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Old 01-18-2010, 08:16 AM   #1
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Default The Internets

A pretty interesting article on the Internet from 35 years ago:

On an NBC News broadcast in 1975, correspondent Ford Rowan reported on a "whole new technology that not many people know about." The technology, Rowan said, was government funded, and its widespread use had the ominous potential for Orwellian consequences as predicted in the book, "1984."

The technology Rowan talked about was ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network), a research program developed in 1969 that created the technical infrastructure that eventually became the Internet. Viewers were warned that citizens’ private data could be sent via phone line from one government computer to another. In other words, Big Brother was in the making.

Before Rowan’s report, there was little television reporting on the early development of the Internet. Now, more than 40 years after the creation of ARPANET, the Internet has dramatically transformed the news and information landscape. The instantaneous availability of the Internet — and its social networking progeny — means news consumers can find almost anything, anytime, anywhere, free of charge.

These days, the big debate surrounding the Internet isn’t about privacy or secrecy but about whether content should remain open, equal, unregulated and for the most part, free. The new buzzword in this debate is "net neutrality," whose supporters — Google, Yahoo! and other content providers — are pitted against AT&T, Verizon and other broadband providers who argue that free access is simply freeloading.
The telecoms claim that growing digital content is straining already taxed networks. They want to impose new fees for a new tiered system that would ensure nonstop and quick content delivery for those who can afford it.

But content providers see Orwellian red flags in the tiered system, with consequences closer to "Animal Farm" than "1984." They fear those who can’t afford the fees would essentially be shut out of the process, resulting in an Internet that’s not accessible to all.
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Old 01-18-2010, 08:21 AM   #2
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Well, if people can't afford vacations in the Bahamas they are shut out too. Is everything now a "right" that has to be provided "free"? I didn't know that the internet was a "right" now.

You can go to the library and go on the internet. you can borrow books there too. There are lots of solutions for losers.
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Old 01-18-2010, 08:28 AM   #3
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I thought Al Gore created the internet. *confused*
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Old 01-18-2010, 08:32 AM   #4
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Well, those '70s folks got it all wrong, didn't they? The greatest impact of the Internet from the standpoint of liberty was its effect on breaking the old-media monopoly over reporting and commentary. Before, when you knew the media was lying about something, who did you tell? Now bloggers can expose the truth to everyone in seconds. If the old media didn't want to run a story, they sat on it. Now the pajamas media tells it. Big Brother isn't watching us, we're watching him.

The question of paying for content is dicey. TANSTAAFL. I'd like to see it remain as-is, but I don't buy the "those who can’t afford the fees would essentially be shut out of the process, resulting in an Internet that’s not accessible to all" argument. Life is full of things that aren't accessible to all. That's life. Tough. I'd bet that the majority of people who couldn't afford it just Facebook and YouTube anyway.
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