FryUp: Just say no

TelstraClear on peering and a spammer in the slammer

I cahn say that! Just say no In the slammer, spammer

I cahn say that! They are the self-destructive enemies of mankind… they are the members of the Yahoo! Board. - Alex Scire: Human Doomsday Machine

- Neil Marshall’s Doomsday in Lego (yes I know, it’s missing a MACHINE, but never mind, the clip’s utterly brilliant.)

- Icahn calls Yahoo execs ‘self-destructive doomsday machines’

Just say no Sometimes, it’s very hard to work out what the people we interview actually mean. Take Raymond O’Brien, who is TelstraClear’s head of wholesale for instance. O’Brien was around when TelstraClear decided to pull up stumps and de-peer from the New Zealand Internet in 2004, causing in some cases national data to “trombone” to Australia and the US before coming back to the country – because there were no national routes for it. With Telecom announcing that it will resume peering (well, kind of) with other NZ providers, TelstraClear remains dubious as to the value of doing so. O’Brien says that the arguments in favour of resuming local peering revolve around issues of improved network latency and economic efficiency. But, to resume local peering means connecting to one another at each and every peering exchange in the country, O’Brien adds. Naturally enough, this would “create a lot of overhead, more charges” and even “difficulties such as defining where a person is when they connect to an ISP.” That’s no good then. Even so, O’Brien says “there may be a place for this [local peering]” and encourages customers and competitors to look at it. Why? - TelstraClear has no plans to join peering trial

In the slammer, spammer Jeremy Jaynes made headlines 2004, when he was sentenced to nine (9) years in prison for spamming AOL users. He was initially looking at fifteen years in the Big House, but the jury went with only nine. You’d think that would spell “REPENT!” but no: Jaynes is unrepentant. So much so that he’s trying to get the Virginia State anti-spam law struck out as violating the free speech provisions under the United States constitution. While some, like Brian “Spam Kings” McWilliams, argue that Jaynes’ sentence didn’t match the crime – and they have a technical point – it’s hard to feel any sympathy for the spammer, who pumped out millions of bestiality porn and scam messages indiscriminately. McWilliams wrote his “Free Jaynes” piece in 2005 and may have come to his senses since then. However, to say that Jaynes should go free because his sentence is comparable to ones handed out for violent crimes and that there were no reparations to those he scammed would simply set an unfortunate precedent that’d weaken the already feeble CAN-SPAM Act in the US. - Spam convict tries to overturn junk mail law. - UserFriendly’s Cartoon for April 10, 2005 - Brian McWilliams: Free Jeremy Jaynes

XKCD

Cartoon: www.xkcd.com

Robert X Cringely

Get ready for the (pørn) free Internet

It seems obvious now that Google is not going to save us from the rapacious clutches of the Phonecablopoly. After securing a safe haven for its Android operating system, the goo-goo-Googlers bowed out of the FCC's wireless spectrum auction, leaving big chunks of the analog TV band to Ma Bell's bastard offspring, Verizon and AT&T. Suddenly, like a knight in shining white satin, the FCC is threatening to swoop in and carry the day. It has floated a plan where the winner of the public auction for the 2155 MHz band would be required to provide free, wireless Net access over part of that spectrum.  This is not unprecedented. That's the model used to develop television, to cite one obvious example. Similar proposals for free wireless Net access have been floated in the past and rejected. But none of them came directly from the FCC. Naturally, there's a catch, and it's a doozy. This free wireless Internet would come without obscene or adult content. Carriers would be required to deliver the data bits without the naughty bits. Yes, the Internet without pørn. Kind of like bagels without cream cheese or Siegfried without Roy. Me, I'm perfectly sanguine with the idea of a mobile internet free from adult content (I also only read Playboy for the articles.) If I want to see somebody making the beast with two backs — or several beasts of different species — I know where to go. But I'm in the minority. The percentage of men who range the Net for pørn is about the same as men who lie about the size of their fiscal endowments — pretty much all of them. Surveys typically note that one third to two thirds of all male Net surfers (and a smaller but significant percentage of women) have visited adult websites, but those are just the folks honest enough to admit it. Ridding the Net of naughtiness is fraught with difficulty. There are really only two ways to do it, and they both suck. One is by using filtering software. While these apps have gotten more sophisticated over the years, they face an insurmountable problem: defining what is and isn't obscene. So they miss a lot of stuff some people would find offensive, while blocking other stuff that doesn't really deserve it. The second solution is actually worse. That's where people decide what subset of Net content goes up on the wireless band. And while humans can make more nuanced decisions than software, they quickly turn political. Who makes those decisions and what is their agenda? If you can block adult content, then surely you should block sites promoting hate speech and terrorism. And from there, well, the party's just getting good. Once you start censoring content, where do you stop? There are plenty of folks out there who'd be happy to rewrite the Constitution, starting with the First Amendment. They're not the ones I want delivering the internet.

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