Archive: December, 2006

The Truth about Net Neutrality

Unfortunately, it seems that political ads don’t have to actually tell the truth or use pesky facts to convince people of who and what to vote for. Most political topics can’t be accurately explained in 30 seconds or less. I wish the following video were possible to get on television during commercial breaks. If you don’t know what Net Neutrality is or why you should want laws in place to guarantee it then please take the two and a half minutes to watch the video below. The cable and telephone companies, who constitute the majority of high-speed internet service providers (ISPs), want to make more money at your expense. You will probably see commercials that try to convince you that Net Neutrality is bad, but they won’t talk about why, except by trying to scare you by threatening to raise cable and internet bills. These ads against Net Neutrality are nothing more or less than that; they are threats. The user oepapel on a discussion about Net Neutrality at digg.com summed it up best.

The ISPs (the gatekeepers) are basically saying “We want more money. If we can’t charge Google extra because of some Net Neutrality law then we are going to charge you, the customer. So don’t vote for the law and we won’t charge you more. Deal?”

It’s not that they lied, it’s that they skipped right to the end of their thinly veiled threat to raise prices if they don’t get their way. It’s a giant temper tantrum. They see the internet and their customers as an asset to be sold to the highest bidder, only nobody is bidding. None of the content producers are taking the bait. God help us if one of them does because then they ALL will have to in order to stay competitive. Sure, your internet [access] might be cheaper (and that’s a big assumption) but you traded your freedom away to get it. Hope you kept the receipt…

The ISPs are threatening to raise your bills unless they can force other companies with popular websites to pay the ISP just to grant you access to the popular websites. This idea just makes me so angry! And this is only one of the possible misuses if Net Neutrality is not passed into law.

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A Little Piece of Office Culture

Alex has a penchant for taking the faces of his coworkers and putting them on pop culture icons like Shrek, or Princess Leia. Well, he and I have turned it into a competition to see who can make the best one. This was his idea after he noticed that I seemed a little bored. I rushed out here so quickly that I gave little to no thought to entertainment or hobbies. Anyway, here is one that he “rushed.” I must admit that he has had quite a head-start at this stuff. I can do some things with the Gimp, but he really knows what he’s doing in Photoshop when it comes to blending images together.

Shawn Dowler as Chicken Little

Arizona Oddities

I wish that I had had a camera on me when we were driving around the other night. We drove past a McDonalds that had a small marquee attached to their sign out front that advertised a special: 2 bags of ice for just $1.29. I wondered aloud why McDonalds would sell bags of ice let alone advertise it as a special of some sort. Alex, who was driving, said that Arizonans really like ice. I thought he was just joking. I still thought it was weird.

Tonight at dinner Alex made some green Kool Aid. When I poured some into my ice-filled plastic tumbler and tasted it I think I made a face. It was so sweet I couldn’t drink it. Cassie said that Alex’s family always made it that way and let the ice melting in your glass water it down to the right concentration. Then she said that Arizonans really love ice! I guess Alex wasn’t joking after all.

Arizona: My New Home

I touched down in Arizona this afternoon after a quick flight from San Diego. Tomorrow I start my new job as a Technical Writer for Apollo Group. I didn’t want to say anything about it until it was for sure, and I think now is as sure as it can get without me having arrived for my first day. I have been informed that tomorrow is the most glorious day of the week: Nacho Thursday. I have also been informed that if it is my team’s turn to make the nachos then I will be expected to clean the machine afterwards.

I leave many friends behind in California, which makes me a little sad and homesick. I think the homesickness is mostly because my wife is still back in California finishing out the year at her job and getting everything in order to move our stuff and take care of all the odds and ends that go along with a move.

We are in the process of trying to get ourselves into a townhouse since we plan to spend a good long while in Arizona. I haven’t had an employer in the last two and a half years because I’ve been going to school full time. Hopefully that won’t be a problem. I think there might be some special services we may qualify for as first-time home buyers, but I really am not sure. I don’t know anything about Arizona and the way their state government works.