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To: Frank A. Coluccio who wrote (40827)4/18/2012 9:17:41 AM
From: ftth
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on a related note, this audio is allegedly from a USAF training video describing the missile guidance systems for the GLCM (ground launched cruise missile):

The only thing missing from the end is something like, "due to the error between where it shouldn't be and where it was, the missile is likely to miss its target, and this is why it is called a MISSile rather than a HITile." ;o)

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From: Frank A. Coluccio4/19/2012 12:13:11 PM
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Carriers Warn of Crisis in Mobile Spectrum

Are We Running Out of Spectrum?: Wireless companies say that smartphones are threatening to overwhelm their networks, and are asking the government for help. But some experts maintain that technology already has the answers.

By BRIAN X. CHEN Published: April 17, 2012

[fac: note some familiar names here...]


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From: ftth4/19/2012 3:16:08 PM
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U.S. Wireless Seen Contracting After IPhone Binge

"The U.S. wireless market, long the fastest-growing sector in the telecommunications industry, looks like it’s headed for a wall. Sales of wireless contracts, the most lucrative segment of the business because it locks in monthly payments over long periods, may have shrunk for the first time ever in the first quarter. One big reason for the sharp reversal: Soaring iPhone sales in late 2011 may have satiated consumers’ appetites for wireless plans. "


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From: Frank A. Coluccio4/20/2012 1:04:39 AM
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What’s Complexity Theory Got to Do with Power Engineering?
Paul Mauldin, Editor | TD World | Apr 18, 2012

In the 1990s I had the privilege of being part of a utility research organization that was leading out in developing the concept of ‘distributed utility’ – a major forerunner of ‘smart grid’. The premise was that central generation had reached the limits of economy of scale, and smaller, distributed generation resources, particularly aero-derivative gas turbines, were more economical and easier to site closer to load. Of course, there was lots of discussion about system stability, interaction with large remote generation, and how all this would work with looming deregulation of the electric utility industry. In California, deregulation meant that utilities would soon have to delaminate. The traditional vertical integration of generation, transmission and distribution would be broken up to encourage competitive market forces to do their thing, similar to the breaking up of the telecommunications industry.

We had frequent brainstorm meetings with engineers, economists and operations research experts taking turns at the whiteboards. Arrows and symbols connected the various elements of the physical electrical system with marketers, regulators and consumers. Here was the generation resource, there was the consumer, over here is the market place where time and location based pricing is determined. Black, blue, red and green dry-erasable lines went everywhere. Trying to add a little humor I even wrote a little story titled: “The Totally Disconnected Utility” and passed it around the office. I got a few yucks but most of my colleagues just grabbed another bagel and went back to their computers and whiteboards. This was serious, industry changing stuff!



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From: pltodms4/20/2012 2:31:54 PM
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Inductive charging now effective up to 40mm away
Read more:

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From: Frank A. Coluccio4/20/2012 4:42:28 PM
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Project to Map ‘Every U.S. Commercial Rooftop’ for Solar Potential
Environmental Leader Newsletter | April 20, 2012

Satellite imagery company GeoEye has teamed up with Geostellar in a partnership that aims to map and catalog the photovoltaic solar potential of every commercial and residential property in the United States. Under terms of the agreement, GeoEye will supply Earth imagery, digital surface models and other mapping data to help Geostellar expand its existing service. Herndon, Virginia-based GeoEye also intends to take a small equity stake in the company. Analytics startup Geostellar uses big data tools to model a property's roof slope, shadows and weather patterns, combined with local utility rates and incentives, to determine how quickly a property owner can recoup an investment in solar energy.



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To: Frank A. Coluccio who wrote (40833)4/20/2012 5:18:35 PM
From: elmatador
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Brics: a new south-south cable

Vladivostok to Miami via Shantou, Mumbai and Fortaleza, Brazil. At a length of 34,000km, the cable will be the third longest in the world. So why is it needed?

April 16, 2012 7:58 pm by Rob Minto

The big news to come out of the Brics summit in New Delhi last month was the formal proposal for a Brics development bank. But another item may end up being of greater economic significance: the Brics Cable.

This isn’t some Wikileaks exposé. Rather, it’s a proposed new route for a huge undersea telecoms cable connecting Vladivostok to Miami via Shantou, Mumbai and Fortaleza, Brazil. At a length of 34,000km, the cable will be the third longest in the world. So why is it needed?

A quick glance at a map of existing undersea cables shows that for data to get from, say, China to Brazil, it must go along several different pipes. Most Brics traffic goes through hubs in Europe or the US, incurring costs and – cyber-consipracy theorists pay attention – the “risk of potential interception of critical financial and security information by non-Brics entities”, according to Brics Cable, the project’s backer.

In other words: We don’t want to pay you for using pipes where you can listen in.

So why then is the cable proposed to extend to the US? Andrew Mthembu, chairman of i3 Africa and Imphandze Investment who was the driver of the West African WACS cable, told beyondbrics that “you can’t just wish America away – if you take the US out of the picture, you take away traffic. And for a cable like this, you need traffic. The US is still a major economy for the Brics.”

In fact, Mthembu was surprised that he didn’t meet with much resistance to the idea of extending the cable to the US when discussing the plans in New Delhi. Commercial considerations are clearly more important than cutting America off.

Politics aside, what’s driving this plan is the role of South Africa in the Brics. The country has often been seen as punching above its weight, joining the club in 2010 as a far smaller economy that any of the other four Bric nations. To prove its worth, South Africa needs to put forward credible projects of strategic importance – and the Brics Cable fits the bill.

The cable will open up access to Africa for the Bric nations and other countries, connecting to the WACS cable and the EASSy cable on the east coast of the continent. It will also give African countries access the other way – improving technology sharing, trade and transactions. And in the middle of it all is South Africa, which can benefit as a gateway.

The planned completion date is late 2014 – it will take two years to manufacture, plan the route and lay the cable. The crucial bit is the agreements with operators and governments in all the connecting countries, which could take up to six months. Mthembu said the lesson of the WACS cable was that getting the permits was the hardest bit, with 12 participating countries, each with their own regimes and laws.

So what if, say, Indonesia wants to join? Easy enough, said Mthembu – a connecting extension can be put in without too much trouble. Getting the main section agreed is the hard bit.

Currently, Mthembu has support from governments and country telecoms operators alike. “We are optimistic,” he said, “but the proof will be in the eating.”

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From: Frank A. Coluccio4/21/2012 12:55:48 AM
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Australia's NBN Shows Installation Schedule

We've covered Australia's National Broadband Network as it has been designed, but now they are posting information on the actual rollout by region and city. They've even created a NBN rollout map to show progress.

You can see the enormous list of towns and their status here. Many towns have detailed maps of the installations that are interesting too.

Courtesy of the Fiber Optic Association


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From: Frank A. Coluccio4/21/2012 8:05:53 PM
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Point & Counterpoint


AN I.T. PRO RESPONDS: GREENPEACE DON'T UNDERSTAND MOORE'S LAW vs. JEVONS PARADOX’t-understand-moore’s-law-versus-jevons-paradox&u=4892


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From: LindyBill4/21/2012 9:54:55 PM
1 Recommendation   of 46580
The bigger you get, the more they hate you.

Don't Be Evil, but Don't Miss the Train

BACK in 2004, as Google prepared to go public, Larry Page and Sergey Brin celebrated the maxim that was supposed to define their company: "Don't be evil."

But these days, a lot of people — at least the mere mortals outside the Googleplex — seem to be wondering about that uncorporate motto.

How is it that Google, a company chockablock with brainiac engineers, savvy marketing types and flinty legal minds, keeps getting itself in hot water? Google, which stood up to the Death Star of Microsoft? Which changed the world as we know it?

The latest brouhaha, of course, involves the strange tale of Street View, Google's project to photograph the entire world, one street at a time, for its maps feature. It turns out Google was collecting more than just images: federal authorities have dinged the company for lifting personal data off Wi-Fi systems, too, including e-mails and passwords.

Evil? Hard to know. But certainly weird — and enough to prompt a small fine of $25,000 from the Federal Communications Commission and, far more damaging, howls from Congress and privacy advocates. A Google spokeswoman called the hack "a mistake" and disagreed with the F.C.C.'s contention that Google "deliberately impeded and delayed" the commission's investigation.

Many people might let this one go, were it not for all those other worrisome things at Google. The company has been accused of flouting copyrights, leveraging other people's work for its benefit and violating European protections of personal privacy, among other things. "Don't be evil" no longer has its old ring. And Google, an underdog turned overlord, is no humble giant. It tends to approach any controversy with an air that ranges somewhere between "trust us" and "what's good for Google is good for the world."

But ascribing what's going on here solely to the power or arrogance of a single company misses an important dimension of today's high-technology business, where there are frequent assaults, real or perceived, on various business standards and practices.

Mark Zuckerberg has apologized multiple times for Facebook's changing policies on privacy and data ownership. Last year, he agreed to a 20-year audit of Facebook's practices.

Jeffrey P. Bezos has been criticized for how shares data with other companies, and what information it stores in its browser. And Apple, even before it drew fire for the labor practices at Foxconn in China, had trouble over the way it handled personal information in making music recommendations.

When such problems arise, executives often stare blankly at their accusers. When a company called Path was recently found to be collecting the digital address books of its customers, for instance, its founder characterized the process as an "industry best practice." He reversed the policy after a storm of criticism.

WHAT'S going on, when business as usual in such a dynamic industry makes the regulators — and the public — nervous?

Part of Google's problem may be no more than an ordinary corporate quandary. "With 'Don't be evil,' Google set itself up for accusations of hypocrisy anytime they got near the line," says Roger McNamee, a longtime Silicon Valley investor. "Now they are on the defensive, with their business undermined especially by Apple. When people are defensive they can do things that are emotional, not reasonable, and bad behavior starts."

But "Don't be evil" also represents the impossibility of a more nuanced social code, a problem faced by many Internet companies. Nearly every tech company of significance, it seems, is building technologies that are producing an entirely new kind of culture. EBay, in theory, can turn anyone on the planet into a merchant. Amazon Web Services gives everyone a cheap supercomputer. Twitter and Facebook let you publish to millions. And tools like Google Translate allow us to transcend old language barriers.

"You want a company culture that says, 'We are on a mission to change the world; the world is a better place because of us,'" says Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn and a venture capitalist with Greylock Partners. "It's not just 'we create jobs.' A tobacco company can do that."

"These companies give away a ton of value, a public good, with free products like Google search, that transforms cultures," Mr. Hoffman says. "The easy thing to say is, 'If you try to regulate us, you'll do more harm than good, you're not good social architects.' I'm not endorsing that, but I understand it."

The executives themselves don't know what their powerful changes mean yet, and they, like the rest of us, are dizzied by the pace of change. Sure, automobiles changed the world, but the roads, gas stations and suburbs grew over decades. Facebook was barely on the radar five years ago and now has a community of more than 800 million, doing things that no one predicted. When the builders of the technology barely understand the effect they are having, the regulators of the status quo can seem clueless.

Moreover, arrogance can come easily to phenomenally well-educated people who have always been at the top of the class. Success, though sometimes fickle, comes fast, and is registered in millions and billions of dollars. The world applauds, so it's easy to see yourself as a person who can choose well for the world.

In the "people like us" haze of the rarefied realms of tech, it's easy to forget that, well, not everyone is like us. Not everyone is comfortable with the idea of sharing personal information, of living in full view on the Web. And, of course, ordinary people have more downside risk than a 26-year-old Harvard dropout billionaire.

Another hazard is also one of the great strengths of the Silicon Valley: a tolerance of failure. Failing at an interesting project is seen as an important kind of learning. In the most famous case, Steve Jobs was driven from Apple, then failed in his NeXT Computer venture and for a while floundered at Pixar. But he picked up vital skills in management and technology along the way. There are a thousand lesser such stories.

If tech is building a new culture, with new senses of the private and the shared, the failure of overstepping boundaries is also the only way to learn where those boundaries have shifted.

It is a self-serving point, but that doesn't mean it's entirely wrong. To the outsiders, it can look a lot as if the companies are playing "catch us if you can" by continually testing, and sometimes exceeding, boundaries.

IS there a better way? Mr. Hoffman says he thinks the tech industry has to acknowledge how much its products are shaping society. "We need something more than, 'We're good guys, trust us,' " he says. "There should be an industry group that discusses overall issues around data and privacy with political actors. Something that convinces them that you are good guys, but gives them a place to swoop in."

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