Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Pick your pony .....

Seems our Federal Representatives have picked up on the "net neutrality" buzz and are tripping all over themselves to enact legislation ...... but of the five bills currently working their way through various committees which is the best for the consumer and which favors the telco oligarchy. Remember don't go by the names alone .... let's not forget the "Patriot Act" and "No child left behind!"

The bills up for consideration are:

Communications Opportunity, Promotion and Enhancement Act of 2006 (HR5252)
House Commerce Committee chairman Joe Barton (R-Texas)
No major restrictions on broadband providers, but the FCC would get explicit authority to consider abuse complaints and resolve them within 90 days. Approved by Commerce Committee

Internet Freedom and Nondiscrimination Act of 2006 (HR5417)
House Judiciary Committee chairman James Sensenbrenner (R-Wisconsin) and ranking member John Conyers (D-Michigan)
Strict antitrust restrictions on access providers, preventing them from discriminating or favoring certain entities. Approved by Judiciary Committee.

Network Neutrality Act of 2006 (HR5273)Rep. Ed Markey (D-Massachusetts)
Access providers can't favor any service over another or charge any entities for higher quality of service. Still in Commerce Committee.

Internet Non-Discrimination Act of 2006 (S2360)
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon)
Access providers can't favor any service over another or charge any entities for higher quality of service. Still in Commerce Committee.

Communications, Consumer's Choice and Broadband Deployment Act of 2006 (S2686)
Senate Commerce Committee chairman Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) and co-chairman Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii)
This comprehensive telecom bill contains no strict net-neutrality requirements but requires the FCC to study the issue.

I got most of this information from an article in Wired Magazine: Neutral Net? Who Are You Kidding?

#posted by Rob Roschewsk @ 8:22 AM

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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Shhh it's a secret .....

Pictures of the "secret room" where AT&T allowed government agencies to tap the coveted "common backbone" (a.k.a CBB)

#posted by Rob Roschewsk @ 9:13 AM

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Monday, May 22, 2006

WIRED magazine posts AT&T Documents!

WIRED Magazine just posted the documents that seem to be integral to the case the EFF is pressing against AT&T ->

Pretty funny ... the author has a Middletown Phone number .....

#posted by Rob Roschewsk @ 8:58 PM

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Friday, May 19, 2006

Not the greatest name but a cool concept. How many times have you been surfing the web at work and run into something you want to look at in depth at home ... or vice versa . is a web based bookmark holder. You subscribe and put a couple of JavaScript links on your browser and if you want to bookmark something click the shortcut and create a new bookmark in your account. Now whatever browser you sit down at you'll have access to your bookmarks.

What else is cool, you can share your bookmarks with your friends.


#posted by Rob Roschewsk @ 9:08 PM

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Saturday, May 06, 2006

Have you missed me ????

Wow, it has been a long time since my last post! I didn't mean for it to go this long but I have been busy. Biggest project I've been working on I sort of hinted at last post. In my township a group of parents formed a loosely coupled group called Quest (Quality Education Starts Today.) Our object was to get the school budget passed. Our budget was voted down two years running. As Malcolm Gladwell might say the frustration level for some key parents reached a "Tipping Point" and we all started asking: "What can we do?" With out any prior organization: One family began to harvest email addresses from soccer and PTO lists. Another family started a lawn sign campaign collecting donations from other parents to purchase lawn signs promoting the budget. Other families helped when they could writing letters to the editor of local papers and attending school board budget meetings. Lisa and I did what we do best, Lisa worked the press angle and was the groups unofficial public relations manager while I created a website

I ended up attending what seemed like endless public budget meetings. One of my goals was to understand the school budget completely so I could talk intelligently to other parents about it's content. The whole process was a tremendous learning experience. There are many state mandates in the budgeting process that are beyond the control of the local school board. First off there is the S-1701 rule that caps a school budget at 2.5% or the CPI over the previous years budget regardless of spikes in things like energy or insurance costs. Than there is all sorts of state mandated programs also the rising cost of special education for challenged students.

This whole concept of the municipal electorate voting on a school budget is totally bizarre ... if not absurd! How can the general population understand and comprehend what they are voting on! Especially when a max of 30 people in a town of 5,000 would attend the public budget meetings. Hey, I don't get to approve the Pentagon's budget why should my kids school budget be up for grabs! I think an elected school board as well as an elected municipal government should be enough oversight for the school budget process. If you don't like what's happening .... run them out of office.

I really enjoyed doing the website. It has been years since I've done work like that. I was determined to do it all with open source tools and I believe was successful. I had forgot how much work was involved with creating and maintaining a website! I got an account with 1&1 registered the domain name, and then was faced with a blank white screen and started thinking now what? I did what any self respecting hacker would do and started looking at and borrowing elements from other website I frequented. After a couple of coding sessions till 2 AM the flagship of White Township QuEST was steaming away.

In the end all of the hard work was worth it. Our budget passed by 216 votes, in previous years it failed by about 100 votes. We also had the largest voter turn out for all of Warren County.

As if that wasn't enough ... in work I've been working on a project to migrate our existing Solaris based Oracle Parallel Server clusters over to a Linux based 10G RAC implementation. To the casual reader that last sentence was probably as foreign as Greek ... suffice it to say not an easy task. As with any project as it comes to a close it usually means lots of long hours and 4 AM maintenance windows but I'm happy report all seems to be going well as I write this we are cutting over our second production site with no major issues.

Now I look forward to the end of school, cub scouts, baseball and softball so I can finally get some "me" time :-)

#posted by Rob Roschewsk @ 9:06 AM


Glad you had fun with the new web site, and congrats on making people aware, and getting the budget passed! No small feat. Somerville went through a similar educational process last year, also with successful results.

I've also always thought it strange that we trust our elected officials to make budgetary decisions in all other areas, but when it comes to school budgets, we leave it to the amateurs to decide the details. Weird.

# posted by Blogger Mike @ 4:02 PM 

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