Surfing the Broad...
Follow
Find
122.7K views | +87 today
 
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
onto Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream
Scoop.it!

Survey Says: Despite Yahoo Ban, Most Tech Companies Support Work-From-Home for Employees | AllThingsD.com

Survey Says: Despite Yahoo Ban, Most Tech Companies Support Work-From-Home for Employees | AllThingsD.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Last week, a fierce debate erupted over a range of social networks and in the media about a story we posted on Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s new decree that employees at the Silicon Valley Internet company would no longer be able to work from home.

 

In a sometimes awkwardly worded internal memo I posted from Yahoo HR head Jackie Reses, the company rolled out the new rule — pushed through by Mayer — which requires that Yahoo employees who work remotely relocate to company facilities by June 1.

 

“Speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home,” read the memo to employees. “We need to be one Yahoo!, and that starts with physically being together.”

 

The goal of Mayer to cure what ails Yahoo: Reviving a moribund and enervated workforce that has struggled to innovate and excel over many years. One of the many problems has been the liberal use of work-from-home policies that have been woefully mismanaged to create a culture that is simply not energized.

 

But, unless I am reading the memo wrong, the ban is not just limited to those who have arrangements to work from home full time — which number in the hundreds — but also employees who take one or two days a week at home.

 

Top sources told me that Mayer has been particularly irked about Yahoo parking lots that are slow to fill in the morning and quick to empty by 5 pm — which is atypical at other tech companies such as Google. (Mayer was a longtime exec at the search giant.)

 

Click headline to read more--

more...
No comment yet.
Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream
Everything about Broadband Policy, Network Infrastructure, Voice, Video and Data Services, Devices and Applications for Managing our Planet
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

FTC settles with developers of sneaky cryptocurrency mining app | Jeremy Kirk | NetworkWorld.com

FTC settles with developers of sneaky cryptocurrency mining app | Jeremy Kirk | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The developers of a mobile app called Prized that secretly mined cryptocurrencies on people’s mobile phones have settled with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission after being accused of deceptive trade practices.

Equiliv Investments and Ryan Ramminger, both of Ohio, settled for US$50,000, of which $44,800 will be suspended upon payment of $5,200 to New Jersey regulators, the agency said in a news release Monday. The suit was filed in U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey last Wednesday.

The defendants were accused of violating the FTC Act and the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act. As part of the deal, the defendants admitted to none of the allegations.

The Prized mobile app was available on Google’s Play service and Amazon’s App Store among others starting around February 2014. It presented itself as an app that rewarded people with points for playing games. Those points could be redeemed for items such as clothes and gift cards, the FTC said.

Although Prized claim to be free of malware, it contained a malicious component that mined the virtual currencies DogeCoin, LiteCoin and QuarkCoin. Those virtual currencies are generated by solving mathematical problems, which were processed by phones.


Click headline to read more and access hot links--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Broadband as a utility. What does that mean for rural areas? | Ann Treacy | Blandin on Broadband

Broadband as a utility. What does that mean for rural areas? | Ann Treacy | Blandin on Broadband | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

I had a few emails last week asking me about what it means to define broadband as a utility. So I thought I’d try to tackle the question, which came up after the Minnesota State Bar Association (MSBA) meeting on broadband.

At the meeting, someone compared the drive for border to border broadband to the Rural Electrification Act, which provided federal loans for installation of electricity to rural areas, often through cooperative electric power companies. Someone else asked if that was really what the country needed.

Here’s the catch 22 – metro areas are often angling for competition while rural and remote places are hoping for one, good solution.


When visiting Minnesota last year, FCC Chairman Wheeler talked about competition being ingrained in the American psyche.


Click headline to read more, access hot links and watch video clip--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Fiber broadband can drive up your home's value | Grant Gross | NetworkWorld.com

Fiber broadband can drive up your home's value | Grant Gross | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The availability of really fast broadband in your neighborhood could increase your home’s value by more than 3 percent.

High-speed fiber broadband service, with 1 Gbps download speeds, can add more than $5,400 to the value of an average U.S. home, according to a study commissioned by the Fiber to the Home Council Americas (FTTH), an advocacy group made up of fiber equipment vendors and broadband providers.

That $5,400 figure is approximately equal to adding a new fireplace, half of a new bathroom or a quarter of a swimming pool, according to the study, conducted by researchers at the University of Colorado at Boulder and Carnegie Mellon University.

Speed matters, the study found. For homes where 1 Gbps broadband was available, sale prices were 7 percent higher than for homes in areas with broadband speeds of 25 Mbps or lower.

The study, possibly the first to look at the link between home values and fiber service, could help drive a new “fiber boom,” like late in the late 2000’s, said Kevin Morgan, FTTH’s board chairman and director of marketing communications at Adtran, a telecom equipment maker.

Several broadband providers have announced new deployments in recent months, and the study can help local governments push providers for new fiber deployments, added Heather Gold, FTTH’s president and CEO.


Click headline to read more and access hot links--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

How Smartphones are Improving the Cable Customer Service Experience | NCTA.com

How Smartphones are Improving the Cable Customer Service Experience | NCTA.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

In his recent LinkedIn column, “State of the Cable Industry: How We’re Changing the Stereotype of the Cable Guy,” NCTA President & CEO Michael Powell said that turning around the industry’s customer service reputation is a huge priority and one that companies are committed to, and investing in. We’ve all seen the stories and surveys which underline the challenges – certainly not something we enjoy reading – but it’s also important to highlight the improvements that are being made and the new techniques are being implemented. After all, the number of hours that American consumers watch TV and use the Internet is only increasing. When services have glitches, customers are looking for quick, helpful solutions.

Many cable companies, for example, are leveraging smartphones and tablets to not only provide better products that can be used far from the home, but to prevent technology problems before they even begin.

If you are a Time Warner Cable customer, you can now check on the status of the equipment in your home with a few swipes on a smartphone or tablet. Time Warner Cable in 2014 re-launched its mobile app for iOS and Android to, among other things, let customers troubleshoot their cable and Internet equipment.

“If your modem is off-kilter or your set-top box is acting up, the app lets you go in and look at diagnostics on your phone in real-time,” says Eric Burton, a Group VP at Time Warner Cable. From there, “You can determine whether it’s something you can fix yourself by initiating a re-set, which you can do with the mobile app, or if you need to talk to us.”


Click headline to read more and access hot links--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

CO: Longmont's NextLight Video: A Brief Look at the Network and the Community | community broadband networks

CO: Longmont's NextLight Video: A Brief Look at the Network and the Community | community broadband networks | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

When we talk to municipal network leaders about lessons learned, they often tell us that marketing is an area where they feel a particularly vulnerability.


Whenever we see a great piece of marketing from a municipal network, we like to share it.

When Longmont rebranded its FTTH network under the name NextLight, they released this awesome video. Check it out!


Click headline to watch video clip--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

FCC Commissioner Legally Tasked With Bringing Broadband To All Americans Doesn't Think Broadband's All That Important | Karl Bode | Techdirt

FCC Commissioner Legally Tasked With Bringing Broadband To All Americans Doesn't Think Broadband's All That Important | Karl Bode | Techdirt | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Nobody could ever accuse FCC Commissioner Mike O'Rielly of being a consumer advocate. As one of five agency commissioners, O'Rielly (alongside former Verizon lawyer Ajit Pai) has voted down every single meaningful FCC effort to aid consumers and improve broadband market competition. Whether it's trying to protect net neutrality, or the FCC's attempt to stop ISPs from writing obnoxious protectionist state law, O'Rielly's sole function appears to be to oppose pretty much everything that could possibly help the American public, under the ingenious pretense of helping the American public.

More recently, the FCC has been considering revamping the $1.7 billion Lifeline program, which was created by the Reagan administration in 1985 and expanded by Bush in 2005 to help bring phone services to low-income Americans. Despite being a Republican proposal, it's frequently mocked (even by reporters) as being part of the "Obamaphone" program thanks to the nation's ongoing case of partisan nitwit disease. The FCC's initiative involves letting the program's 1.2 million participants use some of the whopping $9.25 monthly discount (per household) they receive each month on broadband instead of just voice. Really, it's not all that controversial, especially in the context of bigger budget government issues.

Yet while the contextually-more immense subject of military and intelligence funding is apparently immune to this type of criticism, the very notion of using taxpayer funds to aid the less fortunate fostered the usual amount of hand-wringing and assorted hysteria. Not all of it was without justification given the FCC's utterly shitty history of policing USF fraud. But after a fifteen year nap, more consumer-minded FCC boss Tom Wheeler has been cracking down on fraud, even if some of the fines being levied are relatively pathetic. Still, a big part of this new proposal involves cracking down on fraud further.

But even if you oppose subsidies to the poor (which I don't agree with but can understand), one still needs to answer the question of how we improve broadband competition, penetration, and deployment to the estimated 55 million Americans without broadband and the countless others stuck in uncompetitive markets. To illustrate the importance of this conversation, Wheeler several times has tried to argue that we're reaching the point where broadband needs to be thought of as a basic human right. This isn't that new or controversial either, really. Finland declared broadband a human right five years ago (and you'll note they lead many broadband performance metrics). The UN declared broadband a human right in 2011.

O'Rielly apparently takes deep offense at the use of such terminology:


Click headline to read more and access hot links--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Pai, Fischer Team to Slam Net Neutrality Rules | John Eggerton | Broadcasting & Cable

Pai, Fischer Team to Slam Net Neutrality Rules | John Eggerton | Broadcasting & Cable | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Republican FCC commissioner Ajit Pai and Nebraska Republican Senator Deb Fischer teamed up for an op ed in the Omaha World-Herald Monday to criticize the FCC majority's new network neutrality rules in particular and FCC regulatory policies in general.

That came in advance of a planned press conference in Omaha where they will talk more about their alternative to what they call the federal government's open Internet rules (ever since President Obama publicly called for Title II-based rules, Pai has called it the Administration's new rules, rather than the FCC's).

In a line that would certainly surprise FCC chairman Tom Wheeler, Pai and Fischer argue that "It is time to make Internet access and broadband deployment a national priority." That is essentially the mantra of FCC chairman Tom Wheeler, as well as the goal of an Obama Administration wireless spectrum-clearing plan that includes broadcast incentive auctions.

But Pai and Fischer have a very different view of how that should be achieved, saying that the federal government's current course is bureaucratic micromanaging that will result in higher prices and delayed deployment, including hurting rural small businesses.


Click headline to read more--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

6 reasons why we’re underhyping the Internet of Things | Dominic Basulto | WashPost.com

6 reasons why we’re underhyping the Internet of Things | Dominic Basulto | WashPost.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Just when you thought the Internet of Things couldn’t possibly live up to its hype, along comes a blockbuster, 142-page report from McKinsey Global Institute (“The Internet of Things: Mapping the Value Beyond the Hype”) that says, if anything, we’re underestimating the potential economic impact of the Internet of Things.


By 2025, says McKinsey, the potential economic impact of having “sensors and actuators connected by networks to computing systems” (McKinsey’s definition of the Internet of Things) could be more than $11 trillion annually.

According to McKinsey, there are six reasons we may be underhyping the Internet of Things.


Click headline to read more and access hot links--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Middle mile, dark fiber networks are needed to drive more rural broadband | Sean Buckley | Fierce Telecom

Middle mile, dark fiber networks are needed to drive more rural broadband | Sean Buckley | Fierce Telecom | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Whether it's the broadband stimulus program or the Connect America Fund, there has been no shortage of efforts in recent years to drive broadband into rural areas. However, a growing number of service providers say that there should be more focus on providing middle mile fiber-based networks that can backhaul traffic and connect with major Internet peering points.

Speaking during the JSA Telecom Exchange event, a group of panelists that operate in rural areas agreed that new government programs should mandate that applicants build out dark fiber networks where they sell wholesale to other service providers.

One of the key challenges any service provider has is making a business case to serve a rural market because the return on investment is harder to justify because there aren't as many customers to address than it is in a major metro area.

Peter Aquino, chairman, president and CEO of Broad Valley Micro Fiber Networks, said that in order to effectively make a business case to invest in bringing fiber to rural markets, service providers need a three-pronged approach that includes: an anchor tenant, customer demand, and some way to supplement the business case with government programs. These programs could include the USDA's Community Connect grants and the FCC's Connect America Fund I and II.


Click headline to read more--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Battle Cry of New Hampshire: No Fiber, No Votes | Susan Crawford | Backchannel | Medium.com

Battle Cry of New Hampshire: No Fiber, No Votes - Backchannel - Medium

Last week, Jeb Bush announced he’s running for president, joining a crowded field of eleven Republican candidates, Still in the wings: Govs. Scott Walker, Bobby Jindal, John Kasich and Chris Christie. On the Democratic side, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Sen. Bernie Sanders, former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley and former Rhode Island governor Lincoln Chafee are in, while former Sen. Jim Webb is testing the waters.

That means that in the months to come, we may have upwards of 20 men and women, accompanied by zillions of staff and supporters, tromping around the great state of New Hampshire, making significant eye contact and asking for votes in preparation for the February 9 primary.

And they will all have the same problem: They won’t be able to communicate.

I don’t mean that they won’t be able to go to town halls and shake hands; there will be plenty of that. But their staffs will often find it incredibly frustrating to send around the large digital files — say, pictures, or video, or that killer PowerPoint presentation mapping county-by-county strategy — that are essential to any campaign. And they’ll have problems making phone calls to keep in touch with the outside world.

Why? Because New Hampshire, our nation’s 42nd most populous state, has lousy connectivity. The FCC defines high-speed Internet access to be 25 Mbps down/3 Mbps up these days, and more than a third of the rural population in New Hampshire (most of which votes Republican, by the way) can’t buy that kind of connection at any price. Fewer than one out of every six urban New Hampshire residents can buy that connection even if they want it: the wire just doesn’t exist in their town.

And those figures are for potential “access,” not actual “subscription.” Price matters a great deal, most people in the state have very few — and often just one — choice of provider, and that provider can charge whatever it wants to provide the service of its choice.


Click headline to read more--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Canada: Rogers buys Mobilicity plus Shaw’s 4G spectrum; Wind gets windfall | TeleGeography.com

Canadian quadruple-play operator Rogers Communications announced yesterday that it has received government approval for two deals to acquire 100% ownership of small cellular rival Mobilicity for CAD440 million (USD356 million) and purchase the unused mobile spectrum of cableco Shaw Communications for CAD350 million.


Industry Canada confirmed that it has approved the deals, which involve Rogers transferring all of Mobilicity’s AWS-1 (1700MHz/2100MHz) frequencies to up-and-coming rival Wind Mobile and splitting Shaw’s AWS-1 spectrum between Wind and Rogers, whilst Wind has agreed to give Rogers a portion of its existing AWS-1 frequencies in return.

Specifically, Rogers will retain Shaw’s 20MHz AWS licences across British Columbia and Alberta, while transferring the remainder of Shaw’s regional AWS frequencies – 10MHz in parts of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Northern Ontario – to Wind. All of Mobilicity’s AWS spectrum – across Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta – is being transferred to Wind, and in return Rogers is taking a 10MHz portion of Wind’s spectrum holdings in Southern Ontario.


Click headline to read more--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

MN: Pine County Broadband 2014 Update: less than 25 percent covered | Ann Treacy | Blandin on Broadband

I’m working on a County-by-County look at the State of Broadband in MN. My hope is to feature a county a day (in alphabetical order). In November, Connect Minnesota released their final report on broadband availability. Here is how Pine County stacked up:

  • Household Density: 7.9
  • Number of Households: 11,393
  • Percentage serviced (without mobile): 24.63%
  • Percentage serviced (with mobile): 24.63%


Pine County is sitting at less than a quarter coverage. But they are working on better coverage. Pine County is actively working to pursue better broadband as a partner in the East Central Broadband Initiative. They were part of the East Central Broadband conference in April 2014; the conference is planned primary by community leaders and attended by community leaders, member and providers. One topic that came up was talking about broadband as a utility.

In January, MidContinent announced good news for Pine County, if they’re patient…

At the Dec. 17 city council meeting, MidContinent Communications announced that it plans to bring “gigabit internet” to the Pine City area by the end of 2017. The new service is 35 times faster than the national average and five times faster than MidContinent’s current top speeds.

Otter Tail County Broadband 2014 Update: 65 percent but deploying MN Broadband Funds | Blandin on Broadband//

My hope is that these county-specific posts will help policy makers and county residents understand where they stand in terms of broadband access. Assuming it might get forwarded to folks who don’t eat and sleep broadband I wanted to provide a little background on broadband to help set the stage…

How does Minnesota define broadband?


Click headline to read more and access hot links--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Philanthropy for Hackers | Sean Parker Op-Ed | Wall Street Journal

Philanthropy for Hackers | Sean Parker Op-Ed | Wall Street Journal | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

In the past several decades, there has been a monumental shift in the distribution of wealth on the planet. A new global elite, led by pioneers in telecommunications, personal computing, Internet services and mobile devices, has claimed an aggregate net worth of almost $800 billion of the $7 trillion in assets held by the wealthiest 1,000 people in the world.

The barons of this new connected age are interchangeably referred to as technologists, engineers and even geeks, but they all have one thing in common: They are hackers. Almost without exception, the major companies that now dominate our online social lives (Facebook, Twitter, Apple, etc.) were founded by people who had an early association with hacker culture. I still consider myself to be one of them. Once you adopt the mind-set of a hacker, it’s hard to let it go.

Hackers share certain values: an antiestablishment bias, a belief in radical transparency, a nose for sniffing out vulnerabilities in systems, a desire to “hack” complex problems using elegant technological and social solutions, and an almost religious belief in the power of data to aid in solving those problems.

Hackers are popularly considered to be troublemakers, but they are also dedicated problem solvers, as interested in discovering holes in systems as they are in exploiting them for personal gain. By identifying weaknesses in long-established systems, they have successfully disrupted countless industries, from retail and music to transportation and publishing.

Mostly awkward and introverted, more interested in ideas than in making money or running companies, hackers are generally reluctant empire-builders. The geeks were not supposed to inherit the Earth, so nobody—least of all the hackers themselves—expected these iconoclastic loners to change the world, acquiring enormous power and financial resources in the process.

This newly minted hacker elite is an aberration in the history of wealth creation. In the first place, they achieved success at a young age, generally before they turned 40. They also grew up thinking of themselves as outsiders and never fully integrated with establishment institutions or aspired to participate in elite society, choosing instead the company of their peers. They are, as a result, underprepared for the enormous responsibility that has been handed to them—a burden they never dreamed of carrying.

At the same time, they are intensely idealistic, so as they begin to confront the world’s most pressing humanitarian problems, they are still young, naive and perhaps arrogant enough to believe that they can solve them. This budding sense of purpose is now bringing the hacker elite into contact with traditional philanthropy—a strange and alien world made up of largely antiquated institutions.


Click headline to read more--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Puerto Rico joins Greece on the verge of a Massive Default | Michael Fletcher | Daily Kos

Puerto Rico joins Greece on the verge of a Massive Default | Michael Fletcher | Daily Kos | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Instead of Greece and the E.U. $73 Billion in bad loans made to Puerto Rico's government is threatening to cause chaos for the municipal bond market in the US.

Puerto Rico says it cannot pay its debt, setting off potential crisis in the U.S.

By Michael Fletcher

The governor of Puerto Rico has decided that the island cannot pay back more than $70 billion in debt, setting up an unprecedented financial crisis that could rock the municipal bond market and lead to higher borrowing costs for governments across the United States.

Puerto Rico’s move could roil financial markets already dealing with the turmoil of the renewed debt crisis in Greece. It also raises questions about the once-staid municipal bond market, which states and cities count on to pay upfront costs for public improvements such as roads, parks and hospitals.

For many years, those bonds were considered safe investments — but those assumptions have been shifting in recent years as a small but steady string of U.S. municipalities, including Detroit, as well as Stockton and Vallejo in California, have tumbled into bankruptcy.


Click headline to read more and access hot links--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

How Television Won the Internet | Michael Wolff | NYTimes.com

How Television Won the Internet | Michael Wolff | NYTimes.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

RUPERT MURDOCH recently appointed his son James chief executive of 21st Century Fox, prompting the obvious question: How can a guy whose main credential is a silver spoon compete with Silicon Valley’s meritocratic coders and entrepreneurs?

I suggested that disconnect in a testy interview with James several years ago, when he was running his father’s satellite broadcasting company, BSkyB. “You must be incredibly stupid,” he said with trademark Murdoch dismissiveness. “Look around you, man. It’s television!”

Supremely confident that the Murdochs were old-media toast, I looked around, and it was in fact perplexing that BSkyB had, despite the Internet, become a colossus — one of the biggest businesses in Europe.

Another most counterintuitive fact: No matter the skyrocket valuations of digital companies, and the hype and press — much of it coming from digital media itself — people still spent more time watching television than they did on the Internet, and more time on the Internet was spent watching television. Indeed, the period since my conversation with Mr. Murdoch — a period in which almost everyone in media has uttered the words “digital is the future” — has been one of the biggest growth periods in the history of television.

Online-media revolutionaries once figured they could eat TV’s lunch by stealing TV’s business model — more free content, more advertising. Online media is now drowning in free. Google and Facebook, the universal aggregators, control the traffic stream and effectively set advertising rates. Their phenomenal traffic growth has glutted the ad market, forcing down rates. Digital publishers, from The Guardian to BuzzFeed, can stay ahead only by chasing more traffic — not loyal readers, but millions of passing eyeballs, so fleeting that advertisers naturally pay less and less for them.

Meanwhile, the television industry has been steadily weaning itself off advertising — like an addict in recovery, starting a new life built on fees from cable providers and all those monthly credit-card debits from consumers. Today, half of broadcast and cable’s income is non-advertising based. And since adult household members pay the cable bills, TV content has to be grown-up content: “The Sopranos,” “Mad Men,” “Breaking Bad,” “The Wire,” “The Good Wife.”

Looking for irony? Television, once maniacally driven by Nielsen ratings, has gone upscale as online media becomes an absurd traffic game. TV figured out how to monetize stature and influence. Nobody knows how many people saw “House of Cards,” and nobody cares. Mass-market TV upgraded to class, while digital media — listicles, saccharine viral videos — chased lowbrow mass.

So how did this tired, postwar technology seize back the crown?


Click headline to read more and access hot links--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

KC Fiber Innovates in North Kansas City - Community Broadband Bits Episode 157 | community broadband networks

KC Fiber Innovates in North Kansas City - Community Broadband Bits Episode 157 | community broadband networks | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Every now and then, we stumble across something, read it twice, and then decide we need to verify it. In North Kansas City, a municipal fiber network operating in partnership with KC Fiber, is delivering a gig to residents at no ongoing charge after a reasonable one-time fee.

To get the story, our interview this week for Community Broadband Bits is with Brooks Brown, Managing Partner of KC Fiber. KC Fiber is now running the North Kansas City municipal fiber network, liNKCity.

The network delivers a free gigabit to the schools and after a one-time fee of $50-$300 (depending on desired connection capacity) residents can get a high quality fiber Internet connection with no additional charges for 10 years.

KC Fiber is not your ordinary ISP, coming from the data center world where it does business as Data Shack. We discuss how this background makes it easier for KC Fiber to offer the gigabit at no ongoing cost in our interview.

Read the rest of our coverage of North Kansas City.


Click headline to access hot links and listen to this podcast--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

PayPal tweaks terms in wake of 'robocall' controversy | Zach Miners | NetworkWorld

PayPal tweaks terms in wake of 'robocall' controversy | Zach Miners | NetworkWorld | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

PayPal is fine-tuning its policies after a recently announced plan to make unsolicited prerecorded calls and texts to users drew questions and concerns from customers, regulators and consumer advocates.

Earlier this month, PayPal generated controversy when it proposed amendments to its terms that would allow it make unsolicited calls for marketing and other purposes. The Federal Communications Commission told PayPal that the proposed terms, which would go into effect July 1, might violate federal laws because unsolicited robocalls are only legal if a company has obtained written or oral consent from consumers.

On Monday, PayPal said it was modifying the new terms. Under the new terms, customers will have to give the company express written consent before PayPal can place autodialed or prerecorded calls and texts for marketing purposes.
INSIDER: 5 ways to prepare for Internet of Things security threats

Customers may revoke consent to receive those sorts of calls by contacting PayPal customer support, PayPal said.


Click headline to read more and access hot links--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Connecting Georgia's Munis - Community Broadband Bits Podcast 156 | community broadband networks

Connecting Georgia's Munis - Community Broadband Bits Podcast 156 | community broadband networks | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

For years, we have urged municipal networks to cooperate in various ways to lower costs. For instance, by building a shared middle mile network to aggregate their bandwidth and get a better deal due to the higher volume. So it came as a bit of a shock that Georgia Public Web has been helping many municipal networks in these ways for well over a decade.

David Muschamp, President and CEO of Georgia Public Web (GPW), joins us for episode 156 of Community Broadband Bits to discuss what the member-owned nonprofit organization does to improve Internet access across the state.

GPW operates over 3000 miles of fiber connecting businesses and even entire communities. They operate a 365-24-7 network operations center and provide consulting, focusing particularly on the needs of the nearly 30 local governments that own the company.

Read the transcript from this episode here.


Click headline to access hot links and listen to this podcast--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

'Here Come the Videofreex': Film Review | Frank Scheck | The Hollywood Reporter

'Here Come the Videofreex': Film Review | Frank Scheck | The Hollywood Reporter | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Jenny Raskin and Jon Nealon's documentary recounts the story of a pioneering collective of video journalists who were the forerunners of public access television and the modern internet news era.

Thanks to the ubiquitous presence of cell phones, the ability to shoot video footage anywhere and anytime is now taken for granted. But it wasn't always the case, as Jenny Raskin and Jon Nealon's fascinating documentary about a group of early video pioneers illustrates. Recently screened at the Brooklyn Academy of Music's BAMcinemaFest, "Here Come the Videofreex" should become mandatory viewing in journalism schools.

Largely composed of video footage shot more than four decades ago as well as contemporary interviews with such former members as David Cort, Nancy Cain, Skip Blumberg and others, the film relates how in 1969 several young people banded together to take advantage of Sony's recent invention of portable video cameras.


Dubbing themselves the "Videofreex," they began shooting impromptu news footage. They eventually attracted the attention of Don West, a young CBS news executive, who hired them to cover the counterculture that was largely being ignored by broadcast news organizations. Armed with cameras, the group traveled across the country in a CBS-provided RV.

"They treated us like rock stars," one of the members comments.

They snared the first-ever television interview with Abbie Hoffman during the trial of the Chicago 8, as well as one with Black Panthers leader Fred Hampton who was killed during a raid by the Chicago police just a few weeks later. They also covered the Woodstock music festival, interviewing attendees about such topics as the "bad acid" about which was warned against from the stage.

But their pilot episode was rejected by CBS and West left the network shortly thereafter, either as a result of being fired or resigning — even he's not exactly sure which. The collective managed to smuggle out their tapes and soon resumed their mission, covering such topics as the burgeoning women's movement, anti-war demonstrations and the 1972 Republican convention. They hosted well-attended weekly screenings in their Soho loft.


Click headline to read more--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

NAB Seeks Hill Help on Relocation Costs | John Eggerton | Broadcasting & Cable

NAB Seeks Hill Help on Relocation Costs | John Eggerton | Broadcasting & Cable | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

According to sources, broadcasters—and specifically the National Association of Broadcasters—have been looking for some help from Congress on the broadcast incentive auction, including on getting a little more money for the broadcast relocation fund.

That is the fund that will cover expenses for broadcasters giving up spectrum to get out of the business or share with another station, plus some for cable operator expenses in repositioning their headends.

In the incentive auction legislation, Congress earmarked $1.75 billion for the fund. The FCC has rebuffed broadcaster efforts to make that a budget rather than a cap. Broadcasters wanted the FCC only to reclaim as much spectrum from TV stations as it could relocate within that $1.75 billion, but the FCC has signaled it will not hold itself to that figure, though it will take steps to minimize expenses to try and keep within it.

But NAB is not taking any chances, said one source, looking to appropriations committees, for one, to try and get language freeing up some more money, particularly given that an earlier spectrum auction—AWS-3, which raised over $40 billion—has essentially paid for all the items—R&D, an interoperable first responder broadband network (FirstNet)—FCC spectrum auctions were required to cover out of their proceeds per the legislation, with plenty left over to pay down debt.

"We have been warning members of Congress for months that the $1.75 B repacking reimbursement fund will be inadequate," said NAB spokesman Dennis Wharton, "particularly with the FCC projecting it may repack more than 1,000 TV stations."


Click headline to read more--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Some Time Warner Cable Customers Get a Small Speed Boost Thanks to Overprovisioning | Phil Dampier | Stop the Cap!

Some Time Warner Cable Customers Get a Small Speed Boost Thanks to Overprovisioning | Phil Dampier | Stop the Cap! | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Time Warner Cable customers in parts of the northeast have noticed their broadband speeds increased slightly over the last several days.

Stop the Cap! reader Howard Goldberg was among those who noticed Time Warner’s broadband performance in upstate New York has improved, at least for upper tiers.

“Over the past 24 hours, Speedtest.net (against the TWC site in Syracuse, and many others) is reporting 60-62Mbps down and 6.0-6.2Mbps up, an increase from 55/5.5Mbps we have had over the past few years,” Goldberg notes. He is subscribed to Time Warner Cable Ultimate, marketed in upstate New York as 50/5Mbps service.

We noticed the same thing late last week here in Rochester as speed test results now consistently top 60Mbps when using a Time Warner Cable-based server. The upstream speed increase was less visible, but still measurable.

Goldberg also reports ping times have dropped from the 18-22ms range to 13-15ms when using the Syracuse, N.Y. test site, which could also point to a more responsive Internet connection overall.

Cable companies occasionally deliver speeds that are actually faster than what they sell, known as overprovisioning, to improve customer satisfaction and boost their performance in the Federal Communications Commission’s ongoing national speed test program, designed to verify if providers are actually providing the speeds they are marketing to customers.

Are Time Warner customers in other areas seeing similar results? Report your findings in the comment section.


Click headline to access comment section--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Charter Asks FCC to Approve Time Warner Cable/Bright House Merger; Stop the Cap! Urges Changes | Phil Dampier | Stop the Cap!

Charter Asks FCC to Approve Time Warner Cable/Bright House Merger; Stop the Cap! Urges Changes | Phil Dampier | Stop the Cap! | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Charter Communications last week filed its 362 page redacted Public Interest Statement laying out its case to win approval of its acquisition of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks, to be run under the Charter banner.

“Charter may not be a household name for all Americans, but it has developed into an industry leader by implementing customer and Internet-friendly business practices,” its statement reads.

The sprawling document is effectively a sales pitch to federal regulators to accept Charter’s contention the merger is in the public interest, and the company promises a range of voluntary and committed service upgrades it says will improve the customer experience for those becoming a part of what will be America’s second largest cable operator.

Charter’s proposed upgrades fall under several categories of direct interest to consumers:


Click headline to read more and access hot links--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

MI: Inside the bold plan to bring gigabit fiber to Detroit | Colin Neagle | NetworkWorld.com

MI: Inside the bold plan to bring gigabit fiber to Detroit | Colin Neagle | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

When discussing the ongoing revitalization efforts in Detroit, it's hard to miss the name Dan Gilbert. The founder of Quicken Loans, owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, and a Detroit native himself, Gilbert's investment firms have funded dozens of tech startups in the city and turned its defunct old buildings into shiny new workspaces that look like Silicon Valley transplants.

Until last year, what Detroit lacked in this daunting task to become a tech hub was access to affordable, high-speed broadband, the kind that Google Fiber was famously bringing to other cities around the country. So, rather than pray for Google to arrive or incumbent Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to spontaneously change their pricing and services, Gilbert invested in two Quicken Loans employees who were crazy enough to suggest building a fiber network themselves.

The result is Rocket Fiber, which was formed last year and is stepping into the broadband market with its own Google Fiber-inspired offering: 1 Gigabit-per-second (Gbps) broadband service for $70 per month. To date, the company has laid almost seven miles of fiber in Detroit's downtown area and has received "submissions of interest" from more than 80 businesses and 3,000 consumers, with plans to reach 12 miles and 32 buildings by the end of the year.
See also: Verizon calls New York's report on FiOS failure a 'union tactic'

What's most notable about Rocket Fiber, however, is how the company has been able to mitigate the risk of entering a market known for capital-intensive investments, time-consuming deployments, and billion-dollar incumbents with a reputation for stamping out any whiff of competition.

Last July, Ars Technica published an article providing an in-depth look at several fiber startups that struggled in this market. The article described the obstacles that stand in the way:


Click headline to read more and access hot links--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Is facial recognition a threat on Facebook and Google? | Mike Elgan | ComputerWorld

Is facial recognition a threat on Facebook and Google? | Mike Elgan | ComputerWorld | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Both Facebook and Google have been working hard at using computers and algorithms to identify people in photos. They've gotten really good at it.

We still don't know what they'll do with that technology. To a large degree, it's up to us. But first, we have to understand what's possible.

Facebook is one of the leading organizations in the world developing facial-recognition algorithms. Facebook software can now identify people in photographs as well as people can. Facebook's DeepFace (no, I'm not kidding -- it's called DeepFace) can tell whether the subjects in two different photographs are the same person with 97% accuracy. That's even better than the FBI's own Next Generation Identification system.

DeepFace achieves this amazing feat by analyzing faces, turning them into 3D models, then making it possible to recognize the faces from angles and under lighting conditions that are different from those in other photos of the same person. The technology uses more than 120 million parameters, and a page on Facebook's research website explains that the company "trained it on the largest facial dataset to-date, an identity labeled dataset of four million facial images belonging to more than 4,000 identities."

But that's not enough for Facebook. It wants to be able to identify people even when their faces aren't showing. Toward that end, Facebook researchers are developing a system that looks at hairstyle, body shape, posture, clothing and so on.

Facebook can now recognize people whose faces aren't showing with 83% accuracy.

Tellingly, the company tried to avoid freaking people out with this research by developing the algorithm using Flickr pics, not Facebook photos.

While Facebook's ability to recognize people is astonishing, so is Google's.


Click headline to read more and access hot links--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

FCC Puts Spectrum Auction Pedal To the Metal | John Eggerton | Broadcasting & Cable

FCC Puts Spectrum Auction Pedal To the Metal | John Eggerton | Broadcasting & Cable | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The Wheeler FCC has begun moving rapidly toward its proposed early-2016 broadcast incentive auction, and the attendant multi-billion dollar remake of the spectrum landscape. The direction for that rapid move is not making many broadcasters happy.

A flurry of decisions, including an important one from the court, have begun to offer a clearer picture of how the forward auction (with the FCC paying broadcasters to vacate spectrum) and reverse auction (with wireless companies buying up that spectrum for smartphones and tablets) are unfolding.

The commission has released a final omnibus order—a.k.a. a final decision—denying most of the changes asked for by the major broadcast affiliate associations and one key ask for noncommercial television stations.

FCC chairman Tom Wheeler has also teed up for a July 16 vote the final rules for both auctions, blogging recently that, “it is now time to end the back-and-forth and make decisions.”

A list of auction-eligible stations was released by the commission in May. After that list is certified, the FCC will use its formula for calculating prices—also to be voted on July 16—to come up with the actual opening bid prices for stations, which it is expected to release before the end of the summer, and then start accepting applications in the fall from stations who want to participate.

How fast the auction can proceed could depend on whether lawsuits muck up that timetable. Unhappy low-power TV interests have said they will sue over the FCC’s decision not to revisit their fate in the auction, and noncommercial broadcasters are unhappy about the FCC not reserving a channel in all markets for them, post-auction.

Here is a status report on key decisions:


Click headline to read more--

more...
No comment yet.