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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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Shops and cafes fight US patent trolls | BBC.co.uk

Shops and cafes fight US patent trolls | BBC.co.uk | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The Internet Association is among a group of US trade bodies behind a new campaign calling for politicians to take action over patent trolls.


Patent trolls take out generalised patents, often on widely available technology, and then demand money from companies who use or offer it.


Shops and restaurants have been targeted for displaying QR codes and online store-locators, say the groups.


The radio and print adverts will appear in 15 US states.


"Patent trolls don't make anything, they just get rich," is a line from the Stop Bad Patents campaign, which claims that businesses can find themselves facing demands for $100,000 (£65,000) to settle - a considerable sum but often cheaper than defending themselves in court.


Its organisers want voters to contact their Congress representatives asking them to "stop bad patents, stop the trolls".


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James Clapper Say Feds Will Start Releasing Some FISA And NSL Metadata, But Not The Kind That Matters | Techdirt.com

James Clapper Say Feds Will Start Releasing Some FISA And NSL Metadata, But Not The Kind That Matters | Techdirt.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

We were just mocking the government's position that it cannot reveal the "metadata" on the numbers of FISA orders (and the number of people impacted) when those same people insist that we shouldn't worry about many NSA surveillance programs since they're "just metadata."


And, now, the Director of National Intelligence has said that it will begin releasing some metadata on some key programs that had been secret before:


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DOJ Still Refuses To Let Tech Companies Reveal How Much Info They Get Via FISA Orders | Techdirt.com

DOJ Still Refuses To Let Tech Companies Reveal How Much Info They Get Via FISA Orders | Techdirt.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

So, last night Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said that the administration will start releasing some data on how many FISA records it seeks, and how many "targets" there are. In a first draft of that post, I had originally speculated that this hopefully meant the various tech companies could finally add FISA request numbers to their transparency reports, as they'd requested. However, after reading Clapper's statement carefully, it seemed fairly obvious that what they were releasing was a lot more limited than what the tech companies have been asking for -- including the number of people impacted.


Given that, I removed the paragraph about how it might impact tech companies, because it seemed likely that the feds weren't actually going to allow the tech companies to reveal some basic metadata about the FISA requests they receive. Indeed, today was the (many times extended) deadline for the DOJ to respond to the legal filings by various tech companies to publish those numbers, and it appears that the DOJ has officially turned down the request.

Microsoft wasted little time this morning before speaking out on its blog and stating that this was unacceptable, and that it would continue the legal fight.


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Buckminster Fuller on an Economic System Based on Abundance not Scarcity | YouTube.com

Buckminster Fuller knew it was possible to feed clothe house and educate every man woman and child on Earth... and that our current economic system is based on the belief that we can NOT do that. He developed The World Game as a method for helping people learn how we can all work together - on a global basis - to make the world work for everyone.


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IN: Gary providing small business assistance | GaryCrusader.com

IN: Gary providing small business assistance | GaryCrusader.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson recently joined two business partners and the Gary Chamber of Commerce in launching the Urban Entrepreneur Initiative (UEI) last week. Thanks to this partnership, a total of 1,000 Gary small business owners will receive free training and accounting assistance.

The program includes donations of resources to local entrepreneurs worth up to $250,000, including Five Plus Trax, a cloud computing dashboard application designed to help small business owners better understand and manage their companies’ finances, specially-designed start-up training using the “Business Basics” curriculum, and space in a City-owned facility that will serve as the UEI office and entrepreneurs’ resource center.

“The launching of the Urban Entrepreneur Initiative in our city means a win for those who aspire to maintain and open businesses in Gary,” said Freeman-Wilson. “This partnership also means more opportunities for economic development and building a more stable business community.”

The Urban Entrepreneur Initiative was conceived by Pete Justen, CEO of Washington, DC-based Five Plus, and Deardra Campbell, Managing Principal of The Green-Campbell Group in Atlanta, GA. Their shared philosophy of “Rebuilding America, One Small Business At A Time” culminated in their quest to make a meaningful donation of much needed resources to inner-city entrepreneurs, particularly those in manufacturing-reliant cities like Gary that were heavily affected decades ago by production declines in the manufacturing sector.

Justen’s Five Plus is donating to Gary entrepreneurs 1,000 licenses of Five Plus Trax, the company’s cloud computing dashboard application that gives small business owners easy-to-understand, real-time access to key data that can help them make better, faster decisions concerning their company’s finances.


Campbell is donating small business start-up training for up to 1,000 of the city’s entrepreneurs using “Business Basics,” a curriculum she developed and has used to successfully train more than 17,000 entrepreneurs across the country.


The City of Gary is donating space at the City Hall Annex building at 839 Broadway to house the initiative. The Gary Economic Development Corporation, Gary Chamber of Commerce, ACCION, and the Northwest Indiana Small Business Development Center are also participating in the initiative.


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Former FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski '91 will teach Fall Semester course | Harvard Law & Business Schools

Former FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski '91 will teach Fall Semester course | Harvard Law & Business Schools | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Julius Genachowski '91, who served as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission from 2009 until May of this year, will teach a course to students from Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School in the fall semester.


The course, 'Running a Federal Agency: Lessons from Business, Technology and Game Theory,' will be offered jointly by the two schools. At HLS, Genachowski will be the inaugural holder of the Steven and Maureen Klinsky Professorship of Practice for Leadership and Progress. (Read the announcement). At HBS, he will be a Visiting Scholar.


As chairman of the FCC, Genachowski focused the agency on unleashing the opportunities of wired and wireless broadband, successfully pursuing policies to promote investment and job creation, drive innovation, foster competition, and empower consumers. Genachowski's tenure at the FCC saw a strengthening of America's tech-related global competitiveness and strong improvement in key broadband metrics, including record-setting private investment, significant increases in broadband speeds, and unparalleled innovation in networks, devices and applications. Genachowski also expanded the FCC's international engagement, visiting 22 countries and concluding several international agreements.


Earlier he worked for many years in senior positions in the private sector, helping build IAC/InterActiveCorp, which owned and operated multiple Internet and media businesses including Expedia, Ticketmaster, and USA Network, working as an investor, and serving as board members of public and private companies. Genachowski is now a Senior Fellow at the Aspen Institute, the non-partisan leadership and policy organization based in Washington DC, with its Communications and Society Program.


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UK Asked New York Times To Destroy Edward Snowden Documents; NY Times Ignored Request | Techdirt

UK Asked New York Times To Destroy Edward Snowden Documents; NY Times Ignored Request | Techdirt | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

There's been some back and forth concerning the David Miranda legal fight today and it's getting fairly ridiculous. The UK government is making some extraordinary claims about Miranda and the encrypted information he was carrying. They claim that some of the information was potentially incredibly damaging to UK national security interests (the same rhetoric we always hear, but is rarely shown to be true) and they also claim that they found a piece of paper on Miranda that allowed them to "decrypt one file on his seized hard drive." Furthermore, they claim that Miranda (and Greenwald and Poitras) "demonstrated very poor judgment in their security arrangements with respect to the material," in order to suggest that it might easily fall into dangerous hands.

Of course, there are many reasons to suggest that this is all hogwash. The choice of wording from the UK government is pretty precise. Note that they don't actually claim they've unencrypted any of the Snowden files. They make two separate claims in succession: one is that there were 58,000 documents that Miranda had and then, separately, that he had a password that allowed them to get into a file on his drives, and then they use that to insist that there was poor security. But they don't reveal what that one file was, nor do they admit to having figured out what was actually on the drives. Glenn Greenwald says that it's a flat out lie that Miranda had a password on him that would allow anyone to decrypt the documents (suggesting any password he might have had on him was totally unrelated). Greenwald also mocks the idea that Poitras's security was "sloppy," since it appears that the UK hasn't yet been able to figure out what was actually on the hard drives.

However, the strongest response to all of this comes from The Guardian itself, who reveals that after the Prime Minister's office ordered them to destroy hard drives, the Guardian told the UK government that the NY Times and Pro Publica also had copies of all of the documents related to the UK spying by GCHQ... and the UK government didn't seem particularly concerned:


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U.S. spy agencies mounted 231 offensive cyber-operations in 2011, documents show | Wash Post

U.S. spy agencies mounted 231 offensive cyber-operations in 2011, documents show | Wash Post | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

U.S. intelligence services carried out 231 offensive cyber-operations in 2011, the leading edge of a clandestine campaign that embraces the Internet as a theater of spying, sabotage and war, according to top-secret documents obtained by The Washington Post.


That disclosure, in a classified intelligence budget provided by NSA leaker Edward Snowden, provides new evidence that the Obama administration’s growing ranks of cyberwarriors infiltrate and disrupt foreign computer networks.


Additionally, under an extensive effort code-named GENIE, U.S. computer specialists break into foreign networks so that they can be put under surreptitious U.S. control. Budget documents say the $652 million project has placed “covert implants,” sophisticated malware transmitted from far away, in computers, routers and firewalls on tens of thousands of machines every year, with plans to expand those numbers into the millions.


The documents provided by Snowden and interviews with former U.S. officials describe a campaign of computer intrusions that is far broader and more aggressive than previously understood. The Obama administration treats all such cyber-operations as clandestine and declines to acknowledge them.


The scope and scale of offensive operations represent an evolution in policy, which in the past sought to preserve an international norm against acts of aggression in cyberspace, in part because U.S. economic and military power depend so heavily on computers.


“The policy debate has moved so that offensive options are more prominent now,” said former deputy defense secretary William J. Lynn III, who has not seen the budget document and was speaking generally. “I think there’s more of a case made now that offensive cyberoptions can be an important element in deterring certain adversaries.”


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BroadbandVT.org - Your source for independent broadband information | www.broadbandvt.org

Whether you live on a dirt road or one that’s paved in Vermont, you want to be connected. Technology creates the digital highway, but a broadband Internet connection is about people reaching out.


It’s about finding education, entertainment, and employment, resources that make life better.


At BroadbandVT.org, you’ll find all sorts of information gathered locally and from around the country.


Come back often to see new postings in the Resource Room, News and Blog sections.


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Google, Microsoft prepare for showdown over NSA spying | The Hill's Hillicon Valley

Google, Microsoft prepare for showdown over NSA spying | The Hill's Hillicon Valley | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Google and Microsoft are fierce rivals in the marketplace, skewer each other in ads and wage lobbying wars against each other in Washington.

But the tech giants are joining forces for a legal battle with the Obama administration over the right to disclose more information about how the National Security Agency is spying on their users.


The companies argue that publishing aggregated statistics about the scope of the surveillance would not threaten national security and that they have a First Amendment right to discuss the information.


Google and Microsoft negotiated with government lawyers for several weeks over how much they should be allowed to disclose. But those negotiations have collapsed and both companies are now preparing for a legal showdown before the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which handles national security surveillance issues.

The companies and the Justice Department agreed to a ten-day extension on Friday, which will give the companies time to refine their legal filings, according to people familiar with the case. After that period, the companies are expected to move forward with litigation.
 
Brad Smith, Microsoft's general counsel, said the company is prepared to fight for its constitutional rights in court.


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The California assembly will vote on funding broadband infrastructure | Steve Blum's Blog

The California assembly will vote on funding broadband infrastructure | Steve Blum's Blog | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Californian broadband subsidies are back on track and heading, it seems to a vote by the full assembly. Big thanks to Elizabeth Munguia in senator Alex Padilla’s office for the news that the assembly leadership released senate bill 740 from the appropriations committee’s suspense file, which puts it in play for the final, hectic two weeks of the legislature’s current session.


SB 740 would add $90 million to the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) and make it possible – although maybe not practical – for independent Internet service providers and cities to apply for grants and loans to build out broadband infrastructure. Assuming a companion measure, assembly bill 1299 moves forward too, $70 million would be added to the broadband infrastructure grant kitty and $25 million would go towards broadband facilities and marketing in public housing projects, with the $5 million difference being made up via the lesser used infrastructure loan fund.


Looking ahead to the next two weeks, SB 740 needs to be approved by a two-thirds vote of the assembly, which is by no means guaranteed, then it goes back to the senate, which has to agree to recent amendments. The senate voted nearly unanimously to back it earlier this year, but that was before a nasty fight with cable lobbyists erupted, forcing the changes.


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Canadian Member Of Parliament, Responsible For Opposition Trade Policy, Denied Access To TPP Negotiations | Techdirt

Canadian Member Of Parliament, Responsible For Opposition Trade Policy, Denied Access To TPP Negotiations | Techdirt | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Defenders of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations in the US like to note that every member of Congress has access to the negotiating documents of the massive trade agreement. Of course, that's not telling the full story.


While lobbyist "advisers" like those from the MPAA can simply log into an online account and see the details from their personal computers, members of Congress have to go to the USTR office, where they can see a copy of the document, but they're not allowed to bring any staffers (such as those who are experts on trade policy), nor are they allowed to make any copies or take any notes.

However, it appears that up in Canada, things may be even more ridiculous. Don Davies is a Canadian Member of Parliament who notes that he's been denied access to information about the ongoing TPP negotiations, of which Canada is supposedly a member:


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Aereo could arrive on Android as soon as September | CNET News

Aereo could arrive on Android as soon as September | CNET News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Aereo, the upstart online TV service, has no plans to slow down its momentum, possibly much to the chagrin of the ticked-off television networks.


Aereo CEO Chet Kanojia told International Business Times on Thursday that the company plans to debut its service on Android devices in September -- though there's no word on an exact date. The chief executive said Aereo had initially hoped to have an Android app ready last summer, but that goal fell through.


Earlier this month, Kanojia touted his service at a Startup Grind event in New York, telling a group of local entrepreneurs that Aereo would have a "fabulous" business at 1 million users and an "extremely fabulous" one at 5 million, but it would only need registrations in the hundreds of thousands for it to be profitable.


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Health opens with inspiration phase, additional prizes from collaborators | Knight News Challenge

Health opens with inspiration phase, additional prizes from collaborators | Knight News Challenge | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Today we’re launching the $2 million Knight News Challenge: Health with the opening of the inspiration phase and the addition of $200,000 in prizes from two of our collaborators, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the California HealthCare Foundation.


Our inspiration phase is a virtual and real-world brainstorming session around the theme of this challenge: How can we harness data and information for the health of communities? During the next two weeks, we want to collect your ideas surrounding the difficulties, successes and opportunities you have experienced with health information. We’ll open the challenge for entries Sept. 3 and accept submissions through Sept. 17.


In addition to the $2 million we’ve committed to the challenge:



While we’re excited to have the companion prizes, the contribution of these collaborators is about much more than just dollars. They have helped us to shape the challenge, will be with us as we tour the country over the next month and will comment on the ideas we receive. They will also be part of the panel of external advisers who help us select the finalists.


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Bell Fibe TV brings next-generation television service to Ottawa | Canada NewsWire

Bell Fibe TV brings next-generation television service to Ottawa | Canada NewsWire | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Bell today announced the launch of next-generation Fibe TV service in Ottawa, bringing consumers superior choice in television and unprecedented new competition for traditional cable TV.


"Bell's unmatched investments in next-generation broadband networks and services are bringing the best communications innovations the world has to offer to Canadians. With an investment of $155 million in the new Ottawa Fibe network, consumers in our nation's capital now have access to the best TV and Internet experience available," said George Cope, President and CEO of Bell Canada and BCE Inc.


Fibe is growing fast. Bell gained 50,555 new Fibe TV customers in the second quarter of 2013 - 31.4% more than the year before and the best quarterly growth since the launch of Fibe TV in late 2010. At the end of Q2 2013 (June 30), Fibe TV subscribers totalled 346,316, more than double the number a year before.


Fibe TV's advanced features include:


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John Tebbutt's curator insight, October 10, 2013 11:32 PM

the future of television services netwrked to the home

westhuntclub's curator insight, October 19, 2013 1:21 AM

West Hunt Club Directory list vendors in category wise listing. The key to a success-ful business is cognizably, customers. The many more customer you have, the more business you generate. Submit your business to www.westhuntclub.ca Directory to get customers searching for your website. Submit your business today.

carlingavenue's curator insight, October 19, 2013 2:15 AM

Carling Avenue Web Directory is a human edited, Fast Link Approval, SEO Friendly Free Web Directory which has optional features of regular link with categorized listings. Submit your website for editorial review and have your site listed in our website www.carlingavenue.ca reviews directory.

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NY: Rep. Steve Israel Visits Clean-Tech Energy Innovator WATT Fuel Cell Corp. in Port Washington | SYS-CON Media

NY: Rep. Steve Israel Visits Clean-Tech Energy Innovator WATT Fuel Cell Corp. in Port Washington | SYS-CON Media | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Congressman Steve Israel (D-Huntington) visited Port Washington, N.Y.-based energy technology company WATT Fuel Cell Corp. (WATT) as part of yesterday’s Startup Day Across America, a national day dedicated to raising awareness of startup companies and job creation to catalyze support for the local entrepreneurial community. WATT is an example of a successful and established startup company that is creating high-skilled jobs on Long Island.


“WATT reflects Long Island’s tradition of innovation and entrepreneurship,” said Rep. Israel. “Small business startups are the backbone of our economy and create millions of good-paying American jobs. I will continue to fight for policies that spur the growth of innovative businesses and organizations like Accelerate Long Island, and I wholeheartedly support Startup Day Across America, which highlights their achievements.”


“WATT exemplifies the type of company that can spur significant U.S. job creation in the growing ‘green collar’ sector,” said Dr. Caine Finnerty, president and CEO of WATT Fuel Cell Corp. “It is essential for the U.S. to be competitive in the clean-tech and new energy generation markets in order to remain a world leader in technology innovation. Our company has developed and is now advancing the commercial availability of a game-changing energy generation technology, and this has in part been made possible by the support of our local elected officials.”


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alexander King's curator insight, September 3, 2013 10:13 PM

This acticle pertains to what we read in the book.  The book refers to land, capital, labor and entrepreneurs.  This article includes some of those areas.

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Facebook is hiring a data scientist, but you'll have to fight for the job | GigaOM Tech News

Facebook is hiring a data scientist, but you'll have to fight for the job | GigaOM Tech News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Facebook is looking to hire a new data scientist, but rather than sift through résumés it’s planning to sift through algorithms. The company is turning to the data-science competition platform Kaggle to host a contest that will determine who gets brought in for an interview. This is the third time Facebook has used Kaggle to identify possible data scientists.


The challenge this time around involves text mining. Specifically:


“This competition tests your text skills on a large dataset from the Stack Exchange sites.  The task is to predict the tags (a.k.a. keywords, topics, summaries), given only the question text and its title. The dataset contains content from disparate stack exchange sites, containing a mix of both technical and non-technical questions.”


The competition began at 4:00 p.m. UTC on Friday and ends at 11:59 p.m. UTC on Dec. 20.


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Smart Grid: IBM Energy Efficient Smart Grids for a Smarter Planet | IBM Smarter Energy

Experts discuss how flexible smart grid technology is a better path for efficient, cheap, clean and reliable electricity solution for the future.


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UNH prof to speak about effects of smartphone technology and the 'Digital Divide' | West Haven Voice

UNH professor Eun-A Park, an expert on smartphone use and technology, says that while many people in the world are more digitally connected than ever thanks to smartphones, a third of Americans still have no broadband access and 62 million American adults do not use the Internet at all.


This “digital divide” continues to grow across socio-economic and age lines, even as more adults purchase smartphones and tablets. But not all people use smartphones alike. In her research, Park uses a term, the “smartphone divide,” to delineate the different levels of access people have to smartphones and the various ways they use them. The “divide” is often dependent on economic status and demographics, she explains.


Lack of Internet access can mean an inability to apply for work, as most major corporations and many small companies require online job applications and, for children, a distinct disadvantage in the classroom. Most importantly, people need Internet access to be part of the national and global conversation, Park says.


“To participate fully and deeply in a democracy, you need the tools to express what you have to say to be able to get into the discussion,” she says. “That’s why the concept of universal access is so important.”


At the same time, she warns that people must pause to think about just how engaged they want to be in that global online conversation.  Her research shows that constant engagement in smartphone use and other technologies is fundamentally changing the way people interact with one another and the way they live.


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These are the companies alleged to have links to the NSA surveillance scandal | GigaOM Tech News

These are the companies alleged to have links to the NSA surveillance scandal | GigaOM Tech News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The global surveillance scandal involves many players in the corporate world and — thanks to Edward Snowden — details of their identities and relationships with the NSA and other intelligence agencies continue to dribble out.


Many publications are doing fine work carrying these stories, but the information is a tad scattered. So I thought it might be useful to compile a list of the companies that are thought to be involved in Prism, Tempora, Blarney and all the other mysteriously codenamed sub-programs that add up to a near-global surveillance network.


This list will be updated as and when new information comes in (please do note omissions in the comments below).


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Big surprise: Ex-FCC chief defends the cable industry | LATimes.com

Big surprise: Ex-FCC chief defends the cable industry | LATimes.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Former FCC Chairman Michael K. Powell, who is now the chief lobbyist for the cable industry, takes issue with my Aug. 25 column about how cable monopolies such as Time Warner and Comcast have made Internet access slower and more expensive than in many countries around the world. 


Powell, in a letter to The Times, grouses that I overlooked "the fact that America is among the world's leaders in broadband choice, availability and quality."


He says that the U.S. is "one of two nations featuring three universally available high-speed networks" and that "85% of U.S. households can access wired networks capable of 100-megabit-per-second service."


In the space of four short paragraphs, Powell thus shows how brilliantly he earns his pay as chief executive of the National Cable and Telecommunications Assn. -- and how poorly he earned it as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, a post he held from 2001 through March 2005.


Let's unpack his assertions one by one. It's a little unclear what "three universally available high-speed networks" he's referring to, but if he means cable, DSL and mobile or satellite, he's blowing smoke. Only cable consistently offers true high-speed capability -- DSL is spotty and barely serviceable when it's available, and neither satellite nor mobile networks can offer both high speed and reasonable pricing.


Even if it were true that 85% of the country "can access" 100-megabit service, the question is: at what price? As my column noted, in Seoul you can get it for $31.90 a month. In New York you'll pay $35 for one-fourth the speed, and in Los Angeles you pay $30 for one-10th the speed.


Can you get 100-megabit service where you live?


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New Zealand just abolished software patents. Here’s why we should, too. | Wash Post

New Zealand just abolished software patents. Here’s why we should, too. | Wash Post | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

What’s wrong with the patent system? Most people cite problems with patent trolls or low patent quality. But a recent study by the Government Accountability Office makes it clear that the real problem is more specific: Patents on software don’t work.


Of course, the GAO doesn’t quite come out and say that. The study, released last week, has the bland title “Assessing Factors That Affect Patent Infringement Litigation Could Help Improve Patent Quality.” But the study is chock-full of evidence that most of the patent system’s problems are really problems with software patents.


The number of software patents has soared in the past two decades. In 1991, software-related patents (using a broad definition adopted by the GAO) accounted for fewer than a quarter of all patents issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. In 2011, for the first time ever, software patents accounted for the majority of all patents issued:


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Ex-Googler Gives the World a Better Bitcoin | Wired Enterprise | Wired.com

Ex-Googler Gives the World a Better Bitcoin | Wired Enterprise | Wired.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Charles Lee was a software engineer at Google, spending his days hacking networking code for the search giant’s new-age operating system, ChromeOS. But in his spare time, he rewrote Bitcoin, the world’s most popular digital currency.


Early one October morning two years ago, Lee unleashed his project, Litecoin, onto an online universe that was still coming to terms with its more famous progenitor, and though Litecoin is still firmly rooted in the Bitcoin code base, it has found a place in the world, showing just how strong the appetite is for a new breed money.


Bitcoin has had an extraordinary run this year, but if you’d sunk your money into Litecoin instead of Bitcoin on January 1, it would have done better. Since then, Bitcoin jumped from just over $13 to its current value of more than $115. Back in January, Litecoin was trading in the $0.07 range. Today, it’s worth close to $2.40. In other words, while it took 200 Litecoins to buy a Bitcoin in January, today it takes only 50.


Government regulation may put the squeeze on Bitcoin — and perhaps Litecoin too. But digital currency will continue to evolve and grow. It’s what so much of the world wants.


Although its dwarfed by Bitcoin’s popularity, people seem to like Litecoin because it’s a more credible alternative to the growing list of Bitcoin imitators, which Lee saw as either technologically challenged or straight up pump-and-dump scams. “I wanted to create something that is kind of silver to Bitcoin’s gold,” says Lee, who left Google last month to seek his fortune in the wild west of alternative digital currencies.


He took the basic ideas behind Bitcoin — a currency created by a pseudonymous character who goes by the name Satoshi Nakamoto — and refined them. Litecoin was designed to pump out four times as many coins as Bitcoin, in an effort to keep the digital currency from becoming scarce and too expensive. It processes transactions more quickly, and discourages the kind of high-volume but very small transactions that have become a nuisance on the Bitcoin network. And it lets regular folks more easily “mine” coins — i.e. provide the online currency system with the computing power it needs, in exchange for digital money.


The result wasn’t a Bitcoin killer. But it was something that gave digital currency yet another stamp of approval.


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Cable MSOs Slash Hardware Spending Again | Light Reading

Cable MSOs Slash Hardware Spending Again | Light Reading | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

In another down quarter for cable equipment vendors, shipment revenues for new edge QAM and cable modem termination system (CMTS) devices plunged in the spring, particularly in North America, according to the latest data from Infonetics Research.


In its new survey, Infonetics Research Inc. found that edge QAM and CMTS revenue in the critical North American market fell 27 percent in the second quarter from the same period a year earlier. The big drop in spending follows a decrease in the first quarter as well.


Edge QAM and CTMS revenue fell globally as well during the second quarter, but not nearly as much as in North America. Infonetics says worldwide equipment revenues slipped to $313 million in the spring, down 4 percent from the year-ago period and the second straight quarterly decline as well.


Jeff Heynen, principal analyst for broadband access and pay TV at Infonetics, blames the large North American revenue falloff on the "turnup" of a large number of software licenses by US and Canadian cable operators. MSOs use these software licenses to upgrade gear that they have already installed in their cable systems. But, while they pay for these licenses when they carry out the upgrades, they don't shell out as much per port for software as when they buy new equipment.


As a result, North American port pricing fell about 15 percent in the quarter even as cable operators boosted their capacity to offer new broadband and video services, Heynen says. In turn, overall revenue fell as well.


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DMA: Industry Should Draft Any Future Voluntary Privacy Codes | Broadcasting & Cable

The Digital Marketing Association already has plenty of suggestions to improve the National Telecommunications & Information Administration's (NTIA) multistakeholder process for enforcing the Obama Administration's consumer privacy "bill of rights." Those include letting industry create guidelines and give individual companies the opportunity to participate or not without any pressure from NTIA.

NTIA is scheduled to hold a "lessons learned" meeting with those stakeholders Thursday (Aug. 29) to help improve that process. In advance of that meeting, one of the stakeholders has written NTIA chief Lawrence Strickling on improving any future stakeholder meetings.

In the letter, Jerry Cerasale, senior VP, government affairs, for DMA, provided a number of suggestions. Those include that industry stakeholders should draft any code they will have to consider adopting, with the multistakeholder meetings providing the opportunity for others, which would include public advocacy groups, to comment on the draft and decide whether or not they will support them.

The Consumer Federation of America has recommended a selection process for code drafters from the broader multistakeholder community, which would include public advocacy groups like CFA. In addition to nixing that idea, DMA also doesn't like CFA's suggestion of hiring an outside party to facilitate or draft the code, and DMA says the industry should handle implementation testing.


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