My Friday Night

So I decided after a heavy work week that I was going to stay in last night in an effort to conserve energy and get Super Wasted on Saturday in celebration of St. Paddy’s day (really I couldn’t find a drinking buddy).

I spent most of the night in the fetal position, crying and listening to Dashboard Confessional but I did manage to read a couple of things on the interweb about one of my Favorite Subjects, “Net Neutrality”.

Here are a couple of short reads:

Internet Protocol Treaty a ‘National Security’ Secret

“…would criminalize peer-to-peer file sharing, subject iPods to border searches and allow internet service providers to monitor their customers’ communications.”

Web Snooping

“…it was the fact that users had no choice in the matter… people were snooping on their web activity whether they liked it or not.”

People got all up in arms about the Patriot Act’s illegal wiretapping going on’s, but I think more people should be cognizant of web snooping.  Allowing your Internet Service Provider to gather information about your web browsing/data transfer habits etc.

If you want to prosecute people for illegally file sharing you have to prove it and pretty much the only way to prove that (save actually finding illegally downloaded files on a persons physical computer)  is monitoring web/data activity.

Now this isn’t about Illegal File Sharing or not wanting Comcast to know I watch Animal Porn on a regular basis, it’s about spying on you, user of the internet.  If they can snoop on your file sharing they can snoop on your email and online banking etc.  Going back to the whole wiretapping thing, I’m going to hypothesize that people do a lot more or at least as much of their interaction with other people/institutions over the interweb as they do over the phone.  So why don’t we hear more about web snooping and net neutrality on the tv news?  Is it because the same companies that control access to the internet are in cahoots with the corporations that control the TV Networks.

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation (Fox), General Electric (NBC), Disney (ABC), Viacom/ Sumner Redstone (CBS)  and all their affiliates and subsidiaries have products and services that they would like to sell to you.  Knowing your browsing habits helps them effectively target these products and services for you.  They are already doing this on social networking sites like Facebook and Myspace, collecting information about you to display targeted advertising (you agreed to this in your terms of service).   While this may seem innocuous enough you have to ask what else they are doing.

MySpace: All your data belong to us
FACEBOOK: Federal Human Data Mining Program

I think the moral of the story is the internet is the last source of informational freedom in our country and I for one would like to keep it that way.

Once I figure out an effective way for you the Beerslugger audience to support Net neutrality I will post it here.

One Laptop Per Child

The OLPC Laptop
The OLPC Laptop

Ok, so I’ve been reading a little a bout this initiative One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) which apparently wants to send laptops to every kid in the world.  Now don’t mistake this article for me not wanting kids in other countries to get free laptops, that’s not what this is about. What it is about is where the fuck are these kids going to plug these laptops in.  I mean isn’t Sally Struthers on TV asking for money to feed these kids and provide clean water?  And this Organization wants to send them Laptops?  Wouldn’t the $200 for the laptop be better spent on that countries school system or something a little more beneficial?  What are the kids going to do for the internet, sit outside of the Nigerian Starbucks and steal the signal?

Am I just going a little overboard on how little I think these 3rd world countries are underdeveloped and impoverished?

I’m not even sure we could give every kid at poverty level in America one of these laptops.  And why the fuck aren’t we focusing on just America when we are falling behind so many other industialized countries in Math and Science?

Again, I’m not against giving kids laptops, I’m really not. But if you’re trying to foster and encourage education across the world pay more teachers and make smaller class sizes and all that jazz.  You give a kid a laptop without supervision and they’ll just end up playing solitare and going on Facebook, trust me, I have a laptop.

Note: I really didn’t go into the details of this cause, I’m sure it’s noble.  I just think of those commercials with flies buzzing around little malnourished kids with rags for clothes and saying, “I don’t think they can eat a laptop.”