Tag "Internet"

“A squirrel dying in front of your house may be more relevant to your interests right now than people dying in Africa.”

-Mark Zuckerberg

Eli Periser talks about the consequences of an internet individually tailored by algorithms:

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GoodGuide is a website dedicated to examining the health, environmental and social performance of products and companies. Their breakdowns are really impressive and thorough–for example, above, Apple scores poorly for, among other things, its involvement with countries that have oppressive regimes. They look at everything from a manufacturers’ environmental impact, to company worker treatment, to the health risks or benefits of using a certain product.

From their website:

GoodGuide was founded in 2007 by Dara O’Rourke, a professor of environmental and labor policy at the University of California at Berkeley. Dara is one of the world’s leading academic experts on global supply chains – tracking product life cycles from resource extraction into manufacturing, through consumer use to disposal. Products often have hidden and sometimes disturbing stories – stylish apparel made in Asian sweatshops, or baby care products containing cancer-causing chemicals. Dara realized how little we know about the products we bring into our homes every day.  Information was either unavailable, too complex to understand, or biased, as marketers make unsubstantiated claims that their products are natural or safe.

To address the consumer marketplace’s need for better information, GoodGuide has assembled a team of scientific and technology experts to take on the challenge of organizing the world’s product information.    Our Chief Scientist is Bill Pease, an expert in chemical risk assessment and creator of the web’s top pollution information resource, scorecard.org.  His science team includes specialists in life cycle assessment, environmental engineering, chemistry, nutrition and sociology.  Together we are working to acquire and compile high quality data, which we then organize and transform into actionable information for consumers.

There’s a lot of messed up stuff that goes on out there in the free market. Instead of relying on laws and regulations to keep things in line, one of the things that we can do as consumers is to wield our dollars. Every time you buy something, you send a message: “Hey, product manufacturer–this is a thing that people want. Keep doing what you’re doing.” If you can afford it, do some research and support brands that operate responsibly. Voting with your dollars is a really easy way do some good.


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Dear Government,

Thank you for your recent interest in making available publicly funded research papers. There was a point in time where the best publication practice was via privately-funded publishing houses. Today, however, we must take advantage of the technology available to us and distribute all future research through publicly-funded .gov websites. It is what is best for the public.

That is all. Voice some support?

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From here:

Google is planning to launch an experiment that we hope will make Internet access better and faster for everyone. We plan to test ultra-high speed broadband networks in one or more trial locations across the country. Our networks will deliver Internet speeds more than 100 times faster than what most Americans have access to today over 1 gigabit per second, fiber-to-the-home connections. We’ll offer service at a competitive price to at least 50,000 and potentially up to 500,000 people.

From now until March 26th, we’re asking interested municipalities to provide us with information about their communities through a Request for information (RFI), which we’ll use to determine where to build our network.

You know what would make for a perfect test community?

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I know that this has probably been mentioned before…and I imagine that all of you would agree with me when I say, “I love Dreamhost.” I know that Rob mentioned his affinity for Dreamhost in the Waterslide Debunk post, but I thought I’d let you all in on why I personally enjoy it.

I have been researching places to rock climb in or around Austin, Texas. Low and Behold, I come across a site, www.bloodyflapper.com which gives me detailed descriptions of pretty much everything that I needed to know for a successful trip to Austin (climbing and otherwise). Naturally, stumbling across this website makes me happy. I want to do more. I want to reach out to this person….and offer a personalized ‘thank you.’ I certainly could not have come across most of this information without this mystery person’s help. Alas, he has not provided me with an easy way to contact him.

Google: Whois bloodyflapper.com
I now know everything I could possibly want to know about a one (1) Andy K.

Curiosity sets in. (not much longer after) I want to know what my contact details are for somedaywellallbedead.com, even though I have a pretty good idea what will show up…

Google: Whois somedaywellallbedead.com
A Happy Dreamhost Customer!

Couldn’t be more true! I was just so jazzed about the whole ordeal that I just couldn’t keep my digital mouth shut.

Dreamhost :1
Internet : 0

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I was making a joke the other day in the kitchen when I was telling Jackie about the use of proxies to access Twitter in Iran, and I basically said, “It’s like the Iranian government vs. The World.  Guess who’s winning.”  Which is basically what this guy said, and CNN reported:

“To the Iranian government hackers who keep attacking the places they see as a threat, you are wasting your time,” wrote one anonymous poster to a message board loaded with eyewitness accounts of violence, plans for protests and notices about people reported missing or dead.

“You are completely outnumbered. There are thousands of Iranians who want to be free and people who support them for every one of you there is.”

The Boomers had rock ‘n roll.  We’ve got the internet.

We win.

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Some good news from the free market:

StoptheCap! has learned that Frontier Communications will officially pull the rug out from under Time Warner and announce it will not be imposing any usage caps or rationing plans in the metropolitan Rochester (area code 585) service area, giving the DSL provider a potential competitive advantage in the area.  The company still reserves the right to revisit the matter should their network be completely overwhelmed, but company officials also stated that they are fully equipped to handle the traffic they are getting now.


H/t to Morgan for the research.

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Update 1: Look at the end of this post.

Update 2: Colin has some interesting analysis of the number crunching in the Business Week article..and he beat me to posting about this by 2 minutes, but I believe having both posts will be good for the discussion.  Perhaps we can keep mine limited to the discussion of agenda and future of bandwidth with ISP’s and Colin’s can be for data analysis of media providers on the Web these days.

Update 3: Look below for some interesting commentary from the fine folks over @ stopthecap.com

Pardon the caps, but it’s warranted.  Trust me:

In April, Time Warner Cable will begin collecting information on its customers’ Internet use in the Texas cities of Austin and San Antonio and in Rochester, N.Y. Consumption billing will begin in those cities later this summer. In Greensboro, N.C., the billing changes will begin sooner. Spun off from Time Warner (TWX) this month, Time Warner Cable had been testing a plan to meter Internet usage in Beaumont, Tex., since last year.

By charging a premium to the heaviest broadband users, much the same way cell-phone providers collect fees from subscribers who exceed their allotted minutes, Time Warner would upend a longstanding pricing strategy among Internet service providers. Typically, phone and cable companies charge flat fees for unlimited access to the Web. “We need a viable model to be able to support the infrastructure of the broadband business,” Time Warner Cable CEO Glenn Britt says in an interview. “We made a mistake early on by not defining our business based on the consumption dimension.” Time Warner Cable has 8.4 million broadband customers.


Consumer advocates and Web site owners say tiered Web-use pricing limits customer choice and could stifle innovation by crimping demand for high-bandwidth services such as online video and music. Cable and phone companies say they need flexibility in setting prices for use of large, expensive, heavily used broadband networks.

In the case of Time Warner Cable, customers will be charged from $29.95 to $54.90 a month, based on data consumption and desired connection speed. Customers will be charged $1 for each gigabyte (GB) over their plan’s cap. Time Warner Cable offers four cap levels of 5, 10, 20, and 40 GB. A download of a high-definition movie typically eats up about 8 GB. A recent report from Sanford C. Bernstein suggests that a family on the 40 GB plan that streams 7.25 hours of online video a week (a fraction of the 60 hours Americans spend watching TV in a week) could end up spending $200 per month on broadband usage fees. And that’s just for video viewing, before factoring in such Internet activities as music downloads and photo sharing. “To put it mildly,” says Bernstein analyst Craig Moffett, “the decision to limit data consumption can be expected to have profound implications for [consumer] behavior.”

But Time Warner says most people are not using that much data. The company’s trial in Beaumont, Tex., lasted several months. Of the 10,000 broadband customers enrolled—about 25% of the company’s total for Beaumont—about 14% exceeded their cap and had to pay additional fees that averaged about $19 a month. Time Warner Cable also discovered that the top 25% of users consumed 100 times more data than the bottom 25% of users, suggesting an enormous gap in usage patterns.

This is such a crock of fucking shit.  What about my legit uses of bandwidth:

- YouTube, Hulu, Vimeo, DailyMotion, and every other streaming video site.

- Netflix Instant queue streaming.

- iTunes (Podcasts, TV Shows, Movies, etc etc)

and the one that gets me the most enraged…

- XBOX Live/PS Network/Wii Online  (Are you going to fucking tell me I have to pay extra now just to fucking download 1 GB demos and/or content for games…or play Halo!?)

Hell, for all the shit Comcast pulls, at least they give you a 250GB cap.  I mean…that’s LIVEABLE, but 25$ 30$ a month for 5GB?


Let me hear your rage, fellow and/or former Rochesterians.

Update: Hit the jump for less anger and more rationale.

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From BusinessWeek:

Rut Roh Juicers.

Time Warner cable, starting in April, is beginning to collect usage data from users in Austin, San Antonio, and Rochester. Later in the summer, they will begin charging based on multiple levels of usage per month: 5, 10, 20, and 40 GB. 

Kind of sucks hard, and feels like a step backwards.

Just something to add: I planned on writing this post about how I am pretty pissed about the capping, and I am, but I got sidetracked because I think I found a flaw in the article. I think they are wrong in some of their math.

According to Hulu and RealWorldVideoCompression.com, an average video stream from hulu will be between 480 and 700 kbps. That is an average of 590 kbps, which translates into ~74 KBps, rounding up for audio.

270 MB for an hour long, low definition video on Hulu. Which sounds about right.

The article, however, claims

A recent report from Sanford C. Bernstein suggests that a family on the 40 GB plan that streams 7.25 hours of online video a week (a fraction of the 60 hours Americans spend watching TV in a week) could end up spending $200 per month on broadband usage fees. And that’s just for video viewing, before factoring in such Internet activities as music downloads and photo sharing.

Really? Lets take our 270 MB for an hour of video. You would need to watch about 148 hours a month @ 270 MB an hour to use 40 GB of data. Thats 37 hours of video a week.

Lets assume that kb and KB were never properly converted, and that an hour of streaming video was 2,160 MB, or 2.160 GB (which is definitely not true), then a family that watches 7.25 hours of video a week would be using 15.66 GB / week, or 62.64 GB / Month, which … is still off by a factor of ten, according to this guy, who claims that 7.25 hours of streaming video a week is effectively 240 GB of transfer a month.

Sounds like some stretched numbers to me. What is he assuming, that the average household streams blue ray data to their home?

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I don’t know if ya’ll have heard of this site, but its pretty damn sweet. What’s the point ? Stack Cup’O'Ramen’s from the earth to the Moon. It’s that simple, and its actually quite entertaining. Mindless, Pointless, Internet based, community driven, stupid little actions. This site is an embodiment of how I feel about the internet at the moment. Is this site amazing ? Yes. Is it pointless ? Yes. Is it a waste of time? Yes. Does it serve any real purpose? No.  BUT….

Should you go there anyways ? Yes.


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