We at Technology Bloopers are tired of being ripped off and we’re not going to take it anymore! We were paying Comcast a total of $86 per month for our home office business account and a whopping $156 per month for our TV. To add insult to injury, the user interface for selecting movies was not only hard to use but contained annoying videos unrelated to our searching for movies. Fortunately, this interface had annoyed us to the breaking point (and our aging DLP chip in our rear-projection TV set had lost a lot of its tiny “fingers”, looking increasingly like a starry night all the time) so that we had very recently contracted with a home theater installer who understood the pricing structure of Comcast. He arranged a deal with a total cost per month of about $60, compared to the former total of $242.
Admittedly, a lot of the savings came from removing the TV part (we have little interest in TV most of the time, and resent paying a huge fee for it). And for the small amount of TV there is a little-known, but FREE, alternative that provides most of the programming—an antenna (either indoor or outdoor.) So a large fraction of people are paying huge fees for something that is free. (Incidentally, both alternatives deliver a lot of advertising.)
By coincidence, the Wall Street Journal’s new Personal Technology columnist, David Pierce, chose as his first column (on February 15) to discuss the various alternatives to cable TV that use the Internet but are considerably less pricey.
The current fracas about net neutrality is an example of the worst features of politics and the US’s two-party system. “European diplomats … believe Trump’s foreign policy is chiefly driven by an obsession with unravelling Barack Obama’s policies. “It’s his only real position,” one European diplomat said. “He will ask: ‘Did Obama approve this?’ And if the answer is affirmative, he will say: ‘We don’t.’ He won’t even want to listen to the arguments or have a debate.”
In the case of Net Neutrality it MIGHT be predictable that even Republicans other than Trump would side with the big companies like Amazon, Comcast, Facebook, and Google. But new FCC head appointed by Trump seems to be going to extremes to kill and bury net neutrality. This is ironical because killing net neutrality is likely to most hurt the voters of the species who put Trump into the White House. We even suspect that many of the “little guys” who are members of this species don’t even understand what net neutrality is and that those little guys are the ones who will suffer most because it is THEY will suffer as they become second-class citizens with regard to information and entertainment they receive via the Internet. Readers of this post who are uncertain as to what net neutrality is would do well to have a look at its definition on Wikipedia or another reliable source of information.
President Trump and FCC Chairman Ajit Pai appear to be ignoring the U.S. Declaration of Independence that states “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”. Given the importance of the Internet today, their attitudes and actions are clearly violating Americans’ pursuit of Happiness.