Are Big Corporations Trying to Shut Down the Internet?

In front of a crowd of tech enthusiasts, Sen. Al Franken made some shocking statements that would rattle even the most casual web user. He stated that large corporations have a goal in mind to destroy the Internet as it stands and by doing so, they would gain what amounts to a monopoly on faster connections.

He was speaking about the ongoing debate of net neutrality, a heated topic among politicians surrounding legislation that either allows or denies companies like Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and AT&T to impose caps and limits on various parts of the web and opening it up for others.

The main target of the Senator’s speech was Comcast, who is currently in an ongoing dispute surrounding one of Netflix’s primary bandwidth providers, Level 3. In this case, Comcast is attempting to impose high bandwidth rates on the provider to deliver their content to customers. Comcast is citing that the Netflix traffic causes an increase in their customer’s usage and this surge warrants additional fees. Because Netflix is seen as somewhat of a competitor of Comcast, this fee is seen as an unfair business practice.

AT&T made a serious move towards capping and limiting their customer’s usage by imposing new limits on monthly throughput and adding overage charges should their users go over a 150GB or 250GB limit. This new restriction goes live on May 5th, and will impact their entire DSL and U-verse customer base. While this particular kind of step isn’t part of the main net neutrality debate, it does play a role in limiting how users can consume content on the web.

A customer, for example, may not be able to enjoy as much streaming video content over Hulu and Netflix as they could on a truly unlimited plan. This is often seen as a workaround for ISPs to limit the use of these services without actually targeting them directly and potentially violating standing FCC regulations.

Whether you believe Sen. Al Franken or not, there is something happening in the ISP world that doesn’t sit well in the tech community, and despite overwhelming opposition to these changes, large providers are moving forward anyway.

What are your opinions on Sen. Al Franken’s statements? Please comment below.

Politico – Al Franken: ‘They’re coming after the Internet’
The Frugal Geek – AT&T Caps Usage for All Customers – AT&T To Impose Caps, Overages
Reflections by Ron Schenone – AT&T to Customers: The All You Can Use Buffet is Closed

Demand The Debate 2008

There is now a site setup in which you can sign a petition to demand that the political canidates running for President of the United States of America, debate this cominf Friday, September 26, 2008 in Mississippi as previously scheduled.  The web site states:

Demand that Senators Obama and McCain both show up in Mississippi on Friday night and debate for 
the American people.  In this time of crisis, we need to hear from our leaders, not let them hide 
in Washington.  Now more than ever, we need an open dialogue with our leaders.

I demand the debate!


Buying A Dell From Best Buy – The Debate Continues

Without going into the gory details, there is a tale over at InfoWorld concerning a disgruntled Dell customer who purchased a computer from Best Buy. As many of you may know, if you buy a Dell from Best Buy, it is Best Buy who provides the service according to the Dell FAQ’s [here]  which states:

Q: Who can I contact if I need technical support?
A: If you need support for your personal computer, please contact any Best Buy store. The Geek Squad from Best Buy has been authorized by Dell to provide technical support and warranty service for your new Dell personal computer. You can also contact Dell for basic technical support.

But here is the kicker. This sentence ‘You can also contact Dell for basic technical support.’ Which according to the article, Dell indicates is 5 minutes worth. Gee. I can’t even recall even getting through with the basic information, name, address, and so forth in under 5 minutes.

Without weighing into the Best Buy – Dell debate, which I could care less about, you should only buy directly from Dell and only buy a Business system not a home unit.  The simple reason is that Business systems still get US support. :-)

Comments welcome.


The Gospel According to Judas by Benjamin Iscariot by Jeffrey Archer & Francis J. Moloney

The 1,700-year-old copy of the Gospel of Judas was unveiled in Washington last April, unleashing a controversy regarding its authenticity since it states that Judas acted on Jesus’ request and as part of the divine plan when he turned him over to the authorities. While the original author of the Judas gospel is unknown, it is believed to be part of a document mentioned in a treatise by Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyon, in the year 180 A.D. This in turn resulted in the writing of The Gospel According to Judas, by Benjamin Iscariot, a collaborate effort between Jeffrey Archer and Francis J. Moloney, that successfully bridges the gap between the first-century Christian or Jew, by authenticating the research using canonical texts, and twenty-first-century readers. According to Pope Benedict XVI, this work not only tells the story of Jesus through the eyes of Judas but also sheds new light on his motives for the betrayal and tells the reader what happened to him after the crucifixion. Being aware that the name Judas brings a negative connotation to the mind of most Christians the authors following the narrative style of the gospels provide a compelling and controversial concept for modern day readers, with Desmond Tutu going as far as calling the gospel, “riveting and plausible.”

According to the author, Jeffrey Archer, the Gospel According to Judas Iscariot throws a new light on one of Christendom’s most vile antagonists as he and co-author Francis Moloney argue that Judas was unremorseful and motivated, not by greed, but by disillusionment over Jesus’ refusal to secure the Jewish homeland and rid it of the Romans. Further praise from Desmond Tutu states that, “It sounds just like the kind of thing someone’s son would do to try to rehabilitate their father’s name.” However, since this work will not be released to the public until March 22, 2007, Archer tantalizes the public with statements that include Judas “Unquestionably wanting the Messiah to ride into Jerusalem in front of a triumphant army and defeat the Romans. When He chooses to arrive on a donkey instead, Judas believes that that is proof positive that Jesus isn’t the Messiah.” However, Christians believe that the other gospels clearly teach that Christ made it clear that this was never His purpose. While Moloney will argue that Judas, a hard line Jew believed Jesus should restore the throne of David by military means,” and that it is more plausible that Judas did not betray Jesus for money but due to his disillusionment with the cause. The authors also believe that it is unlikely that Judas killed himself, since Moloney says, “There is no motivation for suicide and it was against Old Testament cannon for a Jew to take his own life.” It should also be noted; that while Archer’s book attempts to revise Judas’s reputation the discovery of a number of ancient texts has already caused views to change to ones more favorable of Judas.

At just over 22,000 words, this controversial work is roughly the same length as the four New Testament Gospels, and as such likely to be taken seriously by the Pope who is aware of the project and is a good friend of Professor Moloney’s, having sat with him on the Biblicum for 18 years. The Gospel According to Judas is a highly readable and gripping account of the stories of Jesus and Judas, which will open a whole new debate among secular and religious readers. Given that I cannot wait to obtain a copy of this anticipated work and would recommend it to open-minded individuals, as well as, to scholars and intellectuals.

[tags]The Gospel According to Judas by Benjamin Iscariot, Jesus, Judas, Jeffrey Archer, Francis Moloney, Desmond Tutu, Pope Benedict XVI, Controversary, debate, Christian, Jew, betrayal[/tags]

A Long Repsonse…

The following is a point by point response to a well thought out email sent in by a fellow Gnomie. Other than being misinformed in a couple of areas, some really good points were raised in support of Windows above all of other operating systems.

The person writing in has their thoughts done in blockquotes while my rather long winded reply is not. Enjoy.
Continue reading “A Long Repsonse…”