Net Neutrality Debate Requires Compromise To Move Discussion Forward

The text of the FCC’s “Restore Internet Freedom proposal has been published in PDF format and can be found here. I’m firmly against the proposal and find the name to be extremely misleading.

The FCC have also linked to a “Myths and Facts” PDF document, which is actually very light on facts and engages in a lot of speculation, that can be found here.

MYTH: Broadband providers will charge you a premium if you want to reach certain online content.

 FACT: This didn’t happen before the Obama Administration’s 2015 heavy-handed Internet regulations, and it won’t happen after they are repealed.

That’s not a fact, it’s a hope. There is support for FCC Chairman, Ajit Pai’s proposals. A decent article has been published by Ben Thompson at Stratechery – Pro-Neutrality, Anti-Title II :

  • Regulation incurs significants costs, both in terms of foregone opportunities and regulatory capture.
  • There is no evidence of systemic abuse by ISPs governed under Title I, which means there are no immediate benefits to regulation, only theoretical ones.
  • There is evidence that pre-existing regulation and antitrust law, along with media pressure, are effective at policing bad behavior.

The problem for Ajit Pai and the FCC is that even that article points out flaws with Ajit Pai’s proposal :

I believe that Ajit Pai is right to return regulation to the same light touch under which the Internet developed and broadband grew for two decades. I am amenable to Congress passing a law specifically banning ISPs from blocking content, but believe that for everything else, including paid prioritization, we are better off taking a “wait-and-see” approach; after all, we are just as likely to “see” new products and services as we are to see startup foreclosure. And, to be sure, this is an issue than can — and should, if the evidence changes — be visited again.

Ajit Pai and the FCC are not looking to address the issue of blocking with new laws and furthermore the article points out that the cornerstone of Ajit Pai’s proposals, the markets, aren’t competitive enough.

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Net Neutrality Proposals Do Not Look Promising

Chairman Pai’s Restore Internet Freedom proposal will be considered at the  agency’s Dec. 14 meeting. 

This reads like some sort of line from a dystopian novel with super villain Chairman Pai planning something sinister, unfortunately it’s not fiction, it’s a tweet from the FCC regarding Ajit Pai’s plans to overturn net neutrality with a cuddly sounding slogan of “Restoring Internet Freedom”.

The proposal is not consumer friendly, and consumers are letting the FCC know that. The proposal is not being welcomed by many tech companies and is a glaring example of how officials ignore consumers and fail to serve the public.

In a recent USA Today article, Tim Berners-Lee was quoted as saying :

When I invented the World Wide Web as an information sharing system in 1989, I aimed to create a neutral space where everyone could create, share, debate, innovate, learn and dream. That’s why I gave my invention away for free, so that anyone, anywhere could access and build on it without permission. My vision was an online space that would give people freedom — and America’s entrepreneurial, optimistic spirit embraced it with enthusiasm.

There’s a lot at stake here and Chairman Pai seems to only want to represent the interests of ISP’s, completely ignoring consumers and many of those entrepreneurs.

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The Atlantic’s Leslie Jamison Looks At Second Life and Virtual Living

Mitsumi Town Tokyo

Back in June I asked Leslie Jamison what her Second Life article for The Atlantic would be about, Leslie replied; “The piece is focused on why SL is meaningful to particular residents, as well as the kinds of relationships & community it makes possible.”

The article; The Digital Ruins of a Forgotten Future, was published on November 10th and certainly highlights why SL is meaningful to particular residents, as well as the kinds of relationship & community it makes possible, the article also goes much further, deeper and beyond Second Life into the concept of living online.

The article is long (although there’s a soundcloud recording on the article page if you would prefer to listen), beautifully written, honest, written for an intended audience who may not be familiar with Second Life and exemplifies the type of journalism I admire greatly because it allows Second Life residents the opportunity to voice why they enjoy or embrace Second Life.

New World Notes Land

The article has largely received positive feedback but is not without its critics, as can be exemplified by the comments of show 162: war of the social worlds, The Drax Files Radio Hour (with Jo Yardley). The critical comments avoid being abusive, which is both welcome and constructive.

The article features a number of interviews with Second Life residents and I’m particularly pleased to see Gentle Heron, of the excellent Virtual Ability Inc. featured because accessibility is such an important subject that doesn’t get anywhere near the attention it warrants.

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Second Life Destination Guide Highlights Diversity and History

Black History Museum Entrance

This week’s Highlights From The Second Life Destination Guide features the usual mix of art, fun and adventure and it also includes diversity and history. I’m going to take a brief look at some of those destinations, starting with the Virtual Black History Museum.

The blurb from the Destination Guide informs us :

The Virtual Black History Museum is an awareness project that takes a look at the timeline of events that led from the first group of slaves in what is now the United States through the brutality of Rodney King in 1992. There will also be scheduled discussions on the current events that the past has led to, as well as the impact of those who have contributed to the growth of the community.

Black History Museum & Cafe

The installment itself was created by Bria Oceanside and features a series of boards inside the hall filled with text and pictures. Some of the imagery and text is shocking, so be warned, but that’s part of history and is definitely very informative and achieves the stated goal of raising awareness.

There’s also a nice outdoor cafe area where you can sit, reflect and engage in discussion with friends regarding the installation if you wish.

Inside Black History Museum

SLURL : http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Herald/43/193/122/

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Alexa Linden Announces : New Web User Group Meetings Coming Soon!

Alexa Linden's Barn

I don’t spend much time on the Second Life Forums these days, but they are still a source of good information and friendly discourse … I hope!

Other people do pay more attention and the eagle eyed Inara Pey has noticed an interesting forum post by Alexa Linden – New Web User Group meetings coming soon! :

Starting Friday, Nov 10th we will begin holding Web User Group meetings. The Web User Group meeting is a bi-weekly, public meeting intended for discussion of issues around our Web properties such as Marketplace, Profiles, Place Pages, Search, etc. Grumpity & Alexa Linden are the moderators. Please bring your questions & requests, or just stop by to say “hello”… you could even give us a compliment! Normal schedule will be to meet every other Friday at 2:30PM SLT, and any exceptions will be noted here. Meetings are held inworld at http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Denby/73/78/25

These are important topics for discussion.

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