Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Has Barack Obama Thrown Away The Geek Vote?

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Since Barack Obama captured enough votes in the Primaries to become the presidential nominee for the Democratic Party election in November there has been widespread speculation on who will be the vice presidential running mate. The naming of Deleware senator Joe Biden has ended the spectulation.

Many of Biden's posistions on many tech issues is now making some wonder if Obama's really stands where he says he does on tech related issues. Biden supported the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and opposes any attempt to reform the DMCA. Biden has also supported bills that would have launched denial of service attacks against anybody if they tried to download from a peer to peer network.

One of the most talked about issues in tech is that of net neutrality. Legislated Net Neutrality ensures that people can use the Internet the way they want to with out intervention from Internet service providers. Two years ago Biden actually went out and said that was no need for Net Neutrality. In Biden's mind having Telco's restrict VOIP traffic and Cable companies restricting Bit Torrent traffic is just fine.

Where exactly does Barack Obama truly stand on these issues?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Patent Trolling Still Alive and Well

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As I originally reported about a couple of months ago successful technology companies often face getting sued by less successful companies or companies that have very little or no longer relevant this practice is known as Patent Trolling. The latest to get trolled is Nintendo. A company called Hillcrest Labs is suing Nintendo over the remote controller used on the Wii console. Hillcrest claims that the motion sensing controller infringes on three of their patents.

The motion sensing sixaxis controller used on the Playstation 3 would violate the same patents, but Hillcrest isn't suing Sony. If this was about protecting intellectual property rights then Hillcrest would have to sue both Sony and Nintendo, but they are just trying to knock down the most successful.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Telus Demands Federal Cash for Broadband Buildout, Give Me A Break

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According a CBC News Story The CEO of Telus Darren Entwistle calls upon the Federal Government to take the 4.2 Billion raised from the recent wireless spectrum auction and use it to build more broadband access to more smaller communities. It would be the giants of the industry that would offer service to customers in these smaller communities.

Given how telecom companies rake in billions of dollars from customers with scam-like fees like 911 fee, the system access fee, not to mention Telus' new fee for incoming text messages, the last thing that the big telcos needs is more government money.

Cable companies are mandated by their licenses from the CRTC to put 5 percent of their revenues into the Canadian Television Fund to provide funding to produce Canadian TV shows. Would it not be fair to mandate Telcos to put five percent of their revenues into building more broadband in traditionally underserved areas?

Friday, August 8, 2008

Sprint to sell Nextel??

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The Third Place cell carrier in the United States, SprintNextel is being rumoured to be considering selling or doing away with the iDen cellular phone/two way radio network it acquired when Sprint bought Nextel in 2005. SprintNextel is currently facing pressure from the Federal Communications Commission to relinquish the wireless sprectrum that the Nextel iDen network uses in order to turn it over to public safety agencies.

Efforts to move users of iDen over to CDMA based walkie talkie services have so far proven fruitless. Corporate users like the instant access that iDen offers, two way radio over CDMA has a seven second delay from pushing the push to talk button until other person hears what is being said.

Pressure is mounting from within Sprint Nextel to control costs, The cell phone porton of the iDen technology is based on TDMA, which means running two parallel networks which costs more. For SprintNextel which has been losing subscribers for the past year, what did they get by buying up Nextel?

Monday, August 4, 2008

A is for Apple and A is for Antitrust

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In a surprise response to Apple's lawsuit against Psystar, the attorneys for the Mac clone manufacturer are preparing to use Antitrust law as their defense. Claiming that Apple is stifling competition by monopolizing the Mac OS computer market.

For most in the tech industry the last taste of antitrust litigation was unpleasant leaving Microsoft in charge of Operating System market without even a slap on the wrist. Microsoft squashed out the competition in web browser market share and got away with it.

If there was a credible antitrust case against Apple, wouldn't the last legitimate mac cloners raised it with the FTC or DOJ when Steve Jobs terminated the license agreements back in 1997? This maybe raised at sometime by the Psystar attorneys, but until a conclusion is reached it will be closely followed.

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