Monday, August 03
Broadband Census interviewed IIA Co-Chairman Bruce Mehlman about the state of broadband in America and the push for a national broadband plan. From the story:
Internet Innovation Alliance Co-chairman Bruce Mehlman, who was assistant secretary of Commerce for technology policy during the most recent Bush administration, told BroadbandCensus.com that although many parties with an interest in the debate are displeased with the National Telecommunication and Information Administration’s broadband initiative, the state of the nation’s broadband is not dire.
“Speeds have gone up, prices have gone down, percentages of populations served have expanded,” he said.
But he noted that “the tenor of many of the comments [to the broadband plan] is that the sky is falling and America is the broadband Banana Republic.”
Mehlman also talks about Jonathan Orszag’s recent study, “The Substantial Consumer Benefits of Broadband Connectivity for U.S. Households,” and how it shows broadband is an “experience good” for people—meaning, the more people experience the benefits of broadband, the more they want it.
In other IIA media news, the Philadelphia Inquirer recently asked Co-Chairman Larry Irving his thoughts on new FCC head Julius Genachowski. The full article is worth checking out.
Geoff Daily of App-Rising brings up a good point: communities that land under the category of un-served and underserved should be educating their citizens about the benefits of broadband. And they should start doing it right away.
Ending one of the more curious relationships in the tech industry, Google CE Eric Schmidt has resigned from Apple’s board of directors.
The latest country to push for a national broadband plan? Estonia.
Close to 50% of “smart phones” now have Wi-Fi, in addition to fast access over mobile phone networks.
Swanson, Bret. “Bandwidth Boom: Measuring U.S. Communications Capacity from 2000 to 2008.” Entropy Economics, June 24, 2009.
Read the entire “Bandwidth Boom” study (PDF).
Friday, July 31
Alcohol companies have long been restrained when it comes to advertising on television, their pitches relegated to cable—and only then during hours when kids are likely to be tucked into bed. But now, Advertising Age reports, Brown-Forman, owners of Southern Comfort, are ditching TV altogether and instead taking their advertising dollars online:
Last year, SoCo spent $6 million of its $8 million measured media outlay on cable TV, and another $1.5 million on magazine ads. This year, both those numbers will drop to zero in favor of online properties such as Facebook, Spin, Fader, Pitchfork, Thrillist and Hulu.
The move won’t just allow Southern Comfort to be advertised on more popular shows, it will help distance the brand from competitors. Whether Southern Comfort will partner with iBooze, however, remains to be seen.
As part of building a national broadband plan, the FCC has planned workshops to gather ideas and educate the public. Reports PC World:
The workshops will be open to the public and will be webcast online, the FCC said. Key stakeholders attending the workshops will include broadband service providers, equipment providers, applications providers and community groups, the FCC said.
Among the topics the FCC will explore in the workshops: e-government, opportunities for disadvantaged businesses, deployment challenges, broadband for health care, and communities that have low broadband adoption rates.
The full list of broadband workshop topics is available on the FCC’s broadband page.
The New York Times “Bits” blog on a smart new way to put telemedicine in action: online therapy for veterans and their families:
Beginning August 1 in Hawaii, TriWest Healthcare Alliance, which provides health care for a third of military service members and their families, will use American Well to put soldiers and their family members face to face with psychologists and psychiatrists over the Web.
The service is part of a program mandated by the Department of Defense to address soldiers’ mental health. Accessing mental health services quickly, conveniently and privately is important for service members, said David J. McIntyre, Jr., chief executive of TriWest.
More information on the Internet and health care can be found in the IIA Broadband Fact Book.
Thursday, July 30
With over 11 million monthly subscribers, the online game World of Warcraft is a force to be reckoned with. It’s also, for many players, an addiction. Enter Dr. Richard Graham, a London psychiatrist, who is proposing an innovative way to help treat players who just can’t get enough: Providing therapy for WoW addiction in the game itself.
Add British intelligence agency MI5—the home of James Bond—to the growing list of government agency websites that have been hacked. ZDNet has the scoop:
Last week, a hacker with the handle ‘[-TE-]-Neo’ wrote that the MI5 website was vulnerable to cross-site scripting and Iframe injection. The hacker put the post on the Team Elite hacker forum last Tuesday, claiming the site was breachable through the search engine. Team Elite notified MI5’s administrator of the flaw before posting proof-of-concept code.
MI5 says no sensitive material could be accessed through the hack, but they moved quickly to fix the problem anyway.