Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Free WiFi

Even aside from the fact that I know someone who worked on the New Orleans wifi, this is interesting:

Big Easy to Telcos: Stick It

So, if the telcos/ISPs are complaining that they can't compete with free service provided by the city, how about if the city just buys them out? That way the city doesn't have to install as much of its own equipment, and the public still gets free wireless, and the telcos get out of a business that isn't very profitable anyway (at least from some things I read; feel free to correct me, but I've heard that most ISPs are on the verge of going out of business all the time, and will have to drastically raise rates to stay around).


I was so disgusted by this I had to write something:

RIAA Recommends Students Drop out of College

Can this be justified under some system of ethics? Let's see:

  • Utilitarianism: is there any overall, average good that comes out of this? Potential violators may be deterred from committing further crimes. These crimes, if committed, might reduce the quality and amount of music being produced. Seems like the greed and pushiness of the RIAA is what's doing this already, so this is making that problem *worse*, not better.

  • Kantianism: does this increase individual choice or individual moral intent? Funny, seems like if you only motivation to not download music P2P is to avoid getting a heavy fine, that would only make you have more bad moral intent (unless getting mad at a greedy organization and wanting to harm them is a good moral intention).

Somewhere, a while back, I read an article about how the tech community had been too complacent about laws relating to their field, and as a result, organizations like the RIAA and MPAA had run amok with laws totally advantageous to themselves (and thus, in many cases, against the principles and interest of techies). So, what are *you* going to do?