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How to hack your own Wi-Fi network | NetworkWorld.com

Attempting to "hack" into your own wireless network can help you spot potential Wi-Fi security vulnerabilities and figure out ways to protect against them.


There are some Wi-Fi hacking techniques and the tools — nearly all free — you can use for penetration testing. These tools will help you uncover rogue access points, weak Wi-Fi passwords, and spot other weaknesses and security holes before someone else does.


You can use Wi-Fi stumblers to detect nearby access points and their details, like the signal level, security type and media access control address. You might find access points set with weak Wired Equivalent Privacy security, which can be easily cracked, or possibly rogue access points setup by employees or others that could be opening your network up to attack. If there are access points set with a hidden or non-broadcasted SSID (network name), Wi-Fi stumblers can quickly reveal it.


You can use wireless sniffers to capture raw network packets sent over the air. You could import the captured traffic into other tools, such as to crack encryption. Or if you're connected to the network (or if it's not encrypted), you could manually look for email and website passwords sent in clear-text.


Here are a few Wi-Fi stumblers and sniffers:


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'Sleeper' ransomware laid dormant on victim PCs until this week | Colin Neagle | NetworkWorld.com

'Sleeper' ransomware laid dormant on victim PCs until this week | Colin Neagle | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

A new strain of ransomware that had laid dormant on infected devices suddenly "woke up" at midnight on Monday, May 25, security firm KnowBe4 said in an alert issued today.

Ransomware encrypts all the files on the devices it infects and demands a ransom payment in exchange for the decryption key to give the content back to the original owner.

KnowBe4 CEO Stu Sjouwerman says this new strain of malware, dubbed Locker, is "very similar to CryptoLocker," the first successful modern form of ransomware that was released in late 2013 and was thwarted last year. Locker is a "sleeper" strain of malware, meaning that victims may have unintentionally downloaded it earlier, but that their devices were not encrypted until the ransomware was activated earlier this week.

PC help site Bleeping Computer has seen hundreds of reported Locker victims worldwide already, and believes it has a large installed base, KnowBe4 said in its alert. Sjouwerman says some reports indicate that the ransomware could have originated in a "compromised MineCraft installer."

Once Locker encrypts an infected device's files, it issues a warning against users and IT professionals who might try to find another way around paying the ransom:

"Warning any attempt to remove damage or even investigate the Locker software will lead to immediate destruction of your private key on our server!" the notice reads.


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TiVo CEO Drops More Aereo Hints | Jeff Baumgartner | Multichannel.com

TiVo CEO Drops More Aereo Hints | Jeff Baumgartner | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

TiVo’s plan to create a service along the lines of Aereo, but “done legally and better,” as TiVo CEO and president Tom Rogers put it recently, is still murky, though the company is expected to reveal all at an event in San Jose sometime in July.

In a brief interview Wednesday, Rogers wouldn’t let the cat out of the bag, but dropped some hints suggesting that whatever TiVo does have in mind, expect it to build on what it’s started with the Roamio OTA, a new DVR model sans CableCARD slot that's targeted to cord-cutters, enabling them to combine over-the-air TV with over-the-top video and essentially create their own video service bundles.

“We haven’t been very specific about it,” Rogers acknowledged, “but it will certainly build on what we currently are doing in the OTA space, fully recognizing that there are…consumers out there that are going beyond where Aereo was when it came to recording network signals.”

Notably, TiVo acquired only Aereo’s trademarks and customer lists for about $1 million in March following a bankruptcy auction. Other parties snapped up Aereo’s patents and some of the now-defunct company’s equipment and technology.


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Wireless demand to fuel spectrum feeding frenzy | Thomas Mocarshy | Katy on the Hill

Wireless demand to fuel spectrum feeding frenzy | Thomas Mocarshy | Katy on the Hill | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The broadcast incentive auction can’t come soon enough, if Cisco’s annual forecast of U.S. and global internet traffic, comes to pass.

From 2014 through 2019, all Cisco’s arrows are pointing up—way up—for the number of U.S. internet users, the mobile devices they carry or use, and the data they consume. Broadband speeds will accelerate, the share of internet traffic that transit wireless networks of all types will explode. And video will rule them all.

As Americans’ habits shift towards mobile and broadband digital, policymakers in Washington, especially the Federal Communications Commission, are struggling to keep up, from the FCC’s planned broadcast incentive auction in 2016 to get more mobile spectrum in the marketplace, to proposals governing broadband and mobile networks.

Last year, Internet video accounted for 39.4 percent of all internet protocol (IP) traffic. (IP traffic includes video on demand sent to your cable box, as well as data traffic your OTT device like Roku and Apple TV, which is classed as Internet video.) Cable plus Internet video currently accounts for 79 percent of the 14.4 exabytes/month of data transiting to your cable box.

By 2019, IP traffic will balloon to 45.7 exabytes/month and video will account for 85 percent of that volume.


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MI: Mixed-use projects point to continued interest in downtown Kalamazoo | Nick Manes | MIBiz.com

MI: Mixed-use projects point to continued interest in downtown Kalamazoo | Nick Manes | MIBiz.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The mixed-use projects beginning to take shape around Kalamazoo’s central business district and its nearby neighborhoods point the way forward for the city’s growing commercial real estate market.

Building off the momentum created by major institutional investments in the city, developers are planning numerous projects, including some forward-thinking residential options, to serve people coming into the city for work or study. At the same time, the institutional investments and the renewed commercial development activity in the region have helped general contractors grow their business.

Industry professionals say the combination of commercial and institutional projects could be a game-changer for Southwest Michigan’s largest city.

The city’s overall revitalization has led Kalamazoo-based NoMi Developers LLC to consider some new and experimental forms of living that are only now catching on in much larger metropolitan areas such as New York, Seattle and Washington, D.C.

NoMi Developers plans a 45-unit mixed-use development with 16 micro-apartments at 508 East Frank Street, near the downtown’s East End neighborhood. The 300-square-foot units will rent for $500 per month with all utilities included, said NoMi principal Jon Durham. The units will include a small refrigerator, and tenants will have access to a common kitchen area.

Micro-apartments have been difficult to develop in many cities because the small units are often under the minimum size allowed by zoning regulations. Durham said Kalamazoo officials worked with his company and changed the zoning code to allow the project to move forward.

“The city has been very welcoming, actually,” Durham said. “They know that affordable housing is needed. … There’s nothing like that in a brand-new, really cool, safe environment in the city, and that’s what we are trying to test and see how those things go.”


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KS: Fiber to the Home plan boosting economy in Cherokee County | Brian McDowell | The Chanute Tribune

KS: Fiber to the Home plan boosting economy in Cherokee County | Brian McDowell | The Chanute Tribune | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

At a time when many communities in Southeast Kansas are struggling economically, things are going well in Columbus. With a population around 3,200 in its immediate area located in Cherokee County, Columbus is home to a new Wal-Mart store, a bustling downtown with no empty or vacant storefronts, and the main headquarters of one of the biggest heavy contractor firms in the region – Crossland Construction.

For this recent increase in economic development in the community, Trish Carroll credits the effort to bring high-speed Internet to businesses and homes. Carroll is the general manager of the Columbus Telephone Company, a private-sector cooperative that has been meeting the communication needs of people in that city since 1905. She said that if it weren’t for fiber connectivity, a company like Crossland would not be able to send architectural drawings around the country in the timely fashion necessary for a business that size.

While efforts by the City of Chanute to bring high-speed Internet to homes proved politically controversial and are currently at a stalemate, Carroll’s company launched an effort to bring one gigabyte Internet service directly to all homes and businesses in Columbus in 2004. The project was self-funded through the cooperative, eventually costing approximately $6 million.

“Today, I don’t know that the build would have cost what it cost back then,” Carroll said. “More and more people are putting fiber in, so its cost is coming down. It’s the cost of installation – the labor side of it – that’s the expensive part of it. We’re fortunate that we’re working with a really good contractor here.”

Even spending this kind of money, Carroll said that the fiber network didn’t stay in the red for very long.

“With that kind of investment, you can imagine the depreciation expense,” Carroll said. “So from a cash-flow perspective, we were doing really well. That’s to be expected when you make that kind of investment, and now our customers here in Columbus just expect this kind of speed. If we were to go back to the days of dial-up or DSL, we would have an uproar.”


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HISPASAT, GlobalSat team up for Mexican broadband project | TeleGeography.com

Spanish satellite provider HISPASAT has announced that it has signed an agreement with the Mexican telecom firm GlobalSat to provide broadband access to more than 8,700 public spaces in rural or remote Mexican towns and villages.


This number encompasses three of the four areas that form part of the ‘10K Network’, an initiative set up by the Mexico Conectado project, which was itself set up by the Secretariat of Communications and Transport (SCT).

The new satellite network aims to provide internet access to more than 10,000 schools, health centres, libraries, community centres and other public facilities in Mexico located in towns and villages that do not currently have broadband connectivity.


Since 2013, the HISPASAT Group’s Amazonas 2 satellite has been delivering services to the so-called ‘fourth area’ identified by the 10K Network, which covers around 1,700 points.

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Google's wireless service leaves bandwidth rationed business model undisturbed | Fred Pilot | Eldo Telecom

Google's wireless service leaves bandwidth rationed business model undisturbed | Fred Pilot | Eldo Telecom | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Google's soft launch today of its Project Fi mobile wireless offering won't be a game changer for homes and small businesses unfortunate enough to be located outside the limited footprints of landline Internet service providers (or not in a Google Fiber "fiberhood") and reliant on wireless premise Internet service such as Verizon's 4G Installed service offering.

While Project Fi does allow the creation of wireless hot spots at a customer premise, it retains the metered pricing schemes of existing wireless providers wherein end users must purchase monthly bandwidth allowance levels, referred to as "bandwidth by the bucket."

That makes the service a poor value for premises service. It's easy to blow through the bandwidth allowances and end up with a large bill via software updates and video streaming. Parents in homes with teenage children who stream video such as Netflix have been shocked by jaw dropping bills. Or who do class work online, which has been spotlighted by Federal Communications Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel as a key issue in America's Internet access disparities.

The Project Fi Plan and Pricing FAQ states:


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Sony Uses Copyright To Force Verge To Takedown Its Copy Of Sony's Spotify Contract | Mike Masnick | Techdirt

Sony Uses Copyright To Force Verge To Takedown Its Copy Of Sony's Spotify Contract | Mike Masnick | Techdirt | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Well, well. A few days ago, the Verge got a huge scoop in the form of Sony's original US contract with Spotify, leading to a ton of discussion (mostly focused around the huge "advances" that Spotify guaranteed Sony, and the related question of whether or not Sony actually passes those advances on to musicians).


The debate raged on for a couple days, and late last night, Paul Resnikoff over at Digital Music News noticed something interesting: the original contract was now missing, and The Verge's own website claims it's due to a copyright threat from Sony:


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Good News! Dianne Feinstein Is Here To Reform The Section 215 Program By Making Everything Worse! | Tim Cushing | Techdirt

Good News! Dianne Feinstein Is Here To Reform The Section 215 Program By Making Everything Worse! | Tim Cushing | Techdirt | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

As Section 215 dies a rather noisy death (OR DOES IT? An emergency session convenes on May 31st, a day normally filled with the quiet emptiness of the extended Memorial Day holiday.), the defenders of the mostly-useless surveillance program are out in force, hoping to keep this part of the Patriot Act from expiring.

Mitch McConnell's hope for a no-questions-asked reauthorization is as dead as Section 215 (in its original form) appears to be. The USA Freedom Act stumbled in the Senate, falling three votes shy of being brought to the floor. Now, everyone seems to have a "fix" they'd like to offer. Unfortunately, some of those offering fixes aren't really interested in cutting back the metadata program.

Like Dianne Feinstein, for instance. About the only thing she's found contemptible about our nation's intelligence agencies is the CIA's proclivity for torturing detainees. And the longer she defends the NSA's intrusive programs, the more it gives off the impression that her main problem with the CIA's torture program is that it was ineffective.

She's offering her own "surveillance reform" bill in the wake of much legislative blood shedding, and much like her last "reform" offering, it does nothing of the sort.

[F]einstein’s bill, first reported by the Empty Wheel blog, rolls back a number of key provisions in the USA Freedom Act…

Rather than restrict the NSA (and the FBI, which benefits from the collection and issues the requests to the FISA Court in its name) to seeking metadata from service providers on a case-by-case basis, her bill introduces data retention requirements that amount to little more than simply relocating the metadata storage.


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Google Fiber’s botched software update locks out users, disables Wi-Fi | Jon Brodkin | Ars Technica

Google Fiber’s botched software update locks out users, disables Wi-Fi | Jon Brodkin | Ars Technica | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Many Google Fiber customers have been reporting that a software update turned off their Wi-Fi and prevented them from logging into the Google Network Box's administration panel. Customers can still get online using Ethernet connections.

Customers in Kansas City and Provo, Utah have been affected and took to Twitter and sites including DownDetector.com to describe the problem.

I'm not eradicating disease with my @googlefiber internet connection, but it would sure be nice for it to work after a 24-hour-long outage.

— Sam Hartle (@Sam_Hartle) May 22, 2015

We have had way more outages with @googlefiber than we ever had with @comcast. Google needs to step up its game.

— Austin Graff (@AustinLGraff) May 21, 2015

A DSLReports forum member from Kansas City wrote yesterday, "Having an issue today with my network box. It lost my custom IP address scheme and went back to default. Now I can't access the advanced menu." A few hours later, the customer had been able to talk to Google Fiber support. "GF Support had to factory reset my network box so I could get in. They acknowledged that a software update this morning caused the issue," the customer wrote.

Doing a factory reset hasn't worked for all customers, though. "Google Fiber Support for Provo confirmed Wi-Fi problems. Said they're working to fix, but didn't have an ETA," one customer wrote yesterday on DownDetector.com. "I tried the factory reset on the Network Box, but that didn't work."


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The Big Meh | Paul Krugman Op-Ed | NYTimes.com

The Big Meh | Paul Krugman Op-Ed | NYTimes.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Remember Douglas Adams’s 1979 novel “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”? It began with some technology snark, dismissing Earth as a planet whose life-forms “are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.” But that was then, in the early stages of the information technology revolution.

Since then we’ve moved on to much more significant things, so much so that the big technology idea of 2015, so far, is a digital watch. But this one tells you to stand up if you’ve been sitting too long!

O.K., I’m snarking, too. But there is a real question here. Everyone knows that we live in an era of incredibly rapid technological change, which is changing everything. But what if what everyone knows is wrong? And I’m not being wildly contrarian here. A growing number of economists, looking at the data on productivity and incomes, are wondering if the technological revolution has been greatly overhyped — and some technologists share their concern.

We’ve been here before. “The Hitchhiker’s Guide” was published during the era of the “productivity paradox,” a two-decade-long period during which technology seemed to be advancing rapidly — personal computing, cellphones, local area networks and the early stages of the Internet — yet economic growth was sluggish and incomes stagnant. Many hypotheses were advanced to explain that paradox, with the most popular probably being that inventing a technology and learning to use it effectively aren’t the same thing. Give it time, said economic historians, and computers will eventually deliver the goods (and services).

This optimism seemed vindicated when productivity growth finally took off circa 1995. Progress was back — and so was America, which seemed to be at the cutting edge of the revolution.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the techno-revolution. We did not, it turned out, get a sustained return to rapid economic progress. Instead, it was more of a one-time spurt, which sputtered out around a decade ago. Since then, we’ve been living in an era of iPhones and iPads and iDontKnows, but even if you adjust for the effects of financial crisis, growth and trends in income have reverted to the sluggishness that characterized the 1970s and 1980s.

In other words, at this point, the whole digital era, spanning more than four decades, is looking like a disappointment. New technologies have yielded great headlines, but modest economic results. Why?


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Free Press: Charter/TWC Faces High Hurdle | John Eggerton | Broadcasting & Cable

Free Press: Charter/TWC Faces High Hurdle | John Eggerton | Broadcasting & Cable | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Seeming to pick up on FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler's statement that the proposed Charter/Time Warner Cable deal will need to be pro consumer, rather than just not lack anticompetitive harms, Free Press was quick to brand the deal of no benefit to cable/broadband customers and no boost to competition.

Free Press research director Derek Turner used the "C" word--Comcast--to register the group's concerns about the deal, which Charter is valuing at $78.7 billion, though Free Press cited a $56.7 billion valuation.

Turner said Free Press would look at Charter's arguments for the deal's pro-competitiveness, but says a simple invocation of scale--creating a stronger number two to Comcast's number one--would be needed.

"These potential mergers won't make Charter as massive as a merged Comcast-Time Warner Cable would have been but they raise similar public interest concerns, and the FCC should apply the lessons learned in its prior review here," Turner said.

Comcast pulled the plug on its attempted purchase of Time Warner Cable after the FCC signaled its combination of broadband subs made it problematic. The FCC under FCC Chairman Wheeler has made it clear that the more broadband subs one company owns, the more incentive and opportunity it has as to be a "gatekeeper" to access to broadband.


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Why Your Cable Company Doesn't Always Know If Your New Address Gets Service | Kate Cox | Consumerist

Why Your Cable Company Doesn't Always Know If Your New Address Gets Service | Kate Cox | Consumerist | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

There’s a story we hear far too often: someone is buying a house. Before they put any money down, they do their research. They call the local cable/Internet provider to make sure they can get broadband service at this new address. They double-check. They triple-check. They search the property for wires, call back, and make sure they’ll be okay. Then they take out the mortgage, move in, and… surprise! There’s no broadband service after all, there won’t be any, and now they’re up a very expensive creek.

This problem isn’t relegated to one ISP or one region of the country. In the last year, we’ve brought you stories about consumers caught in this trap with Comcast and with AT&T, in two different states.

It might feel like there’s a legion of evil customer service representatives out there at ISP call centers just waiting for a chance to tell bald-faced lies to would-be customers, but as tempting as it is to believe that, the problem is not with the humans. Instead, CSRs and consumers alike are all pulling from one pool of data.

Whether you call an 800-number or check an ISP’s website, you’re checking an address against a single database and are effectively being told, “Yes, there is service here,” when in reality, there may not be.

That database suffers from the classic, timeless data-management problem of “garbage-in, garbage-out” — they can’t give accurate info if they don’t get it to begin with. And short of going out to look at every property in a region and measuring its distance from existing infrastructure, there is no real way to know which data you should keep, and which is junk.

So why is the information wrong, why does it keep happening, and is there anything consumes and ISPs can do?


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John Malone Reclaims Cable Crown with Charter-TW Cable Deal | Cynthia Littleton | Variety.com

John Malone Reclaims Cable Crown with Charter-TW Cable Deal | Cynthia Littleton | Variety.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

More than a year after getting outfoxed by Comcast’s Brian Roberts in the hunt for Time Warner Cable, patience and perseverance have paid off for media giant John Malone.

Charter Communications’ three-way deal to acquire TW Cable and Bright House Networks promises to create a cable and broadband footprint that will rival Comcast’s size and scope and put Charter in the prime real-estate territory of New York and Los Angeles. Malone’s Liberty Broadband, through its investment in Charter, will be able to exert meaningful influence again in the MVPD marketplace thanks to this bigger footprint. Assuming the transactions are approved by regulators, Liberty Broadband will be Charter’s largest shareholder, owning about 20% of the equity and controlling 25% of the voting shares.

The complicated transaction, if completed, will amount to a comeback for Malone, who abdicated his throne as cable’s undisputed king in 1998 with the sale of his Tele-Communications Inc. to AT&T (which swiftly sold its cable holdings to Comcast in 2001). It’s also a big rebound for Charter, which slogged through bankruptcy in 2009 after piling up some $21 billion in debt under previous owner Paul Allen. The company has been in rehab ever since, improving it reputation with customers and the quality of its systems. The drive has been led by Tom Rutledge, who surprised the biz by moving from Cablevision to the St. Louis-based Charter as CEO in late 2011.

Malone was dubbed “Darth Vader” in the 1990s for the fearsome power he wielded over programmers as the gatekeeper of TCI, then the nation’s largest cable operator. He was able to exact small equity slices in numerous channels as a price of admission to TCI’s airwaves.

But this time around, Malone returns to the cable business at a time when operators are increasingly focused on the broadband side of their ledger rather than the video business. The enlarged Charter will emerge with more broadband subscribers (19.4 million) than video subscribers (17.3 million). In broadcast, Charter will be a close No. 2 to Comcast, which counts 22.4 million broadband subs at present.

As margins in the video business shrink, the future for cable operators is seen as cable harnessing the advantage of its fat pipe directly into the home to offer wireless and mobile services. Malone is said to be dismayed that the industry has failed to marshal its forces against the challenge posed by the rapid rise of Netflix and spread of other OTT offerings. Rutledge, in selling the deal to Wall Street analysts in a conference call Tuesday, went so far as to say the proposed Charter combo would lead to a “better industry” overall because fewer companies will make for easier coordination of industry-wide initiatives such as allowing subscribers easy access to cable-provided mobile Wi-Fi networks.


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Eleven Questions the FCC Must Answer | Dave Seyler | Radio & Television Business Report

Eleven Questions the FCC Must Answer | Dave Seyler | Radio & Television Business Report | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The 13 groups who co-authored a letter to the prime occupants of the FCC 8th Floor urged the Commission to dispense with its plans to institute a presumption of competition for the MVPD Industry.


And it issued a list of questions the FCC must carefully consider before instituting such a presumption.

From the coalition, here are theOutstanding Questions Regarding Proposed Effective Competition Presumption Switch.


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Marked Increase In Connected-TV Internet Homes | Wayne Friedman | MediaPost.com

Marked Increase In Connected-TV Internet Homes | Wayne Friedman | MediaPost.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Now more than half of all U.S. TV homes have at least one TV set connected to the Internet.

Leichtman Research Group says 56% of all U.S. homes have at least one television set connected to the Internet from a smart TV, video game set-top box, blu-ray player, and/or an Internet-connected TV-video device, such as Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast, or Amazon Fire TV. This is up from 44% in 2013, and 24% in 2010.

Research also says nearly 30% of adults watch Internet-delivered video via a connected TV at least weekly -- compared to 17% in 2013, and 5% in 2010.


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Cincinnati, OH: Incline Theater opens June 3, setting the stage for further redevelopment in Price Hill | Julie Engebrecht | SoapBox Media

Cincinnati, OH: Incline Theater opens June 3, setting the stage for further redevelopment in Price Hill | Julie Engebrecht | SoapBox Media | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

They remember the date exactly: Feb. 29, 2012.

It was the day three years ago that this bunch of dreamers — Cincinnati Landmark Productions’ Tim Perrino, Doug Ridenour and Rodger Pille — first imagined a theater set atop the hill in East Price Hill’s Incline District. Landmark already was producing theater at the Covedale Center for the Peforming Arts and on the Showboat Majestic.

The spark was a news report: The latest project for the site, a medical office building championed by then-developer/now-Mayor John Cranley, had fallen through for good. A couple days later, Perrino, Ridenour and Pille had breakfast at Price Hill Chili with Cranley and two of his partners.

“The idea was born,” Perrino says.

Shortly after the breakfast, Landmark’s board agreed to spend $10,000 to explore the feasibility and cost of building a theater in place of the office building. There were plenty of obstacles to raising money for the land and building, but it wouldn’t hurt to explore. In a journey of 1,000 steps, they weren’t even at step one, says Ridenour, president of Federal Equipment Company and board president of Cincinnati Landmark Productions.

If an answer was “no” at any step, the theater was done.

“Every time we got to something where, if we don’t get this support or this grant or even this opportunity to make this proposal, we’re dead,” Perrino says. “And every time we’d get the opportunity, we’d get the support.”

Support from the nonprofit Cincinnati Development Fund (CDF) was critical early on. The organization pledged a $6 million allocation of New Markets Tax Credits, the funding mechanism 10 times more in demand than supply.

“We were willing to do this because we believe so strongly in the future of Price Hill,” says CDF Executive Director Jeanne Golliher. “It was just a no-brainer. They had the track record, and they had had the support. We know the quality of the shows.”

Along the way, the state of Ohio added a $550,000 capital fund grant, the city of Cincinnati added $2 million for a parking garage, Warsaw Federal bank purchased naming rights and hundreds of other donors stepped up.

Now the men are focused on a new date: June 3, 2015, opening night for Cincinnati’s newest performance space, the 229-seat, $6 million Warsaw Federal Incline Theater. The Producers is nearly sold out for its three-week run. Tickets for the two other “Summer Classic Series” shows, 1776 and 9 to 5, are more than 80 percent sold. A four-show “District Series” — with titles like Rent and Glengarry Glen Ross — opens in September.


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TN: EPB and Chattanooga Will Lower Price of Internet for Low Income Students | community broadband networks

TN: EPB and Chattanooga Will Lower Price of Internet for Low Income Students | community broadband networks | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

In an effort to extend the benefits of its gigabit network to lower income Chattanooga school kids, Mayor Andy Berke announced that the EPB will soon offer the "Netbridge Student Program."

WDEF reports that children will qualify for the program if they are enrolled in Hamilton County schools and are currently enrolled in the free or reduced price lunch program. Comcast's Internet Essentials uses the same eligibility criteria. Households that qualify will be able to sign up for 100 Mbps service for $26.99 per month. Details are still being discussed.

Last year, Hamilton County schools replaced a number of textbooks with iPads in an attempt to take advantage of Chattanooga's fiber asset to improve student performance. The move revealed a grim reality - that many students' access to that incredible gigabit network (or any network) stopped when they walked out of the school. Educators found that children with Internet access at home made significant strides while those without fell behind. From a December 2014 article on Internet and Chattanooga students:

In the downtown area, for example, only 7 percent of potential customers subscribe to high-speed broadband Internet. In economically depressed areas such as Alton Park and East Lake, only 15 percent of residents have high-speed Internet, according to EPB.

We spoke with Danna Bailey, Vice President of Corporate Communications from EPB, to get some details on the plan and she confirmed that the program is still in its infancy; officials at EPB plan to have it ready for students by the fall. She told is that the rate of $26.99 is what EPB must pay to bring 100 Mbps to a customer when it is unbundled. The regular rate is $57.99.


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Congress should modernize highway funding with 'chips,' not 'concrete' | Drew Clark Op-Ed | Deseret News

Congress should modernize highway funding with 'chips,' not 'concrete' | Drew Clark Op-Ed | Deseret News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

So much of politics here in the nation's capital is about moving money from someone's pocket to someone else's. As a result, the threat of generational or sectional warfare frequently lurks below the surface of budget debates.

That's why it’s refreshing when think tanks and politicians disseminate ideas that can expand — rather than redistribute — the nation's economic pie. They do this by enabling policies that unlock value-creation.

Take federal transportation funding. The worthy idea of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation is to direct no less than 5 percent of federal highway funding to information technology-based transit projects.

The concept is not yet implemented into law. But developments here this week could tee up the idea for the future.

On Tuesday, the House passed a two-month extension of the Highway Trust Fund. The stopgap measure keeps federally funded highway projects from coming to a halt on May 31. Congress now has until July to consider the question: How will the nation pay for new highways?

It’s a question about how to carve up the economic pie. President Obama wants to fund $478 billion of highway construction through a 14 percent tax on foreign earnings of U.S. companies. A small number of Republicans, although not a majority, want to raise the federal gas tax beyond its current 18.4 cents per gallon level. Interestingly, however, Republicans are not adverse to raising gas taxes at the state level, as was recently done in Utah and Iowa.

But the issue of growing the economic pie was raised at an ITIF event hosted on Capitol Hill here Tuesday. Dubbed "From Concrete to Chips: Bringing the Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act Into the Digital Age," the event accompanied an ITIF report about how next-generation communications technologies can enhance driver and pedestrian safety, deliver environmental benefits and boost economic growth.


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Report: FBI's PATRIOT Act Snooping Goes Beyond Business Records, Subject To Few Restrictions | Tim Cushing | Techdirt

Report: FBI's PATRIOT Act Snooping Goes Beyond Business Records, Subject To Few Restrictions | Tim Cushing | Techdirt | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

A report by the FBI's Office of the Inspector General (OIG) on the agency's use of Section 215 collections has just been released in what can only be termed as "fortuitous" (or "suspicious") timing. Section 215 is dying. It was up for reauthorization on June 1st, but the Obama administration suddenly pushed that deadline up to the end of this week. Sen. Mitch McConnell took a stab at a clean reauth, but had his attempt scuttled by a court ruling finding the program unauthorized by existing law and the forward momentum of the revamped USA Freedom Act. And, as Section 215's death clock ticked away, Rand Paul and Ron Wyden engaged in a filibuster to block any last-second attempts to ram a clean reauthorization through Congress.

The report focuses mainly on the FBI's 2007-2009 use of the program in response to previous OIG recommendations and alterations ordered by the FISA court. As is to be expected in anything tangentially-related to the NSA, it's full of redactions, especially in areas where a little transparency would go a long way towards justifying the FBI's belief that the program should continue in a mostly-unaltered state.

Redactions like this do absolutely nothing to assure the public that the program is useful and/or considerate of citzens' rights.


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Community Broadband Media Roundup - May 22 | community broadband networks

Community Broadband Media Roundup - May 22 | community broadband networks | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

North Carolina sues FCC over Wilson community broadband decision by Rick Smith, WRAL TechWire

"Attorney General Cooper must not realize the irony of using state taxpayer dollars to ensure less money is invested in rural broadband, but we certainly do," said Christopher Mitchell, the directory of Community Broadband Networks at the Minnesota-based Institute for Local Self-Reliance. "State leaders should stand up for their citizens' interests and demand good broadband for them, rather than fighting alongside paid lobbyists to take away those opportunities."

The group accuses telecommunications and Internet provides in North Carolina of not providing wide-spread high-speed access in the state.

"Rural areas in North Carolina already suffer from some of the slowest speeds in the nation because the big telecom giants see no financial reason to connect them," the Institute said. "The FCC ruling will help communities that will never be covered by these corporations to finally have Internet access beyond dial-up service."

North Carolina sues FCC for right to block municipal broadband by Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica

Residents stuck with slow Internet while state fights on behalf of private ISPs.

North Carolina Sues FCC To Keep Limits On Municipal Broadband by Chris Morran, The Consumerist

North Carolina's Broadband Policy: Wasting Tax Dollars Pretending To Care About Wasting Tax Dollars from the dynamic-duopoly-defenders dept by Karl Bode, TechDirt.


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AT&T Will Try To Make First Amendment Case Against Net Neutrality | Chris Morran | Ars Technica

AT&T Will Try To Make First Amendment Case Against Net Neutrality | Chris Morran | Ars Technica | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

When you think of the Internet and First Amendment issues, your mind probably conjures up images of people being able to freely express themselves online through websites, videos, and social media. But if you’re AT&T, the First Amendment was created to give Internet service providers the authority to have some sort of editorial control over the data they carry.

AT&T is one of the many plaintiffs suing the FCC in the hope of gutting net neutrality a second time. And in a document [PDF] filed with the court last week, the company outlines the issues to be raised in its lawsuit.

And right there under item #1 is: “Whether the FCC’s reclassification of broadband Internet access service as a telecommunications service subject to common carrier regulation under Title II violates the terms of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, and the First and Fifth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.”

AT&T also plans to raise First and Fifth Amendment issues with regard to interconnectivity (i.e., the connection of ISP networks to the backbone of the Internet) and whether wireless smartphone data should be classified as broadband.

The document sheds little light on AT&T’s actual arguments in these matters, but as Ars Technica’s Jon Brodkin points out, Verizon tried something similar in its lawsuit that ultimately neutered the original net neutrality rules.


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Thieves stole data on 100,000 taxpayers through IRS app | Katherine Noyes | NetworkWorld.com

Thieves stole data on 100,000 taxpayers through IRS app | Katherine Noyes | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Criminals stole sensitive information about roughly 100,000 taxpayers through the Internal Revenue Service’s “Get Transcript” application, a major data breach at the U.S.’s national tax agency.

The thieves first stole information including Social Security details, dates of birth and street addresses from an outside, non-IRS source, the government agency said Tuesday. They then used that information to clear a multistep authentication process and access the IRS site, along with all the personal tax details stored there.

The matter is now under review by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration and the IRS’ Criminal Investigation unit. The Get Transcript application has also been temporarily shut down.


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Sen. Bennet Asks FCC to Rethink Effective Competition | John Eggerton | Multichannel

Sen. Bennet Asks FCC to Rethink Effective Competition | John Eggerton | Multichannel | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Add Colorado Democratic senator Michael Bennet to the list of congressional Senate Democrats who have registered concern with FCC's proposal to presume cable operators face local market competition for traditional video unless a franchisee can prove otherwise.

The chairman has circulated an order reversing the "effective competition" presumption given that the FCC has granted, in whole or in part, every such petition since 2013, primarily due to the presence of two national video competitors, Dish and DirecTV.

A finding of effective competition triggers basic cable rate deregulation regulation and removes the requirement that retrans stations be on that basic tier.

In a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, Bennett said that he was concerned that able opeators could move "less profitable local stations" from the basic tier, leading to less choice and higher prices, especially for rural and low income Coloradans.

The FCC is under an early June deadline to take steps to streamline the effective competition process for smaller and rural cable operators per the STELAR satellite reathorization legislation, but decided to streamline it for all operators given the recent track reford of petitions.

It is still only a presumption, and franchisees can make the case that a market still isn't competitive.


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RadioShack, U.S. states reach agreement on sale of customer data | John Ribeiro | ComputerWorld.com

RadioShack, U.S. states reach agreement on sale of customer data | John Ribeiro | ComputerWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

RadioShack has reached agreement with U.S. states over the sale of customer data, by consenting to limit the number of email addresses to be sold and giving customers the opportunity to be removed from the list.

A coalition of 38 U.S. states, led by Texas, objected to the sale of personally identifiable information by the bankrupt electronics retailer, citing its online and in-store privacy policies. The customer data, which was withdrawn from an earlier sale of assets that included RadioShack stores, was included in a second auction this month.

The bulk of the consumer data will be destroyed, and no credit or debit card account numbers, social security numbers, dates of birth or phone numbers will be transferred to General Wireless Operations, the winner of both auctions, said Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in a statement Wednesday.

RadioShack also filed in court on Wednesday the result of the mediation talks that started on May 14, in which the states, the prospective buyer and the retailer participated.

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