Surfing the Broad...
Follow
Find
84.1K views | +45 today
 
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
onto Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream
Scoop.it!

In Chicago, city workers required to take public transit

In Chicago, city workers required to take public transit | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it
In Chicago, all city government workers must now use public transit as their primary mode of transportation while on the job.
more...
No comment yet.
Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream
Everything about Broadband Policy, Network Infrastructure, Voice, Video and Data Services, Devices and Applications for Managing our Planet
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Evidence Grows That Online Social Networks Have Insidious Negative Effects | MIT Technology Review

Evidence Grows That Online Social Networks Have Insidious Negative Effects | MIT Technology Review | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Online social networks have permeated our lives with far-reaching consequences. Many people have used them to connect with friends and family in distant parts of the world, to make connections that have advanced their careers in leaps and bounds and to explore and visualize not only their own network of friends but the networks of their friends, family, and colleagues.


But there is growing evidence that the impact of online social networks is not all good or even benign. A number of studies have begun found evidence that online networks can have significant detrimental effects. This question is hotly debated, often with conflicting results and usually using limited varieties of subjects, such as undergraduate students.


Today, Fabio Sabatini at Sapienza University of Rome in Italy and Francesco Sarracino at STATEC in Luxembourg attempt to tease apart the factors involved in this thorny issue by number crunching the data from a survey of around 50,000 people in Italy gathered during 2010 and 2011. The survey specifically measures subjective well-being and also gathers detailed information about the way each person uses the Internet.


The question Sabatini and Sarracino set out to answer is whether the use of online networks reduces subjective well-being and if so, how.


Sabatini and Sarracino’s database is called the “Multipurpose Survey on Households,” a survey of around 24,000 Italian households corresponding to 50,000 individuals carried out by the Italian National Institute of Statistics every year. These guys use the data drawn from 2010 and 2011. What’s important about the survey as that it is large and nationally representative (as opposed to a self-selecting group of undergraduates).


The survey specifically asks the question “How satisfied are you with your life as a whole nowadays?” requiring an answer from extremely dissatisfied (0) to extremely satisfied (10). This provides a well-established measure of subjective well-being.


Click headline to read more--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

US cable giants call on FCC to block cities' expansion of high-speed internet | Dominic Rushe | TheGuardian.com

US cable giants call on FCC to block cities' expansion of high-speed internet | Dominic Rushe | TheGuardian.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The US cable industry called on the Federal Communications Commission on Friday to block two cities’ plans to expand high-speed internet services to their residents.


USTelecom, which represents cable giants Comcast, Time Warner and others, wants the FCC to block expansion of two popular municipally owned high speed internet networks, one in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and the other in Wilson, North Carolina.


“The success of public broadband is a mixed record, with numerous examples of failures,” USTelecom said in a blog post. “With state taxpayers on the financial hook when a municipal broadband network goes under, it is entirely reasonable for state legislatures to be cautious in limiting or even prohibiting that activity.”


Chattanooga has the largest high-speed internet service in the US, offering customers access to speeds of 1 gigabit per second – about 50 times faster than the US average. The service, provided by municipally owned EPB, has sparked a tech boom in the city and attracted international attention. EPB is now petitioning the FCC to expand its territory. Comcast and others have previously sued unsuccessfully to stop EPB’s fibre optic roll out.


Wilson, a town of a little more than 49,000 people, launched Greenlight, its own service offering high speed internet, after complaints about the cost and quality of Time Warner cable’s service. Time Warner lobbied the North Carolina senate to outlaw the service and similar municipal efforts.


USTelecom claims the FCC has no legal standing over the proposed expansions and does not have the power to preempt the North Carolina and Tennessee statutes that would prevent them.


“States have adopted a wide range of legislative approaches on how much authority they give local governments to build, own and operate broadband networks. Some states require an election or public hearings before a public project can move forward. Others ask for competitive bids, and still others put restrictions on the terms of service so the public entities bear the same regulatory burdens as private service providers,” said USTelecom.


“States are well within their rights to impose these restrictions, given the potential impact on taxpayers if public projects are not carefully planned and weighed against existing private investment.”


In January this year, the FCC issued the “Gigabit City Challenge” calling on providers to offer gigabit service in at least one community in each state by 2015. The challenge has come amid intense lobbying from cable firms to stop municipal rivals and new competitors including Google from building and expanding high speed networks.


In a statement EPB said: “Communities should have the right – at the local level – to determine their broadband futures.


“The private sector didn’t want to serve everyone, but public power companies like EPB were established to make sure that everyone had access to this critical infrastructure. “

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Special Report: Big Phone and Cable Companies Are Losing Your Calls to Rural America | Phil Dampier | Stop the Cap!

Special Report: Big Phone and Cable Companies Are Losing Your Calls to Rural America | Phil Dampier | Stop the Cap! | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Big cable and telephone companies have opened a new digital divide by losing your long distance calls to rural America to save a buck.


The problems have grown so pervasive, a FCC investigation found some of America’s biggest providers are sending some of their long distance calls destined for rural communities across the U.S. through shady, fly-by-night third-party operators in Russia, the United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Japan, Bulgaria and Romania before the phone ever starts ringing on the other end. If it ever starts ringing on the other end.


In Addison County, Vt., State Representative Will Stevens knows all about it. When not representing the people of rural Shoreham, he is running Golden Russet Farm, highly dependent on his landline to deal with customers.


“Phone calls here get cut off,” he told the Addison County Independent. “Or they don’t go through at all. So many times I’ve called elsewhere and you just don’t know if the call is going through, it goes dead. It rings then goes dead. You can’t tell how many times it’s rung on the other end if at all.”


It’s even worse when callers get a recording stating the number is no longer in service.


That is what happened to Pat Plautz who runs a small map store in the town of Reedsburg, Wis. A caller from Milwaukee trying to place an order first got a recording stating her number had been disconnected. Lucky for her the caller tried again, this time connecting.


“My main concern is that people think we’re out of business,” Plautz said.

As many as one in five long-distance calls to rural communities either aren’t connected to the intended number or are corrupted by issues such as static or garbled sound, according to Communications Data Group, a telephone billing company based in Champaign, Ill.


In rural upstate New York, some callers report nearly 100% of their call attempts to certain rural customers fail.


Nationally, users of Google Voice, MagicJack, and other discount long distance services have probably observed at least one of these, all because the companies involved are looking for the cheapest ways possible to route your call.


But the problems have grown well beyond the deep discount providers and affect Verizon, AT&T, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and other phone and cable company telephone customers. Evidence suggests unregulated cable and wireless phone calls are much more likely to encounter Least Cost Routing (LCR) than traditional regulated landlines.


Click headline to read more, view map and graphic and watch video news clips--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

As Expected, Aereo Pleads Its Case For Survival | Techdirt.com

As Expected, Aereo Pleads Its Case For Survival | Techdirt.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Aereo is back in a district court trying its "okay, fine, you say we look like a duck, we'll act like a duck" explanation so that it can stay in business and pay the statutory rates for a cable company. As you hopefully know by now, this is in response to the Supreme Court's "you're a cable company!" ruling. The broadcasters, of course, just want Aereo to die, so they claim that even if the Supreme Court declared it a cable company, the company still can't pay statutory rates. Aereo tried to skip the district court and go straight to the appeals court, but that attempt was (probably rightfully) rejected recently, so now it's back at the district court, once again making the case for it being a cable company.

Its key argument is, basically that, during oral arguments, Justice Sotomayor more or less saidif the Court finds Aereo to be a cable company, then it could just pay Section 111 statutory fees and be legal.


JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR: . . . But I look at the definition of a cable company, and it seems to fit. . . . [Aereo] [m]akes secondary transmissions by wires, cables, or other communication channels. It seems to me that a little antenna with a dime fits that definition. To subscribing members of the public who pay for such service. I mean, I read it and I say, why aren't they a cable company?

MR. CLEMENT: Well, Justice Sotomayor, a couple of things. First of all, I mean, I think if you're—if you’re already at that point, you’ve probably understood that just like a cable company, they’re public—they’re publicly performing and maybe they qualify as a cable company and maybe they could qualify for the compulsory license that's available to cable companies under Section 111 of the statute.

JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR: But it just gets it mixed up. Do we have to go to all of those other questions if we find that they’re a cable company? We say they’re a c[]able company, they get the compulsory license.


At the time, most folks kinda wondered why Sotomayor was going off on this tangent, rather than on the key issues related to the case, concerning the public performance right. What people didn't expect was that the Court would come up with its wacky "looks like a duck" test. But since it did, it certainly seemed to imply that Aereo could just get the compulsory license -- which it's now seeking to do. The company further argues that Justice Breyer, who authored the majority decision, fretted during oral arguments that it would be problematic if Aereo were not allowed to get a compulsory license:


Click headline to read more--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Kansas City, KS: How can gigabit internet be used in healthcare? | KCPT.org

Kansas City, KS: How can gigabit internet be used in healthcare? | KCPT.org | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

When Bob Summers found himself in a new city, without his regular trainer or workout buddies, he wondered how technology could help him stick to his exercise and health routine. That’s why he developed Fitnet, an interactive app that connects people with fitness trainers through on-demand video. He demonstrated how the user can follow along with an exercise video on the screen, earning points that can later be tracked by a trainer.


Summers presented his app at the first digital health innovation forum, held at the Sprint Accelerator space in Kansas City, Missouri, Wednesday.


Aaron Deacon is the managing director of KC Digital Drive, a group that grew out of the Mayors’ Bistate Innovation Team and organized the forum. The idea for the digital health forums, he said, started with a question.


“What are we going to do with gigabit?” he asked. “There are all these healthcare institutions that are going to be getting fiber connection, and some of them have gigabit in other capacities. So how do we use that?”


The goal, he said, is to connect innovators with people in the healthcare industry.


“The bigger picture is to make the connections between the people who have innovative ideas — entrepreneurs, people who are starting companies or even people within an organization — and really give them the tools to implement changes,” he said.


Along with Summers, representatives from Children’s Mercy Hospital, University of Kansas Medical Center and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City presented their ideas for how gigabit technology can be used in health industries to a group of about 35 people.


Click headline to read more--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

All Cable Bills Are High But Cablevision The Worst, Study Finds | Karl Bode | DSLReports.com

All Cable Bills Are High But Cablevision The Worst, Study Finds | Karl Bode |  DSLReports.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

An analysis of monthly cable bills by SNL Kagan found that while all cable TV bills are high (and increasing, sometimes twice a year) Cablevision customers have it the worst in terms of high rates. Cablevision customers on average now pay the company $152.72 a month, significantly higher than the next most expensive cable operators -- Comcast ($137.24 per month on average) and Verizon FiOS ($122.57 per month on average).


Cablevision raised rates 5.5% last year, twice the rate of inflation, the study notes.

For a while Verizon and Cablevision competed intensely for users in the New York City area, offering a steady stream of bundle promotions in order to lure users to one side of the fence or the other.

The last few years however both companies have rather quietly and unofficially agreed to stop competing quite so seriously, with Verizon raising prices on FiOS services whenever possible, and Cablevision management openly stating they now find promotional offers (and the savvy users who use them) to be a "dead end."

Cable operators justly blame programmers for these hikes, with ESPN a familiar culprit. However, cable operators also continue to hike prices at every possible opportunity as well -- be it for modem rentals, DVR rentals, or even to pay your bill in person or over the phone.


Click headline to read more--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Telecom Plan Raises Questions About Future Internet Service | Vermont Public Radio | Eldo Telecom

Telecom Plan Raises Questions About Future Internet Service | Vermont Public Radio | Eldo Telecom | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Telecommunications is an essential part of the lives of most people.

If you own a telephone,  use the Internet, or subscribe to cable television, how can the state make sure those services are up-to-date, reliable and affordable in the future?


That’s a question the Department of Public Service is posing in a series of public hearings this week.


The department’s draft 10 year plan for the future of telecommunications in Vermont covers everything from landline and cellular phone service to cable television and E 911 networks.


It also includes an ambitious goal for broadband service.


“It’s shortsighted to make that investment in technology that can’t go the whole nine yards,” says Irv Thomae, chairman of the governing board of ECFiber, which currently serves 800 customers in six central Vermont towns.

Thomae says the draft plan doesn’t represent a commitment to the Legislature’s goal.

“If the Telecom Plan says we aren’t to take the 100 Mbps seriously, then we aren’t going to take it seriously,” he says.

Thomae says state funded "dark fiber" projects constructed by the Vermont Telecommunications Authority should be the model for reaching the 2014 goal. These projects enable service providers to lease space and compete for customers.

Thomae says the state should raise money through the sale of bonds to finance an extensive dark fiber system.


Thomae raises a key issue on U.S. telecom infrastructure planning and financing policy. The nation is at an inflection point where the service line extensions of the legacy telephone and cable companies have gone about as far as they can within their business models in terms of making landline Internet service accessible to all American homes and businesses. And possessing the capacity to deliver the bandwidth that will be needed going forward as bandwidth demand doubles every couple of years or so, consistent with Moore's Law on microprocessor development.

Vermont's situation is a metaphor for the United States as a whole and points to the need for greatly expanded public sector financing capacity for this infrastructure that's as critical to the 21st century as highways and electricity were to the 20th.


Click headline to access the hot link to listen to the Vermont Public Radio segment or read the full transcript--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

The internet of things requires connectivity first, but it needs people too | Stacey Higginbotham | GigaOM Tech News

The internet of things requires connectivity first, but it needs people too | Stacey Higginbotham | GigaOM Tech News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Often when discussing the internet of things, we tend to go on and on about collecting data and the potential efficiencies that come from understanding that data. The assumption is that much of that understanding will come in the form of an algorithm, but an article by John Hagel and John Seely Brown offers another viewpoint.


Hagel articulates a world where the internet of things requires human intervention because while the computers and data derived by connected objects and processes might show us problems or outliers, it takes a human to see those outliers and redesign the process to eliminate them. It’s that process that drives even more efficiencies.


From the article:


Click headline to read more--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Unlike You, NYC's de Blasio Can Influence Cable Via a Deal Review | NewsMax.com

Unlike You, NYC's de Blasio Can Influence Cable Via a Deal Review | NewsMax.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has a beef about customer service from cable provider Comcast Corp. and its merger partner Time Warner Cable Inc. -- and unlike most people he’s got a chance to do something about it.


De Blasio asked U.S. regulators this week to demand a commitment for better customer service -- including additional staffing for call centers -- before blessing the $45.2 billion deal. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti also called for service assurances before No. 1 Comcast, a bottom dweller in consumer rankings, is allowed to absorb the second-largest cable provider.


Accepting requirements to improve service may be a price the companies are willing to pay for winning an agreement from regulators, according to Jan Dawson, an analyst with Jackdaw Research in Provo, Utah.


“They’ll do what it takes,” Dawson said. “It’s a little unusual, but Comcast’s customer service is worse than most companies seeking a merger approval.”


The issue was highlighted today by a nationwide Internet service outage for Time Warner Cable customers. The timing adds weight to mayoral pleas from the nation’s top two media markets to make customer service a factor for state and federal regulators who are reviewing the proposed merger.


Time Warner Cable has the highest rate of complaints among the four cable providers in New York City and regulators should require measurable improvement in customer service as a condition of the deal, de Blasio wrote in his FCC filing. New York state’s Public Service Commission, which needs to approve Time Warner Cable’s transfer of 2.5 million in-state subscribers, already has been advised by staff to require improvements in consumer surveys as a condition of the deal.


Sena Fitzmaurice, a spokeswoman for Philadelphia-based Comcast, said the company is “open to discussing reasonable conditions which don’t unduly burden our business.”


Time Warner Cable spokesman Bobby Amirshahi didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail today asking about possible conditions for merger approval.


The company said it had restored service within a few hours to most of the subscribers who lost Internet and on-demand video this morning.


Governor Andrew Cuomo directed the New York State Department of Public Service to investigate the outage as it review the merger.


“The mayor continues to remain concerned about ensuring all New Yorkers have reliable broadband access,” said Ishanee Parikh, a spokeswoman for de Blasio.


A history of poor customer service makes cable “an easy punching bag,” said Craig Moffett, an analyst at MoffettNathanson in New York.


“Ultimately, the thumbs up or thumbs down isn’t likely to hinge on customer service, but instead on more substantive structural issues,” Moffett said.


Kim Hart, a spokeswoman for the FCC, which is reviewing the deal along with the Justice Department, declined to comment on possible conditions regulators may seek.


Click headline to read more--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Want Gigabit Internet? A fistful of cities can now give it to you | Patrick Nelson Opinion | NetworkWorld.com

Want Gigabit Internet? A fistful of cities can now give it to you | Patrick Nelson Opinion | NetworkWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

At my home, I’d consigned Gigabit Internet to my back burner as a bucket-list wish. It’s something I’d like to see popup in my suburban pad in this lifetime — but I’ve not been betting on it.


My ISP is barely able to provide enough bandwidth for a stable Slingbox stream, so the idea that the duopolistic price-gougers are going to come along and actually provide an increase in value for my sixty-or-so bucks is not something I’ve been holding my breath over.


Slingbox is a device for personal, point-to-point streaming media, independent of Netflix and its ilk. It needs low latency and as much bandwidth as possible.


However, I may be wrong about the wait. There’s a surprising number of cities where you can order Gigabit Internet right now, or very soon.


What is it?


Gigabit Internet is about a 100 times faster than the measly kind of Internet our ISP gods ordinarily provide.


The term “gigabit” refers to a speed of one gigabit-per-second, or 1 Gbps. That 1 Gbps equates to 1,000 Mbps.


Where is it?


David Goldman, writing in CNNMoney, lists the obvious pipes at Kansas City, KS, which was Google Fiber’s initial market. He then also lists the driblet of Kansas City, MO and Provo, UT as being live. Austin, TX is about to launch Google Fiber, he says.


A delve into Google’s Official Blog produces a potful of cities that have been “invited” to “work with us to explore,” whatever that means.


Click headline to read more--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

White House Nominates New IP Enforcer | Broadcasting & Cable

White House Nominates New IP Enforcer | Broadcasting & Cable | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The White House has nominated Danny Marti as Intellectual Property (IP) Enforcement Coordinator in the Executive Office of the President.


Marti has been managing partner at Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton in Washington, including serving as co-chair of the firm’s Intellectual Asset Acquisitions & Transactions team.


The IPEC oversees the White House's efforts to combat intellectual property infringement, including the theft of copyrighted TV shows and movies, while protecting fair use rights.


Marti's predecessor, Victoria Espinel, pushed for legislation to clarify that live-streaming illegal copies of movies and TV shows was just as much a crime as downloading them.


Marti was getting plaudits from the industry.


“We are pleased that the President has appointed Danny Marti as the next U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator and urge Congress to move quickly to confirm his nomination to this important position," said Kim Harris, general counsel of NBCUniversal. "We look forward to working with Danny and the administration on the important issue of protecting IP, which is a key driver of American innovation and economic growth.”


NBC has been a leading voice for intellectual property protection from the days when former NBC top exec Bob Wright carried the standard for the company.


Click headline to read more--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

More 4K Sets Shipped In Q2 Than All Of 2013 | Multichannel.com

More 4K Sets Shipped In Q2 Than All Of 2013 | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Roughly 2.1 million 4K sets were shipped in the second quarter of 2014, surpassing the 1.6 million that were shipped in all of 2013, NPD DisplaySearch found in its latest 4K study.

 

While those totals still represent a small fraction of all TV shipments, the research firm noted that many brands introduced their 2014 models in the second quarter, “with a clear focus on 4K as the ‘must-have’ consumer feature for high-end television viewing.”

 

China’s share of 4K TV shipments dropped to 60% in the second quarter, off from 80% for all of 2013. NPD DisplaySearch noted that China lacks sources of 4K content, so TV-makers were largely marketing higher pixel counts to consumers.

 

“New 4K TV models from global brands have been introduced in all regions this year, and there has lately been increased 4K UHD content available from streaming providers,” the firm points out. Just this week, Samsung announced an expanded 4K ecosystem that includes a broader array of over-the-top Ultra HD content sources, including access to 4K fare from Amazon in October.


Click headline to read more--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Net Neutrality: What’s at Stake? | Bloomberg TV

Net Neutrality: What’s at Stake? | Bloomberg TV | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Internet Association CEO Michael Beckerman and Columbia University Senior Fellow Alec Ross discuss the internet experience in the U.S., efforts to protect a free internet and business in the sharing economy. They speak on Bloomberg TV's  ‘Market Makers.


Click headline to watch video clip--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Meet the computer scientist trying to digitize, analyze and visualize our past | Derrick Harris | GigaOM Structure

Meet the computer scientist trying to digitize, analyze and visualize our past | Derrick Harris | GigaOM Structure | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

We have written many times over the years about the potential benefits of easy access to data and computing, but we’ve probably never done it this well.


The guest on this week’s Structure Show podcast was Kalev Leetaru (pictured above), the Georgetown researcher behind the Global Database of Events, Language and Tones (GDELT), which we have covered before, and who also helped the Internet Archive with the book-digitization project it unveiled this week. Leetaru, who has spent time programming supercomputers, talks all about the amazing shifts currently underway in information technology that let people gather, store and analyze data with no physical gear and just a few lines (or a single line) of SQL code.


There are no highlights this week because, frankly, it wasn’t easy to find any in what’s essentially a 30-minute TED talk about the promise of cloud computing and big data. Listen, learn something and, if you’re new to these areas or to computer science, maybe be inspired by the pace of progress.


Click headline to listen to the Structure Show podcast--


more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Google exec is finalist for nation's techie-in-chief job | Fortune.com

Google exec is finalist for nation's techie-in-chief job | Fortune.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

.

Megan Smith, a longtime Google executive, is a finalist for the job as the nation’s top technologist, according to sources familiar with the matter.


U.S. chief technology officer, as the role is informally known, oversees the federal government’s use of technology to create jobs, reduce costs and spur economic growth. Some refer to it as the White House’s geek-in-residence.


Smith is currently vice president at Google X, a skunk works of futuristic projects including self-driving cars, Internet-connected eye glasses and high altitude balloons that provide wireless Internet access to people below who otherwise lack online access. She previously led business development for Google, including negotiating a number of high-profile acquisitions, and oversaw Google.org, the company’s philanthropic arm.


She would make for a high-profile choice following the recent resignation of Todd Park, who is leaving after two years to help the White House recruit more technology savvy workers from Silicon Valley. He was preceded by Aneesh Chopra, the nation’s first chief technology officer, a role created by President Barak Obama.


In addition to Smith, the White House is considering Alex Macgillvray, a former executive at Twitter and Google, according to sources familiar with the matter. A third finalist is also on the shortlist.


Before her tenure at Google, Smith served as chief executive of Planet Out, a site focused on gays and lesbians. She earned bachelor and Masters degrees at the the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Google declined to comment about Smith’s candidacy. Bloomberg first reported that she was being considered for the job.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

A former FCC chair is now advising Obama on intelligence | Brian Fung | WashPost.com

A former FCC chair is now advising Obama on intelligence | Brian Fung | WashPost.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Just months after he left the Obama administration, former Federal Communications Commission chair Julius Genachowski is heading back into it.


This time, Genachowski will be taking up a post on President Obama's intelligence advisory board, a small panel that provides counsel on America's spy agencies. Genachowski is among Obama's longest-serving advisers; a classmate of Obama's at Harvard Law School, he was tapped in 2008 to lead the then-senator's tech policy working group during the 2008 presidential campaign.


As head of the FCC, Genachowski made a number of policy decisions that we're still grappling with today: a push to implement net neutrality rules on Internet providers, an effort to convince broadcasters to sell off wireless airwaves to cellular companies and approval of a big merger between Comcast and NBC Universal. Industry insiders have said that while Genachowski was a consensus-builder at the agency, the tendency to compromise sometimes came at the expense of meaningful progress.


But ultimately, none of that is likely to matter on Obama's intelligence board. It's Genachowski's groundwork on cybersecurity issues at the FCC that Obama is likely interested in, according to Adm. James Barnett, a former head of the FCC's Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau.


"In a lot of ways, he started the FCC on its cybersecurity path. Some of the things Chairman Wheeler's doing now [on cybersecurity] is based on work that was done" by Genachowski," said Barnett. "With all of the stuff going on in cybersecurity and how that affects intelligence — that makes a lot of sense to me."

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Big Data & Health Care | USTelecom.org

Big Data & Health Care | USTelecom.org | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Big data holds broad-ranging opportunities for many industries, helping analysts focus on important information that can translate to meaningful applications and discoveries.


The health care field is a prime example of this potential where a number of big data-driven efforts are currently underway that could ultimately deliver an array of advances ranging from more precise patient diagnoses to new discoveries that provide enhanced treatment for patients living with chronic conditions.


A Wall Street Journal article on the new startup Enlitic notes how the company is leveraging big data via a new software program using photographic identification and algorithms to facilitate sharper medical diagnoses. In addition, Wired reports that this technology not only has the potential to help detect diseases, but could also “make new discoveries by uncovering previously unnoticed patterns in the data.”


Big data analytics is also aiding disease research in an unprecedented way. ComputerWeekly documents how a new research project combining wearable technologies, big data analytics and public cloud computing could yield important new discoveries for Parkinson’s disease. The effort, spearheaded by the Michael J. Fox Foundation in collaboration with Intel, is monitoring thousands of patients who are participating in the program by wearing smartwatches that gather and transmit each individual’s data moment-to-moment, in real time. Using the big data analytics platform on the Amazon Web Services cloud, researchers expect to cull precise information that sheds light on how Parkinson’s progresses and could help lead to new breakthroughs in treatment.


Click headline to read more--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

A Map of Every Device in the World That's Connected to the Internet | Gizmodo.com

A Map of Every Device in the World That's Connected to the Internet | Gizmodo.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Where is the internet? This map might explain it better than any statistics could ever hope to: The red hot spots show where the most devices that can access the internet are located.


This map was made on August 2 by John Matherly, the founder of Shodan, a search engine for internet-connected devices. Matherly, who calls himself an internet cartographer, collected the data to put it together by sending ping requests to every IP address on the internet, and storing the positive responses. A ping is a network utility that sends an echo-request message (known as a packet) to an IP address—the internet's version of "hey, are you there?"


That part was relatively easy compared to the visualization process, says Matherly. "It took less than five hours to gather the data, and another 12 hours or so to generate the map image." For that, he used the matplotlib plotting library in the programing language Python.


With its rainbow of connectedness, the map is similar to one produced last year by folks at Caida—however, that one was illegal. Although Shodan is well-known for its potentially shady practices that prey upon insecure networks, ping requests—the same thing your internet provider uses to test speed and data loss—are completely benign, Matherly says. "We've just advanced enough in technology where we can do it on internet-scale."


Basically, Shodan is now able to send and receive the requests fast enough that the world can be queried in just a few hours. Armed with the new process, Matherly plans to track the changes in the globe's internet connectivity over time. With the proliferation of the Internet of Things, we're bound to see some of those black holes slowly colorize over the next few years. [Shodan]


Click headline to read comments--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Net Neutrality Activists Take the Senate by Storm | FreePress.net

Net Neutrality Activists Take the Senate by Storm | FreePress.net | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The partisan bickering on Capitol Hill can turn the most wide-eyed idealist into a disillusioned crank. But progress is possible even in this era of legislative gridlock. That’s why Free Press Action Fund members meet with their elected officials: to effect change.


This year the Free Press Action Fund partnered with allies like the ACLU, Common Cause and Demand Progress and set the ambitious goal of meeting with as many Senate offices as possible during the summer congressional recess. The goal: to push senators to speak out for strong Net Neutrality protections and condemn FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s plan to allow discrimination online.


We organized a record number of meetings across the country and recruited more people to participate than ever before. In all of these gatherings activists talked about how the open Internet has shaped their lives — for the better.


Click headline to read more--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Netflix: We Had to Pay Comcast Because We Were Losing Customers | Karl Bode | DSLReports.com

Netflix: We Had to Pay Comcast Because We Were Losing Customers | Karl Bode | DSLReports.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

For months now Netflix has claimed that the largest ISPs have intentionally let their peering points get congested so that Netflix would be forced to pay them for direct interconnection (an argument companies like Level 3 and Cogent support). So why is Netflix paying AT&T, Time Warner Cable, Verizon and Comcast for these links if they feel they're being railroaded?

According to Netflix filings made with the government (hat tip to Quartz and ReCode), the company was beginning to lose customers who were told by Comcast Netflix was responsible for the problems:


quote:


“For many [Comcast] subscribers, the bitrate was so poor that Netflix’s streaming video service became unusable,” he writes, then notes that Comcast reps eventually told subscribers to take their beef to Netflix. “Those customers complained to Netflix and some of them canceled their Netflix subscription on the spot, citing the unacceptable quality of Netflix’s video streams and Netflix’s inability to do anything to change the situation."


You'll recall that when Netflix started giving impacted customers warning message blaming ISPs, Verizon rather quickly threatened to file a lawsuit, insisting they were the ones losing customers over the fracas. The FCC launched an investigation into whether incumbent ISPs were acting anti-competitively back in June.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Meet Obama's new "piracy czar," same as the old czar | Jeff John Roberts | GigaOM Tech News

Meet Obama's new "piracy czar," same as the old czar | Jeff John Roberts | GigaOM Tech News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The White House this week nominated a trademark and licensing lawyer to be “piracy czar,” a position that involves coordinating intellectual property enforcement across various parts of the federal government. The new czar, Danny Marti, arrives a year after the previous czar, Victoria Espinel left to head a software lobby group.


The choice of Marti, a partner at Washington law firm Kilpatrick Townsend, was hailed by Hollywood lobbyists.


“Danny’s impressive record of commitment to enforcing IP rights in the Internet age makes him a particularly strong choice,” former senator Chris Dodd, who is now CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America, told Variety. An executive from the Recording Industry of America offered similar plaudits.


Marti, whose appointment must be confirmed by the Senate, is likely to devote most of his efforts to shutting down websites that distribute unauthorized media and branded merchandise.


His predecessor, Espinel, oversaw programs like the “Copyright Alert System,” for ISP’s and copyright owners, and “Operation in Our Sites,” in which enforcement officials conducted ritual seizure of websites ahead of events like the Super Bowl and Black Friday. Espinel also handled the White House’s response to the debacle known as SOPA, in which outrage from internet communities led Congress to retreat from a sweeping new anti-piracy law.


Marti himself has yet to say what he would do as piracy czar, but it’s hard to imagine he will chart a course much difference than Espinel’s.


That’s a shame. Leaving aside the U.S. fixation with “czar” titles, it’s worth asking why the intellectual property czar must focus exclusively on enforcement, and not on broader issues of fostering science and creativity — which is the point of IP laws in the first place.


Click headline to read more--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

AK: Answer to net neutrality is competition | Forrest Dunbar Opinion | NewsMiner.com

AK: Answer to net neutrality is competition | Forrest Dunbar Opinion | NewsMiner.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

In 2010, Sen. Mark Begich made the case for why the federal government should invest in broadband Internet access for Alaskans. “It helps a student in Fairbanks learn about their government in Juneau, and it can save a patient in Kotzebue a flight to Seattle,” he argued. The Recovery Act that followed included a $100 million investment in broadband for our state, offering high-speed access to thousands of Alaskans for the first time.


Connecting Alaska’s villages to the Internet is a huge victory (and one we’re still working on), but a critical element of what makes the Internet valuable is the equal playing field it offers to all users. For news sites to earn readers, or businesses to appeal to customers, they have to offer better content or services than their competitors; they cannot attract customers simply because their competitors have cripplingly long load times.


Take, for example, Jason Iya — an Alaska Native artist who lives in Savoonga and uses the Internet to access markets around the world. He doesn’t have to ask a gallery in New York to host his work; he can put it up himself for all to see.


Net neutrality is about keeping the Internet equal. If one company could pay an Internet service provider (ISP) to slow down the sites of its competitors, it would ruin what makes the Internet a good place to share ideas and do business.


As an Alaskan, I support the goal of net neutrality. Furthermore, to preserve an open marketplace for ideas on the Internet, I support an approach known as “common carrier,” which promotes competition among ISP’s, rather than burdening them with unnecessary regulation.


Internet service providers act similarly to utilities, both in the services they provide and in the relative advantage larger companies have over smaller ones. 


ISPs like GCI (or Comcast in the Lower 48) have well-established networks that run into the homes of their customers, and as a result, adding new customers is relatively cheap. Unfortunately for smaller companies, this means that competing directly with the larger providers is very difficult.  


Supporters of net neutrality fear that large ISPs might leverage or abuse their positions, giving the fastest Internet service to those that pay them the most. This has led many to call for the Federal Communication Commission to step in and enforce network neutrality rules onto the ISPs to keep all traffic equal.


Neutrality sounds like a great idea, but unfortunately it’s not that simple. Many large content providers already have special relationships with ISPs, called “peering,” and far from being a bad thing, it makes service better for all of us. Google, for instance, has routers set up inside of Comcast’s data centers that allow the two companies to trade information more quickly and efficiently. Since it’s impractical for every content provider to have a peering connection, the net will probably never be truly “neutral” as it relates to traffic between websites and ISPs.  


Rather than mandating neutrality in how Internet companies interact with websites, the best solution is supporting competition between ISPs. Competition will allow the market to punish Internet providers who aren’t acting fairly and avoid the most burdensome forms of regulation. The best plan to do this is common carrier. 


Common carrier is not a new concept. Phone transmission lines, most prominently, are common carrier. So is the trans-Alaska oil pipeline, meaning that if you are an oil company on the North Slope you get access and are allowed to send your product down the pipe. This prevents the Big Three from stifling competitors.


In this case, common carrier rules would require companies like GCI to open up part of their networks to competitors. Similarly to how Golden Valley Electric Association might purchase power from Chugach, companies would have to pay a fair market rate for use of another’s network, but smaller ISPs wouldn’t have to completely build their own infrastructure into neighborhoods before they could compete with larger providers. In practical terms, this means that if Comcast unfairly slowed access to customers they would have more freedom to switch their provider. 


This would protect the ability of the Internet to grow, and put in place a check on unfair business practices.


Click headline to read more--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

How New Processing Technology Might Make Ultra HD and HDR Broadcasting A Reality | Hollywood Reporter

How New Processing Technology Might Make Ultra HD and HDR Broadcasting A Reality | Hollywood Reporter | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

During the transition to HDTV, Yves Faroudja won three Emmys for processing technology that remains in use today. And now the award-winning engineer is using his experience to take aim at new formats including Ultra HD, or 4K, which is four times the resolution of HD.


"Bandwidth requirements for video are clogging the Internet, and we need to reduce the bit rate on the video system," he told The Hollywood Reporter, noting that today it commonly involves use of a 4K-capable compression scheme known as HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding, or H.265). "But that doesn't work. It doesn't [keep up with] the increased popularity of video transmission, which is doubling every 2 to 3 years."


Faroudja — who came out of retirement to address this issue — is not aiming to create a new compression system, but rather to bring some additional power to HEVC or whatever compression scheme is adopted by the industry. His plan is to effectively pre-process the content before compression and decode it after the decompression at the receiving/display end of the chain (i.e. a TV or mobile device).


With his process, he believes he can cut in half the bandwidth requirements for video — not only enabling more video to be used, but also potentially opening up the promise of Ultra HD, as well as high frame rates (HFR) and high dynamic range (HDR) imagery.


"Whatever [compression scheme] is popular, we can give them a ratio of two in bandwidth reduction, which I think is going to eventually be required," he said.


Click headline to read more--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

AT&T Patent Lawsuit Targets Cox | Multichannel.com

AT&T Patent Lawsuit Targets Cox | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

AT&T has filed a lawsuit against Cox that claims that the MSO is infringing several patents that tie into the MSO’s IP voice service, use of set-top boxes and DVRs, as well as its DOCSIS 3.0-powered high-speed Internet platform.

 

The suit (here’s a copyposted by Ars Technica), filed August 28 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, alleges that Cox is infringing on several AT&T patents.

 

AT&T claims that in first contacted Cox in 2009 about alleged infringements on a number of patents, including several referenced in this complaint. “Despite years of protracted negotiations, Cox has sought to avoid payment for its infringement by repeatedly delaying and rescheduling negotiations,” the telco claimed. “Given every opportunity, Cox has failed to provide substantial arguments for either non-infringement or invalidity of AT&T’s patents.”

 

Cox said it doesn’t comment on active litigation.

 

Here’s a list of patents named in the suit:


Click headline to read more--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Comcast Discounts Market-Power Concerns in Defending Merger With Time Warner Cable | Bloomberg BNA

Comcast Discounts Market-Power Concerns in Defending Merger With Time Warner Cable | Bloomberg BNA | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Federal regulators should approve Comcast Corp.'s $45 billion merger with Time Warner Cable Inc. because the proposed deal benefits consumers and won't harm competition, Comcast Executive Vice President David Cohen said in an Aug. 25 blog post.


“We believe this is an approvable transaction and we expect to agree with regulators on conditions that will further enhance the public interest while not being unduly burdensome on our business or consumers,” Cohen wrote.


The success of the deal hinges, in part, on whether Comcast can convince the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice that the merger will serve the public interest and comply with federal antitrust laws.


The blog post came as stakeholders continued to advocate for and against the deal on the last day of the FCC's initial comment period. Reply comments are due Sept. 23 and final comments are due Oct. 8.


Cohen thanked the authors of more than 200 advocacy letters penned by state policy makers, community organizations, diversity groups, schools and universities.


Their comments reinforce the argument “that this transaction is pro-consumer, pro-competitive, and strongly in the public interest,” Cohen said.


Critics of the deal filed thousands of comments urging the FCC to reject the deal or impose conditions to ensure that diversity, competition and net neutrality are preserved.


Vocal opponents of the deal, such as Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), said it would enable Comcast to become a “veritable gatekeeper over vast swaths of the nation's telecommunications industry” and would lead to “higher prices, fewer choices and worse service.” If regulators approve the deal, Comcast will “operate in nineteen of the nation's top twenty markets and forty-three of the top fifty, controlling about two out of every five broadband Internet subscriptions and about a third of all television subscriptions in the country,” Franken said in his comments.


The American Antitrust Institute also panned the deal, which it said is “likely to result in myriad competitive harms and adversely affect consumers,” according to its filing. The deal “raises potentially significant competitive issues, little or no offsetting cost savings or consumer benefits and would be extraordinarily difficult to ‘fix' without structural or behavioral remedies,” the group said.


Consumers Union told regulators that they must conclude “the threat to competition, consumers and the public interest is too great to allow the merger because the harm would be beyond the ability of conditions to repair,” according to its filing.


Click headline to read more--

more...
No comment yet.