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August 03 2012

Four short links: 3 August 2012

  1. Urban Camouflage WorkshopMost of the day was spent crafting urban camouflage intended to hide the wearer from the Kinect computer vision system. By the end of the workshop we understood how to dress to avoid detection for the three different Kinect formats. (via Beta Knowledge)
  2. Starting a Django Project The Right Way (Jeff Knupp) — I wish more people did this: it’s not enough to learn syntax these days. Projects live in a web of best practices for source code management, deployment, testing, and migrations.
  3. FailCona one-day conference for technology entrepreneurs, investors, developers and designers to study their own and others’ failures and prepare for success. Figure out how to learn from failures—they’re far more common than successes. (via Krissy Mo)
  4. Google Fiber in the Real World (Giga Om) — These tests show one of the limitations of Google’s Fiber network: other services. Since Google Fiber is providing virtually unheard of speeds for their subscribers, companies like Apple and I suspect Hulu, Netflix and Amazon will need to keep up. Are you serving DSL speeds to fiber customers? (via Jonathan Brewer)

May 26 2011

Four short links: 26 May 2011

  1. Draft Horses Bring Fibre to Remote Locations -- I love the conjunction of old and new, as draft horses prove the best way to lay fibre in remote Vermont. (via David Isenberg)
  2. Chinese Political Prisoners Gold-Farming (Guardian) -- "Prison bosses made more money forcing inmates to play games than they do forcing people to do manual labour," Liu told the Guardian. "There were 300 prisoners forced to play games. We worked 12-hour shifts in the camp. I heard them say they could earn 5,000-6,000rmb [£470-570] a day. We didn't see any of the money. The computers were never turned off."
  3. Correlate -- Google Correlate finds search patterns which correspond with real-world trends. You upload your time series or geographic data, they find search terms that correlate. Very cool!
  4. McKinsey Internet Matters Report (PDF, free registration required) -- Internet responsible for 3.4% of GDP in the countries they studied, 21% of GDP growth in last 5 years in mature countries, 2.6 jobs created for every one lost, and 75% of the Internet's impact arises from traditional industries. Lots more like this in here. The United States captures more than 30 percent of global internet revenues and more than 40 percent of net income.

February 10 2010

Google Enters the Home Broadband Market

In a week already full of Google announcements, another bomb was casually dropped today via Google's blog. The Borg from California announced that it was experimentally entering the Fiber to the Curb (FTTC) market, and that they planned to offer much higher speeds than current offerings (1Gb/sec) and competitive pricing. The announcement also talks about what, when you remove the marketspeak, is a commitment to net neutrality in their service. This, of course, is not surprising, given Google's strong lobbying for neutrality to the FCC and congress.

What is becoming very clear is that Google wants to have a finger in, if not own, most of the pie when it comes to how consumers and business access their information. Android was a first foray into the mobile market, and we know that Google was in the chase for cellular spectrum during the big auction. Google Voice is another attempt to make an end run around the traditional telecomm infrastructure. But if Google becomes a major player in Fiber to the home, they take a huge step forward.

Once Google has a pipe into the house, they can easily become a player in VoIP and landline telephone service, as well as cable TV and on-demand. Of course, these areas are fraught with regulatory issues. Many towns require cable providers to enter into individual franchise agreements in order to provide service, which can be a nightmare when you multiply it times N towns. But it's much easier to offer when you have a bit pipe already in place. And a 1Gb service will allow for HD or even Blu-Ray 3D service on-demand to the house.

In a way, you can say that it's about time that someone offered Gb fiber in the US. In Europe and Asia, this level of service is already in place, and it's a bit of a crime that we lag so far behind. Google could jumpstart the market in the US, and without all the bagage that the traditional telcos are carrying around.

Mind you, this is just an experiment. According to Google, the pilot will involve somewhere between 50,000 and 500,000 households. But unlike many companies, Google 'experiments' have a habit of turning into game-changing products.

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