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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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What To Do About E-Waste | Smarter Living | NRDC

What To Do About E-Waste | Smarter Living | NRDC | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

A helpful how-to guide for keeping your computers, cell phones and other used electronics out of landfills.


Our increased reliance on personal technology—laptops, cell phones, PDAs, computer monitors, printers--has resulted in vast quantities of garbage in landfills and incinerators that could have been reused or recycled. About 2.6 million tons of e-waste ended up in landfills in 2007, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, while only 13.6 percent (408,000 tons) was recycled. If Americans recycled the more than 100 million cell phones that are no longer used,the amount of energy saved would be enough to power approximately 24,000 U.S. households for one year.


Some of the materials in personal electronics, such as lead, mercury and cadmium, are hazardous and can release dangerous toxins into our air and water when burned or deposited in landfills improperly. And throwing away metal components, like the copper, gold, silver and palladium in cell phones and other electronics, leads to needless mining for new metals.


Fortunately, there is a solution: returning your used electronics for responsible recycling, rather than throwing them in the trash.


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Sprint's newest MVNO pushes LTE with a military twist | FierceBroadbandWireless

Sprint's newest MVNO pushes LTE with a military twist | FierceBroadbandWireless | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

A new Sprint MVNO called Defense Mobile promises to bring LTE connectivity along with a host of affinity services--including integrated mobile banking--to active-duty U.S military members, veterans and their families. The MVNO's Nov. 11 launch seems appropriate given that date is celebrated as Veterans Day.


The New York-based MVNO will market nationwide mobile service over Sprint's network through the brands ArmyMobile.com, NavyMobile.com, AirForceMobile.com, and MarinesMobile.com. Though touting its LTE capability, it is likely the company will also rely upon Sprint's CDMA 3G service wherever LTE is not available.


Defense Mobile said it will market smartphones such as the Apple iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy 4 and HTC One at affordable prices, with device financing plans available. A photo on the company's website also shows tablets as well. The MVNO will offer fixed monthly rate plans starting at $20, unlimited plans starting at $40 and family share plans starting at $60, all available with or without a two-year contract.


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Lawrence, Kansas Finally Has Cap-Free Broadband (No Thanks to Sunflower/Knology) | Stop the Cap!

Lawrence, Kansas Finally Has Cap-Free Broadband (No Thanks to Sunflower/Knology) | Stop the Cap! | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Broadband customers in Lawrence, Kan. have been liberated from Internet Overcharging schemes after years of usage-capped Internet access from Sunflower Broadband and Knology.


WideOpenWest’s (better known as WOW!) acquisition of Knology, which in turn purchased Sunflower Broadband from the local newspaper, means usage limits are a thing of the past.


Consumer Reports has top-rated WOW! for customer friendly service, and banishing usage caps is an example of why the cable company earns such high marks.


The company reminds customers that “all WOW! Internet speeds have no usage caps.”


Sunflower Broadband originally offered four different broadband plans, only one without usage caps. Lawrence customers did get speed upgrades faster than many other cable broadband customers, but most were accompanied with draconian usage limits.


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Obama Promises Reform of NSA Spying, But the Devil Will Be in the Details | EFF.org

Obama Promises Reform of NSA Spying, But the Devil Will Be in the Details | EFF.org | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Earlier today, President Obama held a press conference to address the growing public concern over the National Security Agency’s surveillance practices. We are glad to see that the Administration has been forced to address the matter publicly as a result of the sustained public pressure from concerned voters as well as the ongoing press coverage of this issue. Obama acknowledged that Americans were uncomfortable with the surveillance that has been leaked to the media (and noted that he would be as well, if he weren’t in the government).  He made four commitments to transparency and reform during the press conference, and also published a whitepaper describing the legal interpretation of the PATRIOT Act that is used to attempt to justify bulk surveillance. 


While we’re glad Obama is responding to the public’s concerns, we take Obama’s promises today with a healthy dose of skepticism. He may be paying lip service to accountability and transparency, but the devil will be in the details when it comes to whether his proposals will be effective.


Other promises aside, President Obama did not commit to reducing the surveillance of Americans’ communications or the communications of individuals abroad who are not suspected of any crime.

Obama’s 4 Commitments – And What’s Missing

Obama made 4 specific commitments around NSA surveillance. Here’s an overview of what he did – and did not – promise to do.


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The Domestic and Foreign Copyright Policies for Promoting the Creative Economy | Disruptive Competition Project

The Domestic and Foreign Copyright Policies for Promoting the Creative Economy | Disruptive Competition Project | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Earlier this summer, I gave a talk in Seoul, Korea regarding how the United States actually has two copyright policies: one domestic and one foreign. These policies differ both in terms of how they are formulated, and what they say. Although these two policies have started converging, they still aren’t the same.


The talk occurred at a conference on “The Creative Economy and Intellectual Property” hosted by the Korean Institute for Intellectual Property and the Korean Intellectual Property Office. The conference reflected South Korean President Park’s initiative to promote a “creative economy” in Korea, which I suppose is an effort to distinguish Korea from the perceived “imitative economies” of other Asian countries such as China. At the conference, strong intellectual property protection was portrayed by the hosting organizations as critical to encouraging the development of a creative economy.


I was asked to talk about the U.S. government policy for promoting a creative economy. I explained that the U.S. actually has distinct domestic and foreign copyright policies, and explored how they have differed, both in terms of process (how they are formulated) and substance. My conclusion was that the domestic copyright policy promoted a creative economy in the United States, while the foreign copyright policy did not do so abroad.


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Mega's encrypted service to fill secure email void | GigaOM Tech News

Mega's encrypted service to fill secure email void | GigaOM Tech News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

It’s been a difficult week for fans of privacy. Email service Lavabit abruptly shut down last Thursday and Silent Circle’s Silent Mail client followed suit just a day later, leaving the world of secure email drastically thinned out. Luckily, embattled tech star and privacy crusader Kim Dotcom will fill the vacuum with a “cutting edge” secure email client.


It just might take a while before it gets here.


Encrypted email has long been in the works for Mega as part of a boosted privacy suite that includes messaging and file transfers. Both Dotcom and Mega CEO Vikram Kumar have been talking up their commitment to email in the wake of Lavabit and Silent Circle’s respective shutdowns, including a blog post in which Kumar called the companies’ decision “the honorable act of privacy seppuku.”


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Technology Industry Extends a Hand to Struggling Print Media | NYTimes.com

Technology Industry Extends a Hand to Struggling Print Media | NYTimes.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

From classifieds to display ads to subscriptions, the digital age has broken the financial pillars of print journalism, leaving the industry struggling to stand on its own.


But more frequently — and with a boom last week, when Jeffrey P. Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com, bought The Washington Post — the tycoons who have led the digital revolution are giving traditional print outlets a hand.


Call it a sense of obligation. Or responsibility. Or maybe there is even a twinge of guilt. Helping print journalism adapt to a changed era is becoming a cause du jour among the technology elite.


Google, which has been criticized for profiting from news content created by others, began financing journalism fellowships for eight people this year. The founder of Craigslist, the free listing service that helped ruin newspapers’ classified advertising, helped finance a book on ethics for journalists.


A co-founder of Facebook, the social network many young people rely on for news, recently bought New Republic magazine, and the founder of eBay, another classified ad killer, started an online news service in Hawaii. Steven P. Jobs, the former Apple chief executive, went out of his way to advise newspapers how to adapt their products for the tablet era.


“So ironic,” Les Hinton, a former publisher of The Wall Street Journal, wrote in a Twitter post last week about Mr. Bezos, that The Washington Post “should be consumed by a pioneer of the industry that almost destroyed it.”


Technology industry leaders, who “deal in fact and code,” are supporting the press because they value it, said Merrill Brown, director of the School of Communication and Media at Montclair State University and the former editor in chief of MSNBC.com.


“They’re concerned about where the country is going and share a commonly held point of view that what we do is important for democracy,” said Mr. Brown, who is also a partner at the venture capital firm DFJ Frontier.


This union of the press and digital patrons is sometimes awkward. For starters, tech moguls seem to do their best to stay as far away as possible from the news media’s prying questions. Mr. Jobs was famously prickly around the press, while Mr. Bezos has shunned all interviews about his purchase of The Washington Post except for one — with The Washington Post.


Technology’s helping hand has mostly been extended to newspapers and magazines. And some tech-focused companies, like Yahoo, have long been involved in the news business, hiring their own reporters and editors, setting themselves up as direct competitors to traditional news outlets.


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The NSA Is Commandeering the Internet | The Atlantic

The NSA Is Commandeering the Internet | The Atlantic | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

It turns out that the NSA's domestic and world-wide surveillance apparatus is even more extensive than we thought. Bluntly: The government has commandeered the Internet. Most of the largest Internet companies provide information to the NSA, betraying their users. Some, as we've learned, fight and lose. Others cooperate, either out of patriotism or because they believe it's easier that way.


I have one message to the executives of those companies: fight.


Do you remember those old spy movies, when the higher ups in government decide that the mission is more important than the spy's life? It's going to be the same way with you. You might think that your friendly relationship with the government means that they're going to protect you, but they won't. The NSA doesn't care about you or your customers, and will burn you the moment it's convenient to do so.


We're already starting to see that. Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and others are pleading with the government to allow them to explain details of what information they provided in response to National Security Letters and other government demands. They've lost the trust of their customers, and explaining what they do -- and don't do -- is how to get it back. The government has refused; they don't care.


It will be the same with you. There are lots more high-tech companies who have cooperated with the government. Most of those company names are somewhere in the thousands of documents that Edward Snowden took with him, and sooner or later they'll be released to the public. The NSA probably told you that your cooperation would forever remain secret, but they're sloppy. They'll put your company name on presentations delivered to thousands of people: government employees, contractors, probably even foreign nationals. If Snowden doesn't have a copy, the next whistleblower will.


This is why you have to fight. When it becomes public that the NSA has been hoovering up all of your users' communications and personal files, what's going to save you in the eyes of those users is whether or not you fought. Fighting will cost you money in the short term, but capitulating will cost you more in the long term.


Already companies are taking their data and communications out of the US.


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How the Internet Can Save Journalism | Ackerman & Ayres Blog | Huff Post

How the Internet Can Save Journalism | Ackerman & Ayres Blog | Huff Post | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The sale of the Washington Post to Jeff Bezos is just the most recent episode in the decline and fall of professional journalism. By selling out to a mega-billionaire without any newspaper experience, the Graham family has put a priceless national asset at the mercy of a single outsider. Perhaps Jeff Bezos will use his new plaything responsibly; perhaps not; if not, one of the few remaining sources of serious journalism will be lost.


The crisis in the English-speaking world will turn into a catastrophe in smaller language zones. The English-speaking market is so large that advertisers will pay a lot to gain access to the tens of millions of readers who regularly click onto the New York Times or the Guardian. But the Portuguese-reading public is far too small to support serious journalism on the internet. What happens to Portuguese democracy when nobody is willing to pay for old-fashioned newspapers?


The blogosphere can't be expected to take up the slack. First-class reporting on national and international affairs isn't for amateurs. It requires lots of training and lots of contacts and lots of expenses. It also requires reporters with the well-honed capacity to write for a broad audience -- something that eludes the overwhelming majority of academic specialists and think-tank policy wonks. And it requires editors who recognize the need to maintain their organization's long-term credibility when presenting the hot-button news of the day. The modern newspaper created the right incentives, but without a comparable business model for the new technology, blogging will degenerate into a postmodern nightmare -- with millions spouting off without any concern for the facts.

We can't afford to wait for the invisible hand to come up with a new way to provide economic support for serious journalism. To be sure, the financial press has proved moderately successful in persuading readers to pay for online access; and mainstream media are now trying to emulate this success. But if tens of millions of readers don't succumb to the charms of PayPal -- and quickly -- now is the time for some creative thinking.

For starters, it would be a mistake to rely on a BBC-style solution. It is one thing for government to serve as a major source of news; quite another to give it a virtual monopoly on reporting. This could mean the death of critical fact-based inquiry when a demagogic government takes power -- this risk is especially great in small language zones, where outside media can't take up the slack.


Enter the Internet news voucher. Under our proposal, each news article on the web will end by asking readers whether it contributed to their political understanding. If so, they can click the yes-box, and send the message to a National Endowment for Journalism -- which would obtain an annual appropriation from the government. This money would be distributed to news organizations on the basis of a strict mathematical formula: the more clicks, the bigger the check from the Endowment.


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TWC Customers File Lawsuit over Retrans Disconnect with Milwaukee Station | Multichannel.com

TWC Customers File Lawsuit over Retrans Disconnect with Milwaukee Station | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

A trio of Time Warner Cable customers has filed a lawsuit against the cable operator over its retransmission-consent dispute with WTMJ-TV in Milwaukee.


Filed on Aug. 8 in Milwaukee County Circuit Court, the suit seeks unspecified damages for breach of contract, and a day's credit for each customer for every day service was interrupted more than four hours. The plaintiffs also are looking to elevate the legal pursuit to class-action status on behalf of all affected Time Warner Cable customers.


WTMJ-TV is one of six of stations owned by Journal Broadcast Group that has been off of Time Warner Cable’s systems since July 25 in a retransmission-consent battle. One apparent casualty of the impasse: The MSO's customers will be shut out from the station's presentation of the Aug. 9 NFL preseason game between the Green Bay Packers and Arizona Cardinals.


Journal Communications owns the Journal Broadcast and the Journal Sentinel, which first reported on the legal proceedings.


Time Warner Cable officials said they had not yet received the suit and could not respond to its assertions.


A TWC spokesman said the parties have had ongoing discussions, but “no meaningful progress” has been made. Journal Broadcast officials could not be reached by press time.


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MO: Nixa council questions value of municipal fiber network | Springfield News-Leader

Finley Engineering presented to Nixa City Council its findings on a municipal fiber network on Wednesday, but city officials are unsure it’s worth the multimillion-dollar cost.


“Do we really see ourselves spending $15 million to do this?” Nixa Mayor Sam Clifton asked. A network could provide Internet, cable TV and phone service for city residents.


The $15 million would cover facilities and equipment, but the city’s total could reach $28 million if all available Nixa subscribers participated in a city broadband system.


Each subscriber, a household or business, would cost the city $1,868. It has not been determined what subscribers would be charged.


District II Councilman Chris Russell said, “The question is: How long does it take to get our money back?”


City Administrator Brian Bingle said that would be answered if the council votes to continue researching the network.


The next step is a market study and business case analysis, Clifton said. These studies will indicate how much the service would cost subscribers and gauge interest in the service.


Jill Finney, Nixa communications director, said council would likely vote to pursue the studies at its next meeting.


She said each study costs the city money, so council members will weigh the costs against the worth of the research.


The preliminary study, which cost the city about $45,000, included afiber-to-the-premises network design, which brings fiber cables straight to houses and businesses. This allows for faster and more reliable Internet, cable and phone connections.


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Clearing the Air About eHealth Security | ZeroDivide

Clearing the Air About eHealth Security | ZeroDivide | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Privacy and data security are in the news a lot lately. As healthcare moves online, it’s understandable that folks increasingly wonder about their health data and what steps are being taken to protect it. Unfortunately there is also increasingly misinformation and confusion out there.


One recent example does not even involve health data, though opponents of the Affordable Care Act hope the confusion continues. In their efforts to prepare for October 1st enrollment, the federal government is setting up a data hub that will query government databases in order to provide real-time eligibility information for insurance applicants using the Affordable Care Act’s online exchanges. Certain members of Congress caused an uproar recently by questioning the security of this data hub. Their efforts to derail the ACA are further fueled by misleading reports that describe the hub as a massive database of sensitive health and financial information without proper security safeguards. 


However, astute observers have noted, there will be no health data stored in the hub. More importantly, the data hub will not actually store any personal data at all, but instead will route it temporarily from existing secure government databases in order to determine eligibility for Medicaid and private health insurance subsidies. While some important questions have yet to be answered, CMS has reiterated the privacy and security safeguards will be paramount once the hub is operational. These details receive little to no press, while countless editorials and blogs have fretted about a massive government database and its potential security risks.


The confusion surrounding this relatively simple and important IT strategy for the ACA is emblematic of broader misunderstandings about health data security and privacy. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, contains strong provisions to safeguard and protect sensitive health information. However, in the course of doing so, this law and its associated regulations have together managed to confuse and scare patients, advocates and providers alike, often preventing them from using eHealth tools to communicate.


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C Spire Wireless grabs PCS spectrum from Leap | TeleGeography

Mississippi-based C Spire Wireless recently purchased PCS spectrum from Leap Wireless, Fierce Wireless reports, citing a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing from the latter company. On 4 June – more than a month before Leap formalised a deal to be taken over by AT&T Mobility – the San Diego-based firm offloaded a 10MHz PCS concession covering Biloxi to C Spire, for just USD6 million.


Although the transaction is comparatively small in the world of US spectrum deals, it offers an interesting indication that C Spire harbours aspirations to beef up its coverage in its core markets as an increasing number of ‘Tier 2’ operators scramble to agree takeovers with larger rivals.

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Why Aren’t Civil Rights Groups Standing Up to the Telecom Giants? | The Nation

Why Aren’t Civil Rights Groups Standing Up to the Telecom Giants? | The Nation | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Erika Delgado cut her landline service last December. She had cycled through four different companies since 2000, with each company charging her for calls she didn’t make, services she never signed up for and things she thought were included in her contract. After five years with Pacific Bell, Delgado moved to Verizon because they offered her discounted rates for weekend calls and other services. Though she qualified for Lifeline, a discount program designed to provide basic telephone service for low-income customers, a landslide of unexpected fees and overcharges soon overwhelmed her.


“They say they’ll give you discounts but it’s not true,” says Delgado, a 40-year-old single mother of three children living off of the $850 a month she earns from her business selling clothes and electronics at the Mt. Vernon Swap Meet in San Bernardino, California. “They just charge, charge, charge.”


Delgado cut her service with Verizon after just a year and a half and moved to AT&T. She decided to enroll in a $20 a month plan that included long-distance calling, an important feature because she frequently makes calls home to Mexico. But after making two 15- to 20-minute calls to Mexico, she was slapped with a $90 charge for the calls. She says AT&T then told her that her plan did not cover long distance to Mexico, and that $200 would cover the cost of the calls and the additional fees.


“I had to choose to either feed my kids or pay the bill,” she says. The company sent her to collections and she cut service with AT&T after just 6 months.


Now, with a mounting collections bill on her credit report, Delgado doesn’t even consider moving away from her mobile home or applying for a job that requires good credit. She has also given up entirely on getting the landline service she needs at home. Sometimes her cell phone doesn’t get a signal in her home, and when she can’t afford the electricity bill, she has no way to charge the battery. “I am a single mom and my kids have asthma,” she says. “In case of an emergency with my kids, I need reliable telephone service at home to call 911.”


Delgado’s decade-long struggle with finding affordable and reliable telephone service is not unique. Her story, and the plight of millions of other low-income people are at the heart of a debate between civil rights groups and public interest advocates who find themselves at opposite ends of a debate about what rules, if any, should rein in companies like AT&T from exploiting consumers like Delgado.


In November 2012, in anticipation of moving its telephone service from traditional, wired networks to IP-based phone networks, which transmit voice communications digitally, AT&T filed a petition with the FCC to run test trials of IP-based telephone services. In exchange for expanding these networks, the company is requesting “relief” from critical regulations that apply to wired telephone services. These regulations, which include obligations to provide universal service and state-enforced price and quality regulations, do not currently apply to IP-based telephone service. The petition has garnered critical responses from many public interest groups, including Free Press, the Center for Rural Strategies and the National Hispanic Media Coalition, which are concerned that relaxing these regulations will allow telecom companies to avoid regulating IP-based phone services, leaving them vulnerable to price gouging and poor service quality, with weak access for communities of color and rural residents. (For more about the AT&T petition’s potential impact on underserved communities, click here).


Despite public interests groups’ strong warnings that such regulatory relief would disparately impact communities of color, many business-friendly civil rights groups have come out in support of the petition. Groups such as the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the National Urban League and the Asian American Federation—all of which have received millions in private donations from AT&T—have filed comments with the FCC showing strong support of the company’s proposed plan for its transition to IP-based telephone services. None of their comments specify regulations that should apply to those services.


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FirstNet invites participation in human-factors study that willl be crucial to success | Urgent Communications

Much of the discussion about FirstNet—the nationwide, public-safety broadband network now in development—has focused on technology. However, an extremely important, but often overlooked, aspect of this network is the impact it will have on people.  We need to understand how the new network will affect the way law-enforcement, fire and emergency-medical-services personnel carry out their duties every day.


FirstNet must consider human factors and design systems that fit the human body and its cognitive abilities, as well as optimize system performance and productivity. This is crucial in the public-safety environment, where split-second decisions and actions are often essential to save lives and property.


The FirstNet Board has asked the PSAC to analyze the long-range changes that the new network will have on people who use, operate and maintain the network every day. The PSAC believes that the needs of first responders and the individuals who support them, along with the latest technology, must drive network-design decisions.


When FirstNet is operational, public-safety agencies will have the ability to send data, video, images and text and make commercial-grade voice calls. Priority access and greater security and reliability will be key features of the network. These capabilities will provide dramatic improvements over the way we communicate today.


In our current land-mobile-radio environment, we have thousands of disparate wireless systems deployed by local, state and regional entities. The resulting interoperability problems extend across people, as well as technology.


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Feds Hit Lavabit With A Warrant Back In April, But Shutdown Likely Over Something Much Bigger | Techdirt

Feds Hit Lavabit With A Warrant Back In April, But Shutdown Likely Over Something Much Bigger | Techdirt | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Last week we wrote about a security-focused email service known as Lavabit shutting down in response to some sort of court order (the details of which Lavabit's founder, Ladar Levison, is barred from talking about). While most of the speculation has been about the claims that Ed Snowden has used a Lavabit email address, a reader points out to us that the government took an interest in Lavabit a few months before the whole Snowden affair started, issuing a search warrant concerning a Lavabit email account, Joey006@lavabit.com, back in March of this year, to be executed by April 11. From the affidavit supplied with the warrant, this involved an FBI investigation into child porn. It appears that Levison handed over a DVD in response to the warrant -- though the details of this were only filed with the court on June 10th (on a document signed on June 7th, two days after the first of the Snowden documents had been revealed, but before Snowden's name was revealed).

Either way, given the timing of all of this, it's possible that the shutdown may have not involved Snowden or anything related to the NSA surveillance at all, but is the result of a totally unrelated case. Obviously, at this point, only the government and Levison actually know the details, but it does seem worth noting that the government has targeted Lavabit email addresses in the past. However, according to Levison himself, it seems clear that what they were asking for that made him shut down was quite a bit more involved than an ordinary search warrant. In an interview with Forbes, Levison stated that he's cooperated in the past with government requests, noting that there have been about two dozen over the past decade.


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Addressing the Smartphone Adaptive Technology Gap in Korea | German Marshall Fund

Addressing the Smartphone Adaptive Technology Gap in Korea | German Marshall Fund | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Simply close your eyes and try to use your smartphone, and you will note the need for adaptive technology.  In the Republic of Korea (ROK), an IT powerhouse with the highest Internet access ratio and smartphone penetration rate in the world, in respect to digital device utilization there remains a wide gap between people with disability and those without.  For example, in the ROK, 61.5% of the general population owned smartphones in 2012, while only 23.1% of people with disability owned smartphones.


In the US, the gap is much smaller, with 56% of the general population smartphone owners compared to 48.8% of people with disability. This low penetration rate of smartphones for people with disability in Korea means not only lower mobile internet utilization and access to internet based information, but also lower access to the multi-purpose opportunities that the smartphone provides.


In the ROK, this is called the ‘neo-digital divide,’ given that the first digital divide is defined as the information gap between those with access to the World Wide Web and those without. While the first divide is still to be solved, the neo-digital divide or mobile digital divide has also come to the fore.


People with disability have the right and capability to navigate the Internet; the challenge is foremost technological, but improved policies and focus are also essential to speed up technological advance.   People with disability are the largest minority on the planet.  18.7% of the U.S. population experiences a form of disability.


The World Health Organization reports that more than 19.4% of the world population over the age of 15, or approximately one billion people, live with disability. Further, the majority of disabled people acquire their disability during their lives; in the ROK, 90.5% of the population will be disabled at some point in their lives.  It is possible and preferable in the near term to develop technologies and policies that bring people out of the information dead zone regarding the benefits from technology and development.


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GA: Atlanta Tech Village Partners With Trevelino/Keller to Foster Tech Sector Growth in Southeast | PR Newswire

GA: Atlanta Tech Village Partners With Trevelino/Keller to Foster Tech Sector Growth in Southeast | PR Newswire | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Atlanta Tech Village (the Village), a progressive community hub that houses the largest coworking environment for emerging tech companies and tech startups in the Southeast, announces its partnership with Trevelino/Keller as its public relations and marketing agency of record.  Trevelino/Keller will harness its expertise of the regional startup community to develop Atlanta Tech Village into one of the nation's most prominent emerging technology destinations.


Recognized as one of the fourth fastest growing firms in the U.S., Trevelino/Keller is often sought after by companies in need of a strategic partner that cuts across branding, marketing and public relations.  Attracted to Trevelino/Keller's history of working with and launching startups as well as its veteran experience in the tech space, Atlanta Tech Village selected Trevelino/Keller based on a mutual goal of driving the economic success and technological development of Atlanta. 


"Atlanta's startup community has the resources and support to be one of the leading tech hubs in the U.S. and our goal with Atlanta Tech Village is to turn our city into a hotspot for emerging technology companies," says Johnson Cook, Managing Director of Atlanta Tech Village.  "With Trevelino/Keller by our side, we will continue to work to develop our community and foster the growth of our member companies."


Centrally located in Buckhead, Atlanta Tech Village has plans to renovate the iconic Ivy Place into a new haven for young Atlantan "techpreneurs."  The complex, which will be complete by spring 2014, is specifically geared towards fostering creative dialogue amongst the Southeast's top tech minds.  Through its partnership with Trevelino/Keller, Atlanta Tech Village dually seeks to attract tech-centric investors and encourage member proliferation.


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Rep. Justin Amash: House Intelligence Committee Withheld NSA Documents From Incoming Congressmen | Techdirt

Rep. Justin Amash: House Intelligence Committee Withheld NSA Documents From Incoming Congressmen | Techdirt | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Defenders of the NSA's program always point to two things: it's all legal and it's all subject to oversight. Part of the "oversight" is the FISA "thumbs up" system that has approved every request for two years in a row. The other part of the "oversight" is Congress itself.

Unfortunately, members of Congress have been lied to directly about the extent of the collections occurring under Section 215 (and 702), so that's one strike against the "oversight." Now, it appears that members of Congress are being selectively provided with information about the programs.

Rep. Justin Amash, (attempted) NSA defunder, posted this to his Facebook wall last night. It's a recently declassified document addressed to Mike Rogers and Dutch Ruppersberger. This cover letter accompanied documents detailing the bulk collections authorized by Sections 215 and 402 (pen register/trap and trace).


At the beginning of the second paragraph, the cover letter (dated Feb. 2, 2011) notes:


"We believe that making this document available to all Members of Congress, as we did with a similar document in 2009, is an effective way to inform the legislative debate about the reauthorization of Section 215."


There's your "oversight" for you: the assistant attorney general calling for these documents to be shared with all Congress members in order to give them the oversight capabilities NSA spokesmen keep claiming is keeping the agency in check. Except, as Amash points out on his FB page, Mike Rogers and Dutch Ruppersberger never bothered sharing these documents.


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Making You 'Comfortable' with Spying Is Obama's Big NSA Fix | ForeignPolicy.com

Making You 'Comfortable' with Spying Is Obama's Big NSA Fix | ForeignPolicy.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Barack Obama held a press conference on Friday afternoon, supposedly to announce reforms of the NSA's far-flung surveillance programs. In reality, the White House briefing was the start of a marketing campaign for the spy programs that have turned so controversial in recent months. And the president's message really boiled down to this: It's more important to persuade people surveillance is useful and legal than to make structural changes to the programs.


"The question is, how do I make the American people more comfortable?" Obama said.


Not that Obama's unwilling to make any changes to America's surveillance driftnets -- and he detailed a few of them -- but his overriding concern was that people didn't believe him when he said there was nothing to fear.


In an awkward analogy, the president said that if he'd told his wife Michelle that he had washed the dishes after dinner, she might not believe him. So he might have to take her into the kitchen and show her the evidence.


The tour of the NSA's kitchen appeared today in the form of two "white papers," one produced by the Justice Department, another by the NSA, that offered a robust defense of the legal basis for the programs, and their value, but offered practically no new details to the administration's already public defense. If the president meant to offer more proof that the programs really are fine, it was not to be found in the information his administration released today.


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Tiny screens are growing in importance for television viewers | FT.com

Tiny screens are growing in importance for television viewers | FT.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Television viewers are trading the small screen for the tiny screen, with a growing proportion of smartphone owners watching full-length television programmes on mobile devices.


New research shows a surge in people watching not just short clips but entire television episodes and films on tablets and smartphones. While 38 per cent of smartphone owners regularly watch videos on their device, about a tenth now watch full-length television programmes, according to Magid Advisors, a consulting group whose clients include large media and technology companies.


“Mobile is the connected television that we all carry in our pockets,” said Amir Ashkenazi, chief executive of Adap.tv, the digital video advertising company that AOL said it would acquire for $405m last week.


The growth in mobile-video viewing has been triggered by the rapid adoption of smartphones with larger screens as well as faster internet connectivity both through mobile operators and WiFi networks. This has resulted in people using phones to catch up on television programmes while travelling on public transport or turning to mobile devices when the household television and computer is otherwise occupied.


“You have this device that is really widely distributed, and there is a lot of content available through subscriptions and free services,” said Mike Vorhaus, president of Magid Advisors. “[Watching television programmes on smartphones] is not the dominant behaviour right now, more people are watching on TVs and computers, but the smartphone is growing.”


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Move aside, .com: .wed, other domains will make Internet more crowded | Wash Post

Move aside, .com: .wed, other domains will make Internet more crowded | Wash Post | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Adrienne McAdory, a Washington military contractor, remembers exactly when she learned the Internet was about to get a lot bigger. She was at work, at the Pentagon in 2011, and she saw an article about a nonprofit group called ICANN, which oversees the Internet. She saw that ICANN was going to expand the number of generic top-level domain names from fewer than 20 to what ultimately became nearly 2,000 and that visiting the Web was never going to be the same again.


And she knew she wanted a piece of it.


First, some terminology. A second-level domain name is everything that comes before the dot in the Web address: Facebook. EBay. Google. These are easy to buy — if the address you want is available, you can purchase it for less than $20 with a click online. The top-level domain of a Web address is everything that comes after the dot: the .gov, the .org, the .mil. They are a foundational muscle of the Internet.


What ICANN, the California-headquartered Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, was offering was the chance to create and buy what comes after the dot. All McAdory needed was the $185,000 application fee. Which she had, because, she explains, “I’m old, and I’m frugal” (she’s 42). So she worked through the lengthy application process, named her company “Atgron,” and, two months ago, learned she’d had won the rights to own a domain: .wed.


McAdory was part of a land grab — something that could fundamentally change the way average users experience the Internet.


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Joshua Hall's curator insight, July 15, 2014 6:24 PM

Interesting article about how new domain categories (.wed, etc.) will crowd the web even more

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What is Verizon Wireless cooking up with its cable partners? | FierceWireless.com

What is Verizon Wireless cooking up with its cable partners? | FierceWireless.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

One key part of Verizon Wireless' $3.9 billion purchase of 20 MHz of nationwide AWS spectrum from a group of cable companies (Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks and Cox Communications) last year was a joint technology venture with the companies, formally known as the "Joint Operating Entity." The joint venture was designed to develop technology to better integrate wireline and wireless products and services. However, it's still unclear what the joint venture is actually working on.


Here's what I know so far: The joint venture is being led by Tony Heyman, Verizon's president for converged solutions. He's also been spearheading the marketing partnerships between the carrier and the cable companies, in which they have been reselling each other's services in stores across the country.

But what exactly is the joint technology venture working on? None of the companies will really say at this point. Some work on "converged solutions" is being done at Verizon's LTE Innovation Center in Waltham, Mass., but the companies aren't providing details.


The fullest explanation on record so far comes from Verizon Wireless CEO Dan Mead, who said in May that "we are at the very early stages of the value creation. But what you're going to see is a tremendous pipeline in terms of the value experience," according to a transcript of his remarks. Mead talked vaguely about some kind of converged video solution because "video expansion in our business is going to be very important in the future."


Mead said Verizon's cable partners would likely introduce products as a result of the technology joint venture one at a time and not all at once. It seems like Comcast is the lead partner in the cable venture. And when might an actual product come to market? Mead said "we look at the fourth quarter as a very important time for us in the marketplace."


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IA: Mudd Advertising and Cedar Falls Utility Talk Gigabit Broadband | community broadband networks

IA: Mudd Advertising and Cedar Falls Utility Talk Gigabit Broadband | community broadband networks | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

As we reported back in May, Cedar Falls Utilities (CFU) now offers citywide gigabit broadband. Mudd Advertising is one local company poised to take full advantage of the new blazing speeds. Mudd invited officials from CFU into its studio for a live panel discussion about the new gigabit service and what it means for the community. The video is embedded below and is available via MuddTV - look for the 6/19/2013 archived show.


When asked what gigabit service means for the community, CFU’s Director of Business Management Rob Houlihan said “We have a lot of businesses that transfer huge files to and from their customers and this enables them to do even more of that activity.” Houlihan elaborated by saying that gigabit broadband opens up “a whole new host of opportunities for them to innovate.”


The panel was moderated by Mudd’s Gary Kroeger and consisted of Steve Bernard, Director of Business Development, Robert Houlihan, CFU’s Network Services Manager, and Rob Mudd, President of Digital Media and Chief Futurist of Research and Development for Mudd Advertising.


Mr. Mudd followed Houlihan’s lead by explaining what gigabit broadband means to Mudd Advertising: “Anytime that you can communicate to the world via video, live, with no buffering, no latency, anywhere in the world that you pick, that gives an advertising agency, or anybody that has a message to tell people, a leg up.” He went on to explain how the live panel itself, along with similar demonstrations they recently conducted from Bangkok, Moscow and Shanghai, are examples of what gigabit connectivity brings his company.


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AT&T invested over USD40m in fixed, wireless Puerto Rican networks in H1| TeleGeography

In the first half of 2013 AT&T says it invested more than USD40 million in its wireless and fixed networks in Puerto Rico. The investments included deployment of new macro cell sites and capacity enhancements across the state as part of AT&T’s Project Velocity IP, a three-year investment plan announced last autumn to expand and enhance its IP broadband networks. The company also expanded and enhanced its 4G LTE network.


Highlights of network upgrades completed so far this year in Puerto Rico include a 4G LTE expansion to Vieques and LTE expansions in San Juan, Yabucoa, Ponce, Dorado, Guaynabo and Toa Alta. AT&T’s LTE services are available in areas across the island including the greater San Juan area, Guayama, San German, Cabo Rojo and Yauco.


The 2013 year-to-date network investment follows the USD325 million-plus that AT&T invested in its Puerto Rico wireless and wired networks from 2010 through 2012, according to its press release.

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Scott St. John's curator insight, August 13, 2013 4:41 PM

#hot #news from #ATT wrt #network #expansion in #LATAM.