Tuesday, April 29, 2014

College App Essays & the End of Net Neutrality

This blog is dedicated to information about college admissions, often with a focus on college and grad school application essays. I don't blog about political issues here, but I'm breaking the rule because the issue under discussion will directly affect your ability to read this blog, to look at my website, and to have access to thousands of blogs and websites that all of us use every day to navigate the complicated world we live in, whether we're applying to college, looking for information, or shopping for hand-made gifts. 
You've probably heard the term "net neutrality." It means, essentially, that you can click on my website and on google.com, and you can access both sites with equal speed and ease. The end of the net neutrality - which major corporations desperately want and are close to getting - will be the end of your being able to access all but the biggest companies online - the end of it without paying huge fees for that access. Please read an excerpt from this latest article, and if you are moved to sign a White House petition asking the President to "Maintain Net Neutrality," you can read the petition and sign it here. As I write this, the petition has 34,800 signatures. 
For the news and the background, an excerpt from "The Internet is About to Become Worse Than Television" by Annalee Newitz:
"Last week, an obscure but potentially internet-transforming document was leaked from the U.S. Federal Communications Commission. It revealed that government regulators are considering rules that would give big companies a chance to make their online services run faster than smaller ones.
"The proposed rules were revealed in the New York Timesand they would overturn the principle of "network neutrality" on the internet. Put simply, network neutrality allows you to use services from rich companies like Google and small startups with equal speed through your ISP. You can read a blog hosted on somebody's home server, and it loads just as quickly as a blog on Tumblr.
"Without network neutrality, Tumblr could cut a deal with your ISP — let's say it's Comcast — and its blogs would load really quickly while that home server blog might take minutes to load pictures. It might not even load at all. You can see why people in the freedom-of-speech obsessed United States might not be happy with chucking network neutrality. It privileges some speech over others, based on financial resources." READ MORE   SIGN THE PETITION

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