Saturday, March 31, 2018

Fishing Islamorada

This one is mostly a photo blog. My son Richie and I fished two days this past week in Islamorada - one offshore day and one day on the flats. Here are a few photos and videos from each of those fun days fishing.

Day 1 was a trip targeting Sailfish offshore.

Captain Charlie (R) and mate Austin (L)

Rods at the ready
VIDEO: But first, we have to "make bait." A net full of ballyhoo.

2 kites go up, holding a total of 4 lines.

VIDEO: Rich fights a sailfish (we each landed one)

Sailfish alongside!

Sailfish alongside!

Sailfish alongside!

VIDEO: Sailfish fight

And we even caught some Mutton Snapper and Yellowtail Snapper for dinner!

Looking for scraps from the cleaning table

Day 2 was a trip targeting Tarpon in the flats.

Back for another day at Bud N' Mary's

This couple sold Swordfish bills, painted or scrimshawed by the man

A wood carving at the docks
Tame tarpon are around all the docks. But we chase the wild ones farther away.

Still, they taunt us. Swimming around the docks.

I'd love to catch one of these 50LB "Silver Kings"

An iguana holds on for dear life

Captain Chris, Richie and me

First catch of the day? A rare sawfish.

We caught several sharks

This bad boy is a bull shark. We also caught a lemon and black tip.

VIDEO: Shark brought up to the boat... but not in!

Back at the marina, it's time for two beers

And some stone crab

We still had some fish from yesterday's catch, so we took them to the famous Fish House and they cooked them for us.

I got Richie on his way home and then headed south to Key West for a day of kicking back

Arriving at Key West with the setting sun

A great couple of days! I look forward to my next visit to the keys. Just a few days can really be a cure for a long winter.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Merging AT&T and Time Warner

A trend toward fewer, larger companies

Image credit: CNN Money
Would consumers ultimately benefit from an AT&T merger with Time Warner? Or would negatives outweigh positives? 

That’s the question that the courts are getting ready to consider. It has been almost a year and a half since AT&T first announced plans to merge with Time Warner – a vertical integration, which involves merging companies whose operations include both communications infrastructure and content and services. Wireless communications, plus home entertainment services, plus content providers like HBO, CNN and TNT.

As the case comes before U.S. District Senior Judge Richard Leon of the District of Columbia, the same judge who cleared the way for the Comcast NBC Universal merger eight years ago, there are predictable arguments being made by stakeholders on both sides. AT&T wants the merger to have the might to compete with the new powers of media – Netflix, Amazon, and even Apple. The Justice Department hopes to block the merger, saying that it would ultimately hurt competition partly through consolidation and partly through the dangers of vertical integration where carriers and transport providers might have a level of control over content delivery that is anti-competitive (see my many blog posts on NetNeutrality for more on this). Some suspect more petty motives.

While they differ in some ways, this proposed merger does seem to have a lot in common with the Comcast + NBC Universal merger in that it is similarly a huge, vertical integration move – and that one was approved. Is that the precedent that is most applicable here?

My expertise is in Internet architecture (which is the "plumbing" on which this stuff depends) and not law, but for my part I believe both mega-mergers should have been denied as anti competitive and risky for consumers. Since we do have the precedent of the Comcast + NBC Universal, perhaps a fair way forward might be to approve this merger and then revisit the appropriate regulatory framework to protect consumers. Let’s not throw out Net Neutrality quite yet, folks. It might still have a very important role to play.

What’s your opinion? Leave a comment and let us know.


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