General

President Obama Proposes Strong FCC Net-Neutraility Laws

While we don’t often comment on politics, earlier today, president Obama laid forth a proposal to the Federal Communications Commission to enact the toughest Open Net-Neutrality laws possible.  His commentary that the Internet should remain unregulated with respect to control of content access is the first real proposal for such openness from his administration.

Obama’s detailed proposal came through an open letter to the people on Whitehouse.gov and is as follows:

An open Internet is essential to the American economy, and increasingly to our very way of life. By lowering the cost of launching a new idea, igniting new political movements, and bringing communities closer together, it has been one of the most significant democratizing influences the world has ever known.

“Net neutrality” has been built into the fabric of the Internet since its creation — but it is also a principle that we cannot take for granted. We cannot allow Internet service providers (ISPs) to restrict the best access or to pick winners and losers in the online marketplace for services and ideas. That is why today, I am asking the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to answer the call of almost 4 million public comments, and implement the strongest possible rules to protect net neutrality.

When I was a candidate for this office, I made clear my commitment to a free and open Internet, and my commitment remains as strong as ever. Four years ago, the FCC tried to implement rules that would protect net neutrality with little to no impact on the telecommunications companies that make important investments in our economy. After the rules were challenged, the court reviewing the rules agreed with the FCC that net neutrality was essential for preserving an environment that encourages new investment in the network, new online services and content, and everything else that makes up the Internet as we now know it. Unfortunately, the court ultimately struck down the rules — not because it disagreed with the need to protect net neutrality, but because it believed the FCC had taken the wrong legal approach.

The FCC is an independent agency, and ultimately this decision is theirs alone. I believe the FCC should create a new set of rules protecting net neutrality and ensuring that neither the cable company nor the phone company will be able to act as a gatekeeper, restricting what you can do or see online. The rules I am asking for are simple, common-sense steps that reflect the Internet you and I use every day, and that some ISPs already observe. These bright-line rules include:

  • No blocking. If a consumer requests access to a website or service, and the content is legal, your ISP should not be permitted to block it. That way, every player — not just those commercially affiliated with an ISP — gets a fair shot at your business.
  • No throttling. Nor should ISPs be able to intentionally slow down some content or speed up others — through a process often called “throttling” — based on the type of service or your ISP’s preferences.
  • Increased transparency. The connection between consumers and ISPs — the so-called “last mile” — is not the only place some sites might get special treatment. So, I am also asking the FCC to make full use of the transparency authorities the court recently upheld, and if necessary to apply net neutrality rules to points of interconnection between the ISP and the rest of the Internet.
  • No paid prioritization. Simply put: No service should be stuck in a “slow lane” because it does not pay a fee. That kind of gatekeeping would undermine the level playing field essential to the Internet’s growth. So, as I have before, I am asking for an explicit ban on paid prioritization and any other restriction that has a similar effect.

If carefully designed, these rules should not create any undue burden for ISPs, and can have clear, monitored exceptions for reasonable network management and for specialized services such as dedicated, mission-critical networks serving a hospital. But combined, these rules mean everything for preserving the Internet’s openness.

The rules also have to reflect the way people use the Internet today, which increasingly means on a mobile device. I believe the FCC should make these rules fully applicable to mobile broadband as well, while recognizing the special challenges that come with managing wireless networks.

To be current, these rules must also build on the lessons of the past. For almost a century, our law has recognized that companies who connect you to the world have special obligations not to exploit the monopoly they enjoy over access in and out of your home or business. That is why a phone call from a customer of one phone company can reliably reach a customer of a different one, and why you will not be penalized solely for calling someone who is using another provider. It is common sense that the same philosophy should guide any service that is based on the transmission of information — whether a phone call, or a packet of data.

So the time has come for the FCC to recognize that broadband service is of the same importance and must carry the same obligations as so many of the other vital services do. To do that, I believe the FCC should reclassify consumer broadband service under Title II of the Telecommunications Act — while at the same time forbearing from rate regulation and other provisions less relevant to broadband services. This is a basic acknowledgment of the services ISPs provide to American homes and businesses, and the straightforward obligations necessary to ensure the network works for everyone — not just one or two companies.

Investment in wired and wireless networks has supported jobs and made America the center of a vibrant ecosystem of digital devices, apps, and platforms that fuel growth and expand opportunity. Importantly, network investment remained strong under the previous net neutrality regime, before it was struck down by the court; in fact, the court agreed that protecting net neutrality helps foster more investment and innovation. If the FCC appropriately forbears from the Title II regulations that are not needed to implement the principles above — principles that most ISPs have followed for years — it will help ensure new rules are consistent with incentives for further investment in the infrastructure of the Internet.

The Internet has been one of the greatest gifts our economy — and our society — has ever known. The FCC was chartered to promote competition, innovation, and investment in our networks. In service of that mission, there is no higher calling than protecting an open, accessible, and free Internet. I thank the Commissioners for having served this cause with distinction and integrity, and I respectfully ask them to adopt the policies I have outlined here, to preserve this technology’s promise for today, and future generations to come.

While the FCC has come out in opposition of what the president proposed, the president’s words carry quite a bit of weight with those in the Net-Neutraility realm and the fact that over 4,000,000 signatures were garnered in the run-up to the announcement, shows that the president also has the backing of a good number of those Americans who use the Internet in their daily lives.

Next OZ KFest Dates Decided

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From Andrew Roughan — The next Australian retro computing gathering, Oz KFest, will be happening in Melbourne, Australia, April 17-19, 2015. Come join us downunder for a few of days of retro inspiration, Aussie ingenuity and camaraderie!

The goal of the event is to provide a user group style environment to exchange ideas and discuss new developments in retro computing hardware, software, preservation, emulation and other related topics. There will be a few attendees of past KansasFests and Oz KFests and we hope to imbibe the spirit of these events into Oz KFest once again.

The presentations during the weekend will come from the participants and therefore an invitation is extended for session proposals to be made via email to ozkfest@gmail.com  If you have an idea for a session that you’d like to present, please let us know so we can allocate a time slot for you. If you would like to learn something, let us know what that is and we will try to find a presenter for that topic.

Registration for the event is not yet open. However, now is the time to block out the dates in your calendar, arrange how to get there and where you’ll stay. If you need help, let us know how we can help.  Reminder that the ‘Downunder Chat’ happens every Friday night from 9pm Australian EST in irc.a2central.com #a2.chat

For more information on registration for the OZ KFest event, check out the event website at:

http://ozkfest.net

Former Editor of Softtalk Magazine to Keynote Kfest

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From the Kansasfest Comittee announcement:

“KansasFest 2014, the Apple II convention, is scheduled for July 22 -27 in Kansas City, Missouri.  Margot Comstock, co-founder and editor of the much-loved Softalk magazine, will join us with a keynote presentation.

Comstock and Al Tommervik founded Softalk in 1980 to share the hardware, software, and people behind the Apple II.  At its peak, Softalk had 250,000 readers and uniquely offered broad and deep coverage of everything Apple II related, including programming, game playing, business use, and home use.  Later, Softalk Publishing produced magazines for the emerging Macintosh and IBM markets, ST.Mac and Softalk for the IBM Personal Computer.  Softline, a game magazine begun by Ken William’s OnLine Systems and later renamed to ST.Game, was Softalk Publishing’s second longest-lived magazine.  Softalk Books published several books by the magazine’s columnists and a Mac book by Doug Clapp.

The Apple II magazine ran for four years before industry changes and expenses led management to cease publication.  In that time, Softalk earned many loyal fans, and a group of volunteers is working to archive and share issues.  The Smithsonian Institution recognizes Comstock and Tommervik as pioneers of the microcomputer revolution and Softalk as a chronicle of that revolution.

KansasFest is an annual convention offering Apple II users and retrocomputing enthusiasts the opportunity to engage in beginner and technical sessions, programming contests, exhibition halls, and camaraderie. KansasFest was originally hosted by Resource Central and has been brought to you by the KFest committee since 1995. Any and all Apple II users, fans, and friends are invited to attend this year’s event. Registration details will be announced on the KansasFest Web site in early 2014. For photos, videos, and presentations from past KansasFests, please visit the event’s official Web site at http://www.kansasfest.org/.

CONTACT:

KansasFest 2014
http://www.kansasfest.org/
http://twitter.com/kansasfest/

 

Margot Comstock will deliver keynote at KFest 2014

Margot Comstock, co-founder and editor of the much-loved Softalk magazine, will join us with a keynote presentation at KansasFest 2014, which is scheduled for July 22 –27 in Kansas City, Missouri.

Comstock and Al Tommervik founded Softalk in 1980 to share the hardware, software, and people behind the Apple II. At its peak, Softalk had 250,000 readers and uniquely offered broad and deep coverage of everything Apple II related, including programming, game playing, business use, and home use.

The Apple II magazine ran for four years before industry changes and expenses led management to cease publication. In that time, Softalk earned many loyal fans, and a group of volunteers is working to archive and share issues. The Smithsonian Institution recognizes Comstock and Tommervik as pioneers of the microcomputer revolution and Softalk as a chronicle of that revolution.

Learn more by visiting the KansasFest web site

Kansasfest Committee releases logo for 2014 event

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The Kansasfest committee has release a teaser email containing the 2014 rendition of the Kansasfest Logo.  Kansasfest is an Apple II centric enthusiast convention which happens each year in Kansas City, Missouri.   The event draws hobbyists from around the globe and is usually inundated with advancements in the hardware and software on the Apple II series platforms.  The 2014 Kansasfest will take place July 22nd to 27th.  For more information, check the Kansasfest website at: http://www.kansasfest.org

KansasFest 2014 Dates Announced

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As the end of the 2013 version of KansasFest winds down, the particip@ants begin to look to the next year.  The dates for the 2014 rendition of the KansasFest Apple ][ convention have been announced and ccording to a posting on twitter from Ken Gagne of Juiced.GS, the event will be held 22-27 July, 2014.

This year’s event featured Randy Wigginton as the keynote speaker and Steve Wozniak showed up to relive some of the good old days with the 50 plus hobbyists.  Be sure to check the KansasFest website for further information as the event nears:

http://www.kansasfest.org

OZ KFest Announced

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There will be another rendition of the OZ KFest this year.   The austrailian compoinent of the Apple II fans has once again decided to have their get together to coincide with the Kansas City based event.  According to the press release from Andrew Roughan, one of the event’s organizers, “The Australian retro computing gathering, OzKfest, will be happening in Brisbane, Australia, July 26-28. That’s just 6 weeks away. Steve Kazoullis and I would like you join us for a few of days of retro inspiration, Aussie ingenuity and comraderie.

Some of the confirmed sessions include:
– Live discussion of the events of Kanasfest that will have taken place in the previous days
– Matt Jenkins will take us on a ‘A trip down Memory lane’
– There will be a demonstration of the Carte Blanche with HDMI adapter in an Apple IIe (courtesy of Stephen Howell)
– I will be demonstrating The Complex, a turn based, multi player, RPG created by Sean Craig (who may be in attendance)
– Skype link up with Woz
– Skype link up with Kansasfest attendees

I keenly anticipate some hardware hackery from Alex Lukacz and Jon Co and I’m sure Alex will be bringing his turtle robot controlled via bluetooth. There may even be some Apple interfaces with the Rasberry Pi. We also have some presentations related to other classic computer platforms and current hobbyist innovations such as the Maximite.

The website has all the logistical details including a registration form. Session details will be updated shortly.
http://ozkfest.net/

There will be a few attendees of past Kansasfests and the previous OzKfest and we hope to inbibe the Kansasfest spirit into Oz Kfest again this year.

Now is the time to get your registration form in, arrange how to get there and where you’ll stay. If you need help, let us know how we can help. If you have an idea for a session that you’d like to present, please let us know so we can allocate a time slot for you. If you would like to learn something, let us know what that is and we will try to find a presenter for that topic. e.g. Stephen Wright would like an introduction to IIgs development and I’d like to find out how to change and manage disk images within ActiveGS

Steve and I are really excited about this event and can’t wait to see you there!

Reminder that the Downunder Chat happens every Friday night from 9pm Australian EST in irc.a2central.com #a2.chat”

WWDC Keynote to be Streamed Live on Apple TV

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Apple has announced that their Worldwide Developers Conference keynote, scheduled for 10am PDT today will be streamed live on Apple TV as well as the Apple WWDC 2013 App.  For several years now, many developers and those in the Apple community have complained about a lack of live streaming of the Apple events.  With the record sellout time of the tickets for the 2013 rendition of the WWDC event, Apple was forced to cover those who were unable to get a ticket.

Apple departed from its tradition route of announcing an event by posting the press release to the Business Wire website at:

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20130610005564/en/Apple-Provide-Live-Video-Streaming-Worldwide-Developers

For more information about the event, you can check out the Apple Events website at:

http://www.apple.com/apple-events/june-2013/

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Photos Courtesy of Jim Maricondo

Apple Releases iOS App for WWDC 2013

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Apple Inc. has released an iOS App for the iPhone and iPad which will give all registered Apple developers access to the event.  The 2013 edition of the WorldWide Developers Conference in San Francisco sold out in a record 71 seconds this year leaving many developers in the dark so to speak.  Apparently, Apple has heard the cries of anguish from those developers who figured they would be able to get a ticket and were not so lucky.

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The WWDC app is a free download for all users but will only be usable to those with current Apple developer IDs.   The app includes many features such as:

• Browse times, locations, and descriptions for sessions, labs, and special events
• Mark schedule items as favorites with a simple double-tap
• Watch session videos, available daily
• Start watching on one iOS device, and pick up where you left off on another
• Keep up with the latest news, get important notifications, and see daily snapshots
• View maps to find your way around Moscone West
• Provide feedback on session content and speakers within the session details view
• Add your attendee information to Passbook for speedier on-site registration

You can download the WWDC iOS App at;

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id640199958?mt=8

 

WWDC 2013 Sells Out in 2 Minutes

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WWDC, Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference, has sold out their entire allotment of tickets in a matter of two minutes.   In previous years, tickets were still available until a few weeks before the conference, however, as the popularity of the Mac has increased, the conference has been a more desirable destination.   This record sellout is not likely to change next year either unless Apple increases the number of available tickets.

For more information about WWDC or the availability of the conferences sessions on Video, check out the WWDC web page at:

https://developer.apple.com/wwdc/tickets/