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The Real Deal 184: Who should own the Internet

Chris Mitchell from joins us to discuss net neutrality and who should own the pipes.

Chris Mitchell from joins us to discuss Net Neutrality and who should own the pipes.

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Episode 184

Who owns the Internet

Chris Mitchell from joins us to discuss Net Neutrality and who should own the pipes.

Welcome Christopher Mitchell
Researcher for the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, specializing in community fiber networks.

Director, Telecommunications as Commons Initiative
Institute for Local Self-Reliance

Who actually owns the wires in the ground, and the right of way they go through

Is there a monopoly on networks? How easy would it be for a new company to lay new cable?

Should we treat the Internet like a utility? Should it be public? Private? Mixed?

What's really preventing companies from rolling out faster broadband in the US?

Why should the telecommunications infrastructure be treated like a communal resource?


I have been a listener for a couple of months. I have possibly a unique question for you. I live in relatively rural Virginia. There is no cable and phone coverage is pretty spotty even though I live 2 miles from I-95. My question to you is should I get the dish network with its internet use or get Verizon home phone line with its DSL. The reason I am asking you is because, I do not want a home phone line. I don’t need it. But I fear that Verizon will require it. And I do not want TV channels because again I already have netflix and do not need more TV. How am I writing this note on the internet, you ask? I am “borrowing” a neighbors wireless signal. At some point I have to start paying for it, because it is the right thing to do. Can you help me with determining the better options for internet, Verizon or Dish or perhaps something that I have not thought about.



PS. Sometimes please take into account your newer listeners. The other day I heard your discussion of software and “socks” while it was fun thinking about the different kinds of sock you were wearing, (Tom with his knee high white socks with blue stripes. Raif with his brown argile socks.) I really did not understand what the heck the entire story was about.

Answer: DSL may be slow, which can be annoying, but satellite internet has latency, which makes a lot of online stuff flat-out impossible. Go DSL. Try to get “naked DSL,” or DSL w/o a phone connection.

***********Install Windows 7 Upgrade edition on PC without Windows***********
Hey Tom and Rafe,

I tried to make it in time to call for last show, but sadly not so will just ask now.

I want to install Windows 7 on my brand new Mac (first ever… its just ok), and I was looking to do this via the upgrade path. I have a copy of XP on a old Dell where the HD is fried (can’t read anything off it). How can I get my windows XP key off that computer if I can’t read the HD? Oh and obviously I have lost my original sticker that had the key, though I do have an install CD.

Also would this be considered a legit windows install, since I won’t use the old Dell. If not can you tell me anyway, so that I may buy a new HD and use the dell and a coffee table laptop.

Thanks for the show that I love (because LTS is reserved for another podcast),
Rick the ED Doc

Answer: First if you can read the drive at all, mount it as an external and try Good tip for folks who have lost their activation code. Outside of that you’re buggered…. unless….

…you have a copy of Windows 7 Release Candidate, Microsoft recently confirmed that it is also possible to upgrade a pre-RTM version of Windows 7 with a Windows 7 Upgrade edition. This means that users who are already running Windows 7 RC (or another build) can buy a Windows 7 Upgrade edition and get a full installation of Windows 7 this way.

There are some limitations on the other hand. No data will be taken over. The installation will move the old data into the folder windows.old from where the files are accessible. Most programs on the other hand will not work unless they are portable.

It also has to be noted that a clean install at a later time requires a Windows XP or Windows Vista installation (or a new installation of a pre-RTM build of Windows 7).”


Hi Tom & Rafe, I was going to go out and purchase a copy of Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade.. I’ve been reading that although having a current XP license qualifies me to use the upgrade edition, that I must have XP installed on the system first, and I can’t just boot from the Windows 7 media, and insert the XP disc at some point in the process to validate. Is this true?

If that’s the case then doesn’t that mean that if I ever replace my primary hard drive, or choose to do a complete re-install of Windows 7 at any point in the future that I will have to first re-install XP every time? Which also brings up the question of how far into the XP install do I have to go, before the system is ready for the Windows 7 upgrade disc to be used….

Mark Naudi []

ANSWER: Yes. The installer used by Windows 7 looks for Windows XP to be installed and activated as part of the custom installation dialog box/process. Even for doing a clean installation of Windows 7 (which is what XP users need to do). You need to have XP installed (or Vista) and activated for the upgrade to work.


Hey Tom and Rafe quick question about windows 7. I am downloading my upgrade version right now and I have a question for you. I currently have Windows 7RC as my windows operating system, and I bought the upgrade version of windows 7. I own a copy of windows vista so I am legal in buying windows 7 upgrade. My question is: Do I need to install vista then install windows 7 or can I upgrade straight from windows 7RC to 7. Thanks for your help


ANSWER: You would need to do a clean install, but the RC of 7 would be detected by the installer and let you proceed with the clean install. You don't need to go back to Vista or anything. Just do a clean install on top of the RC.

I recently I have heard tom say that he does not shut down his mac just puts it to sleep . but I have not heard of any one do what can do with my macbook. I found out that if I close the lid to put it to sleep and the lite on the front slowly blinks that I can then remove the battery to completely turn off the laptop so no power is being used , reinstall the battery put the laptop away for days if I need to and when I later open the lid and press the power button It thinks it was just sleeping and within 8 seconds I will be back were I was all my programs still running and ready . I think this is very handy and saves my battery but I have not herd of any one else doing this , or how i am able to .
love the show

Karl the Machinist from MN

Answer: Karl the machinist, you are not crazy. According to the Apple website itself, you can and I quote “swap the battery on your MacBook or MacBook Pro when a MagSafe adapter is not connected, power down or put the computer into sleep mode.”

Hello Tom,
My name is Austin. I have always wanted to get a mac and I was thinking of getting one for christmas because my HP is getting a little outdated. The only thing is if I get one it will be my ONLY gift and I would have to spend about $800 of my own money to get it. So since you just switched I was wondering is it worth it? What made you switch? If you reply to this do not be afraid to talk techy because I am a computer nerd and will understand. :)

Answer: [[good dear abbey question]]. This is not a technology question. Technically, you won’t be able to do much more with a Macbook than with a notebook that costs $800 less, thus leaving you with a clear financial and technical answer. But we know how the mind works: You will work hard to love the Mac, becuase it’s your money invested in it. If you get the “free” Windows PC, then you’ll gripe about how clunky it is, since you’re not financially invested in its success. So get the Mac. It’ll cost you more, and you’ll therefore like it more.

Next week on Rafe’s Psychology Podcast…


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