Contact Me By Email

Saturday, August 14, 2010

A Review of Verizon and Google's Net Neutrality Proposal | Electronic Frontier Foundation

A Review of Verizon and Google's Net Neutrality Proposal | Electronic Frontier Foundation
Efforts to protect net neutrality that involve government regulation have always faced one fundamental obstacle: the substantial danger that the regulators will cause more harm than good for the Internet. The worst case scenario would be that, in allowing the FCC to regulate the Internet, we open the door for big business, Hollywood and the indecency police to exert even more influence on the Net than they do now.
On Monday, Google and Verizon proposed a new legislative framework for net neutrality. Reaction to the proposal has been swift and, for the most part, highly critical. While we agree with many aspects of that criticism, we are interested in the framework's attempt to grapple with the Trojan Horse problem. The proposed solution: a narrow grant of power to the FCC to enforce neutrality within carefully specified parameters. While this solution is not without its own substantial dangers, we think it deserves to be considered further if Congress decides to legislate.
Unfortunately, the same document that proposed this intriguing idea also included some really terrible ideas. It carves out exemptions from neutrality requirements for so-called "unlawful" content, for wireless services, and for very vaguely-defined "additional online services." The definition of "reasonable network management" is also problematically vague. As many, many, many have already pointed out, these exemptions threaten to completely undermine the stated goal of neutrality.
Here's a more detailed breakdown of our initial thoughts:

Editorial - The Google/Verizon Payment Plan -

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...Image via CrunchBaseEditorial - The Google/Verizon Payment Plan -
For months, the Federal Communications Commission’s efforts to guarantee nondiscriminatory access to broadband Internet have met opposition from the companies that provide broadband service and from their allies in Congress. On Monday, Verizon and Google created a stir by jointly proposing an alternative set of rules as the basis for new legislation governing the Internet.
Every voice is valuable in this debate, and some of the ideas put forth by Google and Verizon are reasonable in principle. But the overall effect would dangerously limit the commission’s reach. That’s not where Congress should be headed. The F.C.C. should have an expanded role in regulating what is rapidly becoming the most important channel of communication in the world.
The Google/Verizon proposal gives broadband providers lots of leeway to offer preferential treatment to some and to choke off others. Most important, the two companies propose to exempt wireless communication from most government regulation — a serious error.
We strongly agreed with the principle articulated by President Obama and his F.C.C. chairman, Julius Genachowski, that the Internet should remain open on equal terms to all, a level playing field for Web sites big and small. Phone and cable companies claim that overregulation of broadband will stifle investment. They say the principle of “net neutrality” must be tempered by provisions to allow service providers to manage traffic on their pipes. This is not unreasonable in principle, if narrowly tailored to the problem. But the Verizon-Google proposal gives companies too much wiggle room.
They would allow broadband service providers to split the Internet into a high-end pipe for new types of zippier paid services and a lower-speed pipe carrying regular broadband. And they propose to bar only “undue” discrimination that causes “meaningful harm to competition or to users” of broadband. Providers would be allowed to manage their networks to address congestion, “ensure network security or integrity,” to “prioritize general classes or types of Internet traffic,” to “ensure service quality” and more.
The companies propose freeing wireless broadband — the fastest growing part of the Internet — from any antidiscrimination restrictions. Verizon, which markets phones running Google’s Android operating system, might, for instance, find it lucrative to one day block Microsoft’s search engine, Bing.
This is not an adequate framework to guide Internet policy, especially in a market as concentrated as the United States, where Verizon and AT&T control about 60 percent of wireless subscribers and 80 percent of Americans live in areas with only two wireline broadband providers. Consumers will lose if wireless goes unregulated.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Reporters' Roundtable: Net neutrality | Reporters' Roundtable Podcast - CNET Blogs

Reporters' Roundtable: Net neutrality | Reporters' Roundtable Podcast - CNET Blogs

Today we're talking about an issue that's been in the news a lot in the past few days: Net neutrality -- the concept of a network infrastructure that is nondiscriminatory when it comes to types and sources and the content of Internet traffic. To support Net neutrality is to support freedom, openness, fair competition, and economic growth, according to supporters. On the other hand, somebody's got to pay for the Internet, both its wires and its wireless towers and radios. Who should that be? And if someone's paying for it, shouldn't they have some say in what goes over their equipment? Isn't telling businesses what they have to do with their privately built infrastructure antibusiness, antigrowth, and short-sighted?
That's the fundamental argument over Net neutrality, and there are some interesting specifics being added to the dialogue. Most recently, Google and Verizon produced what the two companies want to serve as a framework for Net neutrality going forward. AT&T has endorsed this proposal. Facebook has come out against it.
Today we're going to talk about these developments, and look at Net neutrality overall. How we got to where we are, where we're going, and who the actors are in the debate.
My guests today are two regular writers on the topic. First, here in the studio, Larry Downes, a well-known writer and thinker about emerging technology and policy issues. He's the author of the books "Laws of Disruption" and "Unleashing the Killer App," and writes frequently on CNET as well as on other publications about Net neutrality.
Joining us from our New York bureau is CNET writer Maggie Reardon. Maggie reports regularly on telecommunications policy and technology issues for CNET, and was on our show most recently about a month ago when we were discussing the iPhone 4 antenna issues.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

From the Desk of David Pogue - Three Unknown Features of the iPhone 4 -

From the Desk of David Pogue - Three Unknown Features of the iPhone 4 -
It seems as though Apple dodged a bullet. Ever since the Steve Jobs press conference a couple of weeks ago, in which Apple offered free carrying casesbumpers (or full refunds) to anyone whose iPhone 4 exhibits the signal-drops-when-you-hold-the-phone-a-certain-way problem, the jeering and mockery online seems to have gone into hibernation.
Meanwhile, enough time has passed, and enough millions of people have been playing with their iPhones, that a critical mass of tricks and tips have started to pile up. Here's a look at three cool iOS 4 features that nobody, including Apple, seems to be talking about.
* Unified Contacts. The iPhone (and iPod Touch) can sync up with different accounts. The Contacts app might list three different sets of names and numbers: one stored on your phone, one from a MobileMe account, and a third from your corporate Exchange server at work. In the old days, certain names might show up in the All Contacts list two or three times, which isn't helpful.
In iOS 4, the iPhone displays each person's name only once in the All Contacts list. If you tap that name, you open up a Unified Info screen for that person. It includes all the details from ALL of the underlying cards from that person. All of the phone numbers, for example, are tidily rounded up into a single list.
To see which cards the iPhone is combining, scroll to the bottom of the card. There, the Linked Cards section shows you which cards have been unified.
Here, you can tap a listing to open the corresponding card in the corresponding account. You can also unlink one of the cards. For that matter, you can manually link a card, too; Tap Edit, tap Link Contact, and then choose a contact to link to this unified card -- even if the name isn't a perfect match.

US Broadband Victim of Vicious Circle - PCWorld Business Center

US Broadband Victim of Vicious Circle - PCWorld Business Center
A study from the Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project finds that the rate of broadband adoption in the United States has slowed, and that a majority of Americans feel that the National Broadband Plan should not be a government priority. Broadband expansion may be just what the country needs to get back on track, though.
According to the study, 53 percent of those surveyed feel that broadband expansion is not an important priority for the United States government, or shouldn't be attempted at all. However, 65 percent believe that lack of broadband is a disadvantage when it comes to finding out about job opportunities or gaining new career skills, 62 percent feel lack of broadband is a disadvantage for those seeking health information, and 56 percent think that lack of broadband is a disadvantage for gaining access to government services.
This is sad because America is already behind many countries in broad band access and speed. After living in South Korea for over two years it is difficult to adjust to paying the same cost for brandband and dropping from 18GPS upload and download per second to 6GBS download and 2GBS upload in metropolitan Atlanta. We really need to build a new, modern, fast backbone for truly high speed internet access nationally. It is really an issue of international competitiveness.
John H. Armwood

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Pixelmator Team Pixelmator Photography Software Review | Macworld

Pixelmator Team Pixelmator Photography Software Review | Macworld

You don’t have to be a photo nerd to know that Photoshop is the undisputed king of image editing. But Photoshop is also very expensive, so unless you can use the program to make money, the $699 price tag can be difficult to justify.

While iPhoto is a good alternative, it’s a little lacking when it comes to advanced image editing features. That’s why many photographers have opted for Pixelmator and it's $59 price tag (the new version is available as a free upgrade for existing Pixelmator users). Now, with the release of version 1.6, code named Nucleus, this full-featured image editor wrapped in a Photoshop-like interface is even more appealing.
This fast and easy to use program is my favorite image editor.

John H. Armwood

The Best Web Browser: Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera, or Safari? - PCWorld

Image representing Google Chrome as depicted i...Image via CrunchBase
The Best Web Browser: Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera, or Safari? - PCWorld

Not too long ago the job of a Web browser was simple: Get the text from the Internet and pour it into the window. If a tag like comes along, change the font. Now the challenges are greater because the browser is becoming the home for almost everything we do. Do you have documents to edit? There's a website for that. Did you miss a television show? There's a website for that. Do you want to announce your engagement? There's a website for that too. The Web browser handles all of that and more.

Choosing a best browser is an impossible job. On one hand, the programs are as close to commodities as there are in the computer industry. The core standards are pretty solid and the job of rendering the document is well understood. Most differences can be smoothed over when the Web designers use cross-platform libraries like jQuery. Many websites look the same in all of the major browsers, a testament to the hard work of the developers and their desire to get their information out to the largest audience.
For me and many others the answer is Google's Chrome 5. Nothing else come close. The worst is easily Internet Explorer. The current versions of Safari and Firefox are good but Chrome 5 is simply better. It is very fast, stable and flexible.

John H. Armwood

US-CERT Current Activity

US-CERT Current Activity

Apple Releases Updates for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad

Apple has released iOS 4.0.2 for the iPhone and iPod touch and iOS 3.2.2 for the iPad to address vulnerabilities in the FreeType and IOSurface packages. Exploitation of these vulnerabilities may allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code or gain system privileges.

iPhone and iPod touch users are encouraged to review Apple article HT4291 and upgrade to iOS 4.0.2. iPad users are encouraged to review Apple article HT4292 and upgrade to iOS 3.2.2. Additional information regarding the vulnerability affecting the FreeType package can be found in US-CERT Vulnerability Note VU#275247.

Police in South Korea Raid Google’s Office -

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...Image via CrunchBase
Police in South Korea Raid Google’s Office -

SEOUL, South Korea — The South Korean police raided the offices of Google Korea on Tuesday as part of an investigation into whether the company had illegally collected and stored personal wireless data.

The search company is already facing lawsuits and investigations in several countries in connection with private wireless data collected for its Street View service. Street View, which was started in 2006, allows users to view panoramic street scenes on Google Maps and take virtual walks through cities.

From late last year until May, Google Korea dispatched cars topped with cameras to cruise around the country to photograph neighborhoods before the planned introduction of Street View.

The police suspect that those cars might have illegally captured and stored personal data from wireless networks while they were mapping streets, a statement by the Cyber Terror Response Center of the Korean National Police Agency said.

“We will investigate Google Korea officials and scrutinize the data we confiscated today” to see whether the company violated the country’s laws on communications and privacy, it said.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Microsoft updates Office for Mac 2004, 2008 | MacNN

Microsoft updates Office for Mac 2004, 2008 | MacNN

While Office for Mac users continue to wait for the Office 2011 release later this year, Microsoft has released maintenance updates for the existing 2004 and 2008 variants. Office for Mac 2004 v11.6.0 features improved security, with a number of fixes for vulnerabilities.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Google And Verizon CEOs Unveil Proposed Net-Neutrality Policy : All Tech Considered : NPR

Google And Verizon CEOs Unveil Proposed Net-Neutrality Policy : All Tech Considered : NPR

Google and Verizon announced Monday that the two companies had reached an agreement on a policy proposal surrounding net neutrality.

Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg.

In a conference call, Google CEO Eric Schmidt and Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg said the agreement lays out seven principles on how service providers can manage traffic.

The agreement states networks should be transparent about how they manage traffic and that they cannot degrade traffic or provide paid prioritization to any service on the public Internet. The policy does leave room for providers like Verizon to create "additional, differentiated online services."

Seidenberg explained that includes services like Verizon's FIOS TV or hypothetically could include something like a Metropolitan Opera 3D broadcast of a performance.

Some companies, he said, may not want to transmit something like that over the Internet, so they want the ability to be able to provide a differentiated service.

That said, Seidenberg added, these services could not be "designed to circumvent the rules."

Schmidt said that Google "loves the public Internet" and that neither Google nor any of its properties like YouTube would be providing any services outside of the public Internet.

What is net neutrality? Net neutrality is about preventing high-speed Internet providers from discriminating against certain sorts of providers or users of their network. For a hundred years, we've treated communications providers like sidewalks. The sidewalks can't choose between different walkers and have them travel at different speeds.

-- Alan Greenblatt

The big caveat in the proposed policy is that the Federal Communications Commission could enforce these rules only in the wireline world. Wireless broadband would be exempt from all the rules, except that the service providers would be required to be transparent about their network management.

In the conference call, Seidenberg said the two companies came to this proposal after conversations with FCC, including its chairman, and other service providers.

Verizon said is set to begin abiding by the policy proposal, even before the FCC takes any action.

BBC News - Skype files for $100m US flotation

Skype Technologies S.A. logoImage via Wikipedia

BBC News - Skype files for $100m US flotation:

Internet phone firm Skype has filed for an initial public offering in the US.

The Luxembourg-based company hopes to raise up to $100m (£63m) in the stock market flotation.

Skype will sell American Depositary Shares - which represent shares in foreign companies - and expects to trade on the Nasdaq index.

Skype's software lets computer and mobile phone users talk to each other for free and make cut-price calls to mobiles and landlines.

The company did not specify when its shares would go on sale, or at what price.

According to the regulatory filing, in the first half of 2010 Skype had 560 million registered users, who logged 95 billion minutes of voice and video calls.

Online auction site eBay bought Skype for $2.6bn in 2005, but sold 70% of the company for $2bn last year.

A group of private investors made up of private equity firm Silver Lake, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Andreessen Horowitz bought a 56% stake.

Joltid, a firm controlled by Skype founders Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis, owns a 14% stake.

In its filing, Skype said it made a net profit of $13.1m in the first six months of the year, but warned that it "may not maintain profitability".

The company reported a loss of $417.5m in 2009, thanks largely to legal costs in settling a dispute about the ownership of the technology it uses.

"We may incur net losses again and cannot assure you that we will be profitable in the future or that, if we are, we will be able to maintain profitability," the filing said.

Related articles by Zemanta

Sunday, August 08, 2010

SK Telecom to launch Korean first verified Commercial payment via Smartphone. « Akihabara News

SK Telecom to launch Korean first verified Commercial payment via Smartphone. « Akihabara News

SK Telecom announced this morning the rollout of their Korea first verified commercial payment via Smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy S running Android, where your credit cards data are securely stored on your USIM (CVC, Expiration Dates, Name, PIN…) allowing you to not only pay goods online and get debited on your credit card, but also to make payment in stores that are accepting SK Telecom RF technology.
Available via SK Telecom online T Store, this payment solution is accessible to all owner of Galaxy S smartphone as well as future android one using SK Telecom services.

Now the best part of this service is its name, MAGIC which stands for Mobility, AMazing, Good Prince, Infinitie… Yep, don’t know what are smoking over at SK Telecom but must be quite cheap for such lame name.

The Man Behind the iPhone 4 Has Left Apple

Image representing iPhone as depicted in Crunc...Image via CrunchBase
The Man Behind the iPhone 4 Has Left Apple

The person in charge of developing the hardware for the iPhone 4 has abruptly left Apple. Mark Papermaster's departure comes in the wake of a widely publicized problem with the design of this smartphone.

The device suffers from what's been called the "death grip" after users discovered that holding it in just the wrong way can greatly reduce wireless performance, in some cases cutting off phone calls.

The issue is bad enough that Apple has been forced to give free cases to everyone who has an iPhone 4 or purchases one for the next two months.

It's not clear is Papermaster has resigned on his own, or if he was pressured to leave.

He was originally hired away from IBM several years ago. IBM objected in federal court on the grounds that its former high-level executive knew proprietary trade information. After a long delay, Papermaster went to work for Apple in the spring of 2009.