Inventing the Future

Under the Radar

This is five minutes of live demo and eight minutes of discussion at an Under the Radar conference last spring. It is a very info-dense presentation before specialized industry insiders. (There are lots of side references all around to Google and others.) The intense Enterprise and VC jargon is quite meaningful and right, not random bullshit. I am particularly struck by the discussion of use cases like yesterday’s Project Collaboration and Saturday’s Operations Center, although I think the emphasis on high-value uses cases is misleading. (Under the Radar is all about qualifying truly new tech scenarios: high-value or large-new-market uses always get the first attention by the investors. That doesn’t mean that less extreme scenarios are not just as relevant for the people involved in them.) I also like the characterization they arrive at in which hosted/cloud/Software-as-a-Service is equated with repeatable off-the-shelf workflows, while VPN/behind-the-firewall/custom installations are equated with specialized internal crown-jewels applications.

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Tales of the Sausage Factory

Benchmarks and the Broadband Ecology.

As folks in broadband policy land know, thanks to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), the FCC needs to present a National Broadband Plan to Congress by February 2010. The FCC has been holdng a bunch of workshops on various aspects of the plan as part of the inputs. I spoke last week at the Benchmarks Workshop. As I remarked to the sparse crowd, you can tell this is the deep uber-wonk stuff that only a handful of us find terribly interesting and vitally important while the rest of the world zones out and watches videos in their minds. For the short version, I include my latest “Five Minutes With Harold Feld.” Those more interested can watch the entire panel or read my written statement here. My more snarky comments (including my assessment of the panel) below.

More below . . .

Read More »

Posted in Tales of the Sausage Factory, The Stimulus Package (ARRA) | Also tagged , , , | 2 Comments (Comments closed)

Tales of the Sausage Factory

CellAntenna Scam Continues To Gain Momentum — Bummer.

Regular readers may recall that I find CellAntenna’s continuing effort to leverage the problem of contraband cell phones to get the law changed so that they can sell cell phone jammers legally in this country not merely obnoxious and offensive, but downright dangerous. CellAntenna has proven real good at persuading state prison wardens that this technology solves their problems, despite the statements of frequency coordinators and public safety orgs that this is a real bad idea. The mainstream media, as is all too common these days, has generally acted like mindless cheer leaders without troubling to dig into whether cell phone jamming will actually work or not. The only decent in depth coverage was this Wired piece by Vince Beiser. For one thing, Beiser notes that prisoners can beat the jammers with a few sheets of aluminum foil.

I’ve blogged in a little more in-depth on this over here at Public Knowledge. We also (with additional sign ons from a number of other orgs) sent this letter to the Senate Commerce Committee in advance of tomorrow’s hearing so that at least someone is on record opposing this scam. Finally, for those of you who prefer the short, pithy medium of me staring into a camera and yakking about this, I give you my latest Five Minutes With Harold Feld The Prison Problem: Cell Phone Jamming and Shrimp Scampi.

Stay tuned . . . .

Posted in Spectrum, Tales of the Sausage Factory | Also tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments (Comments closed)

Tales of the Sausage Factory

My Five Minutes of Fame: “Why My 21st Century Cellular Network Has A Princess Phone.”

This week, on “Five Minutes With Harold Feld,” I cover handset exclusivity, my iPhone envy, and the inevitable “I’m a Mac/I’m a PC” joke. Also, I want to point out the “schlumpy” is a fine look, thank you!

Stay tuned . . . .

Posted in General, Tales of the Sausage Factory | Also tagged , | 2 Comments (Comments closed)

Tales of the Sausage Factory

My Weekly Five Minutes of Fame — I Explain the National Broadband Plan In Five Minutes.

We are starting a new feature at Public Knowledge called “Five Minutes With Harold Feld,” wherein I will take insanely boring complicated wonkery and make it mildly less boring. This week, I explain the National Broadband Plan and the comments PK filed last night.

Stay tuned . . . .

Posted in Tales of the Sausage Factory, The Stimulus Package (ARRA) | Also tagged , , | 3 Comments (Comments closed)

Inventing the Future

Subsumption Assumption

Ack, this was sitting in my drafts folder for nearly a year. At the time I started it, someone had asked about how one might use Croquet virtual worlds to subsume other technical functions in the same way that the World Wide Web has incorporated other resources and functions. I did five minutes on the taxonomy of the problem-space.

I should have just answered with this video of Intel’s John David Miller demoing the use of Twitter from within a Qwaq Forum. He fills in the stuff on the Twitter Web page (crappy hand-held video, below) and then I love how the audience guy asks, “And then you can bring the result in to the world?” JDM answers that it already is, and dollies back to show that the whole interaction has been in world the whole time.

Reminds me of this from way back when.

Posted in Inventing the Future, meta-medium | Also tagged , , , , , | Comments closed

Tales of the Sausage Factory

Boston City Council “Wicked OTAHD-ed”

According to this article, the City of Boston is considering banning or otherwise regulating the placement of DBS receiver dishes. The article reports that in a number of places these have become real eye sores, especially where a tenant moves out and just leaves the dish. Also, DBS comapnies are increasingly puting dishes in windows rather than all the way on roofs, and are generally not that concerned with keeping the neighborhood looking pretty.

Nevertheless, after the trouncing the FCC gave Massport last month over OTARD, this is pretty silly. Or, as those of us from Boston might say “wicked OTAHDed.”

Now there are ways the City can try to deal with the esthetic problems. For example, it could mandate that landlords permit use of rooftops for DBS providers (one big problem is often that landlords sign exclusive deals with incumbent cable operators, so only tennants with a southern exposure window can subscribe). Or Boston might require that any tenant that terminates DBS service remove the dish or who moves must remove the receiver dish. The city could probably require that if a DBS or other provider comes to install a dish and finds a “dead dish” connected to the residence, the DBS provider must remove it (I’m a little leary of this one because it imposes additional costs on the DBS provider and therefore may be preempted by federal law).

These are just ideas off the top of my head, so they may not be plausible. If the City of Boston wants some help, I recommend the Boston University Law School Legislative Drafting Clinic (of which I am an alum). But I hope they resist the urge to just pass something stupid that a federal judge will smack down in five minutes. That never helps anyone, and is especially irritating when taking a bit of time and effort to get it right can save everyone some grief down the road.

Stay tuned . . . .

Posted in Spectrum, Tales of the Sausage Factory | Also tagged , , | 2 Comments (Comments closed)
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