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Posts tagged internet

It's time for the FCC to stand up for Americans instead of ruining the internet 

Oh boy. TC Sottek just published an editorial on the failure of the FCC. Earlier today the WSJ reported that the FCC is planning on proposing new ‘net neutrality’ laws that fly in the face of everything that net neutrality is.

The internet is fucked, and the US government is making it worse.

Political cowardice caused the FCC to lose its first battle for net neutrality regulation: the rules that keep the internet as you know it free and open. The idea of net neutrality is that all traffic is created equal — whether you’re a movie streaming from Netflix, or a WhatsApp message, or a Tweet, or a bulletin board message. But according to a report from the Wall Street Journal, instead of trying to correct the errors it made in open internet rules the first time around, the FCC will consider enacting new rules that directly destroy the principles of net neutrality. The proposal would allow profit hungry behemoths like Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon to become gatekeepers that give preferential treatment to companies that pay the most for special access to customers.

I know I freaked out when Netflix decided to pay Comcast to ensure it’s customers could stream movies, but it was for good reason. With this new agreement corporations can pay to get preferential treatment. It’s basically the worst idea ever. Read TC’s editorial. 

Amazon Prime price jumping to $99 in the US 

I suspect, that this has everything to do with streaming and nothing to do with shipping. I just worry that soon we’ll hear that Amazon is paying Comcast and AT&T so their streaming goes uninterrupted, just like Netflix. And we all made that possible.


Newsweek’s print mag is back! Our 1st issue hits news stands on 3/7. So excited!

Seems like a step backwards, no? #longlivetheinternet


Newsweek’s print mag is back! Our 1st issue hits news stands on 3/7. So excited!

Seems like a step backwards, no? #longlivetheinternet

(via theatlantic)

So there’s the entire problem, expressed in four simple ideas: the internet is a utility, there is zero meaningful competition to provide that utility to Americans, all internet providers should be treated equally, and the FCC is doing a miserably ineffective job.

Read. Email. Call.

The internet is fucked 

Nilay Patel explains why Netflix paying Comcast and Verizon is bad for the internet, why they feel they had to do it, and (more importantly) how we’ve gotten to this place.

Here’s a simple truth: the internet has radically changed the world. Over the course of the past 20 years, the idea of networking all the world’s computers has gone from a research science pipe dream to a necessary condition of economic and social development, from government and university labs to kitchen tables and city streets. We are all travelers now, desperate souls searching for a signal to connect us all. It is awesome.

And we’re fucking everything up.

In the meantime, the companies that control the internet have continued down a dark path, free of any oversight or meaningful competition to check their behavior. In January, AT&T announced a new “sponsored data” plan that would dramatically alter the fierce one-click-away competition that’s thus far characterized the internet. Earlier this month,Comcast announced plans to merge with Time Warner Cable, creating an internet service behemoth that will serve 40 percent of Americans in 19 of the 20 biggest markets with virtually no rivals.

And after months of declining Netflix performance on Comcast’s network, the two companies announced a new “paid peering” arrangement on Sunday, which will see Netflix pay Comcast for better access to its customers, a capitulation Netflix has been trying to avoid for years. Paid peering arrangements are common among the network companies that connect the backbones of the internet, but consumer companies like Netflix have traditionally remained out of the fray — and since there’s no oversight or transparency into the terms of the deal, it’s impossible to know what kind of precedent it sets. …

If you read one article today, it should be this one.

Verizon CEO says he expects Netflix will sign deal to pay them as well 

Netflix is really screwing over consumers here. This is exactly the reason why we need net neutrality. Hulu, Amazon and anyone trying to start a new streaming service is now going to be forced into making similar deals or face bullying from the carriers / ISPs. You can basically say goodbye to innovation, and count out any new companies from entering the streaming game.

Netflix, for the love of the Internet, please stop this.

Netflix Agrees to Pay Comcast to End Web Traffic Jam 

Netflix Inc. has agreed to pay Comcast Corp. to ensure Netflix movies and TV shows stream smoothly to Comcast customers, a landmark agreement that could set a precedent for Netflix’s dealings with other broadband providers, people familiar with the situation said.

In exchange for payment, Netflix will get direct access to Comcast’s broadband network, the people said. The multiyear deal comes just 10 days after Comcast agreed to buy Time Warner Cable Inc., which if approved would establish Comcast as by far the dominant provider of broadband in the U.S., serving 30 million households.

No. No, no, no, no. This is not how it is supposed to work. How can anyone expect to innovate and compete when giant companies are paying for access. Netflix is just as wrong as Comcast is in this case. They’re setting a terrible precedent.

[edit 1: thanks to makesu1der for the grammar check] 

[edit 2: so, this article is completely readable in my twitter app (Tweetbot) but it’s behind a paywall on an actual computer. I can’t figure out why. I can only point you to my pervious article.] 

Why Can’t We Be Friends? 

Ryan Letourneau writes a great article about people and the internet.

Although the immediate impetus for this post is Flappy Bird developer Dong Nguyen announcing that he’ll be pulling the game from the App Store due to intense media and public scrutiny, I’ve wanted to make a post about the toxic nature of online interactions for a long time. The fucked up thing is that what’s held me back is the belief that by making a post decrying the ridiculous nature and amount of abuse that people get and give online on a daily basis, I would make myself a target for the same kind of bullshit I’m advocating against. At the very least, I hated the idea that the feedback I’d hear back on this post is the same old chorus of, “people are mean to one another online, get over it” that some people are happy to trot out any time someone expresses unhappiness about the awful way people treat each other over the internet. What I really hate about it is that it somehow implies that it’s okay to be disproportionally terrible to one another online because somehow interactions over the internet are less “real” than those in real life. I don’t know if many people actually believe that deep down, but I know for sure that I disagree.

He also sums it up nicely with that old internet adage, “Don’t be a dick.”

The wrong words: how the FCC lost net neutrality and could kill the internet 

Another great editorial by Nilay Patel. 

The wrong words.

That was the overwhelming message delivered to the FCC by the DC Circuit yesterday when it ruled to vacate the agency’s net neutrality rules. The FCC had tried to impose so-called “common carrier” regulations on broadband providers without officially classifying them as utilities subject to those types of rules, and the court rejected that sleight of hand. Most observers saw the decision coming months, if not years, ago; Cardozo Law School’s Susan Crawford called the FCC’s position a “house of cards.”

I’ll be a little more clear: it’s bullshit. Bullshit built on cowardice and political expediency instead of sound policymaking. Bullshit built on the wrong words.

Nilay and Adi Robertson break down the ruling yesterday and failure of the FCC. Read every last word. It’s worth it.

The Internet and The Mobile Web

The internet is divided and it has been for some time. Even though it’s now 2014, there are still two very distinct internets. There’s the regular web we all know on computers. The internet we see in Chrome, or Safari, or Internet Explorer. And there’s the mobile web. And it’s really unfortunate that these two things can be so different. That there even is such a thing as the “regular” internet. That I have to differentiate. That anyone differentiates.

I would like to say that it’s one group of people causing the problems, but it’s everyone and most of it makes no sense. We keep hearing the same thing repeated over and over “the mobile web is the web.” Just a few weeks ago Google chairman Eric Schmidt said,”the trend has been mobile was winning; it’s now won. There are more tablets and phones sold than personal computers. People are moving to this new architecture very fast.”

Yet Google’s own products do not show parity on the web and on mobile, within apps or on mobile sites. If you visit it is impossible to find an embed code. You click the share button, but the options are just for links. The YouTube app yields the same results. I can share on Google +, Twitter, Facebook, Email, but can’t find an embed code if I want to share it anywhere else.

The share options on a computer are much more robust and I have the option to get the embed code, if I so choose.

Not that getting an embed code would help me on Tumblr. On Tumblr’s iOS app you don’t even have the option to embed a video, even if you could find an embed code. You can only upload a video directly to Tumblr. I’m sorry Tumblr, but no one wants to use your video player. 

Hulu is another odd bird. I pay for Hulu Plus (I don’t have cable and I like watching TV shows on my Xbox). Yet, sometimes when I want to watch a show it tells me that it’s “web only.” Huh? So Hulu doesn’t think an Xbox is the web. I can get Twitter, Facebook, Skype, and most importantly Hulu, but it’s not the web. And I need to use a laptop to access the content I’m paying for. 

Never mind that sometimes videos are just not playable on mobile devices. Once US Weekly once told me to read one of their articles on a computer. 

I do wish I was kidding. Nice to know that 524 people liked it though. 

And just this week wouldn’t let me watch highlights on my computer, but I was allowed to watch them on the NHL’s GameCenter iOS app. The pop over wasn’t asking me to log in it wanted me to upgrade to the next tier. I already I pay for the lowest level of GameCenter so I can listen to the radio broadcasts of Ranger games on my phone - a feature that’s completely free at

These are just a few of the issues that form the great divide that is the internet and the mobile web. Mobile citizens are still deemed second class, even when the Chairman of the largest internet company declared mobile has won.

As a user, and often times as someone paying to see content, it’s incredibly frustrating when there is any kind of disparity. Why I can watch a NHL highlight on my phone and not on my computer is absolutely bonkers. And it makes me want to murder.

I don’t really know how to fix this problem going forward. The only thing I can think of is for any developers to read this and implement any functionality in on your website or on the desktop version of your application, put it in your app, and vice versa.  Because as long as the little things like a lack of embed codes exists the New York Times will double bill you to see certain parts of their content digitally.

Quick note: I’ve tried to write this article a few times, in 2011 and again in early 2013, but stopped because I felt like it was too long. It pains me that 3 years later it’s still an issue.


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