Why I’m Supporting Net Neutrality

Most of you know I don’t normally post anything remotely political, but this is too important to miss commenting on. On December 14th, the FCC will vote to reclassify Internet Service Providers (ISPs) as information services, removing many of the regulations that stop internet service providers from controlling what their customers can see online.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided below is from hours of research, and correct to the best of my personal understanding.

Title 2 of the Communications Act of 1934 is a classification of communication services, which the ISPs were placed under back in 2015 as part of the Open Internet Order of 2015. This meant that ISPs were now classified as ‘common carriers’ and therefore subject to regulation under the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

This act also established rules for ISPs regarding net neutrality, prior to that it was voluntary for the ISPs to adhere to the concepts, and there was little regulation of their services.

Net Neutrality, or the Open Internet, is the concept of internet freedom whereby all internet service providers must treat all data delivered to consumers equally. That means they cannot:

Block content

Slow down the speed of content delivery

Speed up content delivery for companies/users in return for additional fees

Charge for ‘service packages’ in the way that cable packages do with television

Services like Netflix cannot pay an ISP to give their service an advantage over Amazon Prime Video.

ISPs cannot force people to pay for multiple packages that include different services… Example ‘streaming media’, ‘social media’, ‘images’, etc…

It means that my author website gets the same priority as Twitter

Ajit Pai, chairman of the FCC has called the Open Internet Order of 2015 and the placement of ISPs under Title 2 as “heavy handed” and “all about politics”. It was his proposal to reverse this decision that started the current debate amid claims that the ISPs don’t have the profit margins to withstand regulation. His proposal will place ISPs under Title 1 and prevent the FCC from adopting net neutrality oversight.

Sure enough, ISPs have complained about the reclassification for some time, and many Republican politicians point to a supposed decrease in investment in service development. In particular they highlight reduced spending for the development of broadband infrastructure, which they cite as proof that the current classification of ISPs under Title 2 is damaging investment.

However, many ISPs say that while there was an initial dip in spending they have actually either matched their pre-Title 2 investments, or increased them. The have also seen increases in share prices, which means that their shareholders are still backing them.

Many Democrats and internet companies have come out in opposition to Pai’s proposed changes. Senator Bill Nelson, of the Senate Commerce Committee, even stated that “depriving the FCC of its ongoing, forward-looking oversight of the broadband industry amounts to a dereliction of duty at a time when guaranteeing an open internet is more critical than ever.”

Startups, investors, and even a group of over 40 of the top internet companies have stated that there is no reason to change the rules at this time. Among those companies are the likes of Netflix, Google, and Facebook. In fact these same companies and investors have expressed serious concerns about what might happen without the oversight of the FCC and the current regulations.

ISPs could institute ‘fast lanes’ that offer faster speeds to certain services/sites while slowing down all other sites/services

ISPs could provide preferential access to their own services/sites, up to and including blocking competitor services/sites.

Web hosts or streaming services could be required to pay the ISPs to escape the ‘slow lanes’

Those unable to pay to be in the ‘fast lanes’ could find their sites losing traffic due to slower loading speeds.

Consumers could be asked to pay extra for certain services, or access to certain sites

Having to pay your ISP extra to access Netflix, because your ISP already offers a similar streaming service

Finding that your existing streaming subscriptions went up, because they services are paying the ISPs not to be in the ‘slow lanes’

Paying extra to get access to social media sites/services without long load delays

Finding that your favorite author/musician/sports team website takes ages to load

If the proposed changes from the FCC go ahead, these could be among the possible outcomes. With those in mind, I have decided to back the existing state of play, and informed my Representatives that I want Congress to step in and prevent the proposal from the FCC.

Please do your own research on this, because I’d like you to make an informed decision before you decide to try and influence the FCC vote.

When you have done that research, please visit https://www.battleforthenet.com/ to find out how you can help keep Net Neutrality in place.

REMEMBER: December 14th is the day the FCC votes on this proposal… Urgency is key

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12 DAYS OF INDIE BOOKS – In conjunction with Our Write Side

Our Write Side (OWS) is a team that has built a writing community dedicated to supporting authors, and providing reviews.

From their inception nearly 10 years ago, the team has continued to grow, as have their range of services. I’m proud to have worked with OWS to feature a number of great authors on this very blog.

What is “12 Days of Indie”?

From December 1st through December 12th OWS will be featuring a selection of books each day. These books will range from $0.00 to $2.99 in price, and their review team is offering up a challenge;

Pick one book per day, and enter your receipt into Rafflecopter for an entry into their prize drawing. Each receipt is one entry, and at the end of the event a winner will be selected to win  an exclusive mug.

More information about the event can be found here

Where Can I Find These Book Lists?

The lists won’t be available until the actual day in question, but I have all the links below…

Day 1 – December 1st
Day 2 – December 2nd
Day 3 – December 3rd
Day 4 – December 4th
Day 5 – December 5th
Day 6 – December 6th
Day 7 – December 7th
Day 8 – December 8th
Day 9 – December 9th
Day 10 – December 10th
Day 11 – December 11th
Day 12 – December 12th

Don’t forget to sign up for the OWS news updates, to get new day’s lists as they are released…

At the end of the event you should have 12 or more great books to start your reading for 2018. If you enjoy those books, please remember to leave reviews.

Halloween Movie Marathon – Myk Pilgrim

I’m very excited about today’s slot, because not only is Myk Pilgrim a horror writer, but he’s also one of those people who LOVE horror films. As part of his Halloween celebrations, he picked 31 Halloween films, and has posted a review each day.

I’m very grateful to Myk for letting me bring you that very list, along with his Top 8 picks. So without further delay, I hand you over to Myk Pilgrim… And try not to blink… It might just get you killed…

Happy Halloween boils & ghouls!

In celebration of the most wonderful time of the year (spoilers it’s NOT the one with the mince pies) I’ve put together a Halloween Horror Movie Marathon to keep you creepy for October. It’s a pretty wide list, the impetus behind my choices it being particularly focused on popcorn munching horror flicks. The name of the game here being fun and (as much as I hate to use the word given its stigma in the current climate) inclusive.

Hope you have a Spooktacular Samhain and remember folks: Every day is Halloween.

Visit MykPilgrim.com to see the full list and download the PDF.
http://www.mykpilgrim.com/horrormarathon2017

And Here’s Myk’s Top 8 Films From The Lineup

Day 1 – Tales of Halloween (2015)

Tales of Halloween is a sweet anthology flick, a perfect start for the season. There really is a mixed bag in this one, flesh eating pumpkins, monstrous demons, murderous children and a Halloween joy-ride to end all joy-rides. Tricks for everyone!

Day 3 – Orphan (2009)

A multi-layered flick about the horrors of parenthood – this really is a criminally unsung horror gem. Also, the little girl, the youngest of the three kids, is so sweet you can almost feel your teeth falling out. The tension throughout the film is tangible and the payoff worth the wait.

Day 10 – Oculus (2013)

Oculus ploughs ahead at top speed managing expectations as it goes. Two grown siblings return to their childhood home to face the demons whose shadows have tarnished their whole lives. You may never see light bulb quite the same way again. Thoroughly enjoyed this one. Also, did I mention that Karen Gillian is in it?

Day 11 – Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil (2010)

I’m not going to guild the lily here, Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil is one of, if not my favourite horror comedy. This hill billy bromance stacks one laughable misunderstanding on another with hilariously bloody results. What do you get if you combine a bee hive & a chainsaw? You’ll have to watch it to find out.

Still not convinced? Here’s a review I did a few years back that should tip you over the edge.
http://www.mykpilgrim.com/unspoiled-reviews/tucker-dale-vs-evil-2010-review

Day 13  – Troll Hunter (2015)

After I first saw this it stuck to the insides of my skull for weeks – I hope it does the same for you. The way this found footage film uses Nordic folklore in its narrative is ingenious. I went into it completely blind and my experience was all the better for it. You may never look at the woods quite the same way again.

Day 21 – Hush (2016)

Hush A deaf writer working in her new book in a secluded cabin in the woods finds herself under siege by a masked lunatic with a crossbow. The use of silence in this one is remarkable. The danger is visceral.

Hush trailer link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_P8WCbhC6s

Day 26 – The Void (2016)

Probably the most decent Lovecraftian film in recent years. A group of strangers find themselves besieged in a hospital by one of the creepiest cults you’ve seen on film.

Trailer link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2ot6ogGZNc

Day 30 – Night of the Demons 2 (1994)

A bunch of dumb kids decide to skip out on the naff school Halloween disco to drink beer and bump uglies in the local allegedly haunted house. The creature effects are fun, the demons hilarious and creepy. But really though, if you only need only ONE reason to watch this flick, I have three words for you: Bad Ass Nun.

Introducing Myk Pilgrim

A.L. Mabry is a publisher and multi-genre author. She is currently working on several projects, including a short story collection, Darker Daze: The Storms Within (dark fiction) and the first book in her Chthonian Guardian trilogy, Soul Purge (fantasy). Darker Daze is being released exclusively on Patreon while Soul Purge will be published in 2018 by OWS Ink, llc. She has a sci-fi project in the works, Vivamus (science fiction), which will be released in early 2019.

Where to find Myk Pilgrim:

Website (Myk Pilgrim), Twitter, Instagram, Blog, Facebook, YouTubeGoogle+

Book Spotlight – “Killers and Demons I & II” by A. F. Stewart

Book Blurb

A two book bundle of the Killers and Demons Series. Included are:

Killers and Demons

Craving a little blood or perhaps some horrific death?  Slake your gruesome thirst for vicarious thrills with five chilling stories that go inside the twisted world of serial killers and beyond to the dark, disturbing world of demons.

Killers and Demons II: They Return

Come one, come all, to a festival of murder and mayhem.

We have killers, demons, witches and more, with bloody exploits galore.

Evil is back, with a greater appetite for death.

Sample what is offered, but be careful. What you nibble on may turn out to be somebody’s fingers…

Evil is back, with a greater appetite for death.

How To Get A Copy For Free!!!

Visit The Halloween Horror Giveaway To Get Your Copy Now!

A ghoulish giveaway to celebrate the Halloween season! We have chills, thrills, scares, and monsters of all kinds!
Shiver as you read our dark delights and quake from those things that go bump in the night.

Over 30 free books and stories available from October 24th-31st

Missed the free period?

You can grab Killers & Demons here and Killers and Demons II : They Return here

From the Author

A steadfast and proud sci-fi and fantasy geek, A. F. Stewart favours the dark and deadly when writing—her genres of choice being epic or dark fantasy and horror—but she has been known to venture into the light on occasion. As an indie author she’s published novellas and story collections, with a few side trips into poetry and non-fiction.
She is fond of good books, action movies, sword collecting, geeky things, comic books, and oil painting as a hobby. She has a great interest in history and mythology, often working those themes into her books and stories.

Where To Find A. F. Stewart

Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Blog, Website, Newsletter

Book Spotlight – “Under A Hunter’s Moon (Shadows Over Seattle: Prequels #1)” by Timothy Bateson

Book Blurb

Richard Parsons is a lupine, one of the many breeds of shape-shifters living in Seattle. Mortal legends of his kind call them werewolves.
When a traveling exhibition returns to Seattle, Richard takes a night time visit, with plans that go beyond seeing a particular display. However he is unprepared for the memories and emotions that come flooding back.

Read a sample now!

Celebrating Three Years In Print !

“Under A Hunter’s Moon (Shadows Over Seattle: Prequels #1)”

Will be free from October 27th through October 31st 2017

Get Your FREE Copy Today!

(Normally $0.99 USD)

From the Author

Timothy Bateson is a writer who broke into the market in 2014, with three short stories being featured in Halloween and science-fiction anthologies. In 2016, Bateson self-published a re-release of “Under A Hunter’s Moon”, the first of a several stories set in the “Shadows Over Seattle” world, which he co-writes with his wife, Sandi.
Bateson is also a blogger who often spotlights books and fellow indie authors, alongside his other interests, such as the Brain to Books Cyber Convention events, falconry, journaling, quotes, and reading.

Where To Find Timothy Bateson

Twitter, Facebook, E-mail, Pinterest, Blog (Ramblings of an Author), Website, Newsletter

Brought to you in conjunction with:

Trick-Or-Treat Book Blog Hop

Hop on over to the Trick-Or-Treat Book Blog Hop, and discover how to collect some other great reads that authors will be giving away free.

Here’s the link to my guest slot on Patricia’s site.

Then take some time, and check out the rest of Patricia Lynne’s blog posts.

Halloween Week on “Are You Afraid Of The Dark”

I’d also like to thank Anita Stewart (A.F. Stewart) for hosting me over on “Are You Afraid Of The Dark”.

Drop in on my guest slot, then take some time to check out the rest of Anita’s tour.

Author Spotlight – A.L. Mabry

Introducing A.L. Mabry

A.L. Mabry is a publisher and multi-genre author. She is currently working on several projects, including a short story collection, Darker Daze: The Storms Within (dark fiction) and the first book in her Chthonian Guardian trilogy, Soul Purge (fantasy). Darker Daze is being released exclusively on Patreon while Soul Purge will be published in 2018 by OWS Ink, llc. She has a sci-fi project in the works, Vivamus (science fiction), which will be released in early 2019.

Why don’t you begin by sharing a little about yourself.

Hello, I am Amanda aka A.L. Mabry aka the Sassy Scorpio Scribe. I am I domestic abuse survivor, a special needs mom, an Air Force mom, and a wife with questionable domestic capabilities. I am also one of the owners of the OWS Ink, LLC empire with Stephanie Ayers and Heidi Angell. Stephanie and I were random partnered up in a writing group over eight years ago and we became best friend instantly. We founded OWS in 2015 and have been growing ever since. It is our goal to become a one stop hub for writers at all points of the journey while fostering a constant focus on community.

Could you tell us a bit about your latest book?

My “big debut” is coming soon. Soul Purge is the first book in my Chthonian Guardian trilogy and it has been a labor of love. I began working on this story over seven years ago and I have continued to craft and recraft as my writing skills improved. This biggest lesson I have learned from the project is the laborious process involved in creating incredibly complex characters.
I have worked hard to make these characters flowing singularly and among each other in such a way that their interactions are unexpected but naturally evolving.

Who is your intended readership?

My words are intended for anyone who seeks refuge from the real world if only briefly. A dark and snarky sense of humor is required and please, suspend your belief at the door.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

I was about four and reading One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish. Or, maybe it was Hop on Pop? All I know is I have been consuming stories since the first day I learned to sound out letters phonetically and knew I wanted to create stories of my own. I joined the Young Authors club in school and stayed with it. As an adult, I wrote lesson plans for preschoolers and made up songs and stories for my students. When I struggled with parenting, I turned to “mommy blogs” and it’s all history from there.

Do you have a favorite author, or writing inspiration?

I have several favorite authors and several inspirational people. But, one who wears both hats? That would be Neil Gaiman. I know, that is *so* pop culture of me to say. I especially love listening to him read his own work but I will jump into his worlds in any medium available. Gaiman’s work enthralls the reader in me and when I finish reading anything of his, the writer in me is ready to set this keyboard on FIRE.

What advice would you give beginning writers?

Find your tribe. Seriously. I could give you technical advice all day but writing is isolating and consuming. Find your people and make honest to goodness connections with them. They will pick you up when you fall, push you down when you’re being stupid, and cheer for you all the time.

Do you have any amusing writing stories or anecdotes to share?

This was hard. Humor is my coping mechanism of choice so there are many stories I could share. I will tell you this; as I read through my drafts I leave notes to myself. Sometimes they are funny or self deprecating. And sometimes? I forget to delete them before passing the draft off to a beta or editor.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Any hobbies?

I love art. I love to paint and draw and create. I don’t always end up with something beautiful, but I love the process and just disappearing into it. Much like writing…I also love traveling with my husband, exploring mountains and rivers and such.

What’s your next project? Any upcoming book secrets you care to reveal?

I am eagerly finishing up Soul Purge so I can finish up the first book in another series, Vivamus.

In a dystopian society that is masquerading as a Utopian society we will learn to question everything.

Our number 1 question is: Are we real?

Meet the replacement kids from C.I.R.F. (Child Insurance Replacement Facility) and follow along as we learn what it’s like to grow up as a back-up kid. Can we conform and become exact copies of genetic donors or will we struggle with who it is we are really meant to be?

We are vivamus, and these are our stories.

Ambrosia

*Delight in the nectar of the gods. Feed your mind with Ambrosia*

Whispers to the gods are like honey from a poet’s lips. When several poets raise their voices together, it’s a sacred feast of memories and dreams. Poetry is divine food for the soul, full of emotional and celestial feeling. Join us in our longing, our pain and passion, heartache, logic and insanity, fear, faith, confusion, hope, unity, solitude, daily life, political strife, and more.

From the creative minds of Eric Keizer, A.L. Mabry, Sam DeLoach, Alyssa Trivett, Mello Sakia, Stacy Overby, Phillip Matthew Roberts, Veronica Falletta and Stephanie Ayers.

The Poets of this project have partnered with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and all royalties will be donated to this charity.

Buy Now: Paperback, E-Book

Author Pages:

Amazon, Smashwords

Where to find A.L. Mabry:

Website (A.L. Mabry), Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Blog (Our Write Side), Facebook

Come back tomorrow for – “Interview With A Werewolf”

A.L. Mabry and I also sat down to do an interview with one of her latest characters, Miranda Spencer – werewolf hunter. Miranda has a little secret that makes her choice of occupation an interesting one…

 

Book Spotlight – “Elements of a Broken Mind” by Heidi Angell

Book Blurb

Psychics have no place in police work, but that doesn’t stop Clear Angel from being a detective’s secret weapon in the search for a serial killer who is kidnapping and holding women hostage in their town. When Clear goes missing, will Grant be able to find her before it’s too late?

Buy Your Copy Now! E-Book

From the Author

Heidi Angell is a bibliophile, lexicomaniac and wordsmith. She is the author of The Hunters Saga, The Clear Angel Chronicles, The Hell School Series and Survivalist Bible series releasing Fall 2017. She also created Royal Prince Vince, Creative Exercises to Inspire, and A Penslinger’s Ponderings. In September, 2017 she joined the executive team at Our Write Side as Executive Publishing Director. When she is not reading and writing, she can be found spending quality time with her family.

Where To Find Heidi Angell

Twitter, Facebook, E-mail, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, Blog, Website, Newsletter