Monday, January 23, 2006

Dickie's Quickies

The Washington Post has an article today on network neutrality and tiering of the Internet. Apparently, some of the ISPs (Baby Bells, for instance) are suggesting that the only way that they can provide high speed internet upgrades is if they sell access to companies. Say that Yahoo pays a royalty to Verizon for access and Google does not do the same. The user may then find that they get faster search results using Yahoo with Verizon than what Google with Verizon would provide. That's what's known as tiering. To offer the same speed to both services without charging fees is what's known as network neutrality. Google and Yahoo are lobbying against this pricing scheme which, in essence, would blackmail all major firms to pony up or risk being left behind. Small firms will not be able to compete. Your ISP would make de facto determinations about your choices as a consumer. Why is it that other countries have much higher speed connections compared to the U.S., that these other countries get upgrades faster, and that they do it without tiering? This is a bad idea. Write your legislator.

The Bush Administration created a new position in the Department of Fatherland Security called the deputy director of intelligence. So what, you ask? They appointed a lobbyist to the position. Guess who's watching the data on the Abramoff scandal very closely...

Good news! Turkey has decided not to pursue the case against Orhan Pamuk. The author was accused by the government of offending "Turkishness" when he critically mentioned the Armenian genocide in his country during the early 20th century during an interview with a Swiss publication. That topic is forbidden, which is why he brought it up.

EMI Chairman, Eric Nicoli, was interviewed by Reuters. He's upbeat about the music industry and digital sales:
"We've seen a tripling in the last year and we've hardly gotten started."

Nicoli went on to note:
"We've moved on from the days when the main impact of digital technology was to harm our industry by facilitating rampant online and physical theft," he said. "The day is surely within our sights when digital growth outstrips physical decline and we can all compete for share of a growing pie."

And he thinks that "unbundling" (selling individual songs rather than complete CDs) is inevitable (something I've been saying for a couple of years and it's not a bad thing):
"The pessimists will say that's a problem, but our research suggest that the net effect of unbundling is a positive," he said.

1 comment:

Timothy Karr said...

For a full backgrounder on the net neutrality issue check out the camapign I just posted at

The threat to the freedoms of the Internet, as we have come to know them, is real. Our best defense is through a public pressure campaign against Congress and the FCC.