Should Information on the Internet Be Free?

Information is an essential resource for any decision, but some data is more valuable than other.  Information that is current, accurate, scarce or can be used to make high value decisions is quite important and therefore, expensive. When data loses its timeliness, accuracy or scarcity, it loses its value.  This is not a new concept, but the Internet has changed the perception. Research on the Internet is so much easier than going to the library and digging through stacks of books.  Information on the Internet is easily accessible, but you have to check its authenticity and correctness.  Books in libraries have more validation by the fact that they made it to the library shelf.  There is no guarantee that the information in library books is correct and authentic, but there are facts about the author, publisher, copyright and sources that give some credibility to the work.  Information … [Read more...]

Net Neutrality – Who should control the Internet?

In its most basic and simple form, network neutrality states that all Internet traffic is equal.  Streaming video, large downloads, online gaming, cloud computing applications and email would all be treated the same. There would be no differentiation between personal and commercial use of the Internet.  The idea of equality is wonderful in theory, but doesn’t survive in practice.  The Internet is a shared resource used for many purposes and like it or not, the Internet is a commercial enterprise and the providers have to be able to control their network. That doesn’t mean that the providers can engage in unfair business practices.  Comcast’s throttling of BitTorrent users didn’t go unnoticed.  In fact, it sparked a firestorm that still rages.  The Court of Appeals gave Comcast a victory with its decision to vacate the FCC order, but this could be a Pyrrhic victory if it advances the … [Read more...]

What do Confucious, Abraham Lincoln and Donald Trump have in common…

… they are quoted hundreds of times a day on Twitter. For the record, I like a motivational quote as much as then next gal.  The targeted quote used to introduce an article or chapter can be informational and inspirational, but thousands of quotes a day on Twitter are just Internet fodder. Successful social media aficionados have to post and tweet many times a day even if they have nothing of consequence to say.  Right?   No. You can reach your desired audience with interesting and beneficial information while maintaining your decorum.  Got to use a quote here – “Less is more” Robert Browning Etiquette in the virtual space has the same rules as in the physical space.  You would never spam someone at a dinner party and if you did, you wouldn’t be invited again.  Before jumping into your sales pitch, you’d take time to get to know the person and establish rapport. Before sending … [Read more...]

Girl Scout Engineers!

LAN Systems helped sponsor a Girl Scout event yesterday at Southern Polytechnic State University introducing the girls to engineering as a career. Although the number of women in engineering is growing, the growth has been modest compared to other careers. That’s because even though girls have the smarts, if they don’t take the required math and science in high school, engineering school is a far reach.  As a group, girls get less math and science training.  That’s where we help. Through programs like Girl Scout Engineers, women engineers show girls that math and science is fun and challenging.  The girls always amaze us with their brilliance and their technical ability.  Studies tell us that unless we reach girls by the 5th or 6th grade, they probably won’t get the courses needed in high school. That’s why the Girl Scout program is so important. The activities included building a … [Read more...]

OMG IONO Wa UR Saying!

Every generation has its slang and every industry its acronyms.  Most of these abbreviations are just alphabet soup to outsiders.  But if you are going to join an industry or snoop on your teenagers, you have to learn the lingo. There are many abbreviations that have multiple meanings.  Take GIS – I learned it as Gas Insulated Substation.  The first time I heard GIS used as meaning Geographic Information System, it was in the context of “we need to update the GIS with the latest maps.”  It didn’t make any sense at all.  At the risk of embarrassing myself and sounding stupid, I asked what does GIS mean? You’d have thought I had two heads.  After that I made a policy that acronyms have to be defined before they are used. I compiled a list of acronyms for our industry and put them in a manual and later and eBook. Not many people want to know what SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data … [Read more...]