No Net Neutrality? How About The Open Internet Instead?

In the middle of yet another Net Neutrality crisis, I find myself wondering yet again if there isn't a way to just take our ball and go home. So to speak. We, in the open source community, have been great at spinning off new tech in order to build doors in the walls that others erect to keep us out. Why, I wonder, can't we do that with the Internet. There is a network of hundreds of millions of wireless routers out there, all of which could be used to launch the next generation Internet. Without cables. Without the big …

The Old Woman. Work, Contribution, and Value.

There was a time when somebody might have observed that a stay at home mom didn't work. As a stay at home dad, I have first hand experience regarding with this concept. You do a lot, but you don't get paid for it. It's the job that's not really a job. That's not what this is about. I mention moms, and dads, because that's one place where work isn't valued, at least not financially. Most people will, sometimes grudgingly, accept that the work does, however, have a value you need to measure differently. You're still contributing. You're still working. To …

Turing Test Failure

Yesterday, I had a weird Turing moment.  As background to this post, I should tell you that I was listening to a podcast on robots and artificial intelligence where Sam Harris was chatting with Kate Darling. Had I not been listening to this, I might have forgotten about my Turing moment. Here's what happened. Yesterday, I received a call from a telephone solicitor, trying to sell me some emergency service for my furnace, insinuating as they spoke, but they were some safety issues that needed to be addressed. At first I was confused by what he was saying, despite being …

The Death of Capitalism

I've been listening to a fascinating discussion regarding the death of capitalism on CBC's "Ideas" program. I'm only about half way through it, but the subject matter is important and somewhat unsettling. Here's a quote from where I've paused in my podcast app. "Democracy was always a problem in a capitalist society. There's an enormous inherent tension between the two. Democracy is inherently egalitarian because every citizen has one vote. And the rich also have one vote but the rich are only five percent. Whereas in the market, every dollar has a vote. And the capitalist economy in particular functions …

“My God Is better than your God” is going to get us all killed.

"My God is better than your God" is going to get us all killed. Surely, if there is a God, and his primary desire is that we are good people who lead good lives, then surely he does not require us to go through these mindless repetitive rituals, fawning over him like an insecure child. If there is a God, then surely he's not so petty that he's constantly worrying about whether Boris, or Ahmed, or Joe are praying in precisely the right manner, or whether Ayan or Naomi or Marsha are having sex in precisely the right way. If …

Anonymous Trolls on the Rick Mercer Report

The right to post anonymously is a contentious one, made that much more difficult by the low-life scum whose entire purpose it to sow discord. They are a pox on the Internet and they are, as Rick Mercer rightly points out, ruining it for the rest of us. However, I can understand, and appreciate, that for some people, posting anonymously can be a matter of life and death. That fact makes RIck's rant on the Rick Mercer Report (scroll down for the video) more complicated than it might otherwise be. I do tend to believe that people should be accountable …

Internet Speeds, Real vs Advertised

This is a story about Internet speed, real vs advertised. After I dropped the kids off at school this morning, I listened to a CBC Spark podcast. On that podcast, Nora (the host) spoke to a gentleman from CIRA, the Canadian domain organization responsible for the .ca domains. He spoke of a new speed test designed to provide _real world_ statistics regarding Internet performance. If you're curious, I'll provide the link shortly. When I returned home, I decided to give it a try. Using the CIRA speed test, I found that I had upload speeds of 20 Mbps from here …

Anthropomorphizing Spirit

This morning,  I  was telling Sally about an xkcd cartoon where the Spirit rover is doing its  work on Mars,  counting down the days until its mission is over. The rover is seen thinking about the day when it can come home, then starts to question what it did wrong as the days and months pass. Eventually, humans return to Mars, long after Spirit had “died”. In the final panel, there’s a domed city on Mars, and Spirit is in the middle of a park dedicated to the little robot. As I told her this, Sally was making fun of …