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Big Data is a solution looking for a problem: Gartner | TechWorld.com

Big Data is a solution looking for a problem: Gartner | TechWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Big Data is forecast to drive $34 billion of IT spending in 2013 and create 4.4 million IT jobs by 2015, but it is currently still a solution looking for a problem, according to analyst firm Gartner. 

 

While businesses are keen to start mining their data stores for useful insights, and many are already experimenting with technologies like Hadoop, the biggest challenge is working out what question you are trying to answer, said Debra Logan, VP Distinguished Analyst at Gartner. 

 

“Even banks are not doing Big Data in a production sense, because most of what they've got is pretty well organised and in mainframes,” she said.

 

“Certainly they're investigating it, they're wondering what it means, they want to learn about that kind of technical architecture and the kinds of methods you use to programme and do analytics on it, but it's still in the early phases.” 

 

Indeed, both Deutsche Bank and HMRC recently admitted that they are struggling to find a way to unravel data from legacy systems to allow integration with newly created big data systems based on Hadoop technology.

 

Logan said that the most advanced industry sector in terms of Big Data is retail, because of the things it does with radio-frequency identification (RFID), supply chain management and loyalty cards. These, according to Logan, are “real Big Data problems”.

 

A lot of other industries are simply looking for ways to manage and monetise their data assets - and Big Data is not always the answer, according to Logan. There are plenty of off-the-shelf software programs that can visualise large data sets, and in some cases the best solution may be to simply throw some of the data away.

 

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N.C. Broadband Advocate Challenges FCC’s Broadband Map With Real World Speed Tests | Stop the Cap!

N.C. Broadband Advocate Challenges FCC’s Broadband Map With Real World Speed Tests | Stop the Cap! | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Residents in mountainous western North Carolina have been frustrated by broadband availability maps from the Federal Communications Commission that suggest broadband service is plentiful and fast. But on the ground, customers trying to sign up for Internet access the FCC says is readily available is anything but.

 

The FCC’s National Broadband Map has been repeatedly criticized by broadband advocates for relying on voluntary data supplied by Internet Service Providers — data that has often proved incomplete, exaggerated, or just plain inaccurate.

 

Wally Bowen, executive director of Asheville’s Mountain Area Information Network (MAIN), wants to show the FCC its broadband map is out of touch with the real world. MAIN has announced a new website that will let western North Carolina residents test and report the real broadband speeds they are getting from providers to the FCC. If no broadband service is available at all, residents can report that as well.

 

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Australia: 'The elephant in the room': Data retention's controversial origins | ZDNet

Australia: 'The elephant in the room': Data retention's controversial origins | ZDNet | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

It began with a secret consultation paper in 2009, secret meetings were held with industry, it went public in 2010, and the government finally outed a proposal for requiring internet service providers (ISPs) to retain customer data for up to two years in 2012, leading to criticism from the public, privacy advocates, and industry. But the minutes of the original meetings show that the government knew the proposal would be controversial from the very beginning.

 

ZDNet first revealed in 2010 that the Attorney-General's Department had been meeting with the telecommunications industry over a potential proposal that would require them to retain customer data for law-enforcement investigations. Industry sources had said at the time that there was a consultation paper that the government had put together explaining the proposal, but this was never made public.

 

The paper, entitled Carrier-Carriage Service Provider Storage Model, was released yesterday with minutes from the meetings between 2009 and 2012, following a Freedom of Information request filed by Pirate Party Australia secretary Brendan Molloy.

 

The consultation paper shows that the government considered multiple methods to keep the data, including one where the carriers hand over the data to a government repository, with the law-enforcement agencies then able to access the data when required. The second model proposed the use of a private third-party provider to hold the data, while the third is the one that the government settled on — providers storing their own customers' data.

 

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Game Developer Connects With Pirates, Sees Massive Support & Deletion Of Torrents | Techdirt

Game Developer Connects With Pirates, Sees Massive Support & Deletion Of Torrents | Techdirt | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

One of the long-running themes here at Techdirt has been our insistence that the best way to combat any negative effects of piracy is for content creators to connect with fans, buyers, and pirates alike. If you treat people in a congenial, awesome way, the goodwill you garner will not only make up for any piracy negatives, but can actually propel your work to further success.

 

Unfortunately, too few people seem to avoid the understandable but unproductive emotional response that comes with having your work show up on sites like The Pirate Bay. The vast majority of responses are vitriolic. Nevermind that some creators, such as when Hotline Miami's developers decided to embrace pirates, have experienced the boon of goodwill and sales as a result. No, anger and threats of legal action tend to rule the day.

That's why it's so important to offer up every example available that shows how mistaken this methodology is. With that in mind, witness how the developers of an indie RPG called Anodyne embraced the uploader of their game and used the exposure to propel themselves into the internet limelight. It all started, as these stories so often do, when a Pirate Bay user offered up a torrent for the game. Instead of losing their minds, the game's developers decided to be the second commenter on the torrent's page, reaching out to anyone interested in downloading the game and instead offering a better way to do so. The text of that comment follows:

 

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Time Warner Raising Rates in the Carolinas: $90.49 for Digital Cable, $167.89 Triple Play | Stop the Cap!

Time Warner Raising Rates in the Carolinas: $90.49 for Digital Cable, $167.89 Triple Play | Stop the Cap! | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Time Warner Cable customers in the Carolinas will soon pay $90.49 a month for digital cable television, including one set-top cable box. Customers who buy broadband, television, and phone service will see their monthly bill rise to $167.89.

 

The rate increases will not initially apply to customers on term contracts or promotional pricing until those terms expire. Others will begin to pay higher rates in March.

 

Almost 70 percent of Time Warner Cable’s eastern North Carolina subscribers have digital cable TV. The rate increase for television-only service amounts to an extra $5 a month or $60 a year. Triple play customers will also pay an extra $5 a month.

 

Time Warner’s last rate hike, not including the introduction of a $3.95/month cable modem rental fee last fall, was in late 2011.

 

Although Time Warner claimed increased programming costs were responsible for the bulk of the rate increases, the cable company keeps adding more channels. In 2012,

 

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MN: Open Data Day Hackathon at Free Geek | Blandin on Broadband

Open Data Day Hackathon: February 23, 2013 from 10AM to 6PM at Free Geek


On February 23rd, Open Twin Cities and Free Geek Twin Cities will hold a hackathon to promote open data as part of International Open Data Day and Code for Americas Code Across America.  All are welcome; come by anytime throughout the day.

 

International Open Data Day and Code Across America are gatherings of citizens in cities around the world to write applications, liberate data, create visualizations and publish analyses using open public data to show support for and encourage the adoption of open data policies by the world’s local, regional and national governments.

 

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Dutch Government Realizes That Non-Original Works Don't Deserve Copyright | Techdirt

Dutch Government Realizes That Non-Original Works Don't Deserve Copyright | Techdirt | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

For many years, we've discussed how Europe allows for a "database right" on collections of works, while the US forbids it. The US considers a database right improper, since copyright is not supposed to apply to facts and isn't supposed to be given out solely based on the "sweat of the brow," but rather to incentivize creativity.

 

The Europeans, on the other hand, argued that the labor of putting together a database needed to be protected to create the necessary incentives for a thriving information/database industry.

 

In many ways, this has created a useful natural experiment concerning copyright law and whether or not it actually creates incentives. The data has been overwhelming. Without a database right, the database industry in the US has thrived, while the same market in the EU has stagnated.

And yet, many in Europe (and some in the US) still see good things in such a government granted monopoly. We were just talking about how clinging to this outdated and clearly failed concept was now threatening important moves towards open data.

 

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Comcast Preparing to Boost Broadband Speeds Nationwide; PowerBoost Slowly Decommissioned | Stop the Cap!

Comcast Preparing to Boost Broadband Speeds Nationwide; PowerBoost Slowly Decommissioned | Stop the Cap! | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Broadband Reports has a reliable source inside Comcast that says faster speeds are on the way for customers across the country, beginning in March.

 

Last summer, an anonymous tipster shared a preview of Comcast’s “All New Xfinity” broadband offerings. BR is reporting the speeds seem to be mostly spot-on, but will come at a price of around $2 higher than shown in the graphic.

 

Comcast’s Blast tier is increasing from 25/4Mbps to 50/10Mbps starting in March;Extreme will be going from 50/10Mbps to 105/20Mbps starting in March;Performance will essentially double in speed from 12/2Mbps to 25/4Mbps beginning in May.

 

Comcast is likely to gradually roll out speed increases across its service area, but some older systems serving smaller communities may have to wait longer.

 

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Customers Abandoning Verizon’s Dead NYC Landlines, Internet 4 Months After Sandy | Stop the Cap!

Customers Abandoning Verizon’s Dead NYC Landlines, Internet 4 Months After Sandy | Stop the Cap! | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Nearly four months after Hurricane Sandy struck Manhattan, many customers are still waiting to get their phone and Internet service restored.

 

Verizon’s black hole extends across parts of Lower Manhattan, such as along Avenue C, roughly from Third Street to Tenth Street. There, business transactions are often “cash-only,” because stores and bars have no ability to process credit card transactions. But getting cash can also be difficult as ATMs, which also rely on Verizon’s network, display the same “Offline” message they have shown for more than three months.

 

Some of Verizon’s customers are fed up, especially after the company started asking customers to pay for phone and broadband service they don’t have.

 

Several customers report the company expects its monthly bills to be paid, with complicated service credits forthcoming after payments are applied. Customers who don’t pay have been assessed late fees or face collection activity for service that has not worked since Halloween.

 

WNYC Radio reports it has been nearly four months since Hurricane Sandy hit the northeastern U.S. and large sections of Lower Manhattan still don’t have phone or broadband service from Verizon.

 

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Coalition broadband plan 'doomed to fail': CCC | The Australian Financial Review

Coalition broadband plan 'doomed to fail': CCC | The Australian Financial Review | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Telstra’s rivals have warned that the Coalition’s alternative to Labor’s $37.4 billion national broadband network is “doomed to fail” if it relies on using pay TV cable networks.

 

The comments from the Competitive Carriers’ Coalition, which represents Vodafone, iiNet, Macquarie Telecom and other internet service providers, followed comments made by opposition communications spokesman Malcolm Turnbull.

 

On Thursday night he told the ABC’s Lateline program that Telstra’s hybrid fibre-coaxial network, currently used to deliver pay TV and internet services, could deliver 100 megabit per second speeds to homes sooner than Labor’s NBN.

 

“About 30 per cent of Australian households are passed by Telstra’s HFC and it is delivering very high-speed services,” Mr Turnbull said.

 

“You wouldn’t be overbuilding the HFC areas in the near term because they’re getting very good service already.

 

“Around the world, hybrid fibre-coaxial ... is really a dominant form of delivering broadband, particularly in North America and Europe.”

 

Mr Turnbull went on to say it was subject to negotiations with Telstra and that he could not provide a definitive answer on the issue.

 

But in a statement CCC chairman Matt Healy told Mr Turnbull to “forget [his] HFC fantasy”.

 

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Do we need a Pattern Language for Smarter Cities? | The Urban Technologist

Do we need a Pattern Language for Smarter Cities? | The Urban Technologist | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The UK Department of Business, Innovation and Skills held a workshop recently to determine how to create guidance for cities considering their approach to Smarter Cities.

 

A robust part of the debate centred on the challenge of providing “delivery guidance” for cities embarking on Smarter Cities initiatives: whilst there are many visions for smart and future cities; and many examples of projects that have been carried out; there is little prescriptive guidance to assist cities in defining and delivering their own strategy (although I’ve provided my own humble contribution in “Six steps to a smarter city” on this blog; an article which organises a broad set of resources into an admittedly very high level framework).

 

In setting out a transformative smarter city vision and then taking the steps to achieve it, a great deal of change is involved. Large, formal organisations tend to approach change with prescriptive , process-driven techniques – for all that the objective of change might be defined disruptively by individual insight and leadership or through the application of techniques such as “design thinking“; the execution of the changes required to achieve that objective is usually driven by a controlled process with well defined roles, scope, milestones, risks and performance indicators.

 

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TX: Computer classes available for seniors | San Angelo Standard Times

TX: Computer classes available for seniors | San Angelo Standard Times | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Technology is a part of our everyday world. It began with the simple idea of making things easier, and has boomed into one of the biggest industries in the world. Today, it helps build everything, and it helps protect us.

 

But sometimes it takes us awhile to adapt and learn. Everything from computers and laptops to smartphones, digital cameras and mp3 players are being used by people of all ages. The ability to use a computer plays an increasingly important role in society. When applying for a job, many applications are accepted only via a computer, or résumés must be submitted by email.

 

One of the age groups still adjusting to this new technological age is senior citizens. While many seniors ably use an assortment of technological devices — and feel completely comfortable doing so — others remain largely unfamiliar with them.

 

Thus, the city of San Angelo’s seniors centers offer computer classes for people 55 and older. Classes are available Mondays through Fridays and focus on basic computer functions and maintenance such as using email, browsing the Internet and creating documents.

 

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Roundup of Coverage of Georgia Bill to Slow Telecom Investment | community broadband networks

Roundup of Coverage of Georgia Bill to Slow Telecom Investment | community broadband networks | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

In just a few days, we have seen many articles discussing how unwise and dangerous HB 282 is for the future of economic development in Georgia. This bill will revoke local authority to decide for themselves if any public investment in telecommunications is a wise choice.

 

We already noted coverage from DSL Reports, Free Press, and Stop the Cap. Here are some others.

 

CivSource, a news source for civic leaders, quickly wrote about the bill, placing it in national context.

 

"Municipal broadband has been under steady attack nationwide by incumbent broadband providers like Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon. They contend that networks built by cities and counties that also offer subscription options for residents amount to unfair competition. They won this fight in North and South Carolina, but, following more coverage of the issue, fights in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Georgia have been harder to win."

 

Ars Technica's Timothy Lee also covered the bill, including common pro and con arguments. But he gets something that many other reporters don't notice:

 

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Fight data caps with Super Wi-Fi | Computer World Blogs

Fight data caps with Super Wi-Fi | Computer World Blogs | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Data caps are the clearest sign that America is in decline.

 

We either come up with a strategy for removing data caps, or surrender the future.

 

Part of this comes from personal experience with my mobile phone.

 

The short story is this: I had to upgrade my broken Droid and sign a new contract with my carrier, Verizon. That contract changed what had been an unlimited 3G data cap to 2 GB cap and with it LTE.

 

At 2 GB my bill remains at about the same, $126 a month. That includes unlimited voice and now unlimited text, an inconsequential benefit.  

 

To raise the 2 GB cap to 4 GB is an extra $10; to 6 GB is yet another $10, all the way up to a 50 GB shared data plan of $375 a month. At any tier, it is no bargain.

  

Please note: I could have kept my previous unlimited plan if I paid full price for the Samsung Galaxy, at about $600.  But Verizon, according to various reports, is throttling unlimited data customers who go above 2 GB, so one frustration may have been replaced with another. 

 

The very notion of having to check my data usage is loathsome. It feels so 1990s.

 

The industry isn’t going to retreat on data caps. But data caps are completely at odds with what we want to achieve as a society. Metered access to wireless networks is not in step with the broader social needs.

 

Just take online education, as one important example. More students are turning to alternative education options, such as the massively open online courses (MOOC).  A lot of their course work will be via video, and they’ll want the flexibility and freedom to do this work from any place.

 

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Report: AT&T wins LTE speed race, MetroPCS stumbles | FierceBroadbandWireless.com

Report: AT&T wins LTE speed race, MetroPCS stumbles | FierceBroadbandWireless.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

AT&T can claim the U.S. LTE speed title with its customers enjoying average download speeds of 13 Mbps, far outpacing data speeds experienced by customers of its leading LTE rivals. Regional operator MetroPCS, on the other hand, limped along in last place with LTE download speeds of 1.2 Mbps, according to an industry vendor.

 

The LTE speeds results were gathered by OpenSignal via its mobile application, which has been downloaded globally 3 million times and delivers crowd-sourced usage data. "It's real world, measured customer experience data," said Brendan Gill, OpenSignal CEO.

 

OpenSignal's data was gathered over the whole of 2012 and into early 2013. "One reason we wanted to use a broad time spread was that we don't want speeds to be inflated for newly launched networks that don't have that many customers using the capacity at inception," Gill told FierceBroadbandWireless.

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Australia: Smoothfm rolls out nationally on digital radio | mUmBRELLA

Australia: Smoothfm rolls out nationally on digital radio | mUmBRELLA | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Dmg Radio Australia’s easy listening station Smoothfm rolled out nationally on digital radio platforms today.

 

Smoothfm, which Dmg rebranded from Classic Rock in Sydney and Melbourne in May last year, is now available via DAB+ radio.

 

The digital switch will enable people in Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide to listen to Smoothfm via DAB+ Radio, online streaming and an iphone app. And advertisers will now be able to book the station nationally, through dmg radio’s local sales teams.

 

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CenturyLink, Other Carriers Back White House Cybersecurity Efforts - Billing World

CenturyLink, Other Carriers Back White House Cybersecurity Efforts - Billing World | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The White House is tackling cybersecurity with a new executive order aimed to keep America safe from cyber threats by improving information-sharing and collaborative actions between government agencies and the private sector.

 

"America must face the rapidly growing threat from cyber-attacks. We cannot look back years from now and wonder why we did nothing in the face of real threats to our security and our economy," President Obama said in his State of the Union address Tuesday night.

 

The order is drawing mostly praise from industry watchers and some of the biggest names in communications.

 

“Security of cyberspace is a pressing national imperative, and today’s executive order takes some important steps toward achieving policy goals that will help protect our nation from harmful threats," said Walter B. McCormick Jr., president and CEO of USTelecom, the broadband trade association representing telecom service providers and suppliers. "The order will facilitate national cybersecurity policy goals by directing federal agencies to reduce duplicative and excessively burdensome cybersecurity requirements. We’re pleased that the order reaffirms the importance of public-private partnerships in assessing and combating threats, a strategy we believe is highly effective ..."

 

CenturyLink also released a statement in support of the White House's efforts and looks forward to collaborating with government on this issue.

 

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Illinois Senate committee passes smart grid bill | Electric Light & Power

The Illinois Senate Executive Committee passed Senate Bill 9 out of committee by a vote of 14 to 0. SB 9 clarifies existing language in the smart grid law enacted in 2011 to get the smart grid program back on track, and ensures the state's economy and consumers reap the full benefits of improved reliability, job creation and investment in the state's infrastructure, while maintaining strong consumer protections.

 

"We commend Senate President (John. J.) Cullerton for making jobs and grid modernization for the 21st century a key priority and moving this legislation early in the new session," said Anne Pramaggiore, ComEd president and CEO. "ComEd is proceeding with a portion of the core grid modernization programs, while postponing the deployment of the remainder and all smart meters until 2015. SB 9 would allow us to get the smart grid program — and the related job creation — back on track."

 

Under the smart grid law, ComEd committed to spend $2.6 billion over 10 years to modernize the electric grid in Northern Illinois. In its first smart grid law rate case, the ICC's interpretation of the law reduced funding essential to completing the modernization program required by law. As a result, ComEd faces a reduction in funding of nearly $100 million per year in 2014 and beyond.

 

The passage of SB 9 would help to restore ComEd's funding to nearly the level it would have been if the smart grid law had been implemented as passed. It would enable ComEd to continue building a modern grid that will reduce power outages for customers, give customers more choice and control over their energy use, provide more than $2.3 billion in customer savings, and create thousands of good-paying jobs in Illinois.

 

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Streamlining Telegraph Rules: This is Tricky Stuff | AT&T Public Policy Blog

For anyone who thought that we didn’t need a comprehensive, focused inquiry on how to clear the path for communications to move from a TDM-based circuit switched world to an all-IP, broadband future, you must have noticed a ripple in the force last week (I won’t name names, but if you attended NARUC you heard from a few of them.  

 

That ripple, of course, was caused by the failure of the FCC to meet the statutory one-year deadline to decide a US Telecom petition that seeks forbearance from, among other things, rules which apply to carriers engaged in furnishing “radio-telegraph, wire-telegraph, or ocean-cable service,” and requires such carriers to maintain “separate files for each damage claim of a traffic nature.”

 

That’s right. One year was not enough time to determine whether we could finish making the move from the telegraph-era to the telephone-era.  Apparently, this is tricky stuff.

 

But fear not, under the statute, the Commission is only allowed to extend the due date on this request for three more months, and I am confident that, given that extra time, the Commission will see the light and grant this relief.

 

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Data Caps in the Era of Downloadable Games | IGN

Data Caps in the Era of Downloadable Games | IGN | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

If you're a gamer, internet service provider data caps are an important topic of conversation. Actually, if you're a fan of broadband-reliant entertainment at all, you need to think about limits on bandwidth.

 

But as the games industry marches forward into digital distribution with no sign of stopping, heightened regulations on internet usage are an increasing problem. The providers have long-stated data caps are a plan to make internet access fair for everyone, but the limits are in direct opposition to the interests of gamers.

 

The practice of limiting – or charging more – for larger bandwidth usage has turned into a hot topic in the tech community over the last few years.

 

According to Gigaom, over 64-percent of Americans' internet service providers apply some form of cap to broadband usage. Until recently, many of those ISPs would actually terminate your internet access if you exceeded the set limit under your service plan. Comcast, for example, employed such a “hard cap” until last year, when the company moved to a “soft cap” 300GB in certain markets – from 250GB – and started charging $10 for additional 50GB blocks of data.

 

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Rachelle Chong: What the National Broadband Map Reveals for California | Techwire.net

Rachelle Chong: What the National Broadband Map Reveals for California | Techwire.net | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

At the end of January, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) of the federal Department of Commerce released an update of the National Broadband Map.  This searchable map is a public database of information compiled from 20 million records gathered by the states, and shows broadband Internet availability across the United States.  The database is updated every six months, and the current map contains data as of June 20, 2012.  The Broadband Map is also accessible by mobile devices.

 

What uses are people making of the National Broadband Map?  A user may search the National Broadband Map to see where broadband service is available, the maximum advertised speeds of service, and the names of the service providers.  A person unsatisfied with his or her current broadband service may use the Broadband Map to search for a new provider based on their address.  Businesses are searching the Broadband Map to find geographic office locations with good broadband speeds if their business relies on reliable broadband to do business.  App companies use the Broadband Map to find the best workplace to conduct research for future mobile applications.  Researchers are using the broadband data to perform link broadband statistics with demographic data.

 

How does California fare in terms of the number of broadband providers offering services to us?  Thirteen percent of Californians have four wireline broadband providers to choose from, 57% of Californians have three, 21% have two, 5% have only one, and 2% have no wireline broadband providers.  This is significantly better than national averages, where 13% of all Americans have four providers, 38% have three, 31% have two, 10% have only one and 3.5% have none.

 

In terms of types of broadband technology, 92% of the California population have DSL available to them from the telephone companies, 93% have cable broadband, 15% have fiber, and 99.7% have wireless Internet available.

 

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Cybersecurity Order, Bills Could Reignite Security Channel | Channelnomics

If there were any doubt, it was alleviated over the last few weeks: Cybersecurity is far from a dead issue in government circles and the U.S. at large.

 

In fact, the noise around cybersecurity is reaching a crescendo, with stirrings around a new cybersecurity bill, a presidential executive order to harden infrastructure and the controversial Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) reawakened in the U.S. House of Representatives.

 

The implications are varied, complex and numerous. It all portends revived opportunities for the security channel, which could dust off its government Rolodexes and lay a foundation of public-sector strategy for 2013.

 

 

Perhaps the most significant turn of events for the security community occurred Tuesday, when President Barack Obama signed an executive order that sought better protection of the nation’s critical infrastructure and aimed to protect systems from losses incurred during a cyberattack. The order directs government officials to create standards that reduce cybersecurity risks and accelerate information-sharing on potential threats between the government and critical infrastructure companies.

 

The order aims to fulfill gaping security holes after the proposed Cybersecurity Act of 2012, which was endorsed by the White House and defeated in the U.S. Senate last summer. The bill, also known as CSA 2012, mandated critical infrastructure upgrades, bolstered defenses and accelerated response time by establishing cybersecurity standards for electrical power grids, water treatment facilities and nuclear plants.

 

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The Future of Landline Service in Kentucky | Making Connections News

The Future of Landline Service in Kentucky | Making Connections News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The future of landline phone service in Kentucky is once again up for debate in the state legislature.  On Thursday, February 14 Senate Bill 88 passed out of the senate in a 24-13 vote.  The bill will now move to a house committee for review.  Titled the New Economy Communications Act by bill proponents - Senate Bill 88 would deregulate landline service across the state, making it so that large companies such as AT&T, Windstream and Cincinnati Bell would no longer be required to provide new landline service or maintain existing landlines in  most parts of the state. 

 

Opponents fear that such an abrupt transition would leave many in the state without reliable or affordable service, and would be particularly harmful to rural, low-income and elderly Kentuckians.  Bill Supporters say such changes are necessary in order to modernize Kentucky’s communication’s system.  AT&T Kentucky President Mary Pat Regan  wrote in the Lexington Herald Leader that the bill “encourages additional investment and innovation, resulting in greater competition through newer and faster technologies that customers demand.” 

 

But according to Tom Fitzgerald, director of the Kentucky Resources Council, the bill does not insure that new internet services coming to an area would be as reliable or as affordable as what residents already have with basic landlines. The bill would also strip the public service commission of oversight of basic phone service. Senate Bill 88 in Kentucky is the latest in a nationwide push from major phone companies including AT & T to deregulate service.

 

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Universities as Engines of Regional Economic Development | SAGE Connection

Universities as Engines of Regional Economic Development | SAGE Connection | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Professor David Audretsch is a Distinguished Professor and Ameritech Chair of Economic Development at Indiana University, where he also serves as Director of the Institute for Development Strategies.  Audretsch’s research has focused on the links between entrepreneurship, government policy, innovation, economic development and global competitiveness. His research has been published in over one hundred scholarly articles in the leading academic journals.


With co-authors Dennis P. Leyden and Albert N. Link, Audretsch recently published an article in the journal Economic Development Quarterly, titled “Regional Appropriation of University-Based Knowledge and Technology for Economic Development.


”In this article, he argued that knowledge does not fall like manna from heaven, but rather it is systematically transmitted through research that involves universities. We thought his argument was fascinating, and thought you might too, so we asked him to expound a bit on these thoughts. The following is his response.

 

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Tech startups are the luckiest startups: A view from outside the bubble | GigaOM Tech News

Tech startups are the luckiest startups: A view from outside the bubble | GigaOM Tech News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

In Silicon Valley and the tech world, building a startup is almost seen as a rite of passage. Working at a startup is commonplace, and not just acceptable but venerated. That culture has brought a lot of innovation and perhaps a few silly ideas to the world, but sometimes it’s worth it to step outside that bubble to see what can be learned from cultures in other entrepreneurial enclaves.

 

I had such an opportunity at the Toy Fair in New York last week during its Launchpad section. It featured roughly two dozen entrepreneurs who built a prototype toy, a website and paid $1,900 for a 6-foot long table at the show. Several people showed off board games, figurines, including the above pictured Obos and a variety of other items waited for a distributor or a buyer to discover them.

 

While talking to about eight of the assembled entrepreneurs I realized something: Tech entrepreneurs have it almost easy.

 

Yes, starting any company is hard. It requires a leap of faith on the part of the entrepreneur and his or her family. But outside of the tech world, the networks are harder to find, the capital networks are less geared toward potential failure and the exit environment is very different. For example, at the Toy Fair, only a quarter of the people I spoke with had quit their day jobs to work full time on their toy. Most funded their efforts out of savings or their own pockets. Venture capital and angels didn’t really come into play in this world, and only a few had bank loans.

 

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