On the plus side, it looks like I don’t need a bone graft on my wrist. It’s healing, albeit slowly. I also had him re-X-ray my leg, and he said it’s going as it should be.
On the downside, it’s shaping up to be the saddest week ever for the internet… and here’s why:
AT&T, SBC, Verizon, and other ISPs are going to start charging popular websites for the bandwidth used by their visitors (i.e. the people who pay for their own highspeed internet service from Verizon, Rogers, Sympatico, etc). They’re trying to triple-dip, and it’s no less than extortion!! The threat? Limit their subscribers access to sites that don’t pony up the money. If Google won’t agree to pay Verizon’s crazy-fee, then Verizon will simply make access to Google unbearably slow… while keeping access to paying customers (Yahoo?) comparatively fast. The reaction? Google has already said F-U.
Why is it triple-dipping? Because Google (any website, including my own) has to pay for the bandwidth it uses to serve its text, images, audio, and video… AND people who want to view Google’s content must pay for internet access. NOW they want to charge not only hosting and access fees, but what amounts to a “viewing fee”. Ridiculous.
Of course, MAYBE that wouldn’t be so bad, if consumers were even getting what they were paying for… but they’re not. US consumers are filing a $200 Billion Lawsuit against ISPs who have not provided infrastructure upgrades that have already been paid for. Why do China (100 megabit) and Japan ($15/month for 30 megabit) have REALLY highspeed internet access, while our “ultra-highspeed” is only SIX megabit and costs twice as much? Because our $200 Billion was squandered and/or misappropriated. Yay for us!
Not only are they not upgrading the infrastructure… They are preventing people from upgrading the infrastructure by themselves!!! Lafayette Louisiana is trying to upgrade its network, and Bell’s trying to nix it. WHY?? A few possible reasons… Sure it saves them infrastructure costs, but it also permanently loses 116,000 customers. I believe the real reason is something closer to conspiracy. Why don’t we, as a 1st World Nation, have the fastest internet access? Because we are the largest consumers of physical media — specifically CDs and DVDs. 100 megabit internet would allow you to download a full movie in about a minute, instead of hours or days. It would mean that you could download an album worth of music in about 2 seconds flat. Literally. I think Bell is smart enough to realize that… but not smart enough to see that it can’t be avoided. The revolution is coming, and they can’t stop it. It will be by the people AND for the people.
And then we have the whole “2-tiered internet” movement… another slick plan by ISPs and Telcos to suck every last cent out of their prisoners… er, customers. What’s a 2-tiered internet, you ask? Well, picture this… You go online and fire-up Skype so you can chat with your friend in Croatia, and a message pops up saying “In order to use VOIP you must upgrade your internet package to Gold”… So instead of going through that hassle, you just call him on the phone and pay the long distance. He tells you about an awesome independent croatian film you must download, and emails you a link to the torrent file. Because the email is from someone on your buddy list, and contains a link, Yahoo decides that you really should have to pay to read the email because it probably contains information of value to you. Value to you means money for them. So you pay the $0.01 to read the message. You click the link to download the bitTorrent file of the movie, and boing – “You must upgrade your internet package to Platinum in order to use P2P software”. OHHH YEAHHH BABY! Two tiered LOVE! Bring it on! WE ALL WANT IT!
I almost forgot… AOL and Yahoo are going to start charging optional fees (ranging from $0.0025 to $0.01 per message) for sending email. I’m not sure about you, but I can’t remember the last time a fee was “optional” and not somehow crooked. Specifics? The charge will apply to the sender, not the recipient. The plan is designed to fight the onslaught of spam and email scams that currently plague the industry. Those who pay the fee will have their email “stamped with a seal” that will help to prevent the mail from mistakenly being filtered along with spam and ensure the recipient that it is legitimate. The service targets businesses that send large amounts of email.
Forgive me if I’m wrong, but aren’t the shadiest spammers out there also the ones making the most money, and therefore the most likely to be able to afford to pay these levies? This is JUST LIKE the RIAA & MPAA telling their customers not to pirate, when it’s the people who AREN’T their customers who are doing all the pirating. ID10T.
There has already been quite a bit of outcry, especially from small businesses.