When I'm driving back and forth between my home and my office, I like to listen to the National Public Radio (NPR). One of the topics that's been bouncing around for the last few months is that of "net neutrality" (or lack thereof).
The idea behind net neutrality is that everyone's data on the Internet should be treated equally. Specifically, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and governments should not discriminate or charge differently based on things like the user, content, site, platform, application, type of attached equipment, and modes of communication.
There are, of course, both proponents and opponents to this concept. The problem is that every time I hear someone talk about it, what they say seems to make sense. For example, a speaker the other day made the point that if someone's vital signs are being monitored remotely in a life or death situation, then you really wouldn't mind if they paid more in order to get guaranteed quality of service (QoS), even if that slightly impacted your online movie viewing pleasure.
The end result is that I no longer have a clue which side I'm on. My head hurts. All of which brings me to the fact that someone called Vi Hart is pretty definite as to which side she's on. I just saw an amazingly clever video presentation that explains net neutrality -- and a whole lot more -- in terms that even I can understand.
According to her website, "Vi" usually rhymes with "Hi," but the non-English pronunciation is often like "Vee," and she will also answer to "Six" and "Not-Emacs."
One thing I can safely say is that Vi has certainly given me a lot to think about. I see that she also has some other topics and videos on her website. I can feel myself being drawn to the one titled Happy Pi Day? NOPE as we speak.
In the meantime, what's your take on net neutrality? Should people and companies be allowed to pay more to get a better QoS? Should they be forced to pay more? Should ISPs be allowed to charge different customers differently in general? How about giving their partners' companies preferential service and/or rates over those partners' competitor companies?
— Max Maxfield, Editor of All Things Fun & Interesting