Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A Big Loss For Internet Freedom Today.....

Comcast won today against the FCC in a trial for net neutrality that could have very negative long term consequences.  The big pipe providers won and the Internet (and everyone who is not a big pipe provider - which is most of planet earth) LOST.

There is a lot of nonsense out there about what net neutrality is and is not.   Here is the bottom line folks, net neutrality is the morale equivalent of equal rights of the Internet. 

Without net neutrality, the big pipe providers can decide (via business contracts) that my particular stream of bits coming to me will be slower because I HAPPENED to select the "wrong" application or device.

Here is a real world and accurate analogy - I purchase new Corvette.  When I get on I-95 heading north, I find out that my Corvette is throttled back to 40mph, but all the Kias are going 75mph.   When I call the Big Pipe Provider and ask "why I am only going 40mph, why are you throttling me back?"  The Big Pipe Provider then says, "Dave, we are not throttling you back, but we are allowing our business partner Kia to go 75mph and this is how we keep our highway prices cheap.  Why don't you sell your Corvette and buy a nice Kia so you can go 75mph?"

I am NOT a fan of big government, but let's not forget who created the Internet and how incredibly successful it has been.    The Internet has been successful BECAUSE it has been based on open and royalty free protocols with neutrality built in by definition.  

Dornfeld's Law

I was discussing presentations in general with Dr. Dave Dornfeld of UCB.   Dave is the:
  • Professor of Mechanical Engineering; Director, Laboratory for Manufacturing and Sustainability at University of California
In addition, Dave was one of the real drivers and leaders of MTConnect.  It was through Dave Patterson that I first met Dave Dornfeld when we were working on MTConnect.  Dave Dornfeld is one of the true thought leaders in the world on a number of topics.

Dave made a very interesting statement regarding slicing through the data of any presentation.   What Dave basically said was, "anytime you see 40% in a presentation you should be suspect.  The presenter likely did not want to put in 50% because it would be viewed too high and 30% would be viewed as not being significant."

I got a real chuckle out of that and said to Dave, "I think we need to call that "Dornfeld's Law".

To officially state Dornfeld's Law (until Dave corrects me :-)  
 "The statistical veracity of any presentation can be quickly determined by examining both the frequency and relative contextual importance of the number 40% in the presenters representation of supporting data."