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User Journal

Journal: The U.S. Should Retain Control of the Internet IP/Name Space

Journal by fmaxwell

Numerous people outside the U.S. are demanding that control of the IP address space and name space on the Internet be turned over to some international body. The arguments are just being recycled ad-nauseum at this point and none of them stands up to scrutiny. Let's examine the most common ones with analogies for clarity:

1. 'The way that the U.S. doles out IP addresses and top-level-domains is unfair.'

It may be unfair, but that doesn't have anything to do with whether the U.S. has the legal and moral right to control TLDs and IP addresses.

Analogy: The Red Cross might feel that it's unfair that you give more money to Greenpeace than to them, but that doesn't mean that there should be some committee deciding how much of your money will go to each charity and how much you will get to keep. If the U.S. wants to reserve 10 IP addresses for each man, woman, and child in the U.S., that's their call.

2. 'Much of the modern Internet technology was developed in other countries, including HTTP (the World Wide Web).'

That's nice, but it doesn't mean that the country where it was developed automatically gets to assume shared control of the name space and IP addresses.

Analogy: If you were invited to stay at someone's home, the fact that you voluntarily planted a garden, furnished the living room, and hung paintings does not mean that you get to form a committee and decide who gets which bedroom.

3. 'This is like Britain trying to control the world's steel industry because Britain invented steel.'

Except that the U.S. is not trying to control your computer industry. The U.S. is just dictating the terms by which a computer can be attached to a network that was invented by Americans at American taxpayer expense. The U.S. is deciding how to apportion IP addresses and namespace.

4. 'It's vital to the infrastructure and financial security of many countries.'

Then it sounds like those countries made a mistake in relying on a U.S.-run network for something that important.

Analogy: That's like me demanding that I be given managerial powers at my cable modem provider because the service has become so important to me.

5. 'The Internet has grown massively through the addition of non-U.S. computers, networks, web sites, services, etc. Much of the growth has been through foreign investment.'

On the other hand, the Internet has fueled the growth of countless non-U.S. businesses. Does that mean that the U.S. should get a say in how those businesses are run? No? Then why should the countries in which those businesses are located get a say in how the Internet's IP addresses and TLDs are doled out?

Analogy: International airlines have been taking off and landing at London's Heathrow airport for decades, funding much of its operation, growth, and expansion. Given that, should the English support a U.N. takeover of Heathrow airport? Should the U.N., rather than England, decide whether a block of gates was assigned to Air France or British Airways? In time of war, would the English rather be able to deny their enemies access to Heathrow airport, or would they rather that the U.N. decided if the enemy planes could land there?

6. 'Then the U.S. should pay us for the invention of {insert one or more: steel, steam engines, the world wide web, computers, light bulbs, etc.).'

Why? The U.S. isn't charging you for the use of Internet protocols, hardware standards, or concepts. In fact, through our generousity, organizations all over the world have set up standalone networks based on U.S.-developed Internet standards. We're not even charging you royalties for the use of the Internet.

In conclusion, if it's important to you to have a U.N.-controlled version of the Internet, you are free to set one up. You can even base it on the same standards as the Internet without paying the U.S. any royalties or fees of any kind. That is a generous offer and more than fair.

User Journal

Journal: Moderation as a Weapon

Journal by fmaxwell

When I checked Slashdot today, I discovered that my five most recent postings had all been modded down by one point (overrated). These were postings in three separate threads on different subjects. Two of the postings had been modded up shortly after they were made.

It is pathetic when someone is so small-minded that they abuse the Slashdot moderation system just to "get even" with, or play a practical joke on, another user. If you're not bright enough to debate on Slashdot, then go back to your AOL chat rooms and leave Slashdot to the grown-ups.

User Journal

Journal: H-1B Visas and the Outsourcing of Tech Sector Jobs

Journal by fmaxwell

If you are a U.S. citizen and a technical professional, it's time that you call your Congressional representatives and tell them to eliminate the H-1B visa program. According to the latest (as of 02/09/2003) U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics figures, there are about 94,000 unemployed U.S. computer scientists. Yet, at the same time, there are hundreds of thousands of H-1B visa workers holding tech jobs in the U.S. -- often the same jobs for which unemployed U.S. citizens are qualified and available.

At the same time, there are American firms who have outsourced everything from tech support to engineering. These firms pay individuals and companies in other parts of the world to perform tech work formerly done by American workers. When you come in contact with a firm that does this, let them know that you will actively avoid their products and will, instead, buy from firms that employ U.S. citizens.

It is unfair and unreasonable to drive unemployment up and wages down in the tech sector by importing cheap labor and exporting jobs. We should guarantee that our U.S. citizens are gainfully employed before foreign workers are allowed to fill positions.

I am not advocating hostility towards foreign citizens who are just trying to earn a good living. If I were in their position, I would probably do the same thing. What I am against is our government siding with big business by giving desirable jobs away to non-U.S. citizens.

The H-1B visa program and outsourcing are not necessary to remain competitive in a world market. They exist to line the pockets of wealthy CEOs and major stockholders by replacing fairly compensated American tech workers with undercompensated foreign workers.

User Journal

Journal: Slashdot and Tech Rants #1

Journal by fmaxwell

"Flamebait" and "Troll" do not mean "I disagree with the author."

"Redundant" does not mean a comment submitted 50ms after a similar one.

Being part of the open source movement does not mean that you just want software for free. It means that you contribute something.

Not all free software is good.

Not all commercial software is bad.

Sometimes Linux is not the best choice.

Sometimes Windows is not the worst choice.

Showing off a few hundred dollars worth of consumer-grade PC parts with Plexiglass window and lighted PC case is just pathetic.

Professionals, like the entire medical community, pick PalmOS handhelds because they work better than Pocket PCs. They are smaller, lighter, have a much longer battery life, and have a more intuitive interface. The far lower cost probably does not concern your average neurosurgeon, but it's an added bonus for many other people.

If you think that a handheld needs to play MP3s, you should hold off buying one until you grow up.

If it's a thrill for you to get "first post" on Slashdot, you need to turn off your computer, take your pasty-white self outside, and interact with human beings.

Installing a store-bought Linux distribution or screwing a PC together does not make you an "3L17E D00D!"

A 14 year old kid with a net worth of $32 who pirated a copy of a $3,000 software package deprived the publisher of $0.

Spam is not "free speech." It is theft and should be outlawed just like junk faxes already are.

User Journal

Journal: Traffic Rant #1

Journal by fmaxwell

You know you are a dick when...

...you get in a turn-only lane to pass everyone who's in the correct lane.

...you think that it's more important for you to get to work on time than for those around you to.

...you use entrance ramps to pass cars in traffic jams.

...you cross over solid lines at traffic lights to get a better lane.

...people regularly have to slam on their brakes to avoid hitting you.

...you drive with your seat reclined so far that it looks more like a bed than a seat.

...you change lanes in intersections to get the jump on other cars.

...your idea of a performance car is a lowered Honda Civic with an obnoxiously loud exhaust system.

...people flip you off more than once a day when you pass them.

...you get pissed off when people don't slow down to let you cut in front of them.

...you have an ashtray in your car but throw cigarette butts and ashes out your window to avoid having to clean up after your own disgusting habit.

...you miss your exit and think that you have a right to cut across solid lines to get back to it or, worse, you think that you are entitled to back up on the shoulder to get there.

...your windows are so darkly tinted that it's dangerous to drive your car at night.

...you tailgate people who are going 20 or more over the speed limit.

...you think that temporary spares are for something other than getting your car somewhere to have your flat tire fixed.

...you see a car parked away from all of the other cars and you park right next to it.

...you park in handicapped spots even though you are not handicapped and are not transporting anyone who is.

...you believe that you have a right to drive like an asshole because you are late for something.

...you change lanes more than twice as often as the average person on the road.

--- The End (For Now) ---

Software production is assumed to be a line function, but it is run like a staff function. -- Paul Licker

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