Hey all – I’ve been working on a bold Blogfox experiment for this month, which I was hoping to roll out this week – but that’s been back-burnered for a few days… so I’ve given myself ten minutes to jot down a couple of things I *have* to get down regarding “ye olde funnybooks” before they become too dated: One is about the value of a “hit” in any media, and the other is how to really look at “profit margins” when comics publishers move into digital distribtuion. Napkin calculations ahoy! Read more
Posts from the ‘A series of tubes’ Category
I’m not quite sure where I first read about Jonathan Schwarz’s Five Dollar Friday project – but it immediately struck a chord with me.
For me, the concept of finding a different on-line project, foundation, cause, or artwork to donate a fiver to every week isn’t really about creating “a new economic model” for such work, but rather is a meditative way for me to be more mindful about not taking the hard work of others, freely given, for granted.
It’s very easy to get a sense of entitlement about all the great material that’s on-line, I’m just as bad as anyone: What do you mean no one has crafted the exact WordPress plugin I need? What do you mean no one has updated this piece of software in a month? What do you mean my favourite webcomic is taking a week off? When the miraculous (a global pool of fantastic work out there to draw from that costs nothing) surrounds you daily, it’s only human you’d begin to trivialize it (perhaps Messieurs J and 2 Dope said it best).
Let’s be frank – most people waste $5 a week on something that matters a lot less to them than the on-line services, products, and people who make a genuine difference in their week. I bought a keychain for $5 yesterday in the shape of a little 8mm camera. It lights up and makes a “filming” sound when you press the trigger and a little led flickers in the lens. It will be broken within the month, I am sure.
This is just a token effort at thinking a little bit about who makes my Internet the great place it is – spending, even a nominal amount keeps me from assuming that “free” equates to “valueless” in an interesting way – and if others can benefit from that – more the better.
The CRTC has issued their net neutrality decision. Personally, I’m a little dissapointed in the ruling. Michael Geist points out a couple of areas to feel good about the ruling, but I tend to agree with this quote given to the CBC by Public Interest Advisory Committee legal counsel John Lawford:
“It approves all of the throttling practices that ISPs currently engage in. It requires consumers to prove something funny is going on and consumers don’t have the means to figure out what ISPs are doing and they don’t have the resources to bring that to the commission’s attention,”
Mark Golgberg has asked some fair questions of me over at his blog regarding last year’s couchathon and the throttling difficulties we had. As I posted yesterday, am convinced those issues were due to misapplied BitTorrent throttling.
I’ve responded directly on Mark’s blog – but he moderates his comments so I’m not sure when they’ll show up there. In the meantime I thought it would be worthwhile to cross-post my response here – especially as I see some traffic coming through from his site.
Incidentally, Mark’s post flagged that I never updated the Couchathon website with the final totals from the event. With late donations, and some very kind post-event sponsor contributions we were able to raise over $10,000 dollars for Sick Kids Foundation and Child’s Play – not the $5,500 posted on the couchathon site. I must go amend that at once!
My response to Mark below the cut.
Yes I know this is turning quickly into a net-neutrality blog – but since net-neutrality traffic is up at the moment, I figured I should strike while the iron is hot.
While I thought the CRTC presentation was quite strong, you’re always left with regrets about the questions that didn’t come up. There was a couple of points I was really hoping would be raised, since they are popular talking points of the major ISP’s and it would have been nice to offer a counter-point. So while they’re still fresh, here’s five ISP arguments in favour of traffic throttling, that I just don’t think hold much water:
1. Increasing capacity is prohibitively expensive.
Regardless of my prior post on why building additional capacity is likely far more fiscally responsible than throttling BitTorrent – total smarty-pants Jason Roks made a compelling calculation on Tuesday at the CRTC hearing that a certain national network could likely more than double it’s capacity at the most likely congestion spots for less than $2 per user per month. Of course it’s hard to offer more concrete suggestions when we have no idea of what the profit margins of the major ISP corporate units are (or what portion of their network is devoted to functions other than the Internet – like television, phone, and video-on-demand).
First the iPhone 3.0 update implemented new podcast-friendly playback controls (identical to a post I made last year on a tech site (that I can’t now find) on how I wished they worked) – now Google has finally enabled image searching only within photos which are “creative commons” licensed! As someone who uses a lot of CC images to illustrate blog posts this is the bees knees – something I was wishing would happen only yesterday (and pretty much every day since I relaunched this blog).
Hmm… I hope I only use my new psychic wishing powers for good, let’s see… Pizza Hut should change it’s name to “Han Solo’s Good-Tyme Eatery”…
So I’m back from my two-day sojourn into the heart of darkness of government.
The CRTC net neutrality public hearings have a couple of (big) days to go yet. I think the joint CFTPA / IFTA team did a tremendous job in preparation and all we can do now is hope that we at least planted the seeds of our message so that the ISP’s don’t get an easy ride when they’re up on Friday.
I had some very positive discussions with media (and other gallery observers) following our presentation – which at least made me feel that our main points got across and we got a lot of nice write-ups today:
- The CBC had a nice piece on our presentation with a photograph – and my first ever press pull-quote involving wack-a-mole
- Gregg O’Brien at Cartt.ca has a wonderful follow-up interview which includes a couple of the examples we presented to the commission
- Nice piece by Matt Hartley for the Financial Post. Matt has also been diligently liveblogging the whole proceedings
- Canwest News Service
- Michael Geist’s Day Three Summary
- Tech Media Report’s Stefan Dubowski wrote perhaps my favourite article (and one of the few which mentioned Rocket Ace Moving Pictures who was actually the producer of both Couchathon and Cerealized) – note that Tech Media Reports is a pay subscription service.
Thanks to everyone who sent me links to articles, or kind words following the presentation. Special hat-tip to Erin – for the lengthy consultation on what tie I should bring to Ottawa.