Robb Topolski

IT Systems Administrator at Catania Hospitality Group

Hosted AMAs

Highest Rated Comments

funchords222 karma

I compared the results I was getting between using a Comcast connection and a non-Comcast connection. I used a popular testing tool called Wireshark and noted that uploads attempted over the Comcast connection were prone to be interrupted by an "RST" TCP packet -- a special reset packet that was forged by Comcast to appear that it came from the distant peer.

Comcast's first reaction was to ignore me for a few months. When Torrentfreak reported my findings several weeks later, Comcast denied it. Comcast continued to deny it until the Associated Press and the Electronic Frontier Foundation independently (of me and one another) duplicated my tests and my test results.

First report May -- Lid Blown Off was October.

funchords120 karma

Freedom fighter would be a much more accurate term. I wouldn't want to cheapen the notion of a hero by counting myself among those who risked life and health.

funchords118 karma

This question is exactly why I am promoting this film. Net Neutrality is hard to explain -- technically and socially. Why should we care if there are basically a handful of media companies that control what we see and how we see it? There's a part in the film where DJ Jim Ladd explains what happened in radio, and now we're seeing it in the rest of media. 15 years ago, there were so many Internet Service Providers that a list of them numbered in the thousands and looked like a telephone book. Now it's more like a one-pager. Again, why should we care? It's like the frog in the pot of water, not noticing that it's about to boil. These changes happened over time and now it's beginning to really affect us.

The film does a great job with this, explaining it from many perspectives (pro and con).

funchords67 karma

Sen. Al Franken has this topic nailed. He not only understands exactly what Net Neutrality is, he understands it in his own context of being a performer in the era of media consolidation (such as Comcast buying NBC-Universal). Franken is a big star for our online rights. Congressman Ed Markey also knows this subject exactly right, as he used to head the subcommittee that covered the Internet and such technologies. Unfortunately, knowledge is not money. Whoever spends the most money on political campaigns and "astro-turf" groups is going to have the most influence. Right now, that's AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon.

funchords64 karma

I'm a conservative / libertarian, so hearing myself ask for government regulation for anything is like scraping my own nails on a chalkboard.

  • The Internet is governed by The Internet Society and the Internet Engineering Task Force (those RFC folks). They lack, however, any enforcement power (and they don't want any).
  • Competitive choice would be the next option, except we hardly have any choices. If you want a 5 Mbps connection, you'll need a cablemodem (unless you're in one of those lucky FIOS cities).
  • That leaves the government as the option of last resort.

Yes, I'm apprehensive at this situation -- and the F.C.C. has shown itself as being weak and under threat. They have passed some basic protections on wireline service (not wireless service) -- but Congress may not let those stand for very long.

funchords62 karma

Right now, I'm running the IT department for a hospitality chain in Massachusetts. I support the networks, servers, workstations, telephones, and etcetera for hotels, restaurants, spas and the headquarters office. I'm still active in the movement to protect our online rights, time permitting. I've also returned to singing and directing Barbershop quartet-style music.

Unfortunately, I feel that too little has changed. The FCC did pass some basic online protections for wired users, but they do not apply to wireless service -- which is, of course, the new frontier for the Internet.

funchords57 karma

Wrong kind of neutrons. :-)

funchords51 karma

I think it's at least half misguided. Conservatives are truly more wary of government regulation not working out as intended. I understand this. But those who think that corporations will safeguard our individual rights are missing the mark.

Pirate party = right idea, wrong name. These guys are generally copyright reformers. They need a marketing department. :-)

Anonymous = not the "above the fold" activism that I'd prefer to see. They get fired up over all the right stuff, so why not lend their names to a more vocal and legitimate response?

funchords48 karma

... and I just want to add that I'm promoting the film on my own time, here. I'm not being compensated. I just believe in it. The documentary does a great job of explaining this -- sometimes dry and geeky -- issue.

funchords41 karma

Georgia, please feel free to join into any of the questions to me and give your own two centavos.