Tag Archives: Broadband

Neuromarketing — You’re Doing It Wrong


By Douglas van Praet – By better understanding the real motives of our decisions we can facilitate a non-zero sum exchange, creating both powerful brands and satisfied customers.

As neuroscientist Read Montague explains, “Evolution has essentially bootstrapped our penchant for intellectual concepts to the same reward circuits that govern our animal appetites.

“The guy who’s on hunger strike for some political cause is still relying on his midbrain dopamine neurons, just like a monkey getting a sweet treat.” more> http://tinyurl.com/p59ffky

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The Debate Over Net Neutrality Has Its Roots in the Fight Over Radio Freedom


By Clive Thompson – The idea of transmitting sound waves through the air caught on especially after the experiments of the Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconi [2, 3, 4, 5, 6] in the late 19th century.

With relatively small amounts of power, someone at home could broadcast for dozens of miles. Magazines printed schematics. “Any boy can own a real wireless station, if he really wants to,” urged The Book of Wireless.

The early amateurs had no fixed schedules. They’d broadcast a song—and then go silent for minutes, even hours, because they had nothing else lined up.

At first, the idea of making money off radio seemed profane.

This attitude did not last, however. By the mid-1920s, larger and more professional stations and networks, such as AT&T’s National Broadcasting System, were emerging. They realized advertising could be a gold mine. On August 29, 1922, the large Manhattan station WEAF ran one of the world’s first radio ads. more> http://tinyurl.com/krta3q7

Google Is Target of European Backlash on U.S. Tech Dominance


By Danny Hakim – Across Europe, Google has been under fire, reflecting the broader challenges facing American technology companies. Google, fairly or not, has become a glaring proxy for criticism of an intrusive American government and concern over America’s unmatched technology dominance.

Much has changed since Google was founded in the late 1990s. It was once viewed as an idealistic start-up whose credo was “Don’t Be Evil.”

“For politicians in Europe, it’s clear they have to act and regulate the way Google dominates the market.” more> http://tinyurl.com/ojf4vmn

My Rural Broadband Journey


BOOK REVIEW

My Rural Broadband Journey: the one year trail to high-speed, Author: Claire Perez.

By Claire Perez – I wrote a blog about my quest for rural broadband and it is now a book.

I live ten miles from Cornell University and .6 miles from a wired connection to high-speed.  In 2011, wanting to utilize my recent Communications degree from the Park School at Ithaca College, I realized I was doomed without high-speed Internet.

I decided that I would drill down and find out what stood between our home and that wired connection, .6 miles down the road.  I thought a blog would be a good vehicle for recording my findings.

I began locally:  what did our local cable company really mean by a “survey to see how much we would have to pay for a connection? what was the franchise agreement with our local government? and why wasn’t the state and federal government helping me get connected under the rural broadband initiative?”

Day by day, I dug through the Internet and made phone calls to get the answers to these questions.  It wasn’t pretty:  a survey was a peek around the neighborhood by the cable company; the franchise agreement was drawn up in the 1980s before Al Gore and others made Internet a household word; and the state and federal government were sort of helping.

In detail, I recorded this information on my blog.  The blog itself did not see millions of hits but it got around and the hits increased over 100 percent in one years time.  It was tweeted in Great Britain and on Topsy once, a South African said I had guts.  I think there he was referring to all the things I explored and questions I asked.  

I researched and dug:  why did our cable company wire 50 miles in Maine for the same price as 12 miles in upstate?  why isn’t there a comprehensive  plan to connect the country?  and really what is the problem:  is it that we can’t put the collective brains in the US together to solve this problem or is that the invisible hand of the free market keeps pushing the heads of those trying under water as they keep rising to the surface to gasp for air.

In the end, I found assistance through the Tompkins County Legislature’s Special Committee on Broadband.  A group of people researched the issues and made applying for grants through government broadband initiatives doable.  But unless a community has the drive to do such work, the average citizen faces the daily hassles that I recorded in my blog. (The committee’s report is online and could be very useful to other communities seeking solutions to rural broadband.)

As the quest fur rural broadband goes forward, I think of a point one of my professors used to ask us repeatedly at Ithaca College: 

“Why, you’ve got to ask the questions?  And they have to be the right questions?”

more> ruralbroadbandgazette.com

How Verizon lets its copper network decay to force phone customers onto fiber


By Jon Brodkin – Not everyone wants fiber, because, when it comes to voice calls, the newer technology doesn’t have all the benefits of the old copper phone network.

In particular, fiber doesn’t conduct electricity, where copper does. That means when your power goes out, copper landlines might keep working for days or weeks by drawing electricity over the lines, while a phone that relies on fiber will only last as long as its battery. That’s up to eight hours for Verizon’s most widely available backup system.

“Verizon’s efforts to force people off copper in my area of Rhode Island rise to the level of harassment,” Verizon customer Karen Anne Kolling of North Kingstown, Rhode Island, told Ars. more> http://tinyurl.com/o5jvv5n

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Your Wi-Fi Router Might Flood Your House


[ SMARTER HOME ]

By Leonid Bershidsky – The Internet of Things is a bigger danger than most people realize: Pretty much all home Wi-Fi routers can easily be hacked, which is a problem if you’re an early adopter of connected light bulbs and faucets.

The routers are often made with cheap components, programmed sloppily just so that everything works, and released into the stores. There is no incentive for the manufacturers to update the firmware, which is often years older than the hardware on which it runs.

Since manufacturers don’t track the devices, the only way to install patches when they are released is to do it manually.

When was the last time you did this, or even checked the availability of new router firmware? more> http://tinyurl.com/k947lqj

The Social Laboratory



By Shane Harris – “In Singapore, the threshold for surveillance is deemed relatively higher,” according to one RAHS (Risk Assessment and Horizon Scanning) study, with the majority of citizens having accepted the “surveillance situation” as necessary for deterring terrorism and “self-radicalization.”

Singaporeans speak, often reverently, of the “social contract” between the people and their government. They have consciously chosen to surrender certain civil liberties and individual freedoms in exchange for fundamental guarantees: security, education, affordable housing, health care. more> http://tinyurl.com/pwu8ggb