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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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VA: Regional economic development group says prospects slowly improving | Richmond Times Dispatch

VA: Regional economic development group says prospects slowly improving | Richmond Times Dispatch | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The recession continues to have an impact on economic development efforts in the Richmond region.


The Greater Richmond Partnership, a public-private regional economic development organization serving four localities in the region, said it fell short of its goals for job creation for new and existing businesses and for new business recruitment during the fiscal year that ended June 30.

But the group exceeded its goals for attracting capital investment by existing businesses in the region and for creating jobs among small or startup businesses.


“The economy is recovering at a snail’s pace,” the partnership said in its annual report. That has prompted the organization to more aggressively pursue marketing efforts.


The slow economic recovery “has resulted in a significant increase in our prospect pipeline,” the partnership said. “However, commitments have not mirrored that effect.”


In total, the partnership said it assisted 53 companies that opened operations or expanded existing operations during its most recent fiscal year.


Those investments resulted in 2,058 new jobs — some of which have yet to be filled — and about $276 million in new capital investment commitments.


“We are slowly seeing more prospect deal flow and more activity in the pipeline,” said Gregory H. Wingfield, the partnership’s president and CEO.


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TN: Downtown tech company opens | Columbia Daily Herald

TN: Downtown tech company opens | Columbia Daily Herald | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

A Columbia, TN couple is bringing a taste of technology to the downtown square.


neXpiria President Joel Friddell and Vice President Kim Hayes opened their web design, mobile application development and digital media company at 802 S. Main St. The tech company opened in early September.


Columbia’s downtown architecture and ambiance was a deciding factor in choosing to locate in the city, the couple said.


The pair wanted to be part of the recent spark of downtown development and hope to spearhead a boost for the city in the tech sector.


“We wanted to do a main street building so we can send a message that downtown Columbia is viable,” Friddell said. “One of the things we wanted to do was send a message to the younger people in town that Columbia does have a future.”


There is no reason why Columbia cannot become a tech hub for the state, or even the nation, Friddell added.


The majority of neXperia’s work is currently based in web design, but the company also develops mobile applications and produces television series.


The tech company’s portfolio does not stop there — they also develop consumer products.


Friddell and Hayes have created the neX-cam ioc, the first wireless intraoral camera that works with the iPad. Fridell compared the device to a smartphone made to look like a pen.


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NY: Rural Communities Broadband Roundtable | The Adirondack Almanack

NY: Rural Communities Broadband Roundtable | The Adirondack Almanack | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Community leaders and elected officials have been invited to attend a Rural Communities Broadband Roundtable at The Wild Center on Thursday, Oct. 24.  It is co-hosted by AdkAction.org, which initiated the event; the New York State Broadband Program Office; the United States Department of Agriculture/Rural Development Agency, which provides extensive funding for broadband services in rural locales; and The Wild Center.


The objective of the event is to assist towns and communities in the North Country to better understand how broadband can revitalize their communities and how they can best pursue universal access to broadband.


Organized around a case study, discussions will include a progress report on the roll-out of rural broadband in the North Country, rural success stories, and available funding for Distance Learning and Community Connect initiatives.


“The program will focus on the important groundwork that communities need to accomplish in order to be poised to apply for funding assistance, such as assessing and then mapping in detail where broadband is needed,” Dave Wolff of AdkAction.org’s broadband committee chair said in a statement to the press.


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OK: Cross Communications to expand broadband service | Muskogee Daily Phoenix

OK: Cross Communications to expand broadband service | Muskogee Daily Phoenix | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Cross Communications is one of several telecommunications companies in the state to partner with the new Oklahoma Community Anchor Network (OCAN) to expand broadband services into Oklahoma’s rural communities.

The new partnership will help extend OCAN’s recently launched broadband network to area schools, health care providers, and public service providers.

“Cross Communications has delivered high-speed Internet to rural Oklahoma communities for over 12 years, and we have provided fiber services to facilitate connectivity between our schools and qualifying agencies, including OneNet’s hubs in Warner and Muskogee, since OneNet’s inception,” David Miller, president of Cross Communications, said in a media release.

“The new OCAN network creates additional opportunities for us to offer more cost effective fiber fed capacity and bandwidth options to our schools and qualifying institutions.”

Spanning more than 1,000 miles and impacting 35 Oklahoma counties, OCAN is specifically designed to offer high-speed Internet connections to rural Oklahoma communities.


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NSA surveillance: Merkel's phone may have been monitored 'for over 10 years' | TheGuardian.com

NSA surveillance: Merkel's phone may have been monitored 'for over 10 years' | TheGuardian.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

New claims emerged last night over the extent that US intelligence agencies have been monitoring the mobile phone of Angela Merkel. The allegations were made after German secret service officials were already preparing to travel to Washington to seek explanations into the alleged surveillance of its chancellor.


A report in Der Spiegel said Merkel's mobile number had been listed by the NSA's Special Collection Service (SCS) since 2002 and may have been monitored for more than 10 years. It was still on the list – marked as "GE Chancellor Merkel" – weeks before President Barack Obama visited Berlin in June.


In an SCS document cited by the magazine, the agency said it had a "not legally registered spying branch" in the US embassy in Berlin, the exposure of which would lead to "grave damage for the relations of the United States to another government".


From there, NSA and CIA staff were tapping communication in Berlin's government district with high-tech surveillance. Quoting a secret document from 2010, Der Spiegel said such branches existed in about 80 locations around the world, including Paris, Madrid, Rome, Prague, Geneva and Frankfurt. Merkel's spokesman and the White House declined to comment on the report.


The nature of the monitoring of Merkel's mobile phone is not clear from the files, Der Spiegel said. It might be that the chancellor's conversations were recorded, or that her contacts were simply assessed.


Ahead of the latest claims , the German government's deputy spokesman, Georg Streiter, said a high-level delegation was heading to the White House and National Security Agency to "push forward" investigations into earlier surveillance allegations.


Meanwhile several thousand people marched to the US Capitol in Washington yesterday to protest against the NSA's spying programme and to demand a limit to the surveillance. Some of them held banners in support of Edward Snowden, the former CIA contractor who revealed the extent of the NSA's activities.


The march attracted protesters from both ends of the political spectrum as liberal privacy advocates walked alongside members of the conservative Tea Party movement.


The delegation will include senior officials from the German secret service, according to German media reports.


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'Stop Watching Us' sees a chance to reform the NSA | MSNBC.com

'Stop Watching Us' sees a chance to reform the NSA | MSNBC.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

When close to two thousand people marched to the Capitol Reflecting Pool Saturday afternoon to protest the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs, it was if the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street had clasped hands. 


“It’s very important that the American people be allowed to talk about what they want to talk about, with whom they want to talk about it, and not have the government paying attention to anything,” said David, a consultant with the Public Health Service who described himself as more Tea Party than Occupy.


The rally was sponsored by Stop Watching Us, a coalition of groups as diverse as the American Civil Liberties Union and the conservative advocacy group FreedomWorks, was meant to build support for forthcoming legislation that would end the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of communications data under the Patriot Act.


Reauthorized several times by Congress, the full scope of the programs were not known to the public until the leak of a secret surveillance court order by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. Since Snowden’s revelations, public opinion has begun to shift away from government surveillance programs, for the first time since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Top intelligence officials claims about the usefulness of the programs for preventing terrorism have withered under scrutiny


The crowd at the protest reflected the strange political hodgepodge that has found common cause in protesting the NSA (though perhaps no stranger than the NSA’s supporters). Protesters held signs that read “Stop Mass Spying” and thanked Snowden for leaking information to the press. Some of the protesters wore buttons from Occupy Wall Street or said “Free Bradley Manning,” others wore t-shirts from the libertarian group Young Americans for Liberty.


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CA: Telemedicine's time is now in the Central Valley and beyond | Steve Shilling | Fresno Bee

CA: Telemedicine's time is now in the Central Valley and beyond | Steve Shilling | Fresno Bee | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Telemedicine, a hazy term for most Californians, will soon enter the American lexicon. Overlooked by some as a viable solution to America's health care woes, telemedicine grants the ability for health care providers to deliver patient care virtually. This concept is critical to the Central Valley and other rural areas across the nation.


Read more here: http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/10/26/3574300/schilling-telemedicines-time-is.html#storylink=cpy


More than 60 million Americans lack access to primary care services because of due to doctor shortages at hospitals, local practices and community health centers. Many of these patients live and work in the Valley.


Often, patients have to travel extraordinarily long distances in order to see their primary care physician. Most of the patients we serve at Clinica Sierra Vista are low income and simply cannot afford to take significant time away from their jobs and families. Many are seniors on a limited, fixed income, and for whom traveling long distances is especially onerous.


The promise of telemedicine alleviates these problems by connecting patients and providers at the touch of a button, while significantly reducing costs and improving health care outcomes. With the emergence of a reliable and fast national broadband network and rapid advances in health information technology, now is the time to embrace telemedicine.


Fortunately, our representative in Washington, Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Tulare, understands this crying need and in a bipartisan manner worked with Rep. Frank Pallone Jr., D-N.J.,to introduce the TELEhealth for MEDicare (TELE-MED) Act of 2013. In the often gridlocked environment in Washington, it's encouraging to see our representative work across the aisle on legislation that will give patients greater access to care while leveraging the latest technologies.


Under current law, when it comes to practicing telehealth, physicians' hands are tied. Health care providers are required to have multiple state medical licenses and adhere to multiple state rules to provide virtual care across state lines. This outdated system of state medical licensure laws is preventing the widespread use of telemedicine and preventing patient access to quality health care.


The laws in place were designed when our system relied on local doctors treating local communities — when house calls were the norm. Now, with advances in technology, local communities can access quality care regardless of geographic location through a simple Internet connection. Telemedicine, in a way, promises the return of the house call, but virtually. Your doctor may not physically show up at your door anymore, but he or she will on your tablet or personal computer.


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VA: Internet access in southern Albemarle still a struggle | The Daily Progress

VA: Internet access in southern Albemarle still a struggle | The Daily Progress | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Monticello High School technology instructor Michael Craddock wasn’t surprised when a student recently said she couldn’t complete her homework.


The assignment required the Internet. She not only lacked access at home but had no way to complete the assignment in the school’s media center before or after class.


“She’s going to stay after school for an hour and take an activity bus home, or at least as close at it can get her to her home and someone in her family will pick her up,” Craddock said.


It’s not an uncommon problem in southern Albemarle County, where access can be limited or nonexistent. But it’s a particularly thorny issue, Craddock said, in an era when high-speed Internet is almost as basic to innovation, economic success and communication as electricity was more than a century ago.


“Reality is, technology is not going anywhere,” he said. “Especially those children who go off to college, the first thing they’re going to get is an email address. That’s the reality as soon as they leave us.”


More than a fourth of Albemarle County lacks access at download speeds of more than 25 megabits per second, according to the National Broadband Map. Download speeds at that rate are available in almost 98 percent of Charlottesville, according to the map, a searchable online database launched as part of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s State Broadband Initiative.


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The Trans-Pacific Partnership Legalizes Corporate Rights Prevailing Over Human Rights | Truth-Out.org

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Legalizes Corporate Rights Prevailing Over Human Rights | Truth-Out.org | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Ever since the current juggernaut of "free trade" agreements began to be negotiated under President George Herbert Walker Bush (which resulted in the signing of NAFTA under President Bill Clinton), jobs have been fleeing America as corporations have become engorged with greater profits.


There is simply no disputing this given the prima facie reality of the current configuration of the US economy.  Workers in the manufacturing sector have seen their jobs and factories shipped overseas. As a result, they have become unemployed.  If they are lucky enough to get a new job, it's most often at a much lower pay with fewer if any benefits.  This is not true of all blue collar workers, but it's the accelerating trend.


Truthout/BuzzFlash staffers are members of the the Newspaper Guild of the Communication Workers of America (CWA), and so issues affecting workers are personally important to us.  


Congressman Alan Grayson (D-FL) calls what is known of the framework of the secretively negotiated Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) "a punch in the face to the middle class." Larry Cohen, CWA president, adds that the TPP represents "a race to the bottom and we need a race to the top":


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Snowden Rebuts Sen. Feinstein's Claims That The NSA's Metadata Collection Is 'Not Surveillance' | Techdirt.com

Snowden Rebuts Sen. Feinstein's Claims That The NSA's Metadata Collection Is 'Not Surveillance' | Techdirt.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Ed Snowden has briefly stepped up to the mic to rebut Dianne Feinstein's claims that the NSA's bulk phone records collections are "not surveillance." While he didn't specifically name Feinstein, it's pretty clear who his comments are directed towards, what with the senator putting in overtime over the past few weeks defending the agency's cherished but useless Section 215  haystacks that are definitely not collections (according to the Intelligence Dictionary.)


"Today, no telephone in America makes a call without leaving a record with the NSA. Today, no Internet transaction enters or leaves America without passing through the NSA's hands," Snowden said in a statement Thursday.

"Our representatives in Congress tell us this is not surveillance. They're wrong."


Her op-ed for the USA Today stated the following:


The call-records program is not surveillance.


Why is it not surveillance? Feinstein claimed, in direct contradiction to someone who's seen most of the inner workings of the agency's programs, that because it doesn't sweep up communications or names, it isn't surveillance. Also, she pointed out that surveillance or not, it's legal. So there.

Maybe Feinstein considers the term "surveillance" to mean something closer to the old school interpretation -- shadowy figures in unmarked vans wearing headphones and peering through binoculars.

Of course, this kind of surveillance contained many elements completely eliminated by the combination of the PATRIOT Act, the FISA Amendments Act, and a very charitable reading of the Third Party Doctrine. You know, the sort of stuff those shadowy men used to utilize: warrants, targeted investigations, reasonable suspicion, a grudging working relationship with the Fourth Amendment…

That's all gone now.


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Want to know who's spying on you online? There's an app for that | ZDNet

Want to know who's spying on you online? There's an app for that | ZDNet | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Would you like to know who's watching which websites you visit? Well there's an app for that.


It's standard practice for advertisers to keeps tabs on the sites you frequent using tracking cookies. Tracking cookies are small text files that are downloaded on to your computer that log the websites you browse and, in some case, how you interact with these sites. Advertisers and other companies use these logs to build a profile of your interests, allowing advertisers to sell you products and services you're more likely to buy.


In an attempt to highlight just how many different firms are tracking our browsing habits online Mozilla has produced Lightbeam, an add-on that can be downloaded for the Firefox browser that captures who is watching you.


Every time you visit a site the tool logs every web address that is connecting to your machine, revealing how visiting a single website can result in your computer to connecting to many different web servers. Each of these servers may be controlled by different companies, and send and collect different information — for example, serving up images and adverts on the site or placing tracking cookies on your computer.


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Ten Steps You Can Take Right Now Against Internet Surveillance | EFF.org

Ten Steps You Can Take Right Now Against Internet Surveillance | EFF.org | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

One of the trends we've seen is how, as the word of the NSA's spying has spread, more and more ordinary people want to know how (or if) they can defend themselves from surveillance online. But where to start?


The bad news is: if you're being personally targeted by a powerful intelligence agency like the NSA, it's very, very difficult to defend yourself. The good news, if you can call it that, is that much of what the NSA is doing is mass surveillance on everybody. With a few small steps, you can make that kind of surveillance a lot more difficult and expensive, both against you individually, and more generally against everyone.


Here's ten steps you can take to make your own devices secure. This isn't a complete list, and it won't make you completely safe from spying. But every step you take will make you a little bit safer than average. And it will make your attackers, whether they're the NSA or a local criminal, have to work that much harder.


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Don't Be Silly. Lock Down and Encrypt Your Smartphone | Gadget Lab | Wired.com

Don't Be Silly. Lock Down and Encrypt Your Smartphone | Gadget Lab | Wired.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Your smartphone is your most portable computer. It’s also a treasure trove of personal information. You wouldn’t leave your laptop unlocked in public, so why leave your phone unprotected? Lock up that data and encrypt it.


Social media, budgeting and finance apps, photos, address book, and email — they’re all filled with details about you and the people you know. Yet for some reason a third of smartphone users in the U.S. still don’t bother setting up password security on their phones. It’s a shame because using a four-digit pin or a pattern lock is one of the easiest ways to keep thieves out of your phone. Trust us, the person that finds your phone in the back of a cab or swipes it from your open bag while you’re on the bus isn’t a criminal mastermind. On the other hand, they will be able to figure out from your emails when you’ll be on vacation and what time you leave for work.


FCC officials said that in 2012 smartphone theft increased from 8 percent to 42 percent in New York City over a 10 year period. The agency suggested a system where you call your carrier to brick your phone as soon as its stolen to reduce identity theft. But most people who lose their smartphones spend at least some time retracing their steps in the hopes of, you know, finding it. In fact, having your carrier enable such a scorched earth protocol kind of renders tracking services like Apple’s ‘Find My iPhone,’ obsolete.


If your phone does fall into the hands of the smarter-than-average thief, encrypting the contents will add an extra level of security that could mean the difference between a minor inconvenience and dealing with various agencies trying to restore your identity. Android’s encryption feature requires a passcode entered into the phone every time it’s powered back on. It can also protect any SD cards you use with your Android phone. To turn on encryption, navigate to Settings > Security. The only downside is that whenever you do turn on your phone with encryption, it’ll take an hour to decipher all your information.


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SD: Public/Private partnerships promote positive economic development | Prairie Business

SD: Public/Private partnerships promote positive economic development | Prairie Business | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Two new Governor Research Centers located at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology are home to a collaboration of private industry and researchers working to advance cutting-edge technologies that could ultimately boost the state’s economy and make it a hub for advanced manufacturing.


The Advanced Manufacturing Process Technology Transition & Training center, led by Christian Widener, is focused on developing advanced manufacturing technologies such as cold-spray, a technology which accelerates metal powders to supersonic speeds and can be used to restore aircraft or heavy machinery parts that have been damaged or corroded, potentially saving companies and the federal government millions of dollars in expensive equipment replacements.


The new center, AMPTEC, is further advancing groundwork research conducted at a previous SDSMT Governor Research Center known as the Repair, Refurbish and Return to Service center, which was also headed by Widener. AMPTEC is more prominently focused on private industry relationships than its predecessor and has secured $2 million in industry contributions in addition to the state’s $2 million five-year investment. Global companies such as aircraft and missile component designer Moog Inc. as well as South Dakota companies including HFW Friction Stir Welding, Flexible Robotic Environment and Daktronics are among the industry partners working to develop advanced manufacturing technologies at the center.


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Cost Control, Security Top Federal, State and Local IT Managers' Worry Lists | E-Commerce Times

Cost Control, Security Top Federal, State and Local IT Managers' Worry Lists | E-Commerce Times | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The concern about cost control doesn't mean that federal IT investment will come to a screeching halt. Among the federal agency respondents, 66 percent said they expected to increase spending on cybersecurity next year; 50 percent saw a boost in cloud spending, and 41 percent expected to spend more on video conferencing. Thirty-six percent predicted an increase in data center investments.


The tough political bargaining over the federal budget underscored by the recent government shutdown portends a continuing emphasis on keeping the cost of government under control. As federal agencies resume full operations after the budget and debt ceiling hiatus, it is clear that the goal of getting more for less" will continue to be a major theme for federal information technology specialists as they manage their budgets.


Government IT workers at all levels listed cost control as a priority in a recent survey sponsored by Cisco and conducted by Clarus Research. Cisco released results of the survey in early October.


Twenty-eight percent of the 400 participating federal, state and local IT managers said reducing costs was their top priority. Cost control ranked second as a major issue, at 25 percent, for the 200 federal respondents. It was topped only by information security, at 30 percent.


"As the results show, reducing costs and increasing security continue to be priorities for government IT decision makers. In the face of reduced budgets, creating the best architecture with available resources that will allow public sector agencies to securely serve citizens will be key to achieving mission success," said Patrick Finn, senior vice president of Cisco's U.S. public sector organization.

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NY: St. Lawrence County economic developers getting start on governor's 'tax-free incentives | North Country Now

Two St. Lawrence County economic development agencies are looking toward small business incubators, upstart companies and entrepreneurs as New York begins offering tax-free incentives to attract businesses to the state.


Although no formal action has been taken, St. Lawrence River Valley Redevelopment Agency representative Russell Strait, of Waddington, said the board has discussed hiring someone to visit small business incubators, like Clarkson’s Shipley Center and the Golisano Institute for Sustainability at the Rochester Institute of Technology to discuss opportunities with entrepreneurs and upstarts.


The St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency is also floating the idea.


“The idea would be, in conjunction with IDA, to fund a position in order to attract people to come to us,” he said. “But in order to do that you have got to have somebody who speaks the language.”


Strait acknowledged that identifying potential successful ventures could be tricky as only a small percentage succeed, but added that the right investment could do wonders for the area.


Neither the IDA nor the River Agency has moved past the discussion phase on hiring someone to meet with entrepreneurs.


However, with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposal to establish tax free zones for new businesses and businesses that relocate to New York, the River Agency is hoping to it can leverage its low cost power and monetary resources to make St. Lawrence County and attractive location for businesses big and small.


“We know low cost power isn’t enough to bring businesses in alone, but when you start combining it with other incentives you can have a pretty attractive deal,” Strait said.


IDA CEO Patrick Kelly said economic development agencies are always looking for new opportunities that can stimulate growth.


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MN: Broadband initiative community meeting | Aitkin Independent Age

People from across Mille Lacs County, representing all sectors of the community, are invited to help set the community’s path forward on broadband. The meeting is on Tuesday, Oct. 29, beginning at 11 a.m. until about 1 p.m., at the Northern Lights Ballroom & Banquet Center, just 4 miles south of Milaca off of Highway 169. A light lunch will be provided. Please contact Roxy Traxler at roxy.traxler@co.mille-lacs.mn.us with any questions.


As part of its selection as a Blandin Broadband Community, the Mille Lacs County Broadband Initiative leadership team encourages participants from all sectors — education, business, government, health care and residents within the county to join in this conversation to identify and prioritize opportunities for action.


On the agenda will be an overview of the county’s broadband projects to date, a visioning session of what comes next and what participants would like to see in terms of internet access, and finally a prioritizing and assignment of project ideas to submit for the next grant round in December.


Committee members say is extremely important that they include as many different voices as they can in this meeting, and that they represent all sectors of the community. The goal of this meeting is to further develop the broadband initiative priorities and projects. These ideas will come from those at the meeting. With these ideas generated, the leadership team will continue working with the community to focus plans, setting the county’s broadband initiative agenda for at least the next two years.


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Thousands gather in Washington for anti-NSA 'Stop Watching Us' rally | TheGuardian.com

Thousands gather in Washington for anti-NSA 'Stop Watching Us' rally | TheGuardian.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Thousands gathered by the Capitol reflection pool in Washington on Saturday to march, chant, and listen to speakers and performers as part of Stop Watching Us, a gathering to protest "mass surveillance" under NSA programs first disclosed by the whistleblower Edward Snowden.


Billed by organizers as "the largest rally yet to protest mass surveillance", Stop Watching Us was sponsored by an unusually broad coalition of left- and right-wing groups, including everything from the American Civil Liberties Union, the Green Party, Color of Change and Daily Kos to the Libertarian Party, FreedomWorks and Young Americans for Liberty.


The events began outside Union Station, a few blocks away from the Capitol. Props abounded, with a model drone hoisted by one member of the crowd and a large parachute carried by others. One member of the left-wing protest group Code Pink wore a large Barack Obama mascot head and carried around a cardboard camera. Organizers supplied placards reading "Stop Watching _____", allowing protesters to fill in their own name – or other slogans and occasional profanities. Homemade signs were more colorful, reading "Don't Tap Me, Bro" "Yes, We Scan" and "No Snitching Allowed".


"They think an open government means our information is open for the taking," David Segal of Demand Progress, an internet activist group, said to kick off events. As the march proceeded from Union Station to the Capitol reflecting pool, the crowd sang various chants, from "Hey hey, ho ho, mass surveillance has got to go" to "They say wire tap? We say fight back!"


David Reed, of Maryland, said he felt compelled to show up because of the "apathy" he sees among much of the public towards whistleblowers. Reed said he attended the trial of Chelsea Manning, the military whistleblower who leaked thousands of State Department cables to Wikileaks, as an observer, and was "disappointed that so few people showed up".


"The courtroom only held about 30 people, and there were few days that it was filled up," said Reed, who described himself as "just a concerned citizen". "We just stand by and watch."


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FL: USF Connect supporting movement for Bradenton business incubator | Bradenton Herald

FL: USF Connect supporting movement for Bradenton business incubator | Bradenton Herald | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Bradenton is suddenly in the spotlight for business incubators thanks to some help from the University of South Florida and two Sarasota investors.


USF, through its USF Connect program in Tampa and Florida High Tech Corridor Council, has entered into a letter of intent to back a business incubator within the city of Bradenton. USF Connect would provide 2-to-1 matching funds for money raised to start the incubator.


The effort is being led by Sara Hand, a business consultant, venture capitalist and entrepreneur in charge of her own firm, SP Hand and Associates in Sarasota, and her co-partner Stan Schultes.


Hand and Schultes consider Bradenton the perfect place for a business incubator because there is still so much available commercial space, paired with its up-and-coming image thanks to Riverwalk and the Village of the Arts, three breweries on tap and the inviting Old Main Street.


"Software people like a couple things: they like good beer, and they like to ride bikes," Schultes quipped.


The duo's incubator will be a private company that is backed by public funds-- primarily from grants, foundations and universities -- as well as some private investment.


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Is social media making us rude? | The Star Phoenix

Is social media making us rude? | The Star Phoenix | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Have you ever caught your lunch date surreptitiously texting under the table while pretending to be enthralled by your conversation? Or posted a favourite photo from a party only to have someone you don't even know mock you, calling you fat and ugly? You're not alone.


Three out of five people who use social media say at least a few times a month someone is rude to them. And the rudeness doesn't stop online.


Technology was blamed by more than 80 per cent of people surveyed by Insights West as the cause of our growing incivility, making it the No. 2 reason (behind parents not teaching their kids manners) that people think we are becoming less civil to each other.


"The No. 1 issue, at 93 per cent, is parents failing to teach their children properly and the second is technology," said Mario Canseco, vice-president, public affairs at Insights West.


"When we didn't have this type of technology, we seemed to get along much better," he said. "We were probably saying good morning to the guy at the coffee shop."


Instead we're hidden behind our cellphones and other gadgets, tweeting, posting, texting and SnapChatting with our virtual friends while ignoring the world around us. Or worse - letting the door slam in their face.


And when we're not face-to-face, there is much lost in our interactions.


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CA: Modesto’s first Internet service provider pulling the plug | Central Valley | Merced Sun-Star

CA: Modesto’s first Internet service provider pulling the plug | Central Valley | Merced Sun-Star | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

It seems like the Dark Ages now, thinking back 20 years ago before the Internet was readily available in Modesto. But getting online used to require costly long-distance phone calls to the Bay Area, and very few people knew how to make it work.


Then in 1994, American InfoMetrics became Modesto’s first Internet service provider, giving residents an onramp to the information superhighway.


Now, 19 years later, American InfoMetrics is pulling the plug, bidding goodbye to its final 100 or so customers. It’s closing down this week.


“We did actually feel like the pioneers, with arrows sticking out of our backs,” said Andrew Goreff, who started AI with his wife, Barbara.


He remembers how Modesto’s early Internet users had been paying phone bills of up to $400 a month just to get connected, and even emails were difficult to get before his company launched. The Web was so new that most people couldn’t grasp what Goreff was talking about.


“Banks didn’t understand us. They thought the Internet was a wacky idea and wouldn’t give us a loan,” said Goreff, 60, who was a computer systems analyst for the city of Modesto during the early ’90s.


Goreff began helping a few early adopters get email through a California State University, Stanislaus, connection in 1991, including Modesto city planner George Osner.


“Andrew has always been cutting-edge. He was really enthusiastic and got a lot of people interested in it,” Osner realled. “But email was really new and not available generally back then unless you were affiliated with an academic institution.”


That changed when AI opened in downtown Modesto.


“I really credit them with bringing the Internet as a common culture item to Modesto,” Osner said.


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Keith Alexander Says The US Gov't Needs To Figure Out A Way To Stop Journalists From Reporting On Snowden Leaks | Techdirt.com

Keith Alexander Says The US Gov't Needs To Figure Out A Way To Stop Journalists From Reporting On Snowden Leaks | Techdirt.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Apparently not satisfied with just setting fire to the 4th Amendment, NSA boss Keith Alexander's next target is the 1st Amendment.


In an interview with the Defense Department's "Armed With Science" blog, it appears that Alexander felt he'd have a friendly audience, so he let loose with some insane claims, including suggesting that the government needs to find a way to "stop" journalists from reporting on the Snowden leaks.


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VT: VTel working 'around the clock' on broadband | Brattleboro Reformer

VT: VTel working 'around the clock' on broadband | Brattleboro Reformer | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

You'd be forgiven for thinking a firm dubbed Vermont Telephone Co. is busy building cell-phone towers.


But the Springfield-based company is working to correct that impression.

For the purpose of projects springing up around the state and in Windham County, VTel Wireless is the appropriate moniker. And the company is trying to create a high-speed, wireless Internet system across Vermont -- not a traditional cell-phone network.


Also, there's that word -- "towers." It's been a flashpoint in some communities, so much so that Diane Guité, VTel's vice president of business development, prefers the term "monopole" to describe the company's latest design.


She also says VTel is, wherever possible, using existing structures such as buildings and grain silos to extend a network that -- while admittedly behind schedule -- is eventually supposed to cover most of the Green Mountain State.


"We had really hoped to be done by the end of this year. We're moving as fast as we can," Guité said. "We're hiring people. We're growing, and we're working around the clock."


She added that "our plan is to have coverage in 96, 97 percent of the state when we're all done."


That kind of coverage has been a major political priority for Gov. Peter Shumlin, who had pledged to bring high-speed Internet to every home and business in Vermont by the end of this year.


He's going to fall a bit short of that goal, though state officials are quick to say they've come a long way in a relatively short time.


Since 2010, broadband has been extended to more than 30,000 additional addresses, according to state estimates. And more than 98 percent of Vermonters have broadband access, said Kiersten Bourgeois, senior project manager for the state Agency of Commerce and Community Development.


"We're pleased with the progress that we've made. Obviously, it's a huge undertaking," Bourgeois said.


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How corporations hijack government, with GOP help, in the name of creating jobs | Salon.com

How corporations hijack government, with GOP help, in the name of creating jobs | Salon.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

After being swept into statehouses in the red wave of 2010, Republican Govs. Scott Walker, John Kasich and Terry Branstad each presided over the replacement of a state agency responsible for economic development with a less public, more private alternative. Arizona’s Jan Brewer did the same in 2010 after replacing Janet Napolitano, who’d been tapped for Obama’s Cabinet. 


Walker’s Wisconsin, Kasich’s Ohio, Branstad’s Iowa and Brewer’s Arizona were only the latest to institute a “public-private partnership” approach to development: States including Indiana, Florida, Rhode Island, Michigan and Texas had done the same years earlier.


Now North Carolina’s Pat McCrory, who entered the governor’s mansion in January, aims to do the same. A new report from a progressive group warns that means good news for the wealthy and politically connected, but bad news for just about everyone else.


“Privatization augurs against transparency …” Good Jobs First executive director Greg LeRoy told Salon. LeRoy is a co-author of the new report “Creating Scandals Instead of Jobs: The Failures of Privatized State Economic Development,” which his group released Wednesday afternoon.


Based on recent years’ scandals and controversies in several states, the authors conclude that “the privatization of economic development agency functions is an inherently corrupting action that states should avoid or repeal.” They argue the record shows that “privatization was not a panacea,” but instead fostered misuse of taxes; excessive bonuses; questionable subsidies; conflicts of interest; specious impact claims; and “resistance to accountability.” Goods Jobs First funders include unions and foundations.


A spokesperson for Gov. Kasich emailed Salon a one-sentence take on the report: “We don’t pay much attention to politically motivated opponents whose mission is to combat job creation.”


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Gary/Chicago Airport Committee Picks Potential Partner | Gerry Dick | Inside INdiana Business

Gary/Chicago Airport Committee Picks Potential Partner | Gerry Dick | Inside INdiana Business | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The Ad Hoc Committee of the Gary/Chicago International Airport Authority, appointed to evaluate public-private partnership (P3) proposals to invest in the airport and the surrounding area, today announced it has entered into exclusive negotiations with Aviation Facilities Company Inc./AvPORTS (AFCO).


The Committee expects to conclude negotiations in the coming weeks and present a final recommendation to the Gary/Chicago International Airport Authority next month.


“Entering into exclusive negotiations is an important step toward our goal of unlocking the value of the airport and the surrounding area to attract jobs, long-term investment and professional management to the airport,” said Carrie J. Hightman, Chair of the Ad Hoc Committee and Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer of NiSource Inc.


In September, the Committee announced it had begun negotiations with two leading respondents – Aviation Facilities Company Inc./AvPORTS and the GCIA Group.


“We are proud to have been selected to enter into exclusive negotiations for development and management of Gary/Chicago International Airport,” said Steven R. Forrer, Executive Vice President, Aviation Facilities Company Inc. /AvPORTS. “We look forward to concluding negotiations quickly so that we can get to work.”


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