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We Are Huxleying ourselves into the full Orwell


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#1 ThoughtPhreaker

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 07:25 PM

This is a pretty solemn rant, but in light of everything that's going on, it's definitely worth reading. Just don't do it if you happen to be enjoying a good mood.

 

http://mostlysignsso...the-full-orwell

 

Whether or not you agree with it, it's worth looking on what's been going on. With each passing year of this decade, we've become progressively more aggressive in pursuing our commercial interests on the internet.

 

The telecommunications lobby is one of the third biggest in DC - definitely not something to be taken lightly. So I think the chances of passing any sort of regulation intended to put commercial interests in their place just aren't going to happen. A lot of these providers stand to profit, at least in the short run, from more commercialization.



#2 systems_glitch

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 12:44 PM

I used to worry about things like this, until I realized I don't really have any interest in these controlled forms of "communication" anymore. TV and movies are super-restricted and the only way to watch them legally at home involves lots of privacy violations? Who cares, their "content" sucks anyway, and I've got better things to do. Popular social media sites willfully violate your privacy to sell ads? It's all in the TOS, don't use it.

 

I'm fairly certain that the bulk of the population doesn't care one bit about loss of privacy or digital rights. Why? Because it doesn't affect them. If it did, they'd stop using the products, right? I mean we all survived just fine before "social media" sites and streaming of TV and movie content.

 

If there's a fight to be fought, it's not over consumer bullshit like Netflix streams. Fuck that shit, let it get consumed in DRM, it'll eventually implode one day anyhow. It's probably important to want to preserve non-commercially-oriented access to the Internet as a network, but I don't know that it's actually valuable to preserve "the web" as it exists -- for most people, it's just a toy that's really designed to sell ads.



#3 ThoughtPhreaker

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 04:41 PM

I used to worry about things like this, until I realized I don't really have any interest in these controlled forms of "communication" anymore. TV and movies are super-restricted and the only way to watch them legally at home involves lots of privacy violations? Who cares, their "content" sucks anyway, and I've got better things to do. Popular social media sites willfully violate your privacy to sell ads? It's all in the TOS, don't use it.

 

I like your attitude :) .

 

If there's a fight to be fought, it's not over consumer bullshit like Netflix streams. Fuck that shit, let it get consumed in DRM, it'll eventually implode one day anyhow.

 

Given the net neutrality ruling today, that might be happening very soon. I'm with you on how the internet has evolved, though. A lot of people like to use cable TV as a figurehead for a very passive, commercialized medium that keeps people blissfully unaware, but it seems like the internet has assumed that very same role for a lot of people. Sometimes I wonder if mobile devices have kind of been representative of that; there really is no convenient way to edit Wikipedia articles, share more then a brief thought on a forum, or produce much of any respectable content.

 

And yet they're so popular that PC sales are falling off a cliff.



#4 systems_glitch

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 11:38 AM

The Internet definitely has assumed that role for many people, it's cheaper and more convenient for consumers and it's more interactive for advertisers. Mobile devices have definitely fueled that -- they're intended for consumption, and have little use in creation. They can be repurposed of course, but that's not usually the design goal.

 

Just look at the "comments" on Cory Doctorow's linked doom and gloom: most of them are "likes," "reblogs," and the like. Very little actual discussion. You would think his readership would be the sort that wants to talk about these problems and how they are affected by them, but it's just the same consumerist pattern of "following" someone else's output.



#5 dinscurge

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Posted 16 May 2014 - 03:21 AM

also depends on what exactly the ruling is allowing for how long the precedence will allow other worse things to start happen, like if its currently that they can pay more money to get isps to increase the speed to their sites, like if youtube paid so that everyone could get a minimum of 1.5m thru their site regardless of their own package being say, 1m if the rest of the internet is the same 1m as their current package it doesnt really effect anything currently for the other sites. but if, you were to fast forward now the minimum usual resolution for streaming is 4k but the net speeds havent increased enough to support such except for the sites that paid extra, at that point its a big issue. i guess, from my extremely limited observation of not looking up the actual decision in full/exact quote, would assume its sort of a wait and see how long it takes for everything to go to shit



#6 tekio

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Posted 04 June 2014 - 09:33 PM

Killing net-nuetrality really scares me. I can see the Internet becoming like a cable package: for $39.95/ month you get unlimited (search only, Gogole voice needs the VOIP package) Google, Facebook, and streaming Video From CNN (off peak hours) and 2 hrs gaming. 

 

The gold package for only $19.995 extra per month; you get 5hrs of gaming on either xBox Gold or Play Station Live, and and 5 hours off peak time streaming.

 

However, if you want to use custom clients to connect on non-standard ports, you'll need a developer package for an extra $10.00 per month. Then an additional $0.25 per connection after the first thousand.

 

Bit-Torrent and Linux downloads are only available on our open-source package for minimum $50 per month.



#7 ThoughtPhreaker

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 11:25 AM

I dunno if that'd be a viable way to charge Linux users. Personally, I'd rather forward my calls to voicemail, call a dial-up ISP, and come home from work to a shiny new Linux distro then support a business model like that. Or one that charges me for sites outside of a small list at all.

 

My hope is there can be some good that comes from this whole mess. Corruption (or maybe just incompetence?) at the FCC has already been exposed, and certainly as the battle between Netflix and ISPs continues to rage, more people will become aware of what's going on. Someone in my family who traditionally has very little technical knowledge and lives under a rock asked me about this situation last month. Maybe as people become less content with what's for many mostly a source of entertainment being threatened, they'll start to become less apathetic about politics. Maybe enough to stop net neutrality from caving in.

 

Then again, so long as I have the phone network (which itself is in jeopardy, unfortunately. We'll find out the fate of that on the 13th), I'm happy. Contrary to the many voices saying the internet is a necessity, I'm content taking a drive for my movies, getting jobs by knowing people in an industry, and exchanging things over a T-carrier circuit.


Edited by ThoughtPhreaker, 07 June 2014 - 11:31 AM.


#8 tekio

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 01:34 PM

That's what the loss net-nuetrality can result in. Viable? Not today. Possible? Both on a technology front and in the business world. Let's not forget how Microsoft killed Netscape and other companies. It's not that business practices have reformed for MS. More that other technologies have evolved and MS has been thrown of it's thrown.

 

The FCC is not the only problem. Local government is just as bad or worse. Did you know i some cities and counties Comcast has exclusive rights to lay a cable infrastructure? That is because they are a "cable tv" provider and basically pay local cities and county's for those rights. While it buys the local police station nice shiny new vehicles, it sucks for consumers. Customer Service is almost nonexistent because most consumers have no viable option for high speed internet. Where I live we have two choice:

 - comcast

 - DSL that is on an infrastructure so old a DSL modem keeps retraining every 5 minutes, and speeds are 1.5Mbs on a good day.

That combined with FCC regulations gives provider(s) a "do what ever they want card". Then Comcast is now talking about capping downloads at 250GB per month, not on a "we'll warn you basis.". But on a, "if you really want to use advertised unlimited, you have to pay after 250GB".  What can consumers do? Nothing because they are locked into service from both Federal Regulation committees and local county and/or city government.

 



#9 ThoughtPhreaker

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 05:17 PM

I think the FCC's hands are kinda tied in this situation. They've made a lot of bad choices in the past - especially with the Title I classification of broadband. The way I've heard it, they're really trying to cut their losses here by enforcing net neutrality with section 706. It's a shitty option with limited effectiveness as has been discussed before, but the alternative of pursuing Title II is going to take a very long and painful lawsuit with the big ISPs throwing tantrums (or invoking world war three - however they put it) every step of the way. It probably wouldn't be beyond a cable company to completely exit a few rural or unprofitable markets when faced with the prospect of Title II's universal service obligations.



#10 tekio

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 06:54 PM

It is not all based on what the FCC wants to do. It is also based on what consumers demand. Consumers have two ways of fighting:

 - give lobbyists to shmooze and promote their cause

 - go to a vendor offering better services and pricing

 

Honestly, I don't think giving power to FCC is the answer either. It all boils down to the fact, consumers need a choice. If you don't like service somewhere, go somewhere else. Same can be said for services. That is difficult in a Monopoly by Situation. 

 

I really could not see them exiting too many markets. Need for Internet access is not going to decline in the near future. I know Google is talking about satellite ISP service. But that does not do much good, if I need Internet access in the next five years. Even so, Satellite has many shortcoming. The state I live in, Google does offer fiber in some areas. However, that is minimum, since county and city law prohibit them, Verizon, AT&T, or any other provider to lay fiber optics. Only Comcast can access city infrastructure (roads, sidewalks, etc).

The ISP's are going to have a difficult time complaining. Comacast, the USA's largest provider posted; profits of revenue increased nearly 14% last quarter alone, and earnings per share went up 33%. That is  after Comcast spent over 10 billion repurchasing company shares. To top, profits are not really dented by operating costs, like Boeing, etc.....

 

Saying that any form of continuing net-neutrality will eat into profits is gonna be a tough sale, at the least.

 

As far as the original link, I think the OP failed to realize something: even if browsers need to keep the source of DRM'd builds closed. They will probably release source for non-DRM'd builds. If you don't want Netflix, don't use a DRM'd build. If you want Netflix, download the DRM'd build, install it  in a different folder. Simple?  IE, Safari, and probably even Opera (not sure on this one) have been closed source forever. Well, modern day releases, anyway.  

 

Much bigger problems like the NSA, Google being an information mining company - disguised as a service provider, Facebook sheeple and mandatory facilities to eavesdrop on conversations... for being Huxled.

 

 

EDIT: when I mentioned Netflix, I was implying HTML video/media in general. I mean, there will still be alternative to view stuff I will refer to as "open source content" with tradition media players. And who wants to see HTML5 video ads anyway? please don't cut those out of my diet. :-/


EDIT2:
 

 

 

Do I have to run proprietary software in order to use Firefox?
No. The Adobe Access CDM is entirely optional. However, we expect Hollywood studios, via their video streaming partners, to deny you access to view their content using the <video> tag if you choose not to use it.


 

 

Does this mean Mozilla is adding DRM to Firefox?

No. Mozilla is providing a new integration point for third-party DRM that works with Firefox. Third-party DRM that works with Firefox is not new. Firefox (and every other browser) already provides another integration point for third parties to ship DRM: the Netscape Plugin API (NPAPI), which has been part of web browsers since 1995. What’s new is the ability of the third-party DRM to integrate with the HTML <video> element and its APIs when previously third-party DRM instead integrated with the <embed> and <object> elements. When integrating with <video>, the capabilities of the DRM component are more limited, and the browser has control over the style and accessibility of the playing video.

Firefox, as shipped by Mozilla, will continue to be Free Software / Open Source Software.


Edited by tekio, 07 June 2014 - 07:18 PM.


#11 systems_glitch

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 01:46 PM

I'm actually in favor of plug-in-able DRM for browsers. Then we can shit down content providers' necks when they do things like including rootkits on CD albums. Completely erases the, "but we have no control!" argument. Plus, I don't usually buy DRMed content.

 

The current round of "net neutrality" legislation is an impossible situation. On one hand, we have Comcast trying to claim that they can't provide the stated bandwidth to their customers because Netflix traffic is taking up too much bandwidth. On the other, we know Comcast engages in seriously noncompetitive practices and no one can verify their claims independently anyway. And nevermind that they're wanting to put the squeeze on a company that competes with one of their service offerings.

 

**IF** Netflix traffic is actually so prolific that it's impeding non-Netflix users from getting the bandwidth they've purchased, I don't personally have a problem with Netflix paying for above-and-beyond bandwidth (hey, maybe Comcast could use those extra fees to expand infrastructure? Create some jobs? Eh?). Netflix wouldn't exist if it weren't for the existing Internet infrastructure, which does need improvement. I don't think Comcast (or any other ISP) is going to be honest about the issue, though -- there's no incentive for honesty.

 

As to the overall "neutrality" of the situation...Netflix already pays to colo CDN boxes in major datacenters to help mitigate backbone congestion. Actual "neutrality" has been dead for a long time. We're just choosing which evil we want to support, and right now the one providing the distraction entertainment is the popular choice.



#12 tekio

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 01:37 AM

Glitch: Comcast's net earnings have increased dramatically over the few past years, with the proliferation for services like Netflix.

 

Let's be honest; how many people that can pay $90 per month for high-speed internet and a 1080p big screen T.V. (that will take advantage of the highest quality video offered) can sit home and watch streaming movies all day long? Not many. They usually have jobs that require sleep, being at work, and commuting time. Not mention a family to take of as well. 

 

Also it brings into play, services like Crackle. IMO Crackle is an awesome service, with content probably better than Netflix or Hulu Plus. That is an example of a service that will just die a quick painful death. We are the ones who will suffer, the consumer. It will put Netflix in another monopoly of situation.

 

Either way it sucks consumers are in a position where the government regulations are need. Historically that works out great for people with political clout or can afford a congressman in their pocket.

 

 

 

 

 



#13 systems_glitch

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 09:03 AM

*Assuming* their argument isn't a complete fabrication, it doesn't have to be streaming all day. Internet speed on our headend generally drops off a little from more than the stated bandwidth to a little less around 5:00 PM. Supposedly that is due to increased download traffic as everyone gets home from work.

 

In the end, everyone who buys Internet service should get what they pay for each month. I'd prefer this was accomplished this by upgrading infrastructure, since we're already lagging behind many other countries in both coverage and capability. But until some independent review of Comcast's situation happens, it's going to be very easy for them to claim that Netflix takes up an "unfair" quantity of bandwidth and blame poor service on that claim.



#14 tekio

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 10:46 AM

Haha! 

 

As a customer, I look at Comcasts profits, and see that they are operating at less than 30% net profits, I say it's an upgrade needed for operations. Kind of like McDonalds whining that they don't have enough cows to keep up with people ordering Big Mac's. More customers eating more cows, means new farms to raise cattle. Not cry because paying customers are eating all your food.

 

 

EDIT: don't you think spending billions reinventing in company stock instead of upgrading their network to handle Netflix "demand", shows they are putting assurances in a lot of future profit growth without upgrading to meet consumer demand?


Edited by tekio, 10 June 2014 - 10:54 AM.


#15 tekio

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 10:56 AM

*reinvesting



#16 systems_glitch

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 12:52 PM

I *suspect* they are, as usual, up to no good. I don't have any actual proof of that though, and I believe that we shouldn't construct policy on speculation. By that measure, if Comcast wants noncompetitive policy put in place, I think it should be up to them to prove why it's a good idea, and I think they should be held accountable if/when we find out they falsified something to make their case.

 

I didn't say it's grounded in reality, but neither is anything else they do in Washington!



#17 tekio

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 03:06 PM

This controversy is really nothing new. Cable companies have been fighting regulation since the Nixon administration. Back then it was their ability to pick and choose broadcasting for consumers (if a cable company chose to, they could kill companies like HBO, MTV, Showtime, etc... by choosing not to carry it), rise rates without bias to profits/loss (milking customers).

 

The most recent deregulations were  (in the mid 80's and early 90's) were based on the arguments (from cable companies) deregulation would promote competition and be best for consumers. Back in the 70's raising rates on cable T.V. was just like a power company or gas company raising rates on utility services. It had to by proven as necessary and needed.

If I'm correct, Congress has stepped in more than once to stop services from inflating do to (pretty much) a monopoly.

 

As far as competition, AT&T's network was the only one that was larger and could compete. It was purchased and merged with Comcast.



EDIT (again): I mean before the Department of Justice stepped in, look at how much it cost to make a phone call when the phone system was not regulated? 20 some odd years later, after Ma Bell/AT&T was forced to break up, we make phone calls on cell phones to from California to New York cheaper than costed to call a neighboring city that was "on a different exchange".

Edited by tekio, 10 June 2014 - 03:22 PM.


#18 systems_glitch

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 01:26 PM

Double-posting this here since it's relevant: http://hackaday.com/...ernet-fast-lane






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