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Benton Foundation Celebrates the Life of Reverend Everett C. Parker | Benton Foundation

Benton Foundation Celebrates the Life of Reverend Everett C. Parker | Benton Foundation | project funding | Scoop.it

Reverend Everett C. Parker, director of the Office of Communication of the United Church of Christ from 1954 until 1983, died on September 17, 2015. Parker played a critical role in the development of public interest of American television. His leadership led to the development of an influential media reform and citizen action movement in broadcasting; and his activism directed at improved broadcast employment prospects for women and minorities. The following statement may be attributed to Benton Foundation Executive Director Adrianne B. Furniss:

“All of us at the Benton Foundation are saddened by the news of Rev Parker’s passing. His work inspires us, the public interest community, and all advocates for a better world. His mission, shared by the Benton Foundation, is to give help to people who are voiceless, so that they may be heard. In 2012, our founder, Charles Benton, received the Everett C. Parker Award in recognition of his many years of leadership and support for promoting the public interest in traditional and digital media. In accepting the award, Charles highlighted three lessons from Rev Parker’s life that serve for a model for us at the foundation: 1) The work has to be driven by an ethic. 2) You need patience; it takes a while to accomplish things. 3) Don’t be afraid of difficult challenges. We are thankful for these lessons today and embrace them as we endeavor to carry on Rev Parker’s work for years to come.”

 

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Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
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Canada Takes a New Approach to Technology-Based Economic Development | Fairweather Consulting

Canada Takes a New Approach to Technology-Based Economic Development | Fairweather Consulting | project funding | Scoop.it

On December 4, the Canadian government revealed their national Science and Technology (S&T) Strategy – Seizing Canada’s Moment: Moving Forward in Science, Technology and Innovation 2014.


An update to the original report released in 2007, the S&T strategy identifies five priority research areas for federal support over the next seven years: environment and agriculture; health and life sciences; natural resources and energy; information and communications technology; and, advanced manufacturing.

Among the proposals included in the S&T strategy, the government launched a seven-year, $1.5 billion CD (approximately $1.3 billion USD) Canada First Research Excellence Fund. Each year, Canadian universities and research institutions will compete for $350 million CD (approximately $304.9 million USD) in funding to support projects that increase the research and development (R&D) capacity and innovation infrastructure of their institutions.


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Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
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Why You Need Antivirus Software

Why You Need Antivirus Software | project funding | Scoop.it
Trojans, botnets, ransomware, rootkits—antivirus utilities protect against all kinds of malware, not just viruses. You really, really need antivirus protection.

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Government hacks and security breaches skyrocket

Government hacks and security breaches skyrocket | project funding | Scoop.it

A CNN review of cyber attacks against federal agencies shows that the number of breaches into government systems is skyrocketing. The number of cyber incidents involving government agencies has jumped 35 percent between 2010 and 2013.

"Espionage is happening at a rate we have never seen before," said Denise Zheng, a deputy director at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. The biggest culprits, experts say, are human error and a patchwork of different systems. Billions of dollars in security can't stop an employee from clicking a malicious link.

"There is no patch for a stupid user," said Zheng, who once oversaw a government cyber warfare program.

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HBO GO Lands on the Fire TV, Stick, and Amazon Celebrates With $20 Price Cut | Quinten Plummer | TechTimes.com

HBO GO Lands on the Fire TV, Stick, and Amazon Celebrates With $20 Price Cut | Quinten Plummer | TechTimes.com | project funding | Scoop.it

Shoring up its streaming services to continue its hardware war with Roku and Google, Amazon and HBO are making a deal to bring HBO GO to the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick.

The inclusion of HBO GO comes roughly a month after Google Chromecast announced integration with Showtime Anytime, a service Amazon's Fire streaming family already offered. The Fire TV's streaming service has quadrupled since its launch, according to Peter Larsen, vice president of Amazon Devices.

"We're thrilled to add HBO GO, the most requested service, to Fire TV in time for the holidays," says Larsen. "HBO has produced some of the most groundbreaking and award-winning TV shows and movies, and we are excited to bring this amazing content to our customers, all of which is accessible via voice search on your Fire TV remote."

Support for HBO GO gives Fire TV and Fire TV Stick users access to more than 1,700 movies, miniseries, TV shows and documentaries. As always, consumers will need to have an HBO subscription through their cable or satellite TV provider to access HBO GO's content.

 

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Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
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Verizon agrees to $1.3M settlement with Maryland | WTOP.com

Verizon agrees to $1.3M settlement with Maryland | WTOP.com | project funding | Scoop.it

The Maryland Attorney General's Office says Verizon has agreed to pay $1.375 million in restitution to consumers over allegedly misleading offers on its FiOS services.

Douglas F. Gansler said in an email on Wednesday that the settlement is the result of allegations that Verizon misrepresented the cost consumers were charged to FiOS television, internet and phone services.

Maryland officials alleged there were either improperly charged termination fees or paid equipment fees not adequately disclosed in Verizon's advertising.

Verizon denies that it broke any Maryland laws.


Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
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73,000 Security Cameras Viewable Online Due to Use of Default Passwords

73,000 Security Cameras Viewable Online Due to Use of Default Passwords | project funding | Scoop.it

People seem to forget that with Internet connected devices, you can't just take it out of the box and plug it in. You have to set this stuff up properly. 

Trying to make things more secure, makes them less so, if you don't follow the instructions or expert guidance.

 

An odd site called Insecam (http://insecam.com/) purports to display 73,000 unsecured webcams from around the world, most of them CCTV and simple IP cameras. All of the cameras have two things in common – they’re streaming on publicly accessible network ports and they are still using the default passwords, thereby allowing anyone with a web-crawling robot and the wherewithal to type admin/admin to gain access to the stream.

The site breaks the cameras down by model and location and most of the cameras are standard IP-based cameras (or banks of cameras) made by major manufacturers like Foscam and Panasonic.

 

What will you see when you visit the site? Not much, but as NetworkWorld notes many of the Foscam-branded cameras are being used as baby cams, a fact that should give parents pause. You can see some live cameras if you move away from the front page and start viewing cameras further afield but most streams are dead.


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Civil Liberties Groups Argue Against DOJ's Petition For Expansion Of Hacking Powers And Judicial Jurisdictions | Tim Cushing | Techdirt.com

Civil Liberties Groups Argue Against DOJ's Petition For Expansion Of Hacking Powers And Judicial Jurisdictions | Tim Cushing | Techdirt.com | project funding | Scoop.it

The DOJ wants the FBI to have the ability to run amok, hacking overseas computers and accessing electronics wherever and whenever, with a minimum of hassle. The DOJ's proposal, which was presented to a judicial advisory committee in September, asks for some major alterations to Rule 41.

As Mike explained back in September, what the DOJ is proposing is an expansion of power that takes the necessarily limited exceptions applied to terrorism investigations and applies them to everyday criminal investigations. Then it goes further, wiping out jurisdictional limitations.

The provision, known as Rule 41 of the federal rules of criminal procedure, typically allows judges to issue search warrants only within their judicial district. But the government has asked to alter this restriction to allow judges to approve electronic surveillance to find and search a computer's contents regardless of its physical location, even if the device is suspected of being abroad.

This expansion is supposedly justified by the technological arms race law enforcement agencies (like the DOJ and FBI) continuing to claim they're somehow losing, despite billions of tax dollars and years of perfecting their skills. Rather than work within the confines of the Fourth Amendment and other related considerations, the government is looking to create a broad and permanent downhill slope to ease its investigative burden.


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Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
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MD: Baltimore Residents Take the Initiative With CrowdFiber Campaign | community broadband networks

MD: Baltimore Residents Take the Initiative With CrowdFiber Campaign | community broadband networks | project funding | Scoop.it

A community group from Baltimore, MD is taking their fiber campaign directly to the people. The Baltimore Sun recently reported that over 900 people have pledged more than $17,000 to the Baltimore Broadband Coalition. It seems the good people of Baltimore are tired of the city's on-again off-again romance with the idea of a municipal network.

According to the group's CrowdFiber site, the grassroots organization began in a church basement in the Roland Park neighborhood, quickly expanding to other neighborhoods. There is no specific plan in place yet; the group hopes to use the campaign to first raise awareness of the problem. From the article:

"This is an advocacy effort to help to change what has been the city's plan, or lack of plan, on broadband," said Philip Spevak, one of the campaign's organizers. "Those numbers will help to motivate the city."

Members of the group are also visiting community meetings to help spread the word.

In a Sun commentary published shortly after the group organized, Spevak wrote:


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Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
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10 Scams to Screen from Your Email

10 Scams to Screen from Your Email | project funding | Scoop.it
Daily Security Awareness Tip courtesy of the SANS Institute.

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Collection of new cord cutting techs make it easier to snip that CATV tether | Jennifer Tuohy | NetworkWorld.com

Collection of new cord cutting techs make it easier to snip that CATV tether | Jennifer Tuohy | NetworkWorld.com | project funding | Scoop.it

"I want to watch what I want, when I want, wherever I want, and I don’t want to pay through the nose for it."

This is the mantra of the so-called cord cutters, consumers looking for ways to free themselves from traditional cable in favor of streaming content from the Internet.

Whether you've ditched your cable or not, Internet television is likely already part of your entertainment line-up. From Netflix’s "House of Cards" to instructional Minecraft videos on You Tube, there aren't many households that don't rely on Internet video for some portion of their entertainment needs. However, streaming Internet video to your big screen has been far from the perfect replacement for traditional cable TV.

But that is beginning to change. Electronics retailers nationwide are reporting big increases in sales of HDMI cables, set top boxes, HD antennas and other cord cutting paraphernalia as consumers start upgrading and incorporating alternatives to cable.

What started as a way of cost cutting in response to out-of-touch increases in cable bills has morphed into a lifestyle choice. Being able to watch what you want, when you want on whatever device you want, without paying for what you don't, is not an unreasonable goal.

But — and there's always a 'but' when it comes to cord cutting — even though most of the content cord cutters want is easily accessible, the experience is not. Cable TV still has a lock on the "sit back and watch" experience of television viewing.

While setting up an Apple TV or plugging a Google Chromecast into an HDMI port is a simple procedure, cutting the cord cuts away many conveniences. DVR capabilities disappear. One (or two) simple remote controls are replaced by four or five fiddly pieces of plastic and an array of smartphone apps. The comprehensive, easily navigable TV guide vanishes and in its stead are five or six different search screens to contend with. And that 24/7 service evaporates (even if you might have to wait around all day for the cable guy, at least he'll actually come. Have you ever tried calling Google?).

For the dream of cord cutting to become a reality, we need bona fide replacements to address and deliver on the four comforts of Cable TV: quality, ease of use, on demand over-the-air (OTA) content, and choice.

Are we there yet?

 

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Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
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Accountability for Mr. Gates: Evaluating Billionaire Philanthropists

Accountability for Mr. Gates: Evaluating Billionaire Philanthropists | project funding | Scoop.it

"Bill Gates, who is more responsible than anyone for the absurd evaluations by which teachers are now being held accountable, had the gall to write this week in a tone of exasperation about the results of his own advocacy for these very practices. Yesterday I asked when Mr. Gates, the great enthusiast for accountability for others, might hold himself accountable for his own handiwork. As wealth has concentrated in the accounts of individuals such as the Gates, Walton and Broad families, they have used this to wield unprecedented power over the lives of those of us without access to such resources. They pay for research that creates the very "facts" upon which public debate is based. They pay for their own media outlets, and heavily subsidize others. Their money redirects existing grassroots groups, and underwrites new ones. They work with ALEC to write legislation, and funnel money through PACs to buy off politicians to move it forward across the country. They are utterly insulated from any sort of accountability. They do not face voters in any election. Nobody 'evaluates' them. They cannot be fired. They may on occasion choose to engage in a dialogue, but they are not obliged to respond to the substance of the criticisms raised. As my question indicated, this accountability they demand from teachers is a street that goes one way only." | by Anthony Cody


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The New Philanthropists: More Sophisticated, More Demanding -- and Younger

The New Philanthropists: More Sophisticated, More Demanding -- and Younger | project funding | Scoop.it

Steel magnate Andrew Carnegie once said that he who dies leaving behind many millions will "pass away unwept, unhonored and unsung." That philosophy took root in much of the last century, with major philanthropists giving vast fortunes in their later years to libraries, museums, hospitals and other institutions devoted to the public good.

But donors today aren't taking any chances. They are flexing philanthropic muscle at a younger age than their predecessors. At many top business schools, students are integrating the practice of philanthropy into education early on, and donors are often beginning to share substantial wealth long before accumulating the full measure of it.


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Botched cyberattack raises fears that Islamic State may be hacking | Raphael Satter | Stars & Stripes

Botched cyberattack raises fears that Islamic State may be hacking | Raphael Satter | Stars & Stripes | project funding | Scoop.it

A botched cyberattack aimed at unmasking Syrian dissidents has experts worried that the Islamic State group is adding malicious software to its arsenal.

Internet watchdog Citizen Lab says an attempt to hack into systems operated by dissidents within the self-styled caliphate could be the work of hackers affiliated with the Islamic State group.

Citizen Lab analyst John Scott-Railton said there is circumstantial evidence of the group's involvement, and cautioned that if the group has moved into cyberespionage, "the targets might not stop with the borders of Syria."

The Nov. 24 attack came in the form of a booby-trapped email sent to an activist collective in Raqqa, Syria, that documents human rights abuses in the Islamic State group's de-facto capital. The activist at the receiving end of the email wasn't fooled and forwarded the message to Bahaa Nasr of Cyber Arabs, a project which provides online security training.

"We are wanted — even just as corpses," the activist, whose name is being withheld to protect his safety, told Nasr. "This email has a virus; we want to know the source."

The message eventually found its way to Citizen Lab, based at the University of Toronto's Munk School of Global Affairs. There, Scott-Railton and malware researcher Seth Hardy determined that it could act as a kind of electronic homing beacon by revealing a victim's Internet protocol address.

Citizen Lab regularly dissects rogue programs from the region, but Scott-Railton said this sample was different from previous attacks blamed on the Syrian government.

 

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Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
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Canada Takes a New Approach to Technology-Based Economic Development | Fairweather Consulting

Canada Takes a New Approach to Technology-Based Economic Development | Fairweather Consulting | project funding | Scoop.it

On December 4, the Canadian government revealed their national Science and Technology (S&T) Strategy – Seizing Canada’s Moment: Moving Forward in Science, Technology and Innovation 2014.


An update to the original report released in 2007, the S&T strategy identifies five priority research areas for federal support over the next seven years: environment and agriculture; health and life sciences; natural resources and energy; information and communications technology; and, advanced manufacturing.

Among the proposals included in the S&T strategy, the government launched a seven-year, $1.5 billion CD (approximately $1.3 billion USD) Canada First Research Excellence Fund. Each year, Canadian universities and research institutions will compete for $350 million CD (approximately $304.9 million USD) in funding to support projects that increase the research and development (R&D) capacity and innovation infrastructure of their institutions.


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Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
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Most USB thumb drives can be reprogrammed to silently infect computers

Most USB thumb drives can be reprogrammed to silently infect computers | project funding | Scoop.it
The firmware in such devices is unprotected and can be easily overwritten by malware, researchers from Security Research Labs said

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Countering Cyberattacks Without a Playbook

Countering Cyberattacks Without a Playbook | project funding | Scoop.it
Because there are no international treaties or norms about how to use digital weapons, there are no rules about how to fight conflicts like the one spawned by the digital attack on Sony Pictures.
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Can you Satirize Poor Customer Service from Big Cable Companies - Community Broadband Bits Podcast 130 | community broadband networks

Can you Satirize Poor Customer Service from Big Cable Companies - Community Broadband Bits Podcast 130 | community broadband networks | project funding | Scoop.it

Given all the horrible experiences people have had over the telephone with massive cable companies, it isn't clear that one can design a skit to parody such a conversation. Each time someone calls one of these companies is a parody in and of itself. However, given that this is a holiday week, we decided to have some fun and record two such conversations using some of real interactions we have had.

The first call is reflective of many attempts we have had in trying to ascertain prices for common services from cable and telephone companies. The second call, starting at about 10:30 into the show, involves someone calling in to have a repair scheduled, this was inspired by and fairly closely mimics what he went through after a neighbor's tree fell on his cable line, severing it from his house.

Just before posting this show, a colleague shared a hilarious comic from Pearls and Swine covering cable sales practices.

Next week, we will have a year-end conversation that itself ends with some predictions for 2015. After that, we will back to normal guests and our normal format. Enjoy the holidays!

 

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Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
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Google calls for U.S. to extend Privacy Act protections to EU citizens | Hayley Tsukayama | WashPost.com

Google calls for U.S. to extend Privacy Act protections to EU citizens | Hayley Tsukayama | WashPost.com | project funding | Scoop.it

Google on Wednesday called on the federal government to allow European citizens to challenge the misuse of their data by the U.S. government in U.S. courts, a right already enjoyed by Americans in the European Union.

The proposal would help heal rifts that have appeared between the U.S. and Europe in the wake of surveillance revealed by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, Google chief legal officer David Drummond wrote in a company blog post.

The call by the search giant comes ahead of a Washington D.C. visit from representatives of the European Commission.

Several large technology firms, including Google, have been vocal about the damage the rift between the U.S. and Europe on data privacy matters has had on their business, following the Snowden disclosures. Last December, technology executives warned President Obama that the spying programs had damaged their reputations abroad and at home.

"Google and many other technology companies have urged the US to take the lead and introduce reforms that ensure government surveillance activity is clearly restricted by law, proportionate to the risks, transparent and subject to independent oversight," Drummond wrote. "Sadly, we’ve seen little serious reform to date. "

 

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Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
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Protestors descend on the White House over the future of the Internet | Nancy Scola | WashPost.com

Protestors descend on the White House over the future of the Internet | Nancy Scola | WashPost.com | project funding | Scoop.it

"What I remember about life before the Internet," said Marvin Ammori as he stood near the White House on Thursday night, "was that it really sucked."

Ammori, a 37-year-old lawyer and activist from the District, was one of nearly 100 protesters at Lafayette Park who were rallying against what the Federal Communications Commission (located a mile and a half southeast) might do to could change the way people interact with the Internet. The rally was one of several organized by the umbrella group Battle for the Net in three dozen cities across the United States.

The latest protests were triggered by a report suggesting that FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler just might be settling on a plan that would give regulators more power over the way the Internet flows between content providers like Netflix and Internet service providers like Comcast by reclassifying those portions under what's known as Title II of telecommunications law. Instead of treating the Internet as a single ecosystem, a so-called hybrid approach could divide regulation between retail consumers and wholesale customers.

How serious the FCC is about that approach and how it might work remains unclear, but so far, it hasn't made many people happy.

 

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Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
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10 Scams to Screen from Your Email

10 Scams to Screen from Your Email | project funding | Scoop.it
Daily Security Awareness Tip courtesy of the SANS Institute.

Via Jon Campbell
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Secretive funding fuels ongoing net neutrality astroturfing controversy | Grant Gross | NetworkWorld.com

Secretive funding fuels ongoing net neutrality astroturfing controversy | Grant Gross | NetworkWorld.com | project funding | Scoop.it

The contentious debate about net neutrality in the U.S. has sparked controversy over a lack of funding transparency for advocacy groups and think tanks, which critics say subverts the political process.

News stories from a handful of publications in recent months have accused some think tanks and advocacy groups of "astroturfing" -- quietly shilling for large broadband carriers. In a handful of cases, those criticisms appear to have some merit, although the term is so overused by people looking to discredit political opponents that it has nearly lost its original meaning.

Critics of astroturfing -- defined as hiding the sponsors of a message or group as a way to make it appear to have grassroots support -- say it twists political debate by making some positions appear to be more popular with the public than they really may be.

Groups that hide their funding open themselves up to accusations of astroturfing and questions about credibility. An IDG News Service investigation has found a mixed record of funding transparency at prominent think tanks and advocacy groups involved in the net neutrality debate.

Our investigation found that major groups opposing U.S. Federal Communications Commission reclassification and regulation of broadband as a public utility tend to be less transparent about their funding than the other side. Still, some big-name advocates of strong net neutrality rules also have limited transparency mechanisms in place.

Strong regulations are needed to prevent large players from harming competition by throttling bandwidth of smaller service providers and competitors, proponents of net neutrality rules say. Opponents of strong regulation say it would dampen investment and business' ability to compete as they see fit.

It's important for groups trying to influence U.S. policy to be up front about who they are speaking for, said Jennifer Lappin, U.S. outreach and advocacy director for Transparify, a transparency advocacy group funded by Open Society Foundations, a foundation started by liberal philanthropist George Soros.

Think tanks and advocacy groups "play a very prominent role in both policy formation and public policy debates," she said by email. "Think tanks need funding to operate and undertake research, and there is nothing wrong with accepting money from a variety of private and/or public sources to do so. However, hidden funding can create the appearance -- or the actuality of -- hidden agendas."

The top four funding transparency scores in IDG News Service's rating of 14 groups went to groups advocating for strong net neutrality rules, while a handful of pro-neutrality groups received mid-level grades or lower. Meanwhile, no major group opposing strong net neutrality regulations earned better than a mid-level grade.


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Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
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MD: Columbia Association to Use Broadband to Benefit Residents, Executive Ulman Announces | Howard County Gov YouTube

Howard County Executive Ken Ulman and Columbia Association (CA) President and CEO Milton Matthews announced today that six CA facilities will soon begin using the Inter-County Broadband Network (ICBN), to provide faster online speed and lower cost for Columbia residents.

“By utilizing the robust bandwidth provided by the ICBN, CA will see cost savings coupled with a better user experience for staff and clients,” said County Executive Ulman. “Better broadband connectivity will give CA the capacity it needs to create innovative uses for their technology-based, integrated fitness equipment. This is one more step on our mission to make us the most wired county in the most wired state in the nation.”

Once construction is complete, the ICBN will power internet services at the Columbia Association headquarters and its maintenance facility on Gerwig Lane. ICBN will also fuel four health and fitness centers: Columbia Gym, Columbia Athletic Club, Supreme Sports Club and Haven on the Lake.

“ICBN gives us more opportunities for customer service and outreach to our members and others in the community,” said CA President Milton Matthews. “We’re already modifying our website and this is a great resource for us.”

CA will pay $10,000 a month less for ICBN service, compared with the price estimate for 100 Mbps service from CA’s current commercial provider. Once in place, ICBN connection will produce an annual savings of nearly $129,000 compared to the current provider’s estimate.

 

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Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
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Entrepreneur and philanthropist has prospered in Canada

Entrepreneur and philanthropist has prospered in Canada | project funding | Scoop.it
Canadian. Immigrant. Corporate president. Philanthropist. Punjabi. Sikh. Christian. Certified yoga teacher. Property developer. Gas station owner. Tim Horton's franchisee. Globe-trotter. Adviser to governments.

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The new philanthropists - tech entrepreneurs giving while living

The new philanthropists - tech entrepreneurs giving while living | project funding | Scoop.it

Scarce resources and the growing needs of society are driving innovation when it comes to philanthropy, says Thomas Tierney, chairman of The Bridgespan Group and a long time board member of eBay. Technology has become a major enabler in the field.

 

Tierney surprised many when he moved away from a very lucrative career as chief executive of the very successful consultancy firm Bain & Company back in 2000, to co-found The Bridgespan Group, a non-profit consulting firm serving the non-profit sector, of which he is now chairman. It is a move he describes as one "from success to significance".

 

He recently co-authored Give Smart: Philanthropy that Gets Results with Joel L Fleishman, but the book is just part of a wider ecosystem that includes the website givesmart.org, designed to "help philanthropists make better decisions and get better results from their giving".

 

Technology and the internet, said Tierney, is driving Bridgespan's ability to share its knowledge and expertise. As well as the givesmart.org website, there's a quarterly newsletter, webcasts and various LinkedIn groups with thousands of participants.

 

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Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
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