Internet Neutrality

February 27, 2015

Internet Neutrality

“The internet is the ultimate vehicle for free expression. The internet is simply too important to allow broadband providers to be the ones making the rules.” —  FCC Chair Tom Wheeler

The FCC voted to adopt stronger Network Neutrality rules on Thursday. Network Neutrality is the principle that internet service providers (ISPs) must treat all internet traffic equally, that ISPs shouldn’t be allowed to block or degrade access to certain websites or services or set aside a “fast lane” to allow ISP-favored content to load more quickly. Broadband providers will now be regulated as public utilities, and it is this “Title II reclassification” move that will give the agency broader authority to establish network neutrality rules.  Expect resistance from ISPs, in the form of PR campaigns and lawsuits.

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Video Game Hall of Fame

February 26, 2015

Video Game Hall of Fame

The Strong Museum in Rochester, home of the National Toy Hall of Fame, has announced the creation of the World Video Game Hall of Fame. “Electronic games have changed how people play, learn and connect with each other, including across boundaries of culture and geography,” said museum President G. Rollie Adams.  Unsaid: Games now earn more money than recorded music or Hollywood films, about $21 Billion in 2013.

You can nominate significant arcade, console, computer, hand-held and mobile games here until March 31, 2015. An international panel will choose the annual inductees.

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Court Okays Secret Government Internet Switch

February 25, 2015

Court Okays Secret Government Internet Switch

From the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC):

“The federal court of appeals based in Washington, DC has ruled that the Department of Homeland Security may withhold from the public a secret procedure for shutting down cell phone service. EPIC pursued the DHS policy after government officials in San Francisco disabled cell phone service during a peaceful protest in 2011. EPIC sued DHS when the agency failed to release the criteria for network shutdowns. A federal judge ruled in EPIC’s favor. On appeal, the D.C. Circuit held for the DHS but said that the agency might still be required to disclose some portions of the protocol.”

– “In EPIC v. DHS, DC Circuit Backs Agency Secrecy on ‘Internet Kill Switch,'” EPIC.org

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Patricia Arquette Minds the Gap

February 24, 2015

Patricia Arquette Minds the Gap

When Patricia Arquette accepted the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, she had words of support for other working women (especially working moms): “It’s our time to have wage equality once and for all and equal rights for women in the United States of America.”

While not everyone gave her performance (or her backstage chatter) rave reviews, Jesus smiled on it (okay, it’s Jared Leto). And so did  Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lopez:

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Philip Levine, 1928 — 2015

February 23, 2015

Philip Levine, then U.S. Poet Laureate, reading “What Work Is” at the AFL-CIO on Nov. 15, 2011.

“Philip Levine, a Poet of Grit, Sweat and Labor, Dies at 87,” Margalit Fox, New York Times

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The Other Oscar

February 22, 2015

The Other Oscar

This year’s Oscar(tm) Awards will be announced today, but you won’t hear about a movie Oscar of yesteryear, Oscar Micheaux. He’s one of the pioneering filmmakers of African-American cinema whose work will be digitally remastered by Kino Lorber. See the promo below and read about the Kickstarter project here.

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Rudy Giuliani: ‘I’m not questioning his patriotism.’

February 22, 2015

Rudy Giuliani:'I’m not questioning his patriotism.'
One day Rudy Giuliani says: “… I do not believe that the president loves America.” The next day he says:”…I’m not questioning his patriotism.” Since “patriotism” means “love of country,” what’s that all about?

Simple. Mr. Giuliani, a serial adulterer, has a very complicated definition of “love.”

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A Year and a Day in Prison for Maureen McDonnell

February 21, 2015

A Year and a Day in Prison for Maureen McDonnell

Maureen McDonnell, former NFL cheerleader and estranged wife of disgraced former Virginia governor Bob McDonnell, has been sentenced to one year and one day in federal prison for her conviction on 8 felony counts of corruption. The former First Lady of the Old Dominion accepted lavish gifts from nutritional supplement manufacturer Jonnie Williams and helped him shill his snake oil, even staging a promotional event at the state’s Executive Mansion.

Mr. McDonnell, the first Virginia governor convicted of committing a felony while in office, has been sentenced to 2 years in prison and 2 years of federally supervised release for convictions on 11 counts of political corruption. Mr. &  Mrs. McD are both on the loose while appealing their convictions, and the ex-Governor is bunking with his parish priest.

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Pistol Packin’ Bra Kills the Woman Wearing It

February 20, 2015

Pistol Packin' Bra Kills the Woman Wearing It

Michigan Republican official Christina Bond, a 55-year-old motorcycle-riding church administrator, former military police officer and mother of two, fatally shot herself in the head on New Year’s Day while adjusting her bra holster.

Some Americans carry handguns for self-protection, and each year thousands of them shoot themselves, hundreds fatally. Congress and state legislatures have blocked firearm injury research, so we don’t know how many of those victims kept their handguns in Second Amendment support garments or in their underpants.

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Year of the Sheep

February 19, 2015

Year of the Sheep

Today the Lunar New Year is being celebrated across Asia. This is the Year of the Sheep or Goat or Ram, and could even be the Year of the Antelope. The underlying calendar concept is Chinese, and that language doesn’t differentiate between the various Bovidae of the subfamily Caprinae.

In any case, happy new year.

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