Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Real Threat to Net Neutrality is Google - What I am reading - 2/25/2015

Been awhile since I have done one of these.  Blame a lack of time combined with lack of anything I found interesting enough to write about, but I have a little time this morning so...

Ars Technica - How leaky is shale gas production? -
Around the Haynesville in Texas and Louisiana, they estimated leakage at 1.0 to 2.1 percent of production. Leakage in the Fayetteville region in Arkansas was similar, between 1.0 and 2.8 percent. (A 2008 Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality report also estimated leakage at 2.0 percent.)  And in northeast Pennsylvania, leakage from Marcellus production was well under one percent (0.18-0.41 percent).
Averaged together, the estimated leakage is 1.1 percent, in close agreement with the EPA’s estimates.
Good news - unless you are one of the belligerently anti-fracking crowd.  Too be far this is a follow-up on a study conducted at 3 smaller, older, less technically advanced sites, where the rates of leakage were found to be higher.  That itself was a follow-up on a study which found rates consistent with this one.

Wired - The Rise and Fall of RedBook, the Site That Sex Workers Couldn’t Live Without -
Until last summer, pretty much anyone buying or selling sex in the San Francisco Bay Area used myRedBook.com. For more than a decade, the site commonly referred to as RedBook served as a vast catalog of carnal services, a mashup of Craigslist, Yelp, and Usenet where sex workers and hundreds of thousands of their customers could connect, converse, and make arrangements for commercial sex. RedBook tapped into the persistent, age-old, bottomless appetite for prostitution and made it safer and more civilized. The site was efficient, well stocked, and probably too successful for its own good.
Not much to say really.  I guess you can't be surprised that a site that caters to an illegal trade gets shut down.  I guess the question is did it do more harm than good? 

The Verge - Gemalto denies 'massive' SIM breach, says 3G and 4G networks unaffected  -

Today, Gemalto presented the findings of its investigations into the alleged hackings. While the manufacturer says it has reasonable grounds to believe that an operation by NSA and GCHQ "probably happened," the company claims that the attacks only breached its office networks, and "could not have resulted in a massive theft of SIM encryption keys."
...
The Intercept's report focuses on Gemalto as the source of what it calls "massive key theft," but the company says that it was one of several parties targeted by GCHQ and the NSA for the collection of SIM data. "Gemalto has never sold SIM cards to four of the twelve operators listed in the documents," it says, making specific reference to a Somali carrier it has never done business with from whom 300,000 keys were reportedly stolen. Another document showed a list of personalization centers in Japan, Colombia, and Italy — countries in which Gemalto says it had no such centers at the time.

I keep telling you guys that Greenwald and Co. are just making shit up, but no one will listen.

Pando Daily - Silicon Valley’s War on Sex continues as Google bans adult blogs -

Now, Google is taking its anti-sex stance even further by banning public blogs hosted on its Blogger platform that feature “sexually explicit or graphic nude images or video.” These bloggers have one month to remove the offending content or else Google will automatically list these blogs as “private” — meaning they will only be visible to their owners and individuals that have been granted explicit permission by the owner to view.
...
As Pando’s Mark Ames wrote of Google, “Never in history has one corporation and one source had so much power over what we know and don’t know.” In the past year, Google has blocked adult ads and announced a ban on adult blogs. How long before it de-indexes pornographic sites from search altogether?
And this is the argument I keep making about the cloud.  Once you use someone else's service to store your data / host your site / whatever, it ceases be yours.  In this case it is people who like to look at naked pictures being offended but how long until Google starts marking sites that contain climate change skepticism as private, or pro - GOP / pro Tea Party sites.  Or maybe Google is really really against gay marriage so pro Gay Marriage sites start dropping in search rankings.  See my point. The biggest threat to real Net Neutrality (defined as equal access to content) is Google and it's arbitrary power to control what you see. They are the ones who should be regulated like a utility.  

On the other hand what I see here is OPPORTUNITY.  Google has fled the market.  The person who can get in there first with a decent offering is bound to make a lot of money.




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