FCC approves Net Neutrality

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The FCC approved new rules on Thursday in a 3-2 vote to reclassify broadband Internet service as a public utility. This means, among other things, that we finally have Net Neutrality.

At least until Verizon, Comcast, AT&T, or someone beholding to the broadband Internet provider industry goes to court and gets the decision overturned.

Until this 3-2 decision by the FCC, the Internet was legally considered an information service. Because of this wacky and incorrect classification, the FCC was powerless to enforce Net Neutrality. Broadband Internet providers don’t serve information, they simply connect customers to an actual information service, like Netflix, Wikipedia, Amazon, or YouTube.

To use a really bad metaphor, broadband Internet providers aren’t the book store, they’re the road you drive on to get to the book store.

To further use this awful “road versus book store metaphor,” if the entity running the roads wanted its customers to drive to Barnes & Noble and not Books-A-Million, because Barnes & Noble paid them a lot of money and Books-A-Million didn’t, all they would need to do is increase the speed limit on all the roads leading to Barnes & Noble and lower the speed limit on all the roads going to Books-A-Million.

It’s not a really good metaphor. Roads are run by local, state, or federal government and most people don’t pay a monthly fee for using roads. The same cannot be said about broadband Internet. Most people pay a lot of money every month for broadband Internet. Compared to the rest of the world, we pay far too much.

Windows 10 to be a free upgrade

It looks like the long national nightmare will soon be over. Not only is Microsoft soon releasing Windows 10, an operating system to replace Windows 8, current users of Windows 7 and Windows 8 will be able to upgrade their operating system for free. The catch? It has to be done within one year of Windows 10’s release and your current version of Windows it can’t be a pirated copy. I imagine this applies more to Windows 7 than Windows 8. I can’t think of the likely scenario where anyone would purposely pirate a copy of Windows 8.

Windows 8 is the Jimmy Buffett of computer operating systems. I hate Windows 8.

Its design is based on the stupid premise that your PC is a touchscreen computer, even though most desktop computers are not touchscreen computers.

Even when Windows 8 knows your PC’s hardware profile, what type of input devices your computer has, or more importantly, what your computer doesn’t have, it still presents everything as though you are going to be manipulating the interface with your finger touching the screen.  Windows 8 knows that my computer’s monitor is not a touchscreen. I can go to Device Manager and see that it shows my computer’s monitor is a Samsung SyncMaster 226BW. This is not a touchscreen device.

It’s annoying and I hate it.

I have an iPad and I have an iPhone. My desktop computer is not an iPad or an iPhone.

I haven’t been this excited for the release of an operating system since Chandler and Rachel explained the top-25 features of Windows 95.

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Windows 95. I purchased a copy as soon as it came out, August 24, 1995. The upgrade version came on 11 separate 3.5 inch floppy discs. At least there wasn’t any update to do after installing all those discs. Bill Gates and the rest of Microsoft still didn’t really think the Internet was really a thing yet. Windows 95 didn’t support TCP/IP and it didn’t come with a browser. To get a copy of Internet Explorer, and TCP/IP support, you had to buy Microsoft Plus! for Windows 95.

My how things have changed. Bill Gates is trying to cure Ebola and Microsoft believes the Internet is for real. Plus, it’s giving out upgrades to its crappy operating system for free.

Intel to spend $300 million on diversity

intel-300-millionIntel, the world’s leading manufacturer of semiconductor chips, announced Tuesday that it will be investing $300 million over the next three years to diversify its workforce. The company hopes to increase the number of non-white men and non-Asian men by 14 percent. According to CEO Brian Krzanich, Intel should have a “full representation” of women and minorities by 2015.

If nerds were a minority class, Intel would already have its cup runneth over with diversity.

Intel_insideI’m not sure I understand what Intel wants to do. If they’re passing over qualified women, blacks, or Hispanics for employment or advancement, then they need to stop doing that. I’m not sure why that would need $300 million.

If instead they want to make more women, blacks, or Hispanics qualified to work at Intel, then I wish them luck. They are going to need it. It’s really hard to make people interested in things they’re not naturally interested in. People either have a passion for something or they don’t. No amount of money is going to make someone excited about creating better computer chips if they don’t already have a passion for it.

If I manufactured chips, I would want to hire the best qualified, most talented people I could find. I wouldn’t concern myself with a person’s sex or race. I would concentrate on their skills. I would seek people who had a passion for semiconductors and computer chips. I wouldn’t care which sex organs they had because honestly, it would be none of my business. The same is true with their race or where their ancestors came from.  Again, it would be none of my business.

My business would be making the best computer chips in the world. That’s what I would be concentrating my resources on, not what type of genitals my employees had or what racial group they best identified with.

How dare the guys at Dropbox try to use a soccer field they reserved

Employees from Dropbox, a San Fransisco based company that provides a popular file hosting service, reserved a soccer field in a local city park. They paid $27 for an hour of soccer time.

When they showed up to play soccer during their allotted time, they found the field already in use by neighborhood youths in a pick-up soccer game. The guys from Dropbox tried to get the pick-up players to leave the field.

One of the youths videoed part of the exchange with the Dropbox guys:


My favorite part of the video is when one of the men refusing to leave the field asks one of the Dropbox guys, in broken English, to see his papers.

How ironic.

The problem is that the neighborhood youths didn’t recognize the concept of reserving the field, even though there’s a sign posted at the park that clearly states permit holders have priority over non-permit holders:

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The guys from Dropbox are being crucified online. They’re been portrayed as entitled, gentrifying douchebags. I really don’t understand how they’re the bad guys. The people refusing to leave the field are the ones who acted entitled. They believed they had a right to something even though they hadn’t paid anything for it, while the people who paid for it, were being denied access.

Like it our not, we live in a world where things cost money. If I was Conor, the guy who paid the city of San Fransisco $27 for the permit, I’d be calling my credit card company and filing a chargeback. It seems to me that a link to the video is all the documentation he would need.

Who knew storing nude photos on the Internet was a bad idea?

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I think what surprise me the most about the recent Apple iCloud naked celebrity photo scandal is that it’s 2014 and people, celebrities in their 20’s, thought the Internet was a save place to secure their private nude photos. Since when was the Internet a safe place to store anything?

Edward Snowden, the American hero who leaked highly classified information about NSA monitoring capabilities, currently hiding in Russia, told the world that nothing you do online or with a cellphone is private. He said the government had access to anything. If you believed Snowden, why would you think anything was private on the Internet?

If you own an iPhone, by default, it sends any photo you take to the cloud, specifically, the iCloud. The reason? In case you lose your iPhone or it becomes damaged, all your photos will be backed up and obtainable. I like it because I can take a picture with my iPhone and then immediately have access to the photo on my desktop or laptop. You can always turn this feature off, if you want to.

Did any of these naked celebrity victims know that they cold turn this feature off? I’m guessing not.

Having worked for years in the photo finishing industry, I know for a fact that a lot of people like taking naked pictures of themselves. When I got out of the Air Force in 1994, I was hired by Wal-Mart Photo to work as a repair technician in a new, gigantic photo lab they were building here in Maryland. If you dropped off film at a Wal-Mart or Sam’s Club for two-day processing anywhere in the Mid Atlantic or North-East region, it would be sent to us, processed, and then sent back. Most of the process was completely automated and normally the images were not seen by human eyeballs. As a repair technician working on the high-speed, automated photo finishing equipment, that norm didn’t apply to me. I would see a lot of the photos being processed. There were a lot of nude pics, much more than you would think coming from people who shop at Wal-Mart or Sam’s Club.

Whatever you think the percentage is of people taking nude pictures of themselves is, double it and then double it again.

The takeaway from all this is that if you’re a celebrity who enjoys taking nude pictures of yourself, make sure the technology you’re using to capture your nakedness doesn’t automatically store the photos on the World Wide Internet Web, protected with the same simple, stupid password you probably use for everything else online. Depending on your level of celebrity, you may have someone working for you who is in charge of your security and technology. If so, they should have ensured this didn’t happen. If, however, your level of celebrity is at best, waning, you can just go on Twitter and blame the technology you never bothered to learn about:


If Kirsten Dunst is smart enough to know how to put a pizza icon with a poop icon in a Twitter post, creating the phrase piece of shit, how did she not know that photos taken with her iPhone, even “private” naked pictures, would automatically backup to the iCloud?