Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Watch World News Online

Somal World

The Internet and IPTV are making the world smaller

France 24 channel

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Net Neutrality Debate - Symulcast

You probably do not have the Flash Player (Get Adobe Flash Player Here) installed for your browser or the video files are misplaced on your server!

Notice in the video above that they "protest" the bill claiming that it does not go "left enough". They speak with so many points of misinformation with their ambiguity of their comments intended to promote the fear of what "MIGHT" happen if the government doesn't put a grip upon the corporations.

This discussion would ordinarily be put in the sister blog "Technological Reparation"  where issues about the intersection of technology and society are discussed.

Unfortunately when it comes to "Net Neutrality" the attempted insertion of activism into the technological and communications space has promoted this issue onto my "policy analysis blog".   Since the claims that "the least of these" (Blacks and the poor) might be harmed by the greedy telecom companies (see the "Democracy Now" video) - this issues has found a place on the "Within The Black Community" blog.   Some people show pictures of barefoot children in Guatemala to trigger action for their cause.  Other despicable characters hold up Black people in America to have their way.

I am sure that you would agree that if I were to talk about the functions of the human digestive system to a physician - upon hearing my verbal molestation in explaining what she lives and breathes every day would have you to look to her as the more credible source.   When I hear various left-wing activists on "Democracy Now", "Bill Moyers" or "The Color Of Change" web site similarly molest the facts about how large scale carrier networks are architected  AND their nefarious intentions to restrict traffic I hope that you would also assign credibility based on the ability to present a TRANSPARENT set of facts of the case.

Social Justice Comes To The Technology Sector
The American Internet System is the most expansive, most pervasive than any other in the world.  If we look at the traffic on most other country's Internets - they are running applications developed in America - FaceBook quickly growing to be the #1 application in most developed nations.

If you listen to people with a more of a social activist spirit describe the same picture will be darked with claims of squandered leadership and corporate hijacking for the sake of profit.
  • They point to South Korea as having a "faster Internet" with 100Mbps, yet don't note the far smaller number of access points to build out there as compared to the USA.  
    • Comcast just announced a 150Mb connection
    • Several companies are just now upgrading their Internet trunk circuits to 40Gbps because the optical interfaces to support these speeds are just now becoming available and affordable
    • The applications that would drive the need for RESIDENTIAL speeds at 100Mbps (ie: HD video) are just now coming on line as the Internet architecture to support this increased demand AND the copyright system for content is settled upon.
  • They point to Norway as having a higher "Broadband Penetration Rate" than does the USA
    • They fail to note that Norway has about 6 million users and a high density of people while the USA has about 90 million users and is better thought of as an array of local access networks.  
      • The high density cities have full coverage
      • The low density areas have satellite or wireless because a physical build out of a cable system can't be cost justified
On the one hand the constant indictment of the telecommunications companies and the FCC listening in can serve as a countervailing force to keep the companies from acting in a monopolistic fashion.  I can appreciate a certain amount of advocacy.

It is when they operate in a purely ideologically skewed manner where they attempt to take their (flawed) theory of economics and regulation and use the presence of a favorable leftist-dominated FCC to have their way - all the while telling half truths and fear tactics that I receive the "fingernails on the chalkboard" effect per hearing their words.

I am going to set out to provide a baseline of the argument at hand to provide an understanding of the issues at hand.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

America Is NOT Behind On Broadband - A Lie Repeated Enough Times....

Newsweek: Obama's Broadband Punt

The only thing that irks me on par with "fingernails on a chalkboard" to a greater extent than does the fantastical claims around "Net Neutrality" is the claim that the United States is lagging behind the rest of the world when it comes to our Internet and high speed broadband access.

 Country Population  Land Mass  # Of Internet
United States   310M  9.8M sq km 240.0M
 South Korea  48M  0.99M sq km 39.5M
 Japan  126M  0.37M sq km 99.1M
 China  1,330M  9.5M sq km 425.0 M

Source: Number of Internet Users

I would be more comfortable if these type of studies took a sliver of the United States - the east coast, the west coast or the swath of the South - and attempted to contrast the state of the Internet in these nations that are a fraction of our size with these smaller segments of America.
It’s a well-known lament that America’s broadband performance badly lags the rest of the world’s. Household adoption rates are mediocre compared with those of other OECD countries, and subscription prices are scandalously higher than even the super-speed nirvanas of South Korea and Japan.
Mainly this is a curse of geography. Vast, suburbanized America is pricier to equip with high-speed fiber or wireless than densely populated Asia. But unlike in many countries, the government also lacks clout over the telecommunications sector, leaving private operators such as Verizon and AT&T to upgrade aging copper networks on their own time.

Still, as 14 million Americans go without broadband (defined by the Federal Communications Commission as a minimum download speed of 4 megabits per second), and millions more battle poor service, the nation is squandering a once-in-a-generation chance to modernize its digital footprint. The die was cast almost two years ago when President Obama’s $787 billion economic stimulus lobbed a disappointing $7 billion toward broadband: mainly grants to help municipal, nonprofit, and private entities connect rural digital backwaters. By contrast, green energy received 13 times more funding. Now, with unemployment beached at 9.8 percent, it looks as though Obama made the wrong bet.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

DirecTv Drops "G4" Channel

DirecTv Drops G4

About 6 years ago I would have been highly pissed.
Today it does not matter.

The channel crashed and burned several years ago after having been on the "Must Watch" list on my Tivo.

Back when it was "TechTV" and had the high quality stars it was the best:  Leo Laporte, Kevin Rose, the Gnome and several of the ladies who knew their stuff as well.

Let the channel die.  Please.

There are so many higher quality alternatives that are shown as video podcasts now anyway.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Scaling The Heights To Bring Communication To The World

When the camera pans downward toward the ground I can't help but to put myself into that man's position and feel a sense of fear that takes over my body.

I could not do that job.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Africa Is Connected To The World Via Technology

My wife is presently in Nigeria on a business trip. 

I was able to track her flight across the Atlantic Ocean using technology.

I received a phone call from her cellphone when the plane landed in Ghana.

I received a text message when she landed in Nigeria.

All of the technological underpinnings involved with achieving this level of interconnectedness was abstracted from her.  The only thing she had to worry about is obtaining a "world phone" from Verizon Wireless that has GSM capabilities allowing it to work in other places around the world.  The USA and Korea are the dominate places for CDMA phones.  The rest of the world uses GSM.

Thanks to technology a phone call from Nigeria is as easy as a phone call from Los Angeles.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

USA Today Transitions Toward The World Of Electronic News Distribution

USA Today shaking up staff in 'radical' overhaul

I used subscribe for home delivery of the USAToday and the WallStreet Journal on a daily basis and the local paper on Sundays.  In the past few months I have allowed my paper delivery of all of them to expire as I transitioned toward the paid electronic version of the USAToday and the WSJ.

The one beneift is that my load of paper to be recycled is being reduced.  Despite having loads of articles that I have put to the side with the promise of following up later - I typically put it all into a box 3 months later and discard them anyway.

Electronic news distribution is the logical way to go for the future.

Every 2 months or so my Sunday paper that was delivered by a paper guy riding down the street in a car would be scattered all over my yard.   Once the paper hit the ground the plastic bag would burst open and the advertising inserts would scatter.

I now go to the grocery store and purchase the Sunday paper. 

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Chatting vs Phone Call

The teens are on to something.

As I am looking for an application hosting company I am appreciating the speed of chatting on the web.

In the past I would be required to telephone each of the companies individually and get through the small talk with the sales agent.

In the new world of web-chat - I typed up my list of specifications for the two servers, opened up chat sessions with 3 vendors at a time and then pasted my requirements and my contact information.

Most of the vendors took my information and plan to e-mail me back.
One vendor who seemingly doesn't "get it" promised to call me to get more information.   I don't need to talk to you.  I only need your pricing.

I realize that all of them will harass me by phone and e-mail after they send me their proposals.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Pew Survey On Internet Usage

Pew Internet - Home Broadband 2010

After several years of double digit growth, broadband adoption slowed dramatically in 2010. African-Americans experienced broadband adoption growth in 2010 well above the national average

After several consecutive years of modest but consistent growth, broadband adoption slowed dramatically in 2010. Two-thirds of American adults (66%) currently use a high-speed internet connection at home, a figure that is not statistically different from what The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project found at a similar point in 2009, when 63% of Americans were broadband adopters.

The lack of growth in broadband adoption at the national level was mirrored across a range of demographic groups, with African-Americans being a major exception. Broadband adoption by African-Americans now stands at 56%, up from 46% at a similar point in 2009. That works out to a 22% year-over-year growth rate, well above the national average and by far the highest growth rate of any major demographic group. Over the last year, the broadband adoption gap between blacks and whites has been cut nearly in half:

In 2009 65% of whites and 46% of African-Americans were broadband users (a 19-point gap)
In 2010 67% of whites and 56% of African-Americans are broadband users (an 11-point gap)
By a 53%-41% margin, Americans say they do not believe that the spread of affordable broadband should be a major government priority. Contrary to what some might suspect, non-internet users are less likely than current users to say the government should place a high priority on the spread of high-speed connections.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Net Neutrality Is Whatever Some People Say It Is During The Argument At Hand

Mr Prometheus:

I am going to pretend that I am not an industry insider as I ask you a question.

Right now Google has several data centers throughout the United States in which it seeks to "move its content to the edge" - closer to the people.

Let's call Google a "content provider".

Verizon, AT&T, BBN and other - Tier 1 Internet service providers are carriers.

While the Tier 1 carriers have both PUBLIC and PRIVATE interconnects, with the goal of speeding access to users from one network over to end points that reside on another network - CONTENT PROVIDERS had typically just purchased circuits from a carrier and depended upon the carrier to handle the strategic routing.

WHAT IF, Prometheus - Google is simply creating PRIVATE INTERCONNECTS into Verizon"s network - just as carriers have already been doing? IS THIS PROBLEMATIC FOR YOU?

I notice that the pro-Net Neutrality crowd says "speeding" or "preferring" traffic. The truth is that no carrier is going to "slow down" traffic when they have 40Gb trunk circuits.

Please explain to me why you have a problem with Verizon placing high speed trunks into Google's data centers, thus providing Google users fast access to Google content?

Do you see how on the one and the FCC claims that the USA has SLOW access circuits as compared to some other nations - which are a mere fraction of our size. YET when it comes to certain large content companies adding bigger pipes between their data centers and various Tier 1 backbone providers - speeding access - this is calls a "molestation of the Internet rules".

The argument does not stand.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Kaltura - Open Source Video Hosting Management Software

I think that I have hit upon a more efficient process for posting and managing streaming video hosting.

It is has the "Copy Embed Codes" function and can detail the view counts for the videos then I am hooked.

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Monday, July 12, 2010

Friday, July 2, 2010

Your Knowledge Could Be Worth $0.99 Per Text Plus Cellular Texting Charges

You probably do not have the Flash Player (Get Adobe Flash Player Here) installed for your browser or the video files are misplaced on your server!

With all of the advice I give out I wish I could capture $0.99 per response.

The First Commercial For Microsoft Kin. The Last Commercial for Microsoft Kin

You probably do not have the Flash Player (Get Adobe Flash Player Here) installed for your browser or the video files are misplaced on your server!

Microsoft Pulls The Plug On The Kin Phone 3 Months After Launch

Friday, June 18, 2010

Using Technology To Turn The Table On Urban Criminals

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Friday, May 21, 2010

GPS Technology Snares Criminals

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Monday, May 17, 2010

Spreading Quality Educational Materials To Others

Two web sites provide K-12 school teachers the opportunity to share their lesson plans to other teachers.

So frequently we hear about the disparities in quality of educational instruction between schools and school districts.  I believe that it is a brilliant idea to create a marketplace by which these proven lesson plans can be exchanged.

On one extreme is the use of technology to provide a streaming video session of a noted teacher to reach outside of the lecture hall out to many others.  The more practical use of technology is the exchange of lesson plans.  This allows that "in-place" teacher to learn from the best and brightest and then present the improved lesson plan themselves.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Cuba's Blazing Fast Internet Access Speeds

First hand experience talking here.

Sitting in a Cuban Internet cafe and doing a speed test.

This is horrible.  

Maybe the censors need time to read the content that is flowing through the firewalls and thus they are slowing down the access?

Beautiful country.
Beautiful people.
Now they need to catch up to their island neighbors in the way of electronic infrastructure

.Airport Link 1.19Mb Down;  90Kb Upload

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

NY Times Editorializes About America's Broadband

Once again an article that presses my buttons.

March 21, 2010
A Plan for Broadband
The Federal Communications Commission’s broadband strategy comes not a moment too soon. High-speed Internet is on its way to replacing the telephone as the nation’s primary means of communication.

But the United States is woefully behind in building the physical systems to support this transformation. That will require federal money, incentives to private businesses, and updates in the regulatory system.

Fewer than 27 out of every 100 Americans have broadband service, compared with 33 in South Korea and 38 in the Netherlands. The average advertised download speed is 8 megabits per second; in France, it is 51. And according to a study by the F.C.C., the average download in the United States occurs at about half the advertised speed. Meanwhile, the poor, the elderly and other vulnerable groups remain cut off from broadband technology, and therefore from such things as online government services, medical advice and jobs.

The F.C.C.’s blueprint offers a feasible path to address these lacunae, unleash investment in the broadband network and foster competition among service providers. The core goal is to bring broadband to 100 million homes at download speeds of at least 100 megabits per second by 2020, and to vastly expand broadband over the airwaves.

The ambitious plan is likely to attract hostility from corporations — like TV broadcasters and telecommunications companies. They have legitimate concerns, but, in general, Congress should provide all the assistance the F.C.C. needs to achieve its goals.

A likely flashpoint is the F.C.C.’s determination to foster competition. Lack of competition is perhaps the main reason broadband prices remain so high and speeds so low, especially compared with other countries.

Lack of competition allows big wire-line telecom companies to charge big fees to carry the signals of mobile providers over their wires. Telecom companies argue, with reason, that competition goes beyond wires — that many other companies that are unregulated also are intrinsic to the development of broadband access.

Congress has to sort this out. The F.C.C.’s authority to police broadband is already limited and is being challenged in court. Congress may need to clarify the F.C.C.’s authority. Other parts of the commission’s plan will also require specific legislation.

For instance, the F.C.C. needs Congress to approve a plan to repurpose 120 megahertz of surplus TV spectrum for mobile broadband, to meet the mushrooming demand from powerful new wireless devices like iPhone or Google’s Droid. Congress must give the go-ahead so the commission can entice broadcasters to relinquish spectrum by offering them a slice of the revenue of the auction of airwaves to broadband providers.

The F.C.C. also needs Congress’s approval to spend money on a new wireless broadband network for use by emergency services, and to repurpose about $8 billion a year from the Universal Service Fund, established decades ago to ensure phones got to hard-to-reach places, to do that with broadband Internet access.

These goals are long overdue, but that makes them no less essential to taking full advantage of the Internet’s promise to improve American competitiveness.

When you see certain statistics cherry picked and assembled to form a ransom note it is hard to take the rest of the article seriously.

This editorial pisses me off in two ways:
  1. It uses the broadband adoption rate to claim that South Korean and the Netherlands are ahead of the USA
  2. It then points to the speed of the US broadband connections and purports that we are behind.
Both of these points are meant to manipulate the facts.

The fact is that the United States has the largest, most expansive Internet backbone and access network in the world.  Period. 

Today carriers are putting in 40Gbit trunk circuits (OC768) to accommodate the explosion of demand.  The OC768 interfaces that terminate the fiber optic circuits have just recently come onto market and are prohibitively expensive.  There are only a small group of equipment manufactures with the technical acumen to bring such advanced electronics and optics to market. 

The reason why I am so sure that this type of "pop technology activism" rings hollow is because in order for these claims to be vetted out in a legitimate "apples to apples" comparison one would need to look at the infrastructure between the nations being compared to validate these claims.

Let us accept the claim that average download speed in France is 51Mbps.  The first thing I would question is the trunk circuits upon the backbone in France and the "pass rate" - meaning how many houses this high speed link is accessible from.   Next I would note that in the cable Internet access world - DOCSIS3.0 and ultra-high speed DSL have just recently made it onto the market.  What access technology is France using and how did they install it so quickly if this number is legitimate?

Next let's talk about bandwidth in the first place.   What does 100Mb in access provide to a consumer today?  Let's pretend that it allows them to stream 4 HD video streams at one time.  Great I am all for it.   Where is this content available today?   The traditional broadcast networks have their content contracted with traditional broadcast/cable/satellite distributors.   Where are the agreements for them to release first run content over the Internet for streaming?

Bottom line - I understand that the "Progressive Technologists" are seeking to use such muckraking to push the American carriers to move faster than they would otherwise.  I am resistant to the false claims because they paint a false picture.  The spirit of anti-corporate angst seems to be the undergarment upon which much of these claims are founded upon.

I am a supporter of high speed broadband and wireless.  I will be among the first to use them.Common sense tells me that superfast bandwidth at the edge while super expensive infrastructure in the core does not add up to super cheap broadband access without some serious oversubscription for the purposes of ROI.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Microsoft: We Will Start Shutting Down Your Windows 7 Release Candidate Every 2 Hours Until You Pay Up

Gotcha Suckers. 
Microsoft has it made.

  • Implement a new round of Digital Rights Management schemes to prevent Serial # sharing
  • Offer people free access to their beta products to get them hooked.  (I am not complaining.  I willingly did so)
  • Put controls into the software so that at a certain period of time it shuts down every 2 hours and then beyond a certain date won't even boot at all
This is why I am taking Windows 7 off of my kid's computer and replacing it with Ubuntu.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Video Test 2

You probably do not have the Flash Player (Get Adobe Flash Player Here) installed for your browser or the video files are misplaced on your server!


You probably do not have the Flash Player (Get Adobe Flash Player Here) installed for your browser or the video files are misplaced on your server!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

AT&T Proposes Scrapping The Circuit Switched Phone System In Favor Of VoIP

AT&T: Let's junk the old phone system

The telephone giant says the traditional network is obsolete and needs to be scrapped so that broadband access can become a nationwide reality.

In a Dec. 21 filing, it is actually arguing that telecommunications companies can't achieve Congress' goal of making broadband Internet access available across the country if they still must operate the old land-line systems.

Broadband is available to 90% of Americans now. Getting it to the last 10% or so who don't have it will require an investment of $350 billion or so.

Moreover, revenues from land-line business, aka plain old telephone service (POTS) and the public-switched telephone network (PSTN), are in "a death spiral," the company says.

"Revenues from POTS are plummeting as customers cut their land lines in favor of the convenience and advanced features of wireless and VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) services," the filing says.

In fact, one study suggested that 22% of households have cut their land-line service entirely.

That creates a big problem. "Due to the high fixed costs of providing POTS, every customer who abandons this service raises the average cost per line to serve the remaining customers."

The solution, AT&T says, is to start to change the obligation to maintain the old telephone system to a charge to provide a flexible system built on the Internet and newer technologies.

What that means, Stacy Higgenbothem wrote on the GigaOM blog, "the (almost) one in five Americans relying exclusively on a plain old telephone line should prepare to kiss that wall jack goodbye as the major wireline telephone providers back away from that dying (and expensive business)."

It gets more complicated than that.

AT&T calls for the FCC to seek input on additional regulatory changes to enable a transition away from copper phone lines.

Those include putting broadband regulatory jurisdiction at the federal rather than local or state level, reforming intercarrier compensation and changing the aims and structure of the Universal Service Fund.

AT&T would also eliminate state regulations dictating that a carrier serve all people in a geographic area.

It also told the FCC that it needs to figure out how to handle public safety and folks with disabilities in this VoIP world.

What's not clear in the filing is how consumers would fare in a new regime.

But the issue is now on the table.