NET NEUTRALITY BECOMES THE LAW OF THE LAND| ZDNET

Kindle and iPad

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted today to accept FCC chairman Tom Wheeler’s proposal that the Commission “use its Title II authority to implement and enforce open Internet protections.” Or, to put it in plain English, your ISP must provide equal broadband access to you or any site — Amazon, Netflix, etc. — without slowing down or speeding up sites for additional fees.

As expected, the vote to treat ISPs as common carriers passed by a party line vote of three Democrats over the two Republicans. Under this regulation, broadband Internet services will be governed by Title II of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended by the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Mobile broadband vendors, such as 4G providers AT&T, Sprint and Verizon Wireless will also be regulated as common carriers based on Title III of the Communications Act. It should also be noted that since Wheeler made his proposal, the FCC has redefined broadband as delivering at least 25-Megabits per second (Mbps).

The Republicans claimed that the FCC was over-reaching its authority by putting in a secret Obama plan for net neutrality. Wheeler dismissed this as nonsense in his final speech. He summed up, “This is the FCC using all the tools in our toolbox to protect innovators and consumers; to ban paid prioritization, the so-called fast lane. [This] will not divide the Internet into haves and have-nots.”

Source: www.zdnet.com

This is something which affects all of us. It appears we finally have a victory. Let’s hope this is the last we hear of it!

See on Scoop.itIn and About the News

OO-BLA-DI, OO-BLA-DA

No news is not good news. It’s just no news.

We are in a slow news period. It’s not as if nothing is going on. It’s just that nothing is going on in which anyone is especially interested.

2014’s elections were the usual vicious, contentious, nasty business. We used to get outraged, upset, furious about elections. Now, they come. They go. Everything changes, but nothing is different. This time, when the elections ended, it got quiet in a hurry. Bring on Christmas.

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The holidays came and went. All through February, the weather (pardon the pun) has been the hot topic. And who Prince Harry is (or isn’t) dating. “Deflategate” is being beaten to death on the sports networks, but is anyone listening? Do we care? As memories of the Super Bowl fade, spring training begins. Can the Sox pull themselves out of the tank? Is there hope for 2015? That’s the most interesting question on the news horizon.

We’ve had a lot of snow.

snow window poster february 2015

I’m sure a national calamity was predicted for this year, but I forget what it was. Rumors to the contrary notwithstanding, the sky isn’t falling, unless that’s really what all that white stuff is … the sky falling, I mean.

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So there are no fresh disasters. Whichever huge controversies were with us last year and the year before are still lurking, along with a few tired, sleazy scandals. It’s the same old, same old. Back to the everyday struggles of a tired population hoping things will get better and suspecting they won’t. A new year is rolling along. Oo-bla-di, oo-bla-da.

WHAT A GAME!

Brady-Brady-Brady

I’m sure that those who hate the Patriots will find a way to “prove” that they cheated. But really, if Seattle hadn’t made that bad play, we’d have lost. We were losing. Seattle, we couldn’t have done it without your help! You got a lot of ‘splainin’ to do when you get home!

As for Brady, it’s good to be the king.

ST. OLAF CHOIR RETURNING TO MECHANICS HALL ON FEB. 4

Anton and GarryIn 1972, Anton Armstrong’s pastor “kind of dragged me, not wanting to go” to a concert by the St. Olaf Choir at New York City’s Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

One problem was that Armstrong also had tickets for a show that night featuring the Moody Blues at Madison Square Garden. But it wasn’t a question of balance. His mother decided the matter. “My mother said ‘You need to go,’ ” Armstrong recalled. Namely, go to the concert by the choir of St. Olaf College from Northfield, Minn.

The decision has definitely had life-changing destiny attached to it. Not only did Armstrong end up going to St. Olaf College as a student and graduating with a bachelor of music degree in vocal performance, he is now celebrating his 25th year as conductor of the St. Olaf Choir..

Source: www.telegram.com

Garry’s illustrious younger brother, the renowned Dr. Anton Armstrong, will bring his world-famous choir to Mechanics Hall, in Worcester, Massachusetts this coming February 5th!

See on Scoop.itForty Two: Life and Other Important Things

SNOW IS FALLING, FALLING, FALLING

Embrace the Ick — Think of something that truly repulses you. Hold that thought until your skin squirms. Now, write a glowing puff piece about its amazing merits.


I guess it would depend on how you feel about blizzards. I love them. I do. The excitement, the crazed, hyper meteorologists practically foaming at the mouth with enthusiasm. They do truly live for storms and it’s contagious. Briefly, before I get into the actual dynamics of what is about to happen, I’m a child again. No school! For like, a week!

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Then, I remember I am not a kid. I’m a senior citizen trapped in the house until we can find someone to plow out our ski slope (aka, the driveway). It would make a pretty good bunny slope, actually and I have often thought of how we could earn a few bucks from it. Never quite worked out the details, but I haven’t stopped hoping.

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At nine in the morning …

When I went to sleep last night, the predictions for this area had gone down to just about 18 inches, but when I got up this morning, it was obvious we had exceeded the predictions.

At three in the afternoon …

Since it’s still snowing to beat the band and isn’t going to stop until sometime late tomorrow, we may actually get the prize for total accumulation, though for sheer ferocity and damage, Cape Cod, Cape Ann, Hull, Scituate, and other places on the edge of the Atlantic are getting thoroughly trounced.

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So, enjoy the pictures. If you are in New England or New York, you probably have your own pictures. It’s hard to argue with the beauty of a major snow event. Snow is elegant. It produces naturally monochromatic images that can be quite breathtaking. I couldn’t get more than a couple of feet from any door and some of the doors proved nearly impossible to open, what with the snow piled up against it.

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All of these pictures are taken from our deck, out one of the windows, or from the bottom of the driveway. There’s nowhere else to go. Owen and Garry did some digging in the front yard so the dogs could get out, but even our snow-loving Australian Shepherd seems to think a nice, indoor nap is a better idea. I’m with him.

I’ll make pasta sauce later. The smell of the sauce should make us all feel cozy and warm. Meanwhile, the snow is falling, falling, falling.

BLIZZARD!!

Living in New England, in the heart of winter, there’s nothing unusual about a storm on the way. Apparently what’s unusual about this one is its magnitude. It’s supposed to be really big. How big?

blizzard 2015 map

Huge. Stretching up and down the entire coast and way out to sea. That is, until it comes ashore, something it is in the process of doing right now. They have cancelled school throughout New England for the next three days. Children are rejoicing throughout the region, but their parents are not quite as thrilled.

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The threat of hurricane force winds combined with massive snow accumulations makes most adults anxious. Or worse. It doesn’t matter how well prepared you are. Past a certain point, it’s not up to you. What will be, will be and you’ll just have to ride it out.

power outage warnings

I don’t remember so many super storms in the past. They happened, it’s true, but not storms the size of a continent. Not storm that affected most of the country at the same time. You can be as deep in denial as you like, but our weather has gotten weird, wild, and a bit frightening. We can argue as much as we like about whose fault it is, but it’s hard to ignore the evidence.

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It is snowing as I write this. Not as hard as it probably will later in the evening, but the roads are already slippery. It’s the layer on top of the layer that was left from a few days ago. That’s the way it goes here. Each snow becomes the ice layer under the next until eventually, the pavement is a distant memory.

Assuming I can get one of the doors open tomorrow, I’ll take some pictures. Very white pictures. I’m sure they will be beautiful.

LIFE HAPPENS

I have a project which is going to suck up a lot of my life for the next 5 or 6 weeks. It’s not a bad thing. It’s actually a cool thing, but if I tell you what it is, I will have to kill you. Or me.

So, there’s a strong probability I won’t be able to post as often as I have been. I’ll try to continue to post something every day — even if it is short . I’ll grab whatever time I can.

top secret

I am bowing to reality. Conceding I can’t do everything. Some things can’t be hurried and this is one of those things. Since something’s gotta give, I’d rather it not be me. I have a project with a deadline. A lot to do and it will chew up my days.

I can’t tell you what it is. I apologize for being mysterious, but I’m not allowed. You are free to use your imagination in trying to figure out what I’m doing. Whatever you think, the reality is mundane, unromantic, not at all bizarre. But fun.

Hint: It does not involve the government, espionage,  or extraterrestrials.

Hint 2: I am not writing a book.

Hint 3: There’s (almost) no writing involved. No photography at all.

Hint 4: I’m not getting paid for it.

If by some remote chance, you actually figure out what I’m doing, I’ll email you directly to congratulate you. But you won’t guess.

Even after I’m done, I won’t be able to tell you more than I’m finished with the project. Until next year.