Aaron Von Gauss’s Techdirt Profile


About Aaron Von Gauss

Aaron Von Gauss’s Comments comment rss

  • Mar 9th, 2015 @ 9:15am

    Throwing Rocks at Glass Houses

    The Telecommunications Act of 1996 did not rewrite the Telecommunications Act of 1934, it amended to it. The original act of 1934 and the various amendments including the 1996 act do not contain any verbiage relating to "network neutrality". In fact, there is very little that would apply directly to "The Internet" though some would apply to how broadband service offerings are managed. The concept of common carrier is from the original 1934 act and is what the FCC is using to justify regulating authority.

    Jeb Bush may not get it, but he's not the only one including most of the "tech press" that posts about it. The entire reclassification of ISPs under Common Carrier rules has very little to do with any existing rules or regulation. It is about the FCC justifying that it has the authority to more deeply regulate broadband service and what we call The Internet.

    Once the actual order is released, the public will get its first preview of the new regulations that will apply to broadband and The Internet. Any speculation on what the reclassification will mean for ISPs until then is exactly that, speculation. What is contained in the order is just the initial round, the FCC could implement any other regulations as time progresses as long as it has been giving authority for that particular aspect of service by law.

    You will see the reclassification challenged and while many will like to cry that the opposing party is against "network neutrality", it is mostly challenging whether or not the FCC has the authority to deeply regulate broadband service and The Internet in general.
  • Mar 5th, 2015 @ 2:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I can tell you why

    It is semantics until the phrases "blocked" or "net neutrality" get thrown around, then it becomes important. This has nothing to do with how someone can use their broadband connection, it relates directly to a premium pay cable TV service offering and the associated benefits.

    No one that I am aware of that would know the reasons have spoken publicly about why HBO / (MiddleMan) / Comcast have not made the HBO Go product universally available. Anything we say is pure speculation, for all we know HBO wants a greater fee from cable operators when their customers have access via alternate methods and/or Comcast may want an implementation fee from the device provider and/or HBO to implement another device.

    The reality is the TV Everywhere initiative is horrible for consumers as it helps to keep them locked in to the old "mafia style" model of cable TV packages. In this model the customer cannot express choice because of bulk packages and is at an extreme disadvantage to both the cable TV operators and the content distributors (i.e. HBO, ESPN) - a very anti-free market theme if there ever was one.

    Comcast may still have aspirations about their X1 platform and being the device of choice by consumers, though I think that ship sailed about 7 years ago and about $5 per month in device rental fees hikes ago. Like NetFlix we want to think HBO is the good guy in this, but the rumored price point of $15 per month for HBO Now should help remind everyone that content distributors are just as much responsible if not more so than cable operators for the high cost of content and the limited choices.
  • Mar 5th, 2015 @ 8:54am

    Re: Re: Re: I can tell you why

    While it seems to amount to the same thing for the consumer, Comcast is not blocking HBO Go but rather has not provided the necessary support for the service to work. HBO Go requires an HBO channel subscription, this must be verified with the cable operator. While it could be purely a technical issue, it may also have other business issues related to it that have made Comcast less inclined to provide the support.

    Either way, the fact that streaming is very trendy right now and HBO can not provide a streaming service to a large number of customers is probably helping to motivate HBO to bring a non-channel based product to market.
  • Feb 25th, 2015 @ 3:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Undermine The Internet

    Not that the "Anonymous Coward" cares about this fact, but for anyone else that doesn't want to take the time to look at their quoted reference. The web site is not claiming those 206,000 deaths are all US related, rather its saying that many people have died violently since in the "invasion".
  • Feb 25th, 2015 @ 2:56pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Undermine The Internet

    Let's just stipulate your source (iraqbodycount.org) is correct regarding actual deaths (200K) - that number is far less than Saddam Hussein's regime killed in a single year...

    Your made up figure of two million is exactly that, made up...
  • Feb 25th, 2015 @ 2:10pm

    Re: Retweets are not endorsements

    I've seen the same statements on Twitter bios, but its a rather ludicrous statement to make, imho. By retweeting something, you are telling the people following you - well, to go look at it...
  • Feb 25th, 2015 @ 2:07pm

    Re: Re: Undermine The Internet

    Except no one in the government has said such a thing publicly that I am aware of. This story quotes a civilian lawyer as making such ludicrous statements regarding platforms (i.e. YouTube, Twitter).
  • Feb 25th, 2015 @ 2:00pm

    Re: Re: Undermine The Internet

    Isis has killed a lot more than 10 people...
  • Feb 25th, 2015 @ 10:39am

    Undermine The Internet

    While I generally agree with the post, I think the whole phrasing of "undermine the Internet" is just a bit of sensitization intended to provoke an anticipated result. The First Amendment does not give individuals or groups unfettered rights to do or say anything they want. The Internet is also not a magical place where the law does not apply, though jurisdiction can be problematic at times.

    While some propaganda videos or messages may dance upon the line of free speech, other videos such as the beheading videos are indeed likely illegal to distribute (it is a crime to murder someone). Individuals do not necessarily have the same exemptions or protections afforded to the press, with "bloggers" still relatively poorly defined by the law.

    My advice would be to not say or distribute anything on the Internet that you wouldn't do so in real life, a fairly common sense approach. If you want to comment on an ISIS post on Twitter, don't just retweet the post blindly include a personalized comment that says what you mean. Whether you like it or not, randomly passing links without context is not much different than taking a flyer from someone in regular life and just redistributing it to someone else walking by.
  • Mar 15th, 2013 @ 8:24pm

    Just the opposite...

    Google Reader was all about getting people to use Google services, and I would say in that sense it was a complete success. The question now because what, if any, impact the withdrawal of Google Reader will have on Google.
  • Feb 6th, 2013 @ 9:01am


    Agreed. I can't think of a single reason myself why a regular marked patrol car's dash camera would need an off button. It's far more likely to help the officer in the long run than capture an awkward moment.
  • Feb 1st, 2013 @ 8:20pm

    I Agree

    While I appreciate the perceived irony, and I almost hate to say this, but I agree with their policy decision. If it were up to me, I would not allow the service either due to the P2P nature of implementation. While I'm not aware of any exploits, there is simply no justification to open another door to a possible avenue of abuse from either without or within for Spotify.
  • Nov 4th, 2011 @ 5:51am

    Re: Re: I hate to say it...

  • Nov 4th, 2011 @ 12:51am

    I hate to say it...

    Catalog sales used to be a big business, but it pales in comparison to the current Internet retail business with a good chunk of that business having been diverted from local businesses. I hate to say it, because really do appreciate not having to pay it, but it does seem fair to charge everywhere or nowhere. Its never been about things like road maintenance, we could argue the dynamics for days, it just boils down to revenue.

    I do however think it needs to be greatly simplified, at a minimum to a state-wide rate or even a national rate. Now, if the "sales tax" was the same between say Best Buy and an online retailer such as NewEgg, will I start going back to Best Buy if the merchandise price is the same? No, because sales tax was never the reason why I stopped frequenting Best Buy.
  • Oct 25th, 2011 @ 9:29pm


    Its been many years, but isn't the adage - charge what the market will bear? A related question, unless this is a new offering, who the hell is actually paying these rates that they maintain the service?
  • Sep 23rd, 2011 @ 5:45pm

    Re: What I want to know is...

    I agree, whenever I read a statement claiming some unsubstantiated number such as 3.5 trillion photos taken by human beings I stop reading the article because there is absolutely no way they can know that.
  • Sep 9th, 2011 @ 2:06pm

    Media Doesn't Get It

    Using the same level of standards applied in their complaint, it sounds more like Tom Markson should be suing Stephanie Meyer and Summit Entertainment for infringement. Yes, that's a completely ludicrous statement but so is their complaint.
  • Jun 2nd, 2011 @ 12:52pm


    Free speech and other issues aside, there are a lot of stupid and incorrect things said on the Internet - there is a small, very small, part of me that understands this "solution".
  • May 16th, 2011 @ 4:12pm

    Re: Re:

    Police officers, while representing the government, are people too.
  • May 16th, 2011 @ 4:11pm

    Re: Re:

    Not that the language of your comment warrants a reply, but I think there is a difference when the motivation is for profit vs regular people just taking pictures or making videos. News crews are an easy exception, with journalist "undercover" shows being a gray area.

More comments from Aaron Von Gauss >>

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it