The Eclipse and the Internet’s Silent Scream of Change

Annie Dillard’s Total Eclipse http://www.wnyc.org/story/annie-dillards-total-eclipse/ via @WNYC @NewYorker

Listening to Annie Dillard reading her amazing piece of writing from an earlier essay in the New Yorker, made me realize how life and business (and the Internet) in many ways can be like a Solar Eclipse. You don’t see the darkness coming, the change, the disruption, the application that can change the way you live and connect to the world. You can predict it, like the Eclipse, but you can’t control your reaction to it or the forces that come from change.
“The second before the sun went out, we saw a wall of dark shadow come speeding at us. We no sooner saw it than it was upon us…We saw the wall of shadow coming and screamed when it hit.”
Even when we realize change is upon us, we scream, we rail against the new way. Nothing really prepares you for the moment it comes. In the way that Claude Debussy said, “Music is the space between the notes,” life is made up of the silence between the screams.  It’s our reactions to the hard times and the changes that determine our direction in business and life.
It’s something to think about personally and professionally not only what’s coming (change for sure) but how can we steel ourselves against the shadows be they external or internal or the impact of that change? How can we be our own Eclipse? How can we innovate and rise to meet the challenges the world (and the Internet) will throw our way and do better and be better than before and be a light against the darkness.

The FCC’s Net Neutrality Ruling and What It Means For You & Your Local ISP or Telecom

We’ve won! The FCC approved net neutrality, which means we can binge on Netflix until our eyes fall out of our sockets. As defined by Google, net neutrality is “the principle that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) should enable access to all content and applications regardless of the source, and without favoring or blocking particular products or websites.” According to the FCC ruling on February 26, 2015, under Title II of the Telecommunications Act, the FCC treats ISPs as public utilities. Therefore, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said that the policy ensures “that no one—whether government or corporate—should control free open access to the Internet.” As of now, the immediate future, the Internet is free and open to all of us, and we won’t be charged extra for streaming Netflix, Hulu, and so on. Read more

Net Neutrality Wins in 3-2 Vote

Net neutrality has sparked legitimate concerns among Americans. For example, will costs from Internet Service Providers (ISPs) skyrocket if this principle is not adhered to? Or most importantly, will we still be able to watch a 12-hour binge of Netflix for the one monthly price? Net neutrality is defined as “the principle that ISPs should enable access to all content and applications regardless of the source, and without favoring or blocking particular products or websites” (Google definition). This also includes the government enabling access to all content. However, as of late February, those in favor of net neutrality have won the war…so far.

On February 26, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved the policy known as net neutrality. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler announced that the policy ensures “that no one—whether government or corporate—should control free open access to the Internet.” This Open Internet Order requires ISPs to be neutral, instead of imposing restrictions and skyrocketing costs. For instance, with the aforementioned Netflix binge (hey, we all do it), if there was not net neutrality, your ISP could charge you extra for exceeding a monthly watching allowance. It would be similar to exceeding your phone minutes or data plan, and you would be charged for it. Most Americans are in favor of net neutrality to keep costs down, and the FCC approving this policy is a major step for consumers.

However, there are naysayers. Two Republicans, Michael O’Rielly and Ajut Pai, argue that government shouldn’t overstep its authority into commerce. Yet the FCC treats ISPs as carriers under Title II of the Telecommunications Act. Therefore, the FCC treats these carriers as public utilities. The Republicans’ other complaint? That the 300-plus-page document was not released to the public or openly debated. To receive more information and facts on net neutrality and its approval by the FCC, please read more in this piece by NPR.