Net Neutrality Threatened

Update: As reported by the BBC:

“US politicians have rejected attempts to enshrine the principle of net neutrality in legislation.”

Google themselves are asking for people to petition against a bill going through US courts:

In the next few days, the House of Representatives is going to vote on a bill that would fundamentally alter the Internet. That bill, and one that may come up for a key vote in the Senate in the next few weeks, would give the big phone and cable companies the power to pick and choose what you will be able to see and do on the Internet.

Today the Internet is an information highway where anybody – no matter how large or small, how traditional or unconventional – has equal access. But the phone and cable monopolies, who control almost all Internet access, want the power to choose who gets access to high-speed lanes and whose content gets seen first and fastest. They want to build a two-tiered system and block the on-ramps for those who can’t pay.

Hopefully, the proposal won’t go anywhere, but if it does it threatens to have wide reaching impacts including over this side of the pond.

If it does, then what sort of prices are going to be charged, and how will content be rated. Will individual sites have to lobby to be included in the high priority lanes, will they have to pay?
ISPs are already the winners on the ‘net, shouldn’t we be looking for ways to increase availability to remote users rather than limited those who are already limited?


Teaching Britishness

How about just bringing back some discipline?
Isn’t that what schools are actually lacking at the moment?
This must be a smoke-screen.

And to the Muslims wanting Islamic principles to be taught as well – Muslims account for only 3% of the UK population.
How about mentioning all the main (world-wide) faiths and the underlying principles?


Your Right To Die

Currently in the news is the debate in [tag]UK[/tag] government over a form of legal [tag]suicide[/tag].
Unsurprisingly this is being criticised as a “back door to [tag]euthanasia[/tag]”.

My issue however is the argument against being used by various parties.
They will start with a well reasoned, well vocalised argument, and then spoil it all by mentioning religion.
I hope that my friends and family will know well enough that I have no issue with [tag]religion[/tag] per se.
However, it cannot be used as part of any reasoning – there are too many assumptions that have to be made and, in my eyes, the argument is null and void.

Are there times when religious texts can be quoted as truly meaningful reason?


Kids These Days

I think I must be older than my age.

There have been a few incidents recently where [tag]kids[/tag] have showed a remarkable lack of [tag]respect[/tag].
Now I know I haven’t done anything which deserves awe, but I grew up treating all people as neutral until I had a reason otherwise.

  1. I was walking with my girlfriend to the shop and passed a group of kids at a cross-road. Naturally I didn’t want to get hit by traffic, and so I looked both ways. The kid who was standing in my eye-line, happens to live opposite us, and currently has his leg in plaster, decides that I was looking at him. Actually I was: I was going to nod hello to my neighbour.
    Of course(!), he asks me “what you lookin’ at?”. And when I’m taken aback by this, he says it again. And then throws stones when we’re out of ear shot.
  2. Next day we’re making the same journey, and a car is approaching us as we’re starting to cross the cross-road. I make a habit of looking at the driver (preferably making eye-contact) simply to make sure they’ve seen me, I also tend to look at the indicators. The driver is on his mobile and, presumably feeling guilty, winds the window down and tell me to “fuck off”.
  3. Tonight some kids who live in the house behind ours throw some squidgy fruit into our yard. Not knowing at that point where it came from I have a look out the window. The kids see me and duck (though not far enough). So, trying to work to ‘the rules’ I simply shut the curtains. Squidgy fruit turns into gravel and chips of mortar. The target is now the window.

What the hell do these kids get out of these situations?!
It simply wouldn’t have crossed my mind to act like that when “I were a lad”.
I struggle with this [tag]mentality[/tag]. Are they happy to be like this?
Is this just what happens in cities?

I don’t know if that is the reason, but my kids won’t be growing up in one.