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Nationwide Google Fiber is a lofty 'pipe dream' | BetaNews.com

Nationwide Google Fiber is a lofty 'pipe dream' | BetaNews.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Many people considered this company irrelevant and dead years ago. Yet with nearly three million paying Internet service subscribers still, this provider is anything but dried up -- yet. Internet access, among other subscription services, makes up a clear majority of its continuing sales and its greatest chunk of profits as a whole. Subscriber growth peaked off back in 2002, but for this aging Internet heirloom, at this point they will no doubt take what they can get. Who the heck am I referring to?

 

Don't choke on your coffee, but it's none other than AOL. Namely, their dialup Internet service division. It's hard to believe that in the year 2013 any company has more than a trickle of subscribers left on dial up, but this attests to the sad state of broadband adoption in the United States. Of the estimated 74 percent of Americans who have internet access in their homes (2010 figures), a full 6 percent of those are still on dial-up service. There are a myriad of issues affecting broadband adoption, including things such as lack of access, pricing, reluctance to switch, etc.

 

A full 19 million Americans sadly don't have access to any form of broadband. And in a comparison of adoption rate per capita, our country ranks a miserable 15th globally -- behind United Kingdom and South Korea, to name just a few. Much of the Internet is abuzz about Kansas City's recently completed rollout of Google Fiber, with its near gigabit speeds delivered directly to the home.

 

Even with  slow expansion into other small markets, like the recently announced Olathe, KS, the excitement over Google Fiber is premature by all reasonable measures. One giant (Google) is getting into the fiber game while another (Verizon) is slowly exiting after making similar market promises of "fiber to all" just a half decade ago.

 

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Local Tennessee Communities Rally Behind Chattanooga's EPB | Lisa Gonzalez | community broadband networks

Local Tennessee Communities Rally Behind Chattanooga's EPB | Lisa Gonzalez | community broadband networks | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

As the FCC contemplates the fate of the Chattanooga EPB's ability to expand to surrounding communities, some of those Tennessee communities are publicly announcing their support.


The Town of Kimball and Marion County, both part of the Chattanooga metro area, have passed resolutions asking state legislators to reconsider Tennessee's anti-muni law.


The Times Free Press reports that Kimball's Board of Mayor and Alderman unanimously and officially asked their state officials to introduce legislation enabling local authority. They requested action as early as the next legisaltive session.


Marion County passed a similar resolution in August - also unanimously. According to Kimball's City Attorney Bill Gouger:


"It is a situation where there are providers out there who would like to extend fiber-optic cable and high-speed Internet-type systems throughout our county," Gouger said. "The simple fact is, right now, our state laws make that really difficult to do, if not impossible."


County Mayor David Jackson is reaching out to the other municipalities in Marion County to increase support. From the article:


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Good News: Mobile Devices Now Competing To Be Much More Secure Against Prying Eyes | Mike Masnick | Techdirt.com

Good News: Mobile Devices Now Competing To Be Much More Secure Against Prying Eyes | Mike Masnick | Techdirt.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

While the more cynical folks out there have insisted that the tech industry is a happy partner with the intelligence community, the reality has been quite different. If anything, in the past many companies were simply... complacent about the situation, not realizing how important these issues were.


That's problematic, but the Snowden revelations have woken up those firms and enabled the privacy and security gurus who work there to finally get the message across that they absolutely need to do more to protect the privacy and security of their users. That's why you see things like Apple's new local encryption by default on iOS8, meaning that even if law enforcement or the intelligence community comes knocking, Apple can't get much of your data off of your device.

“Unlike our competitors, Apple cannot bypass your passcode and therefore cannot access this data,” Apple said on its Web site. “So it’s not technically feasible for us to respond to government warrants for the extraction of this data from devices in their possession running iOS 8.”

Within hours, it was reported that the next update to Android would also have the same default encryption.


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New US Senate bill aims to limit access to emails stored abroad | John Ribeiro | NetworkWorld.com

New US Senate bill aims to limit access to emails stored abroad | John Ribeiro | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Legislation introduced in the U.S. Senate on Thursday aims to place limits on access by U.S. law enforcement agencies to emails and other communications stored abroad.


The proposed legislation comes against the backdrop of a dispute between Microsoft and the government, in which the tech company has refused to hand over emails held by it at a facility in Dublin, Ireland.


The new bill, called the Law Enforcement Access to Data Stored Abroad (LEADS) Act, aims to amend the Electronic Communications Privacy Act to authorize the use of search warrants extraterritorially, only where the government wants to obtain the contents of electronic communications belonging to a U.S citizen or permanent resident alien or a company incorporated in the U.S.


It also provides that the court issuing the warrant shall modify or vacate the warrant, if it finds that it would require the communications provider or remote computing service to violate the laws of a foreign country.


The bill introduced by U.S. Senators Orrin Hatch, a Republican from Utah and current member and former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Chris Coons, a Democrat from Delaware and member of the Judiciary Committee, and Dean Heller, a Republican from Nevada.


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Netflix Asks FCC to Address Interconnection Agreement Concerns in Open Internet Rules | Lydia Beyoud | BNA.com

Netflix Asks FCC to Address Interconnection Agreement Concerns in Open Internet Rules | Lydia Beyoud | BNA.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

A Netflix Inc. representative called on the Federal Communications Commission to include review of network interconnection agreements as part of its Open Internet rulemaking process, saying that the practice of Internet service providers demanding content providers pay fees to reach end users gives rise to the same concerns as paid prioritization for “last mile” service.

“We see the point of interconnection as an extension of the net neutrality rules,” Corie Wright, Netflix's director of global public policy, said Sept. 16 during a panel discussion at the FCC.

The National Cable & Telecommunications Association has said in official filings that the FCC shouldn't extend the scope of its net neutrality rules to govern interconnection agreements, also known as peering or traffic exchange agreements, between ISPs and content distribution networks (CDNs).

Doing so could increase network congestion and saddle broadband subscribers with higher costs, NCTA said.

The FCC is gathering information to determine whether ISPs like Comcast Corp. and Verizon Communications Inc. use their positions as last-mile providers of Internet connectivity to disadvantage content providers. However, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said June 13 that the agency would be examining interconnection as a separate issue from the net neutrality rules.

Wheeler, at a June press conference, said the FCC isn't seeking to regulate the practice of interconnection agreements, but that it has “broad authority” to act if it finds that consumers are being harmed.


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Canada's New Investment Agreement With China Will Take Precedence Over Canadian Constitution for 31 Years | Glyn Moody | Techdirt.com

Canada's New Investment Agreement With China Will Take Precedence Over Canadian Constitution for 31 Years | Glyn Moody | Techdirt.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Here on Techdirt we've been covering the secrecy surrounding CETA, the trade agreement between the EU and Canada, and its problematic inclusion of a corporate sovereignty chapter. But while attention has been focused here, the Canadian government is sneaking through a bilateral investment treaty with China that is arguably worse in every respect -- at least for Canadians. Here's how the Council of Canadians described the move:

"In the world of official government announcements, a two-paragraph media release sent out in the late afternoon on the Friday before Parliament resumes sitting is the best way for a government to admit, "We know this is really, really unpopular, but we're doing it anyway."

That's the way the Harper government, by way of a release quoting Trade Minister Ed Fast, announced that it had decided to ignore widespread public opposition, parliamentary opposition from the NDP, Greens and even lukewarm Liberal criticism, an ongoing First Nations legal challenge, and even division at its own cabinet table and grassroots membership and proceed with the ratification of the Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA)."

The key problem, as is increasingly the case with international agreements, is the inclusion of far-reaching investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) measures that would allow China to sue the Canadian people. Here's what the treaty law expert Gus Van Harten told the Vancouver Observer:


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Netflix Seeks OVD Conditions on AT&T/DirecTV | Jeff Eggerton | Multichannel.com

Netflix Seeks OVD Conditions on AT&T/DirecTV | Jeff Eggerton | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Netflix has told the FCC that without conditions guarding against what it suggests are anticompetitive paid peering and data cap practices, the FCC should not approve the AT&T/DirecTV deal.

In its initial comments on the proposed merger, which were due this week, the online video powerhouse said that AT&T has made it clear it sees OVD's like Netflix as a threat to their own video offerings and could and had used its market power to degrade customers Netflix access until Netflix agreed to pay "a terminating access fee" (paid peering).


It said that without conditions to insure OVD competition, the combined company has the incentive and ability to harm edge providers, practices that will not be "disciplined" by competition in the broadband market.


AT&T has countered that given Netflix's increased volume of traffic to AT&T--by some estimates more than a third of U.S. downloads at peak periods, it should be paying the freight.


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Testing the Internet of Things: Can smart devices be united into an integrated whole? | Robert Mitchell | NetworkWorld.com

Testing the Internet of Things: Can smart devices be united into an integrated whole? | Robert Mitchell | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

I have had a smart thermostat and Wi-Fi security cameras in my home for about a year. While using these (and researching my article The Internet of Things at home: Why we should pay attention), I started to wonder if the task of managing smart devices could quickly get out of hand.


Each device you buy, from the Nest thermostat to your smart crockpot, comes with its own app that lets you configure and program it, set up alerts and remotely monitor and control the device. As you go beyond two or three smart things, however, app clutter can take hold. There are simply too many apps, with too many alerts, to manage everything separately. What's more, each of these devices exists in its own silo, completely unaware of other smart devices in the home.


That's where a universal smart home integration and automation system like Revolv comes in. Revolv's eponymously named product, which is priced at $299, includes a hub that can communicate with smart devices that speak Wi-Fi, Insteon or Z-wave, and a mobile app that you can program to automate how you use the smart devices in your home and how they interact with one other.


There's a key benefit to managing everything from a single control point: You can program groups of smart devices to operate together in response to an event, such as the time of day, your departure from or arrival home or when you unlock the front door. For example, when you approach your home, the porch and hall lights turn on, motion sensors turn off, the garage door opens, the smart lock prompts you to remotely unlock the door with a single press and your favorite music is already playing as you walk in the door.


To find out whether Revolv could really simplify the process of living with smart devices, I decided to try it out myself.


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The kill switch is here: iOS 8 enables it by default | Martyn Williams | NetworkWorld.com

The kill switch is here: iOS 8 enables it by default | Martyn Williams | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

With the release of its new mobile operating system on Wednesday, Apple has become the first smartphone maker to enable by default a kill switch that can lock and secure a stolen phone.


Smartphones, both Apple and Android-based, are attractive targets for thieves, and law enforcement officials hope the kill switch will change that.

The software is capable of remotely locking and disabling a phone if it’s stolen, only allowing the handset to be unlocked with a correct password. That action essentially makes a phone useless, reducing the resale price to close to zero.

California lawmakers recently passed legislation that makes a kill switch mandatory on all new phones sold in the state starting in July 2015.

Apple’s last major operating system update, iOS 7, introduced kill switch software called “Activation Lock.” But it wasn’t enabled by default, something the California law requires. With that changed in iOS 8, the software becomes the first to conform to all elements of the California regulation.

“Apple products are the most commonly targeted smartphones, so deploying this technology on a default basis will safeguard almost all iPhone users in the years ahead,” San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon said in a statement. Gascon has been one of the leading proponents of the kill switch system.

There’s some evidence that Activation Lock is already having a deterrent effect since the launch of iOS 7 in September 2013.


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Amanda Wall's curator insight, September 19, 6:41 PM

This article is about Apple's new IOS 8 operating system and how they are the first smartphone to introduce a kill switch software called "Activation Lock." 

 

This is directly related to Public Relations as recently Apple was blamed for the iCloud innocent that leaked several nude celebrity photos onto the internet. Even though this innocent wasn't Apple's fault directly it was smart of them to introduce this new software at such a convenient time. This software allows us to protect and secure our phones if stolen, therefore, protecting our personal information and even photos.  

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Dems Press FCC to Expand Political File Requirement to MVPDs | John Eggerton | Multichannel.com

Dems Press FCC to Expand Political File Requirement to MVPDs | John Eggerton | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Three Democratic members of Congress, including the ranking members of the House Energy & Commerce Committee and Communications Subcommittee, have asked the FCC to expand its online political filing mandate to cable and satellite operators and radio stations, saying they strongly support the move.

Currently, only TV stations are required to post their political files online to an FCC database, but the FCC has asked whether that requirement should be extended, seeking input on a petition to that effect filed by the Campaign Legal Center, Common Cause, and the Sunlight Foundation.

Political files are records of political advertising purchases made by the station and who made them, though Sunlight and the other petitioners argue the FCC also needs to tighten disclosure requirements on who is actually funding the ads.

Sunlight and company have used the online political file database to track ad buys and challenge some stations' disclosure.

But just two weeks ago, the FCC's Media Bureau rejected one of those complaints, saying that they had not made a "sufficient showing "that the stations had credible evidence casting into doubt that the identified sponsors of the advertisement were the true sponsors."

In a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, Reps. Henry Waxman (E&C ranking member) and Anna Eshoo, both from California, and Senator Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) urged the FCC to take that "common sense" step.

That support included a shout out to the growing strength of cable political advertising.


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CTIA: Don't Apply Wired Net Rules to Us | John Eggerton | Multichannel.com

CTIA: Don't Apply Wired Net Rules to Us | John Eggerton | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The mobile wireless industry is clearly feeling the heat from net neutrality fans pushing the FCC to extend anti-blocking and anti-discrimination rules to mobile wireless.

In a letter to Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), chairman of the House Communications Subcommittee, CTIA: The Wireless Association President Meredith Attwell Baker, urged him to urge the FCC to retain the 2010 Open Internet order's "mobile specific" approach to regs given the "unique engineering, competitive and legal conditions" of 4G LTE, rather than a one-size-fits both wired and wireless approach.

Recognizing the different network management challenges of wireless, the FCC did not apply those regs, but did apply transparency in disclosure of network management, and left open the possibility to revisit the decision not to apply the others, a revisit opportunity that has now presented itself in the form of the new rulemaking proceeding.

Proponents argue that the explosion in mobile wireless use as the Internet-avenue of choice necessitates expanding the rules.

"The network demands and quality of service needs of a mobile health monitor obviously differ greatly than the needs of a text message or video clip, and providers need the flexibility to continue to evolve and adapt," She told Walden.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has suggested that the commercially reasonable exception for discrimination under the proposed new rules is meant to provide the flexibility for that kind of discrimination.


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Home Depot, Target breaches exploited Windows XP flaw, report says | Andy Patrizio | NetworkWorld.com

Home Depot, Target breaches exploited Windows XP flaw, report says | Andy Patrizio | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

What do the massive security breaches and theft of credit card information at The Home Depot and Target have in common? Both were allowed by a decade-old exploit in Windows XP Embedded, used in their point of sale systems.


In a detailed, if somewhat rambling piece, The Daily Tech concludes that the credit card losses – more than 100 million total – could have been avoided if Target and Home Depot simply upgraded to Windows 7 for Embedded Systems. 


Both Home Depot and Target were hit with the same malware designed to steal credit card information that has been traced back to Russia, according to Brian Krebs, a security blogger for The Washington Post. Both firms were using Windows XPe (for embedded) SP3, which is not the last version of the XP-based embedded OSes. There was one more, called Windows Embedded 2009, that is based on XP.


The article notes Harry Brelsford, an IT consultant who runs the SMBnation blog, was an XP evangelist. Now he's trying to get people off XP and on to something newer. He's been working on a project called the "Million Mile Tour" in conjunction with the site XPMigrations.com. In a November 2013 post entitled "Show Us Your XP!", he called out Home Depot and others still running XPe.

It didn't work, and now Brelsford is issuing an I-told-you-so.


"What’s sad is that (a) this didn’t have to happen and (b) the IT Pros who attended my Windows XP Migration Madness workshops (44 events in 2013 sponsored by Lenovo) did not follow my advice and contact Home Depot to help solve this problem. A missed opportunity."


Windows XPe SP3 will join consumer XP in the end-of-life category in 2016. Support for WE2009 ends in 2019. After support for XP ended last April, some people came up with a hack to get fixes for WE2009 on their XP boxes, which Microsoft was opposed to them doing.


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Riding the Back of the Digital Bus | Preeti Vissa Blog | HuffPost.com

Riding the Back of the Digital Bus | Preeti Vissa Blog | HuffPost.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Major telecommunications firms (think Comcast, Verizon, AT&T and the like) want to be able to send you to an Internet slow lane if you don't have enough money pay for topflight service -- or if they simply don't like the information you're sending out.

That's bad for everyone who's not a wealthy corporation, and it's especially bad for low-income folks and communities of color, who could almost literally be made to ride at the back of the digital bus.

The Federal Communications Commission is pondering what to do about the issue of "net neutrality," a rather blah term that describes a simple idea: The company that connects you to the Internet -- whether it's through your computer, your phone, your tablet or whatever -- shouldn't get to pick and choose what information you have access to. Until now, consumers have been able to use any device and access any content on the Internet on an equal basis -- the same access and same treatment whether you're General Motors, Google or a working mom running a home-based business. Providers were not allowed to block websites, slow down access to those websites, or tell you can't connect unless you use the device they want you to use.

Those protections could all go away, depending on what the FCC decides. Not surprisingly, the commission has been deluged with comments -- some three million of them -- from people on all sides of the issue, including the big telecom companies.

What the companies want, it turns out, is no rules at all -- or at least rules so weak and vague that they can't be enforced in any meaningful way.


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Upcoming Keynote: LOCATION LOCATION CONNECTIVITY | Carlini's Corner

Upcoming Keynote: LOCATION LOCATION CONNECTIVITY | Carlini's Corner | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

In October, I will be the Keynote Speaker at HetNet Expo in Chicago on October, 15th. The conference will be held at the Chicago Hilton and I expect a good cross-section of professionals will be there.

Why? There is a convergence of Real Estate, Infrastructure, and Technology going on and it is all focused on impacting the regional economic stability and sustainability of every municipality worldwide. To compete in the 21st century marketplace, broadband connectivity and redundant power are key intelligent amenities organizations must have in order to support their mission critical applications. In addition, most people are using Smartphones and Tablets as their new “edge technology.” Broadband connectivity is a “must have” in commercial buildings, and not a “hoped for” by this tech-dependent market segment.

Most commercial buildings do not offer redundant power sources or redundant high-speed network access from two different carriers. Real estate owners and property management companies have to address buildings which cannot compete for 21st century tenants.

Those who are selling WiFi, DAS and integrated Smartphone solutions must realize the market is wide-open for their business solutions.


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Malicious advertisements distributed by DoubleClick, Zedo networks | Jeremy Kirk | NetworkWorld.com

Malicious advertisements distributed by DoubleClick, Zedo networks | Jeremy Kirk | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Two online advertising networks, Google’s DoubleClick and Zedo, have been delivering malicious advertisements that could install malware on a person’s computer, according to the security vendor Malwarebytes.


The Times of Israel, The Jerusalem Post and the Last.fm music services were among the websites serving the malicious advertisements, wrote Jerome Segura, a senior security researcher with Malwarebytes, in a blog post.

“We rarely see attacks on a large scale like this,” he wrote.

Although ad networks try to filter out malicious ones, occasionally bad ones slip in, which on a high-traffic site means a large pool of potential victims. Websites that serve the ads are usually unaware of the problem.

“What is important to remember is that legitimate websites entangled in this malvertising chain are not infected,” Segura wrote. “The problem comes from the ad network agency itself.”

DoubleClick and Zedo officials couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.


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New organization sets out to make secure communication tools more user-friendly | Lucian Constantin | NetworkWorld.com

New organization sets out to make secure communication tools more user-friendly | Lucian Constantin | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Google, Dropbox and the Open Technology Fund are supporting a new organization focused on making open-source security and privacy tools more user-friendly.


The organization is called Simply Secure and plans to bring together software developers, user-experience researchers and designers to identify usability challenges in secure communication tools and to develop solutions for them.

“There are already many credible and exciting software-development efforts that aim to make privacy and security ubiquitous,” said Sara Sinclair Brody, director of Simply Secure and former product manager at Google, in a blog post Thursday. “Rather than create redundant initiatives, we will focus on supporting existing open source work by providing usability and development expertise, direct ties to user communities, connections to funding sources, and other resources.”

The organization’s advisory board includes Google Security Engineer and Apache Software Foundation co-founder Ben Laurie; cryptographer and University of Waterloo professor Ian Goldberg, who designed the Off-the-Record Messaging (OTR) protocol; and Wendy Seltzer, the policy counsel for the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

The increasing number of large data breaches and the mass Internet surveillance revelations of the past year have generated a greater demand for secure communication tools. As a result, many developers have set out to create encrypted messaging and voice applications, encrypted email services, online anonymity tools and more.


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Behind the curtain: How Comcast drives VOD usage | Mike Robuck | CED Magazine

Behind the curtain: How Comcast drives VOD usage | Mike Robuck | CED Magazine | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Have you seen any good fall premieres in September, or become a fan of a new show?

Chances are good that Andy Hunter’s team at Comcast already has a good idea of which shows will be breakout hits this season, and which returning shows are creating the most social media chatter.

After 20 years working for Viacom and, more recently, Epix, Hunter came over to Comcast Cable in February as its vice president of programming.

Hunter’s group is behind on demand viewing campaigns such as “Watchathon Week” in the spring, “The People’s Hot list on Xfinity On Demand” over the summer and the current season of returning shows and premiers this fall.

Special events like Watchathon help Comcast’s more than 20 million video subscribers drill down into its 50,000 video assets on their set-top boxes, 400,000 online assets and the 20,000 pieces of video that are available via its Xfinity Go App. The stunts also help move the TV Everywhere ball forward since Hunter’s team works with the programmers on specialized content offerings, such as short forms, to help promote the VOD content.


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Digital Video Views On Rise | Wayne Friedman | MediaPost.com

Digital Video Views On Rise | Wayne Friedman | MediaPost.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Digital TV-video viewing continues to climb -- but it's still way behind traditional TV consumption.

Parks Associates says U.S. broadband households spend on average 1.3 hours per week watching video on a tablet and 1.6 hours per week watching video on a smartphone. But this compares to almost 20 hours per week on the television.

Other TV-video consumption reports from Nielsen show that TV viewers spend much more time with traditional TV viewing -- around four and a half hours per day of live TV on average; and around 30-35 minutes a day with digital video, according to its second quarter cross-platform report.

In virtually all studies, digital devices have seen soaring growth over the last four years.

“The percentage of video viewership among tablet households has tripled since 2010, rising from 9% to 28%,” stated Glenn Hower, research analyst at Parks Associates. "For smartphone households, the percentage of video viewership doubled from 16% in 2010 to 31% in 2014.”

And in one instance, digital is declining. Parks says TV-video viewing on laptop/desktop computers has dropped -- significantly.

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The Rich Still Watching Traditional TV | Thomas Umstead | Multichannel.com

The Rich Still Watching Traditional TV | Thomas Umstead | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Affluent Americans are highly engaged with traditional television but their digital media consumption is increasing significantly, according to a 2014 affluent survey conducted by global research company Ipsos.

More than 90% of Affluents -- defined in the survey as the 23% of U.S. households with at least $100,000 in yearly household income -- watched video on traditional television screens over as 7 day period, according to the report. In addition, 44% watched video on a computer, with both figures virtually unchanged from last year.

Nearly half of all Affluents have a TV connected to the Internet, 23% own a smart TV, and 23% have a TV connected to a digital media receiver or streaming device – all of which are up significantly from 2013, according to the survey.


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Northern MN going Gig with Paul Bunyan Communication | Ann Treacy | Blandin on Broadband

Paul Bunyan has always served their area well – but that’s about to upgrade to wow service. It’s really nice to see what a local, independent company is willing to do. It’s an investment for the cooperative members in the communities as well as an investment in the business.

Also it’s interesting to see Governor Dayton and Senator Klobuchar quoted in the press release. Governor support – financial and otherwise – makes a difference!


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Inside the company that rebuilt Digg | Tim Lee | Vox.com

Inside the company that rebuilt Digg | Tim Lee | Vox.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Before there was Reddit, there was Digg. Digg used to be one of Silicon Valley's hottest startups. Founded in late 2004, it became a sensation because it represented a new way for readers to find news stories: it pioneered the concept of social news aggregation. People loved the idea that the links on Digg's popular home page were chosen by the votes of the users. Barely 18 months after he founded Digg, a 29-year-old Kevin Rose was grinning at the nation from the cover of Business Week. At its peak in 2009, the site got more than 30 million monthly visitors.

But then Digg's fortunes turned south. The recession, management problems, and a botched software upgrade all contributed to Digg's downfall. By 2012, things had gotten so bad that the digg.com domain name was sold off to a company called Betaworks for $500,000. Digg, it seemed, was dead.

But Betaworks has managed to reverse Digg's seemingly terminal slide. Digg's new CEO says the site has grown from 1.5 million users to 8 million over the last two years, and he expects more growth in the coming years.

Digg is just the latest success story for Betaworks, which calls itself a "startup studio," a reference to the Hollywood studios of the 1920s. Like an old-school movie studio, Betaworks keeps a roster of talent on contract to work on Betaworks sites. The result has been a string of successful websites and apps, including Tweetdeck, Bitly, and Chartbeat.

The story of Digg's comeback — and the Betaworks strategy overall — tells us a lot about how the web has matured over the last decade. Starting a mass-market website used to be a risky, expensive, and error-prone process. But new technologies and business models have taken much of the guesswork out of website development, making it possible for the Betaworks team to reinvent Digg in a matter of weeks.


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OH: CincyTech earns national kudos from top non-profit | Josh Pichler | Cincinnati.com

OH: CincyTech earns national kudos from top non-profit | Josh Pichler | Cincinnati.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

CincyTech, the seed-stage investor that matches public money with private investment to support Southwest Ohio technology startups, received national recognition last week from the State Science and Technology Institute.

It's not the first time CincyTech has won an award, but the honor has special significance for the organization and chief executive officer Bob Coy.

Coy previously ran the Ben Franklin Partnership Program, an economic development initiative in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania's former governor, Tom Ridge, now chairs SSTI, a national nonprofit organization that supports efforts to improve state and regional economies through science, technology and innovation.

"Its members are thought leaders," Coy said. "To be selected by a jury of your peers for recognition is a real honor."

CincyTech was one of five programs SSTI recognized, and won in the Increasing Access to Capital category. Since 2005, CincyTech has raised $30 million in public and private capital, and invested that capital into 52 companies. It's helped those companies raise another $420 million in follow-on funding from investors around the country.

The more important numbers: 590 local jobs created, with an average wage of $64,000.

CincyTech is one piece of Ohio's larger strategy to broaden its economic base beyond manufacturing by supporting high-potential technology companies. The idea is it's more efficient to grow your own companies than convince established companies in other states to move.

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Cox CTO: 1-Gig Launch In Phoenix Is ‘On Track’ | Jeff Baumgartner | Multichannel.com

Cox CTO: 1-Gig Launch In Phoenix Is ‘On Track’ | Jeff Baumgartner |  Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Cox Communications is on schedule to debut a 1-Gbps service in the Phoenix area in the fourth quarter of 2014. There, it will start off with targeted use of fiber-to-the-premises technology and branch out to the rest of the market using DOCSIS 3.1 when the new platform is ready to go.

“This is a top priority for us at Cox,” Kevin Hart, Cox’s executive vice president and chief technology officer, said in a recent interview, noting that the operator has already begun to promote the idea through its new “Gig Life” branding.

 

“We are on track for a fourth quarter launch in Phoenix,” Hart said, noting that the initial launch will feature FTTH and reach greenfield areas, including new multiple dwelling units and other new housing developments, as well as “some overbuild for existing neighborhoods.”

 

Ahead of the launch, the MSO nailed up a 1-Gig preregistration page in July, and will use a mix of factors, including marketing analysis and market demand, to help Cox determine where it first offers the service, though the plan is to bring 1-Gig capabilities to its entire footprint.


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Murdoch Pulled Time Warner Bid Because of Debt | Mike Farrell | Multichannel.com

Murdoch Pulled Time Warner Bid Because of Debt | Mike Farrell | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch told his own Fox Business Network Thursday that he dropped his pursuit of Time Warner Inc., mainly over concerns the deal would require his 21st Century Fox to take on a massive debt load.

Fox revealed back in July that it had made an unsolicited $80 billion cash and debt offer for Time Warner a month earlier, an overture that was quickly rebuffed by the media conglomerate as too low. Fox officially dropped its pursuit of the company in August.


“I just felt with all the uncertainties in the world I didn't want to be carrying that degree of debt,” Murdoch told Fox Business Network anchor Neil Cavuto.


According to the initial deal, Fox valued Time Warner at about $85 per share and the deal was expected to include about $30 billion in debt.


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Big Cable's "nightmare" scenario looks a lot like dealing with Comcast now | Tim Lee | Vox.com

Big Cable's "nightmare" scenario looks a lot like dealing with Comcast now | Tim Lee | Vox.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

I noted that I was far from the only customer who was frustrated by the slow service. "Just tell yourself you're going to the DMV, and you'll be pleasantly surprised," one disgruntled customer wrote last month on Yelp.

John Bergmayer of the liberal group Public Knowledge points out that last week, the National Cable and Telecommunications Association posted this hilarious tweet:

How would the Internet look if it were run like a utility? A lot like the DMV. http://t.co/3MRviOy6kD pic.twitter.com/nYH5rsWENh
— NCTA Cable (@NCTACable) September 8, 2014

For the last decade, the Federal Communications Commission has classified broadband internet service in a way that exempts it from common carrier regulations that apply to other utilities such as traditional phone service. Advocates such as Bergmayer have been pushing to change that, arguing that classifying incumbent broadband providers as common carriers is the only way to fully protect network neutrality.

In this tweet, the cable industry is warning of dire consequences if the FCC follows this advice: our competitive, dynamic broadband market will become as bureaucratic as a DMV! The problem is that to many people, it already seems like Comcast and other large broadband providers are acting like arrogant monopolies.

At the heart of the network neutrality debate is a disagreement about the relationship between regulation and monopoly.


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Apple may have quietly signaled that it's received a secret Patriot Act order | Colin Lecher | The Verge

Apple may have quietly signaled that it's received a secret Patriot Act order | Colin Lecher | The Verge | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Under the Patriot Act, the US government can demand information from companies and ask them to keep the order secret, but there's a clever legal feint that can sidestep this: a so-called "warrant canary." Now it appears Apple may have sent up the signal.


In its first transparency report, where it documents legal requests, Apple included this footnote: "Apple has never received an order under Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act. We would expect to challenge such an order if served on us." Many believed this to be a canary — a line that would disappear if and when Apple received a Patriot Act order, silently (and, although it hasn't been tested in court, perhaps legally) informing close readers. As flagged by GigaOm, Apple's last two transparency reports, which include the last half of 2013 and first half of 2014, dropped the canary — or at least changed the language in it — suggesting the company may have been ordered to hand over records under the Patriot Act. Now the report only reads this: "To date, Apple has not received any orders for bulk data."


Several tech companies recently fought for the right to begin disclosing national security requests, but won only the option to disclose them in certain numbers. If less than 1,000 requests have been sent, for example, the company may only disclose that the number of requests was between zero and 999.


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