Resolved: Charter can bite me

I haven’t had much time to post lately, more than a few things having been thrust upon me at once.  The good news: I finally finally severed the line to the organized crime syndicate known as Charter Communications.  For 3 years I’ve been fighting a Sysphean battle to pay the promotional rate of $30/ month (more than enough) and every six months or so they shoot it up to $56.99 just to piss me off. This time, they went too far!

Thrice I called the customer service hotline, and as many times I was hung up on.  The fourth time was the charm it seems, and I got through to a human after a couple of minutes.  The southern-accented woman who helped me was forthcoming and spared me the regular Charter retention offer b.s.  In a few minutes, it was done.  They pulled the plug today (even though I’m paid until the 20th), and I was left with a vague satisfaction.

Circumstance drove me next to AT&T, who’s dry-loop DSL was the talk of the town. It was surprisingly easy to sign up for the express package ($23.99), though the $10/month DSL AT&T is required to offer still seems to be a myth.  There were the usual registration questions, e.g. Name, D.O.B., SS#, which were closely followed by much more personal questions, such as ‘where do you work? How many computers do you have?  What OS do you use?’.  AT&T has certainly earned a reputation for being untrustworthy and downright sleazy, so I wasn’t totally honest with my personal details.  Do two wrongs make a right?

Innernet travails aside, I had a short screening of the interviews we’ve completed thus far for the youtube filtering video.  If you’re not in the know, the Illinois legislature is entertaining a bill that will make internet filtering mandatory for libraries, and punish any library that resists.  Previously, they just withheld funding for libraries that didn’t filter.  Whether you’re morally opposed to the innernet being unfiltered or not is irrelevant.  What’s at stake here is whether communities will be able to choose their own stance on filtering or have the choice thrust on them by the state legislature.

In this spirit, a few members of LCLS and myself are banding together to release a youtube video voicing our opinions.  We’re interviewing librarians in this area about their views on filtering, and what roll it plays in their libraries.  It’s been very interesting so far: of the libraries that do filter their internet access, most seem to have been motivated by the the funding opportunities that come along with filtering, rather than some misplaced sense of security.  They’re also quite aware that the filters can be very easily circumvented, and a few even know how!

We have two more interviews to go, at the end of which we hope to assemble a script.  Feel free to post if you have any suggestions….

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