Spend 2 minutes to learn why net neutrality is more important than you think

Website throttling
Your favorite website will be in the “Everyone Else” lane if Net Neutrality is lost Source: Iowa State Daily
Washington Post gives a neat synopsis of what The People stand to lose if Trump appointed Republican FCC Chairman Ajit Pai gets his wish and finds a way to reverse the Obama era protections establishing net neutrality, which WaPo defines as, “the regulations that forbid Internet providers from blocking or slowing Internet traffic.”

The rules, approved by the FCC during the Obama administration, classified Internet providers as “common carriers” — a move that allowed the agency to regulate those companies more strictly than before. In addition to banning the blocking or slowing of Internet traffic, the regulations also gave the FCC the ability to investigate business practices among Internet providers that it deemed potentially anticompetitive. read more

Online privacy advice via The New York Times, Wired and Forbes

Caution: below 0º temps can cause frostbite, burst pipes, more – protect yourself & others

below 0 on thermometer
Source: Northport Patch
Warning in from Fair Lawn Office of Emergency Management for the entire North Jersey area: Wind chill watch in effect from Saturday afternoon through Sunday morning 13-14 February.

The Facts About Wind Chill
A Wind Chill Watch means the there is the potential for a combination of very cold air and strong winds to create dangerously low wind chill values. Look for services similar to these in your town and follow the precautions outlined below.

  • Timing … Coldest wind chills late Saturday night through Sunday morning 13-14 February.
  • Wind chill – as low as around 25 below zero due to temperatures 0 to 5 below zero. Winds northwest 15 to 25 mph with gusts up to 40 mph.
  • The frigid conditions will be extremely dangerous to those venturing outside. Prolonged exposure will cause frostbite. The combination of very low wind chills and frigid air temperatures have the potential to result in frozen pipes, frostbite and hypothermia.

Precautionary/preparedness Actions

  • Stay indoors as much as possible and limit your exposure to the cold
  • Never venture outdoors without wearing gloves, a hat and several layers of clothing. Wind chill values late saturday night into sunday morning could lead to frostbite in less than 30 minutes if proper precautions are not taken.
  • Dress in layers and keep dry
  • Know the symptoms of cold-related health issues such as frostbite and hypothermia and seek medical attention if health conditions are severe.
  • Never use a stove or oven to heat your home or use an open flame to melt frozen pipes. Many house fires result from these practices.
  • Never run a gasoline or propane heater inside your home or an unventilated garage. Any heating system that burns fuel will produce carbon monoxide. Make sure you have a working carbon monoxide detector.
  • Check tire pressure and your car battery, and keep the fuel tank above half full. Be sure your car has a winter safety emergency kit that includes an ice scraper, blanket, flashlight, warm clothes and gloves in case your car breaks down or becomes stranded.
  • Run water at a trickle and keep cabinet doors open to prevent pipes from freezing.
  • Check on elderly and vulnerable family, friends, and neighbors who are at risk and may need additional assistance

Find more information and tips on staying safe in winter weather and extreme cold temperatures at http://www.ready.gov/winter-weather. read more

The news is skewed – dig deeper for the truth

A West Indian friend writes to ask,

This country is becoming more like a 3rd world country. Why aren’t people demanding jobs instead of talking about racism. Sick and tired of hearing about racism. Everything is racism. Find some other excuse rather than racism. If anything is done wrong it’s blame it on racism. People need to stop blaming and stop looking for hand me out. It seems as though some people like to keep stoking the word racism and using the blame game too much. What about Solyndra all the billions that cost tax payers money. That money could have been used to help students pay for their school loans. The unnecessary spending while unemployment is still above 8%. read more

We must keep the internet open

Vincent Cerf, one of the recognized fathers of the internet, writes in this New York Times op-ed piece:

Several authoritarian regimes reportedly would ban anonymity from the Web, which would make it easier to find and arrest dissidents. Others have suggested moving the privately run system that manages domain names and Internet addresses to the United Nations. …

When I helped to develop the open standards that computers use to communicate with one another across the Net, I hoped for but could not predict how it would blossom and how much human ingenuity it would unleash. What secret sauce powered its success? The Net prospered precisely because governments — for the most part — allowed the Internet to grow organically, with civil society, academia, private sector and voluntary standards bodies collaborating on development, operation and governance. read more