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Reposted from Tales From The Technomancer by The Technomancer

Hello, Kossacks!

So, Google dropped a public comment to the FCC over the New Year's holiday, and it's a shot across the bow of Comcast, AT&T, and their lobbyists in the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, the Broadband for America astroturf group, and the other myriad of facilitators of cable company fuckery.

See, part of the reason why Google Fiber is slow to roll out around the country is that it's difficult for Google to get new fiber lines laid in underground conduits, and they aren't guaranteed utility pole access since broadband service isn't considered a utility under the current regulatory scheme.  Due to this, they've had to roll out in areas where existing fiber-to-the-home rollouts were already in place and unused.

However, on Tuesday, Google wrote a letter to the FCC touting a "silver lining" to the idea of broadband being reclassified as a Title II communications utility:  Google and other companies that registered as broadband providers would be allowed access to utility poles to facilitate rollouts.

Follow me below the cloud for more.

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Hello, Kossacks!

I've been neglecting the education side of Everyday Magic for a while now in favor of writing Net Neutrality-related diaries, and I finally have some spare time to return to it!  

After reading OllieGarkey's recommended diary, I noticed that there was some advice being given in the comments that were well meaning, but were using some outdated best practices.

Hence, I'll be addressing some common questions regarding Windows PCs and the care and feeding of them in this edition of Everyday Magic, so that you can keep your systems running in tip-top shape, along with talking about passphrases and how to keep data protected by them secure in a not-a-pain-in-the-ass way!

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Reposted from Tales From The Technomancer by The Technomancer

Hello, Kossacks!

It's been a while since I've written a diary -- work's been busy and I've been using my remaining hours to sleep.

However, this is important enough for me to write up a diary on, as Net Neutrality and other "cable-company fuckery" continues to be an issue.

See, over at Backchannel, Susan Crawford has two blistering articles that go into detail about how Comcast and other ISPs refused to solve traffic issues with Netflix and how that led to the slowdown and extortion which has led directly to the price increases at Netflix: Jammed and How to Fight Telecom Gameplaying.

The overall conclusion from these articles?

There is clear evidence of consumer and business harm, including collateral damage to businesses not affiliated with Netflix thanks to the actions of the major US ISPs.

Details below the fold.

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Reposted from Tales From The Technomancer by The Technomancer

(h/t to G2geek and Wader for inspiration, duhban for better terminology than I had, and serendipityisabitch for proofreading)

I've been commenting a lot in Steven D's excellent diary, and there's been a lot of great discussion about how data can be used, the value of data, how entities gather data on us, and our expectations about how normal the idea that an entity can determine if you're pregnant then inadvertently inform your dad before you is.

It got me thinking.  What really were the issues in play here?  What spurs me to think that Snowden's a hero despite the fact he has unarguably given the country a foreign policy black eye along with his domestic revelations and certainly hasn't made President Obama and the Democratic Party look good?

I mean, I don't much like the guy.  I like Greenwald's work, but I think he's an asshole, and as a widely recognized and accredited asshole myself, trust me, we can recognize our own kind.  Then I realized why that was, and shortly after that, realized why I didn't feel the personalities involved were important.

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Reposted from Tales From The Technomancer by The Technomancer

Hello, Kossacks!

Last week, I wrote a diary about how US Cable and Telco firms were caught astroturfing up support for their shell "advocacy group" Broadband for America.  We saw how they hired groups specializing in the creation of fake consumer groups, and listed more that were simply fronts for telecommunications companies.

Well, not all of those groups were fake.

And not all of them support Broadband for America's message.

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Reposted from Tales From The Technomancer by The Technomancer

When you're a cable company or telco and you can't actually get popular, public support for your monopolist, innovation-smothering business model, what do you do?

Apparently, the answer is "create a web of fake consumer advocacy organizations and pretend you are."

As much as I'd like to be writing a more helpful Everyday Magic diary, there's a flood of news coming out about the Net Neutrality fight, and the dirty game our collusion-driven, monopolist cable and telco firms are playing.  See, a few weeks ago, I wrote a diary about how Broadband for America threatened the FCC with a slow down in innovation and deployment of broadband if cable and telco firms were reclassified.  At the time, I classified Broadband for America as a trade group.

I was far too charitable.  Follow me below the orange cloud to find out why.

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Reposted from Tales From The Technomancer by The Technomancer

Hello Kossacks!

I'm back once again with more US ISP ridiculousness as we continue the fight for Net Neutrality and Common Carrier regulations, and this time it comes from Jason Koebler at VICE Motherboard:

In light of the ongoing net neutrality battle, many people have begun looking to Google and its promise of high-speed fiber as a potential saving grace from companies that want to create an "internet fast lane." Well, the fact is, even without Google, many communities and cities throughout the country are already wired with fiber—they just don't let their residents use it.

The reasons vary by city, but in many cases, the reason you can't get gigabit internet speeds—without the threat of that service being provided by a company that wants to discriminate against certain types of traffic—is because of the giant telecom businesses that want to kill net neutrality in the first place.

Bold emphasis, as always, is mine.

Throughout the country, companies like Comcast, Time Warner Cable, CenturyLink, and Verizon have signed agreements with cities that prohibit local governments from becoming internet service providers and prohibit municipalities from selling or leasing their fiber to local startups who would compete with these huge corporations.

More ridiculousness below the fold.
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Reposted from Tales From The Technomancer by The Technomancer

They call it a warning.

What it is is a threat.

The major ISPs that make up the trade group Broadband for America had their CEOs lay it all out on the table in this letter to the FCC:

Not only is it questionable that the Commission could defensibly reclassify broadband service under Title II, but also such an action would greatly distort the future development of, and investment in, tomorrow’s broadband networks and services.
Translated from PR speak, this reads:
Nice Internet you've got there, bub.  Shame if something were to happen to it.
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Reposted from Tales From The Technomancer by The Technomancer

Level 3 is one of the Tier 1 backbone ISPs.  And they've had enough of US monopolist ISPs blaming service issues on them.  So they addressed it on their blog.  And it's a bombshell, folks.   In the tech industry, this is pretty much a declaration of war.

Follow me below the fold for the details.

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Reposted from Tales From The Technomancer by The Technomancer

Hello, Kossacks!

There is a must read article over at Vox that expands on the concepts I blogged about when it comes to explaining Net Neutrality, how the interconnections negotiated by Netflix wouldn't be covered under Net Neutrality as we know it, and provides amazing explanatory graphics that visualize exactly what sort of harm an FCC "fast lane" would cause.

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Reposted from Tales From The Technomancer by The Technomancer

I feel like a broken record lately as I've been writing diaries and participating in comment threads about Net Neutrality over the past week or so.

And the hits...oh man, do the hits keep on coming.  This time, it's from AT&T and their new "sponsored data" scheme.

From GigaOM:

In the U.S., AT&T has flirted with zero-rating with its “Sponsored Data,” which lets developers and brands pay to deliver content to consumer smartphones outside their data caps. Earlier this week, AT&T announced a $500 million investment to create a video streaming service similar to Netflix. Will AT&T zero-rate its video streaming app or let it compete on equal terms with Netflix and the rest?

Zero-rated mobile traffic is blunt anti-competitive price discrimination designed to favor telcos’ own or their partners’ apps while placing competing apps at a disadvantage. A zero-rated app is an offer consumers can’t refuse. If consumers choose a third-party app like Dropbox or Netflix, they will either need to use it only over Wi-Fi use or pay telcos hundreds of dollars to use data over 4G networks on their smartphones or tablets.

So, what's zero-rated traffic, and why is it particularly insidious for AT&T to implement it?  Follow me below the fold.
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Reposted from Tales From The Technomancer by The Technomancer

Sometimes it hurts to have Dianne Feinstein as one of my Senators.  After two different versions of CISPA (Cybersecurity Information Sharing and Protection Act) failed to get signed into law, she's back with a third attempt, as a co-author of the bill with Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA).

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