32 Years of the Digest ... founded August 21, 1981
The Telecom Digest for January 18, 2014
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Date: Fri, 17 Jan 2014 07:23:46 -0800 (PST) From: Neal McLain <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: A Startup, the Supreme Court, and the Future of TV Message-ID: <email@example.com> By Michael Phillips, The New Yorker Blog, January 15, 2014 | Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal by | America's largest broadcast television networks -- CBS, NBC, Fox, | ABC, PBS, and others -- against Aereo, a startup backed by the | media mogul Barry Diller that makes broadcast television available | over the Internet for a low monthly fee. It sounds dramatic, but | the case, American Broadcasting Companies, Inc., et al. v. Aereo, | Inc., may determine the future of television. | | Although it conjures images of rabbit-ear antennas sitting on a | dusty, boxy TV, over-the-air broadcast television is no relic; | millions of Americans still rely on it. Local television stations, | like WNBC New York, are allowed to transmit programming over | valuable public airwaves on the condition that the signals are free | for the public to pick up with an antenna. Aereo has built large | antenna arrays, comprising thousands of dime-sized, adorable | antennae, in order to capture those signals. Each antenna receives, | and transmits over the Internet, the signal for a single Aereo | subscriber, who can then watch live over-the-air broadcast | television -- or record it with cloud storage, which Aereo | provides, to view later -- on a computer, tablet, or smartphone. [snip] | Paradoxically, Aereo's case may endanger the public spectrum that | the company claims to be defending. As Aereo put it in its petition | brief before the Supreme Court, "The essential bargain that [the | industry] made to obtain, for free, public spectrum worth billions | of dollars was that, once they have broadcast their programming, | consumers have a right to receive and to view that programming | using an antenna and to copy that programming for their personal | use." For advocates of the public commons, who think that the | airwaves should be as free for the public as the sun's rays, that | is true enough. Whether Aereo can simultaneously champion the | public airwaves and profit handsomely from them is now a question | for the Supreme Court. Continued: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/elements/2014/01/aereo-supreme-court-future-of-television-internet.html The last paragraph of this post (reproduced above after the snip) encapsulates the core issue at stake here. I've been following the Aereo case carefully, and I have found no other article that summarizes this core issue so precisely. Neal McLain
Date: Fri, 17 Jan 2014 12:48:51 -0500 From: Bill Horne <bill@horneQRM.net> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: A Startup, the Supreme Court, and the Future of TV Message-ID: <20140117174851.GA17266@telecom.csail.mit.edu> On Fri, Jan 17, 2014 at 07:23:46AM -0800, Neal McLain wrote: > By Michael Phillips, The New Yorker Blog, January 15, 2014 > > [snip] > > | Paradoxically, Aereo's case may endanger the public spectrum that > | the company claims to be defending. As Aereo put it in its petition > | brief before the Supreme Court, "The essential bargain that [the > | industry] made to obtain, for free, public spectrum worth billions > | of dollars was that, once they have broadcast their programming, > | consumers have a right to receive and to view that programming > | using an antenna and to copy that programming for their personal > | use." For advocates of the public commons, who think that the > | airwaves should be as free for the public as the sun's rays, that > | is true enough. Whether Aereo can simultaneously champion the > | public airwaves and profit handsomely from them is now a question > | for the Supreme Court. > > Continued: > > http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/elements/2014/01/aereo-supreme-court-future-of-television-internet.html > > > The last paragraph of this post (reproduced above after the snip) > encapsulates the core issue at stake here. I've been following the > Aereo case carefully, and I have found no other article that > summarizes this core issue so precisely. That paragraph might (was the pun intended?) encapsulate Aereo's position, but it is not a summation of the core issue. There are, sad to say, several "core" issues here: 1. TV Network Executives are throwing a decades-long hissy fit because their stranglehold on the world-view of the "average" American has been slipping away since cable tv became a competitor in the late sixties, and they miss those thrilling days of yesteryear when Americans could be depended on to buy lots and lots of new and improved soap and racism and chrome bumpers and guns and simple answers and alcohol and ignore-that-man-behind-the-curtain double standards, along with a militaristic world view and the notion that the tall white guy should make all the decisions. 2. No politician worth note has the courage to stand up to the media and tell it to report the news instead of selling soap, even though the TV airwaves are being "rented" at fire-sale prices: those airwaves are worth billions (although that is a recent change), and networks are not being taxed at anything even close to the rates being applied to cellular and other mobile carriers. 3. Television executives were caught flat-footed and now look like the short-sighted, out-of-date fools everyone knows them to be, so they're crying "no fair!" and running to their mommies in Washington to get the rules changed again. They are flush with cash from Hulu and other mobile content providers, and also dreaming of the day when the pesky know-it-alls of the print world finally watch their presses grind to a halt, so they assumed that they would be approached by fawning cable-tv-lookalikes who would throw money at them for the privilege of re-re-re-broadcasting re-re-reruns of Tonto playing the fool and selling soap, truth, soap, justice, soap, and the American way. Aereo didn't bother to throw money at the old-guard of television, knowing full-well that it is caught between the easy income of can't-afford-cable inner-city viewers and the easier profits of you-scratch-my-backside-and-I'll-hide-the-video-I-have-of-yours political influence, and that's what has those same owners scared out of their wits and willing to trade millions in lawyers' fees for a slight delay in their inevitable senescence. Ergo, we get to (pun intended) tune in to watch a desperate plea to preserve the media dinosaurs' dynasty. Bill -- Bill Horne (Remove QRM from my address to write to me directly) The electrical dust is starting to rust Her trapezoid thermometer taste All the red tape is mechanical rape Of the TV program waste - Jefferson Airplane
Date: Fri, 17 Jan 2014 00:01:51 -0800 (PST) From: "Jack Myers" <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: If you think your router is secure, the NSA will prove otherwise Message-ID: <20140117080151.91F23E14E9@mail.n6wuz.net> --- Jack Myers forwarded a message from Thad Floryan to ba.internet --- On 1/15/2014 4:44 PM, Igor Sviridov wrote: > On Wed, Jan 15 2014 15:46:38, Thad Floryan <email@example.com> wrote: > >> One tidbit from today's CRYPTO-GRAM is that embedded Linux devices are >> inherently insecure. Cisco's PIX security firewall routers are child's >> play to break into, and other vendors' are even easier to penetrate. > > I don't think it's Linux fault per se, it's just what most of embedded platforms run; > and updating firmware is complicated because of embedded specifics. > > But yeah, i do prefer pfSense or plain *BSD based firewalls. Hi Igor, My preference tends towards *BSD [Berkeley Software Distribution, one of the canonical flavors of Unix - Mod] also. > With recent hardware advances you've multiple platform choices which > can run unmodified *BSD without consuming more than 10-20W. [Some routers consume] less than half that. My SheevaPlug units run 4W to 5W measured using a Kill-A-Watt and they are full servers on my LAN 24/7/365 but they have only one GiGE [Gigabit Ethernet - Mod] port. Another similar device from the same company is the OpenRD client using about 5 to 6 Watts and it has two GiGE ports and more and it's about the size of a small book whereas a SheevePlug is about the size of my coffee cup: http://thadlabs.com/PIX/SheevaPlug_GuruPlug.jpg http://www.globalscaletechnologies.com/skins/skin_1/images/ordc_front.gif > Also, in many cases NSA exploits assume initial access to the device > to install exploit; at least this appears to be true for Cisco/Juniper/etc.; > i agree that may consumer router vendors ship extremely insecure products. The contents of the NSA ANT catalog reveal devices that insinuate themselves remotely using a variety of electromagnetic techniques -- that's scary. I recall once some spies were caught in a van behind Tymshare tech division on Bubb Road in Cupertino where I worked; the spies had receivers in their van in the parking lot that were capturing the images on CRTs located inside the building (e.g., from my and others' desks) -- apparently they could detect the CRT's -V scanning and reconstruct whatever was being displayed on the CRTs inside the building -- note this was in 1971. [See [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Van_Eck_phreaking [- Mod] >> If you don't have time to read the entire CRYPTO-GRAM, read this >> portion entitled "Security Risks of Embedded Systems" here: >> >> >> https://www.schneier.com/crypto-gram-1401.html#5 >> Here's an interesting tidbit from [that issue of] Crypto-gram: Acoustic cryptanalysis "can extract full 4096-bit RSA decryption keys from laptop computers (of various models), within an hour, using the sound generated by the computer during the decryption of some chosen ciphertexts." http://www.cs.tau.ac.il/~tromer/acoustic/ In other recent NSA-related news, air-gapped computers can no longer be considered safe. "Air gap" means no Ethernet or other network attached supposedly rendering the computer secure -- not any more thanks to the NSA. :-) Thad --- End of forwarded message --- --- "With Lisp or Forth, a master programmer has unlimited power and expressiveness. With Python, even a regular guy can reach for the stars." - Raymond Hettinger ***** Moderator's Note ***** This post is telecom related because small, embedded devices are at the core of VoIP: they are the "enabling technology" which will replace central office switches. Bill "Forth love if honk then!" Horne Moderator
Date: Fri, 17 Jan 2014 19:30:26 -0500 From: tlvp <mPiOsUcB.EtLlLvEp@att.net> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: Rachel (pls excuse formatting) Message-ID: <email@example.com> Pete Cresswell <PeteCress@invalid.telecom-digest.org> wrote: > >> I would also opine that Rachel would be dead meat if the enforcement >> people moved her up in their priority list. ... Today Rachel contravened another sacrosanct principle -- she called one of my cellular numbers (one that was never previously a landline). Tsk, tsk. Cheers, -- tlvp -- Avant de repondre, jeter la poubelle, SVP.
Date: Fri, 17 Jan 2014 15:30:48 -0800 (PST) From: Neal McLain <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: How the FCC Can Achieve Net Neutrality and Save the Internet Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> By Mitchell Lazarus, CommLawBlog, January 17, 2014 | The FCC should do the right thing and fix its old mistake that led | to the present situation. | | [Blogmeister's Note: This is an op-ed piece, emphasis on the "op", | or "opinion", element. It reflects Mitchell's personal assessment | of net neutrality following the D.C. Circuit's recent decision. The | views expressed are the author's; they do not represent the | editorial views of CommLawBlog or Fletcher Heald & Hildreth. They | do not necessarily represent the views of any of our clients, and | they certainly differ from those of some of Mitchell's colleagues. | We welcome debate here, so readers who disagree with Mitchell's | take on the situation are encouraged to post comments to it.] | | We all know the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has | struck down the FCC's key effort to craft "net neutrality" rules. | (See the court's opinion, and Paul Feldman's explanatory piece.) | | The invalidated rules would have required fixed broadband Internet | service providers (ISPs) to treat content providers even-handedly. | A cable TV company, in its role as Internet provider, could not | intentionally slow Netflix while putting through its own video | downloads at full speed. Nor could an ISP accept fees from a retail | site in exchange for favoring that company's traffic over that of | rival retail sites. | | Now, after the court's action, such discriminatory activities are | probably legal. | | Many conservatives, along with the FCC's two Republican | commissioners, are delighted. Many believe Internet companies | should be subject to regulation only by the free market and not by | the FCC. | | But the free market requires a market. There is not much of one for | ISP service. | | Most consumers have little choice among broadband providers. Most | neighborhoods have at most two options: telephone (or FIOS) and | cable. The complications of switching from one to the other are | huge and often prohibitive. Mobile 4G service is a poor substitute, | due to data caps. Fixed wireless ISP service is limited mostly to | rural areas. Satellite service is slow and expensive. Costs of | entry for would-be new providers are high; no new competition is | coming any time soon. Continued: www.commlawblog.com/2014/01/articles/internet/in-the-wake-of-verizon-v-fcc-how-the-fcc-can-achieve-net-neutrality-and-save-the-internet/index.html Neal McLain (who is not the blogmiester mentioned above)
Date: Fri, 17 Jan 2014 15:31:37 -0800 (PST) From: Neal McLain <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: FCC's Wheeler vows to 'fight' after net neutrality rules struck down Message-ID: <email@example.com> By Phil Goldstein, FierceWireless, January 17, 2014 | FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler vowed to press on this week to ensure that | the Internet remains free and open following a federal appeals | court decision that struck down key sections of the commission's | net neutrality rules. What remains unclear now though is how | exactly Wheeler and other commissioners at the FCC will fight back, | and what legal authority they will use. | | "I intend to fight," Wheeler said Thursday during a speech in | Washington, D.C., according to Bloomberg. | | "The court invited the commission to act, and I intend to accept | that invitation," he said, according to a C-SPAN transcript of his | remarks quoted by The Verge. "Using our authority, we will | readdress the concepts in the Open Internet Order as the court | invited to encourage growth and innovation and enforce against | abuse." | | Wheeler said many Internet service providers have said they will | continue to honor the FCC's Open Internet Order's concepts even | though the court ruled against key sections of the order. "That's | the right and responsible thing to do, and we take them up on their | commitment," he said. "At the same time, we accept the court's | invitation to revisit the structure of the rules that it vacated." Continued: http://www.fiercewireless.com/story/fccs-wheeler-vows-fight-after-net-neutrality-rules-struck-down/2014-01-17 Neal McLain
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