Archive for April, 2014

Does Net Neutrality need Usage Based Billing?

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

It may not be surprising that many of those shocked by recent news reports of a threat to 'Net Neutrality' are the same ones who object most strongly to 'Usage Based Billing', but it is nonetheless a bit odd. After all, if people paid for internet service on the basis of how much of it […]

Are Climate Claims for Burning Renewable Trees a Smokescreen?

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

This article (series) in The Tyee brings up, and actually slightly confounds, two important questions. One is the issue of carbon "credits" in advance of the sequestration that they are purported to buy. This points up what to me has always been the second and fatal flaw in the whole carbon credit business which is […]

Militant Ideology

Friday, April 25th, 2014

Ahmed Humayun at 3quarksdaily writes of The Shadow of Militant Ideology over Islam. He thinks that "it is clear that the greatest danger of militant ideology is posed to Muslims living in Muslim majority societies", but although that may well be true of specifically Muslim kinds of militancy I think it is a mistake to […]

Karl Polanyi Explains It All

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

Interesting observation from someone who wrote in 1944 Contrary to libertarian economists from Adam Smith to Hayek, Polanyi argued, there was nothing “natural” about the free market. Primitive economies were built on social obligations. Modern commercial society depended on “deliberate State action” by and for elites. “Laissez-faire” he writes, savoring the oxymoron, “was planned.” via […]

Don't Call Me Mama

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

Radia Perlman is another woman with a major place in the history of computing - whose spanning tree algorithm greatly facilitated the creation of the internet. This interview with Rebecca J. Rosen in 'The Atlantic' includes a number of interesting points, but what strikes home the most for me is at the end where she […]

'Parts of Speech' are Mutable

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

Why?

ThinkProgress Supports the Brandeis LIE

Saturday, April 12th, 2014

Progressive media are generally approving and maybe even right that it's not a question of censorship. But Ophelia Benson is right about the offensive and dishonest wording of the Brandeis announcement. Ayaan Hirsi Ali's courage in the face of unspeakable abuse and her resolution to protect others from the same thing may be marred by […]

On Keeping One's Head Down

Saturday, April 5th, 2014

While the predictable reaction to Brendan Eich's appointment as CEO at Mozilla does make one wonder why they made it, it also raises the question of whether either that reaction or the response was appropriate. One could argue that publicly taking any potentially unpopular political position should be considered as disqualification from any future CEOship […]