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Tullahoma, Tennessee, Latest Inductee to the 1 Gig Club | community broadband networks

Tullahoma, Tennessee, Latest Inductee to the 1 Gig Club | community broadband networks | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

 

In 2008, the Tullahoma Utilities Board in Tennessee, created LighTUBe. In addition to attracting employers, the FTTH network connects residents and provides smart meter capability. The network now offers 1 gig service to business and residential customers.

 

Andrea Agardy, from the Tullahoma News, covered the story. Residential customers who now purchase the highest tier, 300 Mbps, will be automatically upgraded at the same $300 monthly rate. LighTUBe will provide 1 gig business connectivity on a case-by-case basis.

 

Brian Skelton, General Manager, said:

 

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Visionary Communications expands broadband coverage | Wyoming Business Report

Visionary Communications – Wyoming largest Internet provider - today announced its expansion of Internet services to Chugwater, Guernsey, Pinedale and Torrington and deepening its coverage areas around Cheyenne, Douglas and Wheatland, allowing it to offer broadband coverage options to businesses.

The company, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this December, continues to grow in order to meet the state's demand for broadband. From 2005 through 2013, Visionary saw a 289 percent growth in revenue from $4.68 million to $13.51 million. The company expects revenue to top $16.46 million in 2014.
 
Visionary's broadened coverage to these new communities provide rural customers with a choice of Internet provider. The company is using licensed microwave back to fiber aggregation points to integrate those locations into its Wyoming network.

Historically, Chugwater, Guernsey, Pinedale and Torrington are island markets, with high fiber costs and non-optimal routing to the rest of the state. Visionary's plan allows services in these four communities to tie into any other community in Wyoming, and even the surrounding Rocky Mountain region.

"Our investment in these new communities and our recent expansion into Cheyenne will provide businesses and commercial locations with great coverage that has been lacking in the state," says Brian Worthen, Visionary CEO. "Our efforts to expand broadband coverage have been necessary to meet the growing demand by new clients in these areas."
 
The company's recent Cheyenne expansion provides additional coverage through microwave, installed in early April of this year. The addition will ensure the company can serve business clients in Cheyenne regardless of technology, and provide a greater reach into the surrounding area. Visionary has provided service on DSL in Cheyenne since 2001 and using fiber-based Ethernet since 2010.


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May 6th Spring Conference to feature sessions on entrepreneurship and innovation | Minnesota High Tech Association

May 6th Spring Conference to feature sessions on entrepreneurship and innovation | Minnesota High Tech Association | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

MHTA’s annual spring conference has been the premier technology and business conference in Minnesota for many years. Scheduled for May 6th, the conference will feature a full-day, education-based agenda; an exhibit hall featuring cutting edge technology and organizations and unparalleled networking opportunities. This year, due to attendee and industry feedback, the conference will feature six tracks of breakout sessions focused on different areas – two of these will be innovation and entrepreneurship.


“Innovation and entrepreneurship are core to our mission here at MHTA,” said Angela McLaughlin, MHTA events manager. “We are excited to be able to reflect that at our annual conference and offer a full track of sessions dedicated to each of these topics.”


The entrepreneurship track will offer attendees insights on communicating for successful results – whether you are starting your own company or working with entrepreneurs.


Local entrepreneur Robbie Cordo and angel investor Tom von Kuster will share tips and tactics from their successful experiences in pitching and funding projects. Bjorn Stansvik, CEO of Mentor Mate will challenge attendees to look at the big picture of the transformative power of technology in his session on elevating humanity. Taylor Cowan of Microsoft and Blake Miller of ThinkBig Partners will discuss strategies for successfully engaging with start-up communities.


The innovation track will feature companies with established track records in technologic innovation, companies like 3M, Mayo and H.B. Fuller – who make innovation look easy. Speakers will offer a glimpse behind the curtain and describe how these companies promote and incent innovation within their company cultures to keep their products and processes on the cutting edge.


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Heartbleed bug is irritating McAfee, Symantec, Kaspersky Lab | NetworkWorld.com

Heartbleed bug is irritating McAfee, Symantec, Kaspersky Lab | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The Heartbleed Bug disclosed by the OpenSSL group on April 7 has sent many vendors scurrying to patch their products and that includes security firms Symantec, Intel Security's McAfee division, and Kaspersky Lab.


Heartbleed is basically a buffer-overflow vulnerability in the flawed versions of OpenSSL that would allow savvy attackers to steal data such as passwords or digital certificates. A German software engineer has admitted to unwittingly inserting the Heartbleed Bug vulnerability two years ago in OpenSSL, and it now has a significant portion of the high-tech industry patching servers, client software, network gear and security products. In investigating their own product lines in recent days, Symantec, McAfee and Kaspersky Lab, among others, have been busy de-bugging the Heartbleed Bug out of their products.


The process of  investigating the impact of Heartbleed is still ongoing and in some cases, patches for products seen as vulnerable are still to be released.


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CA: Pacific Grove picked for fiber-optic network | Monterey County Herald

CA: Pacific Grove picked for fiber-optic network | Monterey County Herald | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

An English-backed company wants to make Pacific Grove one of two California cities it wires with a high-speed fiber-optics network.


The network, which would offer internet speeds 20 times faster than existing systems, is being offered to the city as a large, very expensive test market.


"They are building these networks on spec," said Kurt Overmeyer, city economics development director.


The Pacific Grove City Council on Wednesday will consider approving development and license agreements with SiFi Networks that would allow it to install its "fiber-to-the-curb" network throughout the city.


The company, which has wired communities in the United Kingdom but not in the U.S., would spend an estimated $30 million to $40 million to wire Pacific Grove. "It's a huge investment," Overmeyer said.


The cost to the city would be virtually nothing — aside from some staff time checking plans and providing technical advice, a council report says.


"I can't figure out the downside. The worst case would be they build part and have to sell off to someone else," Overmeyer said.


The upside would be to give Pacific Grove a new network with world-class speeds, capable of serving many existing and emerging technology businesses that are heavy data users.


"It really changes things for our residents and our business community," Overmeyer said. Even in Silicon Valley, there aren't many systems like this.


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Google Fiber Seeking Sales Help In New York | Multichannel.com

Google Fiber Seeking Sales Help In New York | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Google Fiber has yet to unleash a plan to weave its 1-Gig network into the Big Apple for residential services, but the speed-happy ISP is already seeking sales help in the region.

 

As spotted by Geek.com, Google Fiber is looking for a full-time regional sales manager in New York City.

 

The job posting doesn’t mention when Google Fiber might actually try to deploy and launch services in the region, but the job description says the new Google Fiber Regional Sales Manager will be tasked with leading up “multiple teams that evangelize Google Fiber services to MDU (multi-dwelling apartments and condos) and large SMB owners. You will hire and manage a team that proactively reaches out and…articulates how Google Fiber Solutions can help make their work more productive.”


More specifically, the person, who will be based at Google’s New York City office, will seek out prospective MDU owners, property management companies and “large SMB owners,” and “negotiate contractual language and terms.”


Google Fiber was not immediately available for comment on the job posting as of early Tuesday morning, but if it was successful in securing franchise deals in New York, it could present more competition for several service operators in the area, including Time Warner Cable, RCN, Verizon Communications and Cablevision Systems.

 

Update: Google  Fiber downplayed the signficance of the job posting. A Google Fiber spokeswoman said the company has had staff working on fiber in the NYC area, as well as other locations, for years -- almost through the entire duration of the Google Fiber project.


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Heartbleed is about to get worse, and it will slow the Internet to a crawl | WashPost.com

Heartbleed is about to get worse, and it will slow the Internet to a crawl | WashPost.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Efforts to fix the notorious Heartbleed bug threaten to cause major disruptions to the Internet over the next several weeks as companies scramble to repair encryption systems on hundreds of thousands of Web sites at the same time, security experts say.


Estimates of the severity of the bug’s damage have mounted almost daily since researchers announced the discovery of Heartbleed last week. What initially seemed like an inconvenient matter of changing passwords for protection now appears much more serious. New revelations suggest that skilled hackers can use the bug to create fake Web sites that mimic legitimate ones to trick consumers into handing over valuable personal information.


The sheer scale of the work required to fix this aspect of the bug — which makes it possible to steal the “security certificates” that verify that a Web site is authentic — could overwhelm the systems designed to keep the Internet trustworthy.


“Imagine if we found out all at once that all the doors everybody uses are all vulnerable — they can all get broken into,” said Jason Healey, a cybersecurity scholar at the Washington-based Atlantic Council. “The kinds of bad things it enables is largely limited only by the imagination of the bad guys.”


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Crain's New York Business: New York City Conduit Jam Packed | community broadband networks

Crain's New York Business: New York City Conduit Jam Packed | community broadband networks | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Crain's New York Business recently published an article on the crowded conduit under New York City. The article complements the April 7 edition of This Week in Crain's New York podcast, hosted by Don Mathisen.


Empire City Subway (ECS), the crumbling subterranean network of conduit for telephone wires constructed in 1888, is so crowded underground construction crews regularly need to detour to reach their destination. Routes are no longer direct, adding precious nanoseconds to data delivery - a significant problem for competitive finance companies.


Verizon owns ECS and, according to the article, does not operate with competitors in mind:


But businesses that lease space in the ECS network for their own fiber-optic cable say that Verizon doesn't worry about keeping the system clear for others. Conduits are filled with cables from defunct Internet providers that went belly-up after the dot-com bust in 2000. Verizon itself left severed copper wire in lower Manhattan ducts after installing a fiber-optic network following Superstorm Sandy. (The company says the cables could be easily removed, if needed.)


Stealth Communications spent an extra $100,000 in March to re-route its fiber from Rockefeller Center to Columbus Circle. Conduit was so congested along the planned route, the independent ISP needed to go 6,500 feet out of its way. The re-route added almost two weeks to the project.


Crain's contacted Chris Mitchell from ILSR:


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Zuckerberg Vows Facebook Will Shoot Down Google Drones | Andy Borowitz Satire | The New Yorker

Zuckerberg Vows Facebook Will Shoot Down Google Drones | Andy Borowitz Satire | The New Yorker | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

One day after Google outbid Facebook for a manufacturer of solar-powered drones, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg served warning that his company was prepared to blow Google’s drones out of the skies.


At a presentation for Facebook employees at the company’s headquarters in Menlo Park, Zuckerberg announced plans to build a $24 billion Facebook laser shield, a global network of satellites capable of identifying and incinerating Google drones in midair.


Zuckerberg delighted his audience with a brief animated demonstration showing a Facebook satellite locking in on a Google drone and obliterating it with a green laser.


“Unfriended, bitch,” said Zuckerberg, to a roaring ovation from his employees.


Within an hour, Google responded with a stern warning of is own, vowing, “Any act of aggression against Google drones will not stand.”


To that end, the company announced that it was prepared to shoot down Facebook’s laser satellites with a long-range super cannon called Google Gun.


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Libraries and Broadband: Urgency and Impact – public hearing on April 17 | Blandin on Broadband

Happy National Library Week! To celebrate I was going to invite my co-working coffee shop friends to shoot me ready reference questions – or maybe just shush a few people, then I found something even better – a public hearing on libraries and broadband.


This is one of those meetings that looks wonky and not top priority – until you consider the role that libraries play in your community in terms of bridging the digital gap. Libraries provide access to computer and broadband (via public computers and often Wi-Fi) and librarians are often the first line of defense for digital literacy.


The FCC has pledged to invest $2 billion in broadband for libraries and schools. And libraries are pilot testing a mashup of spectrum white space broadband access and local WI-FI networks as a way to serve wireless access in a community.  If you want to make sure that your library continues to serve your community to the best of its ability, it makes sense to learn more. (Broadband access in individual Minnesota libraries is not the same!)…


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Maybe you don't need a gig. Wireless might bridge the broadband gap | GigaOM Tech News

Maybe you don't need a gig. Wireless might bridge the broadband gap | GigaOM Tech News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Not every community needs a fiber-to-the-home network. Not every home needs a gig to their doorstep. In our gigabit crazy era this statement might seem like a step backward, but take note that there’s more than one option for delivering the speed consumers and businesses need. Even Google is hinting that some form of wireless might become part of its goodie bag of services.


When people fixate on one technology to the exclusion of all else the people governing cities can make wrong choices that hurt or hinder communities’ ability to fully benefit from broadband. When investing in technology, users’ needs should dictate technology choices, not media hype. Two other recent broadband developments indicate some broadband decision makers should step back for a minute and re-assess their options.


RST, a new regional ISP, announced it had quietly built and acquired a 3,100-mile 100-gig fiber middle mile infrastructure throughout the state of North Carolina. However, it plans to deliver a 1-gigabit last mile service there and in South Carolina, mostly using Wi-Fi with fiber options available on demand. In Utah, home security and automation company Vivint threw its hat into the gigabit ring with plans to connect Utah homes wirelessly using gigabit Wi-Fi on rooftops to create a high-capacity mesh network built on customers’ rooftops.


The gigabit picture is still developing, and no rules are set in stone, so why not extensively evaluate all available options? Do consumers really care whether their connection comes through a wire or wirelessly as long as it’s fast enough to meet their needs, and guaranteed to be secure, reliable and affordable?


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MN: Governor Dayton supports broadband development fund | Blandin on Broadband

According to the Post Bulletin


Gov. Mark Dayton said he has been convinced it is important to fund the initiative this year.


Broadband supporters want lawmakers to allocate $100 million toward helping expanding high-speed internet into rural parts of the state. Dayton did not include funding for the program in his budget and had originally raised concerns about the plan having a lack of specifics. But he told reporters he supports including some level of funding for broadband this year.


He seems to advocate a slower start to a potentially longer running program…


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Google updates terms of service to reflect its scanning of users' emails | NetworkWorld.com

Google updates terms of service to reflect its scanning of users' emails | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Google has updated its terms of service to reflect that it analyzes user content including emails to provide users tailored advertising, customized search results and other features.


The Internet giant's scanning of users' email has been controversial with privacy groups describing it as an intrusion into user privacy.


Competitor Microsoft claims in its "Don't Get Scroogled by Gmail" campaign that its Outlook.com email service is superior to Gmail as unlike Google it does not go through email looking for keywords to target users with paid advertisements.


In a case in California over Google's interception of email, District Judge Lucy H. Koh said that Google's terms of service and privacy polices did not explicitly notify the plaintiffs "that Google would intercept users' emails for the purposes of creating user profiles or providing targeted advertising." Google's decision to change its terms of service may have been prompted by these comments.


In the consolidated multi-district litigation brought by users in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, San Jose division, the users alleged that Google had violated state and federal wiretapping laws by scanning the content of messages sent through Gmail, to serve ads to users among other things.


Google contended that Gmail and all Google Apps end users had explicitly consented to its alleged interceptions, relying on various terms of service and privacy polices in effect between 2008 and 2013, according to court records.


Judge Koh, however, denied class action status to the petitioners to the consolidated lawsuit. The plaintiffs have sought permission to appeal.


The new Google terms of service, that went into effect on Monday, adds the provision that "Our automated systems analyze your content (including emails) to provide you personally relevant product features, such as customized search results, tailored advertising, and spam and malware detection. This analysis occurs as the content is sent, received, and when it is stored."


Google has amended its terms of service previously and its last such change was in November last year.


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Connected stuff is catching on -- just don't call it IoT | NetworkWorld.com

Connected stuff is catching on -- just don't call it IoT | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Many organizations today are looking for things that talk to the Internet. Sensors, cameras, medical equipment and even snowplows are on that wish list.


The "Internet of Things" is not.


The municipalities that come to systems integrator AGT International are already sold on so-called IoT technologies, such as wireless traffic sensors embedded in streets, said Gadi Lenz, a senior technical fellow at AGT.


But they aren't interested in IoT, nor in "smart cities," another term that's been getting a lot of play lately. What they want, Lenz said, is a solution to their problems.


Even Cisco Systems, one of the biggest evangelists for IoT, thinks the concept still needs some explaining. Enterprises, cities and utilities all could stand to benefit from IoT, but first they need a better idea of how it can help them do their jobs.


"We definitely need to spend more time educating the market," Inbar Lasser-Raab, vice president of Enterprise Network Solutions, said last week at a meeting at Cisco. Leaders from IT vendors, industrial companies and governments came together there to hash out issues for IoT.


Networked devices have been talking to each other for years. What's new in so-called IoT is the scale of those networks and the way advanced data analysis can draw conclusions from them. But getting this broad vision off the ground, including getting enterprises to adopt the new technology, raises several challenges, according to participants at last week's meeting.


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First Phase Of Security Audit Finds Vulnerabilities But No Backdoors In TrueCrypt Encryption Software | Techdirt.com

First Phase Of Security Audit Finds Vulnerabilities But No Backdoors In TrueCrypt Encryption Software | Techdirt.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

n the wake of the serious Heartbleed flaw in OpenSSL, more people are becoming aware of how widely used and important open source encryption tools are, and how their security is too often taken for granted. Some people were already worrying about this back in September last year, when we learned that the NSA had intentionally undermined encryption by weakening standards and introducing backdoors. As Techdirt reported, that led to a call for a security audit of TrueCrypt, a very popular open source disk encryption tool. Fortunately, the Open Crypto Audit Project raised a goodly sum of money through FundFill and IndieGogo, which allowed the first phase of the audit to be funded. Here's what's now been done (pdf):


The Open Crypto Audit Project engaged iSEC Partners to review select parts of the TrueCrypt 7.1a disk encryption software. This included reviewing the bootloader and Windows kernel driver for any system backdoors as well as any other security related issues.


The good news:


iSEC found no evidence of backdoors or otherwise intentionally malicious code in the assessed areas.


However, it did still find vulnerabilities in the code it examined:


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MN: Annandale watches as lawmakers mull broadband funds | SCTimes.com

MN: Annandale watches as lawmakers mull broadband funds | SCTimes.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

A Central Minnesota community will watch closely in coming weeks as state legislators decide whether to fund broadband Internet expansion in rural areas.


Spurred by residents' complaints with their Internet service provider, Annandale leaders are mulling a big step: partnering with public or private entities to build its own Internet network.


Annandale and other Minnesota communities that are unserved or underserved by broadband service could get a chance to apply for state grants to build new networks. Lawmakers and Gov. Mark Dayton,

who campaigned on expanding broadband in rural areas, are considering allotting $25 million for such grants in 2014.


A House budget bill that passed earlier this month set aside those funds and established a state grant program for broadband expansion projects. Local governments, nonprofits or private companies all could be eligible for the grants if they apply and meet certain criteria.


A corresponding Senate bill didn't include those provisions. The differences are expected to be resolved in a House-Senate conference committee after lawmakers' Easter-Passover break, which is underway until April 22.


Annandale City Administrator Kelly Hinnenkamp has worked extensively on the broadband issue in the area. She says the community consensus on the need to find an alternative to its current Internet provider, Windstream Communications, is so strong that the City Council is likely to pursue some plan to help provide that alternative. The council hasn't decided what direction to take, Hinnenkamp said.


The range of options the city can consider could hinge on what lawmakers do this year with broadband funding, Hinnenkamp said.


"The success of how we move forward is reliant upon this," Hinnenkamp said.


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NC: Asheville's Moogfest bets on economic development | Citizen-Times.com

Mike Adams is betting serious money the revamped Moogfest that opens April 23 is not just going to attract thousands of music fans and tech geeks.


If successful, the five-day event could become Asheville’s next signature event, possibly bringing new jobs, better wages and high-growth tech companies to the mountains, according to Adams, president and CEO of Moog Music, the private manufacturer of electronic musical instruments and the festival’s prime sponsor.


“This is about economic development,” Adams said. “This is about whether my children’s children can find good jobs in town.”


Before the first note of electronic music is played onstage, Moogfest will be talking about jobs.


Gov. Pat McCrory will join Mayor Esther Manheimer and Adams in the opening panel discussion “Wiring Silicon Mountain” at the Diana Wortham Theatre.


Moogfest organizers believe a successful festival will brand Asheville and the rest of North Carolina as a place not just to recreate or retire, but to work creatively.


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If TV Weren’t Everywhere Before, It Is Now | Cable Tech Talk | NCTA.com

Yesterday, CTAM, the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing, announced a new, aggressive and first-of-its-kind campaign to promote the idea, the brand, and the value of tv everywhere.


For many, tv everywhere – the idea that we can watch cable content on myriad devices in any location – has been a part of the television experience for a number of years. Products like Comcast’s Xfinity and devices like tablets and smartphones have made tv everywhere possible for millions of early-adopter customers. But for others, it’s an entirely revolutionary concept – one that will take time and effort to incorporate into their TV watching routine.


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What This Year’s Survey Says About Broadband and Economic Development | Building the Gigabit City

What This Year’s Survey Says About Broadband and Economic Development | Building the Gigabit City | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Broadband has consistently been described as a tool or asset to help communities improve local economic development. In the past few years, a lot of effort has gone into positioning broadband as our newest utility, vital as our mainstay electric, gas and water utilities. Every year I dig a little bit via a survey to learn how much the hype about broadband’s impact on local economies reflects the reality.


This year’s survey asks members of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), the largest professional association of economic developers, key questions regarding broadband’s impact on local economies. These questions test some general assumptions made about outcomes that broadband produces, and also enables survey respondents to assess some of the value broadband brings to their communities.


Get the full report here. Some of this year’s findings include:


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Advice for Starting a Community Network - Community Broadband Bits Episode #94 | community broadband networks

Advice for Starting a Community Network - Community Broadband Bits Episode #94 | community broadband networks | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The Community Broadband Bits podcast this week focuses on what people can do to start building a grassroots effort for a network in their community. John St Julien of Lafayette, Louisiana, returns to the show to discuss what they did and ideas for others to follow.


John was last on the show for episode 19, where we focused more on the specific approach used in Lafayette.


We discuss the early challenges and ideas for how to engage others, who may be the best people to approach, and how to maintain a sense of progress during what may be a very challenging organizing effort.


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CT: UConn-Comcast launch security research center during Heartbleed week | NetworkWorld.com

CT: UConn-Comcast launch security research center during Heartbleed week | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The University of Connecticut has joined forces with Comcast to launch the Center of Excellence for Security Innovation at UConn's Storrs campus, building on the school's already well established Center for Hardware Assurance, Security and Engineering (CHASE).


The news came late last week amidst the revelation of the Heartbleed bug, which has companies scrambling to patch servers and other network gear as users redo their passwords. The center's launch also comes at time during which nearly 1 in 5 users say they've had personal info stolen online.


The university and service provider announced their partnership during a two-day national conference at UConn on secure/trustworthy systems and supply chain assurance. Together, they hope "to develop robust detection systems and analytical tools to ensure that the computer chips and other hardware components vital to Internet broadband systems are shielded from malicious attacks, unauthorized access, and faulty or counterfeit products."


The Center of Excellence in Security Innovation will be located in UConn's Information Technologies Engineering building in Storrs. Research projects will be sponsored by Comcast but most likely by other outfits as well, including the federal government. A couple of UConn Ph.D. candidates this summer will get internships at Comcast.


Mark Tehranipoor, director of CHASE, will also serve as director of the Center of Excellence in Security Innovation.


Comcast is already tight with UConn, as a founding member of CHASE, which is also supported by the Department of Defense, National Science Foundation and Cisco, among others.


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How algorithms shape our world | Kevin Slavin | TED Talks

How algorithms shape our world | Kevin Slavin | TED Talks | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Kevin Slavin argues that we're living in a world designed for -- and increasingly controlled by -- algorithms.


In this riveting talk from TEDGlobal, he shows how these complex computer programs determine: espionage tactics, stock prices, movie scripts, and architecture.


And he warns that we are writing code we can't understand, with implications we can't control.


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Diffraction Analysis Offers Free Webinar on FTTH, April 15th, 11 a.m. Central | community broadband networks

Diffraction Analysis Offers Free Webinar on FTTH, April 15th, 11 a.m. Central | community broadband networks | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

On April 15th, Benoit Felten and his organization, Diffraction Analysis, will host a free webinar to discuss results from their latest study. The study, Why Consumers Love FTTH – The FTTH Consumer Experience Study, delves into the fiber experience in Sweden.


Here are some preliminary findings from the report:


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Canada to be first G20 country to abolish door-to-door postal service | RT.com

Canada to be first G20 country to abolish door-to-door postal service | RT.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Canadians are angry with their government’s plan to end door-to-door postal services, which would make it the first such G20 country, as delivery process have gone up dramatically.


The plan Canada Post had is set to take effect within five years and is necessitated, like in the United States, by dwindling profits caused by everyone switching to things like email, Reuters reports. But this is necessary, according to the service, who says they’ll start losing cash by mid-2014 if a major overhaul isn’t performed.


Spokesman for the service, Jon Hamilton, told Reuters how mail deliveries had gone down by a whole billion in 2012 compared to 2006, so “we had to make changes.”


The changes will entail the loss of 8,000 jobs, along with other things. The government-owned company spends much more than its private sector competitors.


“[The plan] really provides Canada Post with a future based on serving needs that Canadians have rather than trying to put something together that doesn’t work,” Hamilton said.


The company has been hemorrhaging money in recent years, reporting a whopping loss of C$109 million ( US$103 million) before tax – a 7.3 percent drop from the previous year. To make matters worse, its pension plan is in deficit by C$6.5 million.


Currently, about a third of Canada’s approximately 5.1 million homes get mail delivered to their door, and they are not too happy about the government proposing a system of community mail boxes under its five-point plan announced Wednesday.


Once the reforms take effect, not only will the people in small, remote towns feel the effect, but also those inhabiting large cities like Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.


Now, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, are blasting the idea as a brash decision that may cripple the postal service, and have called on fellow workers to oppose the measure. Other groups have joined such calls too, like the official opposition party, the New Democratic Party (NDP), who fear the move could affect pensioners, whose everyday activities are greatly affected by winter months.


The Guardian visited a remote mining community of 7,000 people, surrounded by mountains, called Labrador City, in east Canada – a good example of just how much people’s comfort would be affected by Canada Post’s decision.


Temperatures there can drop below -30C easily, while meters of snow in the winter make it really hard to get about freely.


The mayor of the city, Karen Oldford, said that battling through the impassable snow would be really difficult for some groups of people. She added that using the excuse of mail to affect home deliveries is preposterous, because “there is still no broadband access in our communities.”


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Data breaches nail more US Internet users, regulation support rises | NetworkWorld.com

Data breaches nail more US Internet users, regulation support rises | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

More U.S. Internet users report they have been victims of data breach, while 80 percent want additional restrictions against sharing of online data, according to two surveys released Monday.


While nearly half of all U.S. Internet users avoid at least one type of online service because of privacy concerns, according to a survey by marketing research firm GfK, 18 percent reported as of January that important personal information was stolen from them online, a poll from the Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project found. That's an increase from 11 percent last July.


"As online Americans have become ever more engaged with online life, their concerns about the amount of personal information available about them online have shifted as well," Mary Madden, a senior researcher at Pew, wrote in a blog post. "When we look at how broad measures of concern among adults have changed over the past five years, we find that internet users have become more worried about the amount of personal information available about them online."


In January, 50 percent of Pew survey respondents said they were concerned about the amount of personal information available online, compared to just 33 percent in 2009.


The survey was done before recent revelations of the Heartbleed OpenSSL bug, Madden noted.


The GfK survey, of U.S. Internet users in early March, which found that 48 percent of respondents avoid at least one type of online service because of privacy concerns, also found that 59 percent of those polled are more concerned about online data security than they were a year ago.


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Darpa Turns Aging Surveillance Drones Into Wi-Fi Hotspots | Danger Room | WIRED

Darpa Turns Aging Surveillance Drones Into Wi-Fi Hotspots | Danger Room | WIRED | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

A fleet of surveillance drones once deployed in the skies over Iraq is being repurposed to provide aerial Wi-Fi in far-flung corners of the world, according to Darpa.


RQ-7 Shadow drones that the Army flew in Iraq for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions are now becoming wireless hubs for connectivity in remote conflict zones where challenging communication environments can mean the difference between being ambushed and getting reinforcements.


Darpa’s Mobile Hotspots program retrofits retired Shadow drones with pods that will be able to transfer one gigabyte per second of data — the equivalent of 4G smartphone connectivity — so that soldiers in remote areas will have the same access to tactical operation centers and mission data that others in more central theaters have.


The challenge, however, is making sure that the already existing drones can accommodate the wireless system. At just 11 feet long and 185 pounds, the RQ-7 Shadow isn’t exactly the largest of drones, but Darpa researchers say they have developed small antennas operating on the extremely high-frequency millimeter wave-band, in addition to special amplifiers that can boost the signal — all of which, Darpa says, will allow the drones to fly higher and farther out of enemy view.


“We’re pleased with the technical achievements we’ve seen so far in steerable millimeter-wave antennas and millimeter-wave amplifier technology,” said Dick Ridgway, Darpa program manager, in a statement. “These successes — and the novel networking approaches needed to maintain these high-capacity links — are key to providing forward deployed units with the same high-capacity connectivity we all enjoy over our 4G cell-phone networks.”


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