Update on online setup

The new business site doaskdotell.info is now available. The site has a summary of each of my books and an table of order links (to major retail sites) at the top of the page.

The old site doaskdotell.com (founded on Dec. 2m 1999) containing many flat files supporting the “Do Ask Do Tell” series of books as well as many movie and book reviews and op-ed essays, will be taken down Feb. 27, 2023.

I have saved off all the content. The most important content (including many of the movie and book reviews) has been reposted to my legal-name site johnwboushka.com in some subdirectories.

The domain name will be manually moved to a host called web.com and content that mirrors doaskdotell.info will be linked to it, probably around the first of March 2023.

The main blog that I use to post new book/movie reviews and new analysis of issues is now hosted by WordPress, here. Right now it links to a staging site behind the scenes, but I expect to remove that intermediate step in March.

The WordPress blog hosted on JohnWBoushka (starting Nov. 4, 2021) had to be taken down Sept. 12, 2022 because of security concerns that I could not easily rectify. I won’t get into detail now, but I may at a later time. I reposted most of the content on a directory on johnwbouska (namely this).

As I have noted before, I intend to use the doaskdotell wordmark as long as it has a valid commercial use. Activity to present the book content to motion picture companies for possible films is considered commercial activity for this purpose. I will probably share more details later (which may be on the main blog). The johnwboushka flat file site contains “personal” files: movie and book reviews, personal op-eds, and my own old IT resume information, as well as some music and screenplay attempts.

(Posted: Monday, February 13, 2023 at 8 PM EST).


Explanation of my (permanent) online setup now

Today (Sunday, September 4, 2022) I want to state (on this “separate” platform) the “rules” for how my own web presence is set up from here going on forward.

An individual’s own online presence comprises two parts: (1) Branded (permanent) and (2) social media (more transient or ephemeral).

More specifically:

Branded presence, in my case, means domains owned by me, blogs on major blogging platforms owned by me, and video channels under my name(s).  Generally posts on these platforms are permanent, available to search engines, and may be viewed at any time.

My Branded Presence comprises these components:

Domains (with domain names):

The only non-commercial domain is johnwboushka.com,  derived from my legal name, John William Boushka. It is intended to be permanent (until my death.)It is  The domain will contain one blog with the same name in a directory (/wordpress1) to which the A-record will point. The domain will contain non-content-managed (flat file) directories containing (individually selected) copies of items that had been on my other blogs before Jan. 1, 2022.  These include various essays, courtesy purchase links to regular e-commerce sites selling my books, and media reviews (movies, books, plays, music, accumulated over the years).  Since the site is non-commercial, no login is required.  However normal https even for browsing is maintained.

Doaskdotell.com   — a legacy domain with book content and many links to older content.  Because of its age (back to 1999) it is hosted by a different company than the domain name registrar and recently this has caused issues with maintaining security certificates for https.  It would need to be moved to hosting by the domain name registrar to fully fix this problem.

Doaskdotell.info      I am developing a visual marketing site for selling the books with web.com.   Eventually this would replace the doaskdotell.com content completely (NLT end of 2022).

These names are reserved thru the end of 2023.  To continue their use, they must demonstrate “commercial viability”.  This normally means the ability to conduct transactions with consumers (either individuals or other stores) in a secure environment.  In the interim, the recent evidence of interest in motion picture possibilities from some parties is serving as justification.

It is true that the “doaskdotell” series of three books use my pen name “Bill Boushka”, with “Bill” derived from the secular middle name William given to me by my parents at my birth in 1943.  Since perhaps early 2021, it has become apparent that it is not such a good idea to use one on a book that over time does not sell well in a commercial sense.  That may also be true of a catchphrase for a book series (that implies a trademark), if there are other competing uses for the potential marks. 

The solution, in setting up a domain, is use the nickname as a subdomain.  If I want a URL to refer to me by nickname, the correct way to do this is a formulation like “billboushka.johnwboushka.com”.  Likewise, in a blog, the best way to do this is with a high level category, to cause the blog to be able to group or select all posts related to the nickname.  One can also dedicate a page in the blog to the nickname (page named as such).  These are the practices I wlll follow.

Likewise a similar mechanism is possible with the “doaskdotell” moniker.  For example “doaskdotell” (or “doaskdotell-business”) as a category on WordPress.  And doaskdotell.johnwboushka.com as a subdomain (right now it is “mybooks” so I might have to change it).

I did not set up an account on Amazon as an author.  But if would be questionable now to use “Bill”.  I would have to be able to give “billboushka.johnwboushka.com” as the related domain.

There is one other auxillary blog, the one this is on (jboushka.wordpress.com).  Right now it is the free blog with a WordPress account which you automatically have if you have WordPress directories on any hosted sites (domains) that you did pay for.  I use it for “special posts” about my business and personal situation, outside of the main stream of my content. 

What about the “j” vs. “johnw”.   All of my major social media sites use jboushka, because it started that way in 2008 with Facebook (which required a user name based on real legal name at the time).  So I so consider the use of “j” alone as OK.

Another factor with WordPress blogs, in particular, is that if you have more than one host (as I did from Nov. 2021 until June 2022) WordPress accumulates all of the names onto one list.  In theory, it could object to a combined pattern of names as somehow excessive or abusive, or as depriving other speakers the possibility of using the names (especially nicknames) unfairly or inequitably.  The commonness of a last name spelling can become an unpredictable factor.

I have one major essay on Medium (about power grid security) from August 2018.

I might set up a substack later if I think it can attract paying subscribers.

I have had a YouTube channel since 2011, with a large number of mostly brief (unedited) videos.  I have started removing older irrelevant and untitled videos,  I do intend to upgrade equipment (camera) and editing capability this fall. 

Social Media:

I have active accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Minds, and YouTube.  They all use the mnemonic jboushka.


When you leave an employer, you lose ownership of your work.  When you work on your own, you get to keep it (if you are completely on your own). But social and political conditions have become much more polarized since the middle of the previous decade, and some groups consider individuals working outside or established organizational channels to be an indirect threat to “the oppressed”.  

(Posted:  Sunday, September 4, 2022 at 2 PM EDT)

For the record, my work history in retirement and after inheriting a trust

OK, now I have to talk specifically a little more about my own circumstances and how I fund, produce and support my work over these years.

I’ll restart this narrative with my “cardiac arrest” layoff from ING-ReliaStar which I learned of at 9 AM CST on Thursday, 12/13/2001 when I got a message on my workstation netware that my account had been disabled, even as I was talking on the phone to an internal client.  I’ve never held a similar position since (almost 21 years ago).

I did start my pension (It is fair) and had a reasonable 401K stache, and salary continued 8 months (with health insurance), after which unemployment was allowed and retiree health insurance would have to kick in, until I became eligible for Medicare (as of 9/1/2005).

My job had lasted 93 days after 9/11.  In the final exit interview on 12/31/2001 I got the distinct impression that the job would have lasted quite a bit longer had 9/11 been prevented, as it hit the company’s reinsurance hard.

I did wait two months before starting the outplacement benefit.  In early April, I learned of a “telefunding” job calling donors for the Minnesota Orchestra from an ad in a gay bar.  Actually, it was a sort of match to my background with piano and composing, so I started it.  It was hourly ($6) with commissions, and pretty generous with taking time off (as I went to the east coast in May 2002 to meet with someone about my book, movie talk).  I wound up working there 14 months.   In June and July 2003 I worked two months as a debt collector.  That was interesting.

I wound up having three significant interviews for IT jobs while still in Minneapolis (until 2003/8).  All three sounded possibly promising, and two required moving back to the east coast.  I went 0 for 3, with specific problems in each case. 

In the spring of 2002 I did have a gig at home, making up a certification test for Brainbench on business ethics.  That was interesting. 

Back “home” I took another “telemarketing” job, this time selling subscriptions for the National Symphony, through a Canadian company called Arts Marketing.  Retirees did work there, but also so did people who had been laid off from much more lucrative conventional jobs.  I stopped after two months because they were doing some things illegally (calling past the curfew).

Yes, I lived with Mother, dependent somewhat.  Not something to be proud of.

I looked at a number of “proletariat” things, including delivering newspapers at night, and another debt collectors job (an inconvenient distance away) with a more complicated setup than the one in Minneapolis. . I found out from television in March 2004 that in Virginia you could substitute teach without a license.  I started subbing on April 30.  I’ll refer to a reference for details (there are three other similar files on this directory).   But my own childlessness (and lack of previous siblings) made contemplation of manipulation of immature students to discipline impossible to contemplate.

I applied to be a gate agent at Dulles for the new Independence Air. You had to give a public speech for the interview. I didn’t get hired but I got two free roundtrip tickets as a reward for trying. I made quick weekend trips to Atlanta and Tampa in late 2004.

I applied to become a letter carrier, and that was a near miss (Nov. 2004).  The main hangup was my accidental hip fracture in Minneapolis in 1998 and the inability to get my medical records.  

I did have a few telephone interviews for mainframe programming jobs in various cities.  I do wonder now if my leaky “online reputation” was becoming a factor.

In 2005, two life insurance companies contacted me about becoming an agent.  (Could I sell what I had once earned a living off of with programming?  It sounds like karma.)  I actually followed through with New York Life (in Tyson’s Corner) to the third interview.  I had also looked at one job in Minneapolis (in 2003) selling specifically selling the conversion of whole life policies to term.  Now really, can I imagine the idea of cold-calling and pestering people to sell them things?  Yet, that’s how you “play ball” with the system.

I would get unsolicited calls for cheesy jobs.  In 2009 (shortly before Mother started getting much worse) there was a call for a job supervising youths you would roam a shopping mall trying to raise money for charity.  I got calls for jobs that sounded like selling subprime mortgages.  We know where that wound up (in 2008).

There was the possibility of jobs doing customer service at home on your home computer.  I really wonder about how the security could work well enough (I had an XP desktop downstairs). 

In the summer of 2009 we had a lawyer draw up a trust for mother.  She did have more assets that I knew about when I moved back.   The total of all her caregiving costs in the final 18 months of her life came to about $84000 as I recall.

We all know that new kinds of self-employment, mainly becoming an Uber or Lyft driver with one’s own car.  (I had actually looked at what driving a taxi could be like in Minneapolis – you lease the taxi.)  This started coming into notice in 2009.  Could I be aggressive enough in traffic as a driver, often in dangerous DC areas?

Probably the most suitable job I was solicited for was becoming a tax preparer at HR Block locally, starting at something like $9 an hour. 

In 2010 (the last year of mother’s life at home, with caregivers now) I took a more regular job, doing the diennial Census, mainly getting interviews for people who had not mailed or answered the census online.  That was interesting.  I did two rounds of that.  I got invited to work for the Current Population Survey of Census in late 2010, but mother’s situation was so critical that it was put on hold.  After her passing, I went to training in Charlotte the first week of January 2011.  In December, a lot happened in my life, including the passing of the repeal of DADT (I skipped into town for the ceremony when I got the cell call from a caregiver that she was suddenly failing fast.)  Mother lived just long enough to see my “accomplishment” which she barely understood but hung on barely long enough to see happen.  

The second Census job literally started “on the road” with travel for training, but it was remarkable to me how quickly my life had changed and I seemed to have my own personal agency back.

The job involved pretty intense work from home visiting and interviewing people for about 10 days every month.  The rest of my time was pretty free.   I kept the job through August 2011.

The trust allowed me to distribute 25% of the liquid assets to myself after nine months (to allow settling of lingering bills).  The remaining 75% remained in her trust, which we rewrote in Feb. 2012 to make it a grantor trust, to make it easier to do the taxes.  But it makes my own Social Security income taxable at a higher rate.  We also places some of the assets only in my own name into another trust. 

In 2016, while still in the Trust house, I did consider offering hosting to (GLBT) asylum seekers, an issie that was getting a lot of attention before the election.  It did not quite work out, as far as hammering out the responsibilities and risks with other organizations. I did not consider the idea of renting to Airbnb or using it (I don’t like records kept on me as a consumer). At the end of 2011 I had volunteered once to deliver food for Food and Friends in northern VA (Alexandria) during Christmas and it went well (it had been rather like a census assignment!). For Thanksgiving 2016 I signed up, but learned I might have to drive in SE DC. I backed out, could not take the risk given the reputation of the neighborhood. Is this about cowardice in the face of having to share other people’s risks? (Look at what would happen in a few years with Covid). Well, I didn’t have the social inclination to expect attention (or beg) if something bad did happen. It was a disturbing little incident.

In 2017 I sold the family house to a developer for neo and moved into a smaller condo in nearby Falls Church.  Some of the increased liquidity was deposited into my own account.

Mother’s trust can cover supplemental medical expenses (like my implants in 2013), a longterm care policy, as well as the condo dues, repairs or appliances.  It does not cover my car (as this was always personal). 

My own account includes an annuity which makes a payment.  That payment is fed back to the MDB trust as a kind of “rent”, from which distributions are made to a number of non-profits. Some of these were recipients of contributions from Mother when she was alive, and a few are beneficiaries   Outside of this arrangement, further contributions are not to be made to beneficiaries while I am alive.

So that’s the financial environment behind the books and web presence.

It would seem that I have indeed been “privileged”. 

Inheritances often come with “strings”.  Usually estates are designed around preserving family lines and taking care of those with special needs within the family.  We don’t have that situation directly now.  It is usually possible to do early distributions (like up to 1% a year of the liquid value of a trust) for special needs within a family.   Normally that can’t be requested by a beneficiary that is an organization.  But conceivably I could sponsor an individual (child) with a non profit and a 1% draw could be done for “them”.  The early benefit is supposed to go to an individual that I (or the estate executor) have a personal connection to, not just to an organization.  This idea has been vetted with one beneficiary without a conclusive response.

You see what’s shaping up.  Because of inherited wealth (as well as accumulated from other sources during working career), I am able to put my own ideas out without asking consumers to pay for them  Without having to pester them with ads or email lists or mandatory subscriptions.  Of course, all of these have bad reputations.  Yes, I don’t want to make people worry about spam from me, or viruses, or being interrupted or pestered to buy things.  That’s why passive advertising (through search engines) in the early days of Web 1.0 worked so well for me, relatively speaking.  But that’s the way the game is played.  That’s what you have to do to play ball.  And I “get out of it”.

I could have retooled differently, learning to do content through video, like around 2013 or so.  (That’s when I wrote DADT III book).  Actually, I have intended to do that with my music (but entering large volumes of music into Avid Sibelius has turned out to be more challenging than I had expected.)  But video works best with consumerist, non-political content.  I have been preoccupied with getting content out quickly, so blogs were much simpler.

The far Left has pounced on inequity (and perhaps the white nationalist threat from Trumpism) with its own forms of identarianism, preaching that oppression is always about one group dominating another.  Hence we see critical theory, leading some to call for group reparations. 

Yet in earlier times, the focus was more on how individuals should be expected to behave, not just what groups they belong to and share karma of.  There used to be more focus on the privilege that comes from “inherited wealth” (as I recall from one cold evening in a Newark NJ tenement spying on the People’s Party of New Jersey in December 1972).  That could lead to a focus on social credit, China style, where an individual’s social credit score is even put on the block chain, as if it were some kind of digital currency! 

It would seem to me, for example, that someone with inherited wealth should not be allowed to ask for donations on line, as from Patreon (although I don’t see any such rule in their TOS – I did look out of curiosity after their cancellations starting in 2018). 

I can see we could be faced with a situation where someone with too much “privilege” could be denied the right to be heard online (outside actual legitimate commerce) unless “they” are first willing to join with others in some sort of approved collective reparative effort.  Yes, this does sound very Marxist.  The ideas that “silence is violence” and that affirmative anti-racism (and some sort of public “purification” or “bending the knee”)  is to be demanded of (white?) people sounds like a variation of this idea.  “Privilege” can be cast as a personal moral stain, where the individual is looked at as a thief of another person’s labor and risk taking.  This used to be part of the (vengeful) moral philosophy of communism, most of all Maoism during the 60s Cultural Revolution in China.  But oddly if also fits into some of the ideas of Nassim Nicholas Taleb in his 2018 book “Skin in the Game”.

Yet you can turn this around.  Follow the reasoning.  If you are able to influence policy from a distance ( (a sort of “light year” shield) with self-publication, in theory you should care about what people do with the results.  That means you should care about the people personally, even though you did not bring them into the world or directly cause their problems (you could have exploited their labor).   That means, individually, “losers” (who were not part of your own family or personal orbit) need to mean something personally to you, even though they may have individually done badly.  They will often maintain they have failed because they are attacked by others (like police) for perceived membership in a marginalized group, and sometimes this will be the case. You can’t let them be beneath you.  You have to be prepared to join them and fight for them at some point if true enemies threaten them, even if your own individual soapbox has been taken away from you.  That means “solidarity” with those whom you have felt moral opprobrium about before.  You may need to be prepared to let them into your life.   This can get to be a particularly dangerous situation if authoritarianism (especially from the right) actually threatens.  Other societies throughout history have faced this all the time.  We, in the US, had not since WWII until recently. 

Chronology of issues during my online presence, 1996 to 2022

I want to consider the “criticisms” of the way I’ve handled my online presence as well as book sales issues over the years, starting with the mid 1990s when I decided to write my first DADT book.

Indeed, the first controversies occurred with the idea of the book itself, before it became clear that self-publishing without gatekeepers would become “common” and seem to be accepted by, say, around 1997. 

In January 1990 I had started a (then “new”) job in Arlington VA with USLICO corporation, a life insurance company that specialized (originally) in selling life products to military officers (a bit like USAA but another company) that had also purchased other life companies and formed a small conglomerate. One of the other specialty operations was salary deduction products for (civilian) employers.   I actually worked in that area a lot of the time (with the billing).   I had left another consulting company in DC that reported on health care issues (especially Medicare) (Resume).

In late 1991 there was a possible opportunity to move into an area of the company that would grow (using the then new “Vantage” system that would eventually “rule the world”)   A particular situation at work preoccupied me at the time in late 1991 and prevented me from looking not this. With hindsight, I see I could have handled the situation better.  But it turned out to be ironic.

In the spring of 1992, as some people began to sense that Bush might not win a second term (amazing Persian Gulf War win but then a sharp recession which affect many people, but not me) a few gay members of the military started talking to the media.  These included Keith Meinhold, Joseph Steffan (book) and Tracy Thorne.   By the time Clinton won was in office in 1993, he could credibly propose lifting the ban on gays in the military (as understood at the time) and also on highest level security clearances for gay civilians.  The debate in the spring of 1993, about (the lack of) “privacy” in military barracks obviously paralleled my 1961 William and Mary expulsion   That observation would drive the entire story circle of my book.

But given the nature of my employer’s main business line (as publicly understood) I was uncomfortable with the possibility of “conflict of interest”.  It is true that my work was strictly technical and I did not participate in making underwriting decisions about consumers.  (I had access to them read-only for production support issues.)  In September 1994, there was a public announcement of the company’s acquisition by NWNL, to become ReliaStar, in Minneapolis. I waited until the morning of the announcement (I “knew”) to mail an article about gays in the military that would be published in a local gay paper (that I would become an editor of later).  The merger was formally completed in mid January 1995, which is pretty fast.

  There was also a sidetrack journey where another employee was dismissed and I replaced him in 1995.  The other employee sued for alleged racial discrimination (using very “woke” arguments as we would understand things today), and my situation (and perhaps worldview) were at least tangential to the litigation. It was eventually settled or dismissed out of court.  But in the end we mutually agreed that a transfer to the corporate HQ company in Minneapolis would prevent any wrong appearances after the book came out.  Under the circumstances, I actually paid for my own relocation. I started in Minneapolis on Sept. 2,1997 (formal publication of the book had occurred July 11, 1997, with registration with the LOC of the print run.)  I remember the experience of driving out and moving that Labor Day weekend vividly.   The corporate transfer would not have been feasible if my career with them had gone in a different direction toward the military, as it might have, in 1991, which did not happen because of a misplay be me, in a sense.

This may sound like a “created problem”, especially to today’s far Left, which sees the world in turns of tribal intersectionalities of oppressed groups.  But, as I wrote in the books themselves, I saw the military ban (and subsequent “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy) as a reflection of the personal choices and ethics of those whose inclinations seemed to veer from common expectations by assigned sex. I owned the morality of my own situation; there was no tribe that I belonged to (except imputed by extended family). Issues like the past military draft (even though “suspended” by Nixon in 1973 as the Vietnam war wound down) became relevant to personal choices.  My own military service (1968-1970) had become very relevant to what I was arguing, as would my circumstances later (as during the HIV epidemic in the 80s and beyond).

While sales of the print run were reasonable in the first year, I eventually became much more aggressive with tackling connected issues on line, posted mainly to the websites I had (previous post).  I posted the book contents online in the late summer of 1998 (for “honor system” use). 

On February 28, 1999, my mother had a heart attack and spent a brief stay in the hospital before being sent home.  I came back to visit (from Minnesota and work) in late March 1999 and she was pretty stable although bothered with fatigue from the housework from a large house.  On May 4, 1999, she became ill late at night, and her best friend came over, as she was taken to the hospital.  I got a call the next day at work.  At first the doctor wanted to do just an angioplasty, but then decided her arteries were too brittle and did a more-or-less-emergency triple coronary bypass the next Monday morning (May 10).  The hospital sent her to a 20-day stay in an SNF that was not particularly conscientious and her best friend went to bat for her in person.  I did not return for a visit until early June.  However, I feared that there could be a risk that they would not do the surgery unless I agreed to move back to Virginia (as a male without children).  That did not happen. (I was scolded by one of her friends for not moving back, however.)  Moving back would lead to job loss for me because it would break the “conflict of interest” agreement.

(In April 1996 she had a hip fracture when falling while cleaning on the porch;  in May 1997 she had a hip replacement. Her sister June came from Ohio and looked after her both times, and then we hired a live-in caregiver, which she easily had the funds to pay for, for about four weeks in the early summer of 1997.  She recovered quickly, before I moved to Minnesota – even though I always had my separate apartment in Arlington or northern VA.  In the summer of 1999, we hired a caregiver for longer, maybe about eight weeks, as I lived in Minnesota. .)

However, other legal concerns were starting to pop up.  

In the summer of 1997 (the same time as the book publication) the Supreme Court had overturned the “censorship” sections of the Telecommunications and so-called “Communications Decency Act”, which would have severely limited the spontaneous coverage of some kinds of content online outside of established media.  But it maintained “Section 230,” which stated that Internet providers and platforms should not be viewed as “publishers” of user generated content (after a couple tricky cases, one involving AOL as I recall).  I had actually visited the court from the 3-Minute line and heard some of the oral arguments on March 19, 1997, a snowy day that I took off work. With Section 230, self-directed online speech (essays and soon video as technology grew) could take off.

However, Congress would try again with a “son of CDA” law called the Child Online Protection Act of 1998, of COPA.  That again could pose a threat to my keeping my books online as well as some supplementary discussions.  I became a subplaintiff of Electronic Frontier Foundation (affidavit).  The law was enjoined on Feb. 1, 1999 and went through two cycles of being sent to the Supreme Court, in 2002 and 2004, being sent back to lower courts, to finally be struck down by a bench trial in Philadelphia in 2007 (I went to one day of testimony, Oct. 30, 2006).

By the late 90s, it was apparent that self-promotion online could gradually create controversies, particularly with the workplace (for persons who had authority over other employees or consumers).  I actually wrote a “white paper” about this.  

Meantime, there was a creeping controversy about domain names and trademarks.  Although I have never heard a complaint, it’s conceivable that I have skirted it. In the mid and late 1990s, some companies were slow to get on the Internet and found others had taken their names as domain names for unrelated businesses, or even non-profits.  This did generate some litigation between maybe 1999 and 2001.  Everyone was using “.com” which was originally intended to mean “commercial”, but often was not.  Over time, other tld’s had to come into existence (besides the obvious originals like .org, .edu, and country codes).  Often unrelated businesses or even individuals could take on the same root name with different tlds’. 

I had done a couple of controversial things when I put the book out.  I had used a pen name, “Bill”, based on the nickname my parents gave me (based on middle name “William”).  I also used the slogan “Do Ask Do Tell”, a negation of the “don’t ask don’t tell” policy name, as the leadoff for the book title, as if to imply series.  Now in books and movies, series names are trademarkable, and sometimes author pen names have been.

There is a group in Massachusetts that uses the “doaskdotell” with “org” to offer an HIV and other STD prevention “toolkit”, which sounds like a logical, narrow use different from mine.  (But maybe not absolutely different, in that I discuss HIV in book one, as theoretically relevant to sodomy laws and military service.) There has never been a complaint; it is perceived publicly as a clearly separate use of the name.  Generally, common phrases with “political” meaning should not be awarded to just one party for trademark. (There is another, more “consumer” book that used a “doaskdotell” button in the cover but not the title.)

In 2000, when I ran out of copies of my initial printing, I went to a POD company to continue offering the books.  There was a provision that you weren’t supposed to behave in a manner as to discourage actual purchases of books (overpriced, though Kindles were cheap).  Nevertheless, I left the books up online because material like mine (very academic in nature, autobiographical, and not particularly sympathetic to more conventionally “woke” ways of presenting human rights in terms of group or minority oppression) doesn’t “sell” as well as material that might be designed for popularity, more or less meeting the public masses “where they are”.

At the end of 2001 I was “laid off” (age 58) and “retired”.  I would stay in Minnesota for 20 more months. I did a lot of work with the hppub site then while doing telephone bank and debt collection jobs (separate video). 

After 9/11 in 2001, there was occasional talk of a new concern, that “steganography” placed in amateur web sites could be used to signal new terror attacks.  This threat never materialized, but the mere suggesting was scary.

At the end of August 2003, I returned to Arlington and lived in the house with Mother until she passed away at the end of 2010, with the last 18 months being difficult and needing caregivers. 

I’ll talk more about post-retirement job searches in a future post, but there is a general impression that the sites, being available with so much free and non-professionally curated material, might have been a distraction.  The evidence is not conclusive.  But there was an incident when I was substitute teaching at the end of 2005 (as noted on the previous post 2005/10). 

That incident, in fact, had been triggered by an unlikely circumstantial connection to the possible effects of McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform in 2002.  There is an explanation here.

I also had a low-level concern that the “gratuitous” nature of my content could unnecessarily attract risks to the Arlington VA house, where I lived there with an increasingly frail mother.  But this idea was never mentioned to me explicitly as some kind of challenge.  My mother did not know how to use a computer or the Internet (although she finally learned to make calls on a pre-smart cell phone like around 2005). Neither did her friends in her age cohort, especially one in particular who looked after her after the heart attacks.

Generally, the sites were stable, and I started using Blogger at the start of 2006.  Myspace had been around since the summer of 2003, but the major social networking sites Facebook and Twitter didn’t take off with full public access until about 2008.  The presence of algorithmic social networks strengthened the public perception of the value of online self-publication and somewhat diluted the concern about “conflict of interest” as I had described it.

After my mother’s passing, my online life became fairly stable for several years, as described in the previous post.   However, the speech was largely gratuitous and was a long track from paying its own way.  I was depending on high-volumes of blog posts with an “I told you so” attitude, which often attracted attention and comment.  I did not develop the video and associated editing skills of my peers, who were finding they could make a living on YouTube sometimes.   On the other hand, it my speech did not make money on its own, it could raise new questions.  For example, property insurance providers (for the inherited house) could question what the point was of my speech if it could attract a risk of enemies.  They never did.  But I started to wonder if they could.

There was also always the possibility of damage to infrastructure, one person working alone, from storms.  If I lived in an area more prone to hurricanes I would have to be able to pack up and leave for a hotel long before the storm. And there is no practical way to prepare for tornadoes other than cloud backups and physical copies in separated locations. 

In fact, perhaps my “complacency” was disturbed a bit the Tuesday after President’s Day in 2012 when I got a call from my POD publisher scolding me for not selling more books (after hearing nothing for ten years!

In 2016 things began to change, with Trump’s candidacy.  The public was only beginning to understand the role of social media algorithms in shaping public opinion and affecting elections, and the possibility of manipulation by foreign adversaries. 

One buzzword turned out to be a non-issue. Naive commentators suggested the online world and Web 2.0 would fall apart when the Trump administration undid Obama’s network neutrality rules. That did not happen. Hosting companies and especially telecom companies (ISP’s) and backbones voluntarily honored it anyway.

Social media companies started to become a bit stricter on acceptable speech on their platforms once they saw what was quickly spiraling out of their control.

In 2018, I had sold the house and was living in the downsizing high rise condo.  In the early Spring, I was quickly becoming more concerned about the future of online “gratuitous” speech. The most immediate concern was the SESTA/FOSTA law (signed by Trump in April 2018) which reduced Section 230 protections regarding content potentially leading to sex trafficking.  The actual interpretation of the law is somewhat subjective, but some online activities were curtailed by some services like Craigslist.

Another development was the curtailment of hosting and domain name services by some providers to (allegedly) extremist or white supremacist sites after Charlottesville in August 2017. 

In the latter part of 2018 various platforms became even stricter. Patreon closed some accounts of speakers for past behavior even on other platforms, even if some people (myself included) would have found their behaviors generally acceptable given immediate context.  Some other platforms did the same.  YouTube started demonetizing accounts, leading to a day in June 2019 when, after a particular quarrel between two persons on YouTube (Carlos Maza and Stephen Crowder) many unrelated accounts found themselves unexplainably demonetized.   Other speech, especially associated with weapons, became problematic after a few horrid incidents such as Parkland High School in Florida in February 2018.  In general, political ideologies from activists (in the streets and doing fundraising) became more extreme and polarized.  In my opinion, this is an understandable reaction to some positions that Trump and his supporters often took, which many groups took as very threatening, yet they began behaving more lawlessly, like in Portland and Seattle later (in 2020), barging into the lives of ordinary city residents who did not want to be involved.  Trump and his supporters drew the first straws (I don’t like to admit it).

We all know how this came to a head right after the election, when social media (esp. YouTube) banned speech challenging the election after the official Electoral Count vote and tried to ban the phrase “stop the steal”. Nevertheless, law and order broke down on Jan. 6, 2021 and threatened the republic.

So I had every reason to be concerned that social media platforms and even hosting companies would not want to allow “amateurs” to play journalist with volatile issues given the increasing threats of political violence and risk which could follow.  We had already seen this viewpoint in Europe with the copyright directive (and link tax proposals as well as mandatory filters), where there was a sentiment that “amateur” speakers were lowballing real journalists out of their jobs.  There had been a similar sentiment stimulating the lawsuits by a copyright troll “Righthaven” from 2009-2011 in the US.

In recent years more online publications have put up paywalls or asked for donations. In the early days (like around 2000) there was some controversy about deep hyperlinks (and a few sites would throw 403-forbiddens at them) but courts said that hyperlinks were the same things as term paper footnotes. That normally has applied to embeds, although there is an unsettled case in NY 2nd Circuit challenging that (link),  My understanding of the law now is that when a visitor clicks on a link to a paywall site, the visitor is on their own to subscribe first if required (or may meet a policy of a limited number of free articles). But we could see new pressures on bloggers in the hyperlinking area, as some established publishers don’t like to see this happen.

In the fall of 2018, Congress started considering the CASE Act, which would create an administrative small claims court, a Copyright Claims Board, with opt-out rights for defendants, to settle copyright claims quickly without going to court.  There was concern that this could attract trolls. The law was passed at the end of 2020 and the office opened for business June 16, 2022 (recently).

In 2019, on Feb. 27, I announced that I would keep my websetup through the end of 2021, when the “doaskdotell.com” registration was due to expire on Dec. 2.  I would only renew if there was prospect of legitimate commercial use for the name from 2022 on.  The possibility of screenwriting pitchfests provided that opportunity.

In late 2019, YouTube announced a policy (given compliance issues that the FTA had with it over the COPPA law, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, not to be confused with COPA) requiring content creators to mark “made for kids” on videos intended as such in order to remove them from comments and monetization. In the course of issuing revised Terms of Service, YouTube also announced it could require (presumably smaller sites like mine) prove that they could become “commercially viable” for future advertising. I have not, and no action has been taken against me, but the “idea” still caroming in play.

During the pandemic my life slowed down.  I wondered if my activity would be seen as “unnecessary” even though it was almost all online.  There were some service problems in the spring of 2020 with one provider.   A practical concern also was that if there were a major equipment failure on my part or infrastructure failure in the unit, I might not be able to get it fixed because of contagion quarantines and could lose my sites.  I did lose money having to cancel a fight to LA for a pitchfest in late Feb. 2020 over Covid fears. Don’t whine, so did a lot of other people have tremendous losses.  There was an odd bot hack on my Blogger sites the day I would have flown out.  Many scary coincidences.

But the complicated blogging setup with so many posts was no longer sustainable. The practical “threat” from the CASE Act from trolling from such a mass of accumulated material was certainly now a bit of a big deal.  But there were many other problems percolating underneath all the time, stemmimg largely from the gratuitous nature of the content.

One also encounters ploys on webhosts these days about professional email addresses, and insinuations that today the web should be about conducting business or organized activism. Indeed, my practice of free “gratuitous” content over the years could be viewed as “anti-democracy” and interfering with organized activism. This is of great concern to me now (and motivates this April 2018 video “A Dangerous Thought Experiment” which appears on some of my pages.)

In the long run, in evaluating this list, what stands out is that I do not seem to be willing or able to work with others, except on my own rather narrow terms.  Now this is troubling because, at least partly, I don’t have a professional background in journalism (it is in mainframe IT – next post).  There certainly are news and commentary outlets I would like to work with (and this might have happened without a pandemic). But there are possibilities in the future the “tech oligarchy” (call it what you want, it is almost like a “shadow government”) might not allow me to work in this mode independently. I have been aware of this since early 2018 and had some private meetings about it. Here is another reference with a list of all these issues (from Nov. 2019, just prior to the pandemic). One so far little noticed issue is that individuals (like me) have no backup to respond to security threats if something happens to them (hospitalization, or eventually sudden passing) and there is no one else prepared to respond to issues. ICANN rules don’t seem to address this, but some attention seems inevitable. Again, “legitimate” commerce will normally have to set up backups and have more than one person. Yet, we really can’t support a world where everyone’s personal identity is predicated on how much they can “sell” individually (like everyone played life insurance “producer” and played the industry convention qualification game, which by the way I worked on at one time.)

But I cannot allow others to speak for me if I don’t have my own voice.  I am very strict about that.  I get loads of emails from outlets begging for money.  Independent creators (Patreon, substack) I sometimes support.  Non-profits who beg to (even as journalists) to fight for the “oppressed”, no, I can’t deal with these kinds of requests now.  I’m supposed to “get over myself”?  Maybe.  I’ll talk about this in the next post.  But a crucial point is that I cannot identify myself just by having been “oppressed” and try to “sell” that Idea to make a business self-sustaining.

(Friday, September 2, 2022 at 6 PM EDT)

A history of my online presence 1996-today

I do need to give a review of the history of my online presence over the years since 1996.  I will followup with a historical chronology of various controversies.  All of this helps explain the restructuring that has been going on since the start of 2022.  Much of this material had been documented in doaskdotellnotes.com which is no longer available (as of 6/22/2022).

1996/2: I have my first website, I think named after me, for six months, $195 (expensive then).  It contains one file, a proposal for my first book, then called “a gay conservative’s opus”.

1996/3:  I set up Hometown AOL on one account.  It allows multiple images but only one editable text file, which I populate with an essay. (I’ll have to hunt for it.)

1996/10.   On a Sunday early in the month, AOL allows multiple text files to an account to be uploaded by FTP.  I immediately set up one account with a few files with essays. 

1997/7/11   I officially “publish” my first DADT book by mailing to the Library of Congress and announcing on my AOL site with informal information on how to order from me (I had a print run of about 400 copies).   The book uses my parentally assigned nickname “Bill Boushka” as a pseudonym.  ags

1997/8    I set up my first domain which I call “hppub.com”, an abbreviation of “High Productivity Publishing”. It is hosted by a company called virtualnetspace.com, run by a coworker at my employer ING Reliastar.  The domain is registered by Network Solutions, inasmuch at the time there are few domain name registrars yet.

1997/9/1   I move to Minneapolis with a corporate transfer (which is partly motivated by a need to avoid a “conflict of interest” over the book; I may provide a detailed explanation here later) and simply move the books in the trunk of the car myself.  Somehow they fit.

1997/10 (approx.).  I set up several other Hometown AOL accounts with FTP.   For coincidental reasons, the coworker also moves to Minneapolis.

1998/2/25   With the help of an undergraduate senior at Hamline University, I give an hour-long lecture on the book at Hamline University in St. Paul MN.  (Video link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KEJqFqg4vzs ).

1998/7/31  I upload my book in html (from Word) to the site (also a backup on AOL Hometown) with the idea that potential buyers can browse the books.  There is an “honor system” that works reasonably well in 1998 as there are many sales and some store placements.

1998/12    I join as a sub-plaintiff under Electronic Frontier Foundation against the Child Online Protection Act of 1998.

1999/3/31   With the help of two University of Minnesota undergraduate students, I do a lecture on my book at the U in Minneapolis.

1998/12    The “Our Fundamental Rights” booklet is self-published with a small print run and also placed on hppub for browsing. 

1999/2/1   There is an injunction against enforcement of COPA.

1999/12/2    I set up a second domain “doaskdotell.com” hosted by NTT Verio. The domain name is hosted by Network Solutions inasmuch as few companies yet both host and offer domain names.

2000 (during the year).  I set up johnwboushka.com, based on my legal name, with domain name and now hosting by Network solutions.  At the time, the only material that I carry there is resume and IT career-related material, small in volume. 

2000/8    As the print run for the “Do Ask Do Tell” first book is exhausted, it is placed into POD (print-on-demand) with iUniverse.  

2000/10 (approx.).   I set up a site based on my nickname billboushka.com with javastarter, with the intention of putting up some tables in java and MySQL.

2001/10/31  aprrox.  Virtualnetspace closes down so I move hosting of hppub.com to Verio.

2001/12/13   I learn of my layoff from ING effective 12/13.  So I take full retirement, which in my circumstances makes me financially much more stable for the foreseeable future.

2002/12    I publish the DADT II book (“When Liberty Is Stressed”) in POD with iUniverse.  Online browsing is available on hppub. 

2003/9/1  I relocate (from Minneapolis) back to Arlington VA in my mother’s house. 

2005/7    I copy hppub.com contents to doaskdotell.com.  Volume becomes reasonable in a month or two.

2005/8/1   I close down hppub.com and allow the domain to be bought by others (For a while it gets used by a casino company).

2005/10  A conflict arises regarding my online presence and my substitute teaching, which I stop in 2005/12.   This is explained in detail in the DADT III book (below).

2006  I resume work for a school district with grading papers and then subbing (2007) for one semester.

2006/1.  I start using Google Blogger with sixteen blogs (named below).  I get Adsense by the end of 2006/1. 

2006/7   The javastarter host fails.  I move “BillBoushka.com” to Verio.  It is a small site with a few essays, a small “Tech blog” in WordPress, and a MySQL table to play with.

2007. AOL eliminates its Hometown AOL service. I had not kept it maintained since 2005.

2008   Volumes on the blogs seem to rise with the financial crisis, and the Adsense ironically does fairly well during the crisis into 2009. 

Late 2008   I set up accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  I had a very small account in Myspace which I hardly used.  I also had a LinkedIn account for some time (I think around 2003).

2010/12/14   Mother dies in a hospice.  I take over the estate and live in the Arlington house alone.

2011   I start a small YouTube channel  “jboushka”.  In the beginning, I use it mainly to film QA’s for festival movie reviews for my blogs. 

2013/12   I obtain two WordPress blogs doaskdotellnote.com (primarily to add more detailed footnotes and business info for the books) and billsmediareviews.com  (to review unusual items not fitting the Blogger setup well, and to track my own writing and sometimes music composing activities).

2014/2/25    DADT 3 (“Speech Is a Fundamental Right, Being Listened to Is a Privilege”) is published by Xlibris.  The text is available for “honor system” browsing online at the doaskdotell site, mostly in PDF’s.

2016/5/4   I acquire two more blogs through BlueHost, “Billsnewscommentary.com” and “Billsmediacommentary.com”.   In general, major movie, book, music or stage reviews go on the new WordPress blog.  The Blogger movies blog now hosts reviews of short films (like Omeletto) or of professional videos of interest, often legal or scientific.  The Blogger books blog sometimes reviews “booklet” style long newspaper or periodical articles as well as minor books (like children’s).  The most serious issue oriented posts (like logs of hearings or events that I go to) tend to appear on news commentary, which would include subject matter important for free speech online, such as Section 230, DMCA, or social media censorship related to increasing political or social polarization. Also, I soon announced I will accept guest posts on both blogs.

2016/9    I renew doaskdotell.com domain name thru Dec 2, 2021 with Network Solutions.

2016/11   My doaskdotell.com account moves with Verio as it has a new owner (ironically election day), but the old tech wordpress blog on billboushka.com is lost in that move.  Fortunately, I had saved a copy of the posts and could restore some of them to another directory on doaskdotell.com  

2018   As tension over free speech grows, I set up an account on Minds.com 

2018/4 I start making a series of several videos with the assistance of a friend over my concerns over the future of free speech.

2018/8/30 I publish an important article on Medium (the only one so far) on power grid security (see below).

2019/2/27   In a post on doaskdotellnotes, I advise visitors that I do not believe I can maintain my blogging environment indefinitely (20 blogs now) but will keep everything essentially until the end of 2021 (are almost so).

2019/4/2 Google+ is shut down. I had used it intermittently and found it useful since early 2012, as I best remember.

2019/10   I learn of a pitchfest opportunity.  This may give some justification for continuing doaskdotell.com past the end of 2021.

2020   The sites keep running during the pandemic, although doaskdotell.com has many days of outages early in the pandemic.  I miss the pitchfest (at some expense to myself) because of the pandemic.

2021/3/31 I announced I no longer accept guest posts (because of the plans to sunset within about a year). I had published a number of them on the newscommentary. Also, one post on doaskdotellnotes about Basic Training in the Army attracts many constructive comments from others who had BCT there.

2021/9  I renew the doaskdotell.com domain name until the end of 2023, expecting to do a pitchfest, which I finally attend.

2021/9/21 I have a hiking accident and shoulder fracture which interferes with working online efficiently.

2021/10/5 While (coincidentally) I am in hospital overnight for surgery, my four WordPress blogs are suspended after a hack that places “proof of concept” fake error messages in the files that never get executed. Service is restored 10/7 after Sitelock removes these files.

2021/11/4   I create a new WordPress blog on johwboushka.com, in a subdirectory, intending that all permanent blogging go there (except a few special posts on this one).

2022/1/3   I set up various subdirectories under htdocs on johnwboushka.com to house flat repost selected from backup xml copies of the blogs that are being removed. Gradually these directories are populated with recovered content.

2022/1/3    The 16 Blogger domains are removed.   The total of posts over almost 16 years was 26556. There were hundreds of categories. 

22/1/7    The billboushka.com blog is removed from Verio and name expires. 

2022/5/4    the two commentary blogs on Bluehost expire and cease availability,

2022/6/22   The other two blogs on Bluehost lose availability.

I do want to state that the blog posts served the useful function of warning the public about relatively little known hazards. Some topics got unusual attention and reaction (mixed). These included filial responsibility laws (the concern states might enforce them if a blogger called attention to them), trademark issues (where restaurants in different states with unrelated ownerships used the same name), and our exposure to sudden catastrophic power grid blackouts because of large solar storms or unprecedented unconventional warfare. My setup allowed me to post material very quickly when I learned of a hidden hazard. This was effective without augmentation by social media algorithms, as my method was simply to be found by search engines, which predated social media all the way back to the late 1990s. This was an inherent advantage of blogging over video channels on YouTube. The YouTube channel still has mostly short videos and limited audience results but remains available.

The master site for my entire presence can be navigated from https://johnwboushka.com/homenew.htm . Note the link there to my one Medium article on the power grid.

(Posted: Saturday, August 27, 2022 at 10:15 PM EDT by John W Boushka)

Note about “Bill Boushka” as a nickname

Today, the website “BillBoushka dot com” is supposed to have been removed by my hosting provider.  The “Bill Boushka dot me” that had served as a Google custom domain for a Blogger blog had been removed on Jan.3 when the Blogger sites were removed as part of my online downsizing as promised for the start of 2022.

The domain name (for .com) is supposed to remain mine until March 8, 2022.  I’ll come back to the possibility of reuse in a moment.

The downsizing had been “promised” in late February 2019 to take effect this year.  In early 2021 I had written a couple of posts (on the doaskdotellnotes blog) anticipating the continued use of the nickname “Bill” as a leading node on the remaining site and WordPress personal blog.  In the late summer, I determined that it would be much “safer” going forward to use only my legal name “JohnWBoushka” as a name in identifying nodes.  I won’t give all the rational right now, but visitors are likely to hear more about this issue in debates on Internet censorship policy (Section 230, and trademark law also) this year. There is likely to be more objection to domain or blog node hoarding as potentially denying opportunity to others (especially in a world so now concerned with equity).  I expect to have the conversion to the use of the legal name as completed by the early summer 2022. 

Because my books, as listed on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, and on various other places, were written under the nickname/pseudonym “Bill” starting in 1997 (for good reason, as I needed a double life with the workplace then over conflict of interest concerns – even leading to a corporate transfer to Minneapolis in 1997 at the same time as the first book’s appearance), there still could be a reason to use the “bill” as a node out of business necessity.  In general, I would use the idea of a subdirectory or better a subdomain (“billboushka dot johnwboushka dot com) where a the “billboushka” space as a separate ip address and is connected by an appropriate coded A record.

Such necessity could come out of a pitchfest in NYC in late April this year (hopefully coronavirus has calmed down).  But it is possible that a “business only” second blog like “billboushka dot wordpress dot com” could become the most practical solution and that could be accomplished by connecting the domain name to WP with an appropriately coded A record(s).

But the general idea remains: “JohnWBoushka” (my true legal name) holds writings or videos about my own vides on things, generally non-commerically.  “doaskdotell” and any future use of the nickname “Bill” must be for “business use” only (like in the workplace generally), but supporting screenwriting efforts related to the books counts as business use because there is evidence of interest “out there”.

(Posted: Saturday, January 8, 2022 at 9 OM EST by John W Boushka; this post also appears today on the “JohnWBoushka/Wordpress” blog as an important announcement)

Archived Post from 2008-03-25: Self-libel in fiction, a problem that doesn’t seem to have ever been litigated

“This is another test post” based on an old blog (“Technology-law Confluence”) from the old domain “billboushka.com” which will be deprecated (content moved to new location) in March 2019. I am putting it up on this free WordPress site on my WordPress account to archive it, but also today in order to practice using the new Gutenberg editor with imported text.”

Technology-Law Confluence: Legal perils when fiction resembles real life; is self-libel possible?

The case Bindrim v. Mitchell, in California, in 1979, establishes the idea that “real people” who are depicted in a novel (in this case, “Touching“, by Gwen Davis) purporting to be “fiction” can bring legal action (such as libel or invasion of privacy) if a reasonable person would know that the character in the novel really is supposed to “be” that person. A UMKC law school link is here.

Time Magazine has an old article from Mar. 17, 1980 “Writers’ Rights and Wrongs: A publishing house throws the book at one of its authors,” link here. This refers to the fact that typically authors have to indemnify publishers against loss, and today Internet self-publishers have to indemnify ISPs (as part of “terms of service”), even though, in practice, such contract provisions have generally been only very rarely enforced for obvious business reasons. (ISP’s have pursued people in spam-related cases.)

It is not necessarily true that this principle would hold in other states in which it has not been litigated.

There is another case in Vermont, Garrido v. Krasnansky, this a divorce proceeding, in which a judge has ordered on party to stop talking about a case online. The case is interesting because the online talk was a blog that purported to be “fiction.” I did not find a court opinion on line, but here is a blog entry from Info Law on the case, here.

Another problem known to have occurred but not litigated (in Virginia) is where an individual used a character based on himself in a fictitious setting on-line in an unfavorable way to make a “political point,” and a principal at a public school where the person worked tried to have the person removed. Eventually the person left for other reasons. It is not clear as a matter of law whether the “Bindrim” principle would apply to a likeness of the self, especially in a state other than California or Vermont.

It’s also interesting to wonder when rulings can be used from other states to make arguments to establish the same precedent in a new state. “Full Faith and Credit” applies to contracts (usually marriage, until now), but not for other legal doctrines.

It’s possible that an objection to “real life resembling” fiction may become stronger if some of the content is actually based on factual events, even if names (and perhaps places or times) are changed.

The “fact or fiction” issue also obviously ties into the new controversies about “online reputation defense.”

Originally posted Wednesday, March 26, 2008.

Archived Post: 2008-7-25, Free content pros and cons

Monocacy Dam, C&O Canal, Potomac River, MD, 2018-12

This is a test post, where I have brought in an archived post from an old site, where I am trying to practice WordPress with the Gutenberg editor.

There’s a lot of talk out there about schemes to allow users to block Internet advertising. And there is a variety of proposals.

One is on “Internet Outsider” (all the way back to April 2007) is Henry Blodget’s “One Way for Microsoft to Kill Google”, (outdated link) is to put more emphasis on a “cost per impression” (CPM) basis as well as “cost per click” (CPC). The writer suggests that Microsoft create CPM network to compete with Google’s Adsense.

But another writer suggests something even more sinister and nefarious: simply build an adblocker into the next service pack for Windows Vista and make it apply to all ads and all browsers (especially IE and Firefox). Would that blow away the entire free content industry? Would newspapers stop offering their content free in online editions? Would not only Blogger disappear but a lot of shared web hosting go away? What happens to social networking sites? It’s a scary thought, because the plain truth is that the whole boom in self-promotion is predicated on a two-way street, the idea that ordinary users are willing to see and react with ads. I found this suggestion on a WordPress blog called “Reluctant blogger”, also (apparently) posted “way back” in April 2007. It’s easy to imagine legal complications if Microsoft attempted this.

In fact IE7Pro a separate ad-on, offers an ad blocker.

There is also a product called “Adblock” as part of “Rick’s Easylist” (outdated link) started by an entrepreneur in update New York who simply calls himself “Rick”.

What I don’t know is how much traction these products are getting. But when I started my own personal publishing back in 1996, I paid little or no attention to advertising. I started with a book and then used the websites to supplement the book to draw and interest readers to my political arguments.

It’s not clear whether these blockers affect ads that play before free videos, or even those, common on newspaper sites and imdb, that overlay the content and must be closed to see the content. Those are more disruptive to viewers, but may be necessary to support the free content.

Am I cutting my own throat by pointing this out? No, because readers will find out anyway. We might as well started a spirited debate about it.

Also, notice, on this particular blog, there are no ads. At least right now. That could change later.

Original post: Friday, July 25, 2008

Archived Post 20100620 Internet Kill Switch

Lieberman proposes “kill Internet switch” law for president as PCNAA act; earlier drafts had existed in 2009

There were two drafts in 2009 that would effectively give the president an “Internet kill switch”.
The first draft is Cyberadvisor 1 here.

“To establish, within the Executive Office of the President, the Office of
the National Cybersecurity Advisor.”
The second is the Cybersecurity Act of 2009, here.

“To ensure the continued free flow of commerce within the United States and with its global trading partners through secure cyber communications, to provide for the continued development and exploitation of the Internet and intranet communications for such purposes, to provide for the development of a cadre of information technology specialists to improve and maintain effective cyber security defenses against disruption, and for other purposes.
Webpronews analysis is here.

A much more recent development is
“Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act, or PCNAA” proposed by Joe Lieberman, S 3480, Opencongress link.

A Govtracker article is here.

The bill can be found here on Govtrack, link , introduced June 10, 2010 by Senator Joseph Lieberman.

It’s name is “A bill to amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 and other laws to enhance the security and resiliency of the cyber and communications infrastructure of the United States.”

The full text is here.

See also April 15, 2009 entry on this blog.

(This is a test post with 5.0.1)

Archived Post 20130819 Section 230

State attorneys general want to gut some of Section 230

I will start moving some “technology law” posts, most of them made between 2007-2010, a few later, to this free-standing blog, since the ISP deleted the old WordPress blog when it moved “billboushka.com“.

In July, a number of state attorneys general floated a letter to Congress to make Section 230 of the 1996 Telecommunications Act inapplicable to state laws.

The original proposal, from NAAG (National Association of Attorneys General) is here.

The CDT wrote a letter back, text here.

The ACLU has a robust discussion here.