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   Technology StocksThe *NEW* Frank Coluccio Technology Forum

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From: Frank A. Coluccio8/16/2009 11:26:50 PM
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Russian and Belarus Telcos to Begin Deployment Of EPON Fiber Networks
August 16, 2009 | The Being HAD Times <sic>

According to Teknovus, a developer of access chips and embedded software for the FTTx market has announced that Russian and Belarus telcos have begun deployment of EPON fiber networks using the company’s products.

Broadband penetration in Russia is expected to grow from 18 percent in 2008 to more than 28 percent by the end of 2010. Many Eastern European telcos are following the EPON testing and deployment process adopted by China Telecom (News - Alert), which began with evaluations of PON technologies in 2006, and now, has more than 14 million EPON-based subscribers throughout the country.

Paul Runcy, director of carrier marketing at Teknovus said they are delighted about the wins in Russia and Belarus that have a combined population of more than 145 million people.

“Eastern European telcos and national governments understand the importance of high-speed fiber access communications for business and residential services and for national growth and prosperity,” said Runcy.

Teknovus’ offerings support EPON at 1G, 2.5G and 10G speeds and allow for the delivery of advanced triple-play services like IPTV (News - Alert) through optical fiber networks.

In addition, their solutions ensure carrier-grade service management with guaranteed bandwidth per service per user.

Premier Electric, which distributes electronic components and modules for the telecommunications industry in Russia and Belarus, is one company supporting Teknovus’ EPON projects in Eastern Europe with communications equipment vendors like General Datacomm, Angstrem Telecom and Mikst.

According to Pavel Katlerov, marketing manager at Premier Electric, Russian and Belarus communications equipment vendors are enabling their respective service providers to cost-effectively deploy fiber-based access networks.


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To: ftth who wrote (31011)8/16/2009 11:29:47 PM
From: Frank A. Coluccio
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Nicely, and undeniably plausibly, put.


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From: Frank A. Coluccio8/17/2009 12:10:44 AM
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Consumers are Drawn to E—Reader Convenience but Seek Tactile Experience
6 August 2009 | cellular-news

E-reader adoption has piqued some interest among consumers, but according to a new report from market research company The NPD Group there is still some consumer convincing to be done. While 37 percent of consumers surveyed expressed interest in purchasing an e-reader, more than 40 percent of consumers said they were "somewhat uninterested" or "not interested at all."


FAC: Leaving the e-readers alone for a moment, some of my longest-standing 'romances' with hard copy editions of my favorite mags have been utterly ruined by publishers bringing their content to Web zines exclusively, or bastardizing their delivery by bifurcating between the two media. It particularly pisses me off when they employ subtle measures to discourage use of the hard copy by ever-reducing the font sizes (I think one of my regulars is now down to an 8pt font) and altering the coloration and contrast levels of print against background in the hard version. Yeah.. yeah.. I know, I'm just getting older and can't see as well as I used to, I know. But, what I'm saying here is true just the same. After being unable for years to get users to "opt" into using e-zines through email polls, they'll now use tactics to get their way, anyway they can, even if it means resorting to subterfuge and feigning ignorance about how they're doing it. Don't get me wrong. It's sometimes nice to have access to the zine edition too, as an option, but I find that when they are the "only" option they're wanting, since they are not as portable and convenient for knock-around reading, and frankly I don't find them as ergonomically pleasing and enjoyable to read as their tactile kin. So there! I'm glad I had this opportunity to bitch a little. Now I can go to sleep.


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To: ftth who wrote (31009)8/17/2009 12:35:47 AM
From: axial
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When you consider the degree of capture, and the regulator's historical failure to enforce regulations already on the books, I think it's fair to say the regulator's decisions favor the companies.

That is, the regulator acts for the companies - to the even when companies are clearly in violation the law, and defrauding taxpayers of billions.

Intentionally vague language is merely part of s duplicitous strategy, designed to make regulations opaque and infinitely arguable. That's how the regulators disguise the extent of capture.

Hair-splitting distinctions are merely part of the game. Clear, intelligible regulations are the last thing status quo players want, in the same way the financial sector wants maximum obfuscation in credit-card agreements: to increase the likelihood of end-user ripoffs, and the probability that challenges will be accompanied by protracted and costly litigation.

Does anybody seriously believe promises, if made, cannot be enforced? That clear agreements, demonstrably upheld, are beyond our ability?


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To: axial who wrote (31015)8/17/2009 1:58:24 AM
From: Frank A. Coluccio
1 Recommendation   of 46820
You've made some good points too, Jim, to add to ftth's.

I'm convinced that some of the most inexplicable and bizarre circumstances and conditions exist throughout any given area of interest (be it local politics, industry groups, labor organizations, the corner saloon clique, among college alumni, you name it) based on the dynamics of cultural memes within each of those areas. I've never understood (maybe someone here, or a lurker looking in, will be kind enough to explain it to me?) how the regulatorium could ignore the claims made by Bruce in his exposé of the $200 Billion ripoff, and do so without even an acknowledgment of being in receipt of the message. Not even to stand up and say Bruce You're Wrong about this.

Now I could be all wet about this, but the only thing that I've been able to gather concerning the latter is that through some means of don't-bother-me-with-the-facts and, as if through an act of executive fiat, the powers that be decided to grant forbearance and forgive the commitments earlier made by the telcos to actually build what they had earlier claimed they'd build if they' were granted (which they were) the rate treatment that they'd asked for and received. Hence we come to “Kushnick’s Law” – 'A regulated company will always renege on promises to provide public benefits tomorrow in exchange for regulatory and financial benefits today.'

In some ways it's similar to how the underground cash world operates, a lot of see-no, hear-no, speak-no evil going on. Things have changed somewhat in my neck of the woods, when taking a view of the whole, compared to twenty years ago in some of the accepted practices in the building trades area. But for a time, the memes possessed by landlords and certain factions of labor and even field engineering forces of large vendors, for example, made it perfectly reasonable for even the most prestigious and bluest among blue chip organizations to overlook subtle acts of extortion (oops.. I mean 'customary practices') that were acted out in order to get work done after hours or through the use of the 'freight elevator', or in some other marginally non-ordinary circumstance.

[Yeah, ya give a guy a tip if ya appreash what he's done fer ya, but after the fact out of yer own digs, not outta yer client's.]

I recall once refusing to play ball, which resulted in my being very close to being asked to end an engagement because of it. In that instance an associate stood in for me when he saw I was unwilling to budge and arranged to donate several tens of thousands of dollars (obviously, this was being done with the complicity of the client) to a given entity's "retired members disability fund" in order to get an installation deadline honored for a project that had some very serious Fed compliance-related repercussions associated with it, if missed.

No one except I even flinched. OK, so I'm a wuss in this respect, but a wuss who prefers to remain squeaky clean nonetheless. It was as what, dude... what do you care? It's not as though it were your money!

It was all very normal and customary. A part of the culture. This meme was freely and unabashedly shared throughout the collective, top to bottom, is my main point. I sense that a similar meme permeates the regulatorium. Some may notice, but no one speaks, hence no one else ever gets to learn about it, much less cares. Yet, bizarre occurrences appear to unfold regularly, and when all else fails the answer is: Forbear it. Again and again and again until you've created a revolving door of forbearance.

I suspect that the latter would be the explanation, were anyone to bother answering Bruce's claims, concerning the now-infamous 45 Mbps lines that were once promised but never installed in NJ and elsewhere during the Nineteen Nineties.

So whaddayathink? Ya think it's time I assumed an alias in these parts? Eh?


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To: Frank A. Coluccio who wrote (31016)8/17/2009 3:24:24 AM
From: axial
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"So whaddayathink? Ya think it's time I assumed an alias in these parts? Eh?"

Maybe. It's a question of degree isn't it? Nobody works in a completely honest system. Not judges, not cops, not purchasing departments, not governments, not unions.

"Yet, bizarre occurrences appear to unfold regularly, and when all else fails the answer is: Forbear it. Again and again and again until you've created a revolving door of forbearance."

When does forbearance become acceptance? I don't know, but at some point we begin to realize there's no practical difference between our supposed "morality" and that of the Banana Republics we disdain.

Then, we're not just talking about petty graft by low-level players, we're contemplating systemic corruption that goes to the highest offices in commerce and government. In many cases at present, corruption occurs in so many sophisticated ways that it's indistinguishable from business as usual.

Are we there yet?


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To: axial who wrote (31017)8/17/2009 8:11:18 AM
From: Peter Ecclesine
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Doctored Data Cast Doubt on Argentina
Economists Dispute Inflation Numbers
By Juan Forero, Washington Post Foreign Service, Sunday, August 16, 2009

BUENOS AIRES -- Workers at the government's National Institute of Statistics call it crass manipulation: Their agency, under pressure from above, altered socioeconomic data to reflect numbers palatable to the presidency. Inflation and poverty miraculously dropped, they said in interviews, and the economy boomed.

At least officially.

"They just erased the real numbers," said Luciano Belforte, an 18-year veteran at the institute. "Reality did not matter."

The alleged manipulation, which is under investigation by anti-corruption prosecutors, has angered Argentines. But in a globalized world, where a pensioner in Italy might be as likely to invest in Argentina as in Fiat, the suspected modifications are being felt far beyond this city.


Statisticians, mathematicians and survey-takers who still work at the INDEC described how managers stopped surveying products that had recorded steep price hikes. "If something went up more than 15 percent, they'd take it off the list," said Marcela Almeida, a mathematician and one of several workers deposed by prosecutors.

Almeida said managers would obsess about certain products, such as bread, urging surveyors to come back to the INDEC office with prices that remained low. If they were not low enough, Almeida said, "the person who received their forms would change this price."

The controversy has raised questions about the government's official poverty figure. The INDEC's calculation is 15.3 percent; the Catholic Church says it is closer to 40 percent. After Pope Benedict XVI called poverty in Argentina a "scandal" this month, the government acknowledged that as many as 23 percent of Argentines might be poor.

But economists, among them Juan Bour, of the Latin American Foundation for Economic Investigations, said they expect no major changes in the INDEC's data-gathering. "It would be a recognition of significant failure," Bour said.

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From: Lou K.8/17/2009 9:44:25 AM
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Over the last few days my neighborhood as become a sea of orange cable markings. Most of the routes are lead to and from CATV hatches and cross sidewalks to enter into backyards - apparently there is some shallow "Fiber" as well?

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From: LindyBill8/17/2009 1:56:55 PM
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'Big' Hollywood Kills RealDVD?

By Ken Blackwell on StealDVD

A while back, I authored a post here on Big Hollywood about the movie industry's battle against RealDVD, an innovative technology that, if permitted to exist, would allow DVD owners to make personal "backup" copies of their movies, while simultaneously adding an encryption to discouraging piracy.

In September of 2008, calling it "StealDVD," the big Hollywood (no pun intended) studios filed suit against RealDVD.

And this past Tuesday — as PC World wrote - RealDVD was dealt a "devastating blow" when U.S. District Court Judge Marilyn Hall Patel "granted a preliminary injunction against sale of RealDVD, pending a trial over copyright infringement."

It's too soon to know what will happen, but it appears the movie industry has the upper hand. But is it a victory they cannot afford to win?

As I noted months ago, the irony is that by opposing RealDVD, the movie industry seems to be operating against its own long-term self-interest. As consumers desire more freedoms and options, the most successful companies are embracing the societal changes. Meanwhile, the movie industry has adopted a very un-progressive posture and is hunkering down and simply suing the innovators.

Whereas the music industry seems to have learned that swimming against the modern-day consumer's demand is a fool's errand, the movie industry is doubling down. As PC World noted, "It's perfectly legal to rip music from a CD and upload it onto an iPod for personal use; why can't a person do the same with their own copies of movies?"

iPod owners own the right to make a certain number of personal copies of their music. Systems are in place to prevent mass piracy. RealDVD would essentially do the same thing. Again, PC World hit the nail on the head, writing that RealDVD allowed "only a single digital copy to be placed on your hard drive. After paying extra licensing fees, you could transfer the digital copy onto as many as five other hard drives. Disc-based burning was never an option."

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Hollywood has long presented itself as "cool" and "cutting edge," yet when it comes to guiding their own industry, they seem mired in a 20th century mindset. The irony here is that instead of allowing a legitimate and innovative company flourish, the movie industry will likely find that more and more piracy sites will emerge and that fewer and fewer people will be buying what they are selling.

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From: LindyBill8/17/2009 2:04:03 PM
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Redbox: Is the movie biz doomed to relive the Napster nightmare?

By LAT Blogs


As Yogi Berra would say: Yikes, it's deja vu all over again.

In recent days, my newspaper has been chock-full of stories about the the latest round of legal battles between the Hollywood studios and Redbox, the upstart $1-per-night DVD rental kiosk company. My colleague Ben Fritz has done a wonderful job of chronicling all the fussing and fighting, having reported on how three of Hollywood's biggest studios -- 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros. and Universal -- are refusing to provide DVDs to Redbox until at least 28 days after they go on sale.

Warners has even gone further, saying it would impose the same restrictions on Netflix and other DVD by-mail subscription providers unless they agreed to a "day-and-date revenue sharing option." Since Netflix already has a revenue sharing deal in place with Warners, the translation of that restriction threat is pretty simple: You're making boatloads of dough on DVD rentals while our DVD sales are plummeting, so unless you cut us a better deal, buster, we're going to freeze you out.

Two of the industry's other studios, Sony and maverick indie Lionsgate, recently agreed to long-term distribution deals with Redbox, netting the studios hundreds of millions in revenues in exchange for guaranteeing Redbox a free flow of DVD product. But the other studios have been doing a lot of saber rattling. Universal has already ordered its distributors not to sell Redbox any DVDs until 45 days after store sales began. Fox has a 30-day edict that goes into effect in October, right after the DVD release of the studio's "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs" hit film. Redbox has filed suit against Universal and Fox, accusing the studios of using their clout to "unlawfully coerce" distributors from allowing Redbox access to DVD product, calling it "a naked restraint of trade."

Napster I'll let the legal experts weigh in on the lawsuits. But I know what the real story is here. There's no way of getting around the fact that the studios who are trying to put the muscle on Redbox are making the same mistakes the music business made nearly a decade ago when it attempted -- and failed, quite spectacularly -- to squash unauthorized downloading of music by destroying the dreaded Napster Web file-sharing service.

Whether the studios like it or not, Redbox is a brilliant, consumer friendly product. In a few short years, it has enjoyed spectacular growth, allowing moviegoers to cheaply rent DVDs from thousands of kiosks around the country, located at McDonald's (where the company got its start), grocery stores, pharmacies and Wal-Mart outlets. There are now 18,000 Redbox kiosks around the country. But the key, most telling statistic is this: The company's revenues grew by 110% last quarter while Blockbuster, the nation's leading retail DVD chain, saw its second-quarter revenues plummet by 22%.

By trying to keep their product away from Redbox for as long as possible, the studios are doing what all businesses do when threatened by dramatic change -- they're trying to hang on to their business model for as long as possible. But once you get past all the legal mumbo jumbo, it's impossible to ignore the obvious: The DVD market is undergoing a seismic shift where many of the same people who once wanted to buy every DVD in sight are now far more eager to rent movies, and rent them cheaply at that.

At some point we'll have a longer, perhaps more intriguing discussion about why so many people have gone from buyers to renters. Is it the rotten economy? The rotten quality of movies? The growing awareness that DVDs are a dying format? The poorly timed arrival of Blu-ray, which for many consumers simply signaled a steep hike in the cost of DVDs?

But the shift has happened and it has happened fast, almost as fast as the sudden arrival of unauthorized file sharing in the late 1990s, which undermined the music industry's lucrative CD model almost overnight. The studios are deluding themselves if they believe they can hold off the widespread embrace of $1-per-day DVD rentals, since if you can learn anything from the tumult of the Internet era, it's that you can't fight the power of consumer choice. You can delay the inevitable with threats and lawsuits, but as everyone in the music business discovered, much to their chagrin, you will only tick off your most loyal consumers. Once people embrace something they want, you can't stop them -- the customer is always right.

This fight is really about profit margins. The studios still make money from DVD rentals, just not anywhere nearly as much as they make from DVD sales. The music business had a similar dilemma. Napster was a dire threat, since it allowed fans to listen to music for free. But the record companies had years to assemble an authorized and easy to use downloading service -- and they dawdled, burdening their few hapless experiments (remember Pressplay?) with so many restrictions that no one wanted to go near them.

It was all about delaying the inevitable and trying to wring a few more years of CD sales out of consumers, since the CD profit margin was clearly far superior to anything the Web could ever offer. Of course, the end result was that a much savvier entrepreneur from outside the business came along -- Apple's Steve Jobs - -who created iTunes, a lucrative authorized downloading business that served Jobs' interests (helping him make zillions selling iPods) while leaving the record labels on the outside looking in.

The same thing will happen to the movie studios if they continue to try to slow consumer choice while squeezing a few more years of windfall profits out of their DVD sales format. But they delay at their own peril. In this era, where disruptive technology rules the Earth, if you don't give the customers what they want, you will find yourself on one side of the river, while the person who's embraced the new business model is on the other side, where all the action is.

Once DVD sales decline even further, someone will bite the bullet and eventually try to buy Redbox, figuring it's probably better to overpay and at least own the company that's trying to put you out of business. It's essentially what Rupert Murdoch did by acquiring MySpace, even if it turns out that he probably bought the wrong company. But at least he got one foot across the river when the ground on his side was crumbling under his feet. My bet is that Redbox will have a lot of suitors in the coming days.

In Hollywood, a town that always chases what's hot, Redbox is hot new face, the new A-list movie star who will make the studios pay dearly for ignoring its irresistible mainstream appeal.

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