Tales of the Sausage Factory

Doing Kojo Nnamdi Show This Tuesday — and other opportunities to see me.

For those interested, I’ll be appearing on the Kojo Nnamdi Show on Tuesday, January 26 (tomorrow). I’ll be on for a discussion of the future of cable with Greg Sandoval and Derek Thompson. Should be fun and interesting, as I hope to talk about things like our set-top box petition, the SOC Waiver, and how all this ties in with TV Everywhere, overt-the-top video, Comcast/NBCU, and the general “cable digital transition” as more systems convert to all-digital. Should be fun — if you are the sort of person who reads this blog.

UPDATE: You can listen to the Kojo show here.

As long as I’m doing the self-promotion thing, I’ll mention three other events where I’ll be speaking.

February 16: The Administrative Law Review event on Regulatory Change Under The Obama Administration at the Washington College of Law at American University.

March 15: Law Seminars International Telecom Conference in Seattle.

June 10: Pike & Fisher’s Broadband Policy Summit VI, where I shall square off against the ever popular Scott Cleland on everyone’s favorite topic “Who are the Internet Gatekeepers and Should They Be Regulated?” [I know, big suspense on which of us will say “Google” an which of us will go on about ISPs, switching costs, and all that other stuff.]

Stay tuned . . . .

Posted in General, Tales of the Sausage Factory | Also tagged , , | 4 Comments (Comments closed)

Tales of the Sausage Factory

Scott Cleland Needs To Work Harder On Ad Hominems. Or, better yet, skip them entirely.

I happen to like Scott Cleland as a person, and I recognize he’s got job to do, but certain kinds of ad hominem attacks are just lazy — and stupid. I’m referring here to Cleland’s to attempts at “gotcha” posts in recent days. One directed against my employer Public Knowledge, the other directed against fellow traveler Free Press.

First, in the flap over Google Voice and blocking, Cleland accused PK of having a double standard — demanding AT&T not use “self-help” on blocking traffic stimulator sites while turning a blind eye to GV doing the same thing. I can understand Scott missing my quote the week earlier in Communications Daily condemning the practice (and suggesting that if they claim the right to block calls then networks can refuse to complete GV originating calls), Communications Daily is a paid subscription and not available online. But how did Cleland miss my initial post on the subject in which I said the FCC should investigate if Google really were blocking calls? (I’ll cut Cleland slack for not predicting my subsequent upping the urgency when Speakeasy’s decision to block these sites indicated that more VOIP providers are going to push this route.)

Now, Cleland has gone after Free Press by claiming that FP does not disclose its funders. As FP puts its annual reports and 990s online, this is a pretty stupid claim. Mind you, while I approve of disclosure, I’m always a big fan for answering substance. I get equally annoyed at my colleagues for acting as if the fact that someone once worked for a telco or takes money from some industry source automatically discredits them without looking at the merits of the argument. But claiming folks are hiding something when they put the information in a fairly accessible place on their webpage is just silly.

I anticipate that the response from Scott (and, inevitably, Brett — whose customers must be used to long ques for service given how much time he spends commenting on my blogs) will boil down to “well, under my definition of what I say your argument is, you are really hypocrite.” Happily, having now raised child up to age 11, and having grown up on Usenet in the 1980’s, I am familiar with this invitation to a meaningless debate whose purpose is to allow the other side to declare victory by continually redefining terms and reserving the right to be the ultimate judge of my conduct. I decline. Likewise, I decline the inevitable “Hah, your declining just proves I am right — you lying hypocrite loser” (I swear I can just write a Brett-bot. Heck, I would think he was a bot if I hadn’t met him). The beauty of the internet is that folks are free to draw their own conclusions.

Which is why skipping the silly ad hominems is probably the best route entirely. But if one does engage in such tactics (and folks on the pro-NN side are sadly just as guilty on occasion), at least try to avoid attacks so easily proven to be factually wrong.

Stay tuned . . . .

Posted in Life In The Sausage Factory, Tales of the Sausage Factory | Also tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment (Comments closed)

Tales of the Sausage Factory

Yet More Proof That Comcast (and Cox) Are Deliberately Blocking BitTorrent; I Await the Whacky Weasel Words To Come.

There are those still clinging to the desperate hope that somehow critics of Comcast’s “network management” policy of “delaying” BitTorrent packets “only during peak congestion periods” will be discredited. These folks have therefore wasted much time and energy calling those of us who filed the Comcast complaint all manner of nasty names, made sneering and condescending comments about Robert Topolski’s qualifications and the accuracy of his tests, and generally behaved like total obnoxious gits. So you will forgive me if I once again channel my “inner Cartman” and provide these folks with some bad news.

The Max Planck Institute for Software Development (MPI) has just released major study showing that Comcast and Cox Cable engage in major blocking of BitTorrent traffic regardless of network congestion levels, Robert Topolski and Jon Peha are right, and George Ou needs to shut the [bleep] up with his pathetic whining. Oh yes, and Ou also needs to get over his belief expressed at the Stanford FCC hearing that the reset packets could be coming from some mysterious source other than Comcast. Unless George is going to express a belief in the “reset packet faerie,” who sprinkles forged reset packets over good little networks to keep them safe from bandwidth hogs (which explains why this constant “leakage” only happens to Comcast and Cox), it’s time to face the reality that Comcast (and apparently Cox as well) really are using forged reset packets, deliberately, and all the time, just like we said they were.

Knowing, however, that folks like Ou (and paid flacks such as my friend and sparing partner Scott Cleland) are as incapable of admitting error as a certain Decider-In-Chief, I eagerly await the whacky weasel words that will inevitably follow. Will it be hand-waving technobabble? Ad Hominem attacks, cheap rhetorical tricks, and endless hair-splitting about definitions or ‘what I actually said was blah blah blah’? An effort to brush past this by proclaiming “this was never really about whether there were WMBs (weapons of mass BitTorrent blockage), this was about freeing the good customers of Comcast from the oppression of Al Qeda bandwidth hogs that use 90% of the capacity?” Another “expert study” that tries to cast doubt on Max Planck Institute (MPI) study? Or perhaps some delightful combination of all of these? The heat will be on!

A bit more analysis and a lot more snarkiness below . . . .

Read More »

Posted in Series of Tubes, Tales of the Sausage Factory | Also tagged , , | 9 Comments (Comments closed)

Tales of the Sausage Factory

Lessons of the Google/Moveon/Collins Dust Up: My Other Shoe Drops and It Fits Quite Nicely

For those wondering about the dust up over Google dropping Ads from Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) because she used Moveon’s trademark in her ads, I reproduce below my post on the Public Knowledge blog. I don’t usually to that kind of “repurposing” of my blog content, but this one seemed reasonably important.

Read More »

Posted in Fighting the IP Mafia, Tales of the Sausage Factory | Also tagged , , , | 3 Comments (Comments closed)
  • Connect With Us

    Follow Wetmachine on Twitter!

Username
Password

If you do not have an account: Register