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Obama's Tech Stimulus Plan: Health IT, Broadband, and Smart Grid

Steve Lohr has a nice piece in the New York Times ('Technology Gets a Piece of Stimulus,' 26 Jan 2009, p. C1) this morning about the role that technology and innovation will play in the economic recovery (aka stimulus) bill supported by the Obama Administration. In the past, health IT deployment has been approached as an engineering problem: what computers have to be part of which networks exchanging which types of data? This loses sight of the purpose of electronic medical records... more»

With the New US CTO, Why Not a New OCA: Office of Connectivity Advocacy

We need a positive strategy for assuring connectivity. Instead of trying to fix telecom we should be working to take advantage of what we have and build vital, even if mundane applications like telemedicine and broaden our access to information while empowering communities. By realizing the value in our existing infrastructure and encouraging the creativity we can provide immediate benefits to our economy and our safety. We need a "Connectivity Strategy" with a champion... more»

Carriers Are Trying to Take Back Control of the Home Network

With all the focus on neutrality in the provider networks we must not lose sight of what is happening in our own homes. As with some of the efforts to make the networks work better (as measured in the providers' paternalistic) view, their attempt to retake the home is about serving us better by reducing the operators' costs. "Better" is of course in terms of the operator's own measures. It's not quite the same as in 1995 when providers opposed home networks and want to charge us for each machine... more»

Julius Genachowski, FCC, and White Spaces: The Good and Not So Good News

Julius Genachowski, Obama's nominee to head the FCC, is a friend of Fred Wilson. Fred gives ten reasons why he likes the nominee on his blog. Genachowski was a top technology advisor to Obama during his campaign and reportedly advised the campaign on its superb use of the Internet. He is also a supporter of "net neutrality" although the devil is in the details on that issue. Even though the nominee is a lawyer, he has business experience as a VC, as an Internet executive, and as a board member of various Internet companies -- all good reasons to be hopeful about this very important policy post. That's the good news. The bad news from several days ago... more»

Why Government Investment in Broadband Is Justified Now

Bobbie Johnson, technology correspondent for The Guardian, was kind enough to quote me along with Vint Cerf (nice to be in good company) on the importance of building an online economy and an online government. Vint said: "You know how they say opportunity lies on the edge of chaos? Maybe that's going to be true here too." So far our telecommunications infrastructure has largely been privately built and financed. Why should that change now? It's unusual for government to do anything as well as the private sector. more»

CircleID's Top 10 Posts of 2008

Here is a list of the most viewed news and blog postings that were featured on CircleID in 2008... Best wishes for 2009 and Happy New Year from all of us here at CircleID. more»

The Meanings of Network Neutrality

Ed Felten has posted a nice taxonomy of the several meanings people take when they use the term Network Neutrality, briefly: End-to-End Design; Nonexclusionary Business Practice; Content Nondiscrimination ... I've been developing a taxonomy of issues that interact with and are bound with Network Neutrality. So far there are six items... more»

Undersea Cable Cuts, Internet Governance, and Lessons Learned

Early this month I attended the 3rd Internet Governance Forum in Hyderabad, India. The overall theme of the 4-day meeting was "Internet for All"... Last Friday, I spent a couple of hours in the morning on email before I got cutoff around 10am. I have 2 DSL lines at home through 2 different ISPs, I tried both lines but they were both down. I thought something wrong happened at the local exchange and decided to turn off my computer and enjoy my weekend. The last thing I could have thought about then was that what happened back in January 2008 was happening again in less than a year! more»

Deja Vu All Over Again: Cables Cut in the Mediterranean

The end of the year is approaching which seems to be a harbinger of Internet disasters. Four years ago (on 24 Dec. 2004), TTNet significantly disrupted Internet traffic by leaking over 100,000 networks that were globally routed for about an hour. Two years ago (on 26 Dec. 2006), large earthquakes hit the Luzon Strait, south of Taiwan, severing several underwater cables and wreaking havoc on communications in the region. Last year there was a small delay. On 30 Jan. 2008, more underwater cables were severed in the Mediterranean, severely disrupting communications in the Middle East, Africa, and the Indian subcontinent. Calamity returned to its customary end-of-year schedule this year, when early today (19 Dec. 2008) several communications cables were severed, affecting traffic in the Middle East and Indian subcontinent. more»

What Could the RIAA's Switch in Strategy Mean?

The Wall Street Journal and others are reporting that the Recording Industry Association of America is adjusting its strategy for combating the massive infringement occasioned by the sharing of music files over the internet. Since 2003, that strategy has been to pursue copyright infringement cases against individual file sharers. The RIAA now says it will focus less on pursuing infringement litigation and more on working with internet service providers to shut down the accounts of individuals suspected of illegally trading files. more»