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Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream
Everything about Broadband Policy, Network Infrastructure, Voice, Video and Data Services, Devices and Applications for Managing our Planet
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Purported Google tablet benchmark points to Tegra 3, 7-inch screen | CNET News

Purported Google tablet benchmark points to Tegra 3, 7-inch screen | CNET News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Another day, another hint that Google will be launching an Asus co-branded tablet.

 

This time around, a benchmark for a "Google Asus Nexus 7" tablet has surfaced on Rightware's Web site. Rightware, which is perhaps best known for its mobile Kanzi user interface, lists the slate as an Android-based device featuring a 7-inch display with a 1,280 x 768 resolution.

 

According to Rightware's data, power shouldn't be much of an issue for Google's tablet. The benchmark indicates that the device is running the 1.3GHz Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor and comes with Nvidia's ULP GeForce GPU.

 

Google and Asus have stayed tight-lipped on any possible plans of launching a tablet. However, rumors have surfaced several times over the last few months, suggesting the device is launching soon. More importantly for those looking to find some reliability in today's rumor, a host of reports have suggested the device would launch with a 7-inch screen and come with a quad-core chip.

 

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Google launches Chromebook, Chromebox & gets it right | GigaOM

Google launches Chromebook, Chromebox & gets it right | GigaOM | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

We often joke Google is like the old Microsoft — getting things wrong, bumbling its way into new markets, and getting things right on the third try. This seems to be quite true of Google’s efforts to develop a cloud PC. Google and its partner, Samsung, are launching a new Chromebook and Chromebox today, targeting them at the educational and corporate customers.

 

The Chromebook from Samsung is like any other 12.1-inch budget laptop, while Chromebox is a tiny PC that you can connect to any keyboard, mouse and monitor similar to Apple’s Mac Mini. The Chromebook starts at $449 while the entry-level price of Chromebox is $329.

 

They both are powered by Intel Core processors and include 4GB RAM, Display Port, USB ports, gigabit ethernet, and dual band Wi-Fi. The Chromebox has Bluetooth and DVI output as well, while for $529 you can buy a Chromebook with an integrated 3G modem. And jokes aside, there is a lot to like about both of these new improved devices.

 

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Special tax bill confirmed, safe bet to be passed | TeleGeography

The Slovak government is pushing ahead with proposals for a special tax on regulated companies in utility sectors – telecoms, energy and postal services – with Prime Minister Robert Fico elaborating on details of the scheme on Tuesday, following initial parliamentary support last week.

 

As reported by Reuters, Fico said a special 4.2% tax on annual profit would be applicable in both 2012 and 2013 on top of a rise in corporate tax from 19% to 23% next year. The special tax is aimed at raising around EUR100 million (USD125 million), the PM announced, as part of measures needed to find an extra EUR1.5 billion next year to achieve a target of lowering the budget deficit to 2.9% of GDP, down from 4.8% in 2011.

 

Final approval for the proposals is expected to be a formality as Fico’s Smer party occupies 83 of 150 seats in parliament. Raising taxes in the Slovak telecoms sector would result in gaining extra money from major foreign stakeholders based in Germany (via Deutsche Telekom-controlled Slovak Telekom), France (Orange Slovakia) and Spain (Telefonica O2 Slovakia).

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MMTC: Access to Capital and Telecom Policy Conference | Financing the Transition to the Digital Economy

MMTC: Access to Capital and Telecom Policy Conference | Financing the Transition to the Digital Economy | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

10th Annual Access to Capital & Telecom Policy Conference

 

July 18-19 2012
Westin Georgetown Hotel
2350 M Street N.W.,
Washington, D.C.

 

Join experts from across the entire industry – policymakers, venture capitalists, bankers, innovators, entrepreneurs, and lawmakers -- to discuss the latest developments in communications policy, telecom reform, and emerging business and financial opportunities in traditional and digital media.

 

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Translations of Dutch parliamentary resolutions against ACTA « Bits of Freedom

Translations of Dutch parliamentary resolutions against ACTA « Bits of Freedom | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

On 29 May 2012, a majority of the Dutch parliament voted for three resolutions in the fight against ACTA. In short, the parliament requested the Dutch government to make the final decision to not sign or ratify ACTA (resolutions 1 and 2 below) and not to sign any new treaties similar to ACTA and to adapt its copyright policy to the internet (resolution 3 below). We have translated the Dutch resolutions below.

 

This is obviously a very important development in the movement against ACTA, as ACTA needs to be ratified by the European and the national parliaments to enter into full effect. It also sends a strong message to the European Parliament which will in the coming months vote on ACTA.

 

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Cable's Cloudy Future - 2012-05-29 | Multichannel News

Cable's Cloudy Future - 2012-05-29 | Multichannel News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Ciao, Old Cable: The days of services being anchored to specific pieces of operator-supplied hardware are fast receding.


The industry has moved swiftly to deliver an increasing amount of content and applications from "the cloud" - the buzzword du jour that simply refers to any network-delivered service. (TV Everywhere, available over any Internet connection, is a cloud service.)

 

At a high level, the architecture provides several clear advantages. MSOs can deliver video services to "virtual" set-tops, which could be tablets or smart TVs, over any Internet- protocol network. And they can modify their services - and make changes - far more quickly than with traditional set-top-based guides.

 

"The cloud allows you to innovate at a faster pace," Comcast Cable president and CEO Neil Smit said, speaking at the 2012 Cable Show last Tuesday (May 22). "It's a mix of technology fueling it and consumers saying, ‘Now that we've gotten that, we want more.' "

 

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AT&T Forcing Some DSL Customers to Upgrade to U-verse or Face Service Suspension | Stop the Cap!

AT&T Forcing Some DSL Customers to Upgrade to U-verse or Face Service Suspension | Stop the Cap! | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

AT&T is now forcing some of their customers relying on the company’s traditional DSL service to upgrade to AT&T U-verse or face service suspension.

 

The latest customers impacted by AT&T’s forced upgrade are in parts of Connecticut.

 

“This is a reminder that within the next 30 days, your current service will change to AT&T U-verse High Speed Internet,” reads the letter mailed to customers facing the mandatory transition. Unfortunately, customers have to call AT&T to arrange for new equipment if they want their service to continue uninterrupted — existing DSL modems don’t work with U-verse.

 

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Pogue's Posts: A Government Program That Could Improve the Economy | NYTimes

Pogue's Posts: A Government Program That Could Improve the Economy | NYTimes | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Considering how often the federal government is depicted as a huge, bloated, incomprehensible bureaucracy, it’s always refreshing when it does something forward-thinking and consumer-friendly. In the technology realm, it does that fairly often.

 

It was our government, for example, that decided to turn over the military-academic network known as the Internet to the general public; that one turned out pretty well. That same gang turned over its military positioning satellites — the GPS system — to the public for use in our cars and, eventually, phones. Weather data: same thing.

 

I’m also a fan of the Federal Communications Commission these days, which often seems to be the only thing standing between greedy cellphone companies and world domination.

 

On Wednesday, the president and his chief information officer introduced another digital handing-over to the public: government data. To kick-start efforts to open up government information, the president will require each major federal agency to make two important government services available on mobile phones within the next 12 months.

 

There’s also something called the Presidential Innovation Fellows program. The idea is to invite great techno-minds from outside the government to help turn specific government databases into cellphone-friendly services in “health, education, energy, safety, and personal finance.”

 

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Cross River Fiber capitalizes on NYSE Euronext's new data center rules with NJ fiber routes - FierceTelecom

Cross River Fiber, a competitive dark fiber provider, is going to build a new dark fiber route to Mahwah, N.J. in an effort to appeal to the state's financial trading community.

 

Financial trading companies looking for alternative fiber routes will be able to get what the service provider says is "express connectivity" between Mahwah and Carteret, Secaucus and Weehawken, N.J.

 

What drove the service provider to begin building out this route was the NYSE Euronext's announcement last week to open its data centers to more service providers in an effort it says will "reduce customer costs, increase flexibility and broaden access."

 

When its telco 'meet-me' rooms in Mahwah are completed in the first quarter of 2013, NYSE Technologies, the manager of the center, will offer customers direct access to area service providers like Cross River Fiber.

 

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China Telecom turns to Alcatel-Lucent for FTTH network expansion - FierceTelecom

China Telecom has set an ambitious plan to build out a Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) network across 31 of the country's provinces.

 

To make this network reality, the service provider has awarded Alcatel-Lucent Shanghai Bell, Alcatel-Lucent's flagship company in China, a €100 million (USD125 million) contract.

 

Completing this 31-city FTTH network is part of the service provider's "Broadband China Fiber Cities" plan, which has set a goal of bringing FTTH coverage to 100 million households and almost 30 million subscribers over the next three years.

 

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See what cloud can do! Dell unveils ARM servers | GigaOM Cleantech

See what cloud can do! Dell unveils ARM servers | GigaOM Cleantech | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Dell showed off a box that contains 48 ARM-based servers, joining other vendors such as HP making servers that uses the same processor architecture as the chips inside your cell phone.

 

The move is a significant one for the chip world as well as for Dell, as it proves how the needs of cloud and webscale customers have turned the chip and vendor community on its head, and provides Dell with the potential to make a high-dollar system for clients and stave off commoditization happening in the world of x86 gear.

 

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Kurion acquires nuclear to glass cleanup tech | GigaOM Cleantech

Kurion acquires nuclear to glass cleanup tech | GigaOM Cleantech | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Kurion, a startup that has developed technology that cleans up nuclear waste and is one of the most successful cleantech firms you haven’t heard of, has been acquiring more cleanup tech. On Monday the startup announcedthat it has acquired the assets of Impact Services (called GeoMelt), and the licenses from a company called GeoSafe (owned by Battelle), and all this intellectual property covers technology that turns nuclear waste into glass.

 

That process for turning waste (from nuclear and other substances) into glass is called vitrification, and it’s the widely accepted best practice for how to clean up and store nuclear waste. Kurion already owned some aspects of this technology, and Kurion’s business model is to make the nuclear clean up process more distributed, more flexible and more low cost. Traditionally vitrification has been a more centralized process.

 

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The world’s first radiation sensing cell phone | GigaM Cleantech

The world’s first radiation sensing cell phone | GigaM Cleantech | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

In the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, Japan’s brought the world the Geigergram, the open source Geiger counter gadget, and now the world’s first radiation-sensing cell phone, according to Asiajin. Softbank announced on Monday that it would start shipping the Pantone 5(107SH), a cell phone made by Sharp, on the Android platform, complete with a radiation measurement in it.

 

By pressing a dedicated button, users can measure radiation and track it on a map. The phone comes in eight different colors.

 

The move shows just how commonplace radiation fears have become in certain parts of Japan, and also spotlights how everyday Japanese are opting for a sort of grassroots style system for making sure their food, water and environment are safe. There was widespread distrust of government radiation data in the wake of Fukushima and many Japanese citizens have started doing their own measurements.

 

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Recipe for Broadband Expansion in Benton County | Blandin on Broadband

The St Cloud Times ran an article over the weekend that highlighted efforts of the local Minnesota Intelligent Rural Communities (MIRC) program. It reads like a recipe for successful change in the area.

 

They focus on training and introducing non-adopters to broadband through classes and easy public access to computers…

 

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Media Alliance : 5.9% of AT&T Shareholders Vote for Wireless Neutrality

Media Alliance : 5.9% of AT&T Shareholders Vote for Wireless Neutrality | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

About 5.9 percent of AT&T shareholders have voted for a proposal calling on the company to commit to net neutrality principles on its wireless networks, but supporters of the measure called the vote a success.

 

The vote, at AT&T's annual meeting in Salt Lake City Friday, met the 3 percent threshold for the proposal to be automatically placed on next year's ballot, according to Trillium Asset Management, the investment advisor that presented the proposal to AT&T shareholders. Investors holding AT&T stock worth about US$11.4 billion voted in favor of the resolution, Trillium said.

 

An AT&T spokeswoman didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on the vote.

 

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MIT Technology Review: The Great Bandwidth Brawl

AT&T has a problem in Chicago. The city was one of the first to be upgraded to the wireless carrier's next-generation LTE (long-term evolution) network, which packs more data into a radio signal and offers much faster download speeds. But independent tests published this month showed that AT&T downloads in Chicago are less than half the speed of those on Verizon's LTE network there. The reason? A lack of radio spectrum.

 

AT&T's radio licenses allow it to use only a 10-megahertz chunk of the airwaves for its LTE network in Chicago, compared with the 20 megahertz it has in other cities

AT&T faces the same problem in Los Angeles, and it's just part of a challenge confronting the whole mobile communications industry: how to reconcile consumer expectations of forever faster, cheaper downloads on mobile Internet devices with limited room in the airwaves.

 

Networks are not in danger of running out of capacity just yet. Carriers have spent large sums buying up rights to the radio spectrum, and they're being creative about ways to squeeze more out of what they already have. (Exact speeds vary, but an LTE connection is typically 10 times faster than one provided by a 3G network.) The federal government licenses spectrum space, and wireless carriers and other companies have for many years bought up and hoarded licenses, anticipating the need to expand.

 

But the largely unforeseen explosion in demand for wireless bandwidth, driven by the appearance of tablets and smart phones, has made it more urgent to ensure a supply for future use. AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel says network traffic and the company's spectrum portfolio affect the kind of service that users receive in different areas. "We will continue to invest and innovate to make the best, most efficient use of available spectrum across our network," he says.

 

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FCC Allocates More Spectrum for MBANs | Federal Telemedicine News

The FCC on May 24th adopted rules to enable Medical Body Area Networks (MBAN), a low-power wideband network consisting of multiple body-worn sensors to be capable of transmitting patient data to a control device. MBANs provide a cost effective way to monitor every patients in a healthcare institution.

 

MBAN devices are being designed to be deployed widely within a hospital and will make use of inexpensive disposable body worn sensors. The technology also makes it easier to move patients to different parts of the healthcare facility for treatment and gives healthcare providers the chance to identify life threatening problems or events before they reach critical levels.

 

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UTOPIA Proving a Popular Scapegoat for City Revenue Issues | Free UTOPIA!

A lot of cities have been talking property tax hikes lately, and the most certain thing about all of the proposals is that elected officials are going to look for someone or something to blame. In UTOPIA member cities, blaming the fiber network has become the easy go-to solution, especially since so many mayors and city council members weren’t involved in the original decision. The problem, however, is that this blame is completely paving over a deeper problem of city tax structure that’s boring, doesn’t fit the anti-UTOPIA narrative, and is a much larger problem for city budgets. Let’s take the examples of West Valley City, Orem, and Taylorsville, the latter of which is not a UTOPIA member city. In all three cases, they’ve called for large (as a percentage) property tax increases to make up for lagging sales tax revenues. So if UTOPIA is the cause of property tax increases, why would a non-member city need to more-or-less do the same thing?

 

When you dig deeper, you’ll find that all three cities have worked very hard to make themselves retail shopping destinations. Orem has pumped a lot into University Mall. West Valley did the same thing with the Valley Fair Mall (albeit with the additional burden of having a less-than-stellar reputation for public safety). The Family Center is Taylorsville’s retail play. All of the cities have said that the sluggish economy is to blame for flagging sales tax revenues, yet the greater Utah economy has been doing fairly well. None of the cities, however, seem to have counted on continued growth in online sales to drain their sales tax revenues.

 

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New Zealand judge orders US to hand over Megaupload documents | Ars Technica

New Zealand judge orders US to hand over Megaupload documents | Ars Technica | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom and his co-defendants scored a significant victory on Tuesday when a New Zealand judge ordered the United States government to hand over evidence the defense will need to prepare for an upcoming extradition hearing. He rejected the government's argument that the defendants should make do with the information about its case the government itself chose to introduce in court.

 

The judge's comments in the 81-page decision, which was provided to Ars Technica by Dotcom attorney Ira Rothken, suggest that he is conscious of Dotcom's trying circumstances and the unusual nature of the case against him. "Actions by and on behalf of the requesting State have deprived Mr. Dotcom and his associates of access to records and information," wrote Judge David Harvey, alluding to the fact that dozens of hard drives were taken from the Dotcom mansion during the January raid and have not been returned. Dotcom, Judge Harvey wrote, "does not have access to information which may assist him in preparation for trial."

 

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Why Can’t the U.S. Keep Pace With Europe on IT? | digitalcommunities

Why Can’t the U.S. Keep Pace With Europe on IT? | digitalcommunities | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Despite the work the U.S. has done the past decade to make information technology ubiquitous, a digital divide persists between America and some of the fast-advancing European countries.

 

Interestingly, while the country’s large land area is still one of the main factors impeding the U.S. government’s ability to successfully leverage its IT capabilities to a maximum, the biggest reason for the country’s underperformance has been its “less than satisfactory” political and regulatory environment, according to The Global Information Technology Report 2012 [PDF].

 

That opinion was echoed by Beñat Bilbao-Osorio, associate director and senior economist at the World Economic Forum and one of the report’s authors. Although the U.S. is excelling on many technology fronts from a global perspective, Bilbao-Osorio said the American government still hasn’t been able to make the best use of IT and technology infrastructure.

 

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For Tech Start-Ups, New York Has Increasing Allure | NYTimes

For Tech Start-Ups, New York Has Increasing Allure | NYTimes | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

When Doug Imbruce wanted to start an interactive video company in 2009, he had no luck finding investors in New York. So he moved to Silicon Valley — where venture capitalists were receptive to his pitch — and founded Qwiki.

 

But in February, he decided that being so far away from the nation’s big media companies was stifling his start-up’s growth. So he moved back to New York, bringing the company with him. Qwiki, with 15 employees, now operates out of a SoHo loft space.

 

“We went to Silicon Valley because they understood how big we wanted to get,” Mr. Imbruce said, “and we moved back to fulfill that promise.”

 

The recent burgeoning of New York’s Internet industry has forced some entrepreneurs — who, just a few years ago, might have felt they had little choice but to head west to pursue their dreams — to make a difficult choice. New York is now enough of an attractive alternative that a few West Coast-born start-ups are even packing up and moving east.

 

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Canada: Rogers’ “Unconscionable” Service Contracts & Bell’s Touch-Tone Fee Ripoff | Stop the Cap!

Canada: Rogers’ “Unconscionable” Service Contracts & Bell’s Touch-Tone Fee Ripoff | Stop the Cap! | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Did you know that signing a contract with Rogers Communications for your broadband, phone, and cable television service will not protect you from the company’s annual rate increases?

 

It represents a classic example of an “unconscionable term” in a contract, according to Anthony Daimsis, a contract law professor at the University of Ottawa. Not because Rogers has inserted language that allows the company to raise rates on contract customers at will, but rather because consumers cannot escape the contract without paying a stiff early termination fee, usually approaching $200.

 

Rogers says its service contracts do not guarantee stable rates, instead providing a discount for bundling its services together. Most Canadians asked by CBC’s Marketwatch thought otherwise, believing it should lock in current rates for the term of the agreement.

 

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Residential gateways will drive new broadband revenues, Infonetics says - FierceTelecom

Residential gateways will drive new broadband revenues, Infonetics says - FierceTelecom | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The key weapon a service provider has to increase the amount of money subscribers spend on broadband services can be found right at the residential gateway, indicates a new Infonetics study.

 

Jeff Heynen, directing analyst for broadband access and video at Infonetics Research, said that service providers are looking at the broadband connection "as a conduit for new revenue-generating services, far beyond today's voice, data, and broadcast video services."

 

Over the broadband gateway, service providers could deliver a mix of everything from home automation, home security, and multiscreen video (wireless distribution of video to set-top boxes, PCs, tablets, and mobile phones in the home) in addition to online gaming and telepresence services.

 

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This Week: Free Webinar on Delivering Multi-screen Video | USTelecom Blog

Within just the past few years, the consumer’s concept of video has gone from something experienced in the living room at preset times to something that is available anytime and anywhere on a multitude of devices.

 

Join USTelecom and Cisco on Thursday, May 31, at 1:00 PM ET for a free webinar that will discuss the underlying technologies necessary to provide video content to a variety of devices over unmanaged networks with little control of available bandwidth. Learn about adaptive bit rate (ABR) protocols available today and how they work to provide the best user experience possible.

 

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Did Fukushima Just Increase the Inevitable Decline of Nuclear Power? | CleanTechnica

Did Fukushima Just Increase the Inevitable Decline of Nuclear Power? | CleanTechnica | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

On May 5, 2012, Japan shut down its Tomari 3 nuclear reactor on the northern island of Hokkaido for inspection, marking the first time in over 40 years that the country had not a single nuclear power plant generating electricity. The March 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and subsequent Fukushima Daiichi nuclear meltdown shattered public confidence in atomic energy, thus far making it politically impossible to restart any of the reactors taken offline. And the disaster’s legacy has spread far beyond Japan.

 

Some European countries have decided to phase out their nuclear programs entirely. In other countries, nuclear plans are proceeding with caution. But with the world’s fleet of reactors aging, and with new plants suffering construction delays and cost increases, it is possible that world nuclear electricity generation has peaked and begun a long-term decline.

 

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