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Sunday, July 02, 2006

Alaskans, I give you your Senator

Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska has in the past made a lot of noise on the indecency front. But this week, he was voting on a net-neutrality amendment to a bill before Senate Commerce Committe, and voted against. His explanation of why is interesting to say the least. A few choice excerpts.

Ten of them streaming across that internet and what happens to your own personal internet?

I would kill to have my own personal internet.

I just the other day got, an internet was sent by my staff at 10 o'clock in the morning on Friday and I just got it yesterday. Why?

Because it got tangled up with all these things going on the internet commercially.

I would expect that the Senator would have his staffers sending email to him within the Senate's own email-system, or even his own office's mail system. If that setup routes all internal email out onto the Internet, someone's woefully incompetent. And regardless of internal vs. external, I can't recall the last time a legitimate email I was expecting or sending took more than 10 minutes to arrive. Usually the email arrives before I've finished telling the recipient that the email is en route in the first place.

But we're also making an assumption here, that when he says "an internet" he means "an email." He might mean something else entirely. In which case maybe it really did take overnight for the entire internet to be packed up and physically moved into his office.

They want to deliver vast amounts of information over the internet. And again, the internet is not something you just dump something on. It's not a truck.

It's a series of tubes.

I'm actually at a loss on this one. I don't know what to say. Really all I can come up with is...TUBES!?

Well, that and George Costanza saying "It's all pipes! What's the difference?!"

Now we have a separate Department of Defense internet now, did you know that?

Do you know why?

Because they have to have theirs delivered immediately. They can't afford getting delayed by other people.

Oh, where to start? First off, if the DoD's "internet" is their own, then it's really not "an internet" - it's their own private network, built using internet technologies. A little history lesson - DARPANet, a DoD computer network, is what the Internet grew out of in the first place!

Second, I would expect the DoD to have their own network. Not for latency. For security. If they didn't have that, I'd be worried.

Maybe there is a place for a commercial net but it's not using what consumers use every day.

It's not using the messaging service that is essential to small businesses, to our operation of families.

Those small businesses are using that messaging for...you guessed it! Commerce! And how many billions of dollars of commerce done on the Internet every year are driven by "consumers"?

And if Internet messaging is "essential" to the "operation of our families", then we're in serious trouble as a society.

I guess it's too much to ask that the people voting on stuff like this actually have some knowledge of the subject, or at least have some advisors to help them out. Maybe even have that advisor write up some key statements/phrases so that the Senator can appear informed.

OTOH, maybe this guy really does represent the people of Alaska. I'd like to think, however, that most people can understand a lot of this better than their Senator.

2 Comments:

  • Senator...you EEEEE-diot!

    By Blogger El Gee, at 7/02/2006 9:34 PM  

  • I now have an image of every single computer in the world all hooked up with miniaturized version of those pneumatic tubes you use at bank drive-thrus.

    Can't stop giggling. :D

    By Blogger neen, at 7/03/2006 6:44 AM  

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