Is Internet Access About To Change?

Last week I wrote about concerns Internet providers might some day change the unfettered access we currently have. You can understand their worry about providing me a workaround to services they’d like me to buy from them, like local telephone and pay-per-view video.

In the past Helaine and I bought Major League Baseball’s web package. It’s delivered by Comcast on my high speed Internet connection and competes with Comcast’s own video-on-demand service. Comcast is the passive carrier and gets nothing from this sale. My gain is Comcast’s loss – literally.

If you read this article from the Washington Post you can hear toes being stuck in the water. Bell South wants this to change. I’m sure they’re not alone.

Of course it makes sense for providers to try and monetize their service. But my selfish concern is me, not them. I want to be able to decide what I want, when I want it, and then get it with all the speed I’ve paid for.

Unless my ISP is currently holding back (and I don’t think it is), the only way to make some services faster is to throttle back the non-favored while allowing the others free access.

This is a very complex issue, as cable and phone companies watch their core businesses get cannabilized by ‘fat pipes’ they themselves provide!

You haven’t heard the last of this. The fact that it’s in the Washington Post as a news and not tech story, written by a staff writer, says it’s already on the mainstream radar.

Blogger’s note: I own a very small amount of Comcast stock as part of my retirement plan.

Happy New Year Dick Clark

It’s a family tradition that we don’t go out on New Year’s Eve. There are a few really simple reasons for this. First, I usually work. Second, we don’t drink.

Years ago, the last time we really went out for New Year’s, a drunk guy started making a pass at my wife. In fact (though we laugh about it now) we almost broke up on our first pre-marriage New Year’s Eve together.

This year, we stayed home with Steffie and watched some of the goings on in Times Square. Helaine said she wasn’t, but I was very worried that some masterstroke terrorist act would take place in Times Square while the World watched.

Though we moved back and forth between Fox, MTV and ABC, we mostly stayed with ABC. Sure, I work for an affiliate, but there is also a tradition with Dick Clark. Again this year, for at least the second year in a row, Dick was inside a warm studio above Times Square. I’m sorry. He needs to be outside. And last night, the weather wasn’t all that bad.

I was also upset at the use of Steve Doocey – who represents Fox News Channel’s morning show – as ‘talent.’ This is not to say Steve isn’t good… he is. But, this is another case of cutting your nose to spite your face. Why would ABC want to shine such a bright spotlight on someone who is trying to eat their lunch? Doesn’t anyone in the company realize that using talent from other networks is the equivalent of dumping the Disneyland live shots for Six Flags or Universal?

There was a pretty tough article on Dick Clark in Newsday recently. I’ve attached it to this link.

Maybe because I knew most of this before, or maybe just because it’s becoming more obvious now, I have trouble finding Dick warm and likable. His interaction with others, especially on ‘tosses’ from live shots, or look live taped pieces, is forced and a little too staged.

On the other hand, I’m not ready to cede New Year’s Eve to Ryan Seacrest or the stable of hosts on MTV (none of whom stick out in my mind).

Happy 2004

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