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Friday, September 7, 2007

Save Slog!

posted by on September 7 at 9:41 AM

Say the rich family with the big house with four kids that lives on the other side of Capitol Hill from me uses 10 times as much water as I do in my West Capitol Hill apt.

Well, they pay a lot more for it than I do. And that makes sense. (And they can afford to.)

But should their water come rushing out of the pipes faster than it does at my house?

This is essentially the same question that’s in front of Congress when it comes to Net Neutrality—a proposal that would prevent Internet providers from speeding up or slowing down net content based on source, ownership or destination.

The telecom companies like AT&T that control the pipes to the Internet want to give better service to the bigger content providers. Their reasoning: Big providers use more and pay more, so they should get better service—while smaller content providers should be relegated to second tier service.

Practical implication: AT&T could make much more accessible to the public than; or they could make more accessible than Slog!!!

The battle (the main lobbyist for AT&T is based here in Seattle) heated up this week when the DOJ filed comments with the FCC arguing that net neutrality regulations are unnecessary because the market will take care of everything. And, the DOJ pledges that if inequity breaks out they will swoop in and take action.

Don’t believe that the DOJ will stand up for the little guy if necessary? Take some action of your own.

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You mean Slog will be slower than it already is? Crap.

Oh, and the water company doesn't make your water "hotter". Your water heater does. Stupid analogy.

Posted by Providence | September 7, 2007 9:48 AM

How is Mr. Feit supposed to know that if he can't afford a water heater?

Posted by Mr. Poe | September 7, 2007 9:51 AM

How will this affect porn? That's what concerned citizens everywhere need to know.

Posted by Katelyn | September 7, 2007 9:53 AM

Just like the market took care of things with electrical power in california.

Posted by D. | September 7, 2007 9:54 AM

Okay. Took out the "hotter" comparison.
Get it now?

Posted by Josh Feit | September 7, 2007 9:58 AM

No. Put it back.

Posted by Mr. Poe | September 7, 2007 10:01 AM

Do the danse death macabre, Poe.

Posted by Josh Feit | September 7, 2007 10:04 AM

@6 LOL. Stickin it to the... child

Posted by cyber-rut | September 7, 2007 10:05 AM

Totentanz, ja?! Only with you, Mr. Feit. Only with you.

Posted by Mr. Poe | September 7, 2007 10:10 AM

Glad somebody in the mainstream er...*alternative* took up this issue at last. It's been hanging over techno-savvy people a long time now, with some talk of ranking presidential candidates on their stand on net neutrality.
Kudos to you josh for making it simple to understand, though that's not quite the whole thing..

Posted by arandomdude | September 7, 2007 10:17 AM

Totentanz!!? Poe, the sun must be in retro-grade again.

An ex-member of [redacted band name] was disappointingly tardy (often a no-show) at practices, mostly in favor of the never-ending tweak on the release of his debut Totentanz album Totentanz - 12 yrs in the making, i shite you not. I never even saw that word written or knew what it meant. I can safely steer away from Slog for the day, now that you've provided the impetus for this holistic reelzation. Props to POE! (have you seen his gravesite in downtown Baltimore, edgar a. that is?)

and yes to the topic at hand, boo boo on all that big corporate stuff

Posted by June Bee | September 7, 2007 10:22 AM

I have not seen his grave. I should, though. So I can piss on it. I've had to deal with "ARE YOU RELATED TO EDGAR A POE LOL" "POE LIKE EDGAR LOL" "LOL ANYBODY EVER ASK YOU IF YOU ARE RELATED TO EDGAR LOL" all of my life. Roar.

Posted by Mr. Poe | September 7, 2007 10:24 AM

Just to give an idea of the influence the federal government has over the Internet... If it hadn't been for some real leadership in the federal government, we wouldn't have the Internet we have today.

And leadership by the likes of whom? Well, Al Gore for one. Turns out the whole "I invented the Internet" distortion hid a critical accomplishment of Gore's. It's in the latest Vanity Fair:
Going After Gore

Skip to the second page, last paragraph.

Think about this. Al Gore got it long before just about any other leader got it on: global warming, the Iraq War, and the Internet. What a great man!

Obviously too great a man to get elected president of the United States. But hey, at least George W. Bush isn't dorky. Priorities, priorities!

Posted by cressona | September 7, 2007 10:31 AM

@3, straight porn will be as fast, gay porn though will be very slow if not banned completely. (Has anyone been on the last couple of days??)

Posted by Cato the Younger Younger | September 7, 2007 10:36 AM

This is a tricky issue. I don't really want to see AT&T, say, favoring websites of their partners over everyone else's.

But I also don't want to see a bill written so broadly that it prohibits any form of multi-tiered quality-of-service system. There are a lot of applications that will only become reliable if the Internet can favor time-critical applications like VOIP telephone calls or streaming video over non-time-critical stuff like web downloads.

Some of the proposals I saw last time this came up would have thrown the baby out with the bathwater. I'm not sure I trust Congress, which is full of people who have no clue how the Internet works, to decide which routing technologies should be allowed and which shouldn't.

Posted by Orv | September 7, 2007 10:39 AM

It's not a big truck!!

Posted by series of tubes | September 7, 2007 10:41 AM

@14, what about all the "strays" in federal government? The ones who rely on gay porn to get them through the days of their miserable repressed hetero lives? I'd say gay porn will probably do just fine.

Posted by Katelyn | September 7, 2007 10:46 AM

Wait. The DOJ says the market will take care of it. Net neutrality isn't a problem. The DOJ says this? Is this the same DOJ that was until recently headed by Alberto Gonzoles? The Alberto Gonzoles who fired long term US attorneys so he could pack the DOJ with Bush/Rove cronies? The same Alberto Gonzoles who thinks it's okay to wiretap US citizens without warrant or oversight? The same Alberto Gonzoles who gave a big Fuck You to the Geneva conventions and thinks torture is good policy? The same Alberto Gonzoles who says we have no right of habeas corpus?

Pardon me if I'm skeptical of the DOJ's objectivity in protecting net neutrality.

Posted by SDA in SEA | September 7, 2007 11:03 AM

People at home already control their internet connection speed by buying faster or more expensive internet connections. Net Neutrality affects the tubes in between the end user and the publisher.

Right now, I could buy a super-expensive internet connection from Qwest and SlogCorp could buy the fastest Macs and thickest wires that money can buy, and I could re-load Slog to check for new comments every .5 seconds without problems. Without net neutrality, though, a few mega-corporations can slow down the tubes in between us so that it takes 15 seconds or whatever for me to reload new comments. The mega-corps would charge Slog a fee to speed up the tubes. Presumably, FoxNews could afford a higher tube fee than SlogCorp so their comments would load much faster. Real Change or my "13 going on 30" fan site couldn't afford a tube fee at all so we wouldn't get any comments.

I don't know if you can make a good real-world analogy to this because the Internet is kind of unique. Imagine if newspapers had to use special vacuum tubes to deliver their new issues to vending boxes and newsstands. Newspaper companies can already pay for glossy color pages and placement at vendors, but eliminating newspaper neutrality would make it so the vacuum tube companies could control newspaper distribution. The Wall Street Journal could afford the fastest vacuum tubes and get their newspapers with breaking news to newsstands immediately and in perfect condition. The Stranger could afford so-so tubes covered with graffiti and get their newspapers to vending boxes a little late and a little tattered. If I published a 9/11 conspiracy pamphlet, I couldn't afford tubes at all so I'd have to rely on the wind to hopefully blow my issues in the direction of the newsstands.

This is a freedom of press issue. Instead of the newspaper/pamphlet model, the Internet would follow the Cable TV model where a few megacorps control what channels you receive and how you receive them (HDTV? premium package?).

Posted by 13 going on 30 | September 7, 2007 11:43 AM


And what does the DOJ know about how the free market works? Their job is to enforce the law, not spout economic theory. Goddamn fuckers.

Posted by keshmeshi | September 7, 2007 1:22 PM

The Department of Justice, eh? Now, what's the name of the guy in charge of the DOJ? It'll come to me... I'm sure that he must be a brilliant legal mind. Now what is his name???

Posted by Paul In SF | September 7, 2007 10:05 PM

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