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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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Canada: TELUS expanding its broadband networks to remote areas of Quebec | Equities.com

TELUS has extended its wireline high-speed Internet services to La Romaine and Saint?Augustin, and its 4G mobile network to Natashquan. These projects are part of TELUS $11.5-million investment in the Cote-Nord region in 2012, including $6.4 million in the Basse-Cote-Nord area.

 

"We are delighted to offer our mobile and wireline broadband networks to the communities of Basse-Cote-Nord, an isolated region that presents a number of challenges. We want to contribute to the region's growth and connectivity by making advanced technologies available to the local communities," explained Clement Audet, Vice-President, Consumer Market, at TELUS Quebec. TELUS has invested $12.3 billion in Quebec since 2000, and this tremendous financial support has enabled us to offer high?speed service to 97% of the population, from large city centres to outlying regions. Our presence is felt in every corner of the province."

 

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India: Brainistic offers freshers training in Bangalore that gives 100% job assurance | Brainistic Blog

India: Brainistic offers freshers training in Bangalore that gives 100% job assurance | Brainistic Blog | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Brainistic is offering a course for Freshers that gives 100% job assurance.

 

This is a comprehensive training where a fresher gets to learn all the software development skills. It teaches software skills on web technologies, mobile app development, java, j2ee, oracle, etc. Moreover it also trains freshers on software processes and soft skills. Training duration is 6 months.

 

Trainers are professionals with huge software experience. Trainers are Technical architects, Senior projects managers and are from good colleges including IITs.

 

During the training the trainees will be provided with required computers, devices and internet connection. They will have access to the facility from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM.

 

After the 6 months of comprehensive training, trainees will be inducted into projects where they will work on real life application development projects. During this phase Brainistic will help them find the best possible job. Brainistic gives 100% job guarantee. Moreover during the duration they work on the projects they will be paid an stipend of Rs 5000.

 

In rare occasion if a candidate couldn’t be placed, then Brainistic will return 50% of the course fee minus the stipend already paid.

 

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Local Governments Strive for Broadband Independence | Government Technology

Local Governments Strive for Broadband Independence | Government Technology | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

A small town nestled away in southern Minnesota doesn’t sound like the description of a high-tech battleground between local government and Internet service providers. But that’s reality in Winthrop, Minn. (pop 1,400), where the city’s fight to light up a municipally-owned broadband network is the latest skirmish in a national war for access to high-speed Internet connectivity.

 

For Winthrop, the idea to launch a community broadband network was hatched four years ago at a city council meeting. While the city has made progress, obstacles have cropped up, preventing the project from breaking ground. Problems range from private provider opposition to municipal partners dropping out of the project.

 

The snail’s pace isn’t surprising, however. To date, only 150 communities have created city-wide cable or fiber-to-the-home networks in the U.S., according to Christopher Mitchell, an expert on community broadband networks and director of the Telecommunications as Commons Initiative, a nonprofit economic and community development consulting group.

 

While broadband access has become an essential tool for most municipalities to attract new business and thrive, financial issues, legislative concerns and private sector competition are the kinds of hurdles local governments need to address to create a publicly-owned broadband network. To achieve success, said Mitchell, local officials need to establish a vision of what broadband can do for their community and why they need it. Simply wanting cheaper or better broadband connectivity isn’t enough motivation to rally the community support that’s vital to establish a network.

 

Tangible goals, such as economic development or enhanced educational opportunities, have to be the main drivers behind the project in order for it to succeed. Once the main goals are established, then a city or county has to decide whether to build the network itself, or partner with existing telecom providers to get higher-speed services.

 

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Local manufacture essential to Brazil, says Minister | telecoms.com

Local manufacture essential to Brazil, says Minister | telecoms.com | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The Brazilian government will continue to require that a significant portion of telecoms network equipment is manufactured locally as it seeks to harness the sector’s growth to create jobs and local wealth, according to the country’s minister for communications.

 

Speaking at the Ericsson Business Innovation Forum in Sao Paolo on Wednesday, Paolo Bernado said that targets for wider deployment of broadband require sustained investment from both public and private sectors. As an example he pointed to more than 80,000 rural schools that must be given connectivity inside the next three years.

 

He said that, in Brazil, the state is responsible for over 50 per cent of investment in innovation and was committed to creating the right environment for continued private sector participation. In return, he said, the government expects technology developed locally to be available at a low enough cost to make connectivity across some of the most challenging geography in the world truly viable.

 

“The treasury has been removing taxes from equipment and civil construction works because to reach our objectives, and our national broadband plan next year, we need infrastructure available at fair prices,” he said. “We have policies that will demand products made in Brazil because it helps create jobs and trade. In my opinion this is a policy that is here to stay; it is reasonable for companies to invest to develop here in Brazil.”

 

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UK: BT unveils world’s fastest working high-speed broadband service

UK: BT unveils world’s fastest working high-speed broadband service | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

BT has launched the first ever trial of a 10Gbps or ‘hyper-fast’ broadband network in a live working environment.

 

Cornwall based engineering firm Arcol UK Ltd, is the test site for deployment of the new technology where the service runs in tandem with the company’s existing 330Mbps service on the same fibre.

 

The proof of concept trial uses new fibre technology called XGPON (Tens of Gibabits on a Passive Optical Network) developed by electronics company ZTE, in partnership with Openreach.

 

Arcol is connected by a direct fibre link from its offices to BT’s exchange in Truro, and is the first business in the country to enjoy the record-breaking speeds, with more bandwidth available than was used at the highest peak for the entire Olympics media network.

 

The demonstration aims to show how even faster speeds could be provided over Cornwall’s new fibre infrastructure in the future by upgrading the electronics at the exchange and in user premises.

 

Potential speeds are so fast that the physical limits of the networking and computer equipment prevent the line from being used at its maximum capacity. And although the direct link between the Truro exchange and Arcol runs at 10Gbps, the company isn’t connected to the wider internet at those speeds as there is nothing that can be done on the web with 10Gbps.

 

Ranulf Scarbrough, Programme Director for the Cornwall SuperFast Broadband Programme, said: “What is exciting about this trial is that these hyper-fast speeds have been obtained over the exactly the same fibre that carries BT’s fibre broadband services today. All we are doing is changing the electronics at either end.”

 

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A Smart Meter in the Superstorm | Greentech Media

A Smart Meter in the Superstorm | Greentech Media | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Sensus’ smart meters were sidelined in PECO’s territory just weeks before Hurricane Sandy slammed into the East Coast. But a Sensus communication network connecting the 186,000 smart meters that had been installed up to that point was already up and running.

 

Even though the meter deployment is only about 10 percent complete, PECO saw notable advantages to its advanced metering deployment, compared to its advanced meter reading, or AMR, system that has been in place for years.

 

During the storm, PECO lost visibility to about one-third of its AMR meters, according to Barry Cole, director of IT for PECO, which is an Exelon company. For the smart meter network, connections went down on about 3 percent of the meters. “Because of the redundancy, that’s a huge difference,” Cole said of the Sensus network.

 

The utility was not quick to tout the benefits from its technology after a public relations uproar when a handful of its smart meters overheated, resulting in a few fires earlier in the year. But the one-way AMR system, which has been in place for years, relies on thousands of message communication concentrators (MCC), which collect signals for the mesh radio metering system.

 

The Sensus communication layer, on the other hand, relies on about 160 tower gateway systems, which work like cell towers and connect to smart meters via point-to-point communication over licensed spectrum, versus a mesh topology over unlicensed 900 MHz that most other meter communications use. The result is that if meters don’t rely on each other to move signals around and if a tower goes out, restoring that one tower will restore more meters. In comparison, PECO saw 500 of its MCCs go down, which means 500 different truck rolls, versus 30 tower gateways.

 

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US Focus on Internet Freedom at ITU Conference | The Epoch Times

US Focus on Internet Freedom at ITU Conference | The Epoch Times | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

A U.S. delegation is preparing to do battle at a global telecommunications meeting next month, with a focus on protecting an international treaty that has ensured Internet freedom for over two decades.The 1988 treaty, the International Telecommunications Regulations (ITRs), covers the way international voice, data, and video traffic is transmitted. The ITRs are up for review at a United Nations International Telecommunication Union (ITU) convention from Dec. 3 to 14 in Dubai.

 

The United States is arguing that the treaty has worked well, allowing the Internet to flourish and individual countries to make their own regulations and, as such, the treaty needs little modification. Other countries, including Russia and China, are proposing changes that will see greater government control, new restrictions, and less transparency on the Internet.

 

Mindel De La Torre, head of the International Bureau of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, said the survival of the ITRs to this point is due to their “high-level” focus on general principals.

 

Some countries have expressed concern that the free nature of the Internet will cost revenue, De La Torre said, referring to communications software company Skype as an example. But they are looking at “old framework” models that could eventuate into things like “toll booth”-type systems at country borders, which would stifle the Net.

 

The Internet’s success in its present form had brought great benefit to countries around the world, she said, and added that a key tenet of U.S. strategy is, “If the treaty isn’t broken, don’t fix it.”

 

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Facebook Could Slow Down A Tiny Bit As It Starts Switching All Users To Secure HTTPS Connections | TechCrunch

Facebook Could Slow Down A Tiny Bit As It Starts Switching All Users To Secure HTTPS Connections | TechCrunch | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

When you’re dealing with 1 billion people’s personal info, security is critical. But Facebook didn’t want to sacrifice speed. That’s why it spent the last two years making infrastructure improvements so that its transition of all its users to HTTPS which starts this week will “slow down connections only slightly.” People will be able to opt-out of HTTPS for maximum speed if that’s how they roll.

 

Facebook has long employed HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) to protect users when they submit their username and password to login. HTTPS prevents man-in-the-middle attacks and eavesdropping.

 

In January 2011, though, it started allowing people to opt into have all their Facebook browsing encrypted in HTTPS. At the time it warned “Encrypted pages take longer to load, so you may notice that Facebook is slower using HTTPS.”

 

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Does the internet of things need its own internet? | GigaOM Mobile Tech News

Does the internet of things need its own internet? | GigaOM Mobile Tech News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Ask any mobile operator, and they’ll tell you their networks will become the backbone of the future internet of things. All of those connected meters, cars, medical devices and other assorted gadgets will need an always-on and ubiquitous available network, making today’s cellular network ideal for the task.

 

So far, carriers’ confidence is well founded. Mobile operators are using their 2G and mobile broadband networks to connect everything from jukeboxes to ice machines, and as mobile phone penetration nears 100 percent, a good deal of carrier growth is dependent on these new machine-to-machine (M2M) subscriptions.

 

But a French startup named Sigfox is challenging that accepted wisdom. Sigfox business development chief and internet of things of evangelist Thomas Nicholls said that cellular networks were meant to connect humans, not objects. Sigfox is proposing to build an alternate wireless network dedicated solely to linking together the internet of things.

 

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UK: Why shouldn't adults learn to code too? | Telegraph

UK: Why shouldn't adults learn to code too? | Telegraph | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Michael Gove’s plan to teach real computer science in schools is a great idea. I know this because I’ve spent the last three years developing an organisation called Young Rewired State, which finds and fosters children who've taught themselves how to code by introducing them to open data and a community of their peers.

 

The uptake has been fantastic and we’ve enjoyed plenty of support from business leaders, who are desperate to engage with young, innovative developers, but are all-too-often unable to find any.

 

But who says only children can learn to code? A new survey has found 28 per cent of UK adults wish they had pursued a career in technology – citing reasons such as salary, the intellectual challenge and wider job opportunities – and yet very few are willing to attempt the career change.

 

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American Ass. of Publishers trying to sabotage copyright treaty for blind and disabled people | Boing Boing

American Ass. of Publishers trying to sabotage copyright treaty for blind and disabled people | Boing Boing | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The Electronic Frontier Foundation's Carolina Rossini is at the World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva, where American-led copyright industry trade groups are prepared, once again, to sabotage a treaty guaranteeing access to blind people and people with other disabilities.

 

At the forefront of stopping blind people from having access to reading is the Association of American Publishers. What a ghastly grotesquery.

 

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CA: Cupertino launches new online portal to help coordinate volunteer efforts | San Jose Mercury News

CA: Cupertino launches new online portal to help coordinate volunteer efforts | San Jose Mercury News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The city of Cupertino has launched a new website dedicated to working closer with its volunteer resources.

 

The city recently started using a portal as a means of recruiting and organizing new volunteers and offering more options for newcomers and veteran volunteers.

 

The website allows volunteers to access and sign up for opportunities in the city, keep track of their volunteer commitments and download their schedules from any computer or smart tablet connected to the Internet.

 

"It's the latest attempt to address a need the city has had for many years," city spokesman Rick Kitson said. "We have been dealing with different tools for dealing with, coordinating and managing our volunteers."

 

Users can visit the website, cupertino.org/volunteerportal, and sign up for an account. Applicants are asked about their general interests in the city, availability on certain days and times of the week and language proficiency.

 

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The battle to get Britain's broadband through Brussels' EC bureaucracy | Telegraph.co.uk

The battle to get Britain's broadband through Brussels' EC bureaucracy | Telegraph.co.uk | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Politicians have been promising that the UK will have “The best broadband in Europe” since at least 2010. Yet thanks to European bureaucracy, barely a cable has been laid in the nation’s most challenging rural areas.

 

Finally this week, the European Commission approved Britain’s £530m of ''state aid’’ and, as Maria Miller, the Culture Secretary, puts it, “at last we can get some shovels in the ground”.

 

It took, however, what sources close to Mrs Miller describe as an “urgent and fairly blunt” meeting with the EC competition commissioner, Joaquín Almunia to finally get the go ahead. It had been 10 long months since the formal application was made and until last week, the source claims, “there was no sense of urgency”.

 

“The problems we encountered were the bureaucracy of the commission,” says Mrs Miller. “It was not responding quick enough to what Britain needed. Talking to the commissioner direct was – I’m not sure I’d say banging heads together – but it was about saying enough is enough. We need to get on with a vital project rather than continuing an academic discussion about the programmes we’re putting together.”

 

Britain’s plans for 45 locally administered projects did, Mrs Miller claims, break new ground for the commission, but such long delays were “not acceptable”.

 

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UK: Broadband a real boon for rural areas | This is Somerset

UK: Broadband a real boon for rural areas | This is Somerset | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

The fact that the EU has finally approved the Government's plans to roll out broadband to rural areas must be the best good news farmers have had in many months.

 

Now, don't get me wrong. I don't buy into the belief that super-fast broadband – and we should have the fastest system in Europe by 2015 – is the cure to all economic ills. Or even some of them. Probably not more than a few.

 

But at least it will put the countryside on an equal electronic communications footing with towns and cities.

 

Farmers will no longer have to rely on steam-powered internet services. It will make the office work much easier to deal with, with few of the frustrating delays which I know many of my constituents have to contend with at present.

 

We've been fighting hard for a long time to get European approval for the scheme – we couldn't go ahead without it because it's partly state-funded.

 

But there are going to be other fringe benefits, too. A lot of companies have resisted the temptation to relocate to the countryside up until now because they depend utterly on high-speed broadband.

 

Once the new network is in place I can see a positive rush out to the rural areas and that is likely to fuel demand for many redundant farm buildings to be turned into office and light industrial accommodation – at which point I shall be looking to planning authorities to take a positive view when it comes to dealing with planning applications.

 

On a purely personal note I might underline the fact that I shall expect Exmoor National Park, in particular, to adopt a constructive, rather than obstructive approach, particularly if it is genuinely committed to keeping a network of small, viable settlements.

 

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Apple ordered to disclose patent settlement with HTC | Ars Technica

Apple ordered to disclose patent settlement with HTC | Ars Technica | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Just days after Apple announced it had settled all its patent disputes with HTC, lawyers that had opposed Apple in a much bigger dispute—Apple v. Samsung—said that they wanted to see the settlement.

 

Their argument was that if Apple had licensed to HTC patents it said it originally wouldn't license at all, then that should be considered in post-trial motions to determine whether Apple will be allowed to kick some Samsung phones off the market.

 

US Magistrate Judge Paul Grewal, who oversees discovery issues in the Apple v. Samsung litigation, ordered a last-minute hearing on the issue the day before Thanksgiving.

 

The same day, he issued his order [PDF]: Apple will indeed have to disclose the amount and the terms of the settlement. Grewal also allowed both sides to conduct additional depositions relating to post-trial briefing over possible additional damages or injunctions.

 

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Australia: “Nonsense”: Turnbull rejects ABC's FTTN criticism | Delimiter

Australia: “Nonsense”: Turnbull rejects ABC's FTTN criticism | Delimiter | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has dismissed as “nonsense” claims by contracting companies deploying Labor’s National Broadband Network project that changing the project’s model to a fibre to the node rollout would be “an expensive, time-consuming hindrance”.

 

Last week the ABC published an extensive article on the subject based on information collected at the NBN Realised forum held in Sydney, an event looking primarily at the practicalities of deploying Labor’s NBN vision, which primarily uses a fibre to the home-style deployment model to provide next generation broadband speeds to most Australians, and satellite and wireless technologies in some rural and regional areas. The article proved extremely popular online, receiving some 366 comments from readers.

 

The Coalition prefers a more modest deployment style involving rolling out fibre from telephone exchanges to neighbourhoods and then continuing to use Telstra’s existing copper network for the rest of the distance to premises. This model, known as ‘fibre to the node’, is being used internationally, especially in countries such as the UK, where incumbent telco BT is deploying it across the country. Turnbull and other senior figures in the Coalition have claimed that the model could see Australians receiving next generation broadband speeds significantly faster than under Labor’s fibre to the home model, and at a significantly cheaper price, although the NBN is actually expected to make a long-term return on the Government’s investment.

 

After interviewing a number of contractors currently involved in deploying the NBN infrastructure, the article’s author, ABC Technology & Games editor Nick Ross, concluded: “While no one wanted to go on the record directly, there was consensus from key players in the room: building a Fibre to the Node (FTTN) infrastructure, in terms of raw construction costs, as promoted by the Coalition, is now unlikely to be a “cheaper” option than the current Fibre to the Premises plans … In essence, NBN contractors such as Silcar/Thiess, SPATIALinfo and Service Stream are now so efficient at rolling out fibre down streets – from the exchange to people’s houses – that stopping to add tens of thousands of large-fridge sized node cabinets represents an expensive, time-consuming hindrance.”

 

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Kotura: A startup betting on the speed of light in the data center | GigaOM Cloud Computing News

Kotura: A startup betting on the speed of light in the data center | GigaOM Cloud Computing News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

When we talk about the flood of data and digital information on the internet, we spend a lot of time thinking about the bytes — as in how much can we store and where can we put those exabytes of data we create every day. But of increasing importance will be the bits per second — a metric used to dictate how many bits (there are eight bits in a byte) we can deliver over a network connection.

 

In the data center, the flood of information traveling across networks has changed in three ways. First, there is more of it. Second, the data is related to other servers inside the data center as opposed to getting a request for data and then serving it up. This is the so-called East-West traffic explosion. Instead of a server sending information up to a switch that sends it out of the data center, the server is now sending requests to a switch that then connects to other intra-data-center servers. Thus one request can now involve a few switches and several servers sending traffic back and forth across the network before it ever leaves the data center.

 

The third change is that cost pressures and the need to scale are pushing data center operators to flatten out the network so more servers (or virtual machines) talk to the switch. The solution here so far appears to be a networking fabric, but may in time graduate to a truly distributed and virtualized network.

 

The net result of these changes is that network pipes need to be fatter while the network processors need to be faster. But because this is also a data center, the components that enable this have to be relatively cheap. This is where Kotura comes in. The startup, based in Monterrey Park, Calif., offers a fiber-based transceiver that can deliver 100 gigabits per second inside the data center. The transceiver could live on a board next to the CPU or inside a switch and could eventually expand to deliver a terabit per second (Tbps).

 

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Facebook makes it official -- an external advertising network is coming soon | GigaOM Tech News

Facebook makes it official -- an external advertising network is coming soon | GigaOM Tech News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

There’s been a lot of discussion over the past few days about the recent changes to Facebook’s privacy and governance policies — including the revelation that (gasp!) Facebook is not actually a democracy — but one element of the new rules has gotten less attention than it probably should: namely, the fact that the giant social network is going to use the data it has about your likes and dislikes to show you ads outside of Facebook.

 

This is the first real confirmation that the company is going to roll out an advertising network that extends beyond just its own walled garden, and it could turn out to be one of the biggest factors in the success or failure of Facebook’s revenue-growth strategy.

 

It’s true that the network wants to do away with the voting process that it implemented as a way of improving its governance policies, which required it to get 30 percent of its users to support something before it could make a significant change.

 

But this approach was mostly a failure before it could even get started, since the last vote the company held saw .03 percent of users participate — and as more than one person has pointed out, getting 30 percent of Facebook users to vote would mean 300 million people, which is more than twice as many as voted in the recent federal election in the United States.

 

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How Verizon And AT&T Will 'Break Your Internet' If They Catch You Pirating | Huff Post Tech

How Verizon And AT&T Will 'Break Your Internet' If They Catch You Pirating | Huff Post Tech | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

You might want to think twice before downloading anything illegally in the near future.

 

Following the untimely demise of proposed anti-piracy laws SOPA and PIPA, five Internet service providers (specifically AT&T, Cablevision Systems, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Verizon) worked with the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the Obama administration to create another set of protocols to stop digital pirates in their tracks.

 

The result was the “Six Strikes” initiative, a program that allows Internet service providers (ISPs) to directly penalize users who downloaded pirated content. How ISPs planned to punish the users, though, was left largely unsaid in the initiative’s actual text, leading to months of information vacuum filled only by the Center for Copyright Information’s vague promises that penalties could include anything from the following, according to the CCI's official description of the Copyright Alert System:

 

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UK: SurfTheChannel Founder Gets Extra Jail Time For Revealing Documents That Raised Questions About His Conviction | Techdirt

UK: SurfTheChannel Founder Gets Extra Jail Time For Revealing Documents That Raised Questions About His Conviction | Techdirt | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

You may recall that, earlier this year, we wrote about a very troubling ruling in the UK against the founder of SurfTheChannel, Anton Vickerman. STC was a linking site, no different than others that had been found perfectly legal in the UK.

 

After the conviction, which resulted in Vickerman being put in jail for four years, some additional info came out that was really horrifying. First, there was the fact that this criminal case, including the investigation, was driven entirely by a private anti-piracy organization, FACT, which is financed by the Hollywood studios. Yes, a criminal case that was run by private interests.

 

Actual law enforcement had refused to proceed with the case, saying that there wasn't evidence of direct infringement. Furthermore, some "anonymous" notes from the court room suggested a judge was on a mission to put Vickerman away.

 

Now comes the news that Vickerman has been hit with contempt of court and given an extra month in jail all for releasing some of the documents that revealed what a farce the case was. Once again, the judge seems focused on punishing Vickerman for his attitude, rather than any real problem:

 

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MN: Mall of America uses Kipsu text-messaging to help customers find their cars | Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal

MN: Mall of America uses Kipsu text-messaging to help customers find their cars | Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

More than 200,000 shoppers will head for the Mall of America for Black Friday shopping this week. Not all of them will make it out — not without help, at least.

 

Enter the MOA’s text-messaging service, which is designed to help shoppers find their cars in the Bloomington mall’s 12,000-space garages.

 

Adweek reports that it works like this: Signs direct newly arrived shoppers to text their parking level — “Blue Nevada” or what have you — to the mall’s system; later that day, the system will text them back, reminding them where their car is. If shoppers have additional questions, they can respond to the reminder and get a real-time answer from the mall’s staff.

 

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The state of broadband in the U.S. | GigaOM Tech News

The state of broadband in the U.S. | GigaOM Tech News | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

For many people, their broadband connections are their lifelines. So what is the state of broadband in the U.S.? Well, when it comes to speed and price and adoption, we’re certainly not a leader — “middling” is a better way to describe our position.

 

Currently 119 million people that live in the U.S. don’t have broadband connections (for many reasons, including not wanting it or not being able to afford it) while 19 million don’t even have the option to get it. Our rate of broadband adoption (62 percent) lags behind countries such as South Korea, the U.K.,and Germany, according this year’s Federal Communication Commission report. (We’re closer to the penetration rates to Japan, Finland, and Canada.) These numbers are not likely to change soon, given that broadband growth is slowing and providers are moving away from wireline infrastructure.

 

Pricewise, we’re not in the top 10 in any speed tier, and in the in the highest tier — 15-25 Mbps — we’re 26th out of 32 countries. Hong Kong and Denmark both have cheaper internet — and faster average broadband speeds.

 

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Portugal Moves Forward on Open Standards | ComputerWorldUK

Portugal Moves Forward on Open Standards | ComputerWorldUK | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

A couple of weeks ago, I was reviewing Spain's move to open standards. The good news is that elsewhere on the Iberian peninsular, Portugal, too, is doing great work in this area.

 

The main legislation was passed back in 2011 [.pdf in English].

 

Here are some of its key clauses:

 

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White House tells blind people: the MPAA says we have to kill your treaty, sorry. | Boing Boing

White House tells blind people: the MPAA says we have to kill your treaty, sorry. | Boing Boing | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Jamie Love from KEI sez, "During the WIPO negotiations on disabilities, the White House has told U.S. Blind groups it will kill a WIPO treaty on copyright exceptions for persons who are blind or have other disabilities if the treaty covers audiovisual works, including those used in education, including distance teaching programs.

 

The fight at WIPO is being fought over the definition of a work. The US wants to limit the exceptions to works [in the form of text, notation and/or related illustrations], and opposes [in any media].

 

India, country with a large film industry, is among those who want to exceptions to cover audiovisual works, and India is supported by other countries. Brazil has suggested the decision on audiovisual works be left to national discretion.

 

The US delegation has sent a tough message to the blind organizations, effectively threatening to kill the treaty is AV works are included."

 

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Mobile Payments Are Surging to $1 Trillion: Are You Mobilized? - Forbes

Mobile Payments Are Surging to $1 Trillion: Are You Mobilized? - Forbes | Surfing the Broadband Bit Stream | Scoop.it

Disruptive mobile technologies are shaking up traditional payment processes and mobile E-commerce is expected to exceed $1 trillion in worldwide volume by 2017, a new study says.

 

But another study says competing mobile platforms, including Near-Field Communications, could pose a challenge for banks and other financial institutions trying to devise the optimal mobile-tech strategies that will allow them to exploit this seismic shift to their full advantage.

 

So the $64,000 question—uh, let’s make that the $1,000,000,000,000 question—is this: is your company scaling up your commerce systems to keep pace with not only those enormous revenue volumes, but also the potential for competing payment tech platforms?

 

This imminent and massive shift will be so powerful that “such e-commerce spending on mobile devices will be the number one driver of mobile purchases,” according to a recent news story.

 

Here’s an excerpt from that article published on the website banktech.com:

 

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