While Senator Al Franken continues to throw a fit over wireless carriers spying on their customers, we learn about yet another fed program to illegally monitor communications. Dear Senator while carrier behavior is abominable, please get your own house in order first. Those of us who care about our privacy still have more than two carriers to chose from – at least until you and your cronies take that freedom away too. Meanwhile, lawyers start a gold rush trying to cash in.
The many benefits of being a Protect IP supporter (if you’re a member of Congress). In reality it’s another attempt to extend the life of a zombie business model using government to impede progress. Meanwhile DHS continues to seize domains outside of its jurisdiction.
The high cost of outsourcing manufacturing? Sooner than any so called expert would have predicted, $99 Android 4.0 tablet using a home grown Chinese CPU becomes reality. While it’s aimed at its home market, the impact will be felt in the west, much sooner than expected.
The wireless business as we know it should have ended with the smartphone. It did not because of tight handset control by a small cartel of service providers. This cartel succeeded in locking up the supply of devices largely by denying access to their networks with third party devices. By leveraging a tight knit relationship with regulators and lawmakers, these companies have also successfully locked up the lions share of wireless spectrum for their exclusive use. This same cartel is now clamoring to lock up more of the most useful airwaves even as they hold currently hold spectrum that is not being utilized. Lawmakers who have an unending need to spend more welcome the idea of a new windfall from yet another auction to exclusively assign public airwaves to the cartel.
Meanwhile, back in the real world, wireless carriers are aggressively offloading increased data traffic to narrow, increasingly overcrowded unlicensed WiFi networks. The reason isn’t hard to figure out. If more traffic can be pushed onto someone else’s network they can still charge large without building adequate infrastructure. Why not allow more unlicensed frequencies? Congress wants more money, and the carriers do not want an abundance of open spectrum available. That would encourage a whole new wave of competition that will demand new investment while pushing down prices. Make no mistake about it: The growing abundance of cheap WiFi only tablets and entertainment devices that do more than the carriers’ locked handsets could spell doom if the availability of WiFi grows.
I’m not the lone wolf howling on this open spectrum soapbox. Yochai Benkler at Technology Review seems to agree with me on most major points and has several good ones to add. Open spectrum is not being discussed by lawmakers because it does not benefit them. The next wave of wireless could lift all ships, including those of pols and a cartel. They need to get out of the way to make it happen, and they need to hear from all of us to make it so.
IBM names it’s new CEO. Virginia Rometty is a 30 year IBM’er who came up through the ranks. The press is making a big deal out of the fact Ginny’s a woman, missing equally important information. While she’s IBM’s first female CEO, Rometty is also singularly qualified to drive the company’s continued success because she knows it’s business and it’s customers. HP’s board and Meg Whitman must be even more green with envy.
Meanwhile back at HP’s product development center, ARM based servers are being readied. Boardroom IBM envy aside, the engineers at HP can still do cutting edge. Dell and IBM are certain to follow their lead.
Spam style lawsuits may be history for copyright trolls. When you stop feeding trolls, they usually go foraging elsewhere.
Padded resumes that land big, important IT Jobs: New US CIO wants to run the feds’ systems like a startup. OH well, if he doesn’t work out, I hear Leo Apothecar is available.
Senate gone wild: Protect IP act keeps on moving forward, and keeps looking scarier. Never mind individual rights, Reid, McConnel and their pampered bubble dwelling minions take care of cronies first. What’s at risk? An open Internet.
Junk research at it’s worst: Forrester declares the end of Linux. What’s next? A documentary by Al Gore?
Crowdsourcing astronomy: New planet discoveries come from home based amateurs.
Google’s long rumored cloud drive gets closer to reality. Will it be monetized with ads the are eerily relevant to the files stored?
Big label music introduces a bargain priced shake down fine for file sharers. With free to cheap subscriptions dominating low sample rate music distribution, does this make any sense at all?
Dish wants in on wireless. If T Mobile really needs a buyer, here is a match that is far less anti-competitive. Regulators please take note.
Everything you need to know about the current handset patent mess.
Sprint sues to block AT&T / T Mobile. Maybe the small carriers like Metro PCS, and a few of the so called consumer advocacy groups should join in. AT&T still has the momentum. The DOJ suit only insures some concessions with more AT&T money for the Obama campaign. It’s time step up and put this very bad deal down with overwhelming force.
AT&T offers a few choice words in response. Those words obviously crafted for the grossly uniformed (like Congress)
US government ordered to reveal warrantless cell phone tracking cases. I wonder if the feds will try to plead the 5th amendment?
French PM says copyright Copyright trumps human rights. No matter how corrupt US pols get, the French seem to stay one step ahead of us. At least the French still get great broadband cheap.
UK delays 4G spectrum auction. I think they should open it up for 100% free, low power use and let the free for all of very cheap 4G begin.
Groupon IPO now in doubt. You can blame the bad market. With Sarbanes Oxley still in place, going public makes no sense for a company with double Groupon’s revenue.
As if things weren’t intense enough around AOL, Arianna Huffington and Michael Arrington continue to do battle. One has to wonder when AOL shareholders will start whacking management for endless bad decisions.
Conde Nast casts off Reddit. Could this be the beginning of the end for old media thinkling it has a better way to run mew media?
Yahoo boots Bartz. What took so long?