Each zebra has a unique stripe pattern—no two are alike.
Photo by Dona Tracy
Are you planning on watching some movies tonight on Netflix? Or posting a photo to Tumblr? Or backing a crowdfunded project? You’re going to see a lot of spinning wheels. As fall elections heat up and the FCC prepares to close the public comment period on its Open Internet proposal, a cluster of major sites and a number of more minor ones are urging visitors to contact Congress and the FCC and express support for reclassifying broadband internet under the “common carrier” rules that govern phone service and other utilities. This isn’t the only net neutrality-related proposal on the table, but it’s one that could successfully block internet service providers from providing “fast lanes” to sites that pay more, something FCC chair Tom Wheeler has considered allowing within “commercially reasonable” bounds.
Supporters of that proposal argue that ISPs won’t be able to degrade overall quality but can experiment with new tiers of service and business models. To people taking part in the day of action, though, speeding some services up could automatically relegate other parts of the internet to a “slow lane” where ISPs have less incentive to improve quality. And if the new net neutrality rules can’t survive a legal challenge (as the last set couldn’t), they could theoretically even degrade quality of service. Hence today’s protest — if the web gets more data-intensive but internet quality is no longer evenly distributed, the idea goes, you could be seeing a lot more buffering.
The widgets used by some of the sites come from net neutrality coalition Battle for the Net. Some ask you to sign a petition or send an email, while others will let you enter your phone number and directly connect you with a representative from your district, if you’re in the US. The FCC is responsible for finalizing a net neutrality framework, but Congress can show support and potentially float legislation in support of the agency. House minority leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), for instance, has officially come out in favor of reclassifying broadband under common carrier rules.
No matter what you do, these banners will be popping up until midnight tonight, when the day of action ends.
If you woke up tomorrow, and your internet looked like this, what would you do?
Imagine all your favorite websites taking forever to load, while you get annoying notifications from your ISP suggesting you switch to one of their approved “Fast Lane” sites.
Think about what we would lose: all the weird, alternative, interesting, and enlightening stuff that makes the Internet so much cooler than mainstream Cable TV. What if the only news sites you could reliably connect to were the ones that had deals with companies like Comcast and Verizon?
On September 10th, just a few days before the FCC’s comment deadline, public interest organizations are issuing an open, international call for websites and internet users to unite for an “Internet Slowdown” to show the world what the web would be like if Team Cable gets their way and trashes net neutrality. Net neutrality is hard to explain, so our hope is that this action will help SHOW the world what’s really at stake if we lose the open Internet.
If you’ve got a website, blog or tumblr, get the code to join the #InternetSlowdown here: https://battleforthenet.com/sept10th
Everyone else, here’s a quick list of things you can do to help spread the word about the slowdown: http://tumblr.fightforthefuture.org/post/96020972118/be-a-part-of-the-great-internet-slowdown
wHY DOES THIS HAVE SO FEW NOTES
I’m sure you’ve all seen what’s up with Tumblr, but this is REALLY serious, guys.
In March 2003, Saturn’s rings were at maximum tilt toward Earth, a special event occurring every 15 years. With the rings fully tilted, astronomers get the best views of the planet’s Southern Hemisphere. They took advantage of the rings’ unique alignment by using Hubble to capture some stunning images.