Touted by an odd coalition, ICANN’s .xxx domain money grab has fallen flat on its face. The expected land rush of defensive buys to avoid stigma never materialized and the smut peddlers are happy with the way things are.
The engineers who warned Lightsquared’s service would disrupt GPS are vindicated. This proves that while you can buy influence by backing corrupt pols, you can’t change the laws of physics. The idea could still work, but investment in engineering instead of elections will be required.
More Fourth Amendment abuse in the Senate: SOPA and Protect IP morph into the slightly less abusive OPEN bill. While it promises more due process, it still enables rogue agencies to violate the supreme law of the land. Meanwhile, Senator Wyden does some call out the DHS for going rogue showboating.
How to harass the competition without tarnishing your highbrow image. Wage war on rivals by proxy: Apple Gives mobile patents to a troll.
Comic Louis CK’s latest film goes direct to download for $5. Chances are he’ll make far more from self distribution then releasing through one of the big studios. Look for more big name entertainers to follow.
Another sign the patent system is broken: Google wants to patent the cloud as a print server.
FCC Chairman Martin just won’t give up on his free wireless proposal. Oddly enough no one likes the idea including his telco buddies.
Martin told Ars Technica that he didn’t want the Web filtering provision to kill the whole proposal. So he took it out.
“I’m saying if this is a problem for people, let’s take it away,” Martin told Ars Technica. “A lot of public interest advocates have said they would support this, but we’re concerned about the filter. Well, now there’s an item in front of the Commissioners and it no longer has the filter. And I’ve already voted for it without the filter now. So it’s already got one vote.” (Cnet)
Maybe he’ll clear the net neutrality zealots with the removal of the filtering requirement, but problems remain. For me there are several: The auction process that grants a large swath of public bandwidth to one company. The business model that can’t work as it stands, meaning we’re in for something less than we are being promised. This will result either sell out to one of the incumbent providers who will work to revise the free rule. The other possibility is a complete failure that will leave the spectrum in limbo, or public funding will be used to rescue the failed venture (we’ve seen a lot of that lately).
If I had chairman Martin’s ear, I’d strongly urge him to open this spectrum to low power unlicensed / medium power small footprint license use. We’ll get a lot more public broadband much faster this way. Unfortunately, I’m in no position to reward Mr. Martin with anything more than a “thanks for doing the right thing”, so I’m sure he won’t be interested.
It was the wireless plan that almost no one liked except FCC chairman Kevin Martin and the presumed bidders. Opposition came form every possible competitor as well as civil libertarians. In the end it took a “we’ve had just about enough of this silliness ” message from the White House to end the plan.
In a letter sent to FCC Chairman Kevin Martin on Wednesday, U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez expressed the Bush administration‘s opposition to the idea of imposing requirements on spectrum buyers.
“The administration believes that the (airwaves) should be auctioned without price or product mandate,” Gutierrez wrote, according to The Wall Street Journal. “The history of FCC spectrum auctions has shown that the potential for problems increases in instances where licensing is overly prescriptive or designed around unproven business models.”
The element of Web filtering worried at least one privacy group. “It’s very troubling,” Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, told the Los Angeles Times. “A government-mandated filter at the network level means the government can block anything it finds objectionable.” (Yahoo)
If ever built, a free ad supported wireless network would probably be doomed. Incumbent carriers are likely to bid up the auction price high enough to make profitability impossible. Then, we’d either be asked to provide public funding or useful spectrum would lay in wait for lawmakers to undo the mess.
We should have learned form prior auctions and be willing to forgo the big money for a better plan. More spectrum should not be inthe control of the incumbents and well connected. I feel this spectrum should be placed in the hands of the public instead of being auctioned. Any number of licensing options including a lottery would enable smaller enterprises, municipalities or individuals to provide service at a good value instead of loading the spectrum with a heavy front end tax that only a few can afford to pay.