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India Says: 'There Is No Direct Correlation Between IP And Innovation' | Techdirt

India Says: 'There Is No Direct Correlation Between IP And Innovation' | Techdirt | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Techdirt has been pointing out for years that more patents is not the same thing as more innovation, even though many around the world would have us believe otherwise. It seems the message is finally getting through: here's a remarkable statement from India on the subject of innovation and small- and medium-sized companies, made at a TRIPS Council meeting:

 

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The US is ready to redefine “television” to include the internet | Brendan Sasso | Quartz

The US is ready to redefine “television” to include the internet | Brendan Sasso | Quartz | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The US Federal Communications Commission is considering whether to treat certain online video services like cable and satellite TV providers.

The move would help the online services get cheaper access to major network programming and could allow them to become stronger competitors to the dominant pay-TV providers like Comcast.

“This is a very big deal,” said Richard Greenfield, an industry analyst for BTIG. “It could pose very significant challenges to the traditional [cable TV] bundle.”

The FCC’s Media Bureau is working on the proposal, which could be shared more broadly within the commission as early as this week, according to an FCC official.

Kim Hart, an FCC spokesman, declined to comment.

The proposal would only apply to online services that offer pre-scheduled programming. So the rules wouldn’t cover Netflix, which allows subscribers to watch videos whenever they want.

But it could revive the controversial online video service Aereo, which allowed subscribers to watch broadcast TV channels on their computers and Internet connected-TVs. The Supreme Court ruled earlier this year that Aereo was stealing the broadcasters’ copyrighted content.

In response, Aereo asked to be reclassified as a cable provider. The move wouldn’t give it free access to broadcast programming, but it would force the broadcasters to negotiate following certain rules and would likely mean cheaper access to their channels.

“Aereo is back,” Greenfield said.


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Imagine How The FBI And NSA Would Flip Out If Tor Browsing Was Built Into Firefox Or Chrome? | Mike Masnick | Techdirt.com

Imagine How The FBI And NSA Would Flip Out If Tor Browsing Was Built Into Firefox Or Chrome? | Mike Masnick | Techdirt.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

All last week, we saw law enforcement types freaking out about the news that Apple and Google were making phone encryption a default. While a good step in the right direction, this was really kind of a minor thing, only protecting a small bit of information -- and yet law enforcement folks went nuts.

So just imagine how crazy they'll go if Tor were embedded directly into Firefox as the default "private browsing mode," as was recently hinted at by Tor exec director Andrew Lewman. Even though private browsing mode still isn't even used that much, adding Tor automatically to it would be quite handy for those who wish to have greater control over their privacy, but haven't gone through the trouble of setting up Tor themselves. Lewman didn't name the browser that has been thinking about this, but did say it had 10 to 20% of the market, which suggests Firefox is the most likely partner. Though, frankly, it would be nice to see this as a feature on all browsers.


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Why Big Data Missed the Early Warning Signs of Ebola | Kalev Leetaru | ForeignPolicy.com

Why Big Data Missed the Early Warning Signs of Ebola | Kalev Leetaru | ForeignPolicy.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

With the Centers for Disease Control now forecasting up to 1.4 million new infections from the current Ebola outbreak, what could "big data" do to help us identify the earliest warnings of future outbreaks and track the movements of the current outbreak in realtime? It turns out that monitoring the spread of Ebola can teach us a lot about what we missed -- and how data mining, translation, and the non-Western world can help to provide better early warning tools.

Earlier this month, Harvard's HealthMap service made world headlines for monitoring early mentions of the current Ebola outbreak on March 14, 2014, "nine days before the World Health Organization formally announced the epidemic," and issuing its first alert on March 19. Much of the coverage of HealthMap's success has emphasized that its early warning came from using massive computing power to sift out early indicators from millions of social media posts and other informal media.

As one blog put it: "So how did a computer algorithm pick up on the start of the outbreak before the WHO? As it turns out, some of the first health care workers to see Ebola in Guinea regularly blog about their work. As they began to write about treating patients with Ebola-like symptoms, a few people on social media mentioned the blog posts. And it didn't take long for HealthMap to detect these mentions."

The U.S. government's Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), which helps fund HealthMap, has used this success story as evidence that the approaches used in its Open Source Indicators program can indeed "beat the news" and provide the earliest warnings of impending disease outbreaks and conflict.

It's an inspirational story that is a common refrain in the big data world -- sophisticated computer algorithms sift through millions of data points and divine hidden patterns indicating a previously unrecognized outbreak that was then used to alert unsuspecting health authorities and government officials. The problem is that this story isn't quite true:


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Comcast Cloud DVR Adds Out-Of-Home Capability | Jeff Baumgartner | Multichannel.com

Comcast Cloud DVR Adds Out-Of-Home Capability | Jeff Baumgartner | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Comcast said it has enabled out-of-home access to its Cloud DVR service, a significant enhancement to a product for its X1 video platform that had previously limited viewing of recordings to in the customer’s home since the operator first introduced the Cloud DVR in Boston roughly seven months ago.

Comcast implemented the out-of-home Cloud DVR feature as it introduced the service in the Bay Area, the eighth market to get it.

 

Comcast has also launched its Cloud DVR and an in-home live TV streaming service that allows users to watch the MSO’s full linear TV lineup and its VOD service on Web browsers as well as iOS- and Android-powered tablets and smartphones in Atlanta; Baltimore; Boston; Chicago; Houston; Philadelphia; and Washington D.C.

 

The new cloud-based offerings for X1 also lets customers “check out” DVR recordings by sideloading them to those devices for later playback. Comcast’s Cloud DVR is currently provides customers with 500 Gigabytes of storage and the ability to record four shows while watching another. Cablevision Systems, meanwhile, is already demonstrating how a network-based DVR can offer an almost limited number of tuners -- a software upgrade implemented in April pushed the number of shows a Cablevision customer could record at one time to 15.


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FCC Pitches $38B Reasons For Incentive Auction | John Eggerton | Multichannel.com

FCC Pitches $38B Reasons For Incentive Auction | John Eggerton | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

According to FCC officials speaking on background, a high-end estimate of revenues from the incentive auction could mean as much as $38 billion to compensate broadcasters for giving up spectrum for that auction.

That will be among the takeaways in an information packet the FCC is publishing Wednesday, Oct. 1 and sending to broadcasters as it prepares for the incentive auction, scheduled for mid-2015.

FCC chairman Tom Wheeler announced the effort at a press conference Tuesday. Wheeler has been arguing the auction is a unique, virtually risk-free, opportunity for broadcasters to capitalize on their spectrum, but said with the packets, broadcasters don't have to take his word for it.


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Windows 10 revealed: Microsoft's next OS fuses Windows 7 and 8 | Mark Hachman | NetworkWorld.com

Windows 10 revealed: Microsoft's next OS fuses Windows 7 and 8 | Mark Hachman | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

At a press event on Tuesday, Microsoft launched the next version of Windows: Not Windows One, not Windows 9, but Windows 10, which combines the reborn Start menu with Windows 8’s colorful live tiles and adjusts its behavior depending on how you’re using your device.

Windows 10 will officially launch in the middle of next year, but you’ll have a chance to try it out before that via a new Windows Insider program, launching Wednesday. The platform’s most vocal fans will have a chance to download the technical preview before it launches next year.


Microsoft executives unveiled the new OS at a small press event in San Francisco, where the company tried to position the Windows 10 OS as a “natural step forward” for both Windows and Windows Phone, which will also be renamed Windows 10.


Windows 10 will be designed for the enterprise, Terry Myerson executive vice president of Microsoft’s OS group, said. It will have a “familiar” interface, whether it be for Windows 7 or Windows 8. “They will find all the tools they’re used to finding, with all the apps and tools they’re used to today,” he said.


Windows 10 will be compatible with all the familiar management systems, including mobile device management. MDM tools will manage not just mobile devices, but PCs, phones, tablets, and even embedded devices inpart of the Internet of Things, Myerson said. Enterprise customers will be able to manage their own app stores, so that ther employees get the right apps for them. As Windows 8 did, data security will be a priority, he said.


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Microsoft christens the next version of Windows as Windows 10 | Mary Jo Foley | ZDNet.com

Microsoft christens the next version of Windows as Windows 10 | Mary Jo Foley | ZDNet.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

While many of the features expected in the next major version of Microsoft's Windows client operating system have leaked over the past few months, the official name of that operating system had not.

But on September 30, during a preview event for that operating system, Microsoft officials took the wraps off the new name, which is Windows 10.

During the Microsoft planning and early development process, Windows 10 was codenamed "Threshold." That codename, like a number of recent Microsoft ones, came from Microsoft's Halo franchise.

Because the most recent version of Microsoft's Windows client was named Windows 8, many assumed the next release would be Windows 9. Many inside and outside the company used "Threshold" and "Windows 9" interchangeably when discussing the coming Windows release. There have been rumors that Microsoft might opt to christen Threshold as "Windows X," "Windows 365," just plain "Windows" or "Windows One."


But Microsoft went instead with Windows 10 because they wanted to signify that the coming Windows release would be the last "major" Windows update. Going forward, Microsoft is planning to make regular, smaller updates to the Windows 10 codebase, rather than pushing out new major updates years apart. Windows 10 will have a common codebase across multiple screen sizes, with the UI tailored to work on those devices.


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FCC Wants Some Online Providers to be Treated as Cable Operators | Ted Johnson | Variety.com

FCC Wants Some Online Providers to be Treated as Cable Operators | Ted Johnson | Variety.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The FCC is drawing up rules that would ensure that certain online video providers would be treated the same as cable and satellite operators, a move that could open up the multichannel marketplace to a whole new source of competition, an FCC official said on Monday.

Such a move would give the burgeoning sector of online video greater access to broadcast and multichannel programming.

The proposed rules would not apply to services like Netflix or Hulu, but only to online video providers that are delivering multiple channels of linear programming, or content that is not on demand. A service like Aereo would potentially qualify, but it would have to pay broadcast stations retransmission consent fees or agree to carry all broadcast channels in a certain market.

The rationale behind such a “technology-neutral” definition of a multichannel video provider, the FCC official said, is to facilitate the entry of new online competitors to cable and satellite operators. The proposed rules could be circulated to FCC commissioners this week.

Kim Hart, an FCC spokeswoman, had no comment.


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Lafayette, LA | Three New Companies Move to the Silicon Bayou | community broadband networks

Lafayette, LA | Three New Companies Move to the Silicon Bayou | community broadband networks | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

In the past few months, Lafayette has drawn in three high tech companies that will create approximately 1,300 well-paying positions. In addition to the community's commitment to boost its high-tech workforce, better connectivity offered by LUS Fiber helped attract the new businesses.

According to a Daily World article, the most recent addition is Perficient, Inc. The information technology and management consulting company is based in St. Louis. Perficient will add 50 new positions by the end of 2015 and another 245 over the next 6 years; average annual salary will be $60,000. The area should also see 248 additional indirect jobs. Perficient leadership intends to recruit from South Louisiana Community College and University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

This past spring, CGI announced it would employ 400 high-tech employees in a new finance facility in Lafayette. CGI will also recruit from the local high-tech educational programs. James Peake from CGI told the Advocate that the company has made an effort to keep tech positions "onshore" rather than sending them overseas. From the article:

CGI Vice President Dave Henderson cited UL-Lafayette’s top-ranked computer science program and Lafayette’s growing workforce and fiber-optic network.

This past summer, start-up Enquero announced it would open a tech center in Lafayette. The Milpitas, California company plans to hire 350 new employees by the end of 2017. City officials also expect to see 354 new indirect positions. According to Bloomberg Business Week, Enquero executives considered New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and four other states.

From City-Parish President Joey Durel's official statement:

"These are exactly the kinds of jobs we had in mind when we launched Lafayette's fiber-optic initiative in 2004, so I am thrilled to see that companies are starting to recognize what Lafayette has to offer with its affordable, gigabit speeds...I know Enquero will not regret their decision to locate in Lafayette. This community’s investment in itself is paying off.”

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All Hands On Deck: Minnesota Local Government Models for Expanding Fiber Internet Access | community broadband networks

All Hands On Deck: Minnesota Local Government Models for Expanding Fiber Internet Access | community broadband networks | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

In 2010 the Minnesota legislature set a goal: universal access to high speed broadband throughout the state by 2015. As 2015 approaches we know that large parts of Greater Minnesota will not achieve that goal, even as technological advances make the original benchmarks increasingly obsolete.

But some Minnesota communities are significantly exceeding those goals. Why? The activism of local governments.

A new report by ILSR, widely recognized as one of the most knowledgeable organizations on municipal broadband networks, details the many ways Minnesota’s local governments have stepped up. “All Hands On Deck: Minnesota Local Government Models for Expanding Fiber Internet Access” includes case studies of 12 Minnesota cities and counties striving to bring their citizens 21st century telecommunications.

“When national cable and telephone companies have refused to modernize their communications systems, local governments have stepped up. And in the process saved money, attracted new businesses, and made it more likely that their youth will stick around,” says Chris Mitchell, Director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance’s (ILSR) Community Broadband Networks Initiative.

--Windom, which is one of the most advanced networks in the state, built their own network after their telephone company refused to invest in their community.


--Dakota County showed how a coordinated excavation policy can reduce by more than 90 percent the cost of installing fiber.


--Lac qui Parle County partnered with a telephone cooperative to bring high speed broadband to its most sparsely population communities.

ILSR’s report is particularly timely because this week, the governor’s office began accepting applications for the state’s new $20 million initiative Border-to-Border program. “We hope that before communities submit their applications they read this report to learn what others have done,” says Mitchell.


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Judge Adjusts MP3Tunes Ruling, Blasts Everyone | Mike Masnick | Techdirt.com

Judge Adjusts MP3Tunes Ruling, Blasts Everyone | Mike Masnick | Techdirt.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

We've been following Capitol Records' (EMI) lawsuit against MP3Tunes and Michael Robertson for a long time now, in part because the lawsuit has been going on forever, with lots of back and forth (and it's still at the district court level!). Back in March, the jury hit Robertson with a bill for over $40 million for his personal involvement with MP3Tunes. As we noted, there were plenty of issues with the ruling, especially with the idea that MP3Tunes was "willfully blind" in creating its music locker. Robertson challenged many of the jury's findings, and we noted that the most important one was the willful blindness.

The judge, William Pauley, has now ruled and it's a mixed bag of just about everything, including the judge berating both parties for their approach to this lawsuit. On the whole, Robertson still loses big time, but not quite as big as before. And, on the issue we found most important -- willful blindness -- the judge has overruled the jury, noting that under the standard in the Viacom v. YouTube case, MP3Tunes was not willfully blind (except for one track where they had been alerted to an infringing copy). That's big and very important, given the potential chilling effects the willful blindness ruling would have had on other startups in the digital locker space.


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Improved patch tackles new Shellshock attack vectors | Lucian Constantin | NetworkWorld.com

Improved patch tackles new Shellshock attack vectors | Lucian Constantin | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

System administrators who spent last week making sure their computers are patched against Shellshock, a critical vulnerability in the Bash Unix command-line interpreter, will have to install a new patch that addresses additional attack vectors.

The Shellshock vulnerability was originally discovered by Akamai Technologies security researcher Stephane Chazelas and can be exploited in several ways to remotely execute code on systems like Linux and Mac OS X that use Bash as their default shell.

The fact that the bug has existed in Bash for many years and that Linux is used on a wide variety of devices from servers to industrial equipment and embedded electronics, means that the flaw’s impact is potentially very large.

Shellshock was publicly disclosed Wednesday, and a patch was released at the same time to address it. It’s being tracked as CVE-2014-6271 in the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures database. But researchers quickly found ways to bypass it with a new attack method that was assigned a separate CVE-2014-7169 identifier.

A second patch was released for CVE-2014-7169, but things didn’t stop there either because neither patch addressed the underlying risky behavior of parsing remotely originating strings. Related bugs kept popping up and while it’s unclear whether they actually posed a security risk aside from leading to crashes, they started being tracked as CVE-2014-7186 and CVE-2014-7187.

This prompted Red Hat product security researcher Florian Weimer to develop an unofficial patch that takes a more durable approach, according to Google security engineer Michal Zalewski.

“Florian’s fix effectively isolates the function parsing code from attacker-controlled strings in almost all the important use cases we can currently think of,” said Zalewski in a post on his personal blog.


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EPIC seeks enforcement action over Arizona Community College's data breaches | Jeremy Kirk | NetworkWorld.com

EPIC seeks enforcement action over Arizona Community College's data breaches | Jeremy Kirk | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

A privacy watchdog filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission against a community college district in Arizona that lost the personal data of 2.5 million students and employees in two data breaches.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) asked the FTC in its complaint Monday to bring an enforcement action in federal district court against the Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) for violating the “Safeguards Rule,” which requires customer data to be secured.

EPIC, a nonprofit organization based in Washington, is also seeking that the MCCCD obtain an independent assessment to ensure that it is complying with the Safeguards Rule.

MCCCD’s troubles are notable as the organization was warned after a small data breach affecting 400 people in January 2011 that it needed to shore up its systems. The FBI informed it at the time that information from its databases had turned up for sale on the Internet.

Arizona’s Auditor General advised in November 2011 that the organization needed to strengthen access controls after finding terminated employees still had active user accounts on its network.

A subsequent audit in November 2012 found the organization still had not adequately limited access to its systems, according to EPIC’s complaint.

In April 2013, the FBI found 14 of MCCCD’s database for sale on a website, with data including names, addresses, Social Security Numbers, birth dates and financial aid information. The breach affected 2.49 million current and former students, employees and vendors.

A class action suit was filed in April against MCCCD in Arizona’s Superior Court, which sought US$2,500 for each plaintiff. That case’s docket suggests the lawsuit has been moved to a federal court.


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Shellshock flaw could pose risks to payments industry | Jeremy Kirk | NetworkWorld.com

Shellshock flaw could pose risks to payments industry | Jeremy Kirk | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The “Shellshock” flaw has the potential to pose a risk to the payments industry, but doesn’t appear to have caused any problems yet, an official with a consortium run by major credit card companies warned on Tuesday.

The PCI Security Standards Council develops technical standards for protecting payment card data, a closely watched area following a spate of data breaches at retailers including Home Depot and Target.

“It has the potential to be a risk,” said Troy Leach, the organization’s CTO, of the flaw in the GNU Bourne Again Shell (Bash), a command-line shell processor in Unix and Linux.

“The dependancy on Bash is pretty extreme. It’s something we have to be diligent about,” he said.

Leach said the council hasn’t issued an advisory about Shellshock but is monitoring developments.

The PCI Data Security Standards (DSS) recommend that retailers patch their systems quickly when software updates are released. But retailers and merchants have often been slow to do so, exposing their systems to attackers seeking card data.


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Comcast to Follow the 1 Million Who Have Fled Bankrupt Detroit | Todd Shields | MSN Money

Comcast to Follow the 1 Million Who Have Fled Bankrupt Detroit | Todd Shields | MSN Money | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Detroit lost more than 1 million residents and three-quarters of its retail businesses on its way to bankruptcy.

Now Comcast Corp. wants to go, too.

The largest U.S. cable-television company says it will shed 2.5 million customers in Detroit and other Midwestern and Southern communities as part of a plan to buy No. 2 Time Warner Cable Inc. Relinquishing the markets will help keep Comcast’s market share below 30 percent of U.S. pay-TV homes -- a level that regulators once set as a limit and Comcast has volunteered to honor.

“It’s not helpful when a company like that leaves,” said James Fouts, mayor of Warren, which borders Detroit and likewise will see the end of Comcast service.

As it drops Detroit, Comcast would gain the nation’s top two markets, New York and Los Angeles. The $45.2 billion acquisition would enlarge Comcast by 7 million video customers. The castaways in Detroit, Minneapolis and elsewhere would belong to a new company, GreatLand Connections Inc., to be created in what the companies call a tax-efficient spinoff. The new company’s debt would exceed industry averages -- something that has raised concerns about service in those communities.

“We don’t have the answers we need,” said Ron Styka, an elected trustee with responsibility for cable-service oversight in Meridian Township, Michigan, a town served by Comcast about 80 miles west of Detroit.

Municipal officials say they have questions about service, including whether subscribers can keep Comcast e-mail addresses or if the cable-channel lineups may change.

GreatLand will start with $7.8 billion in debt, according to a securities filing. That debt is equal to five times Ebitda, or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, Comcast said. The debt ratio for Comcast is 1.99 times Ebitda and for New York-based Time Warner Cable it’s 3.07 times Ebitda, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.


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D.C. Weighs In On FCC Ejection of Sports Blackout Rules | John Eggerton | Multichannel.com

D.C. Weighs In On FCC Ejection of Sports Blackout Rules | John Eggerton | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The FCC's unanimous elimination of the Sports blackout Rules Tuesday (Sept. 30) drew immediate response from Washington players, including the commissioner voting to get rid of them.

Amidst the blitz of football metaphors, the commissioners made serious points about the need to get rid of the rules and stop backstopping the NFL's private contractual decisions.

"There is no better example of an FCC rule that has outlived its usefulness than our sports blackout rule," said FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. "The FCC will not be complitic in preventing sports fans from watching their favorite teams on television...I hope this leads to the elimination of sports blackouts altogether."

"Make no mistake about it. With this decision, the FCC is officially out of the sports blackout business. No longer will we be on the side of those willing to keep fans in the dark," said Commissioner Ajit Pai. "We are eliminating our blackout rule, but the professional sports leagues like the NFL can still choose to maintain their own blackout policies. But if the NFL in particular chooses that path, it will do so without the FCC’s endorsement and will have to enforce its policy without our help," he said.


"The goal of these rules was never to protect the profitability of sports leagues, but to ensure that America’s favorite pastime was widely available to television viewers," said Commissioner Mignon Clyburn. "Keeping the rules no longer make sense." Clyburn teed up the rule elimination last fall as chairwoman.


"This agency should not support policies that prevent fans from watching their hometown teams on television," said commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel. "To be clear, even as we remove our rules, we cannot guarantee an end to sports blackouts."

 

That is because blackouts can still be enforced by privately-negotiated contracts.  But I would hope that leagues that rely on this rule—namely the NFL—find a solution to avoid blackouts. If not, I think they will risk alienating existing fans and turning off would-be fans at a time when they cannot afford to do so."


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Connecticut Communities Want Better Internet Access - Community Broadband Bits Episode 118 | community broadband networks

Connecticut Communities Want Better Internet Access - Community Broadband Bits Episode 118 | community broadband networks | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

While in Springfield, Massachusetts for the Broadband Communities Municipal Broadband and Economic Development event, I met several of the people that have been working on an initiative that aims to bring better Internet access to many in Connecticut. Two of them, Connecticut Consumer Counsel Elin Katz and Broadband Policy Coordinator Bill Vallee join me this week for episode 118 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast.

Three cities have already issued an RFQ to begin the process of evaluating what options are available to them in improving Internet access for their residents and businesses. New Haven, Stamford, and West Hartford kicked the initiative off but others may soon join.

We also discuss how Connecticut has greatly simplified the process of pole attachments to encourage investment from any interested provider.


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Services such as Apple Pay may make smaller banks more vulnerable to attacks | Tim Greene | NetworkWorld.com

Services such as Apple Pay may make smaller banks more vulnerable to attacks | Tim Greene | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Many banks with less than $50 billion in assets have a problem that payment systems like Apple Pay will make even more attractive to exploit, a team of security researchers says.

By altering electronic-transfer files before they are uploaded to the national transaction clearinghouse, criminals can redirect funds to accounts they control and make off with millions of dollars at a clip, according to researchers at TrustCC, a consultancy specializing in financial institution IT security.

They presented their findings at (ISC)² Security Congress 2014.

The problem is that many banks and credit unions place these sensitive files on their corporate LANs before uploading them to the Automated Clearing House (ACH), a commercial network that processes a variety of financial transactions. That leaves them vulnerable to hackers who have successfully infiltrated the LAN.

While the attack isn’t common yet, it could become moreso as consumers shift from traditional magnetic-strip credit cards to more secure chip-and-pin credit cards and alternative payment systems such as Apple Pay. These more secure method will mean more work for professional hackers, say TrustCC researchers Andy Robbins and Brandon Henry.

When that happens, criminals may seek to steal directly from banks because they will present easier targets with larger potential payoffs per compromise, they say. “Then banks are a pretty juicy target,” he says.


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Why I like the FCC Rural Broadband Experiments | Frank Ohrtman | WMX Systems

Why I like the FCC Rural Broadband Experiments | Frank Ohrtman | WMX Systems | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

After digesting the Rural Broadband Experiments Process Guide, I checked in with FCC last week regarding when they might start taking bids. I was informed that the bidding window MAY open as early as next TUES 30 SEP with bidding deadline sometime beyond 14 OCT (actual deadline TBD).

The process appears to be very straight forward with an online upload of a csv spreadsheet (Form 5610) which very simply asks the bidder what census block they want to bid on, the sub program under which they will make the application and what they will bid per census block for the 10-year life of the program.

Why I like this:


1. Process appears to be very democratic: no K Street law firm required
2. Sets a relatively high bar for performance, even the "Minimum Performance" program 10 Mbps down, 1 mbps up is well beyond what many rural residents get in ACTUAL (not advertised) speeds
3. Largely technology agnostic: just offer broadband (10 down, 1 up minimum) and voice
4. Discussion invited: For rural broadband, is this the biggest thing the FCC has done since Telecom Act of 1996?

For a high overview see:
http://www.wmxsystems.com/FCC-Rural-Broadband-Experiments

See also:
http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/rural-broadband-experiments


FCC Rural Broadband Experiments Overview wmxsystems.com

UPDATE: FCC Bidding Submission Delayed Beyond 14 OCTOBER 2014 Download a Rural Broadband Experiments Bid Form Worksheet Download an FCC Descriptive Data Form Disclaimer: This is intended to help the user gather their data in preparation for the experiment.

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Japan Satellite Service Announces 4K Operations | Bob Kovacs | TVTechnology.com

Japan Satellite Service Announces 4K Operations | Bob Kovacs | TVTechnology.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it
Sky Perfect JSAT Corp. will simultaneously open two new channels, the world’s first dedicated 4K channels, on the company’s premium Japan-based service on March 1, 2015, according to the company’s president and CEO, Shinji Takada. The two dedicated 4K Sky PerfecTV! channels will broadcast J-League matches (every J-League match is broadcast on Sky PerfecTV!), other sports, movies, live concerts and a variety of additional premium programming.

Watching the two 4K channels will require properly outfitted tuners that Sky PerfecTV! currently has on sale. In addition, subscription fees for these channels, channel names, channel numbers and other factors are still being considered, and will be announced in the future.

As a member of the Next Generation Television & Broadcasting Promotion Forum since the forum's establishment, Sky Perfect JSAT has has been active in pushing for advanced technology and programming. The company's 4K satellite broadcasts will be based on the technology that is now being tested as part of 4K services in Japan.
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Why Digital Connectivity Will Kill Your Business | Nick Marr Blog | LinkedIn.com

Why Digital Connectivity Will Kill Your Business | Nick Marr Blog | LinkedIn.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

I predict the end of business as we know it, the growth of internet connected devices will see a change so huge that those who are not ready will simply die.

It’s without doubt that the internet is going to dominate our world even more than it is now, smart devices that connect to all of our lives will change everything. Today 40% of the world's population has an Internet connection. In 1995, it was less than 1%.The number of internet users has increased tenfold from 1999 to 2013. The first billion users were reached in 2005 and the second billion in 2010., the third billion by the end of 2014. (Stats internet live stats).

We can clearly see the trend in standard Internet connection use but what about the smart connected device? The home will have connected smart meters, kitchen equipment, lighting and central heating. The car industry is making huge steps into connectivity, most new cars come ready connected via apps and some already are themselves internet hotspots.

All new European cars from 2015 will have to have systems that send data to include location and other information as part of eCall. This data will inform emergency services of the location of the car in the event of an accident. Its only a matter of time before insurance companies will want a smart device placed in your car.

Wearable devices already connect to our phones soon those devices will speak to our homes, cars, insurance companies and businesses buying the data they generate.

The potential of connectivity featuring in every part of our lives could make life easier and maybe safer for the consumer. It's without doubt also a massive opportunity for business.


My warning is for every global company to the enthusiastic start up, take notice of the trend and to plan for your success. Those that see a future for their business right now and have five year plans in place but without a 'Holistic connectivity' strategy best reach for the edit button.


My opinion is that is that you may already be behind the game. There is no use in betting on another option, as like Kodak your demise will be sealed. Business needs to be part of connectivity or die.


So why am I so confident that those who fail to recognise the possibilities of connectivity may be doomed for failure?


Cisco Systems predict that by 2020 50 billion connected objects will be buzzing away in our lives. This is compared today with the 12 billion people, processes, data and other things currently connected to the Internet. We can clearly see how the Internet has grown and connected devices will be faster and more eye popping. Right now Google and Apple are investing to be a big part of the connected lives of consumers.


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Here's How To Opt Out Of Facebook's New Plan To Sell Your Browser Data | Maya Kosoff | BizInsider.com

Here's How To Opt Out Of Facebook's New Plan To Sell Your Browser Data | Maya Kosoff | BizInsider.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Facebook will soon launch a new ad program that can read your browser history to deliver targeted ads specific to your interests, according to the company's website.

Luckily, there's a way to opt out of this program to ensure Facebook can't see what you're doing online.


Over the next few weeks, Facebook users will be able to use and control Facebook's new ad preferences, which are available on every ad Facebook shows you, telling you why you're seeing that advertisement and allowing you to add or remove your interests so your personalized ads are adjusted accordingly. Facebook plans to extend its ad preferences tool globally in the coming months.


However, if you don't want Facebook to sell your personal information and browsing history to third-party companies, there's an easy way to opt out.


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Scammers Using FBI And NSA Logos, Claiming Legal Actions And Demanding Payment Via GreenDot MoneyPak | Mike Masnick | Techdirt.com

Scammers Using FBI And NSA Logos, Claiming Legal Actions And Demanding Payment Via GreenDot MoneyPak | Mike Masnick | Techdirt.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

A few weeks ago, I first heard about a scam in which scammers were calling up unsuspecting people, claiming to be the IRS and saying that the recipient had failed to pay taxes and was at risk of arrest if they didn't pay up quickly. The caller demands that the money be sent via a "GreenDot MoneyPak," which is basically the equivalent of cash.


Scams like this have been going on for a while now -- just do a simple Google search on "scam, greendot" and you'll find a lot of results. Most recently, the scam has focused either on the IRS, as mentioned above, or local utilities, with threats about turning off your power, phone, etc. New York City even put out an alert directly warning about GreenDot MoneyPak scams.

However, it appears that the scammers have recently attempted to move on from just the IRS and utilities -- to two appealing alternative options: the NSA and the FBI. Lawyer David Gingras apparently spotted the FBI version upon visiting a website recently:


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Irish TV Venture in Talks With Comcast/Time Warner Cable for Nationwide Carriage Deal | Phil Dampier | Stop the Cap!

Irish TV Venture in Talks With Comcast/Time Warner Cable for Nationwide Carriage Deal | Phil Dampier | Stop the Cap! | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Irish TV, focused on the Irish diaspora, is in talks with Comcast and Time Warner Cable to add its online channel to the national cable television lineups of both companies.

The network, not affiliated with Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ) — Ireland’s public broadcaster, is a Mayo-based commercial venture that launched in May 2014, and can be viewed only in part on some PBS stations and via Sky and Freesat in Europe.

John Griffin, chairman of Irish TV, has committed to spend up to $18.9 million on the network. He has the money, having earned millions while growing London minicab company Addison Lee. He sold his interest in the venture to the Carlyle Group for $486.3 million dollars last year.

The vision behind the Irish channel, which features homegrown cooking, music, and sports entertainment, originated with its founders Pierce O’Reilly and Máiréad Ní Mhaoilchiaráin. They agreed to let Griffin run the network after concluding negotiations carried out in a London pub.

Each Irish county (North and South) will have its own half an hour slot on the channel called County Matters.


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The big problem with ‘Facebook-killer’ Ello: It’s hopelessly, irredeemably naive | Caitlin Dewey | WashPost.com

The big problem with ‘Facebook-killer’ Ello: It’s hopelessly, irredeemably naive | Caitlin Dewey | WashPost.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Ello is the hot new thing. The anti-Facebook. The great social-media crusader who — as its creators promise, in a flowery manifesto — will seize our humanity back from the grinding gears of the Internet machine.

Its minimalist design is nice, of course. The absence of ads is oddly refreshing, and many people have rightly praised the start-up’s progressive name-use policy — one that lets LGBT users and other concerned groups register any name they like.

But at its core, Ello’s appeal is all theoretical: People like Ello not because it’s a prettily designed network without ads and user-tracking, but because it represents an idea. An ethic. A way of existing on the Internet in which said existence is meaningful, and not merely for the major technology companies who grind our interests and memories into data for marketers.

“You are the product that’s bought and sold,” the company rails in its opening manifesto. “We believe there is a better way. We believe in audacity. We believe in beauty, simplicity, and transparency.”

But when you scrutinize that string of buzzwords a little more closely, it looks less like a raison d’etre and more like a web of unlikely assumptions. Ello’s founders assume, for instance, that — given the opportunity, which they already have elsewhere — people will be constructive and pro-social online. They assume the general public has an active interest in issues of online privacy and identity. And, in an apparent business flaw that’s been much analyzed already, they assume people will generously shell out money to support that interest, even if they see little to no personal benefit, and even if they don’t have to.

Ello’s founders call it idealism. It looks a lot like naivete.


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