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 Monday, 27 June 2005
Monday, 27 June 2005 13:39:30 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) ( )

While Scrappleface is often way too right-wing, there is enough actually good humor there to keep it in my RSS feed. Here's a really good one:

Court Allows 10 Commandments on Seized Land

And I liked this one quite a lot as well:

Bush May Condemn and Seize Supreme Court

It seems to me that some of these court decisions may bring elements of the right and left together. Regardless of handedness, who in their right mind could possibly support the idea that the government can, at the whim of a private developer, decide to bulldoze your home? Not for mass transit, not for a new school, but just for yet another strip mall...

Couple that with the court's ability to ignore reality in the Internet space. Somehow running a wire into your house to get Internet access via DSL is fundamentally different than running a wire into your house to get Internet access via cable.

Let's see if you can figure out which is which: A guy shows up with a tool belt. He does a bunch of stuff with wires and hooks up a box he calls a modem to the wires. Another wire runs from the modem to your computer, and just like that you have high-speed Internet service.

Both the FCC (who should know better, and thus must be suffering from payoff-induced delusions) and SCOTUS can tell that what I just described is fundamentally and unequivocally different from cable – obviously I was describing DSL. See if it were cable you’d get this experience:

A guy shows up with a tool belt. He does a bunch of stuff with round wires and hooks up a box he calls a modem to the round wires. Another wire runs from the modem to your computer, and just like that you have high-speed Internet service.

See the difference? Its those round wires! Due to the roundness of the wires, it is quite clear that there’s no similarity between DSL and cable.

Of course if you are using DSL you can choose from dozens if not hundreds of different Internet service providers (ISPs) that compete with each other on services, price and quality. Those using cable have no choice at all, allowing the cable operator to provide limited services, high prices and typical crappy cable quality (thus has been my experience).

Well, none except dropping cable for DSL.

Any objective technologist could have told SCOTUS that there's no difference between DSL and cable except the history of the companies that provide the service. It is the same damn technology.

It does make one wonder what kind of odd regulations will be placed on power companies if they start providing Internet access via our electric feeds. I suppose the fact that the technology has the same result will be immaterial, and in that case the Internet will be treated like electricity instead of like communications (DSL) or content (cable).

In any case, if cable wants to cripple itself by restricting my choice of ISPs that's OK. I do live in an area that has both options, and they're losing out on my revenue until they get a clue.

Back to my original thought. Both of these court decisions, and some other recent ones, are so pro-corporate and anti-citizen that it is hard to imagine any real people supporting them - from either the right or the left. Note that politicians aren't "real people" under this definition, since they primarily represent monied interests and not any of us. Monied interests obviously are enjoying the wonderful protections afforded them by the court and are looking forward to exploiting these abilities to get more of our money going forward.

Welcome to the cyberpunk future.

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