Jun 23, 2017
On 12 July 2017, websites, Internet users, and online communities will come together to sound the alarm about the FCC’s attack on net neutrality. Learn how you can join the protest and spread the word at https://www.battleforthenet.com/july12.
As of right now, new FCC Chairman and former Verizon lawyer Ajit Pai (local mirror) has a plan to destroy net neutrality and give big cable companies immense control over what we see and do online. If they get their way the FCC will give companies like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T control over what we can see and do on the Internet, with the power to slow down or block websites and charge apps and sites extra fees to reach an audience. We're also seeing some shenanagains taking place, in the form of tens of thousands of fraudulent comments being entered on the FCC website. (one, two, three) Funnily enough, all of the comments are exactly identical. I sure as hell didn't post a comment saying that net.neutrality was a bad thing, and I've never been a customer of Comcast. I also don't live in Seattle. (local mirror) You might want to check to see if your name is in there without your permission, too. Additionally, properties of some of the bigger ISPs (such as Tumblr, owned by Verizon) are being pressured internally to not support net.neutrality or July 12. (local mirror)
If we lose net neutrality, we could soon face an Internet where some of your favorite websites are forced into a slow lane online, while deep-pocketed companies who can afford expensive new “prioritization” fees have special fast lane access to Internet users - tilting the playing field in their favor. We could also be facing a Net in which little websites like mine will not exist for all intents and purposes because folks like me won't have the money to even buy into the "slow lanes" of throttled Internet access. We may even be facing a Net in which censorship of "inconvenient" websites may be imposed under the guise of failure to pay or not falling into one of the defined content types required to buy into one of the speed classes.
But, on July 12th, the Internet will come together to stop them. Websites, Internet users, and online communities will stand tall, and sound the alarm about the FCC’s attack on net neutrality.
The Battle for the Net campaign will provide tools for everyone to make it super easy for your friends, family, followers to take action. From the SOPA blackout to the Internet Slowdown, we've shown time and time again that when the Internet comes together, we can stop censorship and corruption. Now, we have to do it again!
Learn more and join the action here: https://www.battleforthenet.com/july12
May 25, 2017
I haven't spent much time with forge and Nicole since their wedding many, many years ago. Forge was in mine back in '08, but weddings being what they are, I wasn't able to really hang out. I think they lived in the Bay Area for a while, but now they're living in Maryland under what seems like less-than-optimal conditions..
Nicole recently announced that she's been suffering from polycistic kidney disease for much of her life; it is a disease in which cysts grow inside the kidney in the place of normal nephritic tissue. If the cysts become too large or too numerous, the kidneys fail to function the way they're supposed to which causes a whole family of other health problems due to one's blood being filtered insufficiently. If you have any doubts that this can be somewhat problematic, you might want to check out some medical photographs of the condition. Unfortunately, while the condition can be treated to mitigate symptoms it cannot be cured entirely. Nicole has lost 90% of her kidney function and she's going to need to go on dialysis within six months.
If you have it laying around, can you please spare a couple of dollars to help an old friend? Also, if you can spread word of their Gofundme campaign around your respective social networks, can you please do so? If you would like to sign up to see if you could be a possible kidney donor, please go here and fill out the forms: https://maryland.donorscreen.org/register/donate-kidney
Mar 20, 2017
I've been asked to signal boost this by AJ, one of the few people whom I would say in public that I trust.
Lapis, a friend of his, is a transwoman who is disabled and is also at this time homeless. Lapis is undergoing a mental health crisis at this time and is actively seeking assistance. However, the mental health system has judged that Lapis is not undergoing a sufficiently bad crisis to warrant hospitalization (which would mean getting her off the street). As far as I know, Lapis is estranged from her family so they are not an option for assistance at this time. To render assistance, AJ has gone into the red by sacrificing money he had saved up to get his car fixed to get Lapis into a motel for the next couple of days. For family reasons, AJ isn't able to hook Lapis up with crash space.
If you can help out somehow, can you please donate a few dollars to this campaign and repost this message elsewhere to bring it to the attention of more people? If you're not in a position to donate money, if you could hook Lapis up with crash space somewhere in the Portland area or if you can help AJ get his car repaired (in the event that he has to drive Lapis someplace), please contact me through one of the socnets I use or at one of the e-mail addresses associated with my PGP key and I'll pass word along.