Thursday, 23 November 2017

Kim Dotcom envisages new Internet

‘By the people, for the people’: Kim Dotcom to launch alternative internet
‘By the people, for the people’: Kim Dotcom to launch alternative internet

The knowledge that government agencies have used the internet to spy on citizens, along with high-profile hacking scandals, has brought online privacy to the forefront of people’s minds.
Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom says he will help facilitate an unobstructed internet, free from prying eyes, through MegaNet, which will operate without IP addresses. The German entrepreneur is currently resisting extradition to the US from New Zealand over alleged copyright infringement.
Dotcom, who believes the internet to be a new frontier of rough-and-tumble lawlessness like the Wild West, previously described his alternative internet idea as “indestructible, uncontrollable & encrypted”.
“The current corporate internet will be replaced by a better Internet, running on the idle capacity of hundreds of millions of mobile devices,” Dotcom said. “Run by the people for the people. Breaking net-neutrality will only accelerate the adoption of a new network.”
The development will ensure internet freedom will become a reality, he added. “I have been working on this for a long time. Mobile networks and devices will be ready for this in four-five years.”
It comes as the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) plans to kill net neutrality next month. In 2015, the sameagency adopted an “open internet order” which it said prohibited companies from restricting legal internet use or carrying out paid prioritization for certain services.
The new position has been pitched as a bid to restore internet freedom, but critics argue that any rollback will allow internet service providers much greater control over what people can and cannot see online. FCC chairman Ajit Pai believes repealing net neutrality will facilitate greater investment and innovation.
“This burdensome regulation has failed consumers and businesses alike,” Pai said in a Wall Street Journal opinion article.“In the two years after the FCC’s decision, broadband network investment dropped more than 5.6 percent - the first time a decline has happened outside of a recession. If the current rules are left in place, millions of Americans who are on the wrong side of the digital divide would have to wait years to get more broadband.”
Meanwhile, WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange has sought to persuade the Trump administration to maintain some form of neutrality by informing the US president that his opponents “control most internet companies.”
“Without neutrality they can make your tweets load slowly, CNN load fast and infest everyone’s phones with their ads. Careful,” he tweeted to Donald Trump.

Vesti's Kisilyev dissects the Teresa May government

This is very good!

Tipsy Theresa May Barks at Russia But Sends Her Foreign Secretary Clown Boris Johnson to Russia

Top Russian anchor Kiselyev trashes the head of the current British government.

Say Goodbye to Net Neutrality

Say Goodbye to Net Neutrality. Say Hello to the FCC's Trickle-Down Experiment

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai before speaking at an internet regulation event at the Newseum April 26, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo: Eric Thayer/Getty Images)

20 November, 2017

Ajit Pai, the Federal Communications Commission's Trump-appointed chairman, is moving to gut the net neutrality rules that progressive activists and a massive online movement successfully pushed for during the Obama administration.
The effort to kill net neutrality adds to a long list of deregulatory moves that media rights advocates say will hurt people the FCC is charged with protecting: everyday consumers, low-income families, underserved Indigenous communities, disabled people, as well as women and people of color, who remain underrepresented in broadcast media.
Last week, Pai and the FCC's Republican majority began overhauling the Lifeline program that subsidizes phone and internet service for low-income people, an effort that Democratic commissioners say will punitively cripple the crucial safety net. Commissioners also voted along party lines to repeal a list of media ownership regulations, a move that critics say will usher in a new era of media consolidation in local markets and help a massive, right-leaning broadcasting company gobble up TV stations without selling others off.
The FCC's agenda may be good news for the class of mostly white men who own big telecom companies and broadcasting stations and are eager to consolidate their control over the media landscape. Consider Sinclair Broadcast Group, the TV broadcasting giant that reportedly "struck a deal" with the Trump campaign for favorable coverage and has since seen regulatory hurdles standing in the way of a proposed merger with Tribune Media cleared by Pai and the FCC.
Sinclair is known for pushing a conservative agenda and could soon reach 72 percent of local TV viewers nationwide if the merger is approved.
"To some extent Trump TV already exists; it's just going to be Trump TV on steroids," Tim Karr, spokesperson for the digital rights group Free Press, said of Sinclair in an interview.
Pai has been talking about killing the FCC's historic net neutrality rules since they were established in 2015 (well before his appointment as chairman). He's been taking comments on a draft proposal to do so for months and circulated a final draft among his fellow commissioners today. A final draft will be released to the public on Wednesday. Observers expect the FCC to vote on a measure that will largely gut the rules at a meeting scheduled for December 14.
Pai also announced on Tuesday that the FCC would take public comments on whether to change or eliminate a rule that caps the percentage of US households that TV stations owned by a single broadcasting company can reach at 39 percent -- the major remaining regulatory roadblock standing in the way of Sinclair's proposed merger with Tribune Media. 
Like his counterparts in other agencies under the Trump administration, Pai argues that slashing regulations and allowing big businesses to maximize profits will lead to new media models and investments in telecom infrastructure that will benefit everyone else. It's the same "trickle-down" theory driving Trump and many GOP politicians.
Speaking before the right-libertarian Cato Institute on Friday, Pai said the FCC's role isn't to support "any particular company or industry," but rather to "foster a light-touch regulatory framework" that allows different companies to compete.
"And then we'll let American consumers choose who succeeds and who doesn't," Pai said. "After all, competition is a far better guarantor of consumer welfare than preemptive regulation."
However, there are only so many airwaves and broadcasting licenses available in local TV and radio markets, and by relaxing media ownership rules, the FCC is setting the stage for newsroom consolidations that could reduce the number of journalists working local beats, as well as the already-small number of voices from communities of color on the airwaves.
"It's a giveaway to [broadcasting] companies without expecting, or frankly, having a realistic case for competition in return," said Phillip Berenbroick, a senior policy counsel at Public Knowledge, in an interview with Truthout.
Pai argues the deregulation is necessary to help newspapers and local broadcasters compete with large online platforms such as Facebook that deliver news, but Democratic FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn points out that big internet firms are not producing local news reporting on their own.
"Citing to 'simple fairness,' the Chairman is fond of making a comparison between local broadcasters and tech companies like Google, Twitter and Facebook," Clyburn wrote in her dissenting statement. "Yet the last time I checked, none of these companies are in the newsgathering business nor to my knowledge are they engaged in local news production."
Consumers also have limited choices when it comes to internet providers. In many parts of the country, only one or two companies provide cable and high-speed internet service. Some rural and impoverished areas do not have any options, and experts say slashing regulations is not going to help.
"Killing net neutrality is not going to move the needle on broadband deployment in areas [where] it's not economical," Berenbroick said. 
Net neutrality supporters say that without the rules, big broadband providers like AT&T and Comcast would be free to censor competing web content and extract fees from big players like Google and Amazon in exchange for priority speeds that would put smaller companies at a disadvantage. Providers say they would never do such things, but advocates counter that the incentives are there and attempts at priority deals have already been made.
Rashad Robinson, executive director of the online civil rights group Color Of Change, said net neutrality has been an "indispensible tool" for those fighting for justice and civil rights.
"Net neutrality ensures that the internet is a place for innovation and opportunity for all, allowing the voices and ideas of everyday Black folks to spread based on substance, rather than financial backing," Robinson said in a statement.
Some net neutrality advocates fear providers would eventually "cable-ize" the internet by providing lower-income consumers with access to only certain websites, rather than the entire internet, in exchange for lower service rates.
However, Pai says the regulations have impeded profit margins and prevented telecom companies from investing in broadband infrastructure. If the FCC repeals them, he argues, broadband companies will have extra cash to deploy high-speed internet in needy areas.
Yet, both Karr and Berenbroick said that there is no evidence that the net neutrality rules have kept broadband companies from laying new cables and fiber wires to expand internet access.
"The notion that he is fixing a problem is a bogus premise to begin with," Karr said.
In May, a study by Free Press found a 5 percent increase in capital investments among providers after net neutrality was established.
In fact, broadband companies tell investors that they are expanding infrastructure more than ever before, particularly in high-income areas where they are seeing high profits. Rural and low-income areas remain disconnected because bringing services to them is expensive and will not reap large returns for these private companies. Repealing net neutrality is not going to change that, according to Berenbroick. 
"If they were going to deploy there, they would be there already," Berenbroick said of areas in need of high-speed connection, adding that government investment would ultimately be necessary to fix the problem.
If we are to believe Pai, then his deregulatory efforts will unleash a new wave of innovation and investment in both local media and the internet. If instead we see rampant consolidation, the closing of local newsrooms and big telecom companies increasingly shaping how we access the internet, could voters respond by punishing Republicans in the midterm elections?
Karr said net neutrality remains popular among voters and consumers, including Republicans, and millions of comments supporting the rules have flooded the FCC. (Perhaps this is why Pai is scheduling his major moves on the issue around major holidays.) Meanwhile, internet service providers that enjoy monopolies and duopolies across the country consistently score lower than any other industry when it comes to customer satisfaction.
With all the buzz around net neutrality, Karr said, the issue could very well be "part of a progressive/Democratic platform that is featured in the 2018 midterms."

The rise of micro drone warfare and AI

I have not taken the time out to look at the perceived dangers of artificial intelligence until today when I had to take bed rest.

The following video has been made with copious funding by an organisation called Stop Autonomous Weapons that is connected to Humans Rights Watch which has funding from George Soros

The strange thing about this is that, although there is a statement at the very end most of the video is directed towards something which, in their words can kill the ‘bad guys’

Watch Christopher Greene’s take on this.

These weapons would not be talked about in this way unless they were already there.


Artificial Intelligence IS THE BEAST SYSTEM RISING

33.3 deg Celsius in South Island at end of spring

Cromwell has hit its hottest spring temperature on record today, a sweltering 33.3 degrees, and the summer temperatures continue through the weekend.
NIWA meteorologist Ben Noll said Cromwell's previous Spring record was 32.3° in 2010, but that has been beaten this afternoon by a whole degree, and it may still go higher.

Cattle on a hill, Hawke's Bay.

23 November, 2017

Fourth generation Cromwell fruit gower, Simon Webb, said in the 40 years he has lived in the Central Otago town, he has never experienced weather this hot in November.

"Just blue skies, calm and you can feel the burn in the sun. It's really, really hot. We only swam in the lake a couple of times last year and we've done it three or four times already."

In the last 31 days, the Central Otago town was warmer than 20° on 24 days.

NIWA said an "immense dome" of high pressure has settled over the entire country, and could bring record high temperatures to parts of the inland South Island.

It's also very dry so far this month, after a generally wet 2017 for the country.

Immense dome of high pressure sprawling over New Zealand today ... means record or near-record November temperatures possible in the south & some places could even approach spring (Sep-Nov) records.

A year ago, Wellington was in the middle of its wettest November on record - 240.6mm of rainfall in the month - and flooding. This month the capital has recorded 17.2mm so far and is tracking for one of the driest November rainfall levels on record.

Christchurch Airport had only 1mm of rain so far this month and is tracking for the driest November since records began in 1863. Lincoln, with 0.4mm of rain, is also tracking toward its driest November since records began there in 1881.

Niwa said the "big dry" is being influenced by La Nina conditions in the Pacific.

The MetService forecast for the weekend.The MetService forecast for the weekend. Photo: MetService

MetService's official maximum for Wednesday was 29.5° in Wanaka. (MetService does not have a weather station in Cromwell).

Wanaka is set for 29°C today, with high temperatures until next week at least. Wellington, Nelson and Christchurch get to 21° today, the forecast says.

MetService forecaster Gerrit Keyser said Wanaka was about two degrees off its November record on Wednesday. Alexandra reached 28°.

He said there could be the odd isolated shower about the ranges in the next few days, and some cloud in the mornings or overnight.

The MetService says the large high pressure system is forecast to cover the country from Thursday until Monday.

A view of San Francisco gulf as smoke covers the sun as a wildfire from the Santa Rosa and Napa Valley moves through the area in California.