October 19th, 2007

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My lunch with visiting Israeli Scholar

So yesterday my boss Andy and I went down to Eli's (slogan: "Only Kosher Restaurant in Downtown DC -- Aren't You Glad Our Food Is Edible, Because We Don't Have To Make That Kind of Effort.") We were meeting with visiting Israeli scholar and First Amendment (but not lawyer) scholar guy. He's doing an article about hate speech, terrorist orgs, pedophile sites on the internet and international approaches to regulation.

It had a few amusing moments.
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Comcast apparently messing with Bittorrent


There have been rumors about this for awhile. Leaving aside my opinion that broadband access providers should be regulated as common carriers, I am consistently annoyed that Comcast and other broadband access providers are allowed to hold me to secret terms of service under my service agreement (which allows them to muck with traffic at their discretion and without disclosing).

For my more elaborate treatment on this theme, see my professional blog post: Of Bandwidth Hogs, QoS, and Regulatory Chameleons.

Now Customer is thoroughly confused. “So the FCC can preempt local authority, then declare you are an 'information service' and preempt itself, but because you still have a telecommunications component, you claim you are also exempt from the FTC. And everyone knows the Department of Justice Antitrust Division will do whatever you ask. So where do I go to find out your terms of service or hold you accountable for your promises?”

At this point, the Regulatory Chameleon starts to grin and asks: “How is a raven like a writing desk?”

The frustrated Customer replies: “What's that got to do with it?”

At this point, the Regulatory Chameleon slowly begins to vanish, while its grin gets bigger and bigger: “The rights of a customer with a broadband provider are the same way a raven is like a writing desk.”

“But a raven is nothing like a writing desk.”

And the Regulatory Chameleon has now entirely faded away, except for its grin: “And a broadband customer has no rights.”

“Well,” says Customer crossly. “I've often seen a Chameleon without a grin, but rarely a grin without a Chameleon. Although given everything this Chameleon has going for it, I shouldn't wonder why it grins so hugely.”
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What Kind of Soul Am I?

Maybe. But can you tell I'm in major work avoidance?

You Are a Warrior Soul

You're a strong person and sometimes seen as intimidating.
You don't give up. You're committed and brave.
Truly adventuresome, you are not afraid of going to battle.
Extremely protective of loved ones, you root for the underdog.

You are picky about details and rigorous in your methods.
You also value honesty and fairness a great deal.
You can be outspoken, intimidating, headstrong, and demanding.
You're a hardliner who demands the best from themselves and others.

Souls you are most compatible with: Old Soul and Peacemaker Soul
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Chris Dodd stands up for what's right!

I may need to take another look at Chris Dodd. He is the only one showing some spine and standing up for the Constitution.

Chris Dodd has placed a "hold" on the Senate FISA bill that would give telcos retroactive immunity for turning over information to the feds without a warrant. He has vowed to fillibuster if the hold does not work.

Go see his video on his website. http://chrisdodd.com/home or you can see it at www.wetmachine.com. Well worth the two minutes.