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Google may be winning battles with publishers, but it is losing the war | paidContent.org

Google may be winning battles with publishers, but it is losing the war | paidContent.org | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Google is clearly trying hard to portray a new German law involving the republishing of news as a victory, and some observers seem to agree, saying the company “defeated” publishers who wanted it to pay for the right to publish excerpts. But if you look more closely, this is not an obvious win for the search giant — just as recent deals with French publishers and Belgian publishers were a lot closer to being a saw-off for both sides than an outright win.

 

And with every deal it strikes, Google makes it harder to argue that paying publishers for excerpts is unnecessary and even counter-productive — or that there is something to be gained by allowing even large companies to engage in the “fair use” of content for the larger good.

 

As my colleague David Meyer has reported, Germany’s lower level of government, the Bundestag, passed a bill on Friday known colloquially as the “Google Law.” It doesn’t officially become legislation until it is approved by the second chamber, the Bundesrat, but it has already caused a firestorm of criticism — much of that stoked by Google and its “Defend Your Internet” campaign. The law was promoted by most of Germany’s major media companies, who believe Google News is stealing their content by including excerpts of news stories.

 

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IL-WI-IN: Tri-state summit endeavors to erase state lines | Keith Benman | NWITimes.com

IL-WI-IN: Tri-state summit endeavors to erase state lines | Keith Benman | NWITimes.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

A tri-state economic development summit at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago attended by 220 people did its level best Friday to erase state borders in a 21-county region for at least a day.

"There is no easy way to get seven counties in each of three different states to cooperate on anything," NIPSCO Director of Economic Development Don Babcock told business and community leaders during a morning panel discussion.

But the Alliance for Regional Development is giving it a try, following a report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development two years ago that found the region's best chance for staving off economic decline lay in cross-border cooperation.

Specifically, the report called for establishing partnerships between 21 counties and 9.9 million people forming the Milwaukee-Chicago-Northwest Indiana corridor.

"The American economy we always talk about is really a collection of regional economies," said Matt Erskine, deputy assistant secretary of the U.S. Economic Development Administration.

Erskine said his agency stood ready to help the Alliance for Regional Development with grant programs including the fourth round of the i6 Challenge for Innovation, Science and Research Park Development Grants, and Cluster Grants for Seed Capital Funds.

The day's theme would seem to be a tough sell, considering the Indiana Economic Development Corp. has posted "Stillinoyed by higher taxes" billboards at the state border and puts the same message on electronic billboards in Chicago. And southeast Wisconsin continues to have success drawing companies out of Illinois to greener fields just along the border.

But those types of efforts were swept under the table for at least a day, as corporate heavyweights, academics and regional planners displayed some of the tools for cooperation they have already come up with.

Purdue Calumet University Professor Chenn Zhou unveiled an interactive Geographic Information Systems map created by the college's students of the entire 21-county area. The maps have multiple layers including railroads, roads, barge routes, bike paths, airports, and land use.

Those maps can be used by a wide range of people involved in development, including regional planners, corporations, and national site selectors hunting for new corporate or manufacturing locations.

"We wanted to provide the best data we have and that we can share to make this a globally competitive region," said Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Executive Director Tyson Warner, whose organization helped spearhead the project.


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How Laws Restricting Tech Actually Expose Us to Greater Harm | Cory Doctorow | WIRED

How Laws Restricting Tech Actually Expose Us to Greater Harm | Cory Doctorow | WIRED | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

We live in a world made of computers. Your car is a computer that drives down the freeway at 60 mph with you strapped inside. If you live or work in a modern building, computers regulate its temperature and respiration. And we're not just putting our bodies inside computers—we're also putting computers inside our bodies. I recently exchanged words in an airport lounge with a late arrival who wanted to use the sole electrical plug, which I had beat him to, fair and square. “I need to charge my laptop,” I said. “I need to charge my leg,” he said, rolling up his pants to show me his robotic prosthesis. I surrendered the plug.

You and I and everyone who grew up with earbuds? There's a day in our future when we'll have hearing aids, and chances are they won't be retro-hipster beige transistorized analog devices: They'll be computers in our heads.

And that's why the current regulatory paradigm for computers, inherited from the 16-year-old stupidity that is the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, needs to change. As things stand, the law requires that computing devices be designed to sometimes disobey their owners, so that their owners won't do something undesirable. To make this work, we also have to criminalize anything that might help owners change their computers to let the machines do that supposedly undesirable thing.

This approach to controlling digital devices was annoying back in, say, 1995, when we got the DVD player that prevented us from skipping ads or playing an out-of-region disc. But it will be intolerable and deadly dangerous when our 3-D printers, self-driving cars, smart houses, and even parts of our bodies are designed with the same restrictions. Because those restrictions would change the fundamental nature of computers. Speaking in my capacity as a dystopian science fiction writer: This scares the hell out of me.


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What you need to know about the NSA document dump | Signe Brewster | GigaOM Tech News

What you need to know about the NSA document dump | Signe Brewster | GigaOM Tech News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

While many Americans were cozying up on the afternoon of Christmas Eve, the National Security Agency was busy posting dozens of quarterly reports detailing incidents where it potentially violated U.S. laws through improper monitoring of U.S. citizens and foreigners.

Here’s what you need to know about the document dump:

The NSA, like other American intelligence agencies, relies on a 1981 executive order that legalized the surveillance of foreigners living outside of the U.S. It uses that same executive order “to sweep up the international communications of countless Americans,” the American Civil Liberties Union writes.

“At the targeting stage, NSA collects only those communications that it is authorized by law to collect in response to valid foreign intelligence and counterintelligence requirements,” the NSA report’s executive summary reads. “After foreign intelligence or counterintelligence information is acquired, it must be analyzed to remove or mask certain protected categories of information, including U.S. person information, unless specific exceptions apply.”

“Data incorrectly acquired is almost always deleted,” it continues.

After data is collected, it is placed in a large database that the agency’s employees can search with highly specific requests.

“For instance, a query for “improvised explosive devices” would likely be prohibited as overly broad and result in a reportable incident—even if the analyst required the information for her job,” the summary states. “Results returned from improper queries may be deleted. …”


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Minneapolis residents to get 10-gigabit fiber, for $400 per month | Lee Hutchinson | Ars Technica

Minneapolis residents to get 10-gigabit fiber, for $400 per month | Lee Hutchinson | Ars Technica | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

While most parts of the US have to make do with Internet speeds of less than 100Mbps—in many cases much less than 100Mbps—some residents of Minneapolis will soon have access to a ludicrously fast fiber-to-the-home speed tier: 10 gigabits per second.

The service is offered by US Internet, the company that already provides "a couple thousand" Minneapolis residents with 1Gbps service for $65 per month. The 10Gbps service will be available immediately to existing customers willing to pay the $400-per-month fee, though US Internet expects the number of customers who take them up on the deal to be relatively small. All together, US Internet has "a little over 10,000" fiber-to-the-home customers at different speed tiers, all located on the west side of Interstate 35W.

This summer, the company plans to widen its service area to the east side of I-35W, which will encroach further into incumbent Comcast’s territory. According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Comcast offers 50Mbps service for $77 and 25Mbps service for $65 in that area; US Internet by contrast prices its 100Mbps service tier—the company’s most popular—at just $45 per month. The gigabit plan at $65 gives customers about 40 times the bandwidth of Comcast’s 25Mbps plan for the same price.

The most difficult part about 10Gbps home Internet service—aside from paying for it—is actually using it effectively.


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Cities Start to Get Tougher on Cable Franchise Agreements | Bill Neilson | DSLReports.com

Over the years, cable providers have enjoyed forcing cities into ten, fifteen or even twenty year franchise agreements that allow the providers to enjoy competing against no one all the while increasing prices often and worrying little about the lack of any actual customer service. Now, as this site has shown a number of times (Example 1, Example 2, Example 3), cities are starting to fight back and demand some responsibility from cable providers if the companies want the city to give them a franchise agreement.

After being told for years that previous franchise agreements would magically increase local jobs and improve customer service (which never occurred on either front), some cities are now demanding guarantees in writing before agreeing to a franchise agreement. Now, some cities are also demanding that franchise agreements be reduced in years so that cities may see just how well the cable providers are acting during the agreed upon years.


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TDM-to-IP Transition: Does Copper Deterioration Equal Copper Retirement? | Joan Engebretson | Telecompetitor

TDM-to-IP Transition: Does Copper Deterioration Equal Copper Retirement? | Joan Engebretson | Telecompetitor | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The Federal Communications Commission is seeking input on whether it should require telecom service providers retiring traditional copper phone wiring to provide and monitor batteries providing backup power to customer premises equipment. Additionally the commission is considering whether a service provider that lets its copper infrastructure deteriorate should be considered to have retired that equipment.

These are just a few of the ideas discussed in a notice of proposed rulemaking about the TDM-to-IP transition adopted by the FCC on November 21 and released publicly last week. As usual the NPRM includes some requirements that the FCC indicates it anticipates imposing, while other ideas are simply put forth for discussion.

Among the requirements the FCC indicates it anticipates imposing are:


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How Chicago is Narrowing the Digital Divide | Danielle Kim | GovTech.com

How Chicago is Narrowing the Digital Divide | Danielle Kim | GovTech.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Hoping to reinvent its image as the nation’s next tech hub, Chicago has doubled down on its investment in digital manufacturing and technology.


This summer, the global online marketplace eBay and the high-profile tech incubator 1871 pledged to expand their presence in Chicago and to add hundreds of tech-savvy jobs to the city’s growing workforce.

Notwithstanding these successes, Chicago remains plagued by an enormous connectivity gap. In the Windy City, broadband usage varies widely, ranging from just 36 percent to 94 percent for a given neighborhood.


Low-income families, minorities, people with disabilities and seniors are overwhelmingly represented in the broad swath of the city’s population who are unable to gain access to crucial information and resources. Furthermore, research has shown that neighborhood-level factors like poverty and segregation magnify existing barriers to Internet use and home adoption).


The Smart Communities initiative aspires to narrow the digital divide by providing disconnected individuals with increased access technology and the Internet. Spearheaded by the Local Initiative Support Corporation Chicago (LISC Chicago) in 2009 in conjunction with the city and a dozen community nonprofits,


Smart Communities brings digital education, outreach, Internet access, small business training, digital youth jobs and local content portals to five digitally underserved neighborhoods in the Chicago area, including Humboldt Park, Pilsen, Auburn Gresham, Englewood and Chicago Lawn.


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12 Days of Broadband, Day 12: MCNC's flagship network celebrates 30 years | WRAL TechWire

12 Days of Broadband, Day 12: MCNC's flagship network celebrates 30 years | WRAL TechWire | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

This year marked a milestone for MCNC as the technology nonprofit celebrated the 30th anniversary of the North Carolina Research and Education Network (NCREN).

NCREN is one of the nation’s finest statewide research and education networks available today. But, NCREN is much more just than a network. It is a broadband backbone for collaboration in North Carolina.

MCNC began as an economic development and research innovation center in the semi-conductor industry. The number of patents produced and companies incubated only tell part of the story. What MCNC really did was attract great companies and tech talent to North Carolina as well as better retain the great minds in technology innovation that were graduating from NC State, UNC Chapel Hill, Duke, NC A&T University, UNC Charlotte and many others. Finally, it allowed the organization to build out, scale and sustain NCREN.

The past 30 years have brought tremendous economic changes in North Carolina and growth in the state’s tech-based economy. In that time, MCNC has built one of the nation’s most future-proof networks serving education, research and health care for the entire state. MCNC’s backbone network efficiently and cost-effectively delivers broadband services to community institutions throughout North Carolina as high-speed connectivity continues to evolve into an essential economic asset. And, NCREN is engineered to have virtually unlimited capacity to grow with increasing bandwidth demand.

NCREN has provided the broadband infrastructure to connect North Carolina citizens to the path of success for the last three decades. The historic 2,600-mile expansion of NCREN completed in 2013 now gives even more citizens in almost every county in North Carolina access to high-speed, broadband connectivity.


Today, NCREN serves the broadband infrastructure needs of more than 500 community institutions including all K-20 public education in North Carolina. NCREN is one of the nation’s premier backbone networks, and its expanded capabilities now allows MCNC to customize services and applications for users more than ever before as they also look to further enable private-sector providers to bring cost-effective broadband infrastructure to rural and underserved areas of North Carolina.


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TX: McAllen may sue over FCC ruling | Sky Chadde | The Monitor

The city of McAllen, TX might take the federal government to court if a new ruling by the Federal Communications Commission comes into effect.

The commission, which regulates the technology people use to communicate, adopted an order in October meant to give cell phone providers such as T-Mobile and Verizon an easier time of establishing areas of service. One element of the order is that, if a local government doesn’t act on a provider’s request to set up a cell tower in a certain amount of time, the provider is allowed to set it up.

The order will go into effect once it’s published in the Federal Register, but that hasn’t happened yet.

It’s intended to deliver “more wireless capacity in more locations to consumers across the United States,” according to a press release. “At the same time … it safeguards Tribal, State and local land-use priorities as well as safety and aesthetic interests.”

However, city officials believe the order, if published, actually infringes on McAllen’s authority to regulate the cell towers within its limits, City Attorney Kevin Pagan said.

“It ties our hands in respect to certain elements of regulating these facilities,” meaning cell towers, he said. “We still have the ability to impose certain restrictions on (providers), but our ability to impose those restrictions become significantly more limited.”

It could also impact the city’s ability to regulate the towers’ locations, a community concern that stretches back quite a while, Pagan said.

To cut down on the towers’ visibility, the city required that providers share and that the towers blended into the environment as best as possible, Pagan said.

The FCC order also gives providers the ability to increase the size of their towers without city permission.

Once Pagan heard about the order’s possibility, he started to pay attention to it, he said.

“There was a comment period for these regulations, and we commented that we thought it was a troublesome regulation for a lot of reasons,” he said. “Well, the FCC – I don’t want to say ignored that but largely discounted a lot of the comments from municipalities and issued the regulation. We think it’s bad enough that we need to challenge it.”

At its Dec. 8 meeting, the City Commission granted the City Attorney’s Office the ability to start considering legal options. They’ve already hired a lawyer based in Washington.


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MN: CenturyLink looks to enter Minneapolis cable market | Erin Golden | Star Tribune

MN: CenturyLink looks to enter Minneapolis cable market | Erin Golden | Star Tribune | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Minneapolis residents could soon have another option for cable TV service, as CenturyLink looks to dislodge Comcast’s monopoly on the market.

CenturyLink plans to seek a new franchise agreement that would allow it to provide its Prism TV cable service alongside Comcast’s offerings. The digital cable service is distributed through a fiber-optic network and allows customers to watch live programming on smartphones and tablets, in addition to their televisions.

Such an agreement would require the approval of the Minneapolis City Council, which won’t take up the issue until the new year. CenturyLink’s move could dramatically reshuffle the local television market, as cable companies nationally are under intensifying competition from other providers and Internet streaming services, such as Netflix.

CenturyLink already has rolled out Prism TV in other Midwestern cities, including La Crosse, Wis., and Omaha, Neb. The company intends to seek franchise agreements in St. Paul and other cities across the metro area in 2015.

“This brings to customers the opportunity to choose, and to have an improved customer experience,” said Joanna Hjelmeland, a CenturyLink spokeswoman.

Comcast, the largest cable provider in the Twin Cities, has a franchise agreement with Minneapolis that expires at the end of 2021. The deal requires Comcast to make its cable service available to every home in the city, with some exceptions for areas with low population density. But it does not guarantee that Comcast will be able to stand alone as the only cable provider in Minneapolis.

CenturyLink does not plan to immediately offer service to all Minneapolis residents. Instead, it would offer Prism TV to a variety of neighborhoods where its network is already in place and later bring it to other parts of the city.

Comcast said in a statement it expects competitors to adhere to the same standards it does.


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Incumbent telcos, cablecos should reconsider shunning wholesale open access fiber networks | Fred Pilot | Eldo Telecom

Incumbent telcos, cablecos should reconsider shunning wholesale open access fiber networks | Fred Pilot | Eldo Telecom | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Incumbent telephone and cable companies that enjoy a natural monopoly over last mile Internet infrastructure connecting customer premises have been loath to offer services over open access, wholesale fiber to the premise (FTTP) networks like the Utah Telecommunications Open Infrastructure Agency (UTOPIA) system.


In some states, they’ve even successfully supported legislation outlawing or making the creation of publicly operated open access networks difficult. As monopolies, they want control over both the “pipe” serving customer premises and the services provided over it. Having control over the premise connection is essential to this business model since it puts the incumbents in the dominant position with regard to selling their proprietary services.


But with a growing chorus of calls for competition for Internet service from the White House, members of Congress, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission and consumer advocates, the threat of federal antitrust litigation to break up the incumbents’ last mile monopolies has increased.

Given that possibility, incumbents might want to reconsider their flat refusal to do business with wholesale open access fiber networks. If they chose to purchase access to wholesale networks to sell retail services to customer premises, they’d likely appear to be far less insular and monopolistic in the eyes of the government.


Doing business with wholesale, open access fiber networks would also spare the incumbents –largely reliant on metal wire and cable last mile infrastructure – from the expense of having to upgrade their last mile plants to fiber in areas where these networks exist and allow them to reach customer premises outside their limited footprints.


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Kentucky middle mile telecom infrastructure project needs solid last mile solution | Fred Pilot | Eldo Telecom

Kentucky middle mile telecom infrastructure project needs solid last mile solution | Fred Pilot | Eldo Telecom | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

"Kentucky.gov: - Governor Beshear, Congressman Hal Rogers Launch Statewide Broadband Initiative, Beginning in Eastern Kentucky": The first stage of the project is to build the main broadband fiber lines across the state. These major fiber lines are called the “middle mile.” The “open access” network will allow the private sector to use the fiber to deliver services into communities. Once complete, other Internet service provider companies, cities, partnerships, or other groups may then tap into those “middle mile” lines to complete the “last mile” – the lines that run to individual homes or businesses.

This last sentence is key and delineates between what's actually planned to be built and what's theoretically hoped to be. Without those last mile ISPs, Kentucky will end up with an incomplete network, condemning many of its residents to continued subpar Internet service.


It would be like building an expressway and having gravel or dirt roads at the exits and on ramps. As the news release from Gov. Beshear's office notes, Kentucky rates poorly compared to other states on Internet access. That sad statistic is unlikely to improve without a solid plan to build fiber to the premise infrastructure to serve the last mile.

Historically, middle mile projects like this one do a good job getting anchor institutions like schools, libraries and government offices connected. But that doesn't automatically mean nearby homes and small businesses will get connections and can even hinder their getting service as network expert Andrew Cohill has noted since the network operators tend to concentrate their efforts on serving anchor institutions and figure someone else can solve the last mile problem.


That someone else has typically proven to be nonexistent. It's essentially a funding problem since there tends to be insufficient and/or uncertain future revenues to attract those interested in investing in the needed infrastructure to bridge the last mile to homes and small businesses.


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Time Warner Cable: Deck the Halls with $8 Modem Fees, Fa La La La La, La La La La ($2.75 DTA Fee, Too!) | Phil Dampier | Stop the Cap!

Time Warner Cable: Deck the Halls with $8 Modem Fees, Fa La La La La, La La La La ($2.75 DTA Fee, Too!) | Phil Dampier | Stop the Cap! | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

It’s a Merry Christmas from Time Warner Cable, with rate increases for one and all!

The cable company that usually waits for the holiday season to end before sending out annual “rate adjustment” notices got an early start this year with some dramatic price changes for many customers, with further rate hikes likely to follow later in 2015.

Taking a lead from Comcast, Time Warner Cable is hiking its broadband modem lease fee from $6 a month to $8 a month in January. That equals $96 a year for a modem that not too long ago used to be included at no extra charge as part of your broadband subscription. A typical customer with a Motorola SB6141 DOCSIS 3 cable modem can buy a brand new unit for nearly $20 less than what Time Warner will collect from customers each year for refurbished or used equipment… forever.

In 2013, Time Warner Cable’s Rob Marcus admitted the company does not charge modem rental fees to defray the cost of the equipment, but as a hidden rate increase designed to generate more revenue.

“The modem fee is a rate increase by all accounts, it takes a different form than usual […] it’s very much a part of the overall revenue generation program,” Marcus told an audience of investment banks.


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Meet the grinch who stole Christmas for gamers: The Lizard Squad | Brian Fung & Andrea Peterson | WashPost.com

Meet the grinch who stole Christmas for gamers: The Lizard Squad | Brian Fung & Andrea Peterson | WashPost.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Sony's PlayStation Network and Microsoft's Xbox Live are both still recovering after being down for many users Christmas Day, while a hacking collective known as “Lizard Squad” began claiming credit for the outage.

So who is the Lizard Squad, and is it really responsible for taking down the world’s top online gaming networks? Here's what you need to know about these hackers.

The Lizard Squad began showing up more on the online hacking radar this year, largely by attacking gaming networks. This wasn't the first time the group targeted Sony and Microsoft's gaming networks. It claimed to have hit the PlayStation network in August and Xbox in early December, as well as several others such as RiotGames' League of Legends and Blizzard's Battle.net.

Apparently in conjunction with those hacks, the group pulled off some fairly serious pranks. In August, while Lizard Squad was hacking the PlayStation network, the Twitter account associated with the group tweeted out a bomb scare, forcing an American Airlines flight to make an emergency landing. On board was Sony Online Entertainment President John Smedley. The incident put Lizard Squad squarely in the sights of the FBI, several news organizations have reported.

Around the same time, that Twitter account (which has since been suspended) also claimed to have "planted the ISIS flag" on Sony's servers.

Tweeting a bomb threat is a pretty serious federal crime. But for the most part, Lizard Squad's tactics have amounted to pranks rather than public safety threats. Most hacking analysts doubt the group has anything to do with ISIS.

But when it comes to hacking, Lizard Squad seems to know what it is doing. One network analyst warned this week that the group is “not to be trifled with.”

“Let me say this about Lizard Squad,” said Dan Holden, director of research at the IT analysis firm Arbor Networks. “My personal opinion is, those guys know what they're doing, and if they're coming after you, you're going to have a bad day.”


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Kim "Santa" Dotcom Stops Xbox and Playstation Attacks | TorrentFreak

Kim "Santa" Dotcom Stops Xbox and Playstation Attacks | TorrentFreak | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

When Xbox and Playstation players wanted to test their Christmas gifts a few hours ago, they were welcomed by an unpleasant surprise.

Lizard Squad, who repeatedly DDoSed the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live’s servers in recent months, were back with a Christmas gift nobody asked for. Another DDoS attack resulting in yet more downtime.

One of the affected players was Kim Dotcom, who’s an avid Xbox player himself. But instead of cursing Lizard Squad to high heaven he decided to make them an offer.

Although the general belief may be that it’s best not to negotiate with “terrorists,” Dotcom decided to give it a try.

“Hi @LizardMafia, I want to play #Destiny on XBOX Live. I’ll give your entire crew Mega lifetime premium vouchers if you let us play. Cool?” he tweeted.

Lizard Squad is apparently easy to please as they were willing to stop the attacks in return for 3,000 free cloud hosting vouchers.

After getting approval from Mega’s management, Dotcom and Lizard Squad eventually came to terms through Twitter’s back-channel.


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Sony Pictures hackers reportedly had help from insiders | Ms. Smith | NetworkWorld.com

Sony Pictures hackers reportedly had help from insiders | Ms. Smith | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

A Reddit user who claimed to previously have worked for Sony Pictures posted the image which allegedly popped up on “every computer all over Sony Pictures nationwide” on Monday. The message over a bizarre red skeleton stated, “Hacked By #GOP,” which is not the political acronym for “Grand Old Party,” but instead stands for “Guardians of Peace.” The image contained a warning followed by links to data dumps that are either no longer live or the site has been overloaded by traffic.

Warning: We've already warned you, and this is just a beginning. We continue till our request be met. We've obtained all your internal data, including your secrets and top secrets. If you don't obey us, we'll release data shown below to the world. Determine what will you do till November the 24th, 11:00 PM (GMT).

While some curious Redditors jumped on the data dump to see what “secrets” it contained, an unnamed source from Sony told Deadline, “We are down, completely paralyzed.”

“Users have overloaded servers hosting the alleged 200MB-plus breach caches grinding many to a crawl,” The Register added. “Users have searched the alleged Sony data caches dumped online and reportedly found private PuTTY keys, passwords for Oracle and SQL databases, source code and production schedules and hardware inventory lists.”

The first official statement by Sony Pictures was that the company was investigating “an IT matter.” Sony Pictures Entertainment spokesperson Jean Guerin told the Hollywood Reporter, "Sony Pictures Entertainment experienced a system disruption, which we are working diligently to resolve,” but “dozens” of Sony Twitter accounts were clearly hijacked. Business 2 Community captured the screen grab below from the Twitter stream of @SoulSurferMovie before it was deleted. It was also tweeted and deleted by @StompTheYardDVD and by @StarTroopMovie.


A source within Sony anonymously confirmed to TNW “that the hack and image that have appeared on computers inside Sony Pictures is real. They said that ‘a single server was compromised and the attack was spread from there’.” The source added, “We’re all going to work from home. Can’t even get on the internet.”


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Note this NetworkWorld article is from a month ago before the Sony Hack got picked up by the MSM.  Interesting read!

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Quantum memory storage to help quantum communications go the distance | Colin Jeffrey | GizMag.com

Quantum memory storage to help quantum communications go the distance | Colin Jeffrey | GizMag.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The technologies made possible by breakthroughs in quantum physics have already provided the means of quantum cryptography, and are gradually paving the way toward powerful, practical, everyday quantum computers, and even quantum teleportation.


Unfortunately, without corresponding atomic memories to appropriately store quantum-specific information, the myriad possibilities of these technologies are becoming increasingly difficult to advance. To help address this problem, scientists from the University of Warsaw (FUW) claim to have developed an atomic memory that has both exceptional memory properties and a construction elegant in its simplicity.

The FUW researchers from the Institute of Experimental Physics claim that the new, fully-functioning atomic memory has numerous potential applications, especially in telecommunications where the transmission of quantum information over long distances is not as straightforward as the transmission of simple electronic data encoded on laser light and traveling through optical fiber.

This is because quantum information can't simply be amplified every so often along its path of travel as information digitally encoded on a laser beam can be. Instead, it is essential that the quantum information itself remain absolutely preserved in its original form to maintain its inherent security, and boosting the signal risks disrupting the quantum state and immediately rendering the transmission useless and unusable.

In this vein, the new memory may prove useful in providing a means to bring into reality the DLCZ quantum transmission protocol (DLCZ being the initials of the physicists from the University of Innsbruck and Harvard University who proposed it; Duan, Lukin, Cirac, and Zoller), enabling quantum information to be sent across long distances.

As an essential requirement for this protocol to work, quantum information transmitted must be stored at various relay points along the channel of communication. Up until now, the physical capabilities to realize the DLCZ protocol have been unavailable, but this new atomic memory may help solve that problem.


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The New York Times Entirely Misunderstands The FCC Spectrum Auction | Tim Worstall | Forbes.com

The New York Times Entirely Misunderstands The FCC Spectrum Auction | Tim Worstall | Forbes.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

You’ve got to hand it to the editorial board of the New York Times. They really do have a preternatural ability to grasp the wrong end of the economic or logical stick as we discuss what public policy should or might be.


Their latest example is the two little discussions going on over in the broadband world. The first about net neutrality, the second about the auction that the FCC is undertaking over certain mobile frequencies.

We should point out that both are important events and or discussions. Over net neutrality, well, I’m on the unpopular side of that argument. Spectrum, bandwidth, is a scarce resource. Thus there’s the possibility that at some point it will require rationing.


As every economist will tell you in just about all circumstances price is the best way of rationing something. Thus, if bandwidth does need to be preferentially allocated in some manner then I’m just fine with the idea that it should be done by price. But I agree that puts me at odds with just about everyone commenting upon the matter.

On the spectrum issue this is actually one of the great victories for economists in recent decades. Time was when spectrum was simply allocated by bureaucratic fiat. Given that it is a scarce resource (you can’t have two TV stations on the same frequency in the same geographic location, as an example) that meant that anyone who managed to get some allocated made windfall profits.


So, economists have been arguing, and it was in my native UK some 15 years ago that the policy really came to fruition, that spectrum should be auctioned. As it’s a pure natural resource there’s no good reason why any private actors should just be allocated the use of it.


But if we’re to auction it, on the grounds that the people who can make the best use of it will offer the most money, then someone’s got to get that money and it might as well be the government thus reducing the tax bills on the rest of us. That’s what the FCC is doing and it’s all going swimmingly well, vast sums of money are being offered.

Great, so, how does the NYT mix and match these two stories:


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British Telecom Joins Complaints on AT&T Special Access Monopoly | DSLReports.com

British Telecom Joins Complaints on AT&T Special Access Monopoly | DSLReports.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Competing carriers for years have complained about AT&T and Verizon's more than 85% market dominance of the special access market -- or the fiber lines that help feed and connect cellular towers.


Add British Telecom to the list of companies lobbying for changes on that front; the UK company visited the FCC this week to protect its business services, complaining that AT&T and Verizon are charging "five or six times what it should cost" for companies to move from legacy TDM networks such as T1s to faster technology.


The complaints come at the same time BT is facing a fresh round of anti-competitive monopoly allegations across the pond.


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Today’s Launch: Nonprofit Organizations Providing Digital Literacy for All | The Grommet

Today’s Launch: Nonprofit Organizations Providing Digital Literacy for All | The Grommet | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Every Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, we here at The Grommet take a break from launching products.


Instead, we spotlight nonprofit organizations we feel adhere to our idea of giving differently.


If you have one last gift to give, let it be to those who aim to help others.


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GreatLand Names Three New Execs | Mike Farrell | Multichannel

GreatLand Names Three New Execs | Mike Farrell | Multichannel | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

GreatLand Connections, the cable operator expected to spring into existence after the completion of the Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger, has named three new executives, expanding its team to five senior leadership members.

The new executives are: Leonard Baxt, executive vice president, chief administrative and legal officer; Michele Roth, senior vice president and chief human resources officer; and Keith Hall, executive vice president for corporate affairs. Together with previously announced president and CEO Michael Willner and CFO Matthew Siegel, the five designated members of the executive leadership team have over 125 years of combined experience in the cable industry.

“Our future employees, customers, shareholders and communities are fortunate to have these accomplished individuals leading this new company. They have deep experience in their areas of responsibility and are extremely knowledgeable about our changing industry. In addition, they have the unique leadership characteristics that will allow a seamless transition for customers and exciting new opportunities for employees and the communities we serve,” Willner said in a statement.


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What we know about North Korea's cyberarmy | Martyn Williams | NetworkWorld.com

What we know about North Korea's cyberarmy | Martyn Williams | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The attack on Sony Pictures has put North Korea’s cyberwarfare program in the spotlight. Like most of the internal workings of the country, not much is known but snippets of information have come out over the years, often through defectors and intelligence leaks.

Here’s a summary of what we know:

North Korea’s governing structure is split between the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) and the National Defense Commission (NDC).

North Korea’s main cyberoperations run under the Reconnaissance General Bureau (RGB), which itself falls under the Ministry of People’s Armed Forces that is in turn part of the NDC. The RGB has been operational for years in traditional espionage and clandestine operations and formed two cyberdivisions several years ago called Unit 121 and Office 91.

Office 91 is thought to be the headquarters of North Korea’s hacking operation although the bulk of the hackers and hacking and infiltration into networks is done from Unit 121, which operates out of North Korea and has satellite offices overseas, particularly in Chinese cities that are near the North Korean border. One such outpost is reportedly the Chilbosan Hotel in Shenyang, a major city about 150 miles from the border. A third operation, called Lab 110, participates in much the same work.

There are also several cyberunits under North Korea’s other arm of government, the Workers’ Party of Korea.

Unit 35 is responsible for training cyberagents and is understood to handle domestic cyber investigations and operations. Unit 204 takes part in online espionage and psychological warfare and Office 225 trains agents for missions in South Korea that can sometimes have a cyber component.


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46 Connecticut Towns Sign On To Plan For Massive Municipal Broadband Project | Kate Cox | Consumerist.com

46 Connecticut Towns Sign On To Plan For Massive Municipal Broadband Project | Kate Cox | Consumerist.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Connecticut might be a small state, but they’re poised to make a large leap into the 21st century internet. Local officials have announced they’re joining together on a plan to create at least 46 local municipal gigabit fiber networks in the state — an enormous jump from their current number of zero.

The Hartford Courant reports that leaders from Stamford, New Haven, and West Hartford first announced the initiative in September. Between the announcement and the deadline, an additional 43 towns in the state signed on.

The plan is, as the formal language has it, to “issue[] RFPs to create public-private partnerships resulting in open-access fiber networks in many Connecticut municipalities providing a variety of competitive Internet-based services to residents, businesses, and community anchor institutions.”

Or, in other words: to make internet service in Connecticut better for everyone through a local-level, public project that would bring gigabit fiber (like Chattanooga has) to the state’s residents and businesses.

Those 46 towns, out of Connecticut’s 169, represent over a quarter of the municipalities in the state.The list (PDF) includes a wide variety of towns, from the large and well-to-do to the small and entirely underserved. All have in common that the current options in the state — which is Comcast country — are simply not meeting their needs.


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CT: Frontier To Regulators: We Guessed Wrong On Call Volumes | Mara Lee | Hartford Courant

CT: Frontier To Regulators: We Guessed Wrong On Call Volumes | Mara Lee | Hartford Courant | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Frontier Communications found itself caught short of trained people when customer call volumes in Connecticut were higher than expected in the changeover from AT&T, company officials told regulators Monday.

The company had projected call volumes to increase by 35 percent after it bought AT&T's wireline business for $2 billion, a deal that took effect Oct. 25. Instead, the calls came in at a rate that was 47 percent above what AT&T handled.

And making matters worse, Frontier had not trained most of the former AT&T call center employees, because the company did not have access to them before the merger took effect, a Frontier executive said.

Frontier also incorrectly projected the number of homes that technicians could service in one day, which caused missed appointments, said Paul Quick, Frontier's senior vice president and general manager for Connecticut.

The explanations were part of a hearing called by the state Public Utilities Regulatory Authority after widespread problems related to the switch over. In all, more than 2,000 complaints were filed by customers with several state agencies.

The No. 1 problem was interruptions of high speed Internet, but video services, part of the former AT&T U-verse package, was second. There were virtually no problems with regular wireline telephones, which are not part of the video and Internet packages.

Despite the problems that led the state Attorney General and Consumer Counsel to request Monday's "technical meeting," Quick said the vast majority of former AT&T customers had no problems.

"Overall the transition proceeded as planned," Quick testified. "Less than 1 percent of all our customers experienced any [service] issues."


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CA: Mendocino County Analyzes Losses From Communications Outage | community broadband networks

CA: Mendocino County Analyzes Losses From Communications Outage | community broadband networks | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

In November, the Broadband Alliance of Mendocino County (BAMC) released a report documenting the results of an online survey to determine the effects of a summer communications outage. The Willits News reported that the survey revealed losses of over $215,000 in the county, although actual losses likely reach the millions.

In August, an accident wiped out Internet, telephone, cell, and 911 services for eight communities along the coast in Mendocino County. AT&T aerial fiber optic cable was destroyed. Approximately 17,400 people lost access to 911 services. Depending on the location, 911 service was out for 24 to 45 hours.

Only about 6.5 percent of the people in Mendocino County participated in the survey according to the report. Ninety-five percent of those responding said they were directly impacted.

The article quotes the BAMC report:

According to the BAMC, the outage was lengthy because "the AT&T backbone fiber network was not configured to be redundant nor diverse with protection routing. This was not due to the lack of fiber in the surrounding routes. AT&T did provide diverse fiber and protection for their cable station, but elected not to provide the same for the surrounding community and emergency services."

Mendocino County has been working for several years on an initiative to improve connectivity along California's north coast. They are now part of a larger collaboration called the North Bay/North Coast Broadband Consortium.


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