Star Wars and net neutrality

That’s why the latest Star Wars trilogy is so dark: It’s looking more and more like real life, where the credits never roll and problems can always recur…The Last Jedi premiered a few hours after we learned that the FCC had reversed its stance on net neutrality; we all sang “Yub Nub” back in 2015 when that vote went one way, but we know now that the war wasn’t won.

Here is the Ben Lindbergh piece on the pessimistic themes in Star Wars.  Ted Cruz also serves up some unusual remarks.

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Then there is this link - https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2017/12/17/a-jedi-you-are-not-mark-hamill-slams-light-saber-wielding-fcc-chairman-over-net-neutrality/

Since one assumes that these EST middle of the night entries are scheduled for posting beforehand, one can also assumes that an actor's perspective will be added. Though maybe - Mark Hamill seems to be pretty much convinced of his priors, such as writing the hashtag AjitPaiFCCorpShill

And this is just clearly virtue signalling - 'A Jedi acts selflessly for the common man-NOT lie 2 enrich giant corporations.'

...oh, I see -- an MR Monday morning blog tie in to StarWars on its latest opening weekend, mashed coarsely with the hot topic of net-neutrality. How clever?

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The dark side lost and they are pissed.

I am very confident of two things. First ISPs will grab their power to manipulate customers with both hands. Second, the millennials will come back with a much harsher #Net-neutrality. The ISPs should have taken the last deal.

Overreach like:

http://forums.xfinity.com/t5/Customer-Service/Are-you-aware-Comcast-is-injecting-400-lines-of-JavaScript-into/td-p/3009551

Your example was from when there WAS NN.

lol, you realize that just makes it worse right?

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I also realize NN didn't stop it either. ISPs are no saints and neither are goodle facebook ect. They will always try to get away with stuff. FTC fought all of this quite well, without the extra baggage the FCC adds.

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Look, there are thousands of ways an ISP can ding their customers for business advantage. When the FCC cared, there was a place to go to talk about things like code injections.

What just happened was that technical appeal is gone.

The bad guys set it up so that the only level of appeal will be at the FTC, and it must be on a high level, like price fixing or monopoly practices.

All the thousand little things, that are not in themselves an FTC case, got a green light.

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"[JL] This is our web notification system, documented in RFC 6108 https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc6108, which has been in place for many years now. It presents an overlay service message on non-TLS-based HTTP sessions. If you click the X box or otherwise acknowledge the notice it should immediately go away. If that is not the case let me know and we'll have a look at what may be happening."

Not, note, a violation of any sort of net neutrality I've seen proposed, and indeed a Literal Internet Standard for notifications from providers.

"Your cable modem is old", 400 entire scary lines of JavaScript, non-HTTPS pages?

As an Internet Professional, this is my I could not possibly care less about this face.

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None of the prior regulations cover consumers, only the relationship between ISPs and large content providers like Google. Ajit Pai would not remove regulations that actually protected consumers.

The question is why Hamill wants to enrich Google. Does he just want to enrich Lucasfilm/Disney and Disney wants to enrich Google? Or are they thinking about their own streaming services and want more subsidies for them?

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It seems fair to say that most people found innovation in internet technology to be pretty good before 2015. Net neutrality regulation was not enacted until 2015, when the FCC decided to apply AT&T-style monopoly regulation to ISPs. So, pre-2015 regulation was working pretty well, but we didn't really know yet the impact of net neutrality regulation on innovation. Maybe, applying AT&T-style monopoly regulations would have been better as net neutrality proponents hoped or maybe it would have been worse. Maybe, the risk of net neutrality regulation would have been worth it, but the unknown is certainly riskier than the known pre-2015 regulatory regime.

When net neutrality proponents don't acknowledge that rolling back net neutrality regulation just means returning to the known and familiar pre-2015 regime, which most people found to be a period of at least satisfactory innovation if not downright amazing innovation, are they being deliberately deceptive or are they just so enamored with the term "net neutrality" that they don't realize that it's net neutrality regulation that is actually the big, unknown risk and that rolling back the rules is just going back to the comfortable, proven regulation of the recent past? It's strange to see so much hysteria around sticking with what most people thought was already working pretty well before 2015.

'innovation in internet technology to be pretty good before 2015'

Well, apart from those that found their ISP was faking packets to prevent them from using bittorrent - 'A California man filed suit in state court Tuesday against internet service provider Comcast, arguing that the company's secret use of technology to limit peer-to-peer applications such as BitTorrent violates federal computer fraud laws, their user contracts and anti-fraudulent advertising statutes.

Plaintiff Jon Hart, represented by the Lexington Law Group, argues that Comcast's promises of providing internet connections that let users "Download at Crazy Fast Speeds" are false and misleading since Comcast limits downloads by transmitting "unauthorized hidden messages to the computers of customers" who use peer-to-peer file sharing software. Hart wants the court to force Comcast to stop interfering with the traffic.' https://www.wired.com/2007/11/comcast-sued-ov/

The bittorent protocol is an example of the sort of Internet innovation (creating a peer to peer network that would scale with growth, as compared to slowing down as more people downloaded data) that would no be fully legal for an ISP to suppress.

'Net neutrality regulation was not enacted until 2015'

Actually, net neutrality is how the Internet is essentially designed, though there are ISPs that would prefer to continue practice deceptive advertising instead of upgrading their infrastructure to deliver what their customers assumed they were contractually paying for. From the text of the suit filed in California Superior Court in Alameda County - 'Defendants have disseminated and continues to disseminate advertising, that they know or should reasonably know is false and misleading. This conduct includes, but is not limited to, promoting and advertising the fast speeds that apply to the Service without limitation, when, in fact, Defendants severely limit the speed of the Service for certain applications.

It further includes Defendant's misrepresentations that their customers will enjoy "unfettered access" to all internet applications, when, in fact, Defendants not only fetter certain applications, but completely block them. Defendants know or reasonably should know that this advertising is false and misleading.'

Do note that the article is from 2007 - net neutrality rules also existed before 2015, as seen here - 'ISP discrimination against certain kinds of traffic also violates established Federal Communications Commission policies on Net Neutrality, the suit argues.'

Comcast, to name one company, has hated net neutrality long before 2015, and has a long track record in not providing its customers the services they thought they were paying their ISP for.

For some reason, you neglected to mention that Comcast abandoned that system of network management due to consumer pressure.

Sure - faking RST packets was clearly wrong, as pointed out in the suit - 'The lawsuit charges those fake packets violate the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.' Sandvine, the maker of the product Comcast seemed to have used, is still in business - https://www.sandvine.com/

And really, if filing a lawsuit to have your ISP deliver the service you paid for without faking your data is your idea of consumer pressure, well sure, Comcast changed its practices. Followed by continuing to spend the next decade trying to the have concept of net neutrality dismantled.

So, yes, I left out the fact that Comcast was engaging in actions which went far beyond 'network management.' Hope that clears things up to your satisfaction.

So it was already illegal? How are you sure that another lawyer of regs will help?

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Well, the lawsuit was mainly based on deceptive advertising, not just Comcast faking data packets. The addition of the data packet faking was because Tom T. wanted the whole story.

So, to highlight that section of the suit - 'Defendants have disseminated and continues to disseminate advertising, that they know or should reasonably know is false and misleading. This conduct includes, but is not limited to, promoting and advertising the fast speeds that apply to the Service without limitation, when, in fact, Defendants severely limit the speed of the Service for certain applications.

It further includes Defendant’s misrepresentations that their customers will enjoy “unfettered access” to all internet applications, when, in fact, Defendants not only fetter certain applications, but completely block them. Defendants know or reasonably should know that this advertising is false and misleading.'

Luckily for Comcast, they do not need to worry about such claims in the future, it appears. One assumes that they will continue to not fake customer data packets, regardless.

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But the behavior comcast engaged in has nothing to do with the regulation Ajit Pai repealed. Comcast's behavior is illegal now, was illegal then, and will almost certainly always be illegal. Comcast will violate the law under any conceivable set of circumstances, and everyone who signs up with them knows it long before they sign-up. At most, net neutrality slightly increases the number of rules having the force of law they violate, and they probably have to charge more for doing so.

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This is disinformation. The real story:

https://pioneersfornetneutrality.tumblr.com

And when people like Richard Bennett ("Ethernet? WiFi? I worked on the RFCs.") oppose it, do they not count?

The "real story" is that there is no universal agreement even among "network engineeres" and "internet pioneers" here.

I link to 20 guys, or whatever. You name one.

Can you do better?

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The irony in all this NN clamour is that people don't realise that they are calling for big government style regulation of the internet. Can you imagine how popular arguing for government regulation of the internet would be in 2005? It is a great example of branding, net neutrality sounds so appealing.

'don’t realise that they are calling for big government style regulation of the internet'

You mean like the net neutrality regulations that existed in the bad old days of 2005? Here is the background from Wikipedia in terms of the first attempt to impose 'net neutrality' - 'In 2007, several subscribers of Comcast high-speed Internet discovered that Comcast was interfering with their use of peer-to-peer networking applications. Challenging Comcast's interference, Free Press and Public Knowledge—two non-profit advocacy organizations—filed a complaint with the FCC. The complaint stated that Comcast's actions violated the FCC Internet Policy Statement, particularly violating the statement's principle that “consumers are entitled to access the lawful Internet content of their choice... [and] to run applications and use services of their choice.” Comcast defended its interference with consumers' peer-to-peer programs as necessary to manage scarce network capacity.

Following this complaint, the FCC issued an order censuring Comcast from interfering with subscribers' use of peer-to-peer software—the FCC's second attempt to enforce its network neutrality policy with the first being the Madison River investigation. The order began with the FCC stating it had jurisdiction over Comcast's network management practices under the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. § 154). Specifically, the Communications Act of 1934 granted the FCC the power to "perform any and all acts, make such rules and regulations, and issue such orders, not inconsistent with [the Act], as may be necessary in the execution of its functions." Next, the FCC ruled that Comcast impeded consumers' ability to access content and use applications of their choice. Additionally, because other options were available for Comcast to manage their network policy without discriminating against peer-to-peer programs, the FCC found that Comcast's method of bandwidth management breached federal policy.'

And here is a summary of how that 2005 FCC framework worked - 'Overview -

In August 2005 the FCC adopted a policy statement (the Internet Policy Statement) that endeavored to ensure that broadband consumers would have access to all lawful content on the Internet and that all lawful applications could be used on the networks.

Four Principles - The Statement outlined four principles to “encourage broadband deployment and preserve and promote the open and interconnected nature of [the] public Internet.” The four principles are:

(1) consumers are entitled to access the lawful Internet content of their choice;

(2) consumers are entitled to run applications and services of their choice (subject to the needs of law enforcement);

(3) consumers are entitled to connect their choice of legal devices that do not harm the network; and

(4) consumers are entitled to competition among network providers, application and service providers, and content providers.

These principles could be limited by the needs of broadband providers to reasonably manage their networks.' http://itlaw.wikia.com/wiki/Internet_Policy_Statement

And here is some more than 4 year old history concerning net neutrality during the golden days of the Internet back in 2005 - 'The U.S. Federal Communications Commission’s net neutrality regulations, also known as open Internet rules, face a hearing on Monday in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Verizon Communications has challenged the FCC’s authority to pass the rules.

Here’s a look back at some highlights in the long history of net neutrality-rules at the FCC.

February 2004: After many months of debate about the potential for broadband providers to selectively block or slow some Internet traffic, FCC Chairman Michael Powell, a Republican, calls for four Internet freedoms encompassing net neutrality.

August 2005: The FCC, while voting to end regulations requiring incumbent telecommunications carriers to share their DSL broadband connections with competitors, approves an Internet policy statement reflecting Powell’s four freedoms. The policy statement, which does not have the force of regulation, says broadband users are entitled to run Web applications and services of their choice and connect their choice of legal devices to the network.' https://www.pcworld.com/article/2048209/net-neutrality-at-the-us-fcc-a-brief-history.html

Thankfully, having swept away all that big government style regulation of the internet, it is your ISP that gets to decide what web applications and services you can access, and to limit any connection to any legal device on the Internet any time the ISP wishes.

And to answer your question - 'Can you imagine how popular arguing for government regulation of the internet would be in 2005?' see above. 'Very popular' would be the summary answer, but that is because back in 2005, people were aware that there is a difference between the 'Internet' and an ISP. The only people arguing against net neutrality then were the same people arguing against it today - major ISPs with no interest in actually providing the service they market.

The link for the 10 year old Comcast case is https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comcast_Corp._v._FCC

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Prior is loading on the verbiage to cover for the central flaw in his argument: even pre-NN, the ISPs' few attempts at network management somehow never last very long.

No, I am showing first that 'net neutralityÄ did not start in the last couple of years, and second, that lawsuits and regulatory activity stretching back more than a decade were required to keep an ISP such as Comcast from faking data packets.

The first regulations which could be considered the basis of net neutrality are from 2005 - that is the point that so many people seem to ignore. This is not a new debate, though finally, after a dozen years, Comcast, Verizon, et al have finally achieved what they have always wanted - to not be forced to deliver the service that their customers pay for.

There were no "net neutrality" regulations in 2005. There was an (unenforceable) policy statement from the FCC with hortatory language about open networks.

Re: the Comcast-BitTorrent case, it's actually a good example of industry self regulation. Internet-regulation activists invited FCC intervention for Comcast-BitTorrent. Note the dog who didn't bark: BitTorrent. Comcast and BitTorrent had already settled their dispute when the FCC intervened, and BitTorrent actually spent the next few years developing a more polite protocol (micro Transport Protocol) so that its service did not strain networks quite so much.

"Net neutrality" is dead in the US. As the 2016 litigation revealed, the core principle--no ISP content blocking--is unenforceable in the US because of the First Amendment rights of media distributors to determine what media to transmit over their private facilities. What is called net neutrality in the US is now largely a jurisdictional fight over whether the FCC should have regulatory authority to oversee (and reject) services, business models, and content on IP networks, or whether FTC oversight is adequate.

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'There were no “net neutrality” regulations in 2005.'

True, an FCC Internet Policy Statement, also used as evidence in a decade old law suit, is not a 'regulation.' The intent of the FCC was clear, however, which led the FCC attempting to enforce its policy. The result of Comcast v. FCC led to this, in 2010 - 'The Federal Communications Commission Open Internet Order is a set of regulations that move towards the establishment of the internet neutrality concept.' https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FCC_Open_Internet_Order_2010

'Note the dog who didn’t bark: BitTorrent'

You do know what bittorrent is, right? An open source protocol for transferring data in ad hoc peer to peer networks - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BitTorrent

'the core principle–no ISP content blocking–is unenforceable in the US because of the First Amendment rights of media distributors to determine what media to transmit over their private facilities'

My data packets are not content for an ISP, in exactly the same fashion that my speech is not content for the telephone company. Try a much better analogy.

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Yes, it's almost like there's some sort of self-correcting behavior in free and open markets. Now what could that be? ..... Wait, don't tell me. I'll think if it in a minute.

You mean government regulation, like pointed out by the former FCC chairman in the link below?

And remember, during the apparent golden age of the Internet, you know, back in 2005, the guiding force of how ISPs were to act came from the FCC in its Internet Policy Statement, not the free market -

(1) consumers are entitled to access the lawful Internet content of their choice;

(2) consumers are entitled to run applications and services of their choice (subject to the needs of law enforcement);

(3) consumers are entitled to connect their choice of legal devices that do not harm the network; and

(4) consumers are entitled to competition among network providers, application and service providers, and content providers

The free market, as represented by companies accustomed to possessing locally granted monopolies, has been diligently working to get rid of those principles for a dozen years. Since it appears that actually delivering what your customers pay for is apparently too much of a burden.

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If people only have 1 or 2 ISPs to choose from based on geographic location, you cannot in all serious argue its a free market.

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Some rural towns only have one grocery store, that's the cost of being rural, it doesn't mean there's some huge problem. Also, let's not solve one bad set of rules with another, fix the local monopolies.

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Jay - a grocery store deciding to only carry Ben and Jerry's isn't quite the same as an ISP deciding which companies to give preferential access to.

Besides, no one can really tell me why the current set of rules are bad. Grandma who just uses the internet to check email isn't paying for the same service I am. I pay nearly 3x as much for what I want compared to her.

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I repeat, not just ISPs oppose "net neutrality".

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The IETF was launched under government funding, and it is not at all what you describe.

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SW TLJ was like someone watched ESB and sort of liked it but wanted to make a different, post modern take on it. Similar themes, young Jedi finds old master, goes into hole in the ground, seeks parent. This time she finds herself not as Darth Vader but just as herself. Instead of the idea that you can't get away from the past it's kill the past, there's nothing in those old books you don't already know, end the old orders and start new ones, all the old ideas brought was hubris and desctruction.

Oh and the evil old guy dies at the end of this one, setting up the clear battle of Been Solo with himself in the final movie.

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No mention of mood affiliation? Gloom is rather self-defeating.

The Pai videos are petty and condescending, much like our current government. Very professional, boys.

Ted, you are not cool and a Star Wars analogy will not make you so.

But he is a Jedi facing the Empire...

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Such is life in Trump's America... A cabal of malefactors of great wealth, in search of ever more money, chose to disregard the needs and desires of the American populace. America has reverted to oligarchical rule.

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What does the former FCC chairman say about it?

http://dailycaller.com/2017/12/14/msnbc-anchor-loses-net-neutrality-debate-with-former-fcc-chairman-video/

This is hilarious.

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It's a constant struggle for power. With media and telecom, the concentration of ownership reminds me of the Galactic Empire. All the deal making isn't surprising given that we have a deal making president: with him, it's the deal that matters not the merits of the deal. Indeed, deals wouldn't get done if the participants actually considered the merits. The end of net neutrality will likely mean an acceleration in the concentration of ownership in media and telecom. The fees alone are reason to support deals, whatever the merits, Goldman Sachs having a large presence, and collecting large fees, in deals involving media and telecom. Of course, the struggle for power is on many levels: even as companies struggle for power in media and telecom, a different kind of struggle for power is taking place between individuals, individuals who exploit their power and the individuals exploited, often depicted in the media as a struggle between the sexes but in fact a struggle for power. The struggle for power is part of human nature and history: one is either the exploiter or the exploited.

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Rogue One taught us that the real world is actually far ahead of the Star Wars universe in information technology...

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Quit trying to make this a morality play! The biggest supporters of Net Neutrality (Google, Facebook, Netflix) are much larger than the cable companies and don't want to pay their fair share for externalities. It's big business vs big business with the FCC being used as a weapon.

'and don’t want to pay their fair share for externalities'

When I pay my ISP for 10/100 mps service, all of the 'externalities' of my Internet connection are paid for, as contractually specified between me a nd my ISP. Which valid IP connected device I transfer data packets from and to is not of any concern of my ISP, and is not in any way, shape, or form an externality, it is precisely what I am paying for.

Because your internet access has unlimited data, Netflix has no incentive to control file size. Netflix double-dips: they charge you for monthly access, and force you to absorb the cost of their exuberance when Comcast charges you a higher rate for broadband. Even if Comcast charged you by the gigabyte, you still end up subsidizing Netflix.

With net neutrality, there's zero incentive for any content provider to control the size of their content. It's a classic free rider problem, and no pro-NN people have any good ideas for how to solve it.

Bollocks. The ISPs sell pipes with defined limits on throughput, bandwidth, and availability. ISP customers pay for the privilege of access to the rest of the Internet. They can saturate said pipe with whatever content they chose within the limits of what they purchased from the ISP. That's the entire point of buying access.

Furthermore, Netflix has spend buckets of money to setup a world class content delivery network. They routinely offer to provide caching servers to the ISPs to place in their networks to alleviate peering congestion (that the ISPs intentionally choke). The only thing they can't do is force ISPs to service their own customers' requests, which is the entire point of being an ISP. The only reason an ISP wouldn't do this is because they are also a content provider or a de-facto monopoly (or like American ISPs, both).

There is a way to solve all of this without NN, and that is to make the market for Internet access competitive by forcing common ownership or leasing of the last mile connection. If that happens competition to deliver packets as fast and as cheap as possible would explode. It is exactly what happened to the T2 and T1 networks.

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Nope, the *inventors* of the internet are the biggest supporters.

https://pioneersfornetneutrality.tumblr.com

Ah, well. Like Trump, Brexit, and Bitcoin at $18k, sometimes big stupid things win. For a little while. And then they are corrected.

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As awful as yuh nub is, thanks for posting a pre-prequels version!

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clockwork always sticking up for The Man. I'm lucky to get enough bandwidth to just check my emails and read Marginal Revolution because the technological and economic reality is that providers in my area can only offer shared capacity. So I am expected under Net Neutrality to pay full price for barely adequate service while music-streaming and Netflix-addicted neighbors suck up all the local capacity, and they are not charged for their hoggish habits. There are no incentives to eliminate these constraints because the data hogs must be coddled at all costs.

Nope - always demanding that if someone sells a 10/100 mps Internet connection, that is what they deliver. And if your contract specifies a certain level of service you are not receiving, it is your ISP that is fault, not the people who have also paid that ISP.

Harrumphing does not solve the problem of providing high speed internet connections to all residences. Mandating desired outcomes does not make that happen. My electric utility charges more for intense electrical users than for basic service frugal users, and they build more generating and distribution capacity when demand increases. Nobody seems to have a problem with that, and puts on a big entitlement mentality. The internet makes people nuts.

'Harrumphing does not solve the problem of providing high speed internet connections to all residences'

I talk about an ISP not meeting its contractual obligations to a paying customer, and that is the response? If your ISP has engaged in deceptive marketing, it is not the fault of your neighbors.

The electric analogy is not a very good one, but let us try to improve it. In Germany, you are free to contract with any electric company to provide electric service, however the actual operator of the local/regional grid is paid through a flat fee - which is the same for all (residential) users, regardless of how much electricity they use (to the extent of still being defined as residential). The actual operator may specify a maximum load - let us pretend 5 kilowatts - but in no way, shape, or form can they complain that a customer paying that network fee is not fully entitled to make use of that maximum amount all the time. As is everyone else on the grid. This is what they are paying for, after all.

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No, you are not expected to pay more than your bandwidth. Modern cable modems have plenty of smarts to keep you, and your terrible neighbors who want to watch Netflix, in their own lane.

Who said anything about cable modems? America is a big country, and cable does not run past every house. Get out of your bubble, Mr One Size Fits All

Cable was the one with least ISP control in the old days, which is why I addressed it.

What are you using, that you think does not allow vendor management of per user bandwidth, monitoring of user content, and usage totals?

Even without a DOCSIS cable modem, the CO equipment can certainly manage and monitor your traffic.

In fact, that's literally its job, "net neutrality" or not.

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I agree, but the ISP story "we were blindsided by free riders" depended on them having a lot of dumb infrastructure to allow "overuse."

If they didn't expect to meter, it is possible they put in some dumb hardware.

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Please, spread the informtion: https://www.lewrockwell.com/2017/12/no_author/16-facts-16-years-later-about-9-11-that-are-no-longer-a-conspiracy-theory/

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If I am the same side as Vinton Cerf, Paul Vixie, and Stephen Wolff, then darn it, I will believe I am the right side.

Some of you may prefer a Fox news editorial, an economist's confusion, or actual lies about the history of the internet.

As they said on the original and neutral internet, ymmv.

Just noting Vint Cerf does work for Google.

That job is a prize for past achievement.

As when Apple gave Alan Kay a plum role.

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Can we stop putting so much significance into a glorified B movie?

It is not a glorified B movie. It is a glorified B trilogy and a not so glorified hexalogy (or is it the science which studies hexes?). Also the way Captain Kirk solved the Kobayashi Maru test according to the second episode is interesting.

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"How about a pinball machine or a Death Star fire pit?" I'd settle for plots that make some sort of sense (something beyond "this happened, and then that happened, and then ...") and perhaps some character development.

But I don't doubt that merchandising and visual spectacle are more important.

The disappointment is over What Might Have Been, had someone used the popularity of the first few Star Wars movies to sustain a more substantial narrative.

People forget, the first few movies weren't that deep or substantial either. They were, and still are, fun adventure movies for kids and grownups who like that stuff. There's plot holes a mile wide in all of them. Some of the complainers I think forget they were kids when they saw the first 3 and were a lot less critical. Now they are adults, and it's easy to pick nits.

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"Pessimistic themes in 'Star Wars'": well, Carrie Fisher is dead, and only if future producers/directors want to invest in her CGI resurrection will her career as Princess Leia continue. Mark Hamill is now older than Alec Guinness was in the original SW, and he, Harrison Ford, and George Lucas will all soon be as dead as Carrie Fisher, whether the SW franchise survives NN or its demise.

A genre question: while SW very famously has been treated as "science fiction"--it's not (what "science"? where? granted, I ask not having caught any franchise installment since the original overblown "trilogy"): "futurist fantasy" all over the place, but why construe "futurist fantasy" as any legitimate or actual equivalent to "science fiction"?

Kind of ironic, of the 'big 3' good guy characters from the original movie episode IV, the only character still alive is played by the only actor who has passed away. Curious to see how they handle Fisher's death with the Leia character in episode IX.

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The tribalism is very strong with these wannabe Jedis who imagine they're brave rebels resisting Ajit Pai/Darth Vader. Ask them -- which do they think is more likely to become an empire that dominates the Internet globally, Facebook or Comcast? And -- remind me -- which of the two is a big Net Neutrality supporter?

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1)https://xkcd.com/493/

2) It is an uncertain border. I admit Lord of the Rings is not historical fiction even if people (orcs and hobbits, too) use swords and bows, so spaceships and energy swords and clones should not make Star Wars science fiction, but yet... every magical trope that appears in Star Wars appears in, say, Star Trek. Are telepaths, telekinesis and more "sciency" than Jedis and the Force and katra (the essence of a Vulcan's mind that can be transfered through a religious ritual)?

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If Net Neutrality had just been called Title II Regulation, I don't think it would have happened. Why would anyone want to turn the internet over to the Empire?

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Can we call a moratorium on comparing yourself to Star Wars?

Because it's getting completely ridiculous to see people demanding that unilateral Executive decisions be permanent and bear the force of law while simultaneously comparing themselves to the Rebels.

Or maybe we could even take a civics lesson from all this and recognize that short term policy "wins" based on executive orders and stacking the boards of regulatory bodies are inherently flimsy and short-lived, and changing the law via legislation is both more effective and produces a healthier democracy?

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1.) No one can dominate the Internet globally. It's an ad-hoc network of peer nodes. At worst, malicious or stupid actors can separate large sections off from each other.
2.) Facebook is a "content provider", it does not own or operate the network. As such, it cannot block the pipes, so to speak. Everyone could quit using a free service like Facebook tomorrow and the pipes keep working.
3.) Comcast owns a hell of a lot of the network. They can effectively wall-off millions of their paying users from anything they choose.

Your tribalism is showing and it looks like to be of the Moff variety.

That's a bit like arguing that 1) newspaper companies never owned paper mills or ink and printer manufacturers, therefore 2) it never mattered how many newspapers a government or single company controlled, since nobody could 'block the pipes' (anybody could run a printing press in the basement after all). Sure, Comcast does own a lot of network. But it is virtually never the only ISP choice for anyone. It's not even the only provider most of its customers have already (since, in addition to their wired home broadband, they also have a smartphone with a data plan). Facebook is MASSIVELY more dominant in social media than Comcast is in networking and -- most importantly -- people individually can't simply switch to an alternative social network platform (since their friends and acquaintances are on Facebook and, obviously, Facebook does not permit interoperability). I could switch from Xfinity to Uverse tomorrow with no knock on effects and nobody else would ever know. That's absolutely not true for Facebook users -- switching costs are huge. They're firmly stuck.

It's nothing like arguing the newspaper business because, the analogy doesn't hold up. The barriers to entry on creating a paper and creating a website are orders of magnitude different.

"But it is virtually never the only ISP choice for anyone."

Virtual is a weasel word. If you define "broadband" as 10Mbps/1Mbps, then sure there are maybe you have two providers covering most of America. If you define it more accurately, then 70%+ of the country only has one provider.

"Facebook is MASSIVELY more dominant in social media than Comcast is in networking and — most importantly — people individually can’t simply switch to an alternative social network platform"

And what do social networks have to do with anything about NN? And they could absolutely could switch individually. There's nothing locking them into Facebook other than inertia. How do you think MySpace and Friendster lost customers? Were they locked in too?

"I could switch from Xfinity to Uverse tomorrow with no knock on effects and nobody else would ever know"

*YOU* might be able to do that, but there are lots of people who can't switch. Also, other would know you switched because Xfinity and Uverse have to treat the data equally right now. What if both of them decided to block Facebook (or whatever else you use) entirely?

"They’re firmly stuck."

You CANNOT BE STUCK in a free content delivery network (unless that network is owned and operated by an ISP). A competitor to Facebook can startup next week and thrive it provided a compelling reason to switch.

"The barriers to entry on creating a paper and creating a website are orders of magnitude different."

Both are trivially easy to create. One requires a web host, the other a laser printer and postage. There were many newsletters in the pre-Internet age. But there's a huge bar to creating a *successful* newspaper, social network, or search engine at scale that can pay for itself and have any real influence.

"Virtual is a weasel word. If you define “broadband” as 10Mbps/1Mbps"

But why would you define it in a weaselly way that excludes mobile data? I don't define it that way. I don't have any trouble streaming Youtube, Netflix, or Prime Videos over my smartphone (and casting that to a TV). You may have noticed some wireless providers are now offering free, unlimited Netflix?

"And what do social networks have to do with anything about NN?"

The question we're discussing is -- which is a better threat to dominate the Internet nationally and globally? Facebook or Comcast? My claim is that the threat posed by Comcast pales before that of Facebook (an NN supporter). NN advocates worried about a free, open internet and focusing on ISPs is silly.

"And they could absolutely could switch individually. There’s nothing locking them into Facebook other than inertia."

Yes, they could switch. And have nobody to talk to. That's an absurd argument.

"How do you think MySpace and Friendster lost customers? Were they locked in too?"

Nope. There's a big difference between the early days of social networking and now. Lock-in effects come after a big player has achieved domination over all its competition (as Facebook obviously has).

"*YOU* might be able to do that, but there are lots of people who can’t switch"

There really aren't. Even where there's no DSL option, satellite internet is available.

"What if both of them decided to block Facebook (or whatever else you use) entirely?"

Then, of course, they'd lose customers in droves (and also likely run afoul of other existing FCC and FTC regs). Somehow that disaster scenario was avoided during the entire history of the Internet outside the 2015-7 years that NN was in effect. Why, in your view, did that never happen during the 15-20 years before 2015? Was Comcast warmer and cuddlier then?

"You CANNOT BE STUCK in a free content delivery network (unless that network is owned and operated by an ISP). A competitor to Facebook can startup next week and thrive it provided a compelling reason to switch."

That's as likely as a successful new competitor next week for Windows as a desktop operating system or iOS and Android as smartphone OSs--something that is vanishingly unlikely. But why am I arguing with somebody who things path-dependency/network-effects/lock-in aren't real things?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network_effect

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Major players like Facebook and Google are investing more and more in submarine cable systems (a pretty substantial form of network infrastructure).

Yes, for their private content delivery networks. They do not sell access to individual customers wanting to surf the web. They do this because that's their entire business. Well, Google does lots of different things, but are primarily content providers (they have consumer networks in a couple of cities).

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I wonder why this obsession with a mediocre children's movie? Star Wars has been artistically dead since ESB and for the last 37 years they have been only making mediocre cash-in sequels to milk up the franchise. I guess the lack of organized religion in American life lead to the cult of Star Wars as being a substitute since its not rational to talk so much about it.

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