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[ | 1 Apr 2011 | 3 Comments | ]
George Ou moving to High Tech Forum

As of today, April 1 2011, I am leaving Digital Society and moving to
High Tech Forum.
I would like to thank Jon Henke for this great opportunity to work with him and the rest of my Digital Society colleagues including Mike Turk, Nick Brown, James Delong, Brett Swanson, and Steve Effros.  It’s been a great team whose individual and combined intellect I value and I will continue to read their insight.
I also look forward to working with my new colleagues at High Tech Forum who are walking libraries of technical insight.  I enjoyed …

Internet »

[ | 29 Mar 2011 | Comments Off | ]
New Netflix settings manage bandwidth caps

Netflix has added some manual control features to the quality of Netflix video streams for Canadian customers who want to stay within their usage caps.  To see how this might apply to some US broadband plans with 250 GB or 150 GB usage caps, I’ve generated the following table for daily and monthly allowances.

The 150 GB cap applies to AT&T’s slower DSL customers while the 250 GB plan applies to AT&T U-Verse and Comcast cable broadband.  Note that for customers not on U-Verse using the older DSL technology, it is …

Wireless »

[ | 29 Mar 2011 | Comments Off | ]
Tawkon iPhone app shows the benefit of living near cell towers

A company trying to sell products by scaring the public isn’t anything new, but this time there is the possibility of something good that may come of it.  Tawkon has released an unauthorized “radiation” application for jailbroken iPhones.  I’ve spent much time debunking the use of the term “radiation” in the context of wireless radio communications, but this application essentially reads radio transmit power and then assigns some arbitrary “danger level” value on a fancy looking meter.
The good news is that an application like this might bring some sense to people about …

Digital Insight »

[ | 28 Mar 2011 | Comments Off | ]
Intel launches 25 nanometer era with new SSDs

Intel launched their new 320 series line of Solid State Storage (SSD) 2.5 inch drives built on the latest 25 nanometer (nm) manufacturing process (Intel Press Release).  The new SSD drives bring double the capacity, double the sequential write speeds to 220 megabytes per second (MB/sec), and lower prices per GB.
Note that the sequential capacity measured in MB/sec is frequently confused with the broadband metric of megabits per second (Mbps).  1 MB/sec is 8 Mbps so these SSDs have sequential write speeds of 1760 Mbps.  Furthermore, the real benefit of …

Internet, Wrong On The Internet »

[ | 25 Mar 2011 | Comments Off | ]
Bad journalism on alleged AT&T metering problems

Carl Bode of DSL Reports claims that AT&T admitted that their bandwidth usage meters were inaccurate. But AT&T actually said that they will continue ensuring meter accuracy.

Internet, Wireless »

[ | 24 Mar 2011 | One Comment | ]
Spectrum hoarding cannot justify TV spectrum waste

Dennis Wharton of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) is irked by the wireless industry comments to eliminate spectrum waste and he wants to draw attention to the wireless industry’s own dirty laundry.  Wharton points out that Dish Network and Time Warner Cable might be hoarding some of their auctioned spectrum to speculate on future value and that there is potentially $15 billion dollars of spectrum being hoarded.  But even if there is $15 billion of spectrum hoarding (and much of that spectrum will eventually be used), it does not …

Internet, Privacy & Security »

[ | 23 Mar 2011 | 6 Comments | ]
Comodo compromise demonstrates need for DNSSec migration

Comodo, a company you probably never heard of which holds one of the many master keys to the Internet’s SSL X.509 Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) system, admitted that their root certificate authorities have been compromised by attackers.  Those attackers issued themselves SSL certificates for seven companies including Google, Skype, and Yahoo so they can fully masquerade as one of the seven companies with legitimate looking SSL certificates.  Comodo responded by revoking those certificates, but that won’t offer full protection until every device on the planet replicates the revocations and we have …

Wireless »

[ | 22 Mar 2011 | One Comment | ]
Wireless data adoption up, but prices down

The CTIA has released its survey results for 2010 (Year-End 2010 Top-Line Survey Results PDF).  The survey has some of the most comprehensive data on the wireless industry as it covers 95.5% of all wireless subscribers in the country so it should be a valuable resource for analysts.
Here are some of the more interesting facts from the 2010 report

There are now 302.9 million wireless subscribers, up 6% from 2009.
Wireless penetration is at 96%.
Minutes of voice usage is slightly down in 2010 compared to 2009, from 2.275 trillion to 2.241.  That …

Internet, Wireless »

[ | 21 Mar 2011 | Comments Off | ]
Google the long distance phone company

In a newly announced partnership with Sprint, Google potentially stands to gain 50 million US customers for its web integrated voice service, voice mail, and long distance calling.  In the context of Google’s growing dominance in smartphones with Android OS, Google is shaping up to be a significant player in the phone market.

CurrentHeader, Internet, Wireless »

[ | 16 Mar 2011 | 13 Comments | ]
How to recover 254 MHz of radio spectrum

Broadcast TV occupies 294 MHz of spectrum and much of that is wasted on inefficient radio architectures and video compression technologies. If we are serious about a national broadband plan, we should squeeze broadcast television down to 40 MHz and save 254 MHz of spectrum but still be able to broadcast 32 HD and 60 standard channels.