Friday, June 18, 2010

Advisory Shmisory. Shapiro Can Stuff the Advice!

In both Gary Shapiro's written testimony for the HR 3101 hearing and his Washington Times editorial, Gary Shapiro, president of the Consumer Electronics Association, pushed the inane idea of an advisory committee:

From the written testimony:
As an alternative, CEA has proposed the development of an advisory committee consisting of all affected stakeholders working together to develop industry-led technical solutions for IP-based video programming services and devices. After the advisory committee completes its work and develops suggested solutions, the advisory committee would then determine whether to recommend that the FCC promulgate rules to accomplish the recommended solutions. For any such requirements, the FCC would also be afforded flexibility to exempt certain Internet-based video programming services and devices.
From the Washington Times op-ed:

Dems want to redesign your iPhone
As an alternative to the new mandates, the CEA has proposed the development of an advisory committee consisting of all affected stakeholders working collaboratively to develop industry-led solutions for Internet-protocol-based video programming services and devices. This committee would determine the most feasible technical solutions, and then provide its recommendations to the FCC. This approach would see the government setting the goals, but allow the technology industry to work out the details - using engineers, not lobbyists.

"I propose we make the text bigger and the sound be able to be turned off."

By the time industry was able to implement a committee's "advice," the technology would have already been replaced many times over! Plus, this sounds like Shapiro would prefer to force disabled consumers to wait for retro-fitting of devices. Determine solutions and provide recommendations to the FCC? Make disabled consumers wait for accessibility while the FCC makes decisions, which could take quite awhile at the pace that things happen in Washington?

This concept is the biggest piece of impractical fiction to come from Shapiro and the CEA. It essentially says deaf and blind people are second class citizens who do not deserve accessibility right out of the box, but must be forced to wait!

In a competitive business, it is highly unlikely that Shapiro has "before product launch" in mind with regard to an advisory committee. Does he really expect companies to share proprietary designs with each other in the name of accessibility? We think not! No, he expects us to wait until AFTER product launch, be patient non-complainers, and show appreciation for "voluntary" efforts at accessibility. That is unfair and outright discrimination against deaf and blind people.

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1 comment:

  1. yeah, advisory committees are for people who like to yak and talk and blow a lot of hot air and do nothing. it's just another avoidance trick