Tag Archives: Utility

France won’t block public Wi-Fi or ban Tor, PM says

Unlike the proposal to ban Tor, the idea of closing down public Wi-Fi networks in a state of emergency has some rationale. Police believe it’s easier to track down criminals and terrorists if they use data connections other than shared hotspots on the streets. France’s current state of emergency, which was enacted after the recent attacks in Paris, will persist until at least February 26, 2016. The problem is that free Wi-Fi also allows civilians to find vital information during an emergency, such as where the nearest shelter is, or if any transportation is running. This may outweigh the perceived benefits of banning the hotspots, although both proposals are extremely hard to enforce regardless. – Andrii Degeler, Ars Technica UK

White House says broadband is a ‘Core Utility’ just like power and water

photo: Associated Press, Engadget

A recent report from the Broadband Opportunity Council (under the auspices of the Oval Office) described broadband connectivity as an “essential infrastructure for communities” that “has steadily shifted from an optional amenity to a core utility” on par with water, electricity and sewers. According to the report, which was headed by the chairs of the US departments of Agriculture and Commerce, 51 million Americans lack access to download speeds beyond 25 Mbps. That’s roughly a sixth of the national population. – Andrew Tarantola, Engadget

WTF of the Week: FCC Commissioner Says People Don’t Need the Internet

It is important to note that Internet access is not a necessity in the day-to-day lives of Americans and doesn’t even come close to the threshold to be considered a basic human right. I am not in any way trying to diminish the significance of the Internet in our daily lives. I recognized earlier how important it may be for individuals and society as a whole. But, people do a disservice by overstating its relevancy or stature in people’s lives. People can and do live without Internet access, and many lead very successful lives. Instead, the term “necessity” should be reserved to those items that humans cannot live without, such as food, shelter, and water. – Michael O’Rielly, FCC via Zach Epstein, BGR

This Helpful Chart Has Everything You Need to Know about Today’s Digital Cinema Cameras « No…

Tom Fletcher over at Cineverse Rentals, a nationwide rental house, put together just such a chart with all of the major digital cinema cameras on the market today (the high-end ones, at least), and it’s an insanely helpful graphic that puts our top-of-the-line digital cinema technology into perspective. The following chart is a relatively quick look at all of today’s digital cinema cameras, but it pulls out the most relevant technical information that a cinematographer would need to know and puts it into a readable and well-organized format. This chart also has a column for the definitive pros for each of these cameras, which makes it easy to see which of them meets the needs of your project. It also includes the average daily rental rate for each in a body-only scenario. Super helpful stuff. – Robert Hardy,No Film School

Local company pushes fiber Internet, TV

Empire Access, a company started in Prattsburgh in 1896, recently announced it’s offering direct fiber-optic connections to residents in the villages of Bath, Hammondsport, Watkins Glen and Montour Falls, as well as Sayre and Troy in Pennsylvania. They can offer a 100 megabit-per-second download speed for $50 per month. That’s about 10 times the speed most users in the area get, said Empire Senior Vice President Jim Baase. – James Post, The Leader http://ift.tt/1nJ01AD

Comcast’s worst nightmare: How Tennessee could save America’s Internet

[I]n an epic fight over telecommunications policy, the paradigm is now being flipped on its head, with corporate forces demanding the government squelch competition and halt the expansion of those high-quality services. […] The front line in this fight is Chattanooga, Tennessee, where officials at the city’s public electric utility, EPB, realized that smart-grid energy infrastructure could also provide consumers super-fast Internet speeds at competitive prices. A few years ago, those officials decided to act on that revelation. Like a publicly traded corporation, the utility issued bonds to raise resources to invest in the new broadband project. Similarly, just as many private corporations ended up receiving federal stimulus dollars, so did EPB, which put those monies into its new network. The result is a system that now provides the nation’s fastest broadband speeds at prices often cheaper than the private competition. – David Sirota, Salon http://ift.tt/1zQaRhX