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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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Off Campus: University and city can be partners in economic development | Portland Press Herald

Off Campus: University and city can be partners in economic development | Portland Press Herald | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

It's no surprise that great cities have strong universities that work closely with business, government, social agencies, and nonprofit organizations in the type of collaboration Mayor Brennan envisions.

 

These universities align their academic programs with the business community and the city's social and economic development objectives. The research programs at these universities and the expertise of the faculty generate new businesses and support current businesses that help shape the city.

 

This type of symbiotic relationship draws students to New York to study finance and communications and to Boston and the San Francisco area for technology. Students go to Los Angeles for film and entertainment programs and to Washington to study government and international relations. In these cities, businesses enjoy a ready supply of highly talented graduates, encouraging expansion in the region, and students profit from real-world learning opportunities, such as internships or field experiences, and better job possibilities upon graduation. It's a win-win arrangement.

 

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Report Snapshot: Communication Networks for Distribution Automation | Greentech Media

Report Snapshot: Communication Networks for Distribution Automation | Greentech Media | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Until very recently, virtually all distribution grid systems were either manually controlled or controlled using modeling or estimation. Utilities operated on the basis of an estimation of the state of their grid: very few utilities had real, empirical evidence as to what was actually occurring in their systems and what information they did have was after the fact.

 

“Smart grid,” “digital grid,” and “intelligent grid” are among many terms used to describe the transformation of these electricity transmission and delivery systems from a one-way collection of paths for electricity to a delivery system controlled, managed and operated as an intelligent, integrated information network. These networks look very much like their counterparts in the information technology world and less like a collection of pipes, pumps and filters.

 

The promise of this transformation is to create a network that is self-healing; is controlled based on actual events and circumstances; that maximizes efficiency in the transmission and delivery of electricity; and that extends the operating lifetime of equipment, lowers the overall cost of operations and avoids new capital investment in infrastructure and generating stations. This promise also provides the end-user with a far greater number of options in electricity costs and usage.

 

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Survey: Moving the Broadband Needle Forward | Public CIO

Survey: Moving the Broadband Needle Forward | Public CIO | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Conventional wisdom, according to some Washington, D.C., broadband policy wonks and industry players, says that one of the biggest economic benefits of highspeed networks is that they help the unemployed find jobs. Is this true? Eighty-nine percent of economic development professionals say no.

 

Conventional wisdom, as reflected in a $500 million block of broadband stimulus money, is that computing centers and adoption programs are the broadband solutions that will have the biggest economic impact in underserved urban areas. Of course this is true, right? Seventy-nine percent of the pros say no.

 

And last, conventional wisdom, as measured by column inches written in the media, is that a gigabit network is what everyone needs. Surely that can’t be wrong, can it? Actually, the highest percentage of economic developers said 100 Mbps is the minimum needed by 2014, and the second highest percentage believe that 25-50 Mbps is the minimum we need by 2014. They may feel a gigabit is needed in the long term, but survey respondents provide a little reality check on short-term needs, which quite a few believe isn’t being met and won’t be met anytime soon.

 

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FCC priorities unlikely to change during Obama's second term | FierceWireless

FCC priorities unlikely to change during Obama's second term | FierceWireless | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Now that President Obama has been re-elected, many in the wireless industry are trying to determine how the FCC might change during his second term. Most agree that even if FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski steps down during Obama's second term, the FCC's policy priorities are unlikely to charge very much.

 

The FCC will likely continue to work to free more spectrum for mobile broadband, which has been a centerpiece of Genachowski's tenure. Some of this is because of the clamoring from the CTIA and wireless operators. In addition, the FCC also has already commited to conducting incentive auctions of broadcast TV spectrum in 2014.

 

According to a Politico report, most observers expect Genachowski to resign from his post in the coming months. However, he has so far remained mum on the topic. "Chairman Genachowski is focused, and plans to remain focused, on an ongoing agenda to unleash the benefits of broadband, driving economic growth and opportunity for all Americans, and helping ensure that the U.S. maintains the global leadership it has regained," an FCC spokesperson told Politico.

 

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Is remote and rural Australia being dudded by the NBN? | Australian Policy Online

Is remote and rural Australia being dudded by the NBN? | Australian Policy Online | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Mark Gregory discusses in The Conversation how the implementation of the national broadband network (NBN) will occur throughout Australia.

 

The National Broadband Network (NBN) is an important nation-building project that’s being implemented at a time of fundamental change in the way we utilise services over the digital network.

 

For most Australians – those of us in big cities – the NBN will be a big improvement over the existing access network, thanks to fibre connections.

 

But for the 7% of Australians in regional and remote areas, the NBN will take the form of either fixed wireless or satellite services.

 

These services will provide customers with download speeds of 12MB/s compared to the 100MB/s fibre customers will enjoy. The disparity in upload speeds is even greater.

 

So are these wireless and satellite services really good enough? Are Australians in rural areas being dudded of appropriate infrastructure?

 

And should there be flexibility in the NBN roll-out plan to allow remote shires to contribute to bringing fibre to their communities?

 

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Disrupting the discourse of school | The Insight Labs

Disrupting the discourse of school | The Insight Labs | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

“Public education is broken. We need to fix failing schools. The United States must reform education or risk losing the future.”

 

If you pay the least bit of attention to public discourse, you’ve heard these arguments (and variations on them) hundreds of times. They’re used by the right and the left, by teacher unions and school-choice advocates, by desperate parents and ensconced superintendents. But what if they’re all arguing about the wrong thing? What if an ideal education system looks radically different from what we expect?

 

In February 2012, Insight Labs partnered with the CAA Foundation and Chicago’s Academy for Global Citizenship to ask why the struggle for education reform had not caught fire with the nation’s parents. The gathered thinkers suggested that the problem was in fact much more fundamental than any of us had imagined.

 

Nearly every policy adopted by the status quo or proposed by reformers shares the same assumption: the purpose of school is to add to the knowledge, skills, and abilities of individual students with the long-term purpose of increasing economic growth – the human capital theory of education. Even reformers who proposed huge changes to the system still framed the benefits of their ideas in these terms: more college admissions, better jobs, a “smarter” economy.

 

But what if the highest and best purpose of school was in fact something else? And if it was, how would we even advocate for it in a world where everyone knows what school is “supposed” to do?

 

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The disruption of education: How technology is helping students teach themselves | GigaOM Tech News

The disruption of education: How technology is helping students teach themselves | GigaOM Tech News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

By now, most of us have become pretty used to the ways that technology — both devices and social web services — have changed things we have always taken for granted, whether it’s communication or photography, or something as obvious as renting an apartment or hailing a cab.

 

But those same kinds of disruptions are moving into new areas, and education is one of them. From university classes via YouTube and startups like Udacity to the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project, there are more ways than ever for children to educate themselves, even in remote villages in Ethiopia. Despite the inevitable criticisms such efforts get both from within the education system and outside it, it’s part of a powerful and growing phenomenon.

 

One example: At a recent conference on emerging technology at MIT, Nicholas Negroponte — the former head of the MIT Media Lab and founder of the OLPC project — talked about what his group noticed about the villages in Ethiopia, where some devices were dropped off. The Motorola Xoom tablets, which were distributed along with a solar-charging system, were delivered in boxes to two isolated rural villages about 50 miles from the capital of Addis Ababa, where Negroponte said the children had never before seen printed English words — not even packaging or road signs with printed letters.

 

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American Opinion on Climate Change Follows Rising Waters | Truthdig

American Opinion on Climate Change Follows Rising Waters | Truthdig | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

A Rasmussen poll released Friday shows 68 percent of Americans see global warming as a “serious problem,” up from 46 percent in 2009. In 2010, Gallup reported 48 percent of Americans thought the dangers of global warming were exaggerated.

 

Rasmussen further reported that 41 percent of those polled believe human activity is responsible for climate change, whereas 38 percent believe it is caused by regular shifts in the environment.

 

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IBM announces Smarter Energy Research Institute, aims to improve energy grids | Engadget

IBM announces Smarter Energy Research Institute, aims to improve energy grids | Engadget | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

IBM is no stranger to energy concerns, and now its founded the Smarter Energy Research Institute in partnership with Canada's Hydro-Québec, the Netherlands' Alliander, and the US' DTE Energy to help build a better grid.

 

The partnership will leverage Big Blue's computing and analytic oomph to help the utility companies predict and detect anomalies within infrastructure, identify areas of the grid that need to be developed, integrate new energy sources and increase efficiency among other improvements. What's this mean for you?

 

For one, power outages should be less frequent and shorter lived when they do occur. Thanks to the distributed nature of the project, research will be spread throughout IBM's worldwide network of research labs. If you'd like to hear more details straight from the folks involved, hit the jump for a video and the full press release.

 

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The great mobile technology leap forward | The Guardian Tech

The great mobile technology leap forward | The Guardian Tech | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Sales of smart tech devices are soaring as the traditional PC declines. Observer writers look at their impact, which is already helping children to learn, spreading literacy, improving healthcare, boosting harvests in Africa – and making the web giants sit up.

 

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Australia: National Telework Week 12–16 November | NBN - National ...

Australia: National Telework Week 12–16 November | NBN - National ... | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

National Telework Week 12 – 16 November, highlighting the importance of telework in the anywhere working world, is coming up fast. To get involved, visit www.telework.gov.au and check out how to join, use the Return on Investment tools, learn about our Telework Partners and the events they are organising, and discover information about the benefits of telework for employers and employees, how to get started with telework in your organisation, and the benefits the NBN will bring to your telework experience.

 

Following the Minister’s invitation for organisations to become our Telework Partners, between March and October 140 organisations, including some of Australia’s leading companies and many small and medium enterprises, regional organisations, research organisations, not for profit organisations and government agencies at the commonwealth, state and local level, have become Telework Partners with the Department. Many of our Partners are holding events to celebrate National Telework Week, as well as registering their own employees to participate through www.telework.gov.au, and promoting the benefits of telework through different media. They are also creating landing pages on their own websites to drive traffic back to www.telework.gov.au, using the digital badge we have provided.

 

The premier event for National Telework Week will be the Telework Congress: Unlocking Productivity, where the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard and Minister Senator Stephen Conroy will give opening addresses, will be held at Melbourne University on 12 Novembe.

 

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Australia - National Broadband Network - Industry and Market Forecasts 2015, 2020 | HeraldOnline.com

Australia - National Broadband Network - Industry and Market Forecasts 2015, 2020 | HeraldOnline.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Australia - National Broadband Network - Industry and Market Forecasts 2015, 2020" report to their offering.The Australian telecommunications market will change dramatically over the next ten years. Accelerated by government policies these changes will be driven by a total overhaul of the industry.

 

This will also transform the industry and developments such as cloud computing, M2M and Big Data will be accelerated. The Over-the-Top (OTT) players are also becoming more and more prominent in the telecoms industry and this will start blurring some of the borders between infrastructure, IT and applications.

 

The NBN will become the predominant infrastructure, and as a utilities-based network it will also provide its services to other sectors, such as healthcare, education and business. With these sectors involved we will see the industry developing specific new business models around infrastructure, ICT and retail. IPTV and other media and entertainment applications will also start to play a more important role. The question remains how successful the telcos will be in retail space.

 

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Counterfeit Technology Being Sold to Government | USTelecom Blog

Despite laws intended to crack down on the problem, a record number of counterfeit components and technical products are being shipped to U.S. military and federal agencies. Numerous suppliers that have been labeled “high risk” have continued and even increased their sales to federal agencies. In 2011 alone, over 9500 banned businesses had sold technology to the U.S. government. The number and frequency of fake tech components in the market place has quadrupled from 2009 to 2011.

 

"What keeps us up at night is the dynamic nature of this threat, because by the time we've figured out how to test for these counterfeits, they've figured out how to get around it," said Vivek Kamath, head of Raytheon's supply chain operations, told CNN Money. "It's literally on almost a daily basis they change. The sophistication of the counterfeiting is amazing to us."

 

There are numerous policies, procedures and systems in place to protect the government's supply chain. The U.S. General Services Administration maintains a database of almost 90,000 suppliers that government agencies are required to check against before ordering parts. The trick is to get everyone to execute these procedures via education and training.

 

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Hurricane Sandy's lesson: Smart grid development can help reduce electricity losses | Allentown Morning Call

Hurricane Sandy's lesson: Smart grid development can help reduce electricity losses | Allentown Morning Call | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

When it comes to distribution of electricity, we are basically dealing with a 19th century technology. This technology requires us to deliver electricity through metallic wiring strung over a structure of poles inserted into the ground. There are indeed many thousands of miles of buried wires, but in the last analysis, we remain heavily dependent upon electrical wires strung over wooden poles. Meanwhile, we are all sold billions of dollars of high-tech electronic devices, while being fervently lectured to learn how to stay abreast of a nonstop onslaught of technological advances. Computers, the Internet and smartphones are all part of this massive cultural evolution.

 

Yet, despite all of this, I saw looks of confusion and bewilderment on the faces of teenagers, who were sitting on the floor of Barnes & Noble, desperately and frantically trying to relink themselves to an electronic world they have grown up with. It just seemed incongruous to them that something as simple as a pine tree crashing into an electrical transformer could stop this advanced technology we have been told we cannot live without.

 

I imagined being able to sit down with Tesla, Westinghouse, Edison, Faraday and Franklin to discuss this loss of power with them. Perhaps they would be surprised to learn how much of their systems are still in heavy use today. Recent events, however, underscore the fact that we cannot rely solely on a 19th century energy distribution technology.

 

We are witnessing the tragic consequences of having millions of people sitting in cold, dark houses for a week or more. Keeping the faith with Tesla, Edison and Faraday, perhaps new technologies will deliver us from this dilemma.

 

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Sandy Supports Smarter Electric Upgrades | Government Technology

Hurricane Sandy demonstrated that future upgrades to electric grids should not only be focused on making them tougher, but also making them smarter. While traditional approaches to hardening electric grids typically include burying electric lines and building tougher power poles to withstand storms, such approaches are expensive and don't account for heavy winds and mass flooding seen in storms like Sandy. More utility companies, like Commonwealth Edison in Illinois and Electric Power Board in Chattanooga, Tenn., are taking an adaptive approach, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal.

 

Rather than try to build an unbreakable system, new smart grid systems accept that damage will occur and attempt to isolate problems so they don't take down the whole system. Chattanooga spent $100 million in federal funds on its new grid, which uses 1,200 smart switches that direct the flow of electricity dynamically, adapting to changing grid conditions. A fallen tree or a flood, for instance, won't take out large parts of the grid, as it would with a traditional electric grid. Chattanooga's upgrades were also much cheaper than traditional methods. Burying electric lines would have cost the city as much as $2 billion, according to David Wade, chief operations officer for Electric Power Board, the city-owned utility.

 

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Can South Africa's grand broadband plan succeed? | ZDNet

Can South Africa's grand broadband plan succeed? | ZDNet | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The South African government has unveiled plans to increase its involvement in the country's broadband market, with a national broadband network similar to those being rolled out in Australia and Canada as one of the options under consideration.

 

The plan was discussed at a broadband workshop hosted by the Department of Communications earlier this week. The department's chief director for ICT policy, Norman Munzhelele, told delegates that the telecom market has not delivered broadband to the majority of the country's people and that government plans to intervene more aggressively in the market to ensure universal service.

 

The government currently owns a number of assets in the telecoms market – including long-distance infrastructure provider Broadband Infraco and a 39.8-percent share in South Africa's fixed-line incumbent Telkom. The state now wants to work with the private sector to build a wholesale national broadband network along open-access principles.

 

With around 3.5 million PC broadband connections and 10 million smartphones between South Africa's population of more than 51 million, the country is far from achieving its goal of universal access by 2020.

 

Though there are many broadband expansion projects underway, they are fragmented, and a comprehensive, centrally planned strategy is essential to boosting broadband in South Africa, said Munzhelele.

 

Munzhelele outlined three funding options for the national network:

 

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Genachowski Denies He's Leaving FCC, but Speculation Abounds About His Successor | National Journal

Genachowski Denies He's Leaving FCC, but Speculation Abounds About His Successor | National Journal | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Julius Genachowski said on CNBC on Friday that he had “no plans” to leave as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. Despite this ritual demurral, telecom-industry insiders are busy speculating on his possible successor.

 

When President Obama was first elected in 2008, there was little doubt that Genachowski would lead the FCC: He was a veteran commission aide, a Harvard Law School classmate of Obama's, and a top bundler for the campaign. This time around, there’s little consensus on who might take over if Genachowski steps aside, as has been widely anticipated.

 

The administration is faced with a knotty problem if it wants to promote from within the FCC. If Genachowski leaves, Mignon Clyburn would be the senior Democrat on the commission. She has a powerful political patron in her father, Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina, the assistant Democratic leader in the House. Her prospects for landing the top job are discounted by insiders who say that her low-key style might not be suited for the public demands of the job.

 

Insiders who argue against the prospect of Clyburn’s elevation also say that Jessica Rosenworcel, a former top staffer for Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., is an unlikely choice for chairman. The optics of promoting a less senior white woman over the African-American Clyburn might prove problematic for the Obama administration.

 

Going outside the FCC for leadership seems a way to avoid this problem, and the problem of singling out the favorites of Rep. Clyburn and Sen. Rockefeller for disappointment.

 

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In new era, operators scorn over-the-top services at their peril | GigaOM Tech News

In new era, operators scorn over-the-top services at their peril | GigaOM Tech News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Telecom operators are standing at a critical crossroad. With a continuous decline in profit from voice and messaging services – thanks in no small part to the adoption of Over-The-Top (OTT) services such as Google Voice, Skype, Whatsapp (and my company Rebtel), among many others – operators must explore their options and seek out new revenue streams.

 

As the industry gets increasingly complex and crowded, operators simply must have a firm grip on what their future business model is: Will they be demoted to mere bill carriers or will they embrace the potential for new revenues by partnering with OTT services?

 

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Do online courses spell the end for the traditional university? | The Guardian

Do online courses spell the end for the traditional university? | The Guardian | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Two years ago, I sat in the back seat of a Toyota Prius in a rooftop car park in California and gripped the door handle as the car roared away from the kerb, headed straight towards the roof's edge and then at the last second sped around a corner without slowing down. There was no one in the driver's seat.

 

It was the prototype of Google's self-driving car and it felt a bit like being Buck Rogers and catapulted into another century. Later, I listened to Sebastian Thrun, a German-born professor of artificial intelligence at Stanford University, explain how he'd built it, how it had already clocked up 200,000 miles driving around California, and how one day he believed it would mean that there would be no traffic accidents.

 

A few months later, the New York Times revealed that Thrun was the head of Google's top-secret experimental laboratory Google X, and was developing, among other things, Google Glasses – augmented reality spectacles. And then, a few months after that, I came across Thrun again.

 

The self-driving car, the glasses, Google X, his prestigious university position – they'd all gone. He'd resigned his tenure from Stanford, and was working just a day a week at Google. He had a new project. Though he didn't call it a project. "It's my mission now," he said. "This is the future. I'm absolutely convinced of it."

 

The future that Thrun believes in, that has excited him more than self-driving cars, or sci-fi-style gadgets, is education. Specifically, massive online education free to all. The music industry, publishing, transportation, retail – they've all experienced the great technological disruption. Now, says Thrun, it's education's turn.

 

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How America Is Turning into a 3rd World Nation in 4 Easy Steps | AlterNet.org

How America Is Turning into a 3rd World Nation in 4 Easy Steps | AlterNet.org | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

New reports that Taiwanese transnational manufacturing corporation Foxconn may be opening up some plants in the United States indicate that our nation has now entered the terminal fourth stage of "third-worldization" or what may be better referred to simply as "recolonization."

 

In case you don't know, Foxconn is China's largest private employer and is responsible for making many of those parts that go into your Apple iPhones, iPads, and iPods.

 

While Steve Jobs may have been a visionary when it came to technological design, he wasn't a fan of labor unions - or American workers in general - so he outsourced most of his corporation's manufacturing to Foxconn, which was notorious for its low-wage labor.

 

Foxconn workers live in over-crowded dorms that are located on the factory grounds. They work 12-hour shifts, and are routinely exposed to dangerous working conditions. Recently, 137 Foxconn workers fell ill after they were forced to use toxic chemicals to clean iPads. And in the last five years, 17 Foxconn workers have committed suicide on the job. Nets have since been installed around the factory to catch workers jumping out of windows.

 

So why the heck would Foxconn look beyond their Libertarian paradise of no labor laws to come to the United States and employ a bunch of Americans?

 

To know the answer to that question, we have to understand the four steps the United States is currently racing through to become a third-world nation.

 

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Silicon Valley’s second-term wish list | Wash Post

Silicon Valley’s second-term wish list | Wash Post | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Silicon Valley contributed more to President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign than Wall Street and Hollywood, according to a Nov. 3 San Francisco Chronicle report. The Valley contributed $14.7 million compared to $14.5 million from New York City and $6.3 million from the Beverly Hills crowd. The data were compiled for the Chronicle by the nonpartisan organization MapLight.org. During his many trips to Silicon Valley, the President made a number of promises. Now that he has won, the Valley expects him to keep his end of the bargain.

 

I asked several notable people in Silicon Valley what they want from Congress and Obama’s second-term administration. The tech moguls I spoke to or exchanged e-mails with include Marc Andreesen, Paul Graham, Heidi Roizen, Ron Conway, Vinod Khosla, Carl Bass, Dan’l Lewin and Jason Calacanis. The bloggers who gave me feedback include Eric Eldon, Dan Lyons, and Om Malik. And I spoke to several of my colleagues at Stanford Law School including Joe Grundfest, Mariano-Florentino Cuellar, and Dan Siciliano. Here, Mr. President, is their wish list:

 

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Without an agreement, Reid eyes last 2012 effort on Cybersecurity Act | The Hill's Hillicon Valley

Without an agreement, Reid eyes last 2012 effort on Cybersecurity Act | The Hill's Hillicon Valley | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Reid is aiming to bring the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 to the floor at the end of next week after the Senate votes on Sen. Jon Tester's (D-Mont.) sportsmen's bill, according to Senate aides.

 

The bill's prospects look dim, however, as it appears the bill still lacks enough Republican support to clear the upper chamber. Observers expect the bill to fail just as it did in August, when Senate Republicans blocked a motion to move the measure forward after arguing that it would saddle industry with new burdensome regulations.

 

“While we are eager to pass effective cybersecurity legislation, we are no closer to a compromise than we were this summer,” a Senate GOP aide said.

 

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IL: What the U.S. Cellular sale means to consumers | CUB

U.S. Cellular is dropping Chicago and other markets in parts of the Midwest, selling them to Sprint Nextel, to focus its business, and its launching of 4G technology, in places where it is a bigger player.

 

Overland Park, Kan.-based Sprint Nextel Corp. will buy the markets—spectrum and 585,000 customers—in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri and Ohio, which is 10 percent of U.S. Cellular's customer base. The $480 million deal is part of a strategic plan to focus on its stronger markets.

 

The move will cost 640 jobs in the Chicago area, including 160 in the city, among 980 to be cut in the Midwest.

 

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Bayonne school stays in power after Sandy: thanks to a solar system from Flemington company | NJ.com

Bayonne school stays in power after Sandy: thanks to a solar system from Flemington company | NJ.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

When Sandy slammed into Bayonne, a one-of-a-kind solar electric system developed by Advanced Solar Products, Inc. of Flemington, helped keep the power on at Midtown Community School, where 50 to 75 grateful residents of this historic Hudson Riverfront city spent the night sleeping on cots in the warm, dry and well-lighted community room.

 

Power from the grid was lost to all of Bayonne, including Midtown Community School, which also serves as a community emergency evacuation center, about 9 p.m. on the evening of Oct. 29. The lights at the school stayed on, however, because of its unique solar backup system.

 

“A growing number of school districts in New Jersey have been installing solar panels to convert sunlight directly into electricity in order to reduce their utility bills,” explains Richard Schaefer, who heads the school’s facilities group. “Our system, however, is the only one we know of anywhere in the world that is specifically designed to not only reduce our energy consumption from the grid, but also to operate in conjunction with a diesel generator in the event of a power failure such as the one we just experienced.”

 

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Facebook and Open Compute want a biodegradable server chassis | GigaOM Cloud Computing News

Facebook and Open Compute want a biodegradable server chassis | GigaOM Cloud Computing News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Facebook is sponsoring an Open Compute Foundation contest with Purdue to develop a more sustainable server chassis. The goal of the contest is to build a biodegradable box — instead of steel casing — to hold the innards of a server. Since most companies replace their servers every two to three years (the Purdue contest site says four), why not make the case out of something that doesn’t need to be recycled at the end of its rather short life?

 

From the design challenge web site:

 

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