×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

502 comments

Tax Dollars (5, Insightful)

y86 (111726) | more than 5 years ago | (#25946391)

WOW! Something that my tax dollars pay for that MIGHT actually benefit me? Neat-o.

I mean welfare and social security is great, but besides the roads and military it would be nice to get some value back.

Re:Tax Dollars (5, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#25946623)

You ever eat food that didn't kill you ? (FDA), or drink water? How about housing the hard core criminals in prison?

Does it snow in your area? Plows are a nice thing to have.

Sure there is a lot of waste in government, but you get a lot more benefit then you are giving them credit for.

Re:Tax Dollars (1, Troll)

y86 (111726) | more than 5 years ago | (#25946753)

You ever eat food that didn't kill you ? (FDA), or drink water? How about housing the hard core criminals in prison?

Does it snow in your area? Plows are a nice thing to have.

I pay for all my food. Which in turn pays fee's to the FDA. I also pay for my water. Criminals should be shot and the family should be charged for the execution just like in China. I also paid for snow removal when I lived up North.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Fy2008spendingbycategory.png [wikipedia.org]

I'm pretty sure that over 50% of my federal income tax and SS is for worthless programs that benefit the lazy.

Re:Tax Dollars (2, Insightful)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 5 years ago | (#25947023)

Not to mention that those hardcore cirminals are housed and fed for 7-10 years and sent back out on the street with a nearly 70% [state.pa.us] rearrest rate. Prisons are clearly an effective means of reforming the criminal population.

(BTW I'm in the military and I can tell you it's pretty hard to imagine how much money SS must waste if they actually spend more than we do)

Re:Tax Dollars (4, Informative)

Fallingcow (213461) | more than 5 years ago | (#25947245)

SS? Social Security? Very low overhead, actually. Tiny. Nearly all of their spending is in the form of checks to citizens, which is the whole point. They even bring in more money than they spend--at least for now.

The problem is that they'll stop bringing in that surplus and start spending from savings in a couple of years, due to demographic shifts (the baby boomers). This means that they'll run out of money around 2040. SS can't spend money that isn't from the special tax that's set aside just for it (FICA) so it's unclear what would happen in such an event.

It's a bit misleading to compare SS spending to other government spending, in fact, since its funding is from that sole source and it does not and cannot take money from the general budget. In fact, the very large surplus from SS is used to as a source to borrow for spending in the general budget, so its presence makes our deficit look artificially lower than it is.

To summarize: SS is among the most efficiently-run government programs, and actually props up the general budget rather than dragging it down, at least for the next 30 years or so.

Re:Tax Dollars (-1, Troll)

y86 (111726) | more than 5 years ago | (#25947265)

To summarize: SS is among the most efficiently-run government programs, and actually props up the general budget rather than dragging it down, at least for the next 30 years or so.

I love paying for people to sit home on disability and for other peoples retirements.

Re:Tax Dollars (4, Insightful)

jank1887 (815982) | more than 5 years ago | (#25947427)

well have no fear, the same program guarantees that other people will help pay for your disability or retirement in the event you need it, instead of having you just starve to death. And if you don't need it? great, glad to hear it. be thankful that the program would have supported you if you did.

Re:Tax Dollars (1)

kannibal_klown (531544) | more than 5 years ago | (#25947517)

In the past it could be seen as a simple investment.

Sure, when you were younger you were giving away some of your paycheck to Social Secutiy and that money would be used by other people to help out when they were old and retired.

But when you get older, you got to collect on other people's checks which can help out when you're old and retired.

Unfortunately, as many have said now we're in a pickle. In a few years it won't really be around anymore, so it's kind of depressing to know that you won't get the full benefit from that money you were donating this whole time.

And with many companies no longer offering such perks as Pension Plans (and such) it's even more depressing.

Re:Tax Dollars (-1, Troll)

tripdizzle (1386273) | more than 5 years ago | (#25947453)

The problem is that they'll stop bringing in that surplus and start spending from savings in a couple of years

This is a problem, but it is not THE problem. The problem as I see it is that people should have to pay for their own retirement. Retirement is not a right, and with all the jobs that can be done while sitting, I don't see it as being something that necessarily has to happen. It did make sense at a time where most jobs consisted mostly of physical labor, but this is no longer the case.

Re:Tax Dollars (1)

aztektum (170569) | more than 5 years ago | (#25947251)

Does it snow in your area? Plows are a nice thing to have.

OMG You've stumbled upon a government conspiracy to eliminate "snow days"!

Re:Tax Dollars (5, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#25947261)

How about housing the hard core criminals in prison?

Yeah, I'm sure all 2 million of them are way too dangerous to be let out on the street. No, this money is wasted housing petty criminals and drug users, while Bush and his crew, and let's not forget the CEOs of every investment bank in the country are free.

More people are arrested for marijuana possession in this country than EVERY OTHER VIOLENT CRIME COMBINED! Is that what you call a good use of tax payer resources?

Re:Tax Dollars (5, Funny)

viking099 (70446) | more than 5 years ago | (#25946769)

Obligatory Monty Python quote:
Reg:
        All right... all right... but apart from better sanitation and medicine and education and irrigation and public health and roads and a freshwater system and baths and public order... what have the Romans done for us?

Re:Tax Dollars (1)

thermian (1267986) | more than 5 years ago | (#25947281)

Obligatory Monty Python quote:
Reg:

        All right... all right... but apart from better sanitation and medicine and education and irrigation and public health and roads and a freshwater system and baths and public order... what have the Romans done for us?

brought peace?

Re:Tax Dollars (2, Insightful)

qoncept (599709) | more than 5 years ago | (#25946941)

Yeah, yeah! I'm with you. And despite all of the tax money allocated for public education, you're still an idiot. When is the government going to help you? Greedy bastards.

Re:Tax Dollars (5, Insightful)

omeomi (675045) | more than 5 years ago | (#25946967)

Yeah, and then once the FCC has effectively made internet within the US a public resource, they can start censoring it with the same crazy arbitrary rules they use for broadcast TV. No thanks, I think I'd like to stick to the private model.

Re:Tax Dollars (5, Insightful)

LandDolphin (1202876) | more than 5 years ago | (#25947137)

That is pretty much their goal. But, that's fine as long as you still have the option to purchase unfiltered internet from the current ISPs.

Filtered Internet is better then no internet for a lot of people.

Re:Tax Dollars (1)

eonlabs (921625) | more than 5 years ago | (#25947233)

Seconded,

Granted, if there was a federally operated internet, tampering with data online could be as much of a federal
crime as tampering with the mail...

Who thinks it would be a good idea to have a public wireless internet managed by a division of the US Postal
service, rather than as a media model like the FCC manages television and radio?

Re:Tax Dollars (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 5 years ago | (#25947335)

And as long as a paid alternative exists (Like Cable TV) I don't care. I'd love to be able to get my parents on something faster than 14.4k.

You can show a full length porn at high noon on cable and the FCC can't do a damn thing.

Wishful thinking... (4, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 5 years ago | (#25947007)

People will absorb ANY amount of bandwidth if it's free. This thing will ALWAYS be overloaded and unusable. Period.

Re:Wishful thinking... (2, Informative)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 5 years ago | (#25947127)

People will absorb ANY amount of bandwidth if it's free. This thing will ALWAYS be overloaded and unusable. Period.

A properly designed mesh will have more bandwidth the more users it has. Bittorrent is a virtual mesh network, and it works so well that the legacy network can't handle the simulation.

Re:Wishful thinking... (1)

umghhh (965931) | more than 5 years ago | (#25947187)

There is no such thing as free and of course you are right to say that if it is free it will clog and be maintained badly. There is similar but not quite the same problem with any service where there is no relationship between actual usage and charge users must pay. It may work but will be slow, unreliable and expensive for tax payer (somebody will have to pay for it at the end). Better let private enterprise make things happen in a framework state or communities set. Something like for a basic fee (incorporated in the local taxes somehow) you get basic not very useful but existing service, to get anything useful like bandwith, static addresses, webspace, qos and what not, etc you need to pay extra. But I guess that is too much to ask. There will always be opposition for 'free' service for all ('you commies want to ruin our finances') and any reasonable pay scheme ('but fees violate the very idea internet was funded on').
In my view the problem is unsolvable.

Re:Wishful thinking... (3, Insightful)

Glenstorm (117502) | more than 5 years ago | (#25947321)

Like most of the highways in major American cities, during rush hour. However people still use those.

You damn commies (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25946393)

Why do you hate freedom so much?

So when it is illegal... (3, Insightful)

Skinkie (815924) | more than 5 years ago | (#25946409)

So when site owners can make their own rules/laws on their website, you are unable to browse anonymously we are going to make internet free. What a great coincidence.

Free internet? (4, Interesting)

neokushan (932374) | more than 5 years ago | (#25946451)

Two entries down on the front page, there's an article speculating that the internet will meltdown due to some change an application is about to make, yet here's an article proposing FREE wireless internet to everyone?

If the infrastructure can't handle what people are paying for, how on earth do they plan to give it away for free?
Even with severe bandwidth restrictions, it's going to cause a hell of a lot more usage.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for this kind of thing and I'd love to see Free Wireless internet for everyone, I just wish people would make up their minds - is the internet ready to expand or collapse on top of itself?

Re:Free internet? (0)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 5 years ago | (#25946811)

It should be made a public utility, not free. Just like electricity, gas, and water, let private utility companies run it but regulate the pricing and service quality.

Of course then our issues would be with the regulations, and not with the current monopolies. But I'd rather see it regulated and price controlled than the current situation.

Re:Free internet? (1)

omeomi (675045) | more than 5 years ago | (#25947045)

yes, then we can pay more AND have an extra level of beaurocracy...where do I sign up?

Re:Free internet? (1)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 5 years ago | (#25947189)

The water, electricity, and gas coming into my home are pretty cheap. Having regulated monopolies instead of the current unregulated monopolies should reduce prices.

And the new bureaucracy would mostly replace the existing corporate bureaucracy.

Could be a great idea! (5, Insightful)

rotide (1015173) | more than 5 years ago | (#25946475)

Obviously you can't be looking for 10mbps connections to watch streaming video and download isos. But think about a simple internet connection that allows for basic web browsing, email use, IM texting, etc.

Out on the road? Can't find an open WiFi hotspot to check google maps? Solved.

Out on the road? Want to download the newest HD episode of your show? Ya, you're going to want to get a connection from a paid-for ISP.

Re:Could be a great idea! (1)

jorghis (1000092) | more than 5 years ago | (#25947255)

Censored internet? So basically the FCC will have the same level of control over the "free" internet that it does over things like radio stations and television? It sounds likely that this will turn into a situation where the majority of content producers have to conform to what the FCC wants because there is a nontrivial customer base that is using the free version.

Lets keep the current model, I would rather the government not take my tax dollars to pay for their version of what the internet should look like. I prefer paying for it directly and getting what I want rather than indirectly and letting someone else decide for me.

Re:Could be a great idea! (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 5 years ago | (#25947381)

So let people keep the "Paid for" alternative. You have free over the air TV. You also have paid for cable. Over the air TV has certain FCC regulation. Cable TV doesn't. I'd love to be able to get my parents on even 0.5Mbit connection just to send photos back and forth. USPS is literally faster to where I grew up than trying to send a photo website.

Re:Could be a great idea! (1)

rotide (1015173) | more than 5 years ago | (#25947511)

Obviously, if something is free, you can't complain about arbitrary restrictions. If you pay for it, then you can.

Yes yes... You pay taxes which go into making this "free" service. I get it. We still technically pay. However, if you are only planning on using this to fill in the gaps between using paid-for services, being able to have access to federal sites, email, basic surfing, IM, etc is still worth it.

If I'm out on the road, I can still get my email. I can still keep in contact with family. I can still get directions/maps. I can still get weather reports and satellite imagery. Without the "free" internet, I can't do any of that unless I pay a nice premium on my cell phone.

I think most people will fail in the "what the primary purpose" of this will be. No, it is NOT a replacement for your 5+ mbit connection. Sorry.

Then again, if you're out of a job, or having real issues with cash, or only NEED email access, then guess what, you're in luck!

"Free" is relative (2, Insightful)

tripdizzle (1386273) | more than 5 years ago | (#25946527)

The plan would involve some level of filtering...

I predicted this before I read it. Anything a government is going to provide you will also be completely controlled by them.

...but might allow adults to opt out.

That's the same thing they said about parents who want to home school their kids rather than sending them to public schools, but is not the case, they still have to pay for other peoples kids via taxes to get the worthless education currently being provided.

Re:"Free" is relative (0)

y86 (111726) | more than 5 years ago | (#25946619)

they still have to pay for other peoples kids via taxes to get the worthless education currently being provided.

Worthless, LOL -- it's subpar and possibly terrible, but worthless?

We need a voucher system to let the market help manage these terrible schools.

Also, my child will be going to private school in the near future.

Re:"Free" is relative (5, Insightful)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 5 years ago | (#25946775)

Public education is far from worthless. In some places, it is indeed sub par, but in others it's very good. I wouldn't be surprised if the quality of schools fit a bell curve pretty well actually. As for improving the situation, my wife and mother are teachers. Trust me when I say that improving schools starts with parents actually taking an interesting in their child's education.

Re:"Free" is relative (4, Insightful)

LandDolphin (1202876) | more than 5 years ago | (#25947185)

But that invovled people actually doing something. It is much easier for them to sit back and complain about other people/Government.

Re:"Free" is relative (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25947389)

It is much easier for them to sit back and complain about other people/Government.

"Everybody who read the Jungle Book knows that
Riki tiki tavi is a mongoose who kills snakes.
But when I was a young man I was led to believe
There were organisations to kill my snakes for me,
I was told i.e. the Church, i.e. the Government, i.e. School
But as I got a little older I learned I had to kill my snakes myself."

Re:"Free" is relative (1)

kannibal_klown (531544) | more than 5 years ago | (#25947331)

I agree, there are some areas where the public school are quite good. Unfortunately the cost-of-living in those areas (along w/ property taxes) are quite high.

My old public High School used to be a decent place, back when I graduated (which wasn't THAT long ago) it was ranked in the top 15 of the state and I didn't have a hard time getting accepted into colleges. My graduating class was between 95-105 students.

Unfortunately, since then it has declined due to over crowding and poor management. The graduating class is about 3x what it used to be (with the younger grades even larger), but they've only been able to add a couple of classrooms. Meanwhile most of the managers (Principal, Vice Principal, Board of Ed Chair, etc) have been replaced. It's a shame.

Re:"Free" is relative (1)

jbolden (176878) | more than 5 years ago | (#25947413)

The thing is it is not just your kid that matters. The high levels of interest by other parents positively impact your kid because it changes classroom dynamics. That's why I pay for private schools.

Re:"Free" is relative (2)

tripdizzle (1386273) | more than 5 years ago | (#25946965)

Worthless, LOL -- it's subpar and possibly terrible, but worthless?

I suppose worthless was a bit harsh. It does function as a form of daycare.

I graduated from high school in 04 and I have a brother who will graduate this year. Outside of math classes (which are electives after sophomore year) nothing of use was taught to me passed elementary school. More choice needs to be enabled, so we aren't being held hostage until 18, 16, or 15 depending on the state you are in. It should have been up to me and my parents to get the hell out of there and start some post secondary much earlier in life. There is so much waste (more of time than money) within these institutions and something needs to be done.

Grammar (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25947177)

nothing of use was taught to me passed elementary school

It shows :)

Re:Grammar (0, Flamebait)

tripdizzle (1386273) | more than 5 years ago | (#25947341)

If you are going to be a grammar nazi, do it properly. Passed is a verb (and was used properly), where past can be a noun, adjective or adverb.

Re:Grammar (1)

YouWantFriesWithThat (1123591) | more than 5 years ago | (#25947401)

you beat me to it. i would tend to think that it was not learned, rather than it was not taught. it is terrible how many otherwise intelligent people don't put any thought into the benefits of learning how to communicate properly. no matter how much expertise you have in your field, you are limited by how well you can express it.

and i would like to forestall the criticism that a technically-taught communication class is/was not available in high school...i learned to read and write coherently by studying english literature.

...and yes, i am aware that i am not capitalizing

Re:"Free" is relative (2, Interesting)

jamesmcm (1354379) | more than 5 years ago | (#25947001)

I don't get the whole private school love. I live in the UK and go to one of the worst schools in the county. But I work hard and am doing well (interview at Cambridge tomorrow :O ) It is certainly NOT worthless. I think money should be spent on making state schools much better to provide good education for all - that is what propels a nation forward. They could get some more money by removing the charity status from private schools.

Re:"Free" is relative (2, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#25947289)

They could get some more money by removing the charity status from private schools.

Private schools do not have charity status. Public schools do. They are run by an educational trust and do not run at a profit. Private schools are privately owned and (aim to) run at a profit.

Re:"Free" is relative (1)

jamesmcm (1354379) | more than 5 years ago | (#25947405)

They still shouldn't have charity status IMO. It just leaves it open to money laundering and also increases inequality in education and generally.

Re:"Free" is relative (1)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 5 years ago | (#25947461)

Many private schools are affiliated and dependent on religious institutions, and are not run for profit. Many that are not dependent on another organization are still not run for profit.

Re:"Free" is relative (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25946635)

Free as in beer: Nope
Free as in beer bought with welfare: Check
Free as in freedom: Nope
Free as in soviet Russia: Check

Re:"Free" is relative (1)

ubrgeek (679399) | more than 5 years ago | (#25947031)

I don't get it. What's "Free as in soviet Russia: Check" mean? We're going to have to stand in long lines to pick up packets along with our toilet paper?

Re:"Free" is relative (1)

jamesmcm (1354379) | more than 5 years ago | (#25946703)

The plan would involve some level of filtering...

I predicted this before I read it. Anything a government is going to provide you will also be completely controlled by them.

Not really, If they didn't filter it - Fox News would have a field day about the evil government using your tax dollars to provide paedophiles with child pornography. And it's nothing like the home school vs public school debate. That is to to do with ensuring every child at least has a minimum level of education and _controversial_ theories like evolution are taught. And I'm not even going to mention the anti-tax sentiment for fear of starting a flame war.

Re:"Free" is relative (1)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | more than 5 years ago | (#25947125)

Oh no we wouldn't want to upset fox news...

Re:"Free" is relative (1)

jamesmcm (1354379) | more than 5 years ago | (#25947271)

The politicians and so FCC certainly don't.

The media basically decide who is elected. Maybe they would be okay with sufficient bribes to Murdoch but really with filtering is the only way they can ever expect to implement this. At least for the start.

fp6 Sponge (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25946543)

outstrips get how people can fucking numbers, the 5ystem clean However I Don't operating systems

And while I highly doubt this... (1)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 5 years ago | (#25946579)

...will ever happen, before anyone cries foul about the proposed "pornography filter", waxes philosophic about who decides what's blocked, melodramatically laments censorship in all its forms, and then makes tired, mind-numbing slippery slope arguments, from TFA (not to mention the summary itself):

To address concerns about the filter, the FCC is proposing that adults could opt out and access all Internet sites.

That, and under the proposal, access would be free, no one would have to use it, it is not designed to be a primary means of access, and the filter, when present at all, would only be for "pornography". (Yes, I realize the problems of filtering in this way, both technical and otherwise.)

Ignoring all the nightmarish technical and logistical details of how one might reliably "opt out" of the filter, not to mention the myriad hurdles to providing of free nationwide wireless internet (even if only in major metro areas), this isn't going to happen anyway. ;-)

Re:And while I highly doubt this... (1)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 5 years ago | (#25946611)

That, and under the proposal, access would be free, no one would have to use it

A free tax increase with no incentive or requirement to use the service funded by the tax? Yay!

Re:And while I highly doubt this... (2, Insightful)

Adrian Lopez (2615) | more than 5 years ago | (#25946829)

Once they start filtering content they believe children shouldn't see, why would they not also filter -- and perhaps monitor -- adult access to gambling websites, The Pirate Bay, Al-Qaeda websites, etc.?

Re:And while I highly doubt this... (1)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 5 years ago | (#25947493)

Once they start filtering content they believe children shouldn't see, why would they not also filter -- and perhaps monitor -- adult access to gambling websites, The Pirate Bay, Al-Qaeda websites, etc.?

Because:

1. Anything other than pornography filtering is not part of any proposal.

2. No one has seriously considered anything other than pornography filtering in the interests of "children".

3. The opt out proposal specifically allows for unfiltered access.

So, thank you for proving my point, and making a slippery slope argument to boot. You can argue slippery slope all you want, but the fact is that the US doesn't filter internet traffic as it is, there is no precedent for what you assert, no one is talking about filtering anything other than "pornography".

Again, I fully realize the subjectivity of this issue, and the drawbacks of the "Think of the children!" mantra. But the point is, the only thing on the table here is pornography filtering, and filtering from which one can opt out at that.

Now as for monitoring, that's a different issue altogether.

Keep in mind, though, that foreign intelligence collection on communications where one endpoint is outside of the United States and the target of the monitoring is not a US Person [wikipedia.org] does not require, and has never required [slashdot.org] , a warrant or other judicial oversight or intervention...

pornography-free? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25947151)

What's left???

USA where Internet is a right and Heathcare isn't (5, Interesting)

MosesJones (55544) | more than 5 years ago | (#25946607)

Seriously folks, can't the greatest power in the world today do some form of prioritisation? Free internet access, brilliant a free utility, a basic fundamental right of every american guaranteed by the constitution and our founding fathers.

Free Healthcare of course is a communist plot to subvert the country and destroy everything America stands for.

Free Healthcare should be a right, the internet should be a utility just like power and water... something that you pay for.

Re:USA where Internet is a right and Heathcare isn (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25946669)

Since water and food are necessary for health, are you advocating that those two commodities are free to all?

Re:USA where Internet is a right and Heathcare isn (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25947207)

And shelter too! Much more important than healthcare, and more expensive as well. Whee! It's communitarianism!

Re:USA where Internet is a right and Heathcare isn (1, Redundant)

Zackbass (457384) | more than 5 years ago | (#25946683)

What power does the FCC have over health care?

Re:USA where Internet is a right and Heathcare isn (2, Insightful)

hey (83763) | more than 5 years ago | (#25946721)

It seems a whole lot easier to provide free wifi.
Maybe some day medical stuff can carry connected PDAs for accessing patient info.

Re:USA where Internet is a right and Heathcare isn (1)

khellendros1984 (792761) | more than 5 years ago | (#25947433)

medical stuff

Awesome, are you implying the future existence of robot paramedics and doctors?

Re:USA where Internet is a right and Heathcare isn (0, Troll)

jamesmcm (1354379) | more than 5 years ago | (#25946885)

For me, the government should provide both wireless and healthcare. Better than spending the money on propping up the failing rich or killing foreign 'terrorists'. But then I live in the UK so maybe I have a different perspective.

Re:USA where Internet is a right and Heathcare isn (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25947229)

I can only agree, free healthcare here in Britain has turned us into a bunch of filthy reds. We've even started taking our criminals to court and done our best to stop guns being dished out in supermarkets.

Re:USA where Internet is a right and Heathcare isn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25947391)

Shut up, Pip!

Re:USA where Internet is a right and Heathcare isn (3, Informative)

Jaeph (710098) | more than 5 years ago | (#25947285)

Government screws up everything it touches. Roads, military (talk to someone in the military and you'll get a million stories), mail, everything.

I'm not advocating zero government here, but we need to be wary about giving the government more work to do on such basic services. The opportunities for corruption (intentional or due to negligence) are immense here. Right now I fail to see the pros outweighing the cons when it comes to both govt-controlled internet and health care.

-Jeff

Re:USA where Internet is a right and Heathcare isn (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25947475)

Let me guess, you're a young (<40) person that has this idea that all these places with free health-care are so much better than the US. You have never actually lived in another country for 10+ years and had to use the services or hear the real stories of how it works from people caught in it.

Let me put it to you this way, despite giving up their free health care people in other countries want to move to the US and don't see that as a drawback.

Re:USA where Internet is a right and Heathcare isn (1)

jbolden (176878) | more than 5 years ago | (#25947519)

Most Americans support some form of free healthcare. A free limited health care system that provides a minimal level of public health would get strong support and some support from both parties. Lets not forget that McCain campaigned on $5000k / person health insurance. The real issue has always been how to provide supplemental coverage.

Re:USA where Internet is a right and Heathcare isn (1)

TomXP411 (860000) | more than 5 years ago | (#25947535)

No person should be denied the basic necessities of life because he can't pay for it: food, shelter, electricity, water, basic communications, and basic medical care. YES, we should be providing these things for all citizens, and every citizen of this country should get BASIC service at no cost.

Besides, other people ARE working on free health care, and the FCC isn't responsible for health care. It's the FCC's job to promote and regulate wireless communications. Using an article about the FCC to whine about health care is about as stupid as using an article about health care to complain about your TV reception. It's a non-sequiter.

As to utilities: I've long thought that we should subsidize a certain level of baisic service for those who can't pay for it. We all pay a Universal Lifeline fee to help pay for phone service for the indigent. Why not transition the telephone ULF to an Internet ULF in preparation for the day that telephones disappear altogether? The switched telephone network is dead; it's just a matter of time until everyone realizes it.

internet should be cheap, not free (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25946641)

Health Care should be a right.
Internet access should just be affordable with reasonable performance.

Try getting old and/or sick sometime and you'll get the perspective.

Wireless Philadelphia (4, Informative)

snarfies (115214) | more than 5 years ago | (#25946709)

I am a resident of the city of Philadelphia. Maybe you've heard of our cities wireless initiative over the years. It began, as the Slate article mentions with Earthlink putting up access points all over the city, and charging $20/month for access. The main problem was that the service rarely actually WORKED. I tried it for a week when I was unemployed and looking to save money. They gave me a box to connect to my computer with an antenna the length of my arm, and even so the signal would fluctuate wildly from minute to minute, from full strength to zero strength, no matter where I put the box or aimed the antenna.

The network is still there after Earthlink abandoned it. It shows up on my celphone (sometimes) as something I can connect to. Only I don't think I've ever once successfully loaded a web page using in on my celphone, and not for lack of trying in all different parts of the city. In other words, now that its free its more useless than ever.

Re:Wireless Philadelphia (2, Informative)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 5 years ago | (#25946947)

WiFi isn't a very good technology to use for a city wide mesh anyway. I'm sure it can be done, but number of failed citywide WiFi networks vs. the few that are said to be effective reinforces my opinion on this. It looks to me that by and large, the people that set them up didn't understand and compensate for the weaknesses of such a network.

Re:Wireless Philadelphia (1)

TomXP411 (860000) | more than 5 years ago | (#25947249)

That's because wifi is Not a good solution for net access. However, tv white space spectrum: that could work.

Government-run communications (4, Insightful)

Adrian Lopez (2615) | more than 5 years ago | (#25946719)

I don't want the government to be my ISP, and I really don't like the implications of having a net connection that is so directly controlled by the government. The fact that filtering is even mentioned at all suggests what a potentially bad idea this really is. Filtering, surveillance and the displacement of unfiltered commercial alternatives? No thanks.

It's not WLAN (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25946765)

The slate analysis is about Wi-Fi. The current plan is about allocating a frequency band to a private company and in return that company must use part of that band to provide free wireless internet access. That is not the same as a WLAN you can hop on with every notebook.

panopticon (5, Insightful)

globaljustin (574257) | more than 5 years ago | (#25946799)

from TFA:

a plan to offer free, pornography-free wireless Internet service to all Americans

To address concerns about the filter, the FCC is proposing that adults could opt out and access all Internet sites.

Yeah, just type in your social security number and your password...

Age verification = no privacy...on a government network at least...

I really can't imagine a more effective way for the government to track and monitor the activities of its citizens. Which is bad. Normally I would love the idea, even if it had to be offered at slower speeds, but unless we make it open, with NO AGE VERIFICATION or anything of that sort we're just asking for 1984...

Free Internet! (1)

MrPerfekt (414248) | more than 5 years ago | (#25946803)

The better to monitor you with! Would this be government operated? Yikes!

Re:Free Internet! (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#25947243)

The better to monitor you with! Would this be government operated? Yikes!

The interstate highway system is partially funded by and partially monitored by the federal government as well as local law enforcement, blah blah blah. Still, a great deal of nefarious traffic is carried upon it. The same will be true of any government-provided internet.

It wouldn't replace all other ISPs. The only reason I can see that it would be a bad idea is that it would basically be the end of the mom and pop ISP.

This isn't the Internet - it's filter data access (4, Insightful)

yourpusher (161612) | more than 5 years ago | (#25946843)

The free service could be slower and would be required to filter out pornography and other material not suitable for children.

Right, the same FCC that is fining stations hundreds of thousands of dollars because they didn't bleep out Bono's "fucking brilliant" in time will determine what is and isn't suitable content accessible through this service.

Fuck that.

Free Internet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25946959)

How can we expect "Free Internet" to work, when we can't even get "Not-Free Internet" to work?

I live in Brooklyn (New York City), and we don't have cable access to our entire BLOCK. I don't care about the TV signal, but that also means no Internet. It seems to me that we should first make sure that everyone in the USA can get paid-for internet before we start worrying about giving it away.

'Adults' (1)

GenP (686381) | more than 5 years ago | (#25946981)

What is an 'adult'?

Re:'Adults' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25947257)

Best guess they will use the Alcohol definition so the age will be 21.

Free _wireless_? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25946993)

Enjoy the free cancer.

- a pig from guinea

Free Lunch !!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25947101)

free lunch = higher taxes + bureaucrats = double plus ungood

A great opportunity to push IPv6 (4, Interesting)

Nicolas MONNET (4727) | more than 5 years ago | (#25947113)

There wouldn't be enough IPv4 to provide such a large scale service.
Just make the all thing IPv6, possibly with proxies to access the IPv4; that would instantly provide a massive incentive for third parties to start supporting IPv6.

Huge geographical areas... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25947263)

...of the US are a big bucket of fail when it comes to providing affordable internet access, forget broadband that is unobtanium, just dialup costs way high because of the required landline before you can get internet on top of that. I'd be happy if I could skip the telephone part and all those fees I barely use and could do without easily and just get any sort of cheaper internet. Broadband speeds even at the very low end would be gravy. So I am all for it. I pay right now double in cost for what I see people pay for broadband in order to have a real slow dialup connection. There is no "3g" service, there is no "wimax" service, there is no "cable" service, there is no "dsl" service, nor is there likely to be for the next..decades who knows. All those places fixate on areas that already have decent enough broadband options, they aren't moving out to cover more of the nation. I don't know if what wireless frequencies they are talking about in the article would actually work, but so far, except for ridiculously expensive and very limited cellphone "plans", there is no other option here. All the wireless that is being used now by internet providers is line of sight to some transmitting tower, and if you don't have that, just one hill in the way, SOL. And the US has a lot of hills and this isn't just some near wilderness areas we are talking about, tons of places that would qualify as merely suburbia still don't have any broadband options. Satellite costs even more and has a host of issues with it. The "market" as it is today apparently doesn't give shit one, so if my tax money can be used, I am all for it, that is one of the reasons we have governments and taxes, to provide for the common good. The government trusted "the market" to get decent internet out there to everyone, by giving them exclusive deals and tax rebates and so on, access to spectrum, all of that, 200 billion dollars worth just to the telcos in the 90s to roll out FIBER all over, and they slammed to a halt at the city walls and all that public money has *disappeared*. Some areas are just now getting very ,limited little areas with fiber, we ALREADY paid for getting fiber most everyplace and nothing happened, not telco fatcat one in front of any congressional committee explaining what happened to the money. Now they want to bitch again, fuck em! I'll take the municipal wireless if it works, sick of BEGGING the regular providers to take my cash for some sort of broadband, they just aren't going to do it now that they spent all that money on..whatever it is they spent it on, sure didn't see any better quality copper or universal fiber going in all over.

huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25947269)

The FCC (that's part of the government, if I remember correctly) is considering an idea, and someone is saying that this business model will fail? I'm not sure that's a contradiction; if the government is doing it, then there isn't a "business model" involved. It's wealth redistribution, not a business.

Not Free (2, Informative)

TonyXL (33244) | more than 5 years ago | (#25947297)

Whether you use it or not, you will pay for it via taxes, debt, or inflation.

Good Idea (1)

KingJ (992358) | more than 5 years ago | (#25947465)

I think this is a good idea, Internet access has now become a crucial part of the day to day life of most people and as such is a utility, like water, power and such. However, I don't want to give the Government complete control over my internet, so it should be offered as a 'basic' internet package capped at 256kbit/sec. This is good enough for people that really need to access the internet. You then still have the choice of another provider, with higher speeds if you need/want it. This is intended for those that only need internet because it has been integrated into so many things now - Taxes, Banking, Shopping etc not for Entertainment and such.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...