Surfing the Broad...
Follow
Find
99.6K views | +86 today
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!

Aereo May Have Unlikely Ally | MediaPost.com

Aereo might call a Wall Street analyst as a witness in its case versus leading broadcasters. Entities linked with the major networks have charged that the service could deprive them of carriage or retransmission consent fees, but Barclays’ Anthony DiClemente disputes that in a report issued this week.

 

DiClemente isn’t making the case to defend Aereo, but simply to suggest to investors that the service doesn’t pose much of a threat to the value of major media companies.

 

There have been suggestions that if Aereo, which streams live TV to digital devices with DVR functionality, prevails against media companies that want to shut it down. Cable operators might look to develop similar technology allowing them to skirt the retrans payments. That could, of course, hurt networks. 

 

But DiClemente writes their parent companies have little to worry about. They tend to “bundle” broadcast stations' in package deals with cable assets and aren’t likely to allow a cable operator to get one without paying for the other. “Distributors could have a hard time disaggregating the two to save” on retrans payments, the analyst says.


Click headline to read more--
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

T-Mobile Breaks Free of Cellphone Contracts and Penalties | NYTimes.com

T-Mobile Breaks Free of Cellphone Contracts and Penalties | NYTimes.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Where, exactly, is your threshold for outrage?

 

Would you speak up if you were overbilled for a meal? Would you complain if you paid for a book from Amazon.com that never arrived?

 

Or what if you had to keep making monthly mortgage payments even after your loan was fully repaid?

 

Well, guess what? If you’re like most people, you’re participating in exactly that kind of rip-off right now. It’s the Great Cellphone Subsidy Con.

 

When you buy a cellphone — an iPhone or Android phone, let’s say — you pay $200. Now, the real price for that sophisticated piece of electronics is around $600. But Verizon, AT&T and Sprint are very thoughtful. They subsidize the phone. Your $200 is a down payment. You pay off the remaining $400 over the course of your two-year contract.

 

It’s just like buying a house or a car: you put some cash down and pay the rest in installments. Right?

 

Wrong. Here’s the difference: Once you’ve finished paying off your handset, your monthly bill doesn’t go down. You keep reimbursing the cellphone company as though you still owed it. Forever.

 

And speaking of the two-year contract, why aren’t you outraged about that? What other service in modern life locks you in for two years? Home phone service? Cable TV service? Internet? Magazine subscriptions? Baby sitter? Lawn maintenance? In any other industry, you can switch to a rival if you ever become unhappy. Companies have to work for your loyalty.

 

But not in the cellphone industry. If you try to leave your cellphone carrier before two years are up, you’re slapped with a penalty of hundreds of dollars.

 

If you’re not outraged by those rip-offs, maybe it’s because you think you’re helpless. All of the Big Four carriers follow the same rules, so, you know — what are you gonna do?

 

Click headline to read more--

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

Surprise: Rep. Bob Goodlatte Thinks The Justice Department Is Too Cozy With Hollywood

Surprise: Rep. Bob Goodlatte Thinks The Justice Department Is Too Cozy With Hollywood | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Rep. Bob Goodlatte, the current head of the House Judiciary Committee, is seen as a friend of copyright maximalists -- generally supporting their legislative efforts. He's not nearly as extreme as his predecessor, Lamar Smith, but he's hardly seen as a problem for Hollywood. So, it's a bit surprising to see Goodlatte pen an article for Politico, talking about "waste" at the Justice Department, where he explicitly calls out the DOJ's cozy relationship with Hollywood.

While he isn't talking about the cozy relationship that worries us -- the domain seizures, the willingness (and eagerness) to act as Hollywood's personal police force, and the revolving door between DOJ lawyers and big entertainment lobbying and litigation firms -- it is still interesting to see Goodlatte less than happy about some aspect of the DOJ and Hollywood's close and personal relationship:

 

Click headline to read more--

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

CISPA Amendment Proves Everyone's Fears Were Justified While Failing To Assuage Them | Techdirt

CISPA Amendment Proves Everyone's Fears Were Justified While Failing To Assuage Them | Techdirt | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The single biggest criticism of CISPA is that it could be used by the federal government in a way that infringes on people's privacy, allowing government agencies, including the NSA, to sift through the private data of American citizens with little to no oversight. It's pretty obvious why that fear exists — just look at the relevant paragraph in what, until the recent and final round of markup, was the text of the bill:

 

(7) PROTECTION OF INDIVIDUAL INFORMATION—The Federal Government may, consistent with the need to protect Federal systems and critical information infrastructure from cybersecurity threats and to mitigate such threats, undertake reasonable efforts to limit the impact on privacy and civil liberties of the sharing of cyber threat information with the Federal Government pursuant to this subsection.


So, um, the feds may worry about privacy, if they want to and as long as it doesn't hinder their cybersecurity efforts. It's disconcerting that this even needed to be spelled out, and it certainly doesn't count as a safeguard. The response to criticism from the bill's authors has been the same since last year: they deny that this bill has anything to do with spying on people, and insist it's just about sharing technical threat data. Just this week, Rep. Rogers flatly stated this is not a surveillance bill. Still, in an attempt to placate the opposition, they backed an amendment (pdf and embedded below) from Rep. Hines replacing that paragraph, which passed in the markup phase. Here's the new text:

 

Click headline to read more--

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

Google and AT&T pony up separate gigabit-speed fiber projects for Austin | ComputerWorld.com

Google and AT&T pony up separate gigabit-speed fiber projects for Austin | ComputerWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Google chose Austin for its Internet service because the city is known globally as "a mecca for creative and entrepreneurial people, including musicians, artists, tech companies and the University of Texas and its new medical research hospital," Google wrote in an FAQ (at the end of the sign-up page). Austin also made a request to be considered for Google Fiber more than two years ago when Google selected Kansas City as its first city to receive the service.

 

Austin is also the state capital of Texas and the fourth most populous city in the state, with nearly 2 million people in the metropolitan area. The city has more than 800,000 residents.

 

Austin residents interested in the service can sign up here.

 

AT&T, in an emailed statement, said that its intent to build a separate gigabit fiber network in Austin is part of its previously announced Project Velocity IP expansion of broadband access, a three-year, $14 billion investment in wired and wireless broadband infrastructure.

 

AT&T, which is based in Dallas, also said that it expects to win from government regulatory bodies in Austin and Texas the "same terms and conditions as Google on issues such as geographic scope of offerings, rights of way, permitting, state licenses and any investment incentives."

AT&T said it doesn't expect a material impact on its 2013 capital expenditures because of the Austin expansion. "Our potential capital investment will depend on the extent we can reach satisfactory agreements," AT&T said.

 

Larry Solomon, an AT&T spokesman, said AT&T has just begun discussions with Austin officials and doesn't have a timeline or pricing information. "Once we can confirm that we will have the same terms and conditions as Google, we'll be able to announce timing and additional details," he said via email.

 

Click headline to read more--

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

IRS claims it can read your e-mail without a warrant | CNET News

IRS claims it can read your e-mail without a warrant | CNET News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The Internal Revenue Service doesn't believe it needs a search warrant to read your e-mail.

 

Newly disclosed documents prepared by IRS lawyers say that Americans enjoy "generally no privacy" in their e-mail, Facebook chats, Twitter direct messages, and similar online communications -- meaning that they can be perused without obtaining a search warrant signed by a judge.

 

That places the IRS at odds with a growing sentiment among many judges and legislators who believe that Americans' e-mail messages should be protected from warrantless search and seizure. They say e-mail should be protected by the same Fourth Amendment privacy standards that require search warrants for hard drives in someone's home, or a physical letter in a filing cabinet.

 

An IRS 2009 Search Warrant Handbook obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union argues that "emails and other transmissions generally lose their reasonable expectation of privacy and thus their Fourth Amendment protection once they have been sent from an individual's computer." The handbook was prepared by the Office of Chief Counsel for the Criminal Tax Division and obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.

 

Nathan Wessler, a staff attorney at the ACLU's Speech, Privacy & Technology Project, said in a blog post that the IRS's view of privacy rights violates the Fourth Amendment:

 

Click headline to read more--

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

Even New York Times Is Oblivious To Fact That Sharing 'HBO Go' Passwords To Watch 'Game Of Thrones' Breaks Law | Forbes

Even New York Times Is Oblivious To Fact That Sharing 'HBO Go' Passwords To Watch 'Game Of Thrones' Breaks Law | Forbes | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

This weekend, New York Times tech journalist Jenna Wortham made a confession that could be used to send her to prison for a year or more. What was the startling criminal admission? She uses someone else’s HBO Go password to sign into the cable-subscriber-only app to watch ‘Game of Thrones.’

 

In the piece headlined, “No TV? No Subscription? No Problem,” Wortham wrote:

 

"[Some friends and I] all had the same plan: to watch the season premiere of “Game of Thrones.” But only one person in our group had a cable television subscription to HBO, where it is shown. The rest of us had a crafty workaround."

 

She says “crafty.” A federal prosecutor might substitute “illegal” there.

 

"We were each going to use HBO Go, the network’s video Web site, to stream the show online — but not our own accounts. Our behavior — sharing password information to HBO Go, Netflix, Hulu and other streaming sites and services — appears increasingly prevalent among Web-savvy people who don’t own televisions or subscribe to cable."

 

While Wortham was aware that the companies she contacted for comment about this might not be happy about her accessing their services for free, she seems wholly unaware that the activity was potentially illegal. Just like the many BitTorrenters who have made Game of Thrones the most pirated show on the Internet, Wortham is getting her content in a way that could put her on the wrong side of the law.

 

After the New York Times got a flood of complaints about Wortham committing piracy by jumping over entertainment providers’ pay walls, New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan addressed the issue in a column. Strangely Sullivan only addressed the ethics of password-sharing not the legality of the practice, concluding by saying that Wortham might write another column “exploring the ethical issues” and might now instead watch ‘Game of Thrones’ at a bar.

 

Click headline to read more--

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

Taking on Murdoch, SOPA and the FCC | Money & Politics, What Matters Today | BillMoyers.com

Taking on Murdoch, SOPA and the FCC | Money & Politics, What Matters Today | BillMoyers.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

From the digital divide to media consolidation to net neutrality, Craig Aaron, president and CEO of Free Press, is on the front lines of media reform. In a discussion with Moyers & Company’s Michael Winship, Aaron says he’s hopeful for the future of the movement.

 

“I think our opponents have very deep pockets. I think they haven’t begun to try all of their dirty tricks. But ultimately, I believe that organized people can still beat organized money, and that’s what we’re trying to do,” he says.

 

The conversation* was recorded at the National Conference on Media Reform in Denver, organized by Free Press.

 

Click headline to read highlight of interview or listen to the audio--

more...
Media Impact Funders's curator insight, April 12, 2013 7:31 AM

Media - control of and access to - are defining issues of our time. Funders who "don't fund media" must consider the power and impact media has on their other work.

Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

MN: Broadband adoption through end user training | Blandin on Broadband

MN: Broadband adoption through end user training | Blandin on Broadband | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Last week I had the pleasure of talking with Carissa Swenson, the Owner and Technology Specialist of TechTECS, a technology training, education, consulting and support company based out of North Dakota. She and I connected indirectly through the recent Minnesota Telecom Alliance Conference.

 

Carissa recently started a business to promote broadband adoption through digital literacy training. Here is a list of current training topics:

 

iPads for DirectorsDigital CitizenshipCloud Productivity Tools

 

I suspect that list is growing as new topics come up and as she posts more online. I know we discussed topics such as cyber bullying and child safety. (I mention those topics because of another post I’m working on.)

 

Carissa has worked with/through local providers. I think it’s a great way to get local investment and local involvement. Her approach is a train-the-trainer model. The goal being to increase local capacity for future training and support for ongoing digital literacy. I’ll borrow from her site to explain her process…

 

Click headline to read more--

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

Google Fiber Holds Public Panels To Answer Questions In Austin, TX | Techcitement.com

Google Fiber Holds Public Panels To Answer Questions In Austin, TX | Techcitement.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

In the Driskill Hotel in the center of downtown Austin, TX, Google held a public meeting with the purpose of allowing people to ask questions about how Google Fiber will work in the city. Kevin Lo, general manager of Google Fiber, moderated the lively discussion that happened twice over today.

 

Lo started out the panel with a simple, yet profound statement, to explain exactly the type of urgency Google has put in place for this massive project.

 

“We are not patient people.”

 

As such, the people at Google Fiber are acting to engage with the city’s community much earlier in the process than they had with the people in Kansas City. Lo said that there are no clear obstacles or difficulties he was prepared to list at the time concerning Kansas City, but it’s simply a matter of having a better understanding of how to go about the process.

 

One oft-repeated question through both of today’s panels seemed to have been based on a misunderstanding of who will have access to Google Fiber. Or to put it in the vernacular used during the panel, where the Fiberhoods will be. Today’s key phrase was “Digital Inclusion”, and Lo said this is a driving force at Google. The company plans on offering Google Fiber to the 30 percent of Americans who don’t have broadband at home. Lo was asked about the characteristics of a a Google Fiber-destined neighborhood, and said he can easily describe that: All neighborhoods will have the option to install Google Fiber. If people want the service, they can just “raise their hand” to say they’re interested.

 

Most Americans average 6 Mbps download speeds and 1.2 Mbps uploads. Google Fiber seeks to increase that average dramatically.

 

One attendee asked the most basic question of, “Why is Google doing this?”

 

Lo said, “We’re building it for the applications that don’t exist yet. When more people are online and connected to the internet, we believe it builds stronger communities.”

 

Another attended asked, “What sort of grassroots efforts were happening in Kansas City?”

 

Lo said that in Kansas City, nine area hospitals are investing in applications to make use of Google Fiber. There have been other rather remarkable enterprises such as Homes for Hackers, which is a completely rent-free living/woking space that also has free access to Google Fiber in return for people bringing their startup operations to Kansas City. This led to a discussion of the startup possibilities open to a city like Austin, which is known for its massive infusion of tech in local businesses.

 

Click headline to read more--

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

AT&T snarls but cable lobby embraces expansion of California broadband subsidies | Steve Blum's Blog

AT&T snarls but cable lobby embraces expansion of California broadband subsidies | Steve Blum's Blog | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The California cable lobby has stopped foaming at the mouth over the idea of expanding the list of companies and organizations that are eligible to apply for California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) subsidies. In comments filed with the California Public Utilities Commission, the California Cable and Telecommunications Association seems to have figured out that relaxing the rules gives them the chance to stick their nose in the honey jar too.

 

"[N]on‐telephone corporations should not be essentially treated as a telephone utility as a condition of receiving a CASF award by having to contractually agree to comply with all of the Commission’s rules and regulations. This proposal adds costs and burdens to CASF compliance, and contradicts the goal of extending CASF funding to non‐telephone corporations to ensure that broadband facilities are ubiquitously available."

 

I’m glad the cable lobby energetically supports a diverse broadband ecology in California. Only a cynic would say this Damascene conversion has something to do with their push to convince California lawmakers to redirect CASF money toward signing up more subscribers rather than building more infrastructure.

 

Fortunately, I’m a cynic. Which also allows me to savor the blast of self serving double talk in AT&T’s filing. Boiled down, AT&T is saying it doesn’t want mere ISPs to get CASF money, but if they do, the CPUC should impose conditions that make it as difficult as possible for them to succeed. Like increasing the financial guarantees required if they build in an area that AT&T serves, presumably because AT&T intends to send the Death Star after them. You know, like Google in Austin.

 

Click headline to read more--

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

Mark Zukerberg: The keys to a knowledge economy | Wash Post Opinion

Mark Zukerberg: The keys to a knowledge economy | Wash Post Opinion | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Earlier this year I started teaching a class on entrepreneurship at an after-school program in my community. The middle-school students put together business plans, made their products and even got an opportunity to sell them.

 

One day I asked my students what they thought about going to college. One of my top aspiring entrepreneurs told me he wasn’t sure that he’d be able to go to college because he’s undocumented. His family is from Mexico, and they moved here when he was a baby. Many students in my community are in the same situation; they moved to the United States so early in their lives that they have no memories of living anywhere else.

 

These students are smart and hardworking, and they should be part of our future.

 

This is, after all, the American story. My great-grandparents came through Ellis Island. My grandfathers were a mailman and a police officer. My parents are doctors. I started a company. None of this could have happened without a welcoming immigration policy, a great education system and the world’s leading scientific community that created the Internet.

 

Today’s students should have the same opportunities — but our current system blocks them.

 

We have a strange immigration policy for a nation of immigrants. And it’s a policy unfit for today’s world.

 

The economy of the last century was primarily based on natural resources, industrial machines and manual labor. Many of these resources were zero-sum and controlled by companies. If someone else had an oil field, then you did not. There were only so many oil fields, and only so much wealth could be created from them.

 

Today’s economy is very different. It is based primarily on knowledge and ideas — resources that are renewable and available to everyone. Unlike oil fields, someone else knowing something doesn’t prevent you from knowing it, too. In fact, the more people who know something, the better educated and trained we all are, the more productive we become, and the better off everyone in our nation can be.

 

Click headline to read more--

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

Cybersecurity bill advances in House | The Hill's Hillicon Valley

Cybersecurity bill advances in House | The Hill's Hillicon Valley | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

House Intelligence Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) and ranking member Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.), the authors of the bill, expressed optimism that Wednesday's markup vote signaled they have enough momentum to pass CISPA through the House, as it did last year.

"What we came up with, we think, is the right approach. It is the one bill out of everything you've seen on both sides of this great institution of the United States Congress that protects a free and open Internet and allows people to share cyber threat information to protect their clients, their business, their [personally identifiable information]," Rogers told reporters following the markup. "It's been a work in progress."

 

The aim of the bill is to encourage industry and government to share information about malicious source code and other online threats with each other in real time, so companies and government agencies can take steps to thwart cyberattacks.

The bill is intended to remove the legal hurdles that discourage companies from sharing cyber threat data with the government. Companies have said they are hesitant to share threat information with the government because it may result in legal action against them.


Click headline to read more--

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

Verizon CEO hints at a la carte pricing for video | FierceCable.com

Verizon CEO hints at a la carte pricing for video | FierceCable.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Verizon Communications Chairman and CEO Lowell McAdam said his company is being pressured by consumers to offer a la carte pricing for its FiOS TV service and he believes this is a concept worth considering.

 

The company, which offers FiOS TV service to 5.5 million customers, can track how much a customer watches each channel and McAdam hinted that this would make a la carte pricing feasible.

 

Speaking at the National Association of Broadcasters conference here Tuesday, McAdam also said he does not envision implementing data caps for Verizon's FiOS broadband service, although the company does enforce data caps on its wireless data service. "Because we did fiber to the home, it doesn't matter," he said. "I don't see a horizon with data caps being put in place."

 However, he did leave the door open to having different data pricing tiers for customers who might want to pay a lower monthly fee because they use only a small amount of data.
Click headline to read more--
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

TN: Downtown Knoxville discusses sluggish internet issues | wbir.com

TN: Downtown Knoxville discusses sluggish internet issues | wbir.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

On the eleventh floor of the Conley Building in Downtown Knoxville, Ian Blackburn keeps the office network up and running for AC Entertainment.

 

"I'm the I.T. guy at AC Entertainment. I'm the person people come to when they say, 'Hey, why is the internet so slow up here?," said Blackburn.

 

These days the internet is not as sluggish as it used to be for Blackburn. For years the company's bandwidth hit a bottleneck of bytes at the building's front door because high speed cable service is not available in pockets of downtown.

 

"Comcast would not provide service in our building, so the fastest connection we could get was a T1 line and DSL. We had 30 people in this office sharing a 6 MB line. Your typical cable modem at home can usually go several times faster than that.  We move a lot of datain and out of here with huge amounts of video, promotional material, high resolution graphics, and so forth. Without high speed internet everything takes a lot longer so we absolutely needed an upgrade," said Blackburn. "It was like, 'Wow, Chattanooga has fiber to the front door and we can't even get Comcast on Gay Street.' It was frustrating."

 

Blackburn said he does not expect Knoxville to install a fiber optic network comparable to the one that has become Chattanooga's claim to fame. Their fiber optic lines were constructed on city-owned utility network, cost hundreds of millions of dollars, and relied heavily on one-time federal grants. However, Blackburn does expect downtown buildings to be able to receive the same levels of bandwidth you can find in the rest of Knoxville.

 

Click headline to read more and watch video news clip--

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

MA: Leverett bushwhacks its own route | The Recorder

MA: Leverett bushwhacks its own route | The Recorder | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

If there’s a “poster child” for broadband development in rural western Massachusetts, it’s Leverett, which last month signed a $2.7 million contract to build a “last-mile” fiber-optic network along its 40 miles of roads, for universal telecommunication service that’s expected to be up and running sometime next year.

 

“It’s a real milestone,” Selectboard member Peter d’Errico says. “It’s taken us almost two years in the making. “As far as we’re aware, we’re still out front in getting this done first.”

 

In fact, while the town won a critical $40,000 grant from Massachusetts Broadband Institute (MBI) that paid for a detailed design study by G4S — the same company that won the $2.7 million construction contract — the journey has taken much longer. It’s also meant taxpayers agreeing to shoulder the burden of paying to have their network built, in part to assure that their home values keep up with the ever-growing demand for affordable high-speed telecommunication.

 

Robert Brooks, who chairs the town Broadband Committee, has been working on trying to bring high-speed telecommunications to the town for 10 years. Working with Shutesbury, Leverett began by approaching Verizon and Comcast to extend service, with little satisfaction.

 

“Out of our own internal sense of frustration of trying to deal with Verizon,” recalled d’’Errico, “it was pretty clear we were going to have to do it on our own. (Brooks) was the point person for exploring other avenues, saying, ‘We can work this out. If Leverett wants to do it, Leverett is going to have to do it.”

 

The town’s frustrations over telecommunication weren’t limited to simply bringing high-speed Internet service to its residents. Residents’ reports of interruptions in service, static and other noises that interrupted phone conversations and problems using the town’s reverse-911 calling system led to complaints against the telephone company to the state Department of Telecommunications and Cable.

 

“Any time we had any moisture or rain, whole sections of town would have no telephone service,” d’Errico said.

 

Similar complaints, brought by a variety of towns, including Rowe and Shutesbury, eventually led to a settlement that required Verizon to repair its copper phone wires, and those problems have largely abated, according to d’Errico. He emphasized that telephone service and Internet service are treated differently, however: DTC oversees land-line telephone, but not cellphone or broadband service.

 

Click headline to read more--

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

The second coming of Facebook | CNNMoney

The second coming of Facebook | CNNMoney | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it
Back in 2010 Mark Zuckerberg made a very bad decision. Instead of building separate apps for iPhones, Androids, BlackBerrys, Nokia devices, and, yes, even Microsoft phones, he put his engineers to work designing a version of Facebook that could operate on any smartphone. In effect, he was betting that as different operating systems jostled for control of mobile devices, standalone apps would go away and soon we would surf websites on our phones, just as we do on PCs.

Zuckerberg was wrong. Google's Android and Apple's iOS quickly became the dominant mobile operating systems, and Facebook's applications, which were built with its CEO's web-centric worldview in mind, didn't work well on either platform. They were buggy and slow, crashing often. A 2011 update garnered 19,000 one-star reviews in the Apple App Store within the first month. "It's probably one of the biggest mistakes we've ever made," Zuckerberg tells me during an interview at Facebook's Menlo Park, Calif., headquarters in late March.

 

Click headline to read more--

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

Budget plan doles out more cash for cybersecurity | Tony Romm | POLITICO.com

Budget plan doles out more cash for cybersecurity | Tony Romm | POLITICO.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Another round of increases to federal science and research spending complement a significant cash boost for cybersecurity programs in the 2014 budget released by the White House on Wednesday.

 

The new funds for federal research and development — totaling $143 billion by the administration’s count — follow years of similar investments proposed in President Barack Obama’s annual spending plans. Many of the research initiatives included with this year’s budget, however, actually are repeat appearances that have lagged on Capitol Hill.

 

The blueprint devotes just as much attention to cybersecurity across multiple federal agencies. Those highly sought increases for the 2014 fiscal year arrive about two months after the president signed an executive order that aims to bring sweeping reforms to the nation’s cyberdefensive posture.

 

Still, the budget might be more symbolism than substantive policy: The House and Senate each has articulated its own vision for spending, though the two plans differ significantly. The looming mandatory cuts of sequestration further cast uncertainty over the entire budget process.

 

For the tech set, at least, there’s still much to weigh — from widely popular, revived high-tech initiatives on manufacturing and more to the return of thornier ideas about fees on certain users of wireless spectrum.

 

Science and technology long have figured heavily in Obama’s budget blueprints: His plan last year sought about $140 billion for federal R&D across the government. And repeatedly, the administration has fought for that aid. As mandatory sequestration loomed over Washington, top government R&D leaders tried to rally the ranks of science and research experts to defend that category of spending.

 Click headline to read more--
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Air Force classifies cybersecurity tools as weapons | Salon.com

Air Force classifies cybersecurity tools as weapons | Salon.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

While the U.S. Air Force and other military branches have for a number of years been developing and using a host of cyber tools with offensive capabilities, only this week have a number of these tools been officially classified as weapons. Six unnamed tools have been classified as weapons by the Air Force, a general announced at a Colorado Springs conference Monday. What to the tools are and do has not been made public. The weapons classification is, above all, an effort to get more funding for these cyber tools.

 

“It is a semantic move that has little, if anything, to do with the tools themselves or how they’re used,” noted The Kapersky Lab Security News Service:

 

"The Air Force has emerged as one of the key military branches for offensive and defensive cyber capabilities. The U.S. Cyber Command is the overarching strategic command that’s responsible for cybersecurity operations, and it comprises groups from the Army, Navy and Air Force. But it’s the Air Force that has become the most vocal and public about its capabilities and intentions when it comes to cybersecurity."

 

At a conference in Colorado Springs on Monday, an Air Force general said that the branch has now classified six of its cyber capabilities as weapons. The move is an effort to make it easier for the Air Force, and presumably other branches as well, to get funding for these tools.

 

“It’s very, very hard to compete for resources … You have to be able to make that case,” Lt. Gen. John Hyten said during the National Space Symposium."

 

It is notable that it’s easier to get funding for a security tool if it officially labeled a weapon.

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

Corralling the Internet: NY Advocates Fight Back | PublicNewsService.org

Corralling the Internet: NY Advocates Fight Back | PublicNewsService.org | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The National Conference for Media Reform brought together thousands of policymakers, advocates and tech experts who spent three days discussing such issues as protecting the Internet from government and corporate attempts at limiting its free and unfettered usage. Congressional bills to regulate the Internet, known as SOPA and PIPA, were roundly rejected last year when grassroots activists organized petitions, protests and a one-day service blackout on the Web.

Brooklyn-based activist Elizabeth Stark said the next threats to the Internet are on the doorstep, but she hoped it would not come to similar uprisings.

"We can't have an Internet blackout every few months because that just won't work," she said. "We need to instead keep the pressure on, get people excited and engaged in an ongoing fashion."

Advocates warned about a cyber-security bill in Congress called CISPA that they said is deeply flawed, a move by AT&T to dissolve regulations regarding affordable and open networks, and international trade agreements that would affect Internet freedom.

Stark, an open-Internet advocate and former academic, said blackouts cannot be mounted every time there is a threat. She called it a marathon, not a sprint.

 

Click headline to read more--

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

10 Cities Adopting Smart Grid Technology | US News & World Report

10 Cities Adopting Smart Grid Technology | US News & World Report | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The nation's power grid is being renovated as the country moves towards smart grid technology. The upgrade will facilitate a range of new technologies, from more efficient appliances to solar and wind farms. While it will take decades for the entire grid to wise up, it is already a reality in dozens of cities around the country, as utility companies operate pilot programs to test the technology before rolling out the systems nationwide. Smart meters, which allow consumers to monitor their own electricity usage, are a central component of nearly all such pilot projects.

 

Here's a look at some places where the smart grid of tomorrow is a reality today.

 

Click headline to read about the ten cities--

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

A Shared History of Web Browsers and Broadband Speed | Cable Tech Talk

A Shared History of Web Browsers and Broadband Speed | Cable Tech Talk | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

It was November 1989, just 24 years ago, when the first public dial-up Internet Service Provider (ISP), The World, was introduced. The available speed was 0.1Kbps. It could take between 10 minutes to several hours to download a 3.5 MB song and it would have taken days to download a 700 MB movie file. Equally antiquated were the browsers. There was no HTML, no apps, and no CSS. In fact, there was no way of even showing images in line with corresponding text.

 

For some of us, this time is barely a memory. The evolution of web browsers and the drastic improvement in broadband speeds over the last quarter-century tell fascinating stories – stories that run parallel. Innovations in web browsing are the result of advancements in broadband connections.  And their shared story is also the story of building and sharing the largest, most important communications network in human history.

 

Click headline to access the slide show--

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

Broadcast Treaty Is Baaaaaack: Plan To Create Yet Another Copyright-Like Right For Hollywood | Techdirt

Broadcast Treaty Is Baaaaaack: Plan To Create Yet Another Copyright-Like Right For Hollywood | Techdirt | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Every few years the proposal for a "broadcast treaty" comes up again. The idea is to give a new copyright-like right to broadcasters. So, for example, should NBC broadcast a public domain film, like George Romero's Night of the Living Dead, it could then effectively claim a copyright-like control over it, so that you couldn't record it and make use of it yourself. If that seems like a really dumb idea to you, welcome to the club. You're not alone. Basically, everyone who isn't tied to a broadcaster thinks it's a terrible idea. Even Mr. Mythbuster Adam Savage spoke out against the idea two years ago when it last came around.

Indeed, it does seem to come around every few years like clockwork, as Hollywood pushes WIPO to put together a treaty creating broadcast rights. For a brief while, driven by some more enlightened folks within the Obama administration, the US government had pushed back against such a treaty, but nearly all of those people have long since left the administration, replaced by longterm entertainment industry folks and copyright maximalists. So it was little surprise last year when the US suddenly announced that it now supported a broadcast treaty. That announcement came from Shira Perlmutter, a former entertainment industry lobbyist, now 'Director of International Affairs' at the USPTO.

 

Click headline to read more--

more...
Arthur Dahlgren's comment, April 16, 2013 8:39 PM
I find this absolutely horrifying last I checked I had to pay a cable bill in order to have television and now if this happens I'm going to be told that I cannot record something that I paid for. I surely hope this doesn't work out.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

DT sweetens MetroPCS deal by slashing debt | TeleGeography

Deutsche Telekom (DT) has sweetened the debt terms of its October 2012 proposal to merge its T-Mobile USA unit with MetroPCS Communications, Bloomberg reports.

 

In a bid to placate shareholders, the German firm has tabled what it describes as a ‘best and final offer’, cutting the amount of debt it seeks to impose on the combined company by USD3.8 billion.

 

The carrier has also lowered the interest rate it plans to charge on the loan by half a percentage point.

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

The FCC faces questions and challenges as it awaits a new chairman | Wash Post

President Obama hasn’t picked a new chair for the Federal Communications Commission, but Washington is abuzz with opinions on what the new regulator needs to do. Phil Weiser, a former senior adviser for Obama on technology and innovation, sees the nomination as an opportunity to rethink the role of the FCC and how it could oversee the massive and expanding telecom and Internet broadband market.

 

Weiser is the dean of the University of Colorado’s law school and each year hosts a tech policy conference that often draws top government officials. The former antitrust deputy assistant attorney general for the Justice Department talked to The Washington Post about his views on the future of the FCC. Here’s an edited version of the discussion:

 

Click headline to read the interview--

more...
No comment yet.