Why Should You Care About Net Neutrality?

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What is Net Neutrality? 

I'm sure you've been seeing a lot of articles & debate lately on the subject - but do you really know what it is? What it means? 

Net Neutrality is the basic principle that all internet traffic should be treated equally. Internet service providers must treat all internet data the same & must not discriminate or charge differently based on the content, platform or website the data is coming from. Under Net Neutrality ISP's are unable to intentionally block, throttle or charge money for specific content. 

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Soooo how did Net Neutrality originally come about? Well, ISP's were doing shady things they weren't supposed to be doing - for example, throttling content from Netflix because it used a larger amount of bandwidth, AT&T was blocking some users from accessing FaceTime unless they purchased a certain data package (this list could go on & on). (This struggle between users, ISP's & .com companies has been going on since the 90's). I'm going to try not to bore you with all of the "political blah blah blah" - Basically, there was a debate to re-classify internet service from one of information (a public good) to one of telecommunication (a public service). President Barack Obama stepped forward in 2014 in support of this re-classification & in 2015 the FCC published it's final rule - legally protecting Net Neutrality. 

So why should you care? Why should it matter if we have gone all of this time without Net Neutrality & everything seemed fine? 

Net Neutrality preserves your right to communicate freely online. 

Have you ever researched into countries that don't have Net Neutrality? Portugal is the example being used all over the internet, so let's go with Portugal as our example. In Portugal, users of the internet not only pay for the internet service / data itself but all services you want to use are sold in bundles that also cost extra. Social media, messaging, music & video are all sold as separate bundles - causing a huge sky rocket in the price that you pay each month to have access to content. Pay the fees or go without. 

meo internet net neutrality portugal

It also restricts competition by charging fees - who is going to pay to access an up & coming app service when you're already paying for the ones you know & love? (i.e. Netflix / Facebook, etc.) Start up companies can't & won't prevail in that scenario & we're left with monopolies & low innovation. Now this isn't to say that as soon as Net Neutrality were rolled back ISP's would just immediately start throttling all of our favorite services & changing their prices - but those are changes that take place slowly over time. They are rolled out slowly enough that by the time they're implemented it's a decade down the road & you've forgotten what it's like to live in a world with a completely free internet. 

It's not that these practices WILL happen, it's that they have the potential to happen. 

Comcast is a big supporter of repealing Net Neutrality laws. They keep "crossing their hearts & hoping to die" that they won't do any of these naughty practices currently outlawed by the FCC. Why would they want Net Neutrality repealed, if they're making all of these promises not do the very things it outlaws? I don't know about you - but to me that makes ZERO sense. Not to mention they've been caught throttling data in the past. C'mon Comcast, WE SEE YOU

Some people will argue that we're all being a bit too dramatic when it comes to this topic - that those types of internet practices won't happen because public blow-back will be too fierce & it will scare ISP's into being good. Or that intentionally blocking your competitors is in violation of anti-trust laws & will cause the market to regulate itself. None of this means that ISP's won't try or lobby for more legislation in support of throttling the content you currently have access to. 

We have laws protecting the land in our national parks - if we didn't have laws protecting that land, do you think that oil companies would just promise to be good & keep their grubby drills off of the property? I think not . . . 

I know that this issue has been pretty heated lately. I'm sure that I've missed something, so feel free to comment if I've left something important out - or if you have anything to add I'm happy to hear opinions on both sides. 

Voting for / against the repeal takes place on December 14th! 

P.S. who will even read my shitty blog if no one has access to it??? 

Here are some links if you'd like to read more about Net Neutrality: 

- Net Neutrality (Wikipedia)
- Net Neutrality In The United States (Wikipedia)
- Net Neutrality: What You Need To Know Now 
- Net Neutrality: Why Should You Care? 
- Battle For The Net 
- If You Want To See What America Would Be Like Without Net Neutrality, Let's Look At Portugal
- Why Concerns About Net Neutrality Are Overblown 
- Am I The Only Techie Against Net Neutrality? 
- What Everyone Gets Wrong In The Debate About Net Neutrality
- Some Professors Caution Against Net Neutrality Rule Change
- FCC Makes Tone Deaf Appeal to Destroy Net Neutrality & Possibly The Internet 

- C

Favorites: July / August 2017

Excuse my recent lack of inspiration . . . I've had creative block for months now.

The Sims 4 - Oh boy! I haven't played this game since I was probably 15 or 16. I recently downloaded this & I've been playing it off & on for about a week now. If you're looking for a really excellent waste of time, this is a great one. The graphics are great, Simlish is entertaining & I love the music. I downloaded mine from the official website & it was only $40, so it's kind of steal. 

Gilmore Girls - I'm not sure why I'm even mentioning this, as it's always a favorite & I've already talked about it once. If you haven't watched this show have you been living under a rock??? I'm really slow at watching shows - so I am now finally on Season 5. I never thought that I would be a "Team Logan" but I am a convert! In Omnia Paratus, my friends! I think I just needed to inform everyone of where my loyalties lie, #TeamLogan.

Essential Oil Diffuser - These have gotten SO popular recently & I finally jumped on the bandwagon. I love this one - it was inexpensive but it works really well & it's pretty small so it doesn't take up a ton of space. The one that I have is by Radha Beauty & I got it on Amazon (you know, where I get literally everything). I also got a "starter kit" of essential oils but I stick mainly to Peppermint & Eucalyptus. I keep this on my desk & I run it when I'm studying. If I had a nightstand I would have a second one there (someday!). 

Tarte "Lifted" Mascara - This mascara took me by surprise! I got this in a gift set with some other items from Tarte & I hadn't read the greatest reviews about it. I don't particularly like to spend a ton of money on mascara when there are so many good drugstore options but I might have to keep this one around. It only comes in a brown-black shade (which to be honest I've never gone for) but it's so much more natural looking & less harsh than my usual blackest-black! I appreciate brown mascara so much more now! Even though it's more natural it still makes my lashes super full & lengthy & it doesn't smudge, smear or flake (all major mascara pet peeves). 

Maybelline Color Tattoo Eye Chrome - I love these! I wasn't a huge fan of the formula that comes in a pot - so I wasn't sure how I'd feel about these but they are fantastic! I have three shades but "Beige Luster" is my most used. It's a great neutral bronze-champagne shade that is great for all over the lid. Definitely a one-shadow & done type of product! Another reason I like this is the staying power - I work a lot of 12 hour + shifts & this shadow STAYS ON. It's a little magical because I have not yet found any other eye shadow that lasts that long without creasing or fading. Not to mention, it's super affordable! 

Cremo Creme - Lube for your legs! Literally! Game changer! Try this & you will never use regular shaving cream again! I'll preface this by saying that I don't buy regular shaving cream or use it, ever. It doesn't do anything special for my skin or help my shave. I also hate the cans because they are so big & clunky & they leave awful rust rings on the shelf in my shower. Cremo Creme is this really bizarre non-foaming substance that turns into instant lubrication the second it hits water. The razor glides almost like your legs are covered in oil (except they aren't). It rinses away cleanly & it really helps to get a closer shave. There are a couple of fragrances marketed towards women (I'm currently using Lavender) but the men's original is also really nice & has an orange-citrus scent. 

Clarisonic Deep Pore Facial Cleansing Brush Head - I recently needed to buy new brush heads for my favorite facial spin brush & I decided to give this guy a go. I was feeling a little adventurous I guess because I always buy the sensitive-skin brush heads. I don't have very sensitive skin but I find the normal brush heads to be just a little bit too abrasive. THESE ARE EVEN BETTER. I believe they are marketed towards oily skin & large pores but I have normal skin & it works just fine. I think these are even softer on the skin than the sensitive skin brush heads, so if you do have sensitive skin I wouldn't count these out. I also find that this brush head gives a better overall clean. 

Clarisonic Drying Stand - Honestly, it's an overpriced piece of name-brand curvy plastic. That doesn't stop me from loving it. I saw this in the store when I was buying my brush heads & I thought "What the heck?!" & threw it in my basket. I usually have my Clarisonic sitting on the shower rack in my shower when I'm done with it & it gets a lot of hard water build up / gunk on it. I think this brush stand is much more useful for drying & it seems to be decreasing the amount of build up - I'm not sure if it's because it's drying it more adequately. Maybe it's all in my head - either way, I recommend it.

Image result for manchester orchestra album cover Image result for john mayer the search for everything

My current music favorites are the new Manchester Orchestra album & some good ol' John Mayer. I went to Warped Tour in June (I saw sooo many bands but most notable were The Ataris, Emmure, After The Burial, The Acacia Strain, Carnifex, Gwar & Hatebreed). This past month I also saw John Mayer & Matchbox Twenty with Counting Crows. 

- C