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Currently, the internet is built on a foundation of net neutrality. What this means is Netflix can send a packet of data to you just as fast as Google can but they cannot send more than their upload limit. When you buy internet you usually get a package with an upload and a download limit.

Mine is 60MBs Download and 13MBs Upload. If you had the same plan that means I can send you 13MB of data per second. Googles upload rate is significantly higher. In fact, it’s so high they had to build their own fiber-optic network. The nice thing about Google is its quick, that’s because to send the keyword is a very small packet of information. So when you look at a service like Netflix that is streaming 4k content to millions of users you start to see how it’s not exactly fair.

The truth is Google came out at a time where internet speeds were very slow and therefore you needed a fast platform to find information. Netflix only exists today because internet speeds have increased so much that now streaming 4k content isn’t a very difficult task.

We already lost a right to privacy this year when Trump repealed regulations requiring an ISP to get consent before they can sell your data to private corporations or governments. 

So where does Net Neutrality come into play? Basically, this would give the ISP's the ability to charge to use services like Netflix more money per packet. They say this would create a fast lane but its a pay to play system, if Netflix has to pay more what do you think will happen to their subscription prices. The ISP's say that they would not do this but its more about the chain reaction this will cause across the internet, creating a fast lane without creating additional lanes means you now have a slow lane. This will make it harder for innovative companies that require faster connections.

So these are our options going forward. 

  1. We get rid of net neutrality and the ISP's will charge Netflix more. This will likely result in higher Netflix premiums and they will shift blame to the ISP's but you won't really have much of a choice when it comes to that, will you? 
  2. We get rid of net neutrality and the residential customers (you and me) will have to pay for a Netflix package to get it. On TOP of that, we will also have our search history sold to marketers or governments by our ISP's and have to pay for a Netflix subscription.
  3. We keep net neutrality and if the ISP's want more money they should invest in more fiber optic networks and 5G LTE technology.

ISP's have what’s called an Oligopoly on the internet because it doesn’t make much sense to run multiple internet platforms everywhere because our country is so big geographically so they are allowed to negotiate territories. If you are fortunate enough to have options in your area you are lucky because most of these territories only have one provider, in some cases the City will even protect the ISP's right to that exclusive area.

ISP's have also been given BILLIONS of taxes payer money to invest in the fiber infrastructure and they didn’t really do much with it. I don't know about you but I work in IT and I have only ever seen fiber internet 2-3 times There is an area in Minneapolis where you can get US Internet for about $100 (I don't think the even got the subsidies). Century link in select areas in the twin cities (over $500 for a basic connection, basically just a marketing scheme claiming they have fiber when you only put it in densely populated and highly lucrative areas). Or in Wisconsin where they require a 5-year commitment and limit your speed to 10mbs. (whats the point of fiber).

There is also a great conflict of interest considering lots of content on the internet is provided by ISP's and their affiliated media websites. This creates a sense of prioritization of their own content over something like YouTube. They will say it’s a good thing because it restricts Fake News, but that leaves us only watching their news scratching our heads. What happens when they do something wrong and nobody reports on it.

The internet is best left with net neutrality, it gives an open opportunity for new and innovative services like Netflix and continues to perpetuate those capabilities of technology globally. The ISP's wish to restrict those capabilities because they pose a threat to their overall profits. The ISP’s and their affiliates also contain Billions of dollars in CIA and Government contracts that means on top of all the world’s most influential media outlets, the vast majority of Internet Service Providers, and the US Governments needs will ultimately come before your own.

Retaining net neutrality is critical to ensuring a free and open internet. Keep costs low. And if ANY regulations should be passed regarding the ISP's it should be to break up the anti-trust between them, the media, and the government. There is too much power in the hands of too few. 

To do more about net neutrality go to https://www.battleforthenet.com/ 

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Rival Marketing

is a new and exciting Web Development Company, in this article we outline the roadmap for how we are going to achieve our goals. Building a Strong Development company from scratch is difficult, to say the least. Our strategy is to grow quickly by building the departments in our company one at a time. A strategic release of our services starting with the easiest and most marketable options first will help bootstrap the next idea.

First, let's explain what our goals are: 

  • Our long term goal is to impact the world in a positive way.
  • Our 5-year goal is to develop a platform that revolutionizes the way we use technology.
  • Our short term goal is to build a sustainable Web Design, Marketing, and Development Company that is capable of bringing YOUR idea to life. 
Currently, we are working with a few local businesses on building websites to showcase our strong commitment to commercial marketability and design. If you are looking for a website This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Stage 1: 

We believe the key to a perfect image that captivates viewers and keeps them engaged is your website's core design if people see just ONE thing on your site they don't like within 5 seconds they will bounce. Therefore, the first stage is to develop a reputation for providing Pixel Perfect websites that keep users engaged, track analytics, mobile optimization, social integration, blogs, media creation, and more. We plan to do this by thinking about creative ways to get people to engage, we want to make your site stand out from the crowd so that the user picks YOUR company. 

July 1st, 2017 we will be announcing Rival Web Design. Our goal is to have 3-4 websites in our portfolio and an automated system for managing your hosting account and paying your bill online. 


Stage 2:

Websites, believe it or not, are actually just files stored on a server somewhere (usually in the cloud). Reliable hosting is incredibly critical when it comes to the cloud. The whole point of the cloud is to be able to do things like share files, host a website, email people, etc. without buying and maintaining a bunch of servers. Cloud Computing is a very competitive industry and it can also be very expensive if you do not use it correctly, with 4 years of background in IT and with Cloud Services, we have developed innovative ways to optimize the cloud to offer more security, more uptime, easier management, and virtually infinite scalability. 

August 1st, 2017 we will be announcing Rival Cloud. Rival Cloud is our cloud hosting platform where it will be easy to host website, provision email accounts, share files, and more. We also plan on having contingencies setup to ensure your cloud services stay online all the time.  


Stage 3:

Imagine for a second the most attractive person on the planet, now imagine trying to find that face in a crowd of 644 Million. Every site has a certain level of searchability, odds are if you just copied the same algorithm as your competitor you probably show up under your companies name and maybe industry. Therefore, the second stage is to take the sites that we have built and promote them on various search engines like Google or Bing. We will be carefully tracking the analytics data to prove to both our clients and future clients the effectiveness of a good SEO campaign. What we do differently than most SEO companies is we track the progress of a conversion rather than a lead. Conversion based SEO campaigns are the ONLY way to go, what is the point of getting more traffic on your site if nobody is converting to sales.

September 1st, 2017 we will be announcing Rival Digital Marketing. Our goal is to have 2-3 SEO campaigns, 2-3 PPC campaigns, and a marketable proof of their effectiveness. Ask about our portfolio discount!


Stage 4: 

Marketing is taking a new form around the world. It should be no surprise to anyone to believe that social media is going to become more and more prominent in the advertising industry. Facebook has almost 2 Billion members and they collectively know and understands personal information about all of those users. They also know and are only going to get better at marketing to those individuals. Say you make some pretty cool e-juice and want people to come to your local shop. You can specifically market it to people within a 5-mile radius who have liked various e-juice pages. These types of analytics are so effective in narrowing down a demographic that the odds of increasing sales from social advertising are massive. Big data is what is driving every new an innovative industry. 

October 1st, 2017 we will be announcing Rival Social Media. Out goal is to have 5-10 social media accounts and analytical data that show growth in popularity, positive reviews, increase in online sales. 


Stage 5: 

Apps are the best, aren't they? With apps, I can check my bank account with my fingerprint, send a picture around the world, see what my friends are up to. The possibilities are endless which is why our key marketable objective is to become capable of developing custom applications for our clients and create new and truly innovative technology. We want to unleash the endless possibilities of application development to our clients, we will innovate, we will code, we may even help fund your project and see it through to completion. 

November 1st, 2017 we will launch Rival Apps. Our goal is to have 2-3 apps completed and tested. 

Stage 6: 

Have you or someone you met ever suggested an app that sounded like a good idea but you didn't have the funds to make that idea come to life? Have you ever considered investing in something like Facebook or bitcoin and decided not to because you didn't understand the technology? Have you ever looked at an idea like Snapchat and said: "I could do that in my sleep"? The internet of things is the next industrial revolution believe me on this one. Imagine if you could invest in the printing press before it was invented. 

December 1st, 2017 we will be launching Rival Incubator. An incubator is a place you bring an idea with the potential to have it developed into a working beta. What we do differently is we will balance the connections we have with venture capitalists, patent lawyers, innovators, developers, and anyone who can help complete the projects we are working on. We hope to be managing at least 2-3 Kickstarter campaigns by the time we launch the Rival Incubator. 


The deadlines for this article are all goals which we are trying to accomplish but we can't do it alone. We will be making adjustments to this roadmap as needed and additional blog post as well, to stay up to date please subscribe. The more support we have the easier it will be to achieve these things and make the world a better place. If you are interested in helping in any way please contact us. 

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This is the story of my journey to see The Great American Eclipse of 2017. 

First, let's explain a few things about the eclipse. An eclipse is an astrological event where one object passes in front of another. In this case, we have a solar eclipse which means the moon will pass in front of the sun. The moon is much smaller than the sun but it's also much closer which makes for a very rare event. The moon's distance from earth in relation to the sun makes the two almost seem identical when an eclipse occurs, this provides the effect of blocking out the sun 100%. During The Great American Eclipse, this will happen along a line that stretches across the entire US (hence the name) this line is called the Path of Totality. While in the Path of Totality the sun is completely covered and the only thing that illuminates the earth is solar wind. Directly in the center f the path of totality, the eclipse will only last 2:30 Minutes. 

Now I've always been fascinated by astronomy even since I was a kid. Being this close to an event this rare was too tempting for me to pass up. So I hitched a ride with some friends to go and see it. Originally, my plan was to go to Big Lake MO (which is sort of funny because my hometown was Big Lake, MN). This plan changed when I looked at the weather in that area and it said partly cloudy, so I moved my landing point to Grand Island NE. So when I left town I when south through on 169 through Shakopee, Mankato, Fairmount, and then parked my car in Spirit Lake Iowa where I met up with some friends. We left from there in his Mini-Van and headed West into Sioux Falls SD. From there we checked the weather in Grand Island and it said 30% chance of rain and Partly Cloudy. We also looked further west to Casper WY and saw 0% of rain and Sunny, we liked those odds better so we headed to WY. When we hit Rapid City, SD at about 12 am on Monday the 21st. we looked at the map and the radar and say similar 0% chance of rain and Sunny in a small town East of Casper called Glendo WY. So we hit the road and we arrived at about 2:30 am. 

As we got closer and closer the Path of Totality we started noticing that we were not the only ones out there in such a remote place. We started seeing hundreds of cars that all had the exact same idea we did. When we arrived at the center of the path of totality we pulled the van off into a ditch and setup camp for the night. If you ever find yourself in WY at night take an hour or two to get out and just look at the stars. I have never seen so many stars with such clarity in my life. This was probably one of my favorite parts of the whole experience. What made the stars especially interesting is that the solar eclipse happens during a new moon which isn't even in the sky. The Perseids meteor shower happened earlier in the month but I must have seen a dozen meteors still on the 21st. Venus was in a position where it was visible in the sky both at night and even during the eclipse. All of this made for some of the best stargazing I have ever witnessed. I don't know if it was excitement, caffeine, the stars, the elevation, or simply the lack of a bed but I didn't get any sleep the night of the eclipse.

The thing about WY is there are lots of hills and the thing about where we were, in particular, is we were at the bottom of a big hill, in fact, the whole road we were on was as well. So I may or may not have climbed a barb wire fence and climbed a 4000ft hill to get a better view of the sunrise and because I didn't get any cell signal at the bottom of the hill. On my way down the hill in the morning I wasn't exactly watching where I was going and almost stepped on a Rattle Snake, it caught me off guard at first because it hadn't even occurred to me that there were rattle snakes in that area until I heard it. I looked down at the sound and saw the snake disappear into a whole, then I noticed that there were about 12 of those holes around me and I quickly and carefully ran back to the van. I hung out down there until everyone else got up. We then packed up camp so we could make a quick getaway after the eclipse and then we may or may not have snuck back onto that hill and climbed 4000ft AGAIN. 

When we got to the top of the hill we noticed that another dozen people may or may not have snuck onto the same hill. We introduced ourselves and talked for a little bit. They were from Boulder CO and we said we were from MN and they said they figured that out by out accents (whatever that means). So we got settled in and waited to Totality. As we got closer and closer we noticed the temperature drop about 20-25 degrees, we started hearing crickets and all the birds disappeared. The sun Hit Totality for us at 11:45 am and lasted until 11:48 am. Totality is very hard to describe let alone photograph. I only took a few pictures because I wanted to spend my time enjoying it, when I look at my pictures and compare them to others I feel like they turned out pretty good. When I look at my pictures and remember what I experienced it's not even close. 

Totality is very hard to describe let alone photograph. I only took a few pictures because I wanted to spend my time enjoying it, when I look at my pictures and compare them to others I feel like they turned out pretty good. When I look at my pictures and remember what I experienced it's not even close. I sort of knew this would be the case but I photographed them anyway. Towards the end of Totality, the sun starts peaking on the top right side of the sun, this resembles a beautiful diamond ring. 

Once the Eclipse was done, we walked down the hill, hopped the fence and took off towards home. We stopped in Keystone SD and saw Mt. Rushmore. We drove all night until we got to my car in Iowa, from there me and my grandpa ate at a nice authentic Mexican restaurant, and I got to see where my grandma works. From there I headed home, I got home around 8 pm on Tuesday night and went to bed around 10 pm. I was awake for a total of 60 hours. It was a long trip but it was totally worth it. 



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