"The Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University is pleased to announce the publication of Open Wireless vs. Licensed Spectrum: Evidence from Market Adoption, authored by Yochai Benkler, and published in the latest issue of the Harvard Journal of Law & Technology [download here]. The paper reviews evidence from eight wireless markets: mobile broadband; wireless healthcare; smart grid communications; inventory management; access control; mobile payments; fleet management; and secondary markets in spectrum. Benkler finds that markets are adopting unlicensed wireless strategies in mission-critical applications, in many cases more so than they are building on licensed strategies. If the 1990s saw what was called "the Negroponte Switch" of video from air to wire, and telephony from wire to air, the present and near future are seeing an even more fundamental switch. Where a decade ago most of our wireless capacity was delivered over exclusive control approaches-both command and control and auctioned exclusivity--complemented by special-purpose shared spectrum use, today we are moving to a wireless infrastructure whose core relies on shared, open wireless approaches, complemented by exclusive control approaches for special, latency-intolerant, high-speed mobile applications. The scope of the latter will contract further if regulation catches up to technological reality, and opens up more bands to open wireless innovation, with greater operational flexibility and an emphasis on interoperability."
Mobile Health 2012 - by Susannah Fox, Maeve Duggan, November 8, 2012
Proposed Model Jury Instructions - The Use of Electronic Technology to Conduct Research on or Communicate about a Case. Prepared by the Judicial Conference Committee on Court Administration and Case Management, June 2012
EPIC: "The Federal Communications Commission's final rule amending the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA) regulations is now in effect. The rule requires "(1)prior express written consent for all autodialed or prerecorded telemarketing calls to wireless numbers and residential lines; (2) allow[s] consumers to opt out of future robocalls during a robocall; (3) limit[s] permissible abandoned calls on a per-calling campaign basis, in order to discourage intrusive calling campaigns; and (4) exempts prerecorded calls to residential lines made by health care-related entities governed by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996." EPIC has previously urged the Commission to require express consumer consent for telemarketing calls and to protect wireless subscribers from telemarketing. For more information, see EPIC: Telemarketing and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)."
Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute at the University of Missouri - Mobile Media News Consumption Survey Executive Summary: Who uses mobile media devices?: "According to our findings, two-thirds of U.S. adults used at least one mobile media device in their daily lives during the first quarter of 2012. Smartphones and large media tablets are now the preferred mobile media devices. In the two years since Apple defined the large media tablet market with its iPad, nearly a third of all adult mobile device owners in the U.S. said they are using one. For news organizations and advertisers, users of these devices, especially those who own large media tablets, have appealing demographic profiles. They tend to be relatively affluent, well-educated and avid news consumers."
Digital differences, by Kathryn Zickuhr, Aaron Smith. April 13, 2012: "When the Pew Internet Project first began writing about the role of the internet in American life in 2000, there were stark differences between those who were using the internet and those who were not. Today, differences in internet access still exist among different demographic groups, especially when it comes to access to high-speed broadband at home. The ways in which people connect to the internet are also much more varied today than they were in 2000. As a result, internet access is no longer synonymous with going online with a desktop computer.
"Pew Director Lee Rainie gave a keynote at the NFAIS annual conference about the way the internet and mobile connectivity have transformed the worlds of networked individuals. He discussed how normal life has changed in the past decade because of three revolutions in technology: 1) the spread of broadband; 2) the rise of mobile connectivity; and 3) the emergence of technological social networks. He discussed trends and likely future developments in technology that will shape the way people learn, share, and create information. The slides in PDF are here."
FCC Measuring Broadband America - A Report on Consumer Wireline Broadband Performance in the U.S.: "presents the results of the first nationwide performance study of residential wireline broadband service in the United States. The study examined service offerings from 13 of the largest wireline broadband providers using automated, direct measurements of broadband performance delivered to the homes of thousands of volunteers during March 2011. This report highlights the major findings of the study, while the separate Technical Appendix provides a detailed description of the methodology and describes the specific tests that were performed. The Commission is also making available the results of all tests run in March 2011, as well as the complete raw data set of results from all tests taken during the study period of February to June 2011."
Follow up to postings on driving distractions and texting, this news: "U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced the first-ever federally proposed guidelines to encourage automobile manufacturers to limit the distraction risk for in-vehicle electronic devices. The proposed voluntary guidelines would apply to communications, entertainment, information gathering and navigation devices or functions that are not required to safely operate the vehicle. Issued by the Department’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the guidelines would establish specific recommended criteria for electronic devices installed in vehicles at the time they are manufactured that require visual or manual operation by drivers. The announcement of the guidelines comes just days after President Obama’s FY 2013 budget request, which includes $330 million over six years for distracted driving programs that increase awareness of the issue and encourage stakeholders to take action."
News release: "Almost one in three U.S. TV households – 35.9 million – owns four or more televisions, according to Nielsen’s State of the Media: Consumer Usage Report. Across the ever-changing U.S. media landscape, TV maintains its stronghold as the most popular device, with 290 million Americans and 114.7 households owning at least one. In contrast, 211 million Americans are online and 116 million (ages 13+) access the mobile Web. For more insights on usage and trends across TV, mobile, online, and social media download Nielsen’s State of the Media: Consumer Usage Report."
News release: "Our analysis of The Consumer Benefits of Expanding Shared Use of the Public Airwaves, which we are releasing today demonstrates that spectrum made available for shared use without a license (unlicensed spectrum), has played a central and critical role in growth of wireless broadband data service. In fact, the shared use model has performed as well as, if not better than, the exclusive licensed model, even though unlicensed spectrum was considered to be “junk” by commercial operators. Using unlicensed technologies like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, consumers receive higher quality service at lower prices.
Half of adult cell phone owners have apps on their phones - The percent who download apps nearly doubles in two years, but just 46% of downloaders have paid for an app...The growth in apps downloading is a reflection of the broader trend toward mobile devices the Pew Internet Project has identified over the past decade. Americans have embraced mobile connectivity in the form of laptops, smartphones, tablet computers, and e-readers, while desktop computers have become less popular over time." Kristen Purcell, Associate Director for Research, Pew Internet Project, November 2, 2011
"Social media not only connects consumers with each other, but also with just about every place they go and everything they watch and buy. Nielsen’s new Social Media Report looks at trends and consumption patterns across social media platforms in the U.S. and other major markets, exploring the rising influence of social media on consumer behavior. Highlights of Nielsen’s “State of the Media: The Social Media Report”
News release: "or the first time in history, the semi-annual survey conducted by CTIA-The Wireless Association® shows the number of wireless subscriber connections (327.6 million) has surpassed the population (315.5 million) in the United States and its territories (Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands), which means the wireless penetration rate in the U.S. is 103.9 percent. The survey, released today at CTIA ENTERPRISE & APPLICATIONS™ 2011, tracks U.S. wireless trends including subscribership, usage, revenue and investment from January 2011 to June 2011. The survey also showed a 111 percent increase in wireless data traffic. The tremendous increase in data usage, wireless subscriber connections and other metrics from the survey underscore the industry’s need to purchase more spectrum from the federal government to meet the significant demands by consumers and businesses so Americans continue to lead the world with the best wireless products and services."
Via Rich McCue: UVic Law Student Technology Survey 2011 - "In addition to the technology questions we’ve been asking UVic Law students over the past nine years, we decided for the second year in a row to ask some extra questions about the mobile technology that students are arriving at Law School equipped with. This survey was completed by 139 incoming and transferring law students, which is a strong 90% plus response rate. Executive Summary:
65% of online adults use social networking sites - Women maintain their foothold on SNS use and older Americans are still coming aboard. Mary Madden, Senior Research Specialist, Kathryn Zickuhr, Research Specialist, 8/26/2011
Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General, Improvements in Patch and Configuration Management Controls Can Better Protect TSA’s Wireless Network and Devices (Redacted) OIG-11-99 July 2011
CNET: "Google's Street View cars collected the locations of millions of laptops, cell phones, and other Wi-Fi devices around the world, a practice that raises novel privacy concerns, CNET has confirmed. The cars were supposed to collect the locations of Wi-Fi access points. But Google also recorded the street addresses and unique identifiers of computers and other devices using those wireless networks and then made the data publicly available through Google.com until a few weeks ago."
College students and technology by Aaron Smith, Lee Rainie, Kathryn Zickuhr - July 19, 2011
News release: "The mobile Data Tsunami initially described here is still growing at an astounding pace. According to Nielsen’s monthly analysis of cellphone bills for 65,000+ lines, smartphone owners – especially those with iPhones and Android devices — are consuming more data than ever before on a per-user basis. This has huge implications for carriers since the proportion of smartphone owners is also increasing dramatically. (Currently, 37% of all mobile subscribers in the United States have smartphones.) In just the last 12 months, the amount of data the average smartphone user consumes per month has grown by 89 percent from 230 Megabytes (MB) in Q1 2010 to 435 MB in Q1 2011. A look at the distribution of data consumption is even more shocking: data usage for the top 10 percent of smartphone users (90th percentile) is up 109 percent while the top 1 percent (99th percentile) has grown their usage by an astonishing 155 percent from 1.8GB in Q1 2010 to over 4.6GB in Q1 2011.
The big four phone carriers spill on their location and customer data collection policies: "The recent uproar over location tracking in smartphones has gotten ugly and fingers are bound to be pointed. But in the spirit of transparency, the four major carriers have outlined and detailed their location tracking applications s well as what exactly that data is being used for. The honesty does come as a response to the revelation that iPhones, Android devices, and Windows Phone 7 units are tracking user location."
News release: "[April 19, 2011], the Dutch Data Protection Authority (College bescherming persoonsgegevens, CBP) has issued several administrative orders against Google for incremental penalty payments. Investigations by the CBP show that Google has, for a period of two years, systematically, and without the data subjects’ knowledge, collected MAC addresses of more than 3,6 million WiFi routers, in combination with the calculated location of those routers. This was done by using the so called ‘Street View cars’. MAC addresses in combination with their calculated locations, qualify, in this context, as personal data, because the collected data provide information about the WiFi router’s owners. The Dutch DPA also concludes that Google, using the same Street View cars, collected so called payload data, the contents of internet communication. This information contains personal data such as e-mail addresses, medical data and information concerning financial transactions.
Google has been ordered to, within three months, inform the data subjects – off line as well as on line – about the collection of data originating from WiFi routers by the Street View cars. Within the same period of three months, Google must also offer an on line possibility to opt-out from the database in order to enable people to object to the processing of the data concerning their WiFi routers. In case Google does not comply with the administrative order within the time period granted, the penalty amount can increase to a maximum of one million euros. Furthermore, Google is obliged to destroy the payload data it has collected in the Netherlands within four weeks. Read the Dutch press release and the relevant documents (only in Dutch)."
"The FCC acted today to promote increased consumer access to nationwide mobile broadband service by adopting an Order that requires facilities-based providers of commercial mobile data services to offer data roaming arrangements to other such providers on commercially reasonable terms and conditions, subject to certain limitations. Consumers expect mobile data services that will allow them to remain connected wherever they go; a data roaming rule will help ensure that consumers’ services are not interrupted and that coverage is available on a competitive basis. The widespread availability of data roaming arrangements will allow consumers with mobile data plans to remain connected when they travel outside their own provider’s network coverage areas by using another provider’s network. This promotes connectivity and nationwide access to mobile data services such as email and wireless broadband Internet access. The rule the FCC adopted today promotes investment in and deployment of mobile broadband networks, consistent with the recommendations of the National Broadband Plan. This new investment in broadband will increase competition and benefit consumers; without data roaming guarantees, consumers will be limited in their choices, especially in rural areas."
Internet Access Services: Status as of June 30, 2010, Industry Analysis and Technology Division, Wireline Competition Bureau, March 2011: "This report summarizes information about Internet access connections over 200 kilobits per second (kbps) in at least one direction in service in the United States on June 30, 2010, as collected by FCC Form 477. Form 477 gathers standardized information about subscribership to Internet access services in the fifty states, District of Columbia, and inhabited insular areas (American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands). The information is reported by telephone companies, cable system operators, terrestrial wireless service providers, satellite service providers, and other facilities-based providers of advanced telecommunications capability.
Notable developments during the first half of 2010 include:
News release: "The Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s consumer protection agency, released tips to help people protect their personal information while they use public wireless networks – Wi-Fi hotspots in coffee shops, libraries, airports, hotels, universities, and other public places. While convenient, public Wi-Fi networks often are not secure. When using wireless networks, it’s best to send only personal information that is encrypted – either by an encrypted website or a secure network. Encryption scrambles information sent over the internet into a code so that it’s not accessed by others. An encrypted website protects only the information sent to and from that site. A secure wireless network encrypts all the information sent over it. To determine if a website is encrypted, look for https at the beginning of the web address (the “s” is for secure), and a lock icon at the top or bottom of the browser window. Some websites use encryption only on the sign-in page, but if any part of the session isn’t encrypted, the entire account could be vulnerable. Look for https and the lock icon throughout the site, not just at sign in."
EPIC: "Following numerous protests around the world, Google has ended its illegal collection of wifi data transmissions. The company, which originally claimed it was not even collecting wifi data, was forced to admit that the practice has been ongoing for three years in more than thirty countries, following an independent investigation initiated by European privacy officials. Investigations are still underway to determine the extent of Google's liability. EPIC wrote to the FCC earlier this year, pointing out that the practice violated US wiretap laws."
News release: "The Federal Communications Commission today took steps to free up vacant airwaves between TV channels -- called “white spaces” -- to unleash a host of new technologies, such as “super Wi-Fi,” and myriad other diverse applications. This is the first significant block of spectrum made available for unlicensed use in more than 20 years. TV white space spectrum is considered prime real estate because its signals travel well, making it ideally suited for mobile wireless devices. Unlocking this valuable spectrum will open the doors for new industries to arise, create American jobs, and fuel new investment and innovation. The National Broadband Plan noted the importance of unlicensed spectrum in creating opportunities for new technologies to blossom and recommended that the Commission complete the TV white spaces proceeding as expeditiously as possible."
Telecommunications Industry Revenues 2008 - Jim Lande, Kenneth Lynch, Industry Analysis & Technology Division, Wireline Competition Bureau, September 2010
"This alternative way of slicing the data still shows Email to be, by far, the dominant sector in terms of mobile time, although this dominance shrinks by a few delta points to 38.5% from 41.6%. Search is another that nets out with a smaller share, although by less than a percentage point from 7.1% to 6.3%. The share held by Social Networking remains very similar but News & Current Events comes out much stronger using the site-level analysis at a 7.2% share of time compared to 4.4% of time using the category-level analysis. Share of time on Portals shows something more dramatic, with a change from 11.6% to 4.6% share of time, but this doesn’t mean that people are spending any less time on Portal sites. Nielsen classifies both channels and brands into categories and so a category-level analysis includes both brands (e.g. Google) as well as channels under than brand (e.g. Google News). Using the initial methodology means that all Google time would be assigned to Portals (because Google is a portal) but using the site-level method means the Google News element would be assigned to the News & Current Events sector. Thus, the Portal element is limited to more general and entry pages rather than including content-specific sectors such as news."
Cell phones and American adults - They make just as many calls, but text less often than teens - by Amanda Lenhart, Senior Research Specialist, 9/2/2010
Telecommunications: Enhanced Data Collection Could Help FCC Better Monitor Competition in the Wireless Industry, GAO-10-779, July 27, 2010
Official Google Blog: "The original architects of the Internet got the big things right. By making the network open, they enabled the greatest exchange of ideas in history. By making the Internet scalable, they enabled explosive innovation in the infrastructure. It is imperative that we find ways to protect the future openness of the Internet and encourage the rapid deployment of broadband. Verizon and Google are pleased to discuss the principled compromise,
Verizon-Google Legislative Framework Proposal, our companies have developed over the last year concerning the thorny issue of “network neutrality."
"Americans spend nearly a quarter of their time online on social networking sites and blogs, up from 15.8 percent just a year ago (43 percent increase) according to new research released today from The Nielsen Company. The research revealed that Americans spend a third their online time (36 percent) communicating and networking across social networks, blogs, personal email and instant messaging."
Follow up to Several State Attorneys General Announce Probes of Google Wireless Data Collection, this news release: "Attorney General Richard Blumenthal today on behalf of the executive committee of a 38-state coalition asked Google whether it tested its Street View software before use -- which should have revealed that the program collected data transmitted over wireless computer networks. Google has acknowledged unauthorized collection of data -- possibly including emails, passwords, web browsing and other confidential information – but called it a mistake. In a letter to Google, Blumenthal also asks whether the company’s program was designed to collect random bits of information broadcast over wireless networks or download specific types of data and whether it has sold or otherwise used technical network information also collected."
Pew Internet Presentation: Libraries, Mobile, New Media Ecology - My Digital Library: Leveraging Today’s Mobile and Participatory Information Ecosystem, by Kristen Purcell, July 29, 2010 at Digital Libraries à la Carte 2010, Tilburg University
Mobile Access 2010 - Six in ten Americans go online wirelessly using a laptop or cell phone; African-Americans and 18-29 year olds lead the way in the use of cell phone data applications, but older adults are gaining ground. July 7, 2010. Aaron Smith, Research Specialist
li>"Cell phone and wireless laptop internet use have each grown more prevalent over the last year. Nearly half of all adults (47%) go online with a laptop using a Wi-Fi connection or mobile broadband card (up from the 39% who did so as of April 2009) while 40% of adults use the internet, email or instant messaging on a mobile phone (up from the 32% of Americans who did this in 2009). This means that 59% of adults now access the internet wirelessly using a laptop or cell phone—that is, they answered “yes” to at least one of these wireless access pathways. That adds up to an increase from the 51% who used a laptop or cell phone wirelessly in April 2009."
Unleashing the Wireless Broadband Revolution: "Expanded wireless broadband access will trigger the creation of innovative new businesses, provide cost-effective connections in rural areas, increase productivity, improve public safety, and allow for the development of mobile telemedicine, telework, distance learning, and other new applications that will transform Americans' lives. Spectrum and the new technologies it enables also are essential to the Federal Government, which relies on spectrum for important activities, such as emergency communications, national security, law enforcement, aviation, maritime, space communications, and numerous other Federal functions. Spectrum is also critical for many State, local, and tribal government functions. As the wireless broadband revolution unfolds, innovation can enable efficient and imaginative uses of spectrum to maintain and enhance the Government's capabilities. In order to achieve mobile wireless broadband's full potential, we need an environment where innovation thrives, and where new capabilities also are secure, trustworthy, and provide appropriate safeguards for users' privacy. These characteristics will continue to be important to the adoption of mobile wireless broadband."
Follow up to Several State Attorneys General Announce Probes of Google Wireless Data Collection, via Privacy International, "Crime reference number 2318672/10 was today issued by London's Metropolitan Police, marking the commencement of investigations into Google for alleged criminal interception of Wireless communications content. Privacy International, which brought the complaint, has been briefed by police on the likely path the investigation will take. In the first instance police will conduct initial inquiries into the essential facts of the case before deciding which (if any) law may have been breached. In this case PI has brought the action under two laws - the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act and the Wireless Telegraphy Act. The police will need to seek advice on which legislation to focus on, as each involves a different prosecution process."
News release: "The Federal Communications Commission’s Consumer Task Force designated the week of June 21 as Wireless World Travel Week to coincide with the beginning of summer and a busy travel season. Americans make over 60 million international trips each year, and many take their mobile phones with them. Throughout the week, the FCC and wireless companies offered tips to help travelers save money on international wireless use."
EPIC: "International watchdog Privacy International has announced the launch of a new website for bringing transparency to "technical mysteries" behind controversial systems. Cracking the Black Box identifies key questions regarding mysterious technologies and asks experts, whistleblowers, and other concerned parties to "help crack the box" by anonymously contributing ideas and input. The organization responsible for the technology in question is then invited to provide an official response. The first two issues addressed on the PI site are the Google Wi-Fi controversy and the EU proposal to retain search data."
Official Google Blog: "When we announced three weeks ago that we had mistakenly included code in our software that collected samples of payload data from WiFi networks, we said we would ask a third party to review the software at issue, how it worked, and what data it gathered. That report, by the security consulting firm Stroz Friedberg, is now complete and was sent to the interested data protection authorities today. In short, it confirms that Google did indeed collect and store payload data from unencrypted WiFi networks, but not from networks that were encrypted. You can read the report here. We are continuing to work with the relevant authorities to respond to their questions and concerns.
News release: "Today, Chairman Henry A. Waxman, Subcommittee Chairman Ed Markey, and Ranking Member Joe Barton sent a letter to Eric Schmidt, Chairman & CEO of Google, regarding recent reports of data collection over private Wi-Fi networks in conjunction with Google's Street View product. The Committee is concerned about the accuracy and completeness of Google's public explanations and request information regarding the nature and use of the private data collected, the underlying technology of the Street View vehicle fleet, and the impact on consumer privacy."
Wireless Substitution: Early Release of Estimates From the National Health Interview Survey, July–December 2009, by Stephen J. Blumberg, Ph.D., and Julian V. Luke, Division of Health Interview Statistics, National Center for Health Statistics
Follow up to previous postings on dangers of texting while driving, this news release: "U.S Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced federal guidance to expressly prohibit texting by drivers of commercial vehicles such as large trucks and buses. The prohibition is effective immediately and is the latest in a series of actions taken by the Department to combat distracted driving since the Secretary convened a national summit on the issue last September."
News release: "The Federal Trade Commission today released the agenda for its second roundtable on consumer privacy issues scheduled for January 28, 2010. The second roundtable, hosted by the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology, will take place at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law Booth Auditorium. The roundtable is the second of three public events designed to explore the privacy challenges that are posed by technology and business practices that collect and use consumer data. The agenda continues the public dialogue by focusing on how technology affects consumer privacy, including its potential to weaken and/or strengthen privacy protections. The roundtable will also explore privacy implications of several evolving technologies, including social networking and other platform services, cloud computing, and mobile computing."
Follow up to previous posting, FAA Issues Special New Security Regs for Boeing Model 787, see Federal Aviation Administration, Special Conditions: Boeing Model 747–8/–8F Airplanes, Systems and Data Networks Security—Protection of Airplane Systems and Data Networks From Unauthorized External Access - Federal Register: January 15, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 10)][Rules and Regulations][Page 2433-2434]:
News release: "Verizon Wireless has agreed to pay a $468,600 civil penalty to settle self-disclosed violations of federal environmental regulations discovered at 655 facilities in 42 states. Verizon voluntarily entered into a corporate audit agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and conducted environmental compliance audits at more than 25,000 facilities nation-wide. The Environmental Appeals Board at EPA has approved an administrative settlement resolving violations Verizon found through its compliance audits. Verizon audited facilities that include cell towers, mobile switch centers, call centers, and administrative offices. As a result of its audit, the company reported violations of clean water, clean air, and emergency planning and preparedness regulations to EPA. Verizon promptly corrected the violations found during its audit, which included preparing and implementing spill prevention, control, and countermeasure plans, applying for appropriate air permits, and submitting reports to state and local emergency planning and response organizations informing them of the presence of hazardous substances."
Free Tools and Applications For More Efficient Online Interaction: Many lawyers understand the importance of networking, but running a law practice takes time and no one ever seems to have enough of it. This factor is one of the main reasons lawyers offer as an excuse to avoid online networking, but Nicole Black proposes how choosing even a few efficient applications from the range of free tools available can streamline and accelerate this marketing process.
"GotReception was created in response to a major issue plaguing millions of cellular consumers, unsatisfactory service. This issue is compounded by the fact that the cellular industry ranks lowest in terms of customer satisfaction...With GotReception, anyone can search to see which carrier has the best ratings in their area. People can also share their experiences with others by posting their own rating for their carrier" [AT&T, Sprint, Nextel, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless]. Map data includes: Consumer reviews, Cell towers, Buildings, Dealers.
Environmental Working Group (EWG)
Prepared Remarks of Chairman Julius Genachowski, Federal Communications Commission: "At the FCC, we also recognize that mobile is central to our mission. No sector of the communications industry holds greater potential to enhance America’s economic competitiveness, spur job creation, and improve the quality of our lives. My goals with regard to mobile are the same that define and drive all our work: fostering innovation and investment, promoting competition, empowering and protecting consumers, all in an effort to help ensure the U.S. has a world-leading communications infrastructure for the 21st century. My specific objectives involve unleashing spectrum for broadband; removing obstacles to 4G deployment, like delays in tower siting; developing fair rules of the road to preserve the openness of the Internet, while recognizing the differences between wired and wireless technologies; and empowering consumers by supporting a vibrant, transparent and competitive mobile marketplace."
News release: "In an effort to obtain data for its next mobile wireless competition report, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) [August 27, 2009] announced a Notice of Inquiry (“NOI”) that seeks to enhance its analysis of competitive conditions in the mobile wireless market. The NOI also seeks to better understand the net effects on the American consumer. Wireless mobility has become central to the economic, civic, and social lives of over 270 million Americans. We are now in the midst of a transition from reliance on mobile voice services to increasing use of and reliance on mobile broadband services, which promise to connect American citizens in new and profound ways. A robustly competitive mobile wireless
market will be essential to realizing the full benefits to American consumers and channeling investment into vitally important national infrastructure. The FCC is seeking to ensure that competition in the mobile wireless market continues to bring substantial benefits to American consumers."
Teens and Mobile Phones Over the Past Five Years: Pew Internet Looks Back, by Amanda Lenhart: "Teenagers have previously lagged behind adults in their ownership of cell phones, but several years of survey data collected by the Pew Internet & American Life Project show that those ages 12-17 are closing the gap in cell phone ownership. The Project first began surveying teenagers about their mobile phones in its 2004 Teens and Parents project when a survey showed that 45% of teens had a cell phone. Since that time, mobile phone use has climbed steadily among teens ages 12 to 17 – to 63% in fall of 2006 and then to 71% in early 2008. In comparison, 77% of all adults (and 88% of parents) had a cell phone or other mobile device at a similar point in 2008. Cell phone ownership among adults has since risen to 85%, based on the results of our most recent tracking survey of adults conducted in April 2009. The Project is currently conducting a survey of teens and their parents and will be releasing the new figures in early 2010."
Blackberry Apps for Lawyers: Nicole Black highlights an assortment of Blackberry applications for research, document management, mobile communications, music, dictation and more - all of which would benefit just about any law practice.
News release - High-Speed Services for Internet Access. Provides summary statistics of subscribership data that facilities-based providers of high-speed services file twice a year on FCC Form 477: "High-speed lines, defined as connections delivering services at speeds exceeding 200 kbps in at least one direction, increased by 10% during the first half of 2008, from 121.2 million to 132.8 million lines in service, following a 20% increase, from 101.0 million to 121.2 million lines, during the second half of 2007. For the full twelvemonth period ending June 30, 2008, high-speed lines increased by 32% from 101.0 million to 132.8 million (or 31.8 million lines) compared to a 55% increase, from 65.0 million to 101.0 million lines (or 36.0 million lines), in the twelve-month period ending June 30, 2007."
Review of HTC Magic (G2) vs iPhone 3G (and 3G S): Techie expert extraordinaire Nicholas Moline compares the upcoming T-Mobile G2 (HTC Magic) with the iPhone 3G, which has the new iPhone 3.0 Software. Nick ran detailed and thorough tests of each Smartphone's usability and functionality, and he highlights the respective range of features, including bar code readers, removable memory, cameras, GPS, touchscreens, email, web access, and lots more. He also shares his thoughts about which gadget delivers the best applications for users.
"New data from the U.S. Census Bureau show that 62 percent of households reported using Internet access in the home in 2007, an increase from 18 percent in 1997, the first year the bureau collected data on Internet use. Sixty-four percent of individuals 18 and over used the Internet from any location in 2007, while only 22 percent did so in 1997. Among households using the Internet in 2007, 82 percent reported using a high-speed connection, and 17 percent used a dial-up connection."
Burney's Legal Tech Reviews: A Review of the CradlePoint PHS300 mobile broadband router and the Canary Wireless Digital Hotspotter - Mobile traveler Brett Burney describes how he uses his laptop and iPhone, both of which connect beautifully to Wi-Fi networks, to create his own little hotspot by plugging his Verizon Wireless USB760 modem into the PHS300 and turning it on. Within 5-10 seconds, the PHS300 is broadcasting a private, secure Wi-Fi hotspot that his laptop and iPhone connect to immediately.
The Army's Wireless Communications Programs, February 12, 2009 Letter to the Honorable Neil Abercrombie
Where to watch Obama’s presidential inauguration online: Links to more than a dozen sources, from news and social media sites as well as bloggers. Of course, the networks will also be "televising" the inaugural, live.
News release: "The music industry must move away from the retail CD as its primary revenue generator before Christmas 2009, according to Gartner. Gartner said that reliance on revenue from the sale of prerecorded CDs is hindering the music industry from fully embracing online distribution opportunities...Enabling the transition away from retail music CDs toward online distribution is now in sight, given that 77 percent of U.S. households (a total of 96 million connections) will have broadband connections by 2012. Beyond these consumers, the alternative distribution afforded by Wi-Fi-enabled notebooks and rapidly improving media-enabled mobile phones pose opportunities that provide multiple paths for marketing, promotion and distribution outside the consumer’s home."
National Health Interview Survey Early Release Report: "Preliminary results from the January-June 2008 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) indicate that the number of American homes with only wireless telephones continues to grow. More than one out of every six American homes (17.5%) had only wireless telephones during the first half of 2008, an increase of 1.7 percentage points since the second half of 2007. In addition, more than one out of every eight American homes (13.3%) received all or almost all calls on wireless telephones despite having a landline telephone in the home. This report presents the most up-to-date estimates available from the federal government concerning the size and characteristics of these populations."
News release: "In 2007, statistics show that about 84% of the US population subscribed to a form of wireless mobile phone service. At any given time, about 6% of travelers on the road are talking on a cell phone, while 10% of teen drivers are talking or texting. Researchers have shown that using mobile phones while driving is four times as likely to get into crashes, and the increased crash risk is similar for hands-free and hand-held phones."
News release: "In its continuing efforts to promote efficient use of spectrum and to extend the benefits of such use to the public, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today adopted a Second Report and Order (Second R&O) that establishes rules to allow new, sophisticated wireless devices to operate in broadcast television spectrum on a secondary basis at locations where that spectrum is open. (This unused TV spectrum is now commonly referred to as television “white spaces”). The rules adopted today will allow for the use of these new and innovative types of unlicensed devices in the unused spectrum to provide broadband data and other services for consumers and businesses.
The rules represent a careful first step to permit the operation of unlicensed devices in the TV white spaces and include numerous safeguards to protect incumbent services against harmful interference. The rules will allow for both fixed and personal/portable unlicensed devices. Such devices must include a geolocation capability and provisions to access over the Internet a data base of the incumbent services, such as full power and low power TV stations and cable system headends, in addition to spectrum-sensing technology. The data base will tell the white space device what spectrum may be used at that location."
News release, September 29, 2008: "Europe could take the lead in the next generation of the Internet. The European Commission today outlined the main steps that Europe has to take to respond to the next wave of the Information Revolution that will intensify in the coming years due to trends such as social networking, the decisive shift to on-line business services, nomadic services based on GPS and mobile TV and the growth of smart tags. The report shows that Europe is well placed to exploit these trends because of its policies to support open and pro-competitive telecom networks as well as privacy and security. A public consultation has been launched today by the Commission on the policy and private sector responses to these opportunities. The Commission report also unveils a new Broadband Performance Index (BPI) that compares national performance on key measures such as broadband speed, price, competition and coverage. Sweden and the Netherlands top this European broadband league, which complements the more traditional broadband penetration index used so far by telecoms regulators."
Chris Harrelson, Tech Lead & Creator of Google Transit: "We've just added comprehensive transit info for the entire New York metro region, encompassing subway, commuter rail, bus and ferry services from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, New Jersey Transit and the City of New York. That means this information is now at the fingertips of the more than 20 million people who live in and around New York (not to mention the millions of people who visit the region every year). The MTA is the largest transportation agency in the U.S., serving one in every three users of mass transit in the country."
News release: "A new study from The Nielsen Company says that more than 20 million U.S. telephone households (17 percent) are wireless substitutors — homes without landlines that rely solely on a mobile phone for their home telecommunications."
Teenagers: A Generation Unplugged - A National Survey by CTIA–The Wireless Association® and Harris Interactive: "As the wireless industry celebrates the upcoming 25th anniversary of the first commercial cell phone call (October 13, 1983), this in-depth online study of more than 2,000 teenagers around the nation sheds new light on how today’s teens feel about wireless products and services, how they are using them today and most importantly, how they would like to use them in the future. A growing wireless segment, teens view their cell phones as more than just an accessory."
USDOJ: "Enhanced 911 systems would accommodate calls from Internet Protocol (IP)-enabled phones under rules proposed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Electronic 911 (e-911) calls are routed to about 6,000 call centers nationwide (known as public safety answering points) using various technical protocols to identify the caller's location and the appropriate answering point to handle the call. FCC published a notice of proposed rulemaking on August 25, 2008 with the goal of ensuring that voice-over-IP (VOIP) service providers have access to the capabilities they need to provide 911 and e-911 services. FCC officials say the proposed rule is part of their effort to comply with provisions of the New and Emerging Technologies 911 Improvement Act of 2008, which became law on July 23, 2008."
The Kindle for Professional Researchers: DC based journalist Cheryl Miller offers seven good reasons to buy this gadget seemingly tailor-made for dedicated readers, but she also provides caveats worth your attention.
"W3C...announced new standards that will make it easier for people to browse the Web on mobile devices. Mobile Web Best Practices 1.0, published as a W3C Recommendation by the Mobile Web Best Practices Working Group, condenses the experience of many mobile Web stakeholders into practical advice on creating mobile-friendly content. These guidelines will help to improve the experience of people browsing the Web on a wide array of mobile handsets."
White Space Devices & The Battle Over Innovation: Public Access vs. Industry Control of the Airwaves, By Sascha Meinrath, New America Foundation, June 2008
News release: "Sixty-five million Americans depend on broadband services for work, education, entertainment and communications. But too many other Americans have no access to broadband services, according to a new telecom industry survey. Aggravating the country's broadband gap is the current Federal Communications Commission (FCC) definition of broadband, 200 kilobits per second. At that rate, it takes longer to download a movie than to watch it. The survey, commissioned by Tellabs, reflects responses from 451 readers of leading U.S. telecom publications."
Press release: "...AirTight® Networks, the global leader for wireless intrusion prevention systems...issued the findings from its study to assess information security risk exposure of laptop users at fourteen airports in the United States, Canada and Asia. The company set out to understand the risks to business travelers and their corporate networks of data leakage while those airline passengers are sending sensitive information using unsecured wireless access points while at the airports. It found surprising results, however, regarding the security posture of private Wi-Fi networks in these airports as well as the rapid spread of viral Wi-Fi networks.
One of the most surprising findings of this initial study was that some ticketing systems, baggage systems, shops and restaurants were using open or poorly secured wireless networks. Of the Wi-Fi networks detected by AirTight researchers, 77 percent were non-hotspot (i.e. private) networks and of those, 80 percent were unsecured or using legacy WEP encryption, a fatally flawed protocol. Based on detailed analysis of these access points, there is a high probability that some of these networks are used for critical airport logistics and operations. The consequences of this lack of security could result in disruption of baggage or passenger ticketing systems."
Electronic Frontier Foundation: "Three powerful House Commerce Committee Chairmen strongly urged their colleagues Thursday to defer acting on requests for retroactive immunity and to demand more information from the White House and the telecommunications companies in the wake of disclosures by another whistleblower that the government apparently has been granted an open gateway to customer information and calls by a major telecommunications company."
CODENOMICON White Paper - Wireless Security: Past, Present and Future, by Sami Petäjäsoja, Tommi Mäkilä, Mikko Varpiola, Miikka Saukko and Ari Takanen, Version 1.0, February 1st, 2008
Fact Sheet: "The Connectivity Scorecard is a groundbreaking new global information and communications technology (ICT) measure that ranks countries on the approximately 30 indicators of connectivity -- including broadband, fixed-line, mobile and computing technologies -- that contribute to the enhancement of a country’s social and economic prosperity. The Scorecard was created by Leonard Waverman, professor of economics at London Business School, and conducted under his direction by economic consulting firm LECG. It was commissioned by Nokia Siemens Networks to examine the contribution of connectivity to economic growth and positive social outcomes, and to draw conclusions from how individual countries score on the Index."
Top 60 Little-Known Technology Web Sites, By Charles Babcock, Thomas Claburn, John Foley, W. David Gardner, Antone Gonsalves, Nicholas J. Hoover, K.C. Jones, Elena Malykhina, Richard Martin, Paul McDougall, Marianne McGee, Chris Murphy, Cora Nucci, Art Wittman, and Serdar Yegulalp, InformationWeek, January 26, 2008
"The Center for the Digital Future at the USC Annenberg School is pleased to present the results [full report/purchase only] of the seventh year of our project, Surveying the Digital Future [highlights]. The seven years of longitudinal research comprise an absolutely unique data base that completely captures broadband at home, the wireless Internet, on-line media, user-generated content and, now, social networking. This year's report contains a large module looking at on-line communities and social networking in great detail. Readers can compare the social networking data and correlate it to seven years of attitudes and behaviors on-line. As usual, the report continues to track off-line media use, purchasing both off-line and through e-commerce, social and political activity and a wealth of other data."
Background: "The proposed architecture of the 787 is different from that of existing production (and retrofitted) airplanes. It allows new kinds of passenger connectivity to previously isolated data networks connected to systems that perform functions required for the safe operation of the airplane. Because of this new passenger connectivity, the proposed data network design and integration may result in security vulnerabilities from intentional or unintentional corruption of data and systems critical to the safety and maintenance of the airplane. The existing regulations and guidance material did not anticipate this type of system architecture or electronic access to aircraft systems that provide flight critical functions. Furthermore, 14 CFR regulations and current system safety assessment policy and techniques do not address potential security vulnerabilities that could be caused by unauthorized access to aircraft data buses and servers. Therefore, special conditions are imposed to ensure that security, integrity, and availability of the aircraft systems and data networks are not compromised by certain wired or wireless electronic connections between airplane data buses and networks." Federal Register: January 2, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 1)][Rules and Regulations][Page 27-29]
Verizon press release: "Verizon Wireless today announced that it will provide customers the option to use, on its nationwide wireless network, wireless devices, software and applications not offered by the company. Verizon Wireless plans to have this new choice available to customers throughout the country by the end of 2008."
The Future of Reading, by Steven Levy, Newsweek, November 17, 2007: "...the Kindle...has the dimensions of a paperback, with a tapering of its width that emulates the bulge toward a book's binding. It weighs but 10.3 ounces, and unlike a laptop computer it does not run hot or make intrusive beeps....with the use of E Ink, a breakthrough technology of several years ago that mimes the clarity of a printed book, the Kindle's six-inch screen posts readable pages... (The Kindle gets as many as 30 hours of reading on a charge, and recharges in two hours.)...E-book devices like the Kindle allow you to change the font size: aging baby boomers will appreciate that every book can instantly be a large-type edition. The handheld device can also hold several shelves' worth of books: 200 of them onboard, hundreds more on a memory card and a limitless amount in virtual library stacks maintained by Amazon. Also, the Kindle [costs $399] allows you to search within the book for a phrase or name...Some of those features have been available on previous e-book devices, notably the Sony Reader. The Kindle's real breakthrough springs from a feature that its predecessors never offered: wireless connectivity, via a system called Whispernet. (It's based on the EVDO broadband service offered by cell-phone carriers, allowing it to work anywhere, not just Wi-Fi hotspots.)"
Press release, November 15, 2007: "IT security and control firm Sophos has revealed new research into the use of other people's Wi-Fi networks to piggyback onto the internet without payment. The research, carried out by Sophos on behalf of The Times, shows that 54 percent of computer users have admitted breaking the law, by using someone else's wireless internet access without permission. According to Sophos, many internet-enabled homes fail to properly secure their wireless connection with passwords and encryption, allowing freeloading passers-by and neighbours to steal internet access rather than paying an Internet Service Provide (ISP) for their own. In addition, while businesses often have security measures in place to protect the Wi-Fi networks within their offices from attack, Sophos experts note that remote users working from home could prove to be a weak link in corporate defenses."
FCC press release, July 31, 2007: "In a Second Report & Order (Order) adopted today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) revised the 700 MHz band plan and service rules to promote the creation of a nationwide interoperable broadband network for public safety and to facilitate the availability of new and innovative wireless broadband services for consumers. The 700 MHz Band spectrum, which runs from 698-806 MHz, currently is occupied by television broadcasters and will be made available for other wireless services, including public safety and commercial services, as a result of the digital television (DTV) transition. The Digital Television and Public Safety Act of 2005 (DTV Act) set a firm deadline of February 17, 2009, for the completion of the DTV transition. The DTV Act also requires the FCC to commence an auction of the previously unauctioned commercial spectrum in the 700 MHz Band no later than January 28, 2008."
Follow up to May 14, 2007 posting, Nearly 16% of U.S. Homes Have No Landline Phone, see also these related studies:
Press release: "Fully 85% of American adults use the internet or cell phones – and most use both. Many also have broadband connections, digital cameras and video game systems. Yet the proportion of adults who exploit the connectivity, the capacity for self expression, and the interactivity of modern information technology is a modest 8%."
NTIA Fact Sheet: "In their recent announcement ranking countries on their broadband penetration, the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) fails to take into consideration tens of millions of United States broadband users, including students, employees of corporations and United States Government employees, to name a few. Additionally, by neglecting to count mobile wireless in its broadband numbers, the OECD overlooks the fastest growing segment of broadband subscriptions in the marketplace today. The Administration will work with OECD in identifying these methodology shortfalls.
Putting OECD numbers in perspective, the United States is:
#1 Total number of Broadband subscribers – 64.6 million
(Sources: FCC status as of June 2006 and PointTopic as of 4Q06)
#1 Total number of Internet Users – 211 million
(Source: Internet World Stats, March 2007)
#1 Total number of Wi-Fi Hotspots – 49,733
(Source: JiWire.com, April 2007)
Free WSL article looks at Texting When There's Trouble: "The ubiquity of relatively new technologies allows electronic alerts to reach more people faster than ever before. In the aftermath of several recent disasters -- including the tsunami in South Asia, Hurricane Katrina on the Gulf Coast, and the terrorist attacks in New York, London and Madrid -- a growing number of governments, communities, school systems and universities have begun using automated electronic-alert systems that can send voice, email or text messages to residents and students, in addition to traditional broadcast emergency messages. The services mean that people no longer need to be listening to radio, watching TV, logged on to their email or near a home phone to be warned of trouble."
On April 16, 2007 Barbara Fullerton, Manager, Librarian Relations, 10-K Wizard, Sabrina Pacifici, Editor & Publisher, LLRX.com and beSpacific.com and Aaron Schmidt, Director, North Plains Public Library, presented their always popular round-robin Gadgets presentation at Computers in Libraries 2007.
WSJ free feature: Priority of Emergency Networks - FCC Weighs Responders' Needs Against Commercial-Spectrum Use: "Spurred by huge communications gaps during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and Hurricane Katrina in 2005, debate has raged on Capitol Hill, at the FCC and within the telecommunications industry over how much valuable radio spectrum should be set aside to meet emergency services' needs and how much to sell for commercial use."
Progress Report on Development of the Integrated Wireless Network in the Department of Justice, Audit Report 07-25, March 2007: "Just to replace DOJ’s antiquated legacy wireless communications equipment would cost DOJ approximately $900 million. However, the DOJ will require more than twice that amount to fund its share of IWN. Consequently, for the DOJ, DHS, and Treasury to complete IWN as planned, a major infusion of funding will be required over the next several years."
Harmony Helps: A Progress Report on State Government Internet Presence - March 2007 - "This brief explores how state web portals have matured and examines the impact of the 2003 expansion of the dot-gov domain to state and local governments; trends in state portal domain naming conventions; trends in Internet portal branding and marketing; the alignment of agency websites and state email addressing with the state portal; areas of cross-boundary collaboration for online services; and areas for future progress in cross-boundary collaboration for online services."
"The Pew Internet & American Life Project has just released a report that 34% of internet users have logged onto the internet using a wireless connection either around the house, at their workplace, or some place else. The report profiles these wireless users and describes their intensive use of the internet, especially in exchanging emails and getting news online."
Deloitte Telecommunications Predictions 2007 (TMT Trends 2007) - "This study examines 10 emerging developments sure to make 2007 another eventful year for the telecommunications industry":
1. "Reaching the limits of cyberspace—growth in video traffic on the "superhighway" means the Internet is approaching gridlock.
2. The net neutrality debate needs resolution—the Internet, fundamental freedom for all or a tiered, toll-based enterprise?
3. The broadband appliance unlocks the Internet for everyone—sidestepping the PC via new, small devices will promote future growth in Internet penetration.
4. Long live mobile video (just forget the television)—moving video content from the phone and onto bigger screens is far more likely to reap profits than trying to squeeze television onto mobile phones.
5. It’s mobile, but not as we knew it—network operators need to shake things up as mobile moves indoors.
6. The case for innovation, not imitation, in IPTV—IPTV needs to develop an original offer of television, not be a pale imitation of what currently exists.
7. The kilobyte is the killer application—bigger is not always better, as kilobyte-sized applications show.
8. The double-edged sword of triple play—failure to deliver a consistent quality of service across all their bundled offerings could cost operators dearly.
9. The connectivity chasms deepen—in the expanding digital divide, if you do not have voice, you may not have a voice.
10. The rising cost of free telecommunications—the "free lunch" in telecommunications may cause indigestion for some."
Federal Chief Information Officer Council Strategic Plan FY 2007-2009 (28 pages, PDF), January 17, 2007.
Table of Contents for LLRX.com - January 15, 2007 issue:
"The Center for the Digital Future at the USC Annenberg School has been tracking a representative sample of the American population for over six years watching as people move on-line and then move from modems to broadband."
Will Knight at New Scientist reports the research by Professor Markus Jakobsson and grad student Jacob Ratkiewicz, Indiana University, indicates "...one in 10 internet users may be lured into handing over sensitive personal information such as a credit card number, by fraudulent "phishing" emails..." and "that some survey participants may not have realised that they have been stung by a phishing scam, or may simply be too embarrassed to admit to it."
FTC press release, October 10, 2006: "Improving consumer access to broadband Internet service is an important goal for federal, state, and local governments. The possibility of competitive risks arising from municipal participation in wireless Internet service, however, calls for a careful analysis by policymakers considering if, and to what extent, a municipality should involve itself in such service, according to a report prepared by Federal Trade Commission staff."
AmLaw Tech Survey: Law Firms Play Variations on Old Themes - "The 11th annual survey finds firms expanding IT while adopting new versions of old standards."
As reported by Mike Shields: "Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive has launched made-for-mobile versions of the Web sites for three of its largest properties, including WashingtonPost.com, Newsweek.com and Slate.com as part of a new mobile services initiative at the company. The sites are available free of charge for any users that have a Web-enabled handset by logging onto the addresses mobile.washingtonpost.com, mobile.slate.com and mobile.newsweek.com."
Press release: Carnegie Mellon CyLab researchers create new system to address phishing fraud [ZDNet]
"You can watch Wi-Fi TV in most places around the world (including the USA) for free on any Internet enabled device."
ABCNews Wireless America: "As a service to ABCNEWS.com readers, we've compiled a list of public Wi-Fi access points in the nation's 30 most populous cities."
M-06-16, Protection of Sensitive Agency Information, June 23, 2006 (10 pages, PDF)
WSJ free feature: New Domain Name -- .Mobi -- Could Spur Wireless Web
Press release, May 19, 2006: "U.S. Senators Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and Byron Dorgan (D-ND), members of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, today introduced legislation that would preserve the open and democratic character of the Internet. The Internet Freedom Preservation Act (9 pages, PDF) would ensure that all content, applications and services are treated equally and fairly on the Internet by prohibiting broadband network operators from blocking, degrading, or prioritizing service on their networks. Rules to that effect were in place when the Federal Communications Commission reclassified broadband services, but the FCC neglected to adopt meaningful and enforceable safeguards."
Press release: "Wireless Internet access can free you from the confines of cords, but not from the need for security. Without taking the proper precautions, it's easy for others to use your wireless network connection to access the Internet, or even to access the information on your own computer. The Federal Trade Commission is introducing a new section of OnGuard Online to teach computer users how to protect their personal wireless network connections – and the computers on them – from unauthorized use. The information also is available in Spanish."
ComputerWorld reports that Westchester County in New York is the first county in the nation to require all businesses with wireless networks that collect consumer related data to use "minimun security measures."
The Implementation of the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act, Audit Report 06-13, [Redacted] March 2006 (PDF)
Following up on one, two, three recent posting related to increasing focus on issues related to net neutrality, open access, and e-commerce, see an article today from AP: Future of the Internet Highway Debated. It includes a discussion of the commercial, technical and socio-political issues associated with Internet traffic management (packet prioritization - ) the ability to specify different priority levels for different applications).
New York Times: Too Many New Gadgets, Too Much Information at Risk: Loss, theft and viruses are major issues as corporate use of handheld devices and pocket PCs increases. Pre-emptive security options are available however, as this article describes.
Follow-up to February 2, 2006 posting, Commentary on Forces Competing to Determine "Digital Destiny", this related article from the UK Times Onlines - Rumours mount over Google's internet plan, by Benjamin Cohen: "Google is working on a project to create its own global internet protocol (IP) network, a private alternative to the internet controlled by the search giant, according to sources who are in commercial negotiation with the company."
Press release: Wireless Networking in the Developing World - a practical guide to planning and building low-cost wireless infrastructure: "The book covers topics from basic radio physics and network design to equipment and troubleshooting. It is intended to be a comprehensive resource for technologists in the developing world, providing the critical information that they need to build networks. This includes specific examples, diagrams and calculations, which are intended to help building wireless networks without requiring access to the Internet." Available for free download (PDF).
"Your Google personalized homepage puts the information you care about on one web page -- and now you can access that page on your mobile phone or device, in a phone-friendly format that's easy to read and navigate."
America's Most Literate Cities, 2005: Seattle, WA ranked as the number one city for Internet literacy, defined in terms of "Internet resources available to the population." These resources include library Internet connections, commercial and public WiFi access, Internet book orders, and reading newspapers on the Internet.
Who's Afraid of Google? Everyone, by Kevin Kelleher. "It seems no one is safe: Google is doing Wi-Fi; Google is searching inside books; Google has a plan for ecommerce."
Press release: "House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi unveiled the House Democrats new Innovation Agenda: A Commitment to Competitiveness to Keep America #1 (12 pages, PDF) in a speech at the National Press Club this morning.
Hale, Robert V., Wi-Fi Liability: Potential Legal Risks in Accessing and Operating Wireless Internet. Santa Clara Computer and High Technology Law Journal, Vol. 21, p. 543.
"Radio Response is a group of volunteer IT professionals founded by Mac Dearman and dedicated to establishing an emergency communications infrastructure and currently working in the areas affected by hurricane Katrina. Beneficiaries of our work include shelters, medical centers,and relief organizations. All of our work is non-profit."
Press release: "EarthLink...today announced that it has been selected by Wireless Philadelphia to develop and implement the nation's largest municipal Wi-Fi broadband network. Wireless Philadelphia expands the City of Philadelphia's leadership position of using wireless technology to meet the needs of its residents and also enhance the City's progressive visitor, tourism and business environment."
Press release, August 16, 2006: "San Francisco, CA – Following through on a pledge made in last year's State of the City address, Mayor Gavin Newsom today launched a new initiative to provide universal, affordable wireless broadband access to all San Franciscans at no cost or minimal cost to the City and residents."
Katrina: The Sounds of Communications Silence, by John Wohlstetter, Discovery Institute, September 22, 2005:
From the Order, released September 23, 2005: "In this Order, we conclude that the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) applies to facilities-based broadband Internet access providers and providers of interconnected voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service. This Order is the first critical step to apply CALEA obligations to new technologies and services that are increasingly relied upon by the American public to meet their communications needs."
From NASCIO's New Series of Research Briefs on the Privacy Implications of Emerging State Technologies
Press release from the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure: A proposed Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rule to allow the use of cell phones on commercial aircraft received bipartisan criticism during a Congressional oversight hearing today...any change to the existing ban on aircraft cell phone use would require the approval of both the FAA and FCC. Although Nick Sabatini, Associate Administrator for Aviation Safety at the Federal Aviation Administration, indicated that the FAA has no intention of lifting its ban on the use of cell phones and other wireless devices, he said the FAA would consider allowing airlines to offer such services on a case-by-case basis if they demonstrate that pico cell, WiFi networks and other new communications technologies do not generate interference with avionics." The press release also includes quotes from statements made by witnesses.
From the Christian Science Monitor, Can you be found anywhere, anytime? reviews how GPS, TV and wireless signals can be used to track your location.
Wired reports today that the DOJ, FBI and DHS filed comments (23 pages, PDF) with the FCC seeking authority to require carriers to supply access to passenger in-flight communications "processed to and from broadband enabled communications devices onboard aircraft operating with United States airspace...," that they further require to be recorded by the carriers, once a threat determination has been made.
FCC press release: High-Speed Connections to the Internet Increased 34% During 2004 for a Total of 38 Million Lines in Service. The report (25 pages, PDF).
S. 1350: A bill to amend the Communications Act of 1934 to protect the privacy rights of subscribers to wireless communications services.
David Pogue provides details on how a pricey, private and very fast WiFi access option is now available to business travelers who need to work wherever they may be...on the road, or at the beach, or in the airport.
Consumer Reports WebWatch Investigations - Wireless Networks Offer Flexibility, Potential Snooping, offers a quick overview of security issue and makes recommendations on enabling safety solutions for home and on the road.
From today's WSJ free features, 'Evil Twins' and 'Pharming' - Hackers Use Two New Tricks To Steal Online Identities; Scams Are Harder to Detect.
From the New York Times, Internet Phones Arrive at Home (And Some Need No Computer)
From the New York Times, "A Special Issue of Circuits (reg. req'd) - In the first of six stand-alone sections, Circuits looks at the latest gadgets and services designed to help users get the most out of cellphones, laptops, P.D.A.'s and home networks."
802.11 Wireless Security Primer - Presentation by John MacMichael (84 pages, PDF)
"This page features links to World Wide Web sites, PowerPoint slideshows, and other electronic resources used in support of presentations at Computers in Libraries 2005. Links are provided at the discretion of presenters. Additional links will be provided as they become available."
Press release: "Today IBM announced the results from its 2004 Global Business Security Index Report and provided an early look at potential security threats in 2005. Based on early indicators, a new and troubling trend this year may be the aggressive spread of viruses and worms to handheld devices, cell phones, wireless networks, and embedded computers, which include car and satellite communication systems." [thanks David Ries]
FCC press release: "On February 7, with the cooperation of wireless carriers, the Commission published on its Web site a list of mail domain names used to send messages to wireless service. This list is to protect cellular and wireless consumers from unwanted commercial electronic mail messages by alerting marketers to which Internet domain names are used in the electronic addresses of wireless service subscribers."
From the New Millennium Research Council, Washington, D.C., a report co-authored by six telecom experts, 'Not In The Public Interest – the Myth of Municipal Wi-Fi Networks' - Why Municipal Schemes to Provide Wi-Fi Broadband Service With Public Funds Are Ill-Advised, February 2005. (40 pages, PDF)
Drivers on Cell Phones Kill Thousands, Snarl Traffic: "Cell phone distraction causes 2,600 deaths and 330,000 injuries in the United States every year.."
"Rand McNally Traffic helps you avoid the delays with real-time traffic information, speed maps, and data on your phone...Access unlimited real-time information (compiled from multiple sources) in 94 metro areas." [Link]
Security Focus has an in-depth report on how a Hacker penetrates T-Mobile systems and steals personal data, including social security numbers, emails, photos and Secret Service documents. [via David Reis]
A new white paper by Dr. Carsten Sørensen of the London School of Economics (in conjunction with Microsoft UK), titled The Future Role of Trust in Work - The Key Success Factor for Mobile Productivity. According to InfoWorld, the report indicates "that managers are using technologies such as e-mail, mobile phones, and SMS (Short Messaging Service) to keep tabs on employees when in actuality they are reducing workers' productivity and the amount of time that they spend serving customers."
The following resources, from the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT), reference the FCC's proposed rule, published in the Federal Register September 23, 2003, on the Communications for Law Enforcement Assistance Act (CALEA).
Planning a trip, and looking for free wireless access? See the BestWiFi Hotels 2004.
From Government Computer News, a review of how DHS has adopted a policy for deploying secure wireless networks within government agencies. The article also provides a useful checklist, ABCs of wireless security guide.
From the press release: "The AOL/ NCSA Online Safety Study (9 pages, PDF) – conducted by technical experts in the homes of 329 typical dial-up and broadband computer users – found that most computer users think they are safe but lack basic protections against viruses, spyware, hackers, and other online threats. In addition, large majorities of home computer users have been infected with viruses and spyware and remain highly vulnerable to future infections. Yet at the same time, most keep sensitive personal and financial information on their computers."
"Google SMS (Short Message Service) enables you to easily get precise answers to specialized queries from your mobile phone or device. Send your query as a text message and get phone book listings, dictionary definitions, product prices and more. Just text. No links. No web pages. Simply the answers you're looking to find." [Link to the FAQ page]
From Government Computer News: According to the Senate's CIO, "We’re implementing what we need to accomplish the vision of giving senators, staffs and committees the ability to do their job anytime, anywhere and under any circumstances..."
"First Lawsuit Over Cell Phone Spam - Legal ambiguity doesn't stop Verizon Wireless from slapping text-message spammers with unprecedented litigation." [Link via Slashdot]
"Airlines, airports battle over Wi-Fi spectrum oversight." [Link]
Baltimore courthouses join wireless age. See also this press release, which states "the Baltimore City State's Attorney’s Office has joined with the Baltimore City Circuit Court to provide a wireless Internet subscription service to attorneys and courthouse visitors."
Google may be heading deep into Microsoft's territory"...Google intends to extend information-searching in many directions: Mobile applications for wireless gadgets, more effective online shopping and social networking are all obvious applications of its technology."
"The Wi-Fi-FreeSpot™ Directory is a listing of Wi-Fi locations that offer Free Wireless Internet Access - Wi-Fi - utilizing 802.11 technology. The locations listed...are business locations like cafes, restaurants, coffeeshops, hotels, airports, downtown business districts, malls, retail stores, etc." [Link via Ex Libris]
Cutting the Tether: Great Resources on Wireless, offers a dozen tips and links by Dennis Kennedy.
From Federal Computer News, this interesting article about the adoption of wireless laptops to expand information exchange between Syracuse, New York police officers in their vehicles and civilian counterparts in the office.
As a follow-up to my recent posting on radio frequency ID tags in consumer goods, here is an article, WhereWare, that describes how wireless devices (notebooks, PDAs, cell phones) will be used as location tools to track their "owners every movement."
From the New York Times, another article on the continuing saga of Congress and their fixation with the BlackBerry wireless handhelds. As noted in my previous posting, loyalty to this Canadian device is under significant challenge from a patent infringement dispute with NTP Inc. Time will tell whether Congress will establish a new allegiance with perhaps a very eager Palm, dependent upon the outcome of the lawsuit.
A new report from the Internet Access Devices Service, Multimedia and Wireless Functionality: Changing the Way Consumers Perceive PDAs ($$$), summarized in this press release, indicates that the market for multi-functional handheld devices that include web access will continue to grow over the course of the next several years, outpacing the demand for PCs.
As noted in my January 17 posting, BlackBerry parent Research in Motion is involved in a patent infringement dispute in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia with NTP Inc., that may result in an end to Blackberry's rein over the wireless handheld market. Today's New York Times reports that NTP Inc. filed new court documents last week citing Research in Motion's "unfair" lobbying of the Patent and Trademark Office to re-examine disputed patents in the case.
The House BlackBerry communication program, initiated in 2001, provided all members with the device, and paid for the associated e-mail service (to the tune of $6 million). The adoption of this wireless technology was related to the events of 9/11.
However, Congress is now caught in an uncomfortable position concerning its continued use of the Blackberries, as reported today by the Washington Post. A patent infringement case between BlackBerry's Canadian parent, Research in Motion (RIM) and NTP Inc., threatens to force the removal of the devices. In an unusual action, James M. Eagen III, Chief Administrative Officer, U.S. House of Representatives, requested that the parties seek a resolution allowing Congress to keep their Blackberries.
As reported by the Wall Street Journal, Amtrak will run a test in October offering high-speed wireless Web access to travelers who stop at Harrisburg, Philadelphia, and New York, sponsored by the state of Pennsylvania and the ISP, NRoute Communications.