They just write their own laws now:

Owners of Cisco/Linksys home routers got a nasty shock this week, when their devices automatically downloaded a new operating system, which locked out device owners. After the update, the only way to reconfigure your router was to create an account on Cisco’s “cloud” service, signing up to a service agreement that gives Cisco the right to spy on your Internet use and sell its findings, and also gives them the right to disconnect you (and lock you out of your router) whenever they feel like it.

They say that “if you’re not paying for the product, you are the product.” But increasingly, even if you do pay for the product, you’re still the product, and you aren’t allowed to own anything. Ownership is a right reserved to synthetic corporate persons, and off-limits to us poor meat-humans.


Steve Brill:

In the wake of the prolonged power outages following last week’s severe thunderstorms in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area, I hope someone will revisit this story idea from last November about local utilities paring down their own maintenance crews and making deals with other utilities to share crews from across North America when there’s an emergency. Yesterday morning I heard the CEO of PEPCO, the DC-area electric company, casually explain the delays in an interview on CNN by saying that full power restoration awaited the arrival of borrowed crews from as far away as Canada. It was as if no longer having enough local workers on hand was as much an act of God as the storms.

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