- European mobile operators say big sites need to pay for users’ data demands (Guardian) — it’s like the postal service demanding that envelope makers pay them because they’re not making enough money just selling stamps. What idiocy.
- Grace Programming Language — language designers working on a new teaching language.
- Gawker Media’s Entire Database Hacked — 1.5M usernames and passwords, plus content from their databases, in a torrent. What’s your plan to minimize the harm of an event like this, and to recover? (via Andy Baio)
- Macmillan Do Interesting Stuff (Cameron Neylon) — have acquired some companies that provide software tools to support scientists, and are starting a new line of business around it. I like it because it’s a much closer alignment of scientists’ interests with profit motive than, say, journals. Timo Hannay, who heads it, runs Science Foo Camp with Google and O’Reilly.
Mobile Clawback, Language Design, Gawker Hacked, and Science Tools
I’ve puzzled over Google’s Fiber project ever since they announced it. It seemed too big, too hubristic (even for a company that’s already big and has earned the right to hubris) — and also not a business Google would want to be in. But the FCC’s announcement of their plans to widen broadband Internet access in the US puts Google Fiber in a new context. The FCC’s plans are cast in terms of upgrading and expanding the network infrastructure. That’s a familiar debate, and Google is a familiar participant. This is really just an extension of the “network neutrality” debate that has been going on with fits and starts over the past few years.
lectronic record systems need all kinds of underlying support. Your
patient doesn't want to hear, "You need an antibiotic right away, but
we'll order it tomorrow when our IT guy comes in to reboot the
system." Your accounts manager would be almost as upset if you told
her that billing will be delayed for the same reason.
So That's What All of Google's Dark Fiber Was For
In a week already full of Google announcements, another bomb was casually dropped today via Google’s blog. The Borg from California announced that it was experimentally entering the Fiber to the Curb (FTTC) market, and that they planned to offer much higher speeds than current offerings (1Gb/sec) and competitive pricing. The announcement also talks about what, when you remove the marketspeak, is a commitment to net neutrality in their service. This, of course, is not surprising, given Google’s strong lobbying for neutrality to the FCC and congress.
Opponents can shed their rhetoric and reveal new depths to their thought when you bring them together for rapid-fire exchanges, sometimes with their faces literally inches away from each other. That made it worth my while to truck down to the MIT Media Lab for yesterday’s Workshop on Innovation, Investment and the Open Internet, sponsored by the Federal Communications Commission. The event showed that innovation and investment are not always companions on the Internet. An in-depth look at the current state of the debate over competition and network neutrality.
Global Broadband, A/B Testing Stats, Streaming with SSDs, Online Videos Sell
- OECD Broadband Portal — global data on broadband penetration and pricing available from June 2009.
- Easy Statistics for A/B Testing — it really is easy. And it mentions hamsters. This is worth reading. (via Hacker News)
- last.fm’s SSD Streaming Infrastructure — Each single SSD can support around 7000 concurrent listeners, and the serving capacity of the machine topped out at around 30,000 concurrent connections in it’s tested configuration. Lots of hardware and OS configuration geeking here, it’s great. (via Hacker News)
- Videos Sell More Product — Zappos sells 6-30% more merchandise when accompanied by video demos. By the end of next year, Zappos will have ten full working video studios, with the goal of producing around 50,000 product videos by 2010, up from the 8,000 videos they have on the site today (via johnclegg on Twitter)
Finland makes broadband access a right, $7 billion US stimulus for rural broadband improvements
As our economy continues to lose mass in favor of information-based goods (U.S. exports lost 50% of their physical weight per dollar from 1993 to 1999*) and we continue to see the decoupling of workforce from workplace, connectivity is a critical factor in economic exchange and competitive advantage. Countries that build wide, fast networks to the last mile will have a huge leg up. This week gave us two reasons to reconsider the state of broadband connectivity in the US.
The FCC is charged with creating a National Broadband Plan in 2010. But how can we plan for the future is we don't know where we are? Here, we propose a crowd-sourced National Communications Census.