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Big Brass Blog is a group blog founded in February of 2005 by Pam Spaulding of Pam's House Blend and Melissa McEwan of Shakesville (formerly Shakespeare's Sister). The mission of this collaborative effort is to stand as the premiere forum where strong, enduring voices of Progressivism provide what liberal politics has been missing: the unapologetic, unrelenting voice of liberalism in the darkness visited upon our world by Right-wing extremists, their ruinous policies, and their hypocritical beliefs.

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06 May 2010

FCC Third Way: Title II

by: Foiled Goil

The Bush years took us backwards in too many ways, especially with its deregulation regulationing. Yep, we sure misunderestimated him. On the Net Neutrality issue, we may be moving forward into more modern times:

FCC seeking to apply narrow rules to broadband
The head of the Federal Communications Commission is pledging to apply only narrow regulations to high-speed Internet access to ensure the agency has adequate authority to govern broadband providers without adopting heavy-handed rules.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said Thursday that the commission will seek to regulate broadband connections as a telecommunications service subject to "common carrier" obligations to treat all traffic equally. But it will refrain from imposing other burdensome obligations.

FCC to Restore Authority Over Net Neutrality, Broadband Service: Netroots Backlash Cited
The "third way" plan, designed to appease Net Neutrality advocates - while not completely enraging the phone and cable companies - is good in some areas, and bad in others.

It will enable the FCC to enact many important provisions of their celebrated National Broadband Plan, including Net Neutrality and modifying government subsidy of Internet services. However, the new plan explicitly states that the FCC will not try to advance policies that promote more competition and affordability. Genachowski will use a technical process called "forbearance" to strip some of the agency's authority.

This approach mirrors the major shortfall in the original broadband plan: it is conspicuously missing tough provisions that would foster competition in a nation where 97% of markets have two or less broadband providers. Lack of competition is the primary reason the US has fallen from 4th to 22nd globally in broadband speed and adoption in the past ten years.

FCC details plan to reassert authority over Internet
The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday detailed plans for its so-called "third way" to reclassify broadband service as a telecommunications service, which would help the agency reassert its authority for regulating the Internet, after it lost an important legal battle last month.

FCC says it has compromise on key broadband rules
The head of the Federal Communications Commission thinks he has come up with a way to salvage his ambitious national broadband plans without running into legal obstacles that have threatened to derail him.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said Thursday that his agency has crafted a compromise in how it regulates high-speed Internet access: It will apply only narrow rules to broadband companies. [snip]

So now Genachowski is seeking to redefine broadband as a telecommunications service subject to "common carrier" obligations to treat all traffic equally. Similar rules apply to other networks that serve the public, including roads, electrical grids and telephone lines. But Genachowski said he will refrain from imposing more burdensome mandates that also apply to traditional telecom companies. For instance he would avoid requiring the broadband companies to share their networks with competitors.

The proposal is intended to strike a balance that can satisfy both Internet service providers that oppose new regulations and public interest groups that are demanding greater consumer protections. FCC officials stressed that they intend to regulate only Internet connections, not the online services flowing through them.

The FCC will soon seek public comment on Genachowski's proposal. It would have to be approved by at least three of the FCC's five commissioners, and Genachowski is expected to have the support of his two fellow Democrats.

Several public interest groups and big Internet companies, including Google, Skype, eBay Inc. and Inc., praised the proposal. So did Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., who sits on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which oversees the FCC. "With this decision, the FCC will ensure that the agency remains the `cop on the beat,' protecting consumers and competition on the World Wide Web," Markey said.

But Republicans lined up against the plan.

Update: FCC plans 'third way' to address 'Comcast dilemma,' net neutrality
In regulator-speak, Genachowski's plan says that broadband transmission will be reclassified as a "Title II" service - a telecommunications service of the type subject to close oversight since the FCC was established in the 1930s. Under the Bush administration, the FCC declared broadband offerings to be "Title I" data service, subject to much looser regulation. Although the plan also promises to carefully limit the regulators' role - the buzzwords are "narrowly tailored" and "third way" - it has predictably been denounced as a "power grab." [snip]

He says that the new rules would apply only to "the transmission component of broadband access service," and that the FCC will formally promise stay away from rules "that are unnecessary and inappropriate for broadband access service."

In other words, Genachowski is trying to thread a needle. He wants to make plain to the public that regulators can and will enforce reasonable net-neutrality principals against network owners who want to manage the broadband Internet like a private toll road, potentially favoring some people's or companies' traffic over others' in ways that distort the market. At the same time, he wants to signal businesses and entrepreneurs that the FCC will stay away from needless interference in a technology that has been a tremendous engine for growth.

To that end, the Genachowski-led commission also plans to push forward with its visionary National Broadband Plan, which sees wired and wireless broadband networks as the railroad, highway, and telephone networks of the 21st century: essential public services - whoever owns and operates them - that don't just connect the country but that will provide a framework for robust economic growth in the decades ahead. (It's not clear yet whether today's framework will directly affect wireless carriers.)

We'll soon see how the network owners and open-Internet advocates respond.

Cry baby.

FCC statement on 'third way' for broadband

Chairman Julius Genachowski
Federal Communications Commission
May 6, 2010

They really are telecommunication service businesses, anyway.

Log off, now.

05 May 2010

FCC Prepares To Alter Course?

by: Foiled Goil

Will the FCC properly address the importance of net neutrality?

FCC on net neutrality: yes we can
What a difference a day makes. Earlier this week the net neutrality troops were wringing their hands at reports that the Federal Communications Commission planned to throw in the towel on the Open Internet—abandoning any effort to reclassify ISPs as common carriers, following a Federal court's overthrow of the agency's Order against Comcast.

But now it's all smiles in response to Wall Street Journal and Washington Post stories indicating that, quite the contrary, FCC Chair Julius Genachowski plans to take something like that route.

FCC Appears to Reverse Positions; Is Net Neutrality Assured?
First, I wrote about how net neutrality was hanging by a thread when a federal judge ruled that the FCC didn’t have the authority to demand that Comcast not throttle, or slow down, certain types of content. But I was hopeful that the FCC would reclassify internet services such that they can regulate the industry much the same way they do telephone service. Then earlier this week I wrote about how it seemed the FCC was going to shy away from that option and cave to the telecommunications lobby and leave the industry unregulated.

Chin up, digital rights activists! It appears the FCC is doing – gasp! – the right thing.

I know, I know, in this era of under-regulation (see: financial industry, oil industry, food industry, etc.) it appears the Obama administration has decided to regulate the ISPs who bring each and every one of us access to the Internet, which is quickly becoming society’s most important mode of communication.

The FCC needed only a simple majority to reclassify internet services and it appears the chairman, Julius Genachowski, has cast the decisive vote.

FCC to make move on net neutrality
While details of Thursday's announcement are scant, Genachowski's "third way approach" would seem [to] skirt some of the debate over reclassification -- the rule-making process that could allow the FCC to institute tough net neutrality rules and implement challenged sections of its National Broadband Plan, but would also prompt quick legal challenges from broadband providers and telecommunications companies.

FCC plans to slap Net neutrality regs on broadband
Net neutrality regulations are likely to be imposed on broadband providers after all.

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski plans to announce details of the plan on Thursday, a senior agency official said. The purpose is to circumvent a recent federal appeals court ruling saying the FCC had no legal authority to punish Comcast for throttling some BitTorrent transfers.

Stung by the recent unanimous ruling, Genachowski will outline a "third way" to implement Net neutrality regulations, the official said in a statement.

"The chairman will seek to restore the status quo as it existed prior to the court decision in order to fulfill the previously stated agenda of extending broadband to all Americans, protecting consumers, ensuring fair competition, and preserving a free and open Internet," the official said.

We'll see.

07 December 2009

Pssst! Your meter is telling on you!

by: Father Tyme

The time for fear is over. Time for action. We have two choices:

Go totally alternate energy: solar, hydro or wind powered or
Get the fuck out of this country.

Since most of us don’t have the cash to eliminate our connection to the electrical utilities, I suggest cashing in everything and heading...anywhere but America (preferably somewhere warm...but soon enough, everywhere will be warm.)

The next generation of appliances will have snoop built in. Yep! You betcha! With electrical utility companies soon to probably require replacement of your current electric meter with a new “Smart Grid Meter”, they will have the ability to monitor AND control these new appliances. And Barry is forking over 3 billion to get it started. Those of you in Maryland sold your souls for a hundred bucks. Try buying them back!

Now I know what you’re thinking. Can this "Smart Grid Meter" be used to invade our privacy? Heck no! Ok...maybe. Ummm? Yeah, you betcha!

With the new technology, they’ll be able to turn your appliances on or off if they are concerned that too much energy is being used. Of course, they say this is to help prevent rolling brownouts (instead of producing more power!)

But more startling than that is that they will be able to collect a phenomenal amount of data about how you live; what you do; when you do it and why they should control your life with something you are paying for. And that's what's really cool, that you will be paying to give out your private anyone the electrical companies want, and you'll love them for it!
But it doesn’t stop there. Data that will be as secure as current credit card information, marketing collections and of course, FISA. That data can be shared with appropriate third parties, meaning anyone who pays the electrical utility for it.

Information can be made available to any Mayberry Sheriff should they ask and have the necessary funds (which Barry will give them!)

There isn’t enough space to tell you all about this. Read the article(s)! Try not to break anything during or after reading. Then make plans to get off the grid (go totally alternate energy) or plan on a new residence somewhere…out there…before someone decides you can’t go.
Phuk this country.

Read the stories here at Epic. There are a number of links. Do yourself a favor. If you never believed that the previous and current administration were out to subvert everything the founding fathers built, these articles should convince you.

Here's a reason to kill the Energizer Bunny!
What will talking power meters say about you?

“…Would you sign up for a discount with your power company in exchange for surrendering control of your thermostat? What if it means that, one day, your auto insurance company will know that you regularly arrive home on weekends at 2:15 a.m., just after the bars close?”

There’s much more.
Excuse me while I puke.

· · · ·
01 April 2009

Death Is a Temporary Inconvenience

by: Dark Wraith

Yes, the online properties of Dark Wraith Publishing have returned. The MySQL databases are again as they were.

It's all good.

Except maybe for the usual suspects. That would include...

Well, never mind. May God bless them all. Or at the very least, may He stay out of the way.

The Dark Wraith should get back down to business.

21 January 2009

We've Been Invaded Again

by: Debra

Spambots should be fried and then shot. Then run over so their compadres know what their future looks like.
29 March 2008

Marijuana Is Deadly

by: Konagod

The New York Times was full of interesting stuff today.
Gang Fights in Prison Injure 22 and Kill One

That's right here in the lovely state of Texas. Something seems horribly wrong if you can't control gang activity IN a prison.
A federal prison in Texas erupted in violence early Friday when two gang-related fights broke out almost simultaneously in facing housing units. One inmate was killed, and 22 were injured, officials said.

It was the second outbreak of fighting in a federal lockup in Texas in three weeks.


The dead inmate was identified as Servando Rodríguez, 38, an illegal immigrant serving 54 months for marijuana and parole violations.

That's 4 1/2 years for marijuana and whatever the parole violations where. Probably marijuana-related. I guess he won't have to finish his sentence. Now there's an open bunk for the next marijuana conviction.

In other news, keep an eye on your automotive underbelly, especially if you drive a large SUV. Catalytic converters are becoming hot items in our new economic reality, thanks to trace amounts of platinum.
Inside the lobby of the New Windy City Mufflers and Brakes shop, Mr. Fernandez said he had heard a rumor that catalytic converters had suddenly become the rage on the black market here, but he did not believe it until his went missing on a well-lighted North Side street.

Theft of scrap metals like copper and aluminum has been common here and across the country for years, fueled by rising construction costs and the building boom in China. But now thieves have found an easy payday from the upper echelon of the periodic table. It seems there may not be an easier place to score some platinum than under the hood of a car.


People who may have thought their lives had nothing to do with the booming commodities market are finding out the hard way where their connection is — in their car’s exhaust system.

The catalytic converter is made with trace amounts of platinum, palladium and rhodium, which speed chemical reactions and help clean emissions at very high temperatures. Selling stolen converters to scrap yards or recyclers, a thief can net a couple of hundred dollars apiece.

None of this may matter in the long run though. When a giant particle accelerator near Geneva, Switzerland starts smashing protons this summer, some scientists fear the earth may be sucked into a black hole.
But Walter L. Wagner and Luis Sancho contend that scientists at the European Center for Nuclear Research, or CERN, have played down the chances that the collider could produce, among other horrors, a tiny black hole, which, they say, could eat the Earth. Or it could spit out something called a “strangelet” that would convert our planet to a shrunken dense dead lump of something called “strange matter.” Their suit also says CERN has failed to provide an environmental impact statement as required under the National Environmental Policy Act.

That would certainly take care of my daily frustrations: the lawn mower maintenance, the roof replacement, garden pests intent on destroying our tomato crop, and of course the credit card bills and other financial woes would get sucked into the hole along with everything else. And an early end to a nasty presidential campaign with no winners needed.

Fire this baby up!

In a worst case scenario, it wouldn't even be important that I give a photo credit to Valerio Mezzanotti for The New York Times. When we're all possibly getting a free ride to the other end of the universe, who cares?

Crossposted from konagod
16 February 2008

Impending, Temporary Service Interruption

by: Dark Wraith

UPDATE: It appears that preliminary steps in the migration are already underway this afternoon rather than late tonight. That means content seems to have vanished, including an article that was posted with a dateline of February 16. Bear with us, here; this looks to be a somewhat rougher ride than I was expecting.

Dark Wraith PublishingAt 11:00 p.m. EST on Saturday, February 16, online properties of Dark Wraith Publishing that are hosted by LivingDot will be unavailable during the move of The Dark Wraith Forums, Big Brass Blog, The UnCapitalist Journal, Dark Wraith Publishing Online Store, and the blogScream News Wire service from their original server, Molinard, to a new, larger, faster server called Chanel. This is being done because the Webhosting service found in its audit that Dark Wraith Publishing properties hosted by LivingDot are now in the Webhost's top 10 in terms of traffic. It should be noted that DWP Podcasting services and several Weblogs unknown to regulars here are not hosted by LivingDot, but are instead on a capacious server at 1&1 Webhosting, so aggregate traffic for the entirety of Dark Wraith Publishing is now even greater than that being experienced by LivingDot.

The outage may last through the night, but we expect The Dark Wraith Forums, Big Brass Blog, The UnCapitalist Journal, Dark Wraith Publishing Online Store, and the blogScream News Wire service to be back online by daybreak on Sunday, February 17.

The Dark Wraith thanks you for your support.
30 November 2007

Telecom Spying: Feds Must Release Records

by: Foiled Goil

Judge: Feds must release telecom records
An electronic privacy group challenging President Bush's domestic spying program scored a minor victory after a judge ordered the federal government to release information about lobbying efforts by telecommunications companies to protect them from prosecution.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation in January 2006 filed a class-action suit against AT&T Inc., accusing the company of illegally making communications on its networks available to the National Security Agency without warrants.

Congress is now considering changing the law to grant retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies that would protect them from such court challenges.
The EFF wants to know about "discussions, briefings or other exchanges" telecommunications companies and members of Congress have had recently with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence regarding changes to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, according to Tuesday's court order. U.S. District Judge Susan Illston said "all responsive, non-exempt documents" or anything required to be released under the Freedom of Information Act must be turned over by Dec. 10.

While EFF lawyer David Sobel acknowledged he's unsure what he'll learn from the documents, he said they should shed some light on why the companies believe they need protection.
The EFF suit against AT&T is just one of about two dozen suits against telecommunications companies over the wiretapping program. Those cases have been consolidated in San Francisco's federal appeals court.
FISA requires the government to obtain court approval before conducting electronic surveillance on U.S. soil, even if the target is a foreign citizen in a foreign country.
More from the Electronic Frontier Foundation:

EFF Wins Fast-Track Release of Telecom Lobbying Records

Judge Cancels Friday Hearing,
Orders Government to Comply by December 10
Late Tuesday, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) won the speedy release of telecom lobbying records from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI).

The agency was ordered to comply with a new December 10 deadline -- in time for the documents to play a role in the congressional debate over granting amnesty for telecommunications companies taking part in illegal electronic surveillance. The ruling by U.S. District Judge Susan Illston vacates a hearing on the matter previously scheduled for Friday.

"We are pleased Judge Illston recognized that time was running out for these documents to make a difference in the legislative debate. She agreed that the Administration is dragging its feet in making relevant information available and stressed that the public has a right to full disclosure before Congress acts on the pending telecom amnesty proposals," said EFF Senior Counsel David Sobel.
EFF sued for release of the documents after ODNI's slow response to EFF's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to disclose information about any telecom lobbying activity. In the meantime, debate in Congress heated up over proposed changes to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), including proposals aimed at letting telecoms off the hook for their role in warrantless spying on millions of ordinary Americans.

(For the full order from Judge Illston: click here.)
See "Spying on the Home Front"
This program examines just how far the government has gone with its surveillance program, and features EFF Legal Director Cindy Cohn discussing EFF's ongoing case against AT&T for its illegal collaboration with the NSA. AT&T whisleblower Mark Klein also tells his compelling story about his discovery of a "secret room" diverting AT&T network traffic to the NSA.
As Salon blogger Glenn Greenwald put it, the documentary "powerfully dramatizes the severity of privacy erosion at the hands of a federal government operating largely in the dark."

Check your local listings for times, or you can always watch the program on the Frontline website. Then tell lawmakers to stop the spying and to block amnesty for telecoms that broke the law.
EFF Releases Reports and Software to Spot Interference with Internet Traffic

Technology Rights Group Addresses the Comcast Controversy
In the wake of the detection and reporting of Comcast Corporation's controversial interference with Internet traffic, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has published a comprehensive account of Comcast's packet-forging activities and has released software and documentation instructing Internet users on how to test for packet forgery or other forms of interference by their own ISPs.
"Comcast is discriminating among different kinds of Internet traffic based on the protocols being used by its customers," said EFF Senior Intellectual Property Attorney Fred von Lohmann. "When confronted, Comcast has been evasive and misleading in its responses, so we decided to start gathering the facts ourselves."
"This recent interference by Comcast in their subscribers' Internet communications is a cause for grave concern," said EFF Staff Technologist Peter Eckersley. "It threatens the open Internet standards and architecture that have made the network such an engine of technical and economic innovation."

In addition to an account of the results of EFF's independent testing of Comcast's packet forging activities, EFF has also issued a detailed document and software to assist other networking experts in conducting their own testing.

"If ISPs won't give their customers accurate information about their Internet traffic controls, we have to detect and document them for ourselves," said EFF Staff Technologist Seth Schoen.

16 November 2007

Comcast Sued For Data Filtering

by: Foiled Goil

Comcast sued over Web interference

Associated Press:
A San Francisco Bay area subscriber to Comcast Corp.'s high-speed Internet service has sued the company, alleging it engages in unfair business practices by interfering with subscribers' file sharing.

Subscriber Jon Hart based his claims on the results of an investigation by the Associated Press published last month that showed Philadelphia-based Comcast actively interferes with attempts some high-speed Internet subscribers to share files online.

Hart's lead lawyer, Mark N. Todzo of San Francisco, said his client suspected before reading the AP report that Comcast was interfering with his Internet traffic.

"What the AP report did was just confirm to him that it wasn't just him who was suffering from the problem," Todzo said. "There was this confluence of events where everyone seemed to reach the same conclusion, which was that Comcast was engaging in this activity."
A coalition of consumer groups and legal scholars formally asked the Federal Communications Commission early this month to make Comcast stop interfering with file sharing. Two of the groups also asked the FCC to fine Comcast $195,000 for every affected subscriber.
Hart's lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Alameda County Superior Court, alleges Comcast misleads customers by promising "mind-blowing" speeds and "unfettered access" to the Internet in advertisements while hindering the use of certain applications such as peer-to-peer file sharing. It seeks unspecified money damages.

Todzo is seeking class action status for the lawsuit.

· · ·
01 November 2007

FCC Asked To Fine Comcast For Data Discrimination

by: Foiled Goil

Consumer groups ask FCC to fine Comcast

Associated Press:
A coalition of consumer groups and legal scholars on Thursday formally asked the Federal Communications Commission to stop Comcast Corp. from interfering with file sharing by its Internet subscribers.

Two of the groups are also asking the FCC to fine Comcast $195,000 for every affected subscriber.

The petitions will be the first real test of the FCC's stance on the so-called "Net Neutrality" issue. The agency has said that Internet service providers can't block customers from Web sites or from using Internet-based applications, but it has not had to enforce that policy, given the long-standing industry practice of treating all Internet traffic substantially equally.

That practice has started to fray. In tests spanning several states, The Associated Press found that Comcast hindered file sharing by subscribers who used BitTorrent, a popular file-sharing program. The findings, first reported Oct. 19, confirmed claims by users, who also noticed interference with other file-sharing applications.
Comcast previously denied that it was blocking file sharing, but acknowledged last week that it was "delaying" some of the traffic between computers that share files.
The petition asks the commission to immediately declare that Comcast is violating the FCC's policy. The co-signers are Consumer Federation of America; Consumers Union, the publisher of Consumer Reports; Media Access Project; and professors at the Internet practices of the Yale, Harvard and Stanford law schools.

Free Press and another group, Public Knowledge, are separately filing a formal complaint that asks the FCC to demand a "forfeiture" from Comcast of $195,000 per affected subscriber.

The number is based on the statutory maximum of $97,500 for a single continuing violation, doubled by what the groups see as deception on the company's part. Comcast kept its practice secret until publicized by the AP, saying that it couldn't divulge the inner workings of its network for security reasons. Its filtering technique also involves the company forging network messages so that they appear to come from subscriber and non-subscriber computers.
It's not clear how quickly the FCC would act on the filings.

"The FCC should be aggressively reviewing these cases because they go to ensuring the freedom and openness of the Internet which is so vital to our communications future and to our civic dialogue," FCC Commissioner Michael Copps said in a statement.

The FCC's policy statement, which says that consumers are allowed to run the Internet applications of their choice, makes an exception for "reasonable network management" by Internet service providers. Comcast appears to be counting on its filter falling under that exception.

· · · · ·
28 October 2007

Comcast Filtering Service

by: Foiled Goil

Comcast really does block BitTorrent traffic after all
CNet – October 19, 2007

Comcast to face lawsuits over BitTorrent filtering
CNet – October 23, 2007

Congressman to Comcast: Stop interfering with BitTorrent
CNet – October 25, 2007

Senators want probe on content blocking
AP – October 27, 2007:
Two Senators on Friday called for a congressional hearing to investigate reports that phone and cable companies are unfairly stifling communications over the Internet and on cell phones.

Sens. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., and Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, said the incidents involving several companies, including Comcast Corp., Verizon Wireless and AT&T Inc., have raised serious concerns over the companies' "power to discriminate against content."

They want the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee to investigate whether such incidents were based on legitimate business policies or unfair and anticompetitive practices and if more federal regulation is needed.

"The phone and cable companies have previously stated that they would never use their market power to operate as content gatekeepers and have called efforts to put rules in place to protect consumers 'a solution in search of a problem,'" they said in a letter to Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, the committee's chairman.
An Associated Press report on Oct. 19 detailed how Comcast Corp. was interfering with file sharing by some of its Internet subscribers. The AP found instances in some areas of the country where traffic was blocked or delayed significantly.

Comcast — the nation's No. 2 Internet provider — has acknowledged "delaying" some subscriber Internet data, but said the delays are temporary and intended to improve surfing for other users.

Verizon Wireless in late September denied a request by Naral Pro-Choice America, an abortion rights group, to use its mobile network for a sign-up text messaging program.

The company reversed course just a day later, calling it a mistake and an "isolated incident."

AT&T reportedly changed a service agreement that previously included language permitting the company to cancel accounts of Internet users who disparage the company.
The AT&T agreement can still be found here:
Failure to observe the guidelines set forth in this AUP may result in AT&T taking actions anywhere from a warning to a suspension of privileges or termination of your Service(s). When feasible, AT&T will provide you with advance notice of an AUP violation, via e-mail or otherwise, and demand that such violation be immediately corrected. AT&T reserves the right, however, to act immediately and without notice to suspend or terminate Service(s) in response to a court order or other legal requirement that certain conduct be stopped or when AT&T determines, in its sole discretion, that the conduct may (1) expose AT&T to sanctions, prosecution or civil action, (2) cause harm to or interfere with the integrity or normal operations of AT&T’s network(s) or facilities, (3) materially or repeatedly interfere with another person’s use of AT&T’s Service(s) or the Internet (4) damage or disparage the reputation of AT&T or its Service(s), or (5) otherwise present a risk of harm to AT&T or AT&T’s customers or their employees, officers, directors, agents, etc.

· · ·
20 October 2007

Comcast "Services" Customers

by: Foiled Goil

I thought I had a handle on the meaning of the word service: "The act of doing things for other people."

Then I heard terms like:

Internal Revenue Service
Postal Service
Telephone Service
Cable Service
Trash Pickup Service
Restaurant Service
Technical Support Service
Civil Service
Social Services
Selective Service
City Public Service
County Public Service
Customer Service
Service Station

After a lifetime of using these services I became confused about the word "service." What they did to me was not what I thought "service" meant.

Then, I overheard two farmers talking and one of them mentioned that he was having a bull over to "service" a few of his cows.


It all suddenly came into clear perspective.

Now I understand what all those "service" agencies are doing to us.

And, how Comcast decides what kind of "service" they will give you:

AP tests Comcast's file-sharing filter

To test claims by users that Comcast Corp. was blocking some forms of file-sharing traffic, The Associated Press went to the Bible.

An AP reporter attempted to download, using file-sharing program BitTorrent, a copy of the King James Bible from two computers in the Philadelphia and San Francisco areas, both of which were connected to the Internet through Comcast cable modems.

We picked the Bible for the test because it's not protected by copyright and the file is a convenient size.

In two out of three tries, the transfer was blocked. In the third, the transfer started only after a 10-minute delay. When we tried to upload files that were in demand by a wider number of BitTorrent users, those connections were also blocked.

Not all Comcast-connected computers appear to be affected, however. In a test with a third Comcast-connected computer in the Boston area, we were unable to test with the Bible, apparently due to an unrelated error. When we attempted to upload a more widely disseminated file, there was no evidence of blocking.
Further analysis of the transfer attempt from the Comcast-connected computer in the San Francisco area revealed that the failure was due to "reset" packets that the two computers received, carrying the return address of the other computer.

Those packets tell the receiving computer to stop communicating with the sender. However, the traffic analyzer software running on each computer showed that neither computer actually sent the packets. That means they originated somewhere in between, with faked return addresses.

In tests analyzing the traffic received by a computer on Time Warner Cable that was trying to download a file from a large "swarm" of BitTorrent users, more than half of the reset packets received carried the return addresses of Comcast subscribers, even though Comcast's 12.4 million residential customers make up only about 20 percent of U.S. broadband subscribers. It was the only U.S. Internet service provider whose subscribers consistently appeared to send reset packets (which are occasionally generated legitimately).

Comcast subscriber Robb Topolski, who discovered the blocking earlier this year and traced it to reset packets, pointed out that a Canadian company called Sandvine Inc. sells equipment that promises to save bandwidth for Internet service providers by managing and redirecting file-sharing traffic.

20 June 2007

It Just Roils the Bowel

by: Dark Wraith

What's My Blog Rated? From Mingle2 - Free Online Dating

Rating by Mingle2

30 May 2007

An Upcoming Republication

by: Dark Wraith

In my most recent article published here, "Remembering Shelby," I made reference to previous writings I had published on the subject that was at hand. Although I intended to provide a link to a major editorial I had published in the aftermath of two prior articles, I could not find the relevant post in the online archives of The Dark Wraith Forums. As it turns out, the article for which I was searching, entitled "Ultimate Responsibility and Eventual Retribution," and originally published at The Dark Wraith Forums on December 8, 2006, had been removed. At the time of that publication, the Webhost for The Dark Wraith Forums was Blogger, a division of Google. The apparent deletion was carried out without my knowledge or consent. Links to that article still appear as hits in certain search engine queries, but those links are apparently uniformly all to the article published just afterward. Even the so-called "cached" version of the article is actually the article published just afterward.

Although I have exhausted all means of which I know to locate this article in published form on the server or even in cache on the Internet, I shall not declare with absolute certainty that the article has been purposely and maliciously deleted; however, that appears very likely to be the case, and if so, it is the second instance of which I am aware of an article of mine having been removed when this Weblog was being hosted by Blogger. In the other instance, I quickly caught the deletion, which was executed simultaneously at both The Dark Wraith Forums and at Big Brass Blog, both of which were, at the time, published under Blogger. (The later article was published as an exclusive at The Dark Wraith Forums.) As a general rule, and especially after the first incident, the one I immediately caught, I keep a text-based copy of every article I write.

Of course, now that none of the Websites of Dark Wraith Publishing are in any way associated with any division of Google, I can publish without concern for potential problems arising from mysteriously disappearing articles.

Tonight, I am endeavoring to re-insert the original article somewhere close to its chronological place of original publication. Whether or not I am successful in that regard remains to be seen since the legacy archives of this Website are now, for all intents and purposes, static HTML pages that are difficult to alter without causing major disruption to their original appearance, which I have tried to retain. Whether or not I succeed in republishing the original piece, on Thursday, May 31, 2007, I shall publish an updated version of the original post, doing so to create, to the extent possible, a continuity in the chain of argument I began last year and continued in the article "Remembering Shelby."

For those who have been readers of my articles for some time, the next article I publish will look somewhat familiar, although I will have updated it somewhat. As fair warning, it was a rather strident piece, with sharply critical references not just to the United States, but also to one of our closest allies, a nation whose actions have made it not merely a worldwide symbol of repression, but also a frightful signpost pointing the way to our own future.

Were the Dark Wraith a conspiracy theorist, he would strongly suspect that the original of the upcoming article was deleted because of its brutally harsh references to that other country; but the Dark Wraith is certainly not—and never has been nor ever will be—a conspiracy theorist.

Crossposted from The Dark Wraith Forums

· ·
25 May 2007

Less Is More

by: Konagod

At our agency this week we had a big client coming in for our final pitch to lure their business. It's a big client. I won't say who, but they make lawn mowers. I own one and it's a piece of shit.

We got this email encouraging everyone to comb their hair and brush their teeth. Translation: dress up a bit.

So, we're wondering why do so many women come to work wearing LESS clothing than they normally do?

Are they thinking the executives of this company are males and are likely to be seduced by the voluptuous beauty of these scantily clad females?

Inquiring minds want to know. Now. Because had I known the truth, I might have just worn my usual pair of shorts in case one of those executives was gay and happened to like my scarred and chigger-bitten hairy legs.

You never know what might clinch a deal.


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