there are a few things that you just don't do. It's something you grow up knowing- don't put your elbows on the table, don't talk with food in your mouth, don't call black people chimps. Just ask the New York Post. Recently, the paper ran a cartoon featuring several cops standing over a bullet-riddled chimp stating "They'll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill."

Ok people. Now is not the time to have the conversation on whether or not there SHOULD be a difference in calling a black person and a white person a chimp. Because there shouldn't be. But unfortunately, due to long history of our country, the reality is that there IS a difference. You can not run a cartoon effectively calling our new black president a chimp, and expect there not to be any repercussions.

I'm not saying that the NYP is full of racists. This is not a "you're a racist" issue. This is a "are you seriously that stupid that you honestly didn't anticipate the backlash of this" issue. Come ON.

President, please!

I really hope this isn't fake.

President, please

Faster Firefox

A few tweaks to get Firefox running faster.

DIY: Bicycle wheel pot rack

Pot racks are expensive, building one out of an old bicycle wheel and some parts you can pick up at the hardware store is not. This is a neat guide to building your own bicycle wheel pot rack. Bonus points for going green.

17 February 2009

Bush had some integrity left?

Ex-VP Dick Cheney is reported to be furious that ex-President Bush did not pardon Scooter Libby. He pushed the issue extremely hard right up to the end of the term, but Bush wouldn't budge. In fact, he was so persistent that Bush finally told his aides that he refused to discuss the issue further.

Is this a sign of some shred of integrity left in the man?

IBM patent lets you dodge bullets

That's right - IBM filed a patent for technology that will detect incoming projectiles and then stimulate muscles to create a reflex reaction that would allow one to dodge bullets.

IBM. Dodge bullets.

Is that a new ad campaign on the horizon?