Half of Americans Cannot Get Broadband Internet

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has defined broadband as speed of 25Mbps download and 3Mbps upload and according to a new report [which you can read here] 102 million wireline connections in the United States operate at speeds below the FCC’s broadband definition. The FCC has also recently noted (in a separate report) that 2/3rds of American homes lack access to more than one provider for speeds that meet or exceed the definition of broadband.

When the FCC set its broadband definition in January of 2015 the average download speed in the United States was only 10Mbps, but by the beginning of 2016 it had increased to 25Mbps — Thanks largely in part to Cable providers upgraded their networks to DOCSIS 3.0. DSL providers (such as Verizon and AT&T) have steadfastly refused to upgrade their aging infrastructure, especially as they lack any true competition to improve their price or their networks.

Inexpensive access to true broadband is vitally important to education and innovation but incumbents have been largely successful in blocking municipal broadband (muni-fiber) and passing protectionist laws in most states. With an incoming Trump presidency and a GOP dominated FCC things won’t get better anytime soon.


CableOne Brags It Provides Worse Service to Bad Credit Customers

This has got to be, one of the most, egregious things I’ve ever seen a telecom. executive say (which itself is pretty shocking, because telecom. executives say some pretty terrible things).


Turning away bad credit customers is certainly nothing new, but this week cable operator Cable ONE admitted that the company actually gives worse customer service to customers with low FICO scores. Speaking at the JPMorgan Global Technology, Media and Telecom Conference Cable One CEO Thomas Might crowed that the company has implemented a “very rigorous FICI credit scoring process” on its video customers since 2013 that involves somehow flagging the accounts so that company support representatives don’t spend as much time on support with those users as they otherwise would.

“We don’t turn people away,” Might said, but the cable company’s support staff isn’t going to “spend 15 minutes setting up an iPhone app” for a customer who has a low FICO score.

The CEO failed to illustrate just how far Cable ONE’s practice of trying less hard for credit-troubled customers goes.

I spoke to several telecom policy experts and lawyers who offered slightly varying opinions on whether what CableONE is doing is technically illegal. 

Bold text added by me for emphasis.

Facebook is developing their own routing technology for Gigabit Wireless dubbed Open/R

A couple days ago Facebook posted information on their new “Open/R” routing technology developed for Gigabit Wireless. Facebook sites a lack of flexibility in current open-sourced solutions. The routing protocol operates based on concepts that can be found is OSPF and ISIS.

Facebook goes on to state that Open/R will allow wireless networks to work around various factors such as weather, and obstructions that continue to hamper the millimeter wave technologies Facebook is experimenting with.

The full post, and technical details, can be found HERE.


Hillary’s Attempt To Use DEAD CHILDREN as Props In An Attack On Sanders Has Backfired

Hillary Clinton’s strategy regarding Bernie Sanders has become, in her own words, “disqualify him, defeat him and then they can unify the party later”.

Her latest attempt to question Bernie’s commitment to liberal values has backfired completely and has some people switching sides. While Hillary was Secretary of State she had no qualms about selling weapons to regimes in the Middle East that, shall we say, less than progressive. For her to now usedead children as  a prop is pretty disgusting.

Source Link Here:

After a crushing defeat in Wisconsin, Hillary Clinton’s new campaign strategy is to viciously attack Bernie Sanders. But that isn’t working out so well.

Clinton’s campaign has been attacking the gun issue since last night, casting Bernie Sanders as a friend of gun manufacturers and Hillary Clinton as a staunch advocate of gun control. But that line of attack completely backfired after her campaign team tweeted a political attack at Sanders, using the children killed in Sandy Hook as a political football

Immediately, the comment thread for that tweet was full of angry Sanders supporters, but even Clinton supporters were disgusted, calling out the former Secretary of State for her insensitivity toward Sandy Hook victims. One Sanders supporter who had apparently been trying to convince her parents to switch their support from Clinton to the Vermont senator said the Sandy Hook tweet was what put them over the edge:

Saudi Arabian Government Seeks Death Penalty For Gays Who Come Out On Social Media

Just the latest in draconian, backward thinking, barbarism from our friends & allies in peace – The Saudi Royal Family.

From Britain’s Mirror:

The government in the Sunni Kingdom is reportedly demanding tougher punishments on those found guilty and claimed social media has caused a boom in homosexuality. According to Okaz newspaper, the last six months has seen 35 cases of homosexuality and 50 cases of cross-dressers as well as cases of “sexual perversion” in Saudi Arabia.

The judiciary reportedly also claimed there has been a large rise in “perverts” displaying “sins and obscenities” on social media in the Sunni Kingdom. It comes after a Saudi man was arrested this week when he raised the rainbow flag outside his home in Jeddah. The doctor was arrested by religious police within hours of hoisting the flag in the port city. But he was released shortly afterwards when he claimed he had no idea what the pride flag symbolised.

Currently, the Saudi government hands out fines, prison sentences and whipping for being openly gay. A second conviction automatically merits automatic executions although vigilante executions are also common.

As noted by Joe.My.God.:

Rush Limbaugh took note of the story on his radio show yesterday as he denounced the corporate response to North Carolina’s hate law. A partial transcript:


Here comes Saudi Arabia, openly claiming they want to kill, they want to execute anybody they discover to be homosexual, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and the reaction is a ho-hum and a yawn. Much like American feminists, who try to find all kinds of misbehavior in the Republican Party, all kinds of War on Women, sexism and discrimination, whatever you have it, and yet when it comes to Islam, ignore the general second- and third-class status of women in that culture.

They don’t speak out against it. And, in fact, defend Islam when it is properly accused of being behind terrorism, we’re told, “No, no, no, no, Islam is a religion of peace, Islam does not sponsor terrorism, it’s an offshoot.”

So all kinds of things are said in defense of Islam that truly subordinates women to second- and third-grade status. Well, much the same thing here. We’re gonna go after and try to economically damage North Carolina or Georgia or any other state, Ohio, anywhere where they attempt to establish and affirm anything close to religious freedom and religious liberty, gotta slap that down, we got make sure that doesn’t happen. And we’ll ignore what goes on in Saudi Arabia, and we might even continue to do business with them.



Stillwater Scenic Trail

Entry number two for my hikes & walks in Rhode Island will go to the Stillwater Scenic Trail (for post number one see Connors Farm Conservation Area).

Trail: Stillwater Scenic Trail

Location: Smithfield, Rhode Island

Trailhead: There are two different parking areas for this walk – the bigger Farnum Pike trailhead, or the smaller (but my favorite) Capron Rd trailhead.

First Hiked: ??/??/????

Last Hiked: 3/27/2016

Difficulty: Extremely easy – very wide, flat dirt/grass/gravel trail.

Dogs Allowed: Yes – Please pick up after your dog! The only trashcan is at the Capron Rd. parking area – it is maintained by a neighbor. Leashes not required.

Owned By: Town of Smithfield Land Trust/Rhode Island DOT/National Grid

Easy, relaxing, and beautiful. When I have an hour to kill I love to take my dog for a walk here. I tend to start out at the Capron Rd. parking area, but it really doesn’t matter which you choose. The walk is about 2.5 miles round-tip.

Starting at Capron Rd. you walk along the side of the unnamed river flowing from Capron Pond to Georgiaville Pond on your right and pastures land and woods to your left. After about half a mile you’ll come to an old dam and Capron pond itself. Here both the trail and your views widen.

At the end of the pond (at about .85 miles) the water calm as the river narrows, on most days it is like a perfect mirror. I’ve seen all manner of birds, ducks, and geese as well as wild turkeys. If you’re early enough, quite enough,and lucky enough you may also see a Beaver or two. The last half mile or so of the trail is like this until you reach the Farnum Pike parking lot. At this point you can turn around or cross over and explore the banks and trails along the Stillwater Resivoir.


RI Rep. Ajello & Sen. Nesselbush: Your cellphone location should be protected

Thank you Sen. Nesselbush and Rep. Ajello for working to keep our privacy protected. Our mobile devices contain our lives, and law enforcement must be required to obtain a warrant for any information contained within our devices or the provider’s network!

Even location data can reveal a lot about a person: Where your date was last night, that you visited your doctor the next day, that you were at a bar when you told your spouse you were at work.

The government cannot be allowed such blunt intrusion into our lives.

Read the full op-ed at the Providence Journal.

The oversight that our legislation would establish is both reasonable and necessary. Our phones are with us when we wake up, when we drive to work, when we take children to school, and when we go out for the evening. They can reveal the ages of our children, the status of our health, our commitment to our job, and who we are with at any given moment in time, whether today or on a day forgotten months ago. Yet, despite the overwhelming potential for misuse of this information, Rhode Island law does nothing to keep our every move from being scrutinized by law enforcement on demand, and without a warrant.
Our information is not safe simply because we have done nothing wrong. During an investigation, law enforcement may do a “tower dump,” where all the cell phone information of every person who passed a particular tower is released. If we’ve been in the same vicinity, our information may be compromised.

Despite Controversy Over Syria, Refugees In Rhode Island Find Their Footing

Since the time of Anne Hutchinson, William Coddington, and Roger Williams Rhode Island has been a haven from those escaping persecution and in search of a better life. I am proud that, despite the cries of bigots and fearmongerers, RI is still a home for refugees.

via RINPR:

Two Syrian refugee families now call Rhode Island home, which had caused fear and outrage for some government officials and community leaders. However, the Ocean State has a long history of resettling refugees and these families and individuals come from all over the world.


Christian Activist Theodore Shoebat Supports Violent Vigilante Attacks Against Gay Rights Activists

This disgusting excuse for a human being (let alone a “Christian”) is exactly why the GOP cannot be allowed to win the upcoming elections in the United States of America. We must do everything that we can to ensure that Democrats keep the White House as well as take majorities in the House and Senate.

Via Right Wing Watch:

Shoebat said that physically assaulting gay activists was theologically justified and praised the nations where it takes place, saying that “I wish America had this stuff.”

When Brown asked Shoebat his thoughts on an incident in Israel last year in which six people were stabbed by an anti-gay militant during a gay pride parade and one young woman died, Shoebat said that “it really doesn’t bother me, to be honest with you.”

More details, and a video at the link.

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