Tuesday, January 31, 2006

We paid $200 billion for broadband connectivity -- where is it? (Make that $400 billion).

Bruce Kushnick just published The $200 Billion Broadband Scandal in which he shows that in return for promising to install fiber for high-speed connectivity to US homes, the Bell companies received $200 billion in higher phone rates and tax perks -- about $2,000 per household. The promise was not kept. Today we are the 19th ranked nation in household broadband connectivity rate, just ahead of Slovenia.

In the latest (2009) edition of his book, Kushnick has upped the title to "$300 billion".

The total is now up to $400 billion -- see Kushnick's latest The Book of Broken Promises.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Pracitcal wireless book published under Creative Commons license

Wireless Networking in the Developing World is a practical book that is not limited to developing nations. It covers the wirelss material we will cover in our class and more.

In addition to being a valuable book, it is an example of a new approach to content creation, publishing and intelectual property. It is available for free download under a Creative Commons license and (soon) as a print-on-demand book from Lulu.com.

Some of the material from the book is based on a wireless workshop. You might also find that to be a useful reference on wireless networks.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

The role of the Internet in making life decisions

A recent BBC article states that the internet has played an important role in the life decisions of 60 million Americans, research shows. The article is based on a report from the Pew Charitable Trusts, an organization that conducts research on American life. This survey sheds light on one of our course topics: the implications of the Internet for the individual and for society.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Joel Spolsky on interface design

Joel Spolsky just began a series of articles on user interface design. If you are interested in Web design, I'd advise you to check it out.

Note that he is not going to publish them as finished articles, but will start with first drafts, then incorporate reader feedback into the revision. This is another variation on our question "who created the content?"

Monday, January 23, 2006

IEEE 802.11n specification set for first draft vote

This Infoworld article states that the IEEE 802.11n specification will be voted on this week, setting the stage for standard-compliant, 100 Mbps Wi-Fi products by midyear. This article touches many of the topics we cover.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Users judge Web sites in 50 milliseconds

A recent study shows users make very rapid judgements about Web pages. They do not like a lot of complex graphics and do want speed. Google seems to understand this.

British like mobile TV

The BBC reports that a marketing trial concludes that British people are willing to watch TV broadcasts on a small, portable device. Similar service is in use in Korea and is being tested elsewhere. Would you use such a service? How much would you be willing to pay per month?

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Data mining and privacy

There has been a lot of publicity about the National Security Agency doing data mining lately. Open APIs allow us all to mine data. Are you comfortable with the Amazon data mining described in this article?

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Camstudio -- open source screen casting

Camstudio is an open source program for audio/video screen capture. It sounds like it might be an alternative to Camtasia or Captivate. I have not tried it, but would like to hear from those who have.