bit-tech.net

When politics clogs up the tubes

Comments 1 to 14 of 14

Reply
Cthippo 17th August 2006, 13:07 Quote
Seems to me this is less a problem of politics than it is of stupid people, elected by other stupid people, in a position of power. Maybe we should have elected Al Gore. I mean, he did invent the internet after all, maybe he knows that a packet is not a "truck".

</Sarcasm>
Spacecowboy92 17th August 2006, 13:15 Quote
So, are we starting our own political party or what?
specofdust 17th August 2006, 13:22 Quote
The problem isn't politics. The problem is lobbying. Corporate lobbying should not be legal. I'm not sure how it'd be possible to regulate it out of existance, but corporations can look after themselves, politicians are meant to represent people, not companies.
Ramble 17th August 2006, 18:04 Quote
Agreed. Lobbying is a problem, especially in America, where you hear about it so often.

In fact, the democratic process is completely flawed. All you have to do is win over some of the voting population, and then you're free to make desicions.
I think maybe MPs should start representing their constituencies and not their beliefs.
Kipman725 17th August 2006, 20:38 Quote
voting shows that you aprove of the system. Not voting shows that you don't care. Both ways you lose.
Firehed 18th August 2006, 06:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kipman725
voting shows that you aprove of the system. Not voting shows that you don't care. Both ways you lose.
Voting for someone who has no chance of winning (most independants, or some random grassroots party) at least shows that you don't want either of the frontrunners to win. Now generally it's a battle to find the shiniest turd, but something is better than nothing.

I too think that the corporate lobbying should be illegal. In fact, I'm quite sure it is, but it gets through some loophole. I think that any advertising should be illegal, full stop. At the ballots, have a list of each candidate, and a few lines on what they stand for. Don't even list their party, so you don't get these idiots that vote for an R or a D rather than what the person actually does.
Code:
Firehed:
Aborition: Pro-choice
War in Iraq: End it
Death Penalty:A few rare situations are appropriate
Copyrights: Need reform, keeping fair use rights is important
Domestic Spying: It MUST end
etc.
You know, something like that.

As Ramble said - the process is flawed. Dangerously so. It needs to be fixed, and soon.
korhojoa 18th August 2006, 09:02 Quote
Did anyone watch the youtube video on this?
Because, it shows how (atleast some) politicians have no idea about how 'internets' works, and well, that's really not a good thing. Anyone want to propose a new 'internets' minister?


Hey, wait, didn't the us just give up it's right controlling the internet in some kind? Can't really remember what they did, but some major authority was keeping things under control over there.
Captain Slug 18th August 2006, 13:01 Quote
The United States is a Democratic Republic, not a pure democracy. So please let go of your notion that the public has direct say in everything.

And old people being out of touch and unawares of the trappings and working of technology? WHO KNEW!?!?!

The process isn't flawed. The voters are just lazy and technology is too new for the average person to understand it. Nevermind the fact that the median age of the Congress and Senate is well over 40 (can't seem to find an accurate figure on this).

I for one would be more afraid of a "hip" congress. The process of legislating is meant to be slow because the lack of speed in it's action and the process of deliberation acts as a safegaurd from hasty legislation. And the Decmocratic process seems fairly intact in that
1. The public outcry was fast and furious
2. There was no squelching of dissent
3. The opinion of the public reached their representatives
Quote:
Originally Posted by specofdust
politicians are meant to represent people, not companies.
Unfortunately the perception is that companies represent people too. In some ways this is true, in others it's a complete lie. The lack of worthy or seemingly attractive candidates is still the fault of the average voter for not being more diligent in electing capable representatives who could later run for higher office.
Sifter3000 18th August 2006, 14:21 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Slug
The lack of worthy or seemingly attractive candidates is still the fault of the average voter for not being more diligent in electing capable representatives who could later run for higher office.

Yes, I do agree with you here - one of the points I wanted to get across in the column is that instead of letting politicians get away with not really having a clue about technology, we should be asking them questions about their opinions on it.

That said, I don't think you're on the right track talking about a 'hip congress' - technology is beyond 'hip' now, it's critical to life (and the economy). Politicians have to understand it, because , just like mass transit systems (tube, metro etc), rubbish collection, power generation, the net *has* to work and be run for the benefit of the many rather than exclusively for the profit of a few, and it's the laws the politicians make that will either help or hinder this.
Captain Slug 21st August 2006, 13:34 Quote
From this weeks NewScientist: The Internet has been "unfair" for over 8 years. And in many ways it works better that way.
Quote:
What the net neutralists fail to appreciate, however, is that the internet is already far from a level playing field. Many large websites already pay for speedier delivery of data. Furthermore, many innovative, progressive things happen on the internet precisely because bits are not always treated equally. In some cases, net neutrality may not even be desirable.

http://www.tmcnet.com/usubmit/2006/08/11/1789329.htm
specofdust 21st August 2006, 13:39 Quote
Large websites pay server costs in order to have larger quantities of bandwidth, but that's different from paying not to be crippled. It's a shame the new scientist has got the wrong end of the stick here, but given the general level of ignorance in the world, not surprising.
Sifter3000 21st August 2006, 14:07 Quote
The New Sci article points out exactly the problem with a non neutral Net. Large companies can fork out money for a fast connections, good servers, bandwidth (as specofdust points out), and as the New Sci article points out, services like Akamai.

Net neutrality isn't an issue for large companies, it's for small ones, and individuals. For instance, let's say you're using Skype and your ISP is Orange, or another telco (BT, AT&T, whoever); they can easily filter those packets so that Skype is too slow to be useful, becuase it's in their commercial interest for you not to use Skype to communicate, and they'd prefer you to use a phone or their own VoIP system. Or maybe your ISP runs its own portal homepage, but you want to use Google - and yet Google, for some reason, is a lot slower than your ISP's search engine.
Quote:
Is it really any surprise to hear the CEO of SBC, Ed Whitacre, in an interview suggest that it's only a matter of time before they start going after any of the services that make the internet useful to try to make them pay up to remain reachable? When asked about companies like Google, Yahoo and Vonage, he says: "Now what they would like to do is use my pipes free, but I ain't going to let them do that because we have spent this capital and we have to have a return on it. So there's going to have to be some mechanism for these people who use these pipes to pay for the portion they're using. Why should they be allowed to use my pipes? The Internet can't be free in that sense, because we and the cable companies have made an investment and for a Google or Yahoo! or Vonage or anybody to expect to use these pipes [for] free is nuts!" In other words, he's talking about going well beyond blocking some ports like BellSouth, to actually blocking out websites and services unless they first pay SBC a fee. It certainly has the feel of extortion: pay up or no one on our network will be able to reach your website.

(from http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20051031/0354228.shtml)

That said, perhaps total net neutrality isn't desirable; I wasn't debating net neutrality itself in the article, it was just to illustrate my point that if you let large companies (and only large companies) dictate the rules of how technology is run, odds are, you're going to get screwed. Politicans are abdicating their responsibility to look after their constituents' interests by being ignorant of the technical issues and/or taking the corporate dollar.
specofdust 21st August 2006, 14:25 Quote
Good post Sifter. My feeling is that if things get terrible, the companies like google and skype that are getting extorted, will just make their own networks, people will use them, and the regular phone companies can shrivel up and go to hell. If they want a big fight, then who better to go against the microsoft, google, yahoo et al?

In the short term though, things are looking annoying. Almost all of the network companies got massive subsidies from governments in the US and UK, yet they act as if they've remorgaged their own homes to pay for the networks. Everyone who should be paying to use the internet already is, so I guess all that's left is extortion.

But, short of killing some people, all us commoners can do is write to our MP's, and not use the worst of the ISP's. Principles are getting bloody time consuming and expensive to have these days though :(
Captain Slug 22nd August 2006, 03:23 Quote
Have any of you ever paid a highway toll? Unless the government paid to lay the new cable I don't see how it would be able to claim it should simply become an item of public domain.
Quote:
Originally Posted by specofdust
Large websites pay server costs in order to have larger quantities of bandwidth, but that's different from paying not to be crippled. It's a shame the new scientist has got the wrong end of the stick here, but given the general level of ignorance in the world, not surprising.
Did you even read the article?
They pay for a seperate pipeline service that doesn't affect the rest of the internet. Such services simply wouldn't exist under net neutrality and thusly every site would be going the the same speed regardless of their end user base size. There are many distributed data hosting systems that simply wouldn't be possible on a perfectly level playing field.

And Anti-Trust law is still in effect. Companies offering direct high speed pipeline services will have no grounds to charge higher fees on cross-competiting services.

What I find annoying in this issue is no discussion of a middle ground. There have consistently only been two sides to this issue with too much fear-mongering, what-ifs, and conspiracy theories of only marginal relevance. If I spent several billion dollars laying fiber-optic cable between my two offices I too would get annoyed if all of my neighboring companies started coming over to ask if they could use my cable free-of-charge because that would be "fair".
These are not a traditional part of the internet and there would be no incentive for such line to be laid if the company doing so couldn't receive a return on their investment. And if that were the case then the current state would persist leading to stagnation.
Log in

You are not logged in, please login with your forum account below. If you don't already have an account please register to start contributing.



Discuss in the forums