Decision Time for Net Neutrality

If you’ve been paying attention, you already know that the US Federal Communications Commission will be revoking strong rules to protect Net Neutrality on Thursday.

I had the pleasure of discussing this Saturday night at a most appropriate location: Riverwest Radio, a low-power community radio station in Milwaukee. I spoke with Gary Grass and Babette Grunow on “The Grass is Greener.”

Hear the show:

Riverwest Radio reaches its listeners in two ways:

  • If you happen to live within a few miles of the transmitter on the northeast side, you can listen on WXRW, 104.1 on your FM dial.
  • If the signal doesn’t reach you, you can stream the station live on the internet, or listen to archived shows on Soundcloud.

If Ajit Pai’s plan to end net neutrality as we know it is implemented, Riverwest Radio will likely be one of the first casualties of Internet “fast lanes.” To continue to focus on its community, it may not be able to serve folks outside it as they do now. They certainly won’t be able to justify paying service providers extra to get into the fast lane.

So, what’s next?

While it’s difficult to see a positive outcome from Thursday’s FCC meeting, the fight doesn’t stop there. Both the FCC and Congress need to continue to hear from the majority of internet users that we won’t back down.

Start by participating in Fight for the Future’s “Break the Net” online demonstration on Tuesday, December 12th. Visit https://www.battleforthenet.com/ to get the latest information. You’ll be able to stop here (and many, many other sites) on that day to let the reigning powers know what you think.

If you can get to Washington, DC, Popular Resistance is organizing demonstrations and sleepover at the FCC building.

In short, don’t quit. Spread the word. Continue to speak out, and write too.

Defend Net Neutrality! Take your stand while you still can!

Net Neutrality Update: Is John Oliver our only champion?

Net Neutrality: Five Reasons the President Did the Right Thing

Why Net Neutrality Matters to Writers

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Linux Journal Founder Picks Drupal

A lot of you have been visiting here looking for information on the Drupal web content management system. This is exciting, and I hope to deliver more Drupal-oriented content here in the coming months.

Longtime Linux users should recognize the name Phil Hughes. He founded Linux Journal in 1994 and shepherded the magazine through many lean years, on the road to making it the most important Linux magazine there is. He’s now living in Nicaragua, and building a Geek Ranch. After a fling with webgen, Hughes opted for Drupal for the Geek Ranch website. He explains his reasoning, and offers his (rather simple) process for building the site in this article:

Back to Drupal

Key quote:

After a few days of playing, I am sure I have made the right decision. I found a theme I liked and tweaked it a bit. I added a few more modules and, in general, set up the basic structure of the site. One thing that makes Drupal suitable for something other than a traditional CMS is the ability to set the start page. In addition, the books are a plus as well.

I hope to be sharing a similar story soon. Stay tuned!

Updating openSUSE on the Weekend

Saturday morning is a great day for updating your system. You don’t have corporate systems dominating the servers, and new releases (and the subsequent server hammering) rarely come out on the weekends. It could just be an illusion, but I’ve just always found it just a tad speedier. This weekend, there is a bunch of new things to play with:

It also looks like progress is on the horizon for my once-favorite mail client, Mozilla Thunderbird. Here’s one guy who looks forward to hearing more from Mozilla Messaging.

And just for fun, the annual SXSW Showcasing Artists torrent is ready for 2008 (download link).

One tip on updating in openSUSE 10.3: Online Update really only gets you bug fixes for your installed applications. If you’re interested in keeping up with  the latest and greatest versions of your software, go to YaST Software Management. When the Search screen opens, go to the Package menu. Go to All Packages. You’ll see a pair of Update choices: “if newer version available” or “unconditionally.” Usually you’ll want to just get the newer version. YaST will then tell you how many packages will be updated, which can number in the hundreds, but don’t panic. You’ll get to review the list of updates, and deselect any packages you don’t want to update now. Click Accept, and the normal download/install process begins.

Happy updating!

More on the Advanced Side of DrupalCamp

Here’s another look at DrupalCamp Wisconsin from Larry Garfield’s GarfieldTech blog. He seems to have had as much fun as I did.

As befits someone of his standing in the community, he spent most of his time in the Advanced track, so if you’ve read my notes, you’ll get a more complete experience reading his comments.

Now to tackle my own Drupal site. It has suddenly become much closer to reality after this weekend.

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DrupalCampWisconsin: A Summary

What a terrific day it was at DrupalCampWisconsin yesterday! An excellent turnout from all over the Midwest, fine sessions, and good company all day long, and into the night.

If you weren’t able to attend (and maybe even if you did), you’ll find interesting stuff on the wiki. The Flickr feed is here. You can view a bit of the video feed at UStream as well.

For your convenience, here’s a list of my session notes of the “newbie track,” liveblogged yesterday. I’ve cleaned them up a little, and added pertinent links.

A full day, by anyone’s standards. With more stuff for the more advanced folks.

It was great to meet so many folks, and talk Linux, Drupal, and other geeky topics. Thanks to the Web414 crew who organized it, the sponsors who fed us all often and well, Bucketworks for hosting the after-party and everyone who came out in the cold.

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