So… I bought a Chromebook.

I’ve been wanting to get a laptop again for a while. With neighbour issues seeming to want to escalate I’ve wanted to be able to make a lot of what I do online as portable as possible. If I want to go into the bedroom and talk to people, or post on forums and such I should be able to, if only to get away from the problem temporarily. As much as I love having my Bluetooth keyboard and a tablet available, it’s not the same as having a laptop. I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on a laptop that has too much, but I was also painfully aware, thanks to tablets with keyboard attachments, that not spending enough and not doing enough research was going to hurt my purchasing in the long run.

I had been eyeing up a Chromebook for a while, purely because I spend almost all of the time I am not gaming, or video editing (i.e. things that I wouldn’t attempt on a laptop anyway) in Chrome in some way or another. Even when I’m in Discord it’s a version of Chrome with a few things attached. After doing research, it turned out that the cheapest Chromebook I could find was perfect for my needs; an Acer Chromebook 11 (2016).

I’ve not had a new laptop since mid-2010 when I bought from the first iterations of Dell’s Inspiron 1545, and the low-end version at that. That was six or seven years ago, and frankly I expected similar specs. I know that Linux and by extension ChromeOS would run on a lot of hardware (it was just about usable on my 2007 EeePC 901 with spinning HDD) and as such I expected the specs to be low to match. What I had missed was that with SSDs becoming cheaper to produce and more in demand thanks to the speed differences inherent in the design they remove a significant bottleneck in cheap notebooks at a decent price point. SSDs are no longer a gimmick in laptops; they are the norm.

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Stagnate the Internet.

The “Battle for the Net” day of action was yesterday. A lot of non ISP internet-centric companies, personalities and organisations campaigned hard to get the average user to take action. Forms got filled in, members of the government were called, emailed, spoken to, all in an attempt to avoid the FCC reclassifying the Internet from the ‘utility’ descriptor, and all the associated legalities of being declared a ‘Title II common carrier’. I don’t think that this was a good thing.

I know that I’ve just alienated at least three quarters, if not all, of people that actually read this thing, and enraged a good portion of said alienated people. But what I ask is that you hear me out.

Title II is part of the Communications Act of 1934, and the relevant areas of the act state that, by default, no discrimination can be bought, sought or brought upon services provided by ISPs, when they can be distributed to all people connected to that network.

I would like to begin my explanation by simply stating this: Using an Act that was brought into law, with the same initial provisions, in 1934 is not reflective of the way that the Internet was developed, or exists today, let alone in five, ten or fifty years as part of best efforts of futureproofing. Furthermore, this Act doesn’t have ‘relevant’ or ‘applicable’ protections. They all apply. The same that apply to your phone, electricity provider, gas provider and water provider. In addition to that, your sewage provider is also protected. Also, roller coasters were, for half a decade, declared common carriers in certain states. There are countless ‘common carriers’, that do not have the nuance of the Internet, because the Act, that bears repeating, was written in 1934. The Act is outdated for the protections it is being used to offer.

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