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The Telecom Digest for May 10, 2012
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Date: Mon, 7 May 2012 22:29:04 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Paying Internet users to surrender their data Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> A market for unbiased private data: Paying individuals according to their privacy attitudes Christina Aperjis, Bernardo A. Huberman First Monday, Volume 17, Number 5 - 7 May 2012 Abstract Since there is, in principle, no reason why third parties should not pay individuals for the use of their data, we introduce a realistic market that would allow these payments to be made while taking into account the privacy attitude of the participants. And since it is usually important to use unbiased samples to obtain credible statistical results, we examine the properties that such a market should have and suggest a mechanism that compensates those individuals that participate according to their risk attitudes. Equally important, we show that this mechanism also benefits buyers, as they pay less for the data than they would if they compensated all individuals with the same maximum fee that the most concerned ones expect. Contents 1. Introduction 2. The market 3. The advantages of risk aversion 4. Discovering privacy and risk attitudes 5. The pricing menu 6. Bundling across requests 7. Conclusions ... http://firstmonday.org/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/4013/3209
Date: Tue, 08 May 2012 10:28:37 -0400 From: Fred Goldstein <fgoldstein.SeeSigSpambait@wn2.wn.net> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: How the Blind Are Reinventing the iPhone Message-ID: <20120508142847.138E11E66E@mailout.easydns.com> Bill Horne noted, >In the U.S., we think nothing of investing millions of dollars to >retrofit public buildings for access by physically challenged persons, >and nothing worth mentioning when we order that private property be >modified in the same ways. Our society, which prizes individual >effort, has decided that all those who can do things for themselves >should be encouraged to do so. To that end, we have provided >extraordinary measures to further that goal, including extensive - and >expensive - governmental efforts to help the hearing and >speech-impaired communities reach resources that others take for >granted. As an engineer at Verizon, I helped to address problems with >the TDD and telephone setups in the Access center at Marlborough, >Massachusetts: a place where those whom depend on TDD devices are able >to get text-to-speech translation services as well as to deal with >phone company bills, services, and sales. > >Here's the problem, as I see it: many of the government offices and >private companies that contract to provide services to the government >(parking ticket collectors, for example) have been openly flouting the >rules that require TDD's for years, either claiming that their email >capability is "good enough", or brazenly lying by claiming that >they're no longer required to do so. This marginalization of what I >consider a public necessity is reflected in the shift alluded to in >the story Monty posted about the iphone being used by the visually >impaired. As far as it goes, it's a modern miracle - but it signals, >to my mind, a political sea change: a de facto shift away from >inexpensive, purpose-built devices that were supported as a matter of >public policy - to expensive, privately owned electronics. You make a good observation; at some times, society has enacted laws that may not be cheap, but which go out of their way to practice inclusion. And at other times, those laws are honored in the breach, with poor maintenance and enforcement. I'll suggest what you're seeing are varying political moods, where the group in power changes and thus practices change. The ADA and similar rules were passed at a time when there was little political opposition. Disabled veterans and other handicapped people were a politically safe constituency. So they got things passed. Then came the "tax revolt" of the landlords and the truly wealthy. They treated all public expenditure as evil, and made "personal responsibility" the mantra, as if being sick or disabled were your own fault. The ADA would not get a second reading in a House committee today. And thus there's not enough money to maintain its facilities. The iPhone tie-in is a bit more indirect. TDDs were purpose-built to aid the deaf; until touch screens, telephones were generally friendly to the blind. Touch screen phones are actually bad for a lot of people, not just the blind! They presume a certain degree of hand-eye coordination and sharp eyesight. I wish my retinas were as good as a "retina display"! The whole Apple ecosystem is built for that world, the maybe 2/3 of the population who are most coordinated and who deal in a visually-guided tactile world. Blind people, of course, deal only in a tactile world, or an audio-guided one. And people with less hand-eye coordination put tactile ahead of visual. I am a really good touch-typist, which involves not seeing the keyboard (rule #1 of typing class is "don't look" -- typing is 99+% tactile); IOS, in contrast, is for hunt-and-peck artists whose fingers are guided by their eyes, not the ridges on the keys. So an app that makes the iPhone usable by the blind is really clever, presumably ignoring the IOS norms and using audio and maybe vibration (I haven't seen it). And having that cell phone act as a talking GPS is also a clever concept, leveraging the phone's built-in GPS and audio capabilities along with its being able to fetch business and other site locations off of a map database. As to having a purpose-built device instead, I suggest that for the purpose of making phone calls, a normal cell phone, the clamshell kind with raised keys, is a pretty good one. It doesn't run "apps", but at least it's a usable phone. The iPhone app makes sense, though, in that it is making use of "COTS" (commercial off the shelf) products, which are mass-produced at a lower cost than customized, low-volume devices. This is more of an issue today, when everything is on a chip, than it was 50 years ago, when circuits were wired together. It costs a bazillion renminbi to design a chip and only a few yuan to make one more. So we end up with more products that are only superficially different. I'll also note that the clamshell form factor can support GPS apps, as it alraedy has Verizon Navigator on it. Sendero could perhaps be ported to it; the big touch screen of the iPhone seems counterproductive. But since most clamshells only use BREW, they may not be as easy to develop for, or have all of the needed functions. -- Fred Goldstein k1io fgoldstein "at" ionary.com ionary Consulting http://www.ionary.com/ +1 617 795 2701
Date: Tue, 8 May 2012 01:36:05 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Understanding the net neutrality debate Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Understanding the net neutrality debate: Listening to stakeholders Alexander Ly, Bertrum H MacDonald, Sandra Toze First Monday, Volume 17, Number 5 - 7 May 2012 Abstract The Internet is increasingly seen as integral to economic progress and prosperity. Yet how the Internet will be managed as it grows and diversifies remains a hotly contested topic, as the debate on net neutrality demonstrates. Whether the Internet is neutral or not has serious implications for Internet service providers (ISPs), businesses operating online, governments, and civil society. With these stakeholders and varying interests at play, the debate about net neutrality is often characterized in terms of polar positions, and the discussion has seemed intransigent and ongoing with an uncertain end point. To increase understanding about the debate, this paper combines a review of the literature on net neutrality with evidence from interviews with four individuals, each representing the viewpoint of a major stakeholder group in Canada. Analysis of the similarities and differences among key stakeholder positions shows that in fact the positions are more complex and considerably more nuanced than typically depicted. By focussing on components of the issues, and staying away from the politics of contesting net neutrality, progress in the debate can be made. While this paper gives attention to the Canadian context in particular, the findings echo those of international organizations, and adds to the global conversation on the future of the Internet. ... http://firstmonday.org/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/3857/3205
Date: Mon, 7 May 2012 22:28:57 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Digital inclusion and data profiling Message-ID: <email@example.com> Digital inclusion and data profiling Seeta Peña Gangadharan First Monday, Volume 17, Number 5 - 7 May 2012 Abstract In the United States, digital inclusion policies designed to introduce poor people, communities of color, indigenous, and migrants (collectively, "chronically underserved communities" or "the underserved") to the economic, social, and political benefits of broadband lie in tension with new practices and techniques of online surveillance. While online surveillance activity affects all broadband users, members of chronically underserved communities are potentially more vulnerable to the harmful effects of surveillant technologies. This paper examines specific examples of commercial data profiling against a longer history of low-tech data profiling of chronically underserved communities. It concludes by calling for issues of online privacy and surveillance to punctuate digital inclusion discourse. Until this happens, digital inclusion policies threaten to bring chronically underserved communities into online worlds that, as Gandy (2009) argued, reinforce and exacerbate social exclusion and inequalities. Contents Introduction Three cases of low-tech data profiling Surveillance in the twenty-first century: Commercial data profiling and the underserved Rethinking digital inclusion Conclusion ... http://firstmonday.org/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/3821/3199
Date: Wed, 9 May 2012 10:49:53 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: AT&T Chief Regrets Offering Unlimited Data for iPhone Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/04/att-randall-stephenson/ AT&T Chief Regrets Offering Unlimited Data for iPhone By BRIAN X. CHEN MAY 4, 2012 When Randall Stephenson, AT&T's chief executive, spoke about the state of the wireless industry at a conference this week, he shared some surprisingly frank comments about the iPhone. In particular, he said that he wished the company had never offered an unlimited data plan for the device and that he loses sleep over free texting services like Apple's iMessage. If AT&T hadn't offered unlimited data, it would have been able to get people who used more data to pay up for it, as opposed to having the light data users subsidize the heavy ones, he said. "My only regret was how we introduced pricing in the beginning, because how did we introduce pricing? Thirty dollars and you get all you can eat," he said in the on-stage interview at the Milken Institute's Global Conference on Wednesday. "And it's a variable cost model. Every additional megabyte you use in this network, I have to invest capital." AT&T discontinued unlimited data in 2010, and it has since moved to limited, tiered data plans. The switch is working out well for AT&T. In the last quarter, the company reported $6.1 billion in revenue from mobile data alone. Ralph de la Vega, chief executive of AT&T Mobility, said 70 percent of the people on tiered data plans were paying for the more expensive options. ... http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/04/att-randall-stephenson/
Date: Wed, 9 May 2012 10:49:53 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Google Tries Again With Google TV Message-ID: <email@example.com> Google Tries Again With Google TV By NICOLE PERLROTH MAY 7, 2012 Google, once again, is making a push into the living room. It is a destination the search giant tried - and failed - to reach when it first brought out its Web-enabled Google TVs in 2010. The goal all along has been to bring Google's search and YouTube services to Internet-enabled television so it could capture a share of spending on TV advertising, which still commands the biggest portion of ad budgets. But Google TV never lived up to its hype. Reviewers called it "chaotic," major television networks blocked their online content from streaming to Google TVs and consumers complained the system was too slow and flaky to justify the price tag. Less than a year after its debut, Logitech, one of Google's initial manufacturing partners, abandoned the effort, called the partnership a "mistake" and said it cost Logitech $100 million in operating profit. But with Apple widely expected to bring out its own full-fledged Apple TV - one blog reported that a prototype has been floating around - Google is not giving up. It is determined to replicate the success of its Android operating software for smartphones on television screens. This time Google has partnered with the set-top manufacturers LG, Samsung, Sony and Vizio. It announced those partnerships at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, but consumers were not told when they would become available or how much they would cost. LG confirmed on Monday that it would ship two Web-enabled Google TVs, a 47-inch screen (47G2) and a 55-inch screen (55G2), to the United States and that the models would go on sale later this month. The TVs will cost $1,699 and $2,299, respectively. ... http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/07/google-tries-again-with-google-tv-2/ ***** Moderator's Note ***** I guess this is telecom related: it crosses so many lines that I can't tell. Bill Horne Moderator
Date: Wed, 9 May 2012 10:49:53 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Disruptions: Indiscreet Photos, Glimpsed Then Gone Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Disruptions: Indiscreet Photos, Glimpsed Then Gone By NICK BILTON MAY 6, 2012 People once took photographs so they could capture a moment for themselves and keep it forever. Then digital cameras and cellphones turned photos into something more ephemeral and more easily shared. But as the case of Anthony Weiner demonstrated, photos that are shared but are not meant to last, sometimes stick around. Mr. Weiner's downfall does not seem to have discouraged people from sharing risqué photos. According to a study by the Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project that is due out later this year, 6 percent of adult Americans admit to having sent a "sexually suggestive nude or nearly nude photo or video" using a cellphone. Another 15 percent have received such material. Three percent of teenagers admit to sending sexually explicit content. All of this sexting, as the practice is known, creates an opening for technology that might make the photos less likely to end up in wide circulation. This is where a free and increasingly popular iPhone app called Snapchat comes in. Snapchat allows a person to take and send a picture and control how long it is visible by the person who receives it, up to 10 seconds. After that, the picture disappears and can't be seen again. If the person viewing the picture tries to use an iPhone feature that captures an image of whatever is on the screen, the sender is notified. ... http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/06/disruptions-indiscreet-photos-glimpsed-then-gone/ ***** Moderator's Note ***** If I had a nickel for every copy protection scheme I've seen come and go, I'd be a rich man. Bill Horne Moderator
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