Wednesday, June 10
Forbes has an interesting profile of Ovidui-Ionut Nicola-Roman, a 23-year-old online “phishing” scammer who in March became the first foreigner extradited to the United States for cybercriminal activity:
The dismantling of the phishing scheme involving Nicola-Roman is an example of American law enforcement’s increasingly cozy relationship with foreign cybercrime investigations. Along with the 23-year-old Nicola-Roman, authorities arrested 37 other members of that cybercriminal ring last May. Those globally dispersed defendants were based in countries stretching from the U.S. to Romania to Pakistan.
Nicola-Roman has been sentenced to 50 months in prison. But with a reported 5 million Americans still being scammed online each year, he’s just a drop in the global cybercrime bucket.
Online video content has proved hard to fully track. YouTube has been especially tough to nail down, since Google traditionally keeps numbers quiet. Recently, ComScore released data stating YouTube streams total somewhere around 7 billion videos per month in the U.S. alone, or close to 225 million streams a day.
That’s a lot of video passing through the pipes. But according to TechCrunch, YouTube’s global streams are even more startling:
[T]he real number of streams/day, we’ve now confirmed with a source at Google, is above 1.2 billion/day worldwide. That matches what we’ve heard from other sources. That pretty much means everyone on the Internet, on average, is watching one YouTube video per day.
TechCrunch estimates that the total number of videos being streamed online around the world is now close to 80 billion a month. Think about that: 80 billion videos being streamed over networks each and every month. That’s 960 billion videos a year.
Those numbers aren’t going to go down; they are only going to increase. As the Federal government crafts a national broadband strategy, it is essential that they and we consider the Nets’ rapid evolution to a video platform.
Tuesday, June 09
The Wall Street Journal reports that Cisco Systems is warning that Internet traffic is set to explode by five times the current amount within the next five years. The reason: Internet video.
By 2013, Cisco expect Internet traffic—in this case a broad category that includes delivery of content to televisions and mobile phones—to reach about 56 exabytes per month, up from about nine exabytes per month in 2008. (For those who don’t speak geek, an exabyte is the technical way of saying an insanely large amount of data; there’s a no-doubt apocryphal story on Wikipedia that a study once found that all the words spoken in all of history would only make up about five exabytes.)
In a move to cut spending, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is phasing out school textbooks and embracing online education. Reports the BBC:
From the beginning of the next school year in August, maths and science students in California’s high schools will have access to online texts that have passed an academic standards review.
The governor says digital textbooks can be updated easily - so learning keeps pace with progress.
You can learn more about online education in the IIA Broadband Fact Book.
Yesterday was the deadline for comment to the FCC on the federal broadband stimulus. IIA’s NOI entry is above. And PC Mag has a handy breakdown of entries from industry heavy hitters such as Google, Comcast, and AT&T.
Monday, June 08
Let’s take a trip down memory lane with this relic from 1994, when Joshua Quittner of wired contacted various corporate spokespeople and asked them why their companies weren’t yet on the Internet. Hilarity ensued:
I’m waiting for a call back from McDonald’s, the hamburger people. They’re trying to find me someone - anyone - within corporate headquarters who knows what the Internet is and can tell me why there are no Golden Arches on the information highway.
It’s true: there is no mcdonalds.com on the Internet. No burger_king.com either.
“Are you finding that the Internet is a big thing?” asked Jane Hulbert, a helpful McDonald’s media-relations person, with whom I spoke a short while ago.
Yes, I told her. In some quarters, the Internet is a very big thing.
Hard to believe that was just 15 years ago.
(Via The Agitator.)
Today’s USA Today has an extensive article on the pressing need to connect rural America with broadband. Check it out.
Friday, June 05
Some encouraging news from the Federal Trade Commission:
A rogue Internet Service Provider that recruits, knowingly hosts, and actively participates in the distribution of spam, child pornography, and other harmful electronic content has been shut down by a district court judge at the request of the Federal Trade Commission. The ISP’s upstream providers and data centers have disconnected its servers from the Internet.
According to the FTC, the defendant, Pricewert LLC, which does business under a variety of names including 3FN and APS Telecom, actively recruits and colludes with criminals seeking to distribute illegal, malicious, and harmful electronic content including child pornography, spyware, viruses, trojan horses, phishing, botnet command and control servers, and pornography featuring violence, bestiality, and incest. The FTC alleges that the defendant advertised its services in the darkest corners of the Internet, including a forum established to facilitate communication between criminals.
The complaint alleges that Pricewert actively shielded its criminal clientele by either ignoring take-down requests issued by the online security community, or shifting its criminal elements to other Internet protocol addresses it controlled to evade detection.
The Louisiana House of Representatives has voted to place a 15¢ monthly charge on statewide Internet service in order to fund online crime prevention. Reports the Washington Post:
The charge on Internet access would begin in 2010, charged to users on their monthly bill. Public libraries and public schools would be exempt. The dollars would flow into an “Internet Crimes Investigation Fund” for Caldwell’s office to investigate online sex crimes, online child pornography and Internet fraud schemes.
The tax now moves to the Senate. Governor Bobby Jindal is apparently against it.
Bing, Microsoft’s new entry in the Internet search war, has gotten off to a good start—according to StatCounter, it’s currently the second ranked search engine, leaping ahead of Yahoo. And as Read Write Web reports, it’s doing it by taking on the big boy:
What is interesting, though, is that Bing is mostly taking market share from Google, while the stats for Yahoo Search and AOL have remained stable. According to StatCount, Bing reached a 15.6% market share in the U.S. yesterday (Live Search never made it past 7%), while Google’s share was down almost 6%.