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Markey, Public Knowledge: Public Safety May Require Title II Classification For Broadband | Broadcasting & Cable

Markey, Public Knowledge: Public Safety May Require Title II Classification For Broadband | Broadcasting & Cable | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Public Knowledge both said Thursday that classifying broadband as a Title II service could be a public safety must-have.


At a hearing in the Senate Communications Subcommittee on the safety and network reliability issues related to the IP transition, Markey (pictured), said he agreed that it may be necessary for the FCC to reclassify broadband under Title II to insure that VoIP 911 calls get completed.


In her testimony for the hearing, Public Knowledge senior staff attorney Jodie Griffin said that the D.C. circuit's decision overturning open Internet rules "called into question the FCC's ability to continue applying certain fundamental policies" to an IP-based phone network, particularly its ability to require VoIP providers to complete all calls, or prohibit them from blocking calls.


Markey agreed with Griffin's assertion that unless the FCC can assure that ability to insure core values like access and reliability under Title I, which she suggests the court signaled it can't, then the FCC should reclassify. Markey said he agreed.


Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin took issue with the suggestion that the "heavy hand" of government should be used, saying that the marketplace would insure that calls got through.


He asked how many of the panelists wanted to regulate broadband under the telecom rules, and only Griffin volunteered, saying at the end of the day everyone needed to have access. Johnson said that sounded like she didn't think it was in the companies' interest for calls to go through and that the government would need to force them, which he clearly did not think was necessary.


FCC CTO Henning Schulzrinne was one of those witnesses who didn't offer up Title II, but he said from the outset he would be talking technology, not policy. FCC chairman Tom Wheeler has made both public safety and sustainable Internet access rules priorities, and has kept Title II in the quiver.


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MA: In Somerville, a new hub of innovation is emerging from shuttered factory | Scott Kirsner | The Boston Globe

MA: In Somerville, a new hub of innovation is emerging from shuttered factory | Scott Kirsner | The Boston Globe | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The obituary of the Ames Safety Envelope Company was written in February 2010. The Somerville company had grown to about 600 employees in the mid-20th century, making sturdy envelopes, boxes, and file folders for medical records. But as the world started going digital, its business shrank, and eventually Ames was bought by a Wisconsin company rolling up similar manufacturers.


The last 150 jobs at Ames vanished in 2010. Most of the equipment was sold at auction, and the factory went dark.


Ames had once been among the biggest employers in the city — “an institution,” says Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone. The question facing the city, he says, was “What do we do with all this land and these buildings?”


With the recession dragging on, the descendants of Ames’ founder considered selling the property, but weren’t sure they could find a buyer. And they fretted over filling the 290,000-square-foot complex with tenants. “I thought it was an almost impossible task,” says Arthur Fitzgerald, grandson of the company’s founder, John W. Fitzgerald.


Skip ahead four years: The final chunk of space in the Ames complex was leased this month. And what is now known as the Ames Business Park is not only fully occupied, it also has become the entrepreneurial epicenter of Somerville, home to a brewery, dozens of start-ups, a pinata maker, an electric guitar maker, a climbing gym, coffee roaster, t-shirt printer, artists, bicycle hackers, and a team building a giant, eight-legged walking robot called Stompy.


It’s a more diverse blend of people and ideas than you’d find in Kendall Square — in part because rent is cheaper — and it’s more densely-packed than Boston’s Innovation District. Curtatone calls it a “village of innovation,” and it has a neighborly, rooted vibe that you don’t typically find in a business park.


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Why hackers may be stealing your credit card numbers for years | Jeremy Kirk | NetworkWorld.com

Why hackers may be stealing your credit card numbers for years | Jeremy Kirk | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

While conducting a penetration test of a major Canadian retailer, Rob VandenBrink bought something from the store. He later found his own credit card number buried in its systems, a major worry.


The retailer, which has hundreds of stores across Canada, otherwise had rock-solid security and was compliant with the security guidelines known as the Payment Card Industry’s Data Security Standards (PCI-DSS), said VandenBrink, a consultant with the IT services company Metafore.


But a simple configuration error allowed him to gain remote access. From there, he found the retailer was vulnerable to the same problem that burned Target, Neiman Marcus, Michaels, UPS Store and others: card data stored in memory that is vulnerable to harvesting by malicious software.


The problem is growing worse. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Secret Service warned last month that upwards of 1,000 businesses may be infected by malware on their electronic cash registers, known in the industry as point-of-sale devices.


So why are the data thieves winning? Security analysts say point-of-sale malware is neither new nor particularly sophisticated. Programs such as Backoff, BlackPOS and JackPOS hunt down clear-text payment card details jammed in a jumble of data in a computer’s memory, a process known as “RAM scraping.”


Merchants who handle card data are required to be PCI-DSS compliant or face liability if cardholder data leaks. But the latest security specification, PCI-DSS version 3.0, doesn’t mandate that merchants use technologies that encrypt card data from the moment a person’s card is swiped, referred to as point-to-point encryption.


Using that kind of technology would eliminate the in-memory malware problem, security experts say.


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Microsoft again defies US order to hand over data from overseas server | Jeff John Roberts | GigaOM Tech News

Microsoft again defies US order to hand over data from overseas server | Jeff John Roberts | GigaOM Tech News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Microsoft continues to push back against a controversial search warrant procedure that the U.S. government, as part of an ongoing narcotics investigation, is using to demand emails stored in Ireland.


On Friday, Microsoft responded to a new court order by repeating its position that it would not comply with the data request, and insisting that the case go before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.


While the details of the dispute are largely procedural, the case is significant because it comes at a time of heightened European sensitivity over how U.S. companies treat data stored on servers located in the European Union. As a result, Microsoft and others are anxious to signal to Europe that they will resist certain data demands from the U.S. government.


The issue in the Irish narcotics investigation is whether a U.S. search warrant can let investigators obtain overseas data. Ordinarily, a search warrant only applies within the country’s physical borders but, in the case of data held in the cloud, the U.S. government has taken the position that such restrictions are not practical and do not apply — in part because obtaining emails from a server is not akin to a traditional physical search.


So far, a district court in New York has sided with the government, including a July 31 ruling that ordered Microsoft to comply with the warrant. That order was the subject of a temporary stay but, as a result of Friday’s ruling, that stay is no longer in force; however, in the latest legal twist, Microsoft on Friday also told Reuters it will still not comply with the order.


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Mobile Devices in Minnesota Education | Ann Treacy | Blandin on Broadband

Connect Minnesota Recently released a report on Mobile Devices in Minnesota Education


"Across Minnesota, 90% of households with school-age children report that they subscribe to home broadband service. This means that more than 108,000 schoolage children in Minnesota still do not have broadband access at home. Almost one-half of parents or guardians who do not subscribe to broadband (46%) cite cost as their main barrier to adoption.


Outside of their homes, Minnesota students access the Internet using a variety of resources. Across the state, 84% of parents or guardians who have school-age children say that their children use the Internet while at school. In addition, 9% of parents or guardians report that K-12 students in Minnesota access the Internet at someone else’s home and another 9% say their children access the Internet at their local libraries for schoolwork.


Schools in Minnesota recognize the need for students to have broadband access and provide the necessary equipment for them to stay connected. Statewide, 22% of Minnesota parents or guardians with school-age children at home say that at least one child has a school-issued laptop or tablet device."


This year two of my kids will get tablets from school – but from two different schools. (One goes to a public high school; the other goes to a private school.) I will be watching closely to see what they actually do with them. I’m an advocate as you can imagine. If for no other reason, I’ll glad to see them not tote backpacks that I can’t lift. But I am hoping that the teachers are prepared to make good use of them

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The Harsh, Polarizing Language of a 'Kill Switch' for Smartphones | Joe Pinsker | The Atlantic

The Harsh, Polarizing Language of a 'Kill Switch' for Smartphones | Joe Pinsker | The Atlantic | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

California passed a law this week that, depending on who you believe, will bring about either a drastic drop in violent crime or an increased risk of terrorism—apparently with the possibility of little in between. The law mandates that all California-sold smartphones include a “kill switch,” an anti-theft measure that allows someone to deactivate his or her phone, rendering it useless to a thief who hopes to sell it. Why is such a straightforward technology producing such extreme statements?


“It’s the phrase ‘kill switch’ that everyone has gotten excited about,” says Marc Rogers, a researcher at the mobile security company Lookout. “It’s not a technology that allows you to make magic smoke come out of your phone so it stops working.”


Even though the California law only requires a "kill switch"—which from now on I'll refer to, less threateningly, as "remote lock"—for phones sold in-state, California is a big enough market that manufacturers will probably start including it in all phones sold nationwide.


3.1 million phones were stolen in the U.S. in 2013 (many of them violently), and remote lock works in fighting this: After Apple introduced it last fall, iPhone robberies in New York dropped 19 percent, and during the same period thefts of Samsung products went up 51 percent. Larger declines in iPhone thefts have been reported in other cities.


Despite this, many telecoms opposed the mandate of remote lock until earlier this year. There was a theory as to why—wouldn’t a phone company want your phone to get stolen so that you have to buy a new one?—but it doesn't hold up to close inspection. A carrier gets a lot more money from you through a contract than when you buy a device. And the explanation that telecoms are loath to cede any of their mobile-insurance revenues might not tell the full story either.


The industry’s resistance was probably more due to a preference for the status quo. “The cellphone industry has always been pretty lightly regulated, and tends to resist almost all new forms of regulation almost as reflex,” says Jan Dawson, chief analyst at Jackdaw Research. Once companies saw that the law wasn’t too demanding, most of them embraced it, even if building an effective remote-lock system can be resource-intensive.


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Can the FCC clear the way for cities to build broadband? Legal fight heats up over agency's powers | GigaOM Tech News

Can the FCC clear the way for cities to build broadband? Legal fight heats up over agency's powers | GigaOM Tech News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Gripes about internet speed are common across the country, but in certain towns the complaints have a special twist: the fact that local utilities want to offer faster broadband infrastructure, but state governments — at the apparent behest of the telecom industry — have passed laws to prevent them from doing so.


In response, cities in Tennessee and North Carolina are asking the FCC to sweep aside those state laws in favor of a national mandate to promote high-speed broadband connection. And on Friday, a bevy of interest groups filed comments to explain why the agency does or doesn’t have the legal authority to help local governments.


The outcome of the dispute, which turns on a single legal phrase, will not only determine the future of broadband in cities across the country, but will also be a test of strength for the FCC as it tries to regulate powerful cable and broadband providers.


The recent dispute at the FCC involves petitions from Chattanooga, Tennessee (pop. 170,000) and Wilson, North Carolina (pop. 49,000). Both places have ambitious plans for their municipal utilities to build up their local broadband infrastructure, in part to attract companies that rely on fast internet to create jobs and commerce.


State laws, however, restrict the state utilities from expanding their services to outlying areas. Supporters of the laws say ensure that taxpayers don’t get stuck with boondoggle infrastructure projects, and ensure that private companies aren’t forced to compete with government-backed rivals.


Skeptics, however, claim the state laws are no more than favors bought and paid for by telecom giants like AT&T. In this view, the corporations have shoveled money to state legislations to cut off potential competitors, while leaving many small-sized cities with pokey internet speeds.


The skeptics might have a point: in a withering investigative report this week, the Center for Public Integrity described a pattern in which AT&T and others browbeat local utilities into halting projects intended to give residents better internet. The pattern involves spending heavily on state-level lobbying, threatening towns with expensive lawsuits and leaning on politicians to pass laws that handcuff local utilities.


The city utilities have countered that they’re competent to run broadband services, and that their investments in fiber-related projects would not only result in faster internet options but spur the large corporations to invest in regions they would otherwise have ignored.


The FCC will now have to decide whether to step in and sort out the dispute by invoking federal power to override the state laws. The stakes are high, especially since not everyone believes the agency has the power to roll back the laws in the first place.


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FCC Hears Plenty From Comcast/TWC Opponents | Broadcasting & Cable

FCC Hears Plenty From Comcast/TWC Opponents | Broadcasting & Cable | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

If you hope to win any game of tug of war, it’s prudent to be able to size up the folks on the other side of the rope. Comcast—the country’s largest cable operator— already knew there would be plenty of opposition to its proposed buy of No. 2 operator Time Warner Cable, and what the deal could mean for traditional and online video distribution. Now that the proposal is officially on the FCC record,

however, Comcast can better view the opposition. It can also point to many supporters with strong hands on its side, weighing in on the record.


Dish Network, Netflix, Free Press, the Consumer Federation of America, the Writer Guild of America West, the Future of Music Coalition and WeatherNation TV were among those officially petitioning the FCC to block the deal.


And if the commission doesn’t block the deal, those companies all want plenty of conditions. Among the asks: Guaranteed protection of spot cable, mandatory à la carte, and favorable retrans conditions, to name but a few.


The deadline for asking the FCC to deny the deal passed on Aug. 25. Comcast pointed to over 200 groups and officials who weighed in with support. But its critics filed numerous requests to deny the deal—notably a group of 60 or so consolidation opponents that included Common Cause and Consumers Union. They cited everything from Comcast/TWC’s size, to its must-have sports programming, to its control of the weather (let’s call that a somewhat inflated reference to its ownership percentage of the Weather Channel).


Comcast has until Sept. 23 to reply, but executive VP David Cohen has already weighed in with a lengthy blog post responding to the critics, including saying that some of the programmers critical of the deal are ones who failed to renegotiate better terms in exchange for their support.


Here are some highlights from the massive data drop at the FCC last week.


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Q2 U.S.: Comcast strong. AT&T and other telcos weak | Dave Burstein | FastNetNews.com

DSL getting killed where not upgraded. AT&T lost 55K broadband customers. They want to abandon about 25% of their landline territory and go wireless only. The areas are profitable but rural wireless customers are extraordinarily profitable once the network is built. So they want to eliminate competition even from their own landlines. They stopped maintaining those lines years ago and many have 1999 technology 6 megabit DSLAMs.


AT&T and Verizon are best thought of as companies with two parts. The upgraded areas, FiOS and U-Verse, are doing fine against cable. They are getting clobbered where they haven't upgraded but allow that. They want to shut off most of those lines. Century/Qwest lost 2,000 customers and Windstream 17,000. 


Comcast added 203K subscribers to 21,271,000. Some received the $10 rate for poor families but I believe most at paying full rate. But Cablevision and Cable One actually lost customers. Telcos can compete just fine against cable; in Canada at Britain, telco DSL is beating cable.


Revisiting the debate on fiber versus DSL. AT&T lost 55K, Verizon added 46K. There have been several recent quarters where Verizon FiOS fiber home did noticeably better against the competition than AT&T's fiber/DSL. Verizon offered 25 and 50 megabits upstream, while DOCSIS is stuck at 1-5 megabits up. Fiber remains a magic word, with connotations of modernity and reliability. The glamour of Google's well-publicized gigabit fiber may be helping the (not so fast) Verizon variety. Different marketing and pricing strategies could explain the (relatively modest) difference in results.


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Comcast-Time Warner:$10 for poor families, 50 megabits for most | Dave Burstein | FastNetNews.com

Comcast-Time Warner:$10 for poor families, 50 megabits for most | Dave Burstein | FastNetNews.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

David Cohen announced at TPI Aspen most of the subscribers in both Comcast and Time Warner will soon have 50 megabit service. Poor families will be able to get broadband for $10/month in New York, Los Angeles and other Time Warner territories. Other groups in need may be covered. (I suggest Medicaid recipients and less affluent senior citizens.)


I applauded when Cohen said, "Comcast strongly supports net neutrality" some issues remain with their practice. I was sitting at a table with senior AT&T & Verizon execs who looked glum. Net Neutrality will sidetrack the Bells' effort to get their "New Telecom Act" through Congress, Congressman Rick Boucher predicted. "Unless Net Neutrality is compromised, the bill won't go through in the next two years." Any support for neutrality makes it harder for the Bells to get their bill.


Comcast's $10 offer for the poor has connected more people to the net than $billion of mostly wasted government money. The program's not perfect, but Comcast has consistently simplified procedures and eliminated red tape. It's tragic that JG allowed the other cable companies to renege on their commitment to do similar made to the broadband planners. The Bells have done nothing for the poor. They've now have some of the highest prices in the developed world. The cheapest offering on Verizon's FiOS website is about $75 including fees; it was about half that a few years ago.


CEO Brian Roberts and EVP David Cohen strike me as decent men who want to do the right thing, especially for the poor. Ivan Seidenberg of Verizon likewise demonstrated good faith in his dealings and was very proud he delivered two of the best networks in the world, FiOS fiber and the first really big LTE network. They are hard driving and very effective businessman who undoubtedly have charged over many on the way to great riches. Almost no one gets to their level without making choices that put their company's interests before consumers. Of course they know they get pr value from moves like these, but they at least get done. As we say in Yiddish, most top executives I've met would rather be mensches than gonifs.


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Bitcoin slowly goes global as businesses like Overstock expand to international customers | Biz Carson | GigaOM Tech News

Bitcoin slowly goes global as businesses like Overstock expand to international customers | Biz Carson | GigaOM Tech News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Bitcoin has attracted the attention of a lot of large businesses from Expedia to Dell to Overstock. However when all of those companies started accepting bitcoin, it was only in the U.S. But the tide is starting to change as more businesses expand their bitcoin acceptance overseas.


Overstock is set to become the largest later on Monday when it turns on international bitcoin payments for O.co this evening. Other retailers, like Newegg and TigerDirect, have already moved north of the border and started accepting payments from Canadian customers.


Part of the draw of opening up bitcoin payments internationally is the cost savings. Instead of dealing with the hassle of foreign currencies and high processing fees, bitcoin coming from Albania costs the same to process as a bitcoin from Alabama. It also helps minimize cases of fraud, which can be higher among international customers, thanks to the technology behind blockchain confirmations.


For Overstock, there was no “deep strategy” to roll it out to international consumers, said CEO Patrick Byrne. Instead, it was about the distribution of resources needed to implement it. Bitcoin payments currently account for one quarter of one percent of Overstock’s daily transactions, Byrne said, so the company was limited by how many resources it could dedicate to the project during its development cycle.


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The Boy Who Invented Email -- History of Email (Part 1) | Larry Weber Blog | HuffPost.com

The Boy Who Invented Email -- History of Email (Part 1) | Larry Weber Blog | HuffPost.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

This is the first article in The History of Email Series.


In 1978, a 14-year-old boy invented email.


He created a computer program, which he called "email," that replicated all the functions of the interoffice mail system: Inbox, Outbox, Folders, Memo, Attachments, Address Book, etc., the now familiar parts of every email system.


On August 30, 1982, the US government officially recognized V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai as the inventor of email by awarding him the first US Copyright for "Email," "Computer Program for Electronic Mail System," for his 1978 invention. This was awarded at a time when Copyright was the only way to protect software inventions.


Email, however, emerged from somewhat unlikely circumstances. Email wasn't created, with a massive research budget, in big institutions like the ARPANET, MIT or the military. Such institutions had thought it "impossible" to create such a system, believing it far too complex.


Email was created at Livingston High School in the heart of inner city Newark, NJ with little to no funding.


Shiva was given something that big institutions, however, may have found hard to provide: an ecosystem of loving parents, a wonderful mentor, dedicated teachers and a collegial environment where he was treated as an equal though his colleagues were 20 to 40 years older.


In that ecosystem, Shiva thrived, and the world got email!


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Roku launches affordable and functional smart TV range | GizMag.com

Roku launches affordable and functional smart TV range | GizMag.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

If you’re a fan of top media streaming services like Netflix and Hulu Plus, then you’re also likely aware of Roku, a company that specializes in low-cost streaming boxes that let you throw that content up onto the big screen. The company has announced partnerships with TV manufacturers Hisense and TCL to produce Roku TV, a range of smart TVs that make media streaming more convenient without breaking the bank.


As you might expect, the new smart TVs are all about media streaming, providing access to Roku’s 1,500+ streaming channels and library of 200,000+ movies and TV shows via the company’s official store. Continuing with the content-first theme of the device, the company is bundling in two months free Hulu Plus membership, plus a package of free trials reportedly worth in excess of US$100.


There are a number of ways to control that media, the first being a simple, 20-button remote similar to those used with company’s streaming boxes. More interestingly, the TVs can also be controlled using smartphones and tablets by means of the Roku Mobile app, available for iOS and Android.


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Out in the Open: Hackers Build a Skype That’s Not Controlled by Microsoft | Klint Finley | WIRED

Out in the Open: Hackers Build a Skype That’s Not Controlled by Microsoft | Klint Finley | WIRED | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The web forum 4chan is known mostly as a place to share juvenile and, to put it mildly, politically incorrect images. But it’s also the birthplace of one of the latest attempts to subvert the NSA’s mass surveillance program.


When whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed that full extent of the NSA’s activities last year, members of the site’s tech forum started talking about the need for a more secure alternative to Skype. Soon, they’d opened a chat room to discuss the project and created an account on the code hosting and collaboration site GitHub and began uploading code.


Eventually, they settled on the name Tox, and you can already download prototypes of the surprisingly easy-to-use tool. The tool is part of a widespread effort to create secure online communication tools that are controlled not only by any one company, but by the world at large—a continued reaction to the Snowden revelations. This includes everything from instant messaging tools to email services.


It’s too early to count on Tox to protect you from eavesdroppers and spies. Like so many other new tools, it’s still in the early stages of development and has yet to receive the scrutiny that other security tools, such as the instant messaging encryption plugin Off The Record has. But it endeavors to carve a unique niche within the secure communications ecosystem.


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MA: Boston's Bolt launches hardware companies | Nick Barber | NetworkWorld.com

MA: Boston's Bolt launches hardware companies | Nick Barber | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Watch the first episode in our new series Breakout Startups here.


Tucked away in downtown Boston, Ben Einstein looks for the next multimillion-dollar idea. As the co-founder of Bolt, Einstein—who wouldn’t confirm or deny his relationship to Albert—is in charge of choosing hardware startups and launching them to success.


Bolt includes office space and a complete machine shop with more than a million dollars of prototyping equipment that the startups can use. Bolt invests in about one company each month and has a portfolio of about a dozen.


“Most of our companies are actually software companies,” Einstein said. “They just happen to sell a piece of hardware.”


Bolt’s machine shop in the basement of the facility includes many of the tools that Einstein used in previous roles as a product designer at various companies. The shop includes a vacuum former, lathe, nearly antique Bridgeport CNC mill, laser cutter, various 3D printers and other tools that would cost too much for a single startup to amass.


While Bolt’s machine shop is useful to rapidly prototype hardware, it’s not meant to manufacture anything in large quantities. Einstein said that Bolt helps extensively with manufacturing which includes “going to China, thinking through the supply chain aspects and cost.”


To help with business plans and product designs, Bolt employs a full-time staff of engineers and designers who have shipped millions of units of product. It also has a community of investors to provide funding for the startups.


Bolt is selective about the companies that it brings on because Bolt itself is backed by investors.


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No, Microsoft Is Not Suddenly 'Defying' A Court Order To Turn Over Emails | Techdirt.com

No, Microsoft Is Not Suddenly 'Defying' A Court Order To Turn Over Emails | Techdirt.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

A very stupid story broke out over the weekend and got some buzz after some people read way too much into some legal maneuvering. As you may recall, back in April a court ruled that Microsoft had to hand over email data stored in Ireland based on a warrant issued in the US under the (incredibly outdated) Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA). Microsoft, quite reasonably, fought back, pointing out that a warrantonly applies within the US and not to foreign countries. The DOJ (and the original judge) claimed that an ECPA warrant isn't really like a warrant at all, but rather a "hybrid warrant/subpoena." But, Microsoft (rightly) points out that this is the DOJ wanting the best of both worlds -- while ignoring the protections of both. Here was the crux of Microsoft's argument:


The Government's interpretation ignores the profound and well established differences between a warrant and a subpoena. A warrant gives the Government the power to seize evidence without notice or affording an opportunity to challenge the seizure in advance. But it requires a specific description (supported by probable cause) of the thing to be seized and the place to be searched and that place must be in the United States. A subpoena duces tecum, on the other hand, does not authorize a search and seizure of the private communications of a third party. Rather. it gives the Government the power to require a person to collect items within her possession, custody, or control, regardless of location, and bring them to court at an appointed time. It also affords the recipient an opportunity to move in advance to quash. Here, the Government wants to exploit the power of a warrant and the sweeping geographic scope of a subpoena, without having to comply with fundamental protections provided by either. There is not a shred of support in the statute or its legislative history for the proposition that Congress intended to allow the Government to mix and match like this. In fact, Congress recognized the basic distinction between a warrant and a subpoena in ECPA when it authorized the Government to obtain certain types of data with a subpoena or a "court order," but required a warrant to obtain a person's most sensitive and constitutionally protected information -- the contents of emails less than 6 months old.


Unfortunately, as we noted at the end of July, the judge in the case, Loretta Preska, sided with the DOJ.

On Friday, Judge Preska did what was basically a procedural move. When she had made the original ruling, she had put a stay on the ruling, fully expecting Microsoft to appeal. This is fairly standard procedure. When a district court judge knows a ruling is likely to be appealed the judge will frequently "stay" the ruling pending the appeal. The DOJ claimed that this was a procedural error and that the particular order, for a whole host of boring legal reasons, is not an "appealable order" and that the stay is inappropriate for that reason. Everyone involved in the case -- the Judge, Microsoft and the DOJ -- knows that it's going to go to an appeal. There's just a very, very minor debate over the correct legal process to get it to appeal. Judge Preska agreed that the original order probably is not appealable, and thus the stay order makes no sense, since it was only pending the appeal. Thus, to speed things along, she lifted the stay, noting quite clearly that this was to help along the appeal process:


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Net neutrality activists are about to show you what an Internet 'slow lane' looks like | Eric Geller | DailyDot.com

Net neutrality activists are about to show you what an Internet 'slow lane' looks like | Eric Geller | DailyDot.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The realities of an Internet without net neutrality are about to become a bit more obvious.


In a move out of the anti-SOPA campaign playbook, Fight for the Future and other net neutrality activist groups have set up the Battle for the Net coalition, which plans to launch an “Internet slowdown day” later this month.


No actual traffic will be slowed down. Instead, participating sites will display embeddable modules that include a spinning “loading” symbol and information about contacting the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the White House, and members of Congress.


“The Internet slowdown is a symbolic and creative action that empowers websites to show their users a message that gives them a sense of what the Internet could be like if we lost net neutrality,” Evan Greer, the campaign manager for Fight for the Future, told The Daily Dot.


The FCC is currently considering a net neutrality proposal that would allow broadband providers to offer Internet companies, like Netflix or Google, “fast lane” service to deliver content more quickly and at a higher quality than companies who do not opt into such an offering. 


Critics say this plan would divide the Internet into two tiers—a “fast lane” and a “slow lane”—and cripple technology startups that cannot afford to compete with larger, wealthier companies.


The net neutrality movement has been saddled by an opaque name and the technical complexity of the issue. It’s often difficult for open Internet advocates who geek out about the topic to explain it in layman’s terms to their friends and family. Fight for the Future hopes that the omnipresent loading symbol can help them make their case.


“The loading symbol is something that we all can understand,” Greer said. “It’s something we all get, and we know that we don’t like. It’s something that we’d see a heck of a lot more of if we lose net neutrality.”


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Cox Makes Its Own Campus Connection | Jeff Baumgartner | Multichannel.com

Cox Makes Its Own Campus Connection | Jeff Baumgartner | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

School is in session, and so too are on-campus, IP-delivered multiscreen service options.

 

In the vein of Comcast’s new Xfinity On Campusand a platform being pushed by a startup called Philo, Cox Communications is also making some inroads with Campus Connect, a managed IP video service that is tailored for students and delivered via a school’s on-campus network. 

 

Cox confirmed that Tulane University (New Orleans) and Creighton University (Omaha, Neb.) are on board. Creighton conducted a limited test of Campus Connect last year, and is making it  available to the on-campus student body this fall, Cox spokesman Todd Smith said via email. Creighton went so far as to tweet about it. Tulane trialed it last year and has since rolled it out.

 

Cox said it made Campus Connect available to be sold in all of its markets in January 2014. “We’re actively talking to other universities,” Smith said.

 

It appears that Cox Connect is currently set up to deliver more than 50 live channels via IP to an array of devices.  As explained by the service’s primer, Cox takes the schools’ bulk video subscription, used to provide in-residence cable TV, and makes it mobile by enabling authenticated access on PC browsers, iOS devices (iOS 4.3 or greater), and  several  Android-powered phones and tablets.


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Sallisaw: The First Muni Fiber Network in Oklahoma - Community Broadband Bits Episode 114 | community broadband networks

Sallisaw: The First Muni Fiber Network in Oklahoma - Community Broadband Bits Episode 114 | community broadband networks | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Sallisaw is one of many small municipal FTTH networks that most people are not familiar with. For a decade, they have been quietly meeting their community's needs with DiamondNet. For this week's Community Broadband Bits, we learn more about it in a conversation with Assistant City Manager Keith Skelton and Network Communications Supervisor Danny Keith.


Sallisaw built their network after incumbents failed to provide broadband in the early 2000's, becoming the first triple play municipal fiber network in the state. Nearly 2 out of 3 people take service from DiamondNet, which is operated by municipal electric utility.


They pride themselves on doing much more for the community than the incumbent providers do - particularly responsive customer service and creating lots of local content. They are also building a wireless network to serve people outside of town who currently have limited Internet access.


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In earthquakes, alerts may turn machines into action heroes | Patrick Thibodeau | NetworkWorld.com

In earthquakes, alerts may turn machines into action heroes | Patrick Thibodeau | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The UC Berkeley Seismological Laboratory issued an alert about the recent earthquake in California's Napa Valley 10 seconds before it struck. That may not seem like much time -- unless you're a child of the 1950s and 1960s who was trained in school to duck and cover the second you saw a large bright nuclear flash.


Earthquake early warning systems can deliver alerts of impending seismic activity a few seconds to as long as four minutes before the tremors begin. The systems don't predict earthquakes, but a quake's energy waves move slowly enough to create an opportunity for a warning. The length of warning depends on the distance from the earthquake's center.


Even if it sends an alert just a few seconds before an event, an earthquake warning system can help save lives and prevent property damage. But the U.S. has yet to fund an earthquake early warning  system. That's not the case in Japan; that nation has a warning system that issued alerts that triggered the shutdown of the transit system when a 9.0-magnitude earthquake struck offshore in the Pacific Ocean on March 11, 2011. No trains derailed.


The cost of building and operating an alert system for the West Coast of the United States has been estimated at approximately $120 million for the first five years.


But investing in a fully built alert system that's integrated into schools, offices and other types of buildings could give rise to a new industry, said William Leith, a senior science adviser at the U.S. Geological Survey. Leith offered testimony on the subject of early warning systems to a subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives last June.


"Consultants will advise users on how to use alerts to take protective actions," he said. "Mass notification companies will customize alerts for their clients. Automated control producers will make and install equipment to take actions and sound alarms at user facilities. Entrepreneurs will undoubtedly develop creative new applications specific to various industry sectors."


Joshua Bashioum, the founder of Early Warning Labs in Santa Monica, Calif., is in the vanguard of this industry. His year-old, privately funded company is building hardware systems that can interface with building operational systems and IT networks. What Early Warning Labs intends to do is take earthquake alert data, calculate the intensity at client locations and project the risk of damage at those locations. It will then push out machine-to-machine commands.


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Muni Fiber in Rural Massachusetts - Community Broadband Bits Podcast 113 | community broadband networks

Muni Fiber in Rural Massachusetts - Community Broadband Bits Podcast 113 | community broadband networks | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Though much of western Massachusetts has poor access to the Internet, the town of Leverett is in the midst of fiber build that will offer a gigabit to anyone who wants it. Peter d'Errico, on the town Select Board, has been part of the project from the start and Chairs the Broadband Committee. He joins us for Episode 113 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast.


He and I discuss the great need for the project and inaccurate broadband maps that overstate availablility in the region. We discuss the role of the "municipal light plant" law that gave them the necessary authority to invest in the fiber.


But more interestingly, we talk about how they have structured the financing and prices for subscribers. The network will be repaid both with the revenues from subscribers and a modest bump in the property tax. The kicker is that many households will see their taxes increase a little but the amount they spend on telecom will decrease substantially, resulting in more money in their pockets each month.


We have written about Leverett often over the years, the archive is here. Read the Leverett FAQ here.


You can read a transcript of this discussion here, courtesy of Jeff Hoel.


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AT&T or someone orders half million fiber homes | Dave Burstein | FastNetNews.com

AT&T or someone orders half million fiber homes | Dave Burstein | FastNetNews.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

MasTec gets $250M contract for 2015, 2016. "We were awarded a contract for approximately a quarter of a billion dollars of 1-gigabit fiber deployment work," CEO Jose Mas announced. Fiber opportunities "are much greater than people quite understand. I think we are in for an incredible cycle in that business"


He added "Every time you pick a publication in the telecommunications sector, it’s got a carrier talking about building out 1-gigabit capabilities and what you are seeing is, you’re seeing multiple markets today where you have multiple carriers building in the same markets.... We’re going to be working 1-gigabit work for multiple customers over the next couple of years.


That this probably is AT&T is my conclusion. Mas carefully provided no information on who the customer was, despite being pressed by investment analysts.


AT&T and Google are the only likely candidates for a build this size. I'm sure Mas would welcome work from Google but it's not Google's style to contract so far ahead. Century/Qwest is not impossible. The cable companies have been looking at fiber for two decades, but DOCSIS is coming along so well they are unlikely to switch.


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Inventor Of Email: People Didn't Want To Credit A 'Dark-Skinned Immigrant Kid' | Emily Tess Katz | HuffPost.com

Inventor Of Email: People Didn't Want To Credit A 'Dark-Skinned Immigrant Kid' | Emily Tess Katz | HuffPost.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai was 14 years old when he developed the technology we now know as email. But despite having received "official recognition" of his creation by the U.S. government, some still question whether he was the veritable founder.


Ayyadurai's former colleague Robert Field explained the discrepancy and defended Ayyadurai in a blog on The Huffington Post. According to Field, "multi-billion dollar defense company" Raytheon BBN Technologies generated "their entire brand ... based on claims of having 'invented email,'" then unleashed a PR campaign to "discredit email's origins" as well as Shiva's claim to having invented it.


Ayyadurai explained in a HuffPost Live interview on Thursday that he thinks these allegations stem from people who are both economically and racially prejudiced.


"The reality is this: in 1978, there was a 14-year-old boy and he was the first to create electronic office system. He called it email, a term that had never been used before, and then he went and got official recognition by the U.S. government," he told host Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani, referring to himself.


Ayyadurai said his modest background prevented him from getting the recognition he deserved.


"After that took place, you have a sense of disbelief among people that comes from not so much the technology issue, but there’s a lot of economic issues associated here," he continued. "[The discovery] wasn't done at MIT; it wasn’t done at the military; it wasn’t done at a big institution. It was done in Newark, NJ, one of the poorest cities in the United States. It was done by a dark-skinned immigrant kid, 14 years old."


The creation of email falls under the pretext of the "American dream," Ayyadurai explained, and he feels that those who challenge him as the inventor are afraid of upward mobility and change.


"The narrative there is what changes and shocks certain people who want to control the narrative that innovation can only take place under their bastions," he said. "The truth is that the American dream is really about [the fact that] innovation can take place anytime, by anybody."

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Apple said to be working with MasterCard and Visa for mobile wallet | Stacey Higgenbotham | GigaOM Tech News

Apple said to be working with MasterCard and Visa for mobile wallet | Stacey Higgenbotham | GigaOM Tech News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The Apple event rumors are coalescing into a more coherent picture that indicate Apple planning to put Near Field Communication chips inside next-generation iPhones for a mobile wallet effort. The latest rumor is from Bloomberg, which quotes a source saying that the hardware giant is working with MasterCard, Visa and American Express on a payments platform around the NFC chip reported to be in the phone.


The goal, according to Bloomberg is to ready a mobile payments platform built around NFC in the upcoming iPhone to launch at the Sept. 9 Apple event. While, every year, we seemingly hear of NFC launching in the anticipated iPhone, my colleague Kevin Tofel has written about how the looming transition to higher security payments that require using a password and chip inside cards in the U.S., and the utility of NFC’s tap-to-pair in a world of increasing connected devices, mean that Apple may finally be ready to take on NFC. From his story:


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Interested in IT Security? Insurance Companies Hope So! | Anthony Sequeira | NetworkWorld.com

Interested in IT Security? Insurance Companies Hope So! | Anthony Sequeira | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

What keeps the CEOs of major corporations awake at night? Certainly it is the top 10 threats against their companies, as identified by those in the business of studying such matters - insurance companies. Fire, hurricane, earthquake - sure. But now these CEOs have something else to add to the list - cybercrime. For the first time ever, many are identifying this area as a top 10 threat. Yikes!


Where does it fall exactly? Let's check the Allianz Risk Barometer survey of 400 corporate executives in 33 nations. The question is a frightening one - what is the worst risk of doing business? Here were the top 10 responses along with the percentages:


  1. Business interruption, supply chain risk - 43%
  2. Natural catastrophes - 33%
  3. Fire, explosion - 24%
  4. Changes in legislation and/or regulation - 21%
  5. Market stagnation or decline - 19%
  6. Loss of reputation or brand value  - 15%
  7. Competition - 14%
  8. Cybercrime, IT failure, espionage - 12%
  9. Theft, fraud, corruption - 10%
  10. Quality deficiencies, defects - 10%


The extent of this list certainly makes one shake their head, and when we think about cybercrime, we realize that it can come suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, from some far-off continent, and many times can go undetected for a long period of time. Add to this the loss of reputation that can result (Number 6 above), and cybercrime seems to loom an even larger issue. 


Amazingly, many corporations still lack the awareness regarding the extent of this potential problem.


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Drone Video Shows Apple's Campus In Construction | Kaylene Hong | The Next Web

Drone Video Shows Apple's Campus In Construction | Kaylene Hong | The Next Web | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

There’s been a lot of hype about Apple’s new ‘spaceship’ Campus 2, a 2.8 million square-foot collection of buildings that was first proposed back in 2011.


Now, a video captured by a GoPro mounted on a flying drone gives a bird’s-eye view of what’s going on at the construction area, as spotted by 9to5Mac. We got a glimpse of the massive campus via an aerial photo released last month, but the new footage shows how much progress has been made since then, with the foundations of the buildings already laid down.


The city of Cupertino revealed earlier that work only started on the campus in Q2 of this year and is due to continue through the end of Q4 in 2016, although it’s possible that the campus will open before all the buildings are fully completed.


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