SchwartzReport: Municipalities versus Telecomms on Internet Speed

Stephan A. Schwartz

Stephan A. Schwartz

This is why the U.S. has second rate internet. Third rate compared to countries like Korea. This is a classic monopolist move to block competition and keep prices high and service poor. Only citizen action is going to stop this. You need to get involved. It’s just that simple, we all need to get involved. Only 57,1% of Americans voted in the last Presidential and that was one of the largest percentages in ! years. That means in our best years over 42% of those eligible don’t vote.

How Big Telecom Smothers City-run Broadband
ALLAN HOLMES – The Center for Public Integrity

Janice Bowling, a 67-year-old grandmother and Republican state senator from rural Tennessee, thought it only made sense that the city of Tullahoma be able to offer its local high-speed Internet service to areas beyond the city limits.

. . . . . . .

She viewed the network, which offers speeds about 80 times faster than AT&T and 10 times faster than Charter in Tullahoma according to advertised services, as a utility, like electricity, that all Tennesseans need.

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments Off
Sep 13

Steven Aftergood: US Intelligence Budget Data — PBI: Understated but on the Record

Steven Aftergood

Steven Aftergood

Intelligence Budget Data

On March 4, 2014, the Administration submitted its Fiscal Year 2015 budget request, including a base funding request of $45.6 billion for the National Intelligence Program (NIP), and a base funding request of $13.3 billion for the Military Intelligence Program (MIP). On June 30, the DNI submitted an updated FY2015 budget request of $49.4 billion for the NIP including funding for overseas contingency operations. An updated budget request figure for the MIP has not yet been disclosed.

Phi Beta Iota: We consider these figures to be severely deceptive and roughly 70% of the actual combined total budget for green and black intelligence capabilities that are secret, toxic, and a mix of benignly worthless (standing armies of ignorant analysts, collection that is not processed) and pathologically dangerous (drones, renditions, covert operations, subsidies to foreign intelligence services). Our best guess of the actual total US secret intelligence budget remains US$100 billion per year, inclusive of thousands of private sector “intelligence” capabilities (many of them “open source” and extremely mediocre) that are embedded within acquisition and other contracts, all out of control and of dubious value.

IC Budget Table Cropped

Click on Table to Enlarge

Click to access Office of the Director of National Intelligence Budget Justifications

Comments Off
Sep 11

Michel Bauwens: Information Asymmetry and Power in a Surveillance Society

Categories: IO Impotency
Michel Bauwens

Michel Bauwens

“In this paper we look at how information in societies is organized and how power relationships arise as a consequence of this organization. We argue that many of the observed information asymmetries are not happenstance and, drawing from a wealth of scholarship from the economics and finance literature, we posit that outcomes are inevitably detrimental. The paper concentrates on the techniques that foster information imbalances, such as media and propaganda, knowledge production, educational systems, legal and organizational structures, exclusive information networks, and surveillance. We conclude that in the absence of greater transparency, the deleterious effects of unequal access to information will continue and deepen.”

* Article: Information Asymmetry and Power in a Surveillance Society. Lightfoot, Geoffrey and Wisniewski, Tomasz (2014). Munich Personal RePEc Archive.

Tip of the Hat to Jean Lievens for the pointer.

Comments Off
Sep 9

Rick Robinson: 11 Reasons Computers Fail Without Humans

Categories: IO Impotency
Rick Robinson

Rick Robinson

11 reasons computers can’t understand or solve our problems without human judgement

Why data is uncertain, cities are not programmable, and the world is not “algorithmic”.

Many people are not convinced that the Smart Cities movement will result in the use of technology to make places, communities and businesses in cities better. Outside their consumer enjoyment of smartphones, social media and online entertainment – to the degree that they have access to them – they don’t believe that technology or the companies that sell it will improve their lives.

The technology industry itself contributes significantly to this lack of trust. Too often we overstate the benefits of technology, or play down its limitations and the challenges involved in using it well.

Most recently, the idea that traditional processes of government should be replaced by “algorithmic regulation” – the comparison of the outcomes of public systems to desired objectives through the measurement of data, and the automatic adjustment of those systems by algorithms in order to achieve them – has been proposed by Tim O’Reilly and other prominent technologists.

Read full post with eleven reasons and many links.

Comments Off
Sep 8

SchwartzReport: US Telecomms Strike Three — Lazy, Ignorant, Irrelevant

Stephan A. Schwartz

Stephan A. Schwartz

We are in our own way a developing world. Here you see the naked greed of aging infrastructure corporations attempting to block new technology owned by the public.

US Telecoms Giants Call on FCC to Block Cities’ Expansion of High-Speed Internet
DOMINIC RUSHE – Reader Supported News

The US telecoms industry called on the Federal Communications Commission on Friday to block two cities’ plans to expand high-speed internet services to their residents.

USTelecom, which represents telecoms giants Verizon, AT&T and others, wants the FCC to block expansion of two popular municipally owned high-speed internet networks, one in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and the other in Wilson, North Carolina.

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments Off
Sep 2

Stephen E. Arnold: Big Data and Data Quality — Plus Robert Steele on the Role of the University

Categories: IO Impotency
Stephen E. Arnold

Stephen E. Arnold

Big Data Should Mean Big Quality

Posted: 28 Aug 2014 03:28 AM PDT

Why does logic seem to fail in the face of fancy jargon? DataFusion’s Blog posted on the jargon fallacy in the post, “It All Begins With Data Quality.” The post explains how with new terms like big data, real-time analytics, and self-service business intelligence that the basic fundamentals that make this technology work are forgotten. Cleansing, data capture, and governance form the foundation for data quality. Without data quality, big data software is useless. According to a recent Aberdeen Group study, data quality was ranked as the most important data management function.

Data quality also leads to other benefits:

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments Off
Sep 2

Stephen E. Arnold: Google Search Implodes — Loss of Integrity in Every Respect

Categories: IO Impotency
Stephen E. Arnold

Stephen E. Arnold

Google and Universal Search or Google Floudering with Search

There have been some experts who have noticed that Google has degraded blog search. In the good old days, it was possible to query Google’s index of Web logs. It was not comprehensive, and it was not updated with the zippiness of years past.

Search Engine Land and Web Pro News both pointed out that www.google.com/blogsearch redirects to Google’s main search page. The idea of universal search, as I understood it, was to provide a single search box for Google’s content. Well, that is not too useful when it is not possible to limit a query to a content type or a specific collection.

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments Off
Aug 31

Stephen E. Arnold: Free Law Textbooks — and the Fight to Liberate Intellectual Property Law from Entrenched Corporations with Armed with Lobbyists

Stephen E. Arnold

Stephen E. Arnold

Free Law Textbooks Challenge Copyright Maximalism

August 28, 2014

The article titled Duke Professor Looking To Make Legal Texts Affordable; Kicking Off With Intellectual Property Law on Techdirt refers to the work of James Boyle and Jennifer Jenkins. Both work in the Center of the Study of Public Domain at Duke Law School and hoped to mitigate the prices of textbooks for college students. They have already released their Intellectual Property Statutory Supplement (free to download, about $10 to print). They are quoted in the article,

“We are motivated in part by the outrageously steep cost of legal teaching materials, (and the increasing restrictions on those materials — such as the removal of the right of first sale). This book is intended for use with our forthcoming Intellectual Property casebook (coming in the Fall) but can also be used as a free or low cost supplement for basic Intellectual Property courses — at the college, law school or graduate school levels.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments Off
Aug 28

Berto Jongman: RoboEarth, RoboBrain — ZERO True Cost Economics Included

Berto Jongman

Berto Jongman

Robotic brain ‘learns’ skills from the internet

A super-intelligent robotic “brain” that can learn new skills by browsing millions of web pages has been developed by US researchers. Robo Brain is designed to acquire a vast range of skills and knowledge from publicly available information sources such as YouTube. The information it learns can then be accessed by robots around the world, helping them to perform everyday tasks. A similar project is already being developed in Europe.

RoboEarth, described as a world wide web for robots, was demonstrated by researchers at Eindhoven University in the Netherlands in January. Like Robo Brain, it aims to become a global repository for information that can be accessed by other robots. But unlike RoboEarth, Robo Brain is able to build up its own understanding from the information it gets from the internet, rather than being programmed by humans.

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments Off
Aug 28

Stephen E. Arnold: Heavens — Big Data is HARD WORK!

Categories: IO Impotency
Stephen E. Arnold

Stephen E. Arnold

Big Data: Oh, Oh, This Revolution Requires Grunt Work

I read “For Big-Data Scientists, ‘Janitor Work’ Is Key Hurdle to Insights.” The write up from the newspaper that does not yet have hot links to the New York Times’ store, has revealed that Big Data involves “janitor work.”

Interesting. I thought that Big Data was a silver bullet, a magic jinni, a miracle, etc. The write up reports that “far too much handcrafted work — what data scientists call “data wrangling,” “data munging” and “data janitor work” — is still required.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments Off
Aug 20