Ummmm……OK, maybe that overstates things a tad. Still, fellow Wetmachiner Greg Rose and yr hmbl obdn’t blogger will be unveiling two new White Papers on how we can break past the stale debates on federal spectrum and figure out how to make some wireless magic happen.
The event happens Thursday, June 3, from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Washington Court Hotel, 525 New Jersey Ave, NW, Washington DC 20001. NTIA Administrator Asst Secretary of Commerce Larry Strickling will give the Keynote Address, “Averting the Spectrum Crisis.”
Here’s the event web page, which will also allow you to RSVP. Now go below the fold to see an amusing event description and hilarious video advertisement for the conference.
The faux populist group Americans For Prosperity has been running ads against network neutrality in Mike Doyle‘s (D-PA) district in Pittsburgh. Doyle’s response? A letter to FCC Chairman Genachowski telling him to ignore faux populist FUD from AFP, hold firm, and move full speed ahead to protect consumers while Congress takes up the work of updating the Communications Act for a more comprehensive approach.
Rep. Doyle’s Democratic colleagues should learn from Doyle’s example — on this issue and other issues such as Wall St. reform — where a corporations seek to dress up their agendas in populist clothing combined with some decorative cover from Tea Party protesters.
Some more, and my latest sermon (or, as we say among my people musar schmooze, a speech of moral exhortation) to Democrats below . . .
So this guy walks into a bar with his dog. Puts the dog up on a barstool. Barkeep sez, “get that dog outta here.”
Guy sez, “Hey, this dog can talk.”
— “Go on.”
— “No really, he can talk. If he talks will you buy us a beer?”
— “Sure, if your dog can talk I’ll buy yz a beer.”
Dog don’t say nothin’. Pants, looks around, licks his balls.
— “Get out.”
Guy sez, “You gotta ask him something!”
Barkeep thinks for a second. “OK. Who is the greatest baseball player of all time?”
Dog don’t say nothin. Keeps on saying nothin.
Barkeep throws the guy & dog out on their asses into the gutter.
Dog looks at the guy.
Jim Baller and Marty Stern will put on a fantastic show for all you folks with broadband (and who doesn’t have broadband these days? Oh yeah . . . ) on Thursday May 27 on BroadbandUS.TV. After Austin Schlick, FCC General Counsel, lays out his arguments for the FCC’s “Third Way“, a panel consisting of myself, Barbara Esbin, C. Lincoln (Link) Hoewing and Joanne Hovis will debate “Can The FCC Get This Over The Goal Line and Keep It There.” This will be followed by Julie Knapp, Chief of the Office of Engineering Technology, will cover technical issues, followed by a discussion by Mark Cooper, Rebecca Arbogast, and Jeffery Eisenbach will discuss the economic and technical issues around an open internet.
If you are the sort of person who reads this blog, you will find this fun, interesting and informative. If you are not the sort of person who reads this blog, you’re not reading this — so who cares?
Stay tuned . . . .
According to this release from the BioDesign Institute at Arizona State University,
A team of scientists from Columbia University, Arizona State University, the University of Michigan, and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have programmed an autonomous molecular “robot” made out of DNA to start, move, turn, and stop while following a DNA track.
The development could ultimately lead to molecular systems that might one day be used for medical therapeutic devices and molecular-scale reconfigurable robots—robots made of many simple units that can reposition or even rebuild themselves to accomplish different tasks.
Or for creating the Overmind and repairing and reanimating the thawing head of Fred Christ, the frozen god, according to diabolical villain Monty Meekman, the power behind the throne at Digital Microsystems, Inc., and chancellor of the University of New Kent, as chronicled in my famous novel Acts of the Apostles and famous novella The Pains.
Ever since FCC Chair Genachowski announced his plans to hit the legal reset button and classify some aspect of broadband access service as Title II “telecom” rather than as a Title I “information service,” the little hard core world of policy has been all abuzz about what the FCC might do and how that might work or not work or would have this or that unintended consequence. AT&T’s Bob Quin provides a good example of this sort of analysis here, wherein he concludes that the Genachowski proposal can’t achieve the desired net neutrality rules and therefore analogizes this effort to Pickett’s Charge. [Additional props to Quin for comparing the effort to something that turned out to be a huge tactical mistake and that the folks executing Pickett’s Charge were fighting for a cause most of us in the progressive side oppose (the Confederacy).]
For me, this sort of speculation has much more in common with Fantasy Baseball than with an actual historic event — or what is likely to happen. What we’ve got right now is Genachowski outlining his approach in as close to layman’s terms as possible, and FCC General Counsel Austin Schlick providing an only slightly more detailed legal over view. No one can reasonably expect this to contain the level of detail and nuance of the FCC’s upcoming Notice of Inquiry on Title II and whatever forbearance proposal the FCC actually publishes. So all us policy wonks digging into the minutia of what we think the FCC might say and how that would or wouldn’t accomplish is a lot of fun. It’s also potentially educational in allowing us to explore possible issues and develop and hone arguments. But using this collective internet chatter to judge the effective of what the real FCC will actually do in reality, and therefore whether the FCC should take action at all, is as foolish as trying to predict the 2010 World Series from how well my fantasy baseball team performs.
Still, being a hardcore policy wonk, I can’t resist the urge to put my Fantasy FCC team against AT&T’s and the others. So I will give my replies to the most common “why the FCC won’t be able to do what it wants based on what Genachowski and Schlick said,” with the following caveats:
1) This is not written with the precision and nuance of a legal brief.
2) Substantive legal and tech comments, either pro or against, are certainly welcome. I just may not get a chance to respond given how busy things are.
3) The FCC still has an enormous capacity to do this wrong and mess things up. So while they could do it right, and I hope they will (I shall certainly do my best to push them) they could also screw up big time.
Every year, my employer Public Knowledge gives the IP3 Awards to recognize individuals or organizations that have tremendous contributions to balance in Intellectual Property, Information Policy, and Internet Protocols (hence “IP3″). To nominate someone, click on this link. You can see past winner here to see what sort of achievement we’ve honored (and who you think we’ve missed).
Stay tuned . . . .
I listen to a lot of Red Sox games on the radio. I like the game-calling by Joe Costiglione well enough. Joe is boring, but competent. His sidekick Dave O’Brien drives me a bit nuts, as he’s pompous & tends to talk in broadcasterese more than English. I can abide the cliches even if I don’t like them, (“twin killing” for double play; “became strikeout victim” for “struck out”, etc) but the mangled grammar is really irksome. O’Brien’s inability to master the conditional sentence, especially the “third conditional” is particularly annoying. Instead of saying, for example, “if Ortiz had hit the ball he would not have struck out and the Red Sox might not have lost the game,” O’Brien ponderously intones “Ortiz hits that ball, he doesn’t strike out and the Sox are still playing.” With O’Brien at the mic, there’s only present tense. You might think that a professional broadcaster would have familiarity with the nuances of our language. Not O’Brien. He talks like somebody who never went to school. It irritates the hell out of me.