Around the Industry:
MS Muni: Microsoft, MetroFi unite for Portland wireless
Ofcom may allow 3G over 2G; possibly open can of worms
Murdoch slams broadband
Does 80% of spam come from just 10 spammers?
Telstra using 'dirty tricks' hold up Optus ADSL rollout
MS Patch Day: IE, XML zero-day flaws fixed
First the FTC, now MS takes whack at ERG for spyware
Apple in Deal to Let iPod Videos Play on Planes
Orb Aims to Beat YouTube at Wireless Web Video
Which Is Safer: Internet Explorer 7 or Firefox 2.0?
Physics promises wireless powerMore broadband bytes inside...Around The Industry:
•MS Muni: Microsoft, MetroFi unite for Portland wireless
Microsoft said it will partner with MetroFi to build a free wireless Internet service for Oregon's largest city. MetroFi announced it will launch the Wi-Fi service in Pioneer Courthouse Square, a popular gathering place in downtown Portland, by the end of the year. The plan is to expand to the rest of the city within two years. Microsoft will provide locally focused MSN content and advertising through its new online platform, adCenter. The platform, designed to compete with Google Inc., allows advertisers to target users based on their browsing habits and data such as gender, age and location.
Clearwire officially launched WiMax service in Seattle, with a laser light show from the top of the Needle no less. To date, the service has been launched in 31 other markets, but the rollout in the Seattle region represents the biggest geographic area the company has moved into, marking one of the most critical steps in Clearwire's three-year existence. Among other things, the Seattle experience should show how the technology works in a densely populated area and whether consumers, who may already have Internet access, will adopt a new wireless service.
•Ofcom may allow 3G over 2G; possibly open can of worms
Nokia has made what it claims was the world's first successful 3G call on a commercial network at a frequency of 900MHz — a band usually used for standard 2G voice calls. Using the lower frequency can stretch coverage by as much as four times, so Nokia's advance could also lead to cheaper rollouts of 3G or HSDPA (3G's souped-up successor) in rural areas, as infrastructure costs would be lower. Vodafone and O2 claim to be in talks with Ofcom to use 2G frequencies for 3G. However, allowing Vodafone and O2 to offer 3G services with better indoor penetration and overall range — not to mention cheaper infrastructure — could provoke complaints from other operators such as T-Mobile and Orange, who use the 1800MHz band for their GSM services. All these operators paid billions for their 3G licences. And, if Ofcom is willing to open up 900MHz to allow non-GSM services, promoters of entirely different technologies, such as WiMax, might also want access.
•Murdoch slams broadband
News Corp chairman Rupert Murdoch said of Aussie broadband: “I think it is a disgrace, I think we should be spending – the Government with Telstra should be spending – $10 billion or $12 billion on it (so it gets to) every town in Australia – they do it in Japan, they do it in South Korea, we should be able to do it here. We are being left behind and we will pay for it.” As an example, Telstra last week launched a new high-speed broadband service but said regulatory constraints meant it would only be available in areas where its competitors already offered fast broadband.
•Does 80% of spam come from just 10 spammers?
It appears that the top 10 spammers may account for nearly 80% of the spam you see. Of course, we could solve the spam problem by taking down those 10 people, but that overlooks the fact that others would quickly fill in behind them. In the past, we've seen other top spammers taken out, either through legal means or less than legal means, and it hasn't done anything to stop the onslaught of spam. It makes sense to try to make things more difficult for the top spammers in hopes of keeping others away from the business. However, it should be pretty clear that spamming is quite lucrative, and it's not just going to go away, no matter what you do to those at the top of the current spam pyramid.
•Telstra using 'dirty tricks' hold up Optus ADSL rollout
Optus has confirmed that it's missed its ADSL roll-out targets for November, citing an ongoing dispute with Telstra over access to its copper network. Optus chief executive Paul O'Sullivan said that Telstra was using "dirty tricks" to stymie Optus' efforts to migrate customers to its DSL network during the company's last quarterly results earlier this month. "We have lodged access disputes to try and address the roadblocks created to slow the migration,"
an Optus spokeswoman said. Telstra said that Mr O'Sullivan's technical understanding of the Telstra network was lacking.
•Satellite broadband: Rural blackhole savior (for now)?
Roughly 15 million households cannot get broadband from their phone or cable provider because the companies have been slow to expand their high-speed networks in areas where there are not enough customers to generate what they regard as an adequate profit. WildBlue and its chief rivals, the HughesNet and StarBand services, are filling one of the biggest gaps in the country's digital infrastructure. There are some drawbacks to the satellite approach that make it unlikely to seriously rival more common broadband options, but alternative technologies, like wide-area wireless services and access over power lines, are still in their infancy. And demand for broadband in rural areas is as strong, if not stronger, than in suburbs and cities.
•Yahoo: Internet ad potential underestimated
The growth potential of Internet advertising has been underestimated because the predictions did not include advertising on video, social media or mobiles, Terry Semel, CEO of Yahoo, said. Semel said sponsorship, different forms of advertising and more innovative and clever ways to integrate advertising with online video will all develop quickly. Media buying and planning firm ZenithOptimedia has said the Internet will receive a greater share of global advertising spending this year than outdoor outlets such as billboards, and it is set to overtake radio soon.
•Hughes sees new orders, revenue increases
It hasn't been long since Hughes Communications went public, but it hasn't taken long for the company to show increased revenues and greater demand, either. As the broadband satellite network solutions provider settles in to its first year as a publicly-traded company, Hughes continues to deliver on its business plan. Hughes reported third quarter 2006 revenues of $210 million, roughly a 5% increase over the same period last year. The company said its new orders generated $183 million during the three month period ending September 30th and $570 million for the 2006 year to date.
•Dynamic spectrum access could revolutionise comms
Ofcom has published its second annual report looking into future technologies that may enable a more efficient use of radio spectrum. An emerging technology called dynamic spectrum access (DSA) is one option that the telecommunications regulator thinks might be very useful. "It might be that the consumer wants to use something that's very bandwidth intensive, or that offers the cheapest calls,"
an Ofcom spokesperson said, adding that these different technologies could include 2G, 3G and Wi-Fi. Asked why an operator would choose to allow its subscribers to roam across to a rival network or access point, thus depriving the operator of revenue, the spokesperson suggested that "one motivation could be that it offers new genuine competition in the market. Operators could feel they have a competitive advantage by doing this".SecurityBits:
•MS Patch Day: IE, XML zero-day flaws fixed
MS released a critical cumulative update for IE to fix a flaw that was being used in targeted zero-day attacks since early October. The IE update (MS06-067) provides cover for code execution holes in DirectAnimation ActiveX controls that could be exploited if unexpected data is passed to the ActiveX controls. In addition to the DirectAnimation ActiveX issue, the IE update also addresses a high-severity code execution issue affecting XML Core Services, a feature that lets users create applications that interoperate with the XML 1.0 standard. Lastly, the update fixes a memory corruption bug that occurs in the way the browser interprets HTML with certain layout combinations.
•First the FTC, now MS takes whack at ERG for spyware
One day after the FTC took its own legal action against ERG Ventures, its affiliates and its operators in the company's home state of Nevada, MS brought its own lawsuit against the firm accusing it of violating the Washington Computer Spyware Act and the Washington Consumer Protection Act. In its suit, MS claims that ERG and other parties used screen savers, including those featuring pictures of popular celebrities, to surreptitiously install unwanted software on users' computers.Hardware, Software, and other TidBytes:
•Apple in Deal to Let iPod Videos Play on Planes
•Orb Aims to Beat YouTube at Wireless Web Video
•Which Is Safer: Internet Explorer 7 or Firefox 2.0?
•Physics promises wireless power
•User paid to uninstall Windows XP
•AOL to Announce New Version of AIM
•Large public-sector Linux project flops
•What Eric Schmidt Meant When He Said Google Wasn't Holding $500 Million From YouTube For Lawsuits: We're Holding $200 Million
•Microsoft CEO Touts Company "Bet" on Web Services