As of July 1st, every person in Finland will have the right to broadband access as decreed by the government. Yep…very person.
What does this mean?
Well, it means that the U.S. has officially fallen further behind the rest of the world in the realm of Internet technology but it also means something more. It means jobs for telecomminication workers who will be compelled to extend service to all households (in Finland). It also means empowering all ciitizens by providing the information that can transform lives and enrich cultures (in Finland). All fo this seems to be lost on the U.S. (…but not in Finland).
As for president Obama and his promise of broadband expansion in this country? Well, that seems like little more than a pipe dream at best. In fact, telecommunication providers in the U.S. are declining to accept government funding for just such a project. They claim accepting the funds would wrap them in government red tape and subject them to following government project rules.
Perish the thought.
One has to wonder if the real reason is simply that most corporate conservatives are just plain old anti-anything-Obama, even more than they are wildly (as a result of shear greed and ignorance) anti-regulation on any level.
Meanwhile, every Finn will have the right to access to a 1Mbps (megabit per second) broadband connection by 2015.
Conclusion? The rest of the world gets it and we don’t.
The premise is simple. Internet services are no longer just for entertainment purposes, they are an essential part of every citizen’s life. Would any government deny their citizens of basic communication and telephone service? Probably not I’m guessing.
Why should the Internet be any different?
Read the full story on the BBC here…
A poll conducted for the BBC World Service earlier this year found that nearly four in five people around the world believed that access to the internet is a fundamental right.
I happen to agree.
Fire boat response crews battle the blazing remnants of the off shore oil rig Deepwater Horizon, off Louisiana, in this handout photograph taken on April 21, 2010 and obtained on April 22, 2010.
(This article was re-printed from PetroleumWorld.com.)
By Christian A. DeHaemer
The Dwarves dug too greedily and too deep. You know what they awoke in the darkness of Khazad-dum… shadow and flame.
— Saruman, The Lord of the Rings
There is something primordial about BP’s quest for oil in the Gulf of Mexico. It’s an Icarus-like story of super-ambition; of reaching too far, delving too deep. I don’t know if you’ve stopped to contemplate what BP was trying to do…The well itself started 5,000 feet below the surface. That’s the depth of the Grand Canyon from the rim. And then the company attempted to drill more than 30,000 feet below that — Mt. Everest would give 972 feet to spare. Furthermore, the company sought oil in a dangerous area of the seabed. It was unstable and many think BP sought it out because seismic data showed huge pools of methane gas — the very gas that blew the top off Deepwater Horizon and killed 11 people. More than a year ago, geologists criticized Transocean for putting their exploratory rig directly over a massive underground reservoir of methane. According to the New York Times , BP’s internal “documents show that in March, after several weeks of problems on the rig, BP was struggling with a loss of ‘well control.’ And as far back as 11 months ago, it was concerned about the well casing and the blowout preventer.” The problem is that this methane, located deep in the bowels of the earth, is under tremendous pressure… Some speculate as much as 100,000 psi — far too much for current technology to contain. The shutoff vales and safety measures were built for only 1,000 psi. It was an accident waiting to happen… And there are many that say it could get worse — much worse. Geologists are pointing to other fissures and cracks that are appearing on the ocean floor around the damaged wellhead. Continue reading
The Icelandic parliament has voted to create the strongest media freedom laws in the world aimed at protecting journalists and preserving news integrity.
Known as the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative, the new law requires changes to Icelandic law to strengthen journalistic source protection, freedom of speech, and government transparency. It isn’t clear at this early stage if this new law will result in the desired effect but its potential is obvious, especially for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Experts and critics are already referring to it as a server safe law, meaning it would probably prevent servers from being forcibly shut down, if the powers that be deem them a nuisance..
There might be other benefits too.
American International Group, Inc. (AIG) announced a $1 million donation with the goal of supporting relief and rebuilding efforts following the recent devastating 7.9-magnitude earthquake that struck China’s Sichuan Province. AIG also announced that it would match all employee contributions to the AIG Disaster Relief Fund.
AIG President and CEO Martin J. Sullivan, stated, “AIG is deeply committed to providing financial assistance to our friends in China who have been greatly affected by this devastating natural catastrophe. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Chinese people during this extremely difficult time,” and added, “Our contributions will hopefully help residents of Sichuan Province to begin the process of healing and rebuilding. Through our extensive experience and partnerships in the region, AIG is ready to provide necessary support.”
No doubt, this contribution will help disaster relief personel and supplies hit the ground in a more timely fashion, so those victims of this intense tragedy can begin the long, slow process of rebuilding their communities.
Read the whole story here…