Around the Industry:
AT&T agrees to go nekid and keep the Net neutral for 30 months to get BellSouth -- so it seems
AOL first in top 22 U.S. ISPs by subscriber for Q3 2006
Verizon plans improved Pacific network after quake
Rumor Mill Alert: Yahoo and AOL to merge? Or will both be eaten by MS or Google?
WiFi chip makers vs Open Source software
IWF reforms could pave way for UK net censorship
Newsflash! Can-Spam was never meant to stop spam
Kaspersky adds Vista support to consumer AV
Microsoft's Laptop Giveaway Rubs Some the Wrong Way
Judge dismisses patent lawsuit against Google's search tool bar
Congressional aide fired after trying to hire hackers
No Rush to Adopt Vista
Red Hat's next Linux due before MarchMore broadband bytes inside...Around The Industry:
•AT&T agrees to go nekid and keep the Net neutral for 30 months to get BellSouth... so it seems
AT&T has apparently told the FCC that it will commit to adhere to network neutrality rules while guaranteeing low-cost DSL access for at least 30 months after the merger. Among the surprises: the cheap DSL would be naked DSL for $19.95. That certainly beats their old offering that made naked DSL just as expensive as if you bundled a useless phone line, around $45. However, the fine print tells another story. While they agree not to remove network neutrality from their standard network, hidden in the middle of a later paragraph is this sentence: "This commitment also does not apply to AT&T/BellSouth's Internet Protocol television (IPTV) service." At first that might seem innocuous, but AT&T's always planned on using the IPTV network as that high-speed toll lane it wants Google, Vonage and others to pay extra for. AT&T isn't even set up to put QoS on their existing network, so the agreement not to violate network neutrality on that network is effectively meaningless. The naked DSL they're promising is limited to only 768k down, and they don't state any upload speed at all.
•AOL first in top 22 U.S. ISPs by subscriber for Q3 2006
Using numbers from Jupiter Research, ISP-Planet
lists the top US ISPs. AOL topped the list with 15.2 million, followed by Comcast (11 million), SBC/ATT (8.1million), Road Runner (6.6 million) and Verizon (6.6 million) to round out the top 5. Of the other notable ISPs, EarthLink came in 6th; BellSouth (DSL only) at 7; Charter at 9; and Cablevision finished in 11th place. Jupiter Research estimates the total number of subscribers in the United States to be 84.3 million subscribers at the end of Q3. ISP-Planet states they removed RCN and Cox from the list for failing to report subscriber numbers.
•Verizon plans improved Pacific network after quake
Verizon said it will build a multiroute network across the Pacific Ocean after an earthquake in Asia disrupted service and highlighted the need for a more robust system. The company said it would use the Transpacific Express cable to launch a mesh communications network to ensure uninterrupted voice and Internet service in case of a disruption by rerouting traffic on alternate lines. Verizon will form the mesh by connecting the consortium's cable with existing fiber lines in which it holds a stake. "This earthquake underscores that it is important, because of the seismic activity, to have multiple diverse routes to which you can seamlessly reroute traffic,"
a Verizon spokesman said.
•Rumor Mill Alert: Yahoo and AOL to merge? Or will both be eaten by MS or Google?
The rumor rounding the Internet is that Yahoo! is going to merge with AOL's American Internet portal baggies next year (2007). But another report by imediaconnection
is speculating that both AOL and Yahoo! will be acquired by some other company, most probably our software giant from Redmond. With Time Warner considering selling AOL, no one is sure about the future of AOL. A Merrill Lynch analyst report came out in which they speculate that both AOL and Yahoo! are ready for a "transformation transaction in the coming 12 to 24 months." After Google bought Youtube, Fortune magazine mentioned this rumor back in October describing the merger of AOL with Yahoo! to impress the Wall Street.
•WiFi chip makers vs Open Source software
Have you ever wondered why it is hard to get wireless networking right on alternative operating systems such as Linux and OpenBSD? It appears the blame for this situation lies with chip makers including the likes of Broadcom, Intel, Marvell and scores of other companies. These are the findings of Jem Matzan, who writes The Jem Report. Matzans investigation
shows that open source software coders are getting stymied by the chip makers. A major reason for the problems is that most companies are using proprietary firmware which eithter cannot be redistributed or has substantial restrictions.
•IWF reforms could pave way for UK net censorship
By the end of 2007, the UK Home Office intends that all ISPs "offering broadband internet connectivity to the UK public" will have implemented systems for content blocking, primarily intended to block access to pornographic images of children, which are illegal to view or possess in the UK. The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department noted in an answer to a Parliamentary question in June that if the target is not achieved the government might consider legislation. No one in the industry can even guess at how much it will cost ISPs overall, and it is not even entirely clear what's meant by "public." Even the Home Office doesn't seem entirely sure. A spokesman says only: "It's important that we get the definition right."
•Russian MP3 site toes (their) party line in response to latest round of lawsuits
Russian MP3 site Allofmp3.com says legal action by US record firms to shut it down is "unjustified." In a statement on its website, the firm repeated assertions that its service was legal under Russian law. The company says it pays royalties to a Russian licensing body, but record firms say it is not authorized to accept payments. The lawsuit was filed in New York earlier this month on behalf of Arista Records, Warner Bros, Capitol and UMG recordings. Moscow-based Mediaservices, which runs Allofmp3.com and another music site, allTunes.com, said "An attempt by the major record labels to use a US court as part of its campaign against Allofmp3.com is imprudent"
and that the suit was "unjustified as Allofmp3.com does not operate in New York."
The website is already facing legal action from the British Phonographic Industry, on behalf of UK record labels.
•Wireless data services? Hold the phone
Brand name manufacturers won consumers' hearts with rich and novel features that include everything from three-megapixel cameras and GPS receivers to MP3 and video players. But the phone companies that provide the wireless data service to bring the features to life were playing hard to get. Relatively few people have been willing to pay the telecoms extra monthly fees to realize the full potential of their fashionable devices. Individuals remain reluctant to adopt wireless data features the way they have embraced wireless voice services.
•132 million people access Web in China; 52 million on broadband
China's population of Internet users has risen by 30% over the past year to 132 million, a state news agency said. The figure was up from 123 million at the end of June, the Xinhua News Agency said, citing the government's China Internet Network Information Center. It said the number of Chinese customers with broadband access has grown to 52 million. The rapid rise in Internet use has propelled growth in China's online commerce, advertising and games industries.
•Italy follows UK's WiMax lead
Following the UK's WiMax lead, Italy said it will start selling licences for WiMax-capable frequencies by June 2007. The sale is expected to generate between 100 million and 200 million for the Italian state, far below the billions gained from the sale of 3G mobile phone licences at the peak of the high-tech boom, analysts said. In a statement, the Communications Ministry said it had agreed for the reallocation of frequencies from military to commercial use, adding that the 3.4 - 3.6Ghz spectrum would be allocated for WiMax technology. The government is to sell the frequencies while it will be up to Italy's telecoms regulator AGCom to decide by February how it intends to distribute the them.SecurityBits:
•Newsflash! Can-Spam was never meant to stop spam
As the federal Can-Spam Act nears its third anniversary, a spam researcher calls it a "big disappointment" and says it hasn't been a deterrent to junk e-mailers, who have stepped up their efforts in the last few months to flood inboxes with an unprecedented volume of spam. To be fair, Scott Chasin, the CTO of MX Logic, says Can-Spam was never meant to stop spam, only regulate it. But even at that job, the law has been a dismal failure. According to MX Logic's data, no more than 7% of all spam was ever compliant with the legislation's requirements. And that was within the act's first year. This year, compliance ran at all-time lows, never once reaching 1%. "It's just another reminder that the legislative leg is not having a lot of impact,"
•Kaspersky adds Vista support to consumer AV
Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab updated its consumer security product line with beta support for Windows Vista. Maintenance Pack 2 for both Kaspersky Anti-Virus 6.0 (KAV) and Kaspersky Internet Security (KIS) 6.0 adds Vista support to the pair of programs, which debuted in May 2006. Current users can download the update free of charge. Kaspersky is only the latest security vendor to update its consumer line to account for Vista. Symantec, for example, has had betas of Vista versions of its Norton AntiVirus and Norton Internet Security available for several weeks.Hardware, Software, and other TidBytes:
•Microsoft's Laptop Giveaway Rubs Some the Wrong Way
•Judge dismisses patent lawsuit against Google's search tool bar
•Congressional aide fired after trying to hire hackers
•No Rush to Adopt Vista
•Red Hat's next Linux due before March
•Mom, Google Ate My GMail!
•Japanese Entertainment Group Not Satisfied By YouTube's Japanese Warning
•New Archos 604-WiFi multipurpose portable media player is a Hummer
•Shrinks: Geeks need video games
•Firefox Creator No Longer Trusts Google