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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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Cisco: Cloud traffic to rise to 5.3 zettabytes by 2017 | FierceTelecom.com

Cisco: Cloud traffic to rise to 5.3 zettabytes by 2017 | FierceTelecom.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Cloud traffic is becoming the dominant growth engine in data center traffic, according to Cisco's third annual Global Cloud Index.


Between 2012 and 2017, cloud traffic will grow at a 35 percent combined annual growth rate (CAGR) from 1.2 zettabytes of annual data center traffic to 5.3 zettabytes.


Likewise, global data center traffic will grow threefold and reach a total of 7.7 zettabytes annually during the same period.


Out of this figure, about 17 percent of data center traffic will be driven by end users accessing clouds for various web-based applications, including web surfing, video streaming, collaboration and connected devices.


Besides end-user traffic, data centers themselves will generate about 7 percent of their own traffic via data replication and software/system updates. Cisco said another 76 percent of data center traffic will reside in the data center and will be generated by storage, production and development data in a virtualized environment.


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Sorry, lobbyists! Europe's post-Snowden privacy reform gets a major boost | GigaOM Tech News

Sorry, lobbyists! Europe's post-Snowden privacy reform gets a major boost | GigaOM Tech News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Tough times loom for U.S. cloud companies selling into Europe. On Monday, the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs voted overwhelmingly in favor of toughening up the EU’s privacy regime.


The EU’s new Data Protection Regulation has been crawling through the European legislative process for more than a year and a half now, and it began as quite a strident proposal for boosting Europeans’ privacy. Then the U.S. corporate lobbying machine sprang to life, gutting key aspects of the new legislation.


And then Edward Snowden leaked the NSA documents, showing the world how the U.S. is subverting web services from Google to Microsoft in order to spy on everyone, including those in Europe.


Following months of revelations, and on the same day that France heard its citizens’ phone calls were being reportedly recorded en masse by the Americans, the Parliament’s committee gave a resounding thumbs-up to every single amendment proposed by industrious German Green MEP Jan Phillip Albrecht (pictured above).


Now, this was only a committee vote – this stuff will only go before the European Parliament for a full plenary vote in April 2014, ahead of the parliament’s elections. There will probably be quite a few further amendments made before then, so lots of fun lies ahead.


However, Monday’s vote represented a pretty stunning turnaround for the legislation, and one that should explain why the online ad industry is so mad at the NSA. Here’s a quick run-down of Albrecht’s best bits:


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Teradata gets its cloud and NoSQL on as big data pressures mount | GigaOM Tech News

Teradata gets its cloud and NoSQL on as big data pressures mount | GigaOM Tech News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Business analytics pioneer Teradata  continues to keep up with the Joneses in the big data world, announcing on Monday a handful of new products and features — a hosted cloud version of its flagship database (which Netflix is already using) and support for JSON documents among them.


The Teradata Cloud is just what it sounds like — the popular Teradata data warehouse delivered as cloud service instead of as a physical appliance. It will have all the functionality of the traditional appliance, but is charged on a a subscription basis and allows for fast provisioning of new capacity, Teradata Labs President Scott Gnau said during a recent interview. The company expects it to be “TCO-neutral” with the physical appliance in terms of price, he added, and will add Aster Data and Hadoop as a service in the first half of 2014.


Gnau didn’t seem too sold on the idea of data warehousing and analytics delivered as a service (“I don’t think it’s a mainstream requirement in the data warehouse industry today,” he said, citing possibly overblown fears over security and privacy), but acknowledged there is a market already shaping up.


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IBM's Watson adapted to teach medical students and aid diagnosis | GizMag.com

IBM's Watson adapted to teach medical students and aid diagnosis | GizMag.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

When IBM’s Watson supercomputer took on two human champions of the television quiz show Jeopardy and won, it was hailed as a breakthrough in machine intelligence. Now in an effort to expand the practical applications for the "world’s smartest computer," IBM Research and has taken the wraps off two new projects aimed at the medical community.


Developed in collaboration with the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University in Ohio, the projects dubbed WatsonPaths and Watson EMR Assistant aim to find ways in which Watson can collaborate with doctors to improve training and clinical diagnosis.


The last thirty years have seen incredible advances in the field of medicine, but medical miracles aren’t of much use if there aren't doctors to perform them. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, the demand for doctors in the United States in 2025 will outstrip supply by 90,000 physicians. If nothing else, this indicates that educating new doctors will need to be more efficient, and IBM Research believes that Watson may be part of the answer to training the doctors needed in the coming decades.


Costing a minimum of US$1 million, Watson isn't so much a single computer as a cluster of 90 IBM Power 750 servers containing 2880 POWER7 processor cores and 16 terabytes of RAM. It’s most famous for its turn on Jeopardy, where it outperformed two human opponents. After that, it went to university, did a stint at a cancer lab, and even got a job in customer service.


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Mexico condemns new US spying claim | BBC News

Mexico condemns new US spying claim | BBC News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Mexico has strongly condemned alleged US spying after a report said that a former president's emails were hacked by the National Security Agency.


Data leaked by fugitive US analyst Edward Snowden showed ex-President Felipe Calderon's emails were hacked in 2010, Germany's Der Spiegel reports.


Mexico's foreign ministry said such spying was "unacceptable, illegal" and contrary to good relations.


It urged President Obama to complete an investigation into the allegations.


In an official statement, the Mexican foreign ministry said it would soon re-iterate the importance of such an investigation through diplomatic means.


"In a relationship between neighbours and partners, there is no place for the alleged practices," it said.


Previous reports had already suggested the NSA had intercepted communications involving current President Enrique Pena Nieto before he took office in 2012 and Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff. Messages involving her aides and state oil company Petrobas were also said to have been compromised.


The revelations prompted a sharp response from Brazil, with the suspension of plans for a state visit by Ms Rousseff to Washington next month.


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Beyond Caching: Google engineers reveal secrets to faster Web sites | ComputerWorld.com

Beyond Caching: Google engineers reveal secrets to faster Web sites | ComputerWorld.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

In the fiercely competitive world of Internet services, Google constantly seeks ways to speed up the delivery of content to its hundreds of millions of users.


At the O'Reilly Velocity conference this week in New York, two Google engineers presented some of their favorite tips and research for expediting delivery of Web pages and applications. Such knowledge could be handy for other Web developers looking to make their products more responsive.


Google developer advocate and performance expert Colt McAnlis tackled one of the thorniest problems for mobile Web developers today: JavaScript performance.


Web based JavaScript applications can suffer from performance issues, especially on mobile clients, because JavaScript parsing engines use garbage collection (GC) to manage memory. "You shouldn't rely on garbage collectors," McAnlis told the audience of Web developers.


GC helps programmers by automatically returning to the operating system the memory a program no longer needs. Writing code to manage memory in low level languages such as C and C++ is a laborious process, though, and such languages aren't natively supported by browsers anyway.


The problem with many JavaScript Web applications is that JavaScript engines will launch their garbage collection routines at seemingly random times, which will cause applications to momentarily slow down. The frame rate of a video application, for instance, may decrease. Or the time it takes an application to execute an operation may jump to a noticeable 20 milliseconds, up from a typical 3 to 5 milliseconds.


Overall, for GC to work without being noticed by the user, the system memory must be six times as large as the amount of memory being used, said McAnlis, referring to a well known study. This can be a demanding requirement given the limited memory of mobile devices and the number of memory-hungry applications they run.


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AT&T to phase out Aio Wireless pre-paid brand following Leap takeover | TeleGeography.com

AT&T Mobility plans to shutter its new Aio Wireless pre-paid brand if its ongoing takeover of San Diego-based wireless operator Leap Wireless (including Cricket Communications) comes to fruition, Fierce Wireless reports. The website quotes a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) filing which reads: ‘After the transaction’s close, AT&T intends to combine the nascent operations of Aio with Leap’s existing operations under the Cricket brand name’.


AT&T launched Aio Wireless in June 2013 in a handful markets across the country, and then took the offering nationwide last month. The unit has more than 230 stores in states such as Texas, Florida and Georgia, all of which are operated by independent dealers. The Aio brand was initially conceived as a response to Sprint’s Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile brands, as well as the likes of MetroPCS.


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Pew: Second Screens Proliferate | Multichannel.com

Pew: Second Screens Proliferate | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Cable efforts to put programming on second screens in the home and the Obama administration's push for even more mobile online content access are backed up by a new study showing that tablet and e-reader use continues to grow.


As of September, more than a third of Americans 16-plus (35%) now own a tablet, according to a new Pew Research Center Internet Project study. That is up from a quarter (25%) who owned them only 10 months before (November 2012).


The increase is even more striking among higher-income households. In homes earning at least $75,000, more than half have tablets, up from 25% in November 2012. E-reader ownership has doubled--from 18% to 38% over the same time period.


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Dish Asks FCC To Intervene in Media General Dispute | Multichannel.com

Dish Asks FCC To Intervene in Media General Dispute | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Dish Network has taken its retransmission consent battle with Media General to the next level, asking the Federal Communications Commission to intervene and require the broadcaster to negotiate in good faith.


Media General stations in 17 markets went dark to Dish subscribers on Oct. 1 after the parties could not reach a deal. Dish had asked the broadcaster to continue to provide its signal to Dish subscribers during negotiations, as well as waiting until Media General’s planned merger with Young Broadcasting is completed. Dish already has an existing retrans agreement with Young.


In the FCC filing, Dish claims that Media General did not respond to its last pre-blackout offer for 11 days and has yet to respond to Dish’s subsequent counter offer made seven days ago.


“Dish customers and Media General viewers were without their shows and events for 11 days before Media General would even contact us,” said Dish executive vice president Dave Shull in a statement. “We reacted with a counter offer within hours and Media General has yet to respond.  Dish is asking the FCC to act expeditiously to address Media General’s bad faith, push them back to the negotiating table and submit to mediation to get programming back to consumers.”


In addition, Dish says that Media General is now requiring that Dish reopen its existing agreement with Young with a new entity – New Young Broadcasting Holdings – as a condition of Media General signing an agreement with the satellite giant.


Dish claims in the filing that Media General’s 11-day response time to its pre-blackout offer enough to show the broadcaster is negotiating in bad faith.


“There could not be clearer evidence of bad faith than when a broadcaster post-blackout refuses to even negotiate,” Dish said in the filing.


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Governments Have A Long History Of Calling Journalists 'Traitors' When They Publish Embarassing Materials | Techdirt.com

Governments Have A Long History Of Calling Journalists 'Traitors' When They Publish Embarassing Materials | Techdirt.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

It's been somewhat incredible to watch government officials try to claim that reporters covering the NSA revelations from Ed Snowden's leaked documents are somehow "traitors." Last week, in the UK, the head of MI5, Andrew Parker, made a fool of himself going around telling other newspapers that The Guardian had somehow helped terrorists. However, as Amy Davidson at the New Yorker reminds us, when the government suddenly starts calling journalists "traitors," it pays to be skeptical, because it's most likely that the government is just very embarrassed about some news that makes them look bad.

Davidson relays the story of "the Spiegel Affair" from 1962, in which German officials went completely insane in attacking Der Spiegel for supposedly "putting lives at risk" by revealing 41 "highly classified state secrets." Officials also claimed that the publisher and the reporter were fleeing the country and needed to be stopped and arrested. The publication's offices had to be raided. Of course, it all later turned out to be almost entirely bogus. The report was certainly embarrassing to German officials -- highlighting how ill-prepared the country was in the case of an attack, because a simulation had resulted in fifteen million West Germans dead. Many of the official claims were outright lies (like the publisher skipping town to Cuba, which never happened). While that doesn't mean that reporters can't sometimes reveal too much, it's a good reminder that when the government flips its lid in situations like this, it pays to take the claims with a very large grain of salt.

The key paragraph from Davidson makes the point clear:


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AP sources: 476,000 applications filed for Obamacare; officials won’t give enrollment figures | Wash Post

AP sources: 476,000 applications filed for Obamacare; officials won’t give enrollment figures | Wash Post | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Administration officials say about 476,000 health insurance applications have been filed through federal and state exchanges, the most detailed measure yet of the problem-plagued rollout of President Barack Obama’s signature legislation.


However, the officials continue to refuse to say how many people have actually enrolled in the insurance markets. Without enrollment figures, it’s unclear whether the program is on track to reach the 7 million people projecting by the Congressional Budget Office to gain coverage during the six-month sign-up period.


Obama’s advisers say the president has been frustrated by the flawed rollout. During one of his daily health care briefings last week, he told advisers assembled in the Oval Office that the administration had to own up to the fact that there were no excuses for not having the website ready to operate as promised.


The president is expected to address the problems on Monday during a health care event at the White House. Cabinet members and other top administration officials will also be traveling around the country in the coming weeks to encourage sign-ups in areas with the highest population of uninsured people.


The first three weeks of sign-ups have been marred by a cascade of computer problems, which the administration says it is working around the clock to correct. The rough rollout has been a glaring embarrassment for Obama, who invested significant time and political capital in getting the law passed during his first term.


The officials said technology experts from inside and outside the government are set to work on the glitches, though they did not say how many workers were being added.


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AT&T strikes $4.85 billion deal with cell tower operator, Crown Castle | GigaOM Tech News

AT&T strikes $4.85 billion deal with cell tower operator, Crown Castle | GigaOM Tech News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

AT&T, in what seems to be an effort to shore up its finances for future acquisitions, says it has struck a $4.85 billion deal with Crown Castle, a company that operates wireless towers across the world.


As part of the deal, AT&T will lease 9,100 cell towers for an average lease of 28 years and will sell 600 towers outright to Crown Castle. The leased towers can be acquired by Crown Castle for $4.2 billion.


It is rumored in telecom circles that AT&T is looking to expand its network footprint internationally.

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Will the Real Fibre Optic Broadband Service Please Stand Up | ISPreview UK

Will the Real Fibre Optic Broadband Service Please Stand Up | ISPreview UK | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

When is a “fibre optic” broadband service not fibre optic? The answer might seem obvious but if so then it’s not something that the industry appears keen to respect. But just what does the term fibre optic actually mean and why are ISPs so eager to use and in some cases abuse it.



The use of common terminology, such as “broadband”, to describe internet connectivity is both useful and fraught with difficulties because of the way in which everybody can choose to define the same thing differently. We explored this problem in detail with our 2010 article – The Definition of UK Superfast Next Generation Broadband.


But the term “fibre optic” is different from traditional service separators like “super-fast broadband”, “ultra-fast”, “hyper-fast” or possibly even “mega-awesome-lolcat-fast” because it defines a very specific kind of cable and thus, one would hope, should not be as open to misrepresentation. Think you know what fibre optic means? Think again.


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The real story with Obamacare IT woes is out-of-control private contractors | The Raw Story

The real story with Obamacare IT woes is out-of-control private contractors | The Raw Story | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Whatever the ultimate benefits of Obamacare, it’s clear that the rollout of its $400m registration system and website has been a disaster. Healthcare.gov was unusable for millions who visited the site on launch day earlier this month, and the glitches reportedly continue. What went wrong?


Of course, the Obama administration is to blame for the botched rollout, but there are other culprits getting less attention – namely, global tech conglomerate CGI, which was responsible for the bulk of the execution, and in general the ability of big corporations to get massive taxpayer-funded contracts without enough accountability.


Government outsourcing to private contractors has exploded in the past few decades. Taxpayers funnel hundreds of billions of dollars a year into the chosen companies’ pockets, about $80bn of which goes to tech companies. We’ve reached a stage of knee-jerk outsourcing of everything from intelligence and military work to burger flipping in federal building cafeterias, and it’s damaging in multiple levels.


For one thing, farming work out often rips off taxpayers. While the stereotype is that government workers are incompetent, time-wasters drooling over their Texas Instruments keyboards as they amass outsized pensions, studies show that keeping government services in house saves money. In fact, contractor billing rates average an astonishing 83% more than what it would cost to do the work in-house. Hiring workers directly also keeps jobs here in the US, while contractors, especially in the IT space, can ship taxpayer-funded work overseas.


Fortunately, then, there are alternatives to outsourcing public functions to big corporations padding their profits at taxpayers’ collective expense, and it is time we used them.


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AL: Rates Approved for Opelika Community Fiber Network | community broadband networks

AL: Rates Approved for Opelika Community Fiber Network | community broadband networks | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

We have followed happenings in Opelika, Alabama, for three years as the community investigated the benefits of a fiber network. They contended with a Charter misinformation campaign and voted yes on a referendum. Construction began in 2012, Opelika Power Services (OPS) tested the network, and recently the Opelika City Council approved proposed rates. 


OANow.com now reports that the FTTH network and smart grid project is ever-so-close to offering triple play services to the city's 28,000 residents and local businesses. 


OPS offers three standard bundled plans, but customers can also customize. All three include voice:


  • Essential - $99.95 - 75 channels, 10/5 Mbps data
  • Choice - $139.95 - 132 HD & SD channels, 30/30 Mbps data
  • Ultra - $154.95 - 207 HD & SD channels, 30/30 Mbps data


Data offerings for customized plans range from 10/5 Mbps for $34.95 to 1 Gbps symmetrical for $499.95.


Voters approved the plan for the $41 million network in 2010. The project included a $3.7 million network hub that houses all OPS offices. The smart grid will help approximately 12,000 OPS electric customers save with efficient electric usage.June Owens, manager of marketing at OPS said it well in an August OANow.com article:


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Tiny, cheap water-sensing chip outperforms larger, pricier sensors | GizMag.com

Tiny, cheap water-sensing chip outperforms larger, pricier sensors | GizMag.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Whether you're growing wine grapes or mixing cement, there are some situations in which it's vitally important to monitor moisture content. Normally water sensors are used, although these can be both large and expensive. Now, however, a team from Cornell University has created a water-sensing silicon chip that's not only tiny, but is also reportedly "a hundred times more sensitive than current devices." What's more, the chips might be possible to mass-produce for just $5 a pop.


Known as a "lab on a chip" device, the chip contains a tiny water-filled cavity. Once placed in soil, inserted in the stem of a plant, stuck in a cement matrix or put somewhere else, the chip exchanges moisture from that cavity with moisture in its environment via a nanoporous membrane. The chip measures any changes in the pressure within the cavity, that result from water either entering it or being drawn out.


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Australia: Hilarious Video Compares Fiber to the Home with Fiber to the Node | community broadband networks

Australia: Hilarious Video Compares Fiber to the Home with Fiber to the Node | community broadband networks | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Another great video from Australia makes many salient points regarding the debate over their national broadband network. One key point to take away is that it is possible to talk to non-technical normal people about this subject without overwhelming them or boring them.


Another is that FTTH = fiber to the nowhere, not fiber to the node.  


When it comes to building infrastructure, we should make smart long term investments. That said, we are strongly supportive of locally owned, fiber networks. Local ownership trumps national ownership because proximity lends itself to accountability.


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Tech, telecom policy stuck in neutral - Tony Romm | POLITICO.com

Tech, telecom policy stuck in neutral - Tony Romm | POLITICO.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Now that Congress has reopened the federal government, lawmakers can get back to what they had been doing all along on tech and telecom policy — not a whole lot.


The endless string of battles over the budget this year has sapped time and energy from the corners of Capitol Hill that grind away quietly at complex tech policy issues. And the next fiscal crisis looming over the House and Senate is threatening to disrupt that work again — incapacitating immigration reform, stalling key federal nominees and delaying proposals to restrict the National Security Agency’s controversial surveillance programs.


When Congress is “spending all of our time creating crises and helping to destroy the American economy,” the Hill’s attention is simply “diverted from other issues,” said Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), whose district includes several headquarters for tech companies.
In fact, many of the tech and telecom policy priorities now sitting idly on lawmakers’ plates are actually leftovers from last year. And a number of those key bills and oversight hearings are now in danger of slipping yet again, into 2014 election-year territory when the politics will only intensify.


Teetering on the brink is immigration reform, which President Barack Obama on Thursday urged Congress to complete before year’s end. Both chambers remain on different tracks after the Senate passed a comprehensive reform package this summer and the House approved individual piecemeal bills, punting for now the thornier fight over undocumented workers.


The shutdown showdown precluded lawmakers from wiring together a new compromise. And the battle’s bitter politics continued to hang over the immigration debate last week. One top Republican voice on the issue — Rep. Raul Labrador of Idaho — said there’s little hope for an immigration compromise because the president is “trying to destroy the Republican Party.” He said GOP leaders have no incentive to come to the bargaining table amid current tensions.


The tech industry, hungry for more high-skilled workers, hasn’t given up on an immigration bill. The Silicon Valley Leadership Group shuttled a delegation of company executives to Washington during the shutdown, and they still managed to meet 68 members — almost entirely House Republicans. Carl Guardino, who heads the group, acknowledged a win this year looks increasingly difficult. Yet, he added: “it’s still on the calendar of the people who I respect and who I believe are in pivotal positions.”


But that calendar is reaching its end — leaving little time for the other tech and telecom issues that were already on the slow track in Congress.


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Canada: Telus ‘shutting CDMA in 2015’ | TeleGeography.com

According to an internal company document cited by Canadian technology website MobileSyrup, national wireless operator Telus will soon launch a programme of shutting down its CDMA2000 network in favour of its HSPA+/LTE systems with a target of complete CDMA switch-off by the end of 2015.


The document states that on 31 March 2014 Telus will be discontinuing EV-DO data services on the CDMA network in all of British Columbia and Alberta excluding Edmonton and Calgary. It continues that in order to ensure customers without HSPA-compatible devices do not experience service interruptions, Telus will proactively contact them by letter and e-mail to inform them of the upcoming EV-DO discontinuation and HSPA upgrade offers available to them. The document adds that the CDMA migration campaign is being initiated as ‘CDMA technology is reaching the end of its service life.’

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MI: Aereo Launching In Detroit Oct. 28 | Multichannel.com

MI: Aereo Launching In Detroit Oct. 28 | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Fresh off its latest court victory, and with backer Barry Diller a newly-minted Giant of Broadcasting, Aereo announced Friday that it will launch in Detroit October 28.


Nine counties in the state will have access to Aereo's online over the air TV service and DVR functionality on computers and a host of mobile devices, including the just-announced Android availability.


Aereo is currently available in seven markets, not counting Detroit, with plans to expand to over a dozen more in the coming months.


Broadcasters have sued Aereo for alleged copyright violations--it does not compensate broadcasters--while Aereo says it is just providing remote, private, access to free TV signals.


A Massachusetts Federal district court this week joined a similar New York court and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in refusing to enjoin Aereo from operating the service while those and other district courts adjudicate the underlying case in various broadcaster challenges.

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Dish Reaches Retrans Deal with Gray TV | Multichannel.com

Dish Reaches Retrans Deal with Gray TV | Multichannel.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Dish Network and Gray Television said they reached a retransmission agreement  that will enable satellite subscribers to continue to watch broadcast programming in 30 markets.


Terms of the deal were not disclosed.


Over the past few months talks between distributors like Dish and some broadcasters have been so contentious that they resulted in blackouts. Most notable was the month-long dispute between Time Warner Cable and CBS that resolved just before the start of the NFL football season. But Dish and Gray said they were able to work things out.


“Dish and Gray worked together on behalf of customers to reach a deal,” Sruta Vootukuru, Dish director of programming said in a statement. “Together, Dish and Gray serve viewers with local news and information, as well as network programming, and that will continue under this long-term agreement.”


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Data Poses Business Logistical and Technological Challenges | PowerRetail.com.au

Data Poses Business Logistical and Technological Challenges | PowerRetail.com.au | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

As retailers we are constantly managing transactions, from purchasing to promotions through to sales and service. The question is are we capturing it efficiently and translating it effectively. There are a number of touch points that make up a holistic approach with each component having its own set of challenges to the business.


In part one, we looked at creating strategies and analysing channels to capture data. In this second instalment, we touch on the technology that supports these initiatives and the resources to manage the input and output, ultimately ensuring that it’s successful.

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Greenwald on Snowden Leaks: The Worst Is Yet to Come | TIME.com

Greenwald on Snowden Leaks: The Worst Is Yet to Come | TIME.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Although four months have passed since Edward Snowden’s explosive NSA surveillance leaks, the most revealing details have not yet been published, and could be rolled out in the international media over the coming weeks and months, beginning with U.S. spying activities involving Spain and France. That’s according to Glenn Greenwald, the Guardian journalist who broke the Snowden story last June, and whose life has been drastically upturned since. “There are a lot more stories,” he said on Monday in Rio de Janeiro, where he lives. “The archives are so complex and so deep and so shocking, that I think the most shocking and significant stories are the ones we are still working on, and have yet to publish.”


Greenwald was speaking in a packed university gymnasium to hundreds of journalists, who are gathered here this week for the Global Investigative Journalism Conference, a two-yearly event that rotates around the world, bringing together writers, television producers and editors to share information and collaborate on work. Here, Greenwald was something of a hero — the entire thrust of the conference centers on ferreting out secrets and wrongdoing—and the journalist received a rock-star welcome. And while Rio was chosen as the location for the conference years ago, it proved a fortuitous spot. Greenwald recently revealed on Brazil´s hugely popular Globo TV that the NSA had spied on President Dilma Rousseff, as well as the government oil company Petrobras. The news caused a furor in Brazil, not least from Rousseff herself, and she canceled a White House visit, originally scheduled for next week.


But in an hour-long discussion on stage with a Dutch journalist, Greenwald suggested that his life was now immensely complicated. A New York lawyer before turning into a high-profile blogger in 2005, he revealed that he was in daily contact with Snowden—a fact that came as a surprise to most in the audience—in what is an active collaboration to sift through the mountain of documents Snowden carried out of the U.S. Snowden contacted Greenwald and U.S. filmmaker Laura Poitras after taking the information to Hong Kong.


Snowden, who had top-level U.S. security clearance, spent a month in Moscow Airport’s transit area until Russia granted him asylum; the U.S. has indicted him for stealing state secrets and exposing them, charges which would likely land him in jail for the rest of his life.


In addition to his contact with Snowden, Greenwald said he was in daily communication too with Poitras, who is based in Berlin, continuing to dig into what Greenwald says is “thousands and thousands of documents.” The challenge of sifting through the information is now itself a risky endeavor. “We go to extreme lengths to make sure our communication is protected,” he said.


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Smart meter deployments to double market revenue of wireless modules | MuniWireless

Smart meter deployments to double market revenue of wireless modules | MuniWireless | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

An increase in smart meter deployments will see the global market for wireless communication modules approximately double in value over the coming years, jumping from $532m in 2012 to $1.3 billion in 2020, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12 percent, according to a new report from research and consulting firm GlobalData.


The company’s latest report states that North America, currently the dominant player in the market for global wireless communication modules for smart meters, will be a key driver behind the leap, with its own market revenue expected to climb steadily from $379m in 2012 to $433.7m in 2020.


Europe will also continue to account for a considerable share of the global market, thanks to a significant number of pilot-scale projects getting underway across the region. The uptake of wireless communication modules in the UK, Denmark and Ireland in particular looks promising, according to GlobalData, and these countries are predicted to occupy an even larger share of Europe’s wireless smart meter communication market by the end of 2020.


Cellular and Radio Frequency (RF) communication modules are the two key technologies used in smart meters for two-way data transmission. RF modules account for an 85 percent share of the North American market, thanks to their low cost, high bandwidth and efficient performance in industrial areas.


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‘Tech surge’ in the works to address HealthCare.gov woes | GigaOM Tech News

‘Tech surge’ in the works to address HealthCare.gov woes | GigaOM Tech News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Technical glitches have plagued the new health insurance exchanges since their launch on Oct. 1.


But in a blog post Sunday, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said it’s called in the “best and the brightest” inside and outside government to fix the issues. 


In addition to what it called a “tech surge,” HHS said it’s adding new tools to monitor and identify problem areas so it can better prioritize and address them.


Since the launch of HealthCare.gov, the agency said nearly half a million applications for coverage have been submitted.

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