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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

A new threat to Internet surfing

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Hopefully, the BellSouth merger with AT&T won't mean an attempt by broadband Internet providers to limit user "surfing."

One of AT&T's top leaders has been gung-ho about the possibility of "slowing" profitable Internet sites, such as Google, unless the firms pay access fees.

Americans need continued total freedom of the Internet, known as "net neutrality" to lawmakers -- not providers limiting users to certain, corporate-approved (or corporate-owned) sites.

I get the impression both telephone and cable operators would like to convert the Internet into something similar to cable TV, where you'd only have access to the number of sites, like TV channels, you'd paid for.

Congress has before it a bill banning Internet operators from taking such steps. Let's hope consumers (who spend money) carry more clout than big business (which can't afford to offend customers who provide that money).

Laws should also be passed concerning a somewhat similar fact: Most radio stations can't afford to stream their signal over the Internet due to outrageously-unfair fees demanded by the recording industry, which has a long history of cheating performers of royalties while proclaiming its honesty.

The important factor for radio and every other form of media, including newspapers, is that the time's coming -- probably sooner than later -- when the Internet becomes totally portable. Imagine an iPod or cell phone with always-on broadband Internet. And watch greedy big business try to gobble up all the profit pie instead of just their fair share.

Name change: Meanwhile, AT&T cellular stores which became Cingular stores will now become AT&T stores again. I'm one of their customers, I guess; my provider has been changed so much that each month I wonder who my bill will come from next. Sort of like some banks...

Free or not? Here's Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen's view of freedom, as told to the Tucson Citizen:

"We've got the best cars in the United States, and you've got to go 55 miles an hour. You have a party at your house, there's someone at your door because the neighbors don't like it. You say something about color, religion or preference about sex, you're in trouble. What kind of life are we living here? You work seven days a week and get paid for four because of taxes, and you don't have a right to say anything?"

We're the greatest country in the world but, you know, Guillen does make some good points.

Tortilla risk: Several Hispanic infants from Shelbyville have died within the past year or so in, seemingly, numbers larger than the city's overall population.

That jumped out at me when reading this from the Arizona Republic:

"A study led by a Harvard researcher published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives found a link between neural-tube defects, which are often debilitating and sometimes fatal for babies, and the diets of pregnant women who ate large amounts of corn tortillas in the Rio Grande Valley, a mostly Latino area of southern Texas.

The study pointed to a fungal toxin called fumonsin, often found in corn."

Wonder if anyone here's looked into that link?

David Melson is a Times-Gazette copy editor/staff writer. Responses welcome: dmelson@t-g.com.

David Melson
On the Loose