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.
Rampant corruption in patent legislation benefits the few at the expense of the masses.
Potentially huge rare earth find right here in the US. Shall we tell China to pound dirt?
What is it when a few P2P shakedown lawyers get spanked? Renewed faith that a few courts can still apply justice equally.
Skype moves to Open Source VP8 codec. Has anyone told Ballmer?
FCC / Wireless Cabal spectrum grab plan will rub out small broadcasters.
Wikipedia loses volunteer contributors. Politics drove this one away.
AT&T and Verizon stoke the Lightsquared / GPS controversy.
DHS admits it knowingly passed infected tech imports. Too busy seizing domains and diaper checking 95 year old women to do a proper job with imports?
Ambulance chaser tries to trade mark Bitcoin
Swiss anti piracy group boss accused of tax fraud. Prediction: Tip of the iceberg. More shady music industry practices to be exposed.
Netflix launches very public campaign against ISP usage caps. What took so long?
Cisco wants to push WiFi into stadiums.
Sprint / Lightsquared deal is finalized. Where does that leave Clearwire?
Patent troll goes after notebook makers.
Sprint has been busy assembling the pieces of its pseudo 4G** strategy. This could put it back into the race with Verizon for the largest coverage footprint. While this does help keep one more payer in the game, I think that we are headed for a considerably less competitive broadband market.
Sprint and Clearwire’s relationship has grown increasingly tense over the last year, with Sprint making it very clear they have some significant contingency plans should Clearwire go belly up. A month after jettisoning most of their high-level executives presumably under investor pressure to get a deal done, Clearwire has announced they’ve settled their difference with Sprint and finalized a wholesale agreement, settling on handset/device fees, with Sprint paying Clearwire at least $1 billion between now and the end of next year for wholesale services. Meanwhile, the Sprint/Clearwire/Lightsquared super-union continues to gather steam (DSL Reports)
With AT&T’s strategy centered on a merger with T Mobile, this could leave us with a two carrier arena in next generation wireless for the near term. That puts the the industry on a path to less competition. Just as wireless rates were beginning to fall, this could signal the end of price wars.
Even more troubling is the lack of investment in fixed broadband. AT&T and Verizon also control the the exclusive or semi exclusive path to wired broadband for most of the country. Both companies have all but abandoned improvements to their fixed networks touting a wireless future. So far, anyone who has used the current crop of pseudo 4G** offerings will confirm that they are a poor replacement for a low tier fixed connection without considering a higher price, spotty coverage and usage caps. Since the Cable guys are the only players investing in next gen fixed networks, that could lave them with a monopoly in the fixed market. A single fixed carrier and two or three wireless providers is not progress.
I sincerely do hope that we trend towards more competition. That will require help from regulators who have served the carriers interest exclusively for the last couple of decades. The new killer app is bandwidth. The more the better. Rationing, constraining and limiting choices will only keep that killer app scarce and expensive.
** According to the ITU-R 4G spec, mobile 4G is 100MBPS peak. Nothing approaching this is offered by so called mobile 4G providers.