October 31, 2007

My voice mail service failed for some reason today, leaving me three partial messages from people whose voices I did not recognize (two female, one male). The messages cut off after a few seconds each so I could not get names or numbers and when I tried to replay them they were instead deleted. Anyway, if you are one of the three, please do call back. Sorry about that.

October 24, 2007

After getting, I kid you not, 15 different excuses for service failures this year I finally dumped my longtime web hosting company, the reliably unreliable AIT, and moved my site to Hostgator, which came well-recommended despite its silly name. In the process of researching all this I read a post about the sleezy practices that have overtaken the web hosting industry, and suddenly I understood.

October 20, 2007

Dump Comcast. The news that Comcast is already blocking certain Internet traffic based on its content confirms that the battle to prevent a corporate takeover of the Internet is now underway. The big issue is data and network neutrality. Without data neutrality there is no Internet. Instead, what's left is just another system of mass communication controlled by a small oligopoly (hello again, 1972!). A lot of people will blame the Bush administration, the FCC or the Congress for allowing or enabling Comcast's test-the-waters power grab. But the truth is this setback was the predictable result of a very bad policy decision made by the Clinton Administration to turn over the operation of key public Internet nodes to the big telcos without any real requirement those public resources would be used for the benefit of the public, most notably, by ensuring network neutrality. I predicted way back then that the powerful corporate beneficiaries of the Clinton Internet node giveaway would eventually create choke-points on the Internet.

"Turning the Information Superhighway over to a consortium of big companies," I wrote, "would be like turning Route 66 over to the Teamsters, Amtrak and American Airlines."

Comcast is now determining what types of software applications users can run on their network. Clinton for President? Satellite TV here we come.

October 12, 2007

I snapped this shot of my wife, Loren, with former Vice President Al Gore just a few hours before he won the Nobel Peace Prize. What a lasting disgrace that this good, decent and gifted man, who everyone agrees won the most votes in the 2000 presidential election, was prevented from taking office by our obviously partisan Supreme Court