Monday, August 31
One of the long-standing challenges for online, user-generated encyclopedia Wikipedia has been ensuring facts added to the site are indeed factual. While editor communities and verification have helped in that regard, the sheer number of new facts and articles added to the site every day continues to remain a challenge. Now, as Read Write Web reports, Wikipedia is taking steps to better keep users informed when new facts are added or changed. The plan: Color-coding recent edits until they receive confirmation.
After continual and powerful 3G upgrades, fourth generation (4G) wireless, based on the Long Term Evolution standard, and Wi-Max deployments will boost mobile bandwidth at least another 20-fold beginning in 2012.
Swanson, Bret. “Bandwidth Boom: Measuring U.S. Communications Capacity from 2000 to 2008.” Entropy Economics, June 24, 2009.
More facts about mobile broadband.
Friday, August 28
The late Senator Ted Kennedy wasn’t just the “Lion of the Senate,” he was also the first Senator to use the Internet to communicate with his constituents.
The FCC has already conducted 16 on the national broadband plan. But they’re not stopping there. Multichannel News is reporting that more workshops will be occurring through September and on into the fall.
Some of the topics proposed: the role of content, cyber security, and civil rights.
On March 15, 1985, the very first domain name—Symbolics.com—was registered.
Now, nearly 25 years later, the name has at last been sold. Via TechCrunch comes a little history on the name and the company behind it:
Symbolics, Inc - a spinoff from the MIT AI Lab - was a computer manufacturer headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts and later in Concord, Massachusetts, that designed and manufactured a line of Lisp machines, single-user computers optimized to run the Lisp programming language. The machines became the first commercially available “general-purpose computers” or “workstations” way before those terms were coined.
The company also offered one of the premier software development environments of the 1980s and 1990s, now sold commercially as Open Genera for Tru64 UNIX on the HP Alpha.
Symbolics, Inc. eventually went bankrupt, but surprisingly, the domain remained intact.
Thursday, August 27
Having trouble keeping up in the fast-moving world of tech terminology? Business Week is there to help, with an entertaining list called “12 Words You Can Never Say in the Office.”
When it comes to a national broadband plan, spurring demand is just as important as providing access.
That was one of the messages delivered to the FCC during yesterday’s broadband workshop, reports Broadcasting & Cable.
With the (twice extended) deadline for the initial round of federal broadband grants having come and gone, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration has released some numbers. From the NTIA release:
• More than 260 applications were filed solely with NTIA’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP), requesting over $5.4 billion in grants to fund broadband infrastructure projects in unserved and underserved areas.
• More than 400 applications were filed solely with RUS’s Broadband Initiatives Program (BIP), requesting nearly $5 billion in grants and loans for broadband infrastructure projects in rural areas.
• More than 830 applications were filed with both NTIA’s BTOP and RUS’s BIP, requesting nearly $12.8 billion in infrastructure funding. (Applicants for infrastructure projects in rural areas must apply to BIP but were given the opportunity to jointly apply to BTOP in case RUS declines to fund their application.)
• More than 320 applications were filed with NTIA requesting nearly $2.5 billion in grants from BTOP for projects that promote sustainable demand for broadband services, including projects to provide broadband education, awareness, training, access, equipment or support, particularly among vulnerable population groups where broadband technology has traditionally been underutilized. (The Recovery Act directs NTIA to make at least $250 million available for programs that encourage sustainable adoption of broadband services, of which up to $150 million is allocated in this first round of grants.)
• More than 360 applications were filed with NTIA requesting more than $1.9 billion in grants from BTOP for public computer center projects, which will expand access to broadband service and enhance broadband capacity at public libraries, community colleges, and other institutions that provide the benefits of broadband to the general public or specific vulnerable populations. (The Recovery Act directs NTIA to make at least $200 million available for expanding public computer center capacity, of which up to $50 million is allocated in this first round of grants.)
All told, over 2,000 applications for grants were submitted. As for what companies and groups applied, the site Unstrung has started compiling a handy list.
Wednesday, August 26
From the Wall Street Journal comes the heartwarming story of a stolen bike, an angry bike owner, and a plea over Facebook that eventually led to the bike being recovered and its thief arrested.
GigaOm looks at a promotion by online retail giant Amazon for small and cheap digital camcorders and wonders whether an explosion in their popularity will lead to headaches for Internet Service Providers. Since footage from the camcorders is meant to be downloaded to computers and shared with others—over email, through social networking sites, etc.—the more popular (and cheaper) they get, the more data could potentially be traveling through the “tubes.”
What’s interesting about this is that it casts a light on a major challenge both for ISPs and America’s digital infrastructure. Expanding and beefing up networks is expensive and time consuming, and while digital camcorders won’t likely grind the web to a halt, they are just one of the many ways data-intensive video is now making its way online. Because of this, investment in capacity should not only be made, but heavily encouraged. Otherwise, we risk the Internet backbone not being able to keep up with innovation.