Google’s venture arm has invested in Kobalt, a music publishing firm that counts Beck, Paul McCartney and the Foo Fighters among its clients.The US$60 million venture round also includes funding from the personal investment firm of Michael Dell, founder and CEO of Dell.Kobalt handles payment of royalties to singers and songwriters from streaming services like Spotify and video sharing sites like YouTube.Artists are concerned about how they’re compensated when people consume music via streaming services, Google Ventures managing partner Bill Maris told the Guardian newspaper. Kobalt’s technology can lessen musicians’ concerns about how they’ll get paid, he said.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here
U.S. businesses that collect personal data would be required to describe their privacy and security practices and give consumers control over their personal information under a proposed privacy bill of rights released Friday by President Barack Obama’s administration.The proposal would also require companies and nonprofit groups to collect and retain only the personal data they need to operate.However, the proposal allows industry groups to submit their own codes of conduct to the Federal Trade Commission and shields companies that follow those codes from FTC enforcement actions.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here
Google will continue to permit sexually explicit content to be publicly shared on Blogger, reversing a policy change it announced earlier this week.Instead of making blogs with adult content private, the search giant will “step up enforcement around our existing policy prohibiting commercial porn,” Google said Friday in a post on its product support page.On Tuesday, Google said it was adopting a more stringent stance in how adult content was shared on its blogging platform. According to the new policy, after March 23, blogs that displayed either sexually explicit images and videos or graphic nudity would be changed to private blogs. Access to these sites would be restricted to people who received an invitation from the owners. The content, however, would not be deleted. To keep their blogs in the public realm, owners had to delete the explicit videos and images.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission voted Thursday to pass new net neutrality rules and reclassify broadband as a regulated telecommunications service, but the text of the full order may not be released for several weeks. Here’s what we know so far:What’s next?The new rules take effect 60 days after the full order is published in the Federal Register, the official journal of the U.S. government. The FCC has some procedural hoops to clear before publishing the text, including drafting responses to the dissents by the FCC’s two Republican commissioners. So publication may not come for months.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here
It didn’t take long for congressional Republicans to attack the Federal Communications Commission’s vote to strike down two state laws that prevent municipal broadband networks from expanding.Seven Republican lawmakers introduced a bill on Thursday, just hours after the FCC vote, that would prohibit the agency from preempting state laws that limit municipal broadband networks. The main sponsors of the bill are Representative Marsha Blackburn, of Tennessee, and Senator Thom Tillis, of North Carolina.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here
Net neutrality has been debated for a decade, but the Federal Communications Commission's historic vote on Thursday signals only the beginning of further battles and likely lawsuits.
At issue is how best to keep the Internet open and neutral to all while still giving Internet service providers sufficient incentive to expand their networks to serve more customers and to support an exploding array of data-hungry applications as futuristic as holographic videoconferencing used for home-based medical exams.
The FCC voted 3-to-2 to create a series of sweeping changes, including three open Internet conduct rules that block broadband providers, both wired and wireless, from blocking or throttling Internet traffic. The rules also ban broadband providers from taking payments to prioritize content and services over their networks.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here
The Federal Communications Commission has voted to approve new net neutrality rules by reclassifying broadband as a regulated public utility, over the objections of the commission's Republican members and large broadband providers.The commission voted 3-2 Thursday to approve net neutrality rules that prohibit broadband providers from selectively blocking or slowing Web traffic and from offering paid traffic prioritization services. The commission's vote on the new rules prompted loud applause from the audience at the FCC meeting.INSIDER: 5 tricks to improve poor TCP performance
The new regulations will almost certainly face a court challenge from broadband providers, and a court case could drag out for years. Verizon Communications, AT&T and Comcast have all opposed reclassification of broadband.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here
The Federal Communications Commission is scheduled to vote on a proposal today that effectively bars Internet companies from prioritizing some Internet traffic over others.As John Oliver famously explained "ending net neutrality would allow big companies to buy their way into the fast lane, leaving everyone else in the slow lane."The FCC's proposal faces plenty of opposition from telecom companies and others, but it's just the latest round in a long fight. Here is a brief history of attempts to enact net neutrality and the often successful push against it.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has voted to overturn large parts of two state laws that limit local governments from funding and building broadband networks.Commissioners, in a 3-2 vote Thursday, moved to preempt laws in North Carolina and Tennessee that limit the expansion of existing municipal broadband networks in the two states.The FCC order, coming in response to petitions from a city in each state, does not apply to laws that limit municipal broadband networks in about 20 other states. But the vote signals how the agency may act if it gets similar petitions from cities in other states, FCC officials have said.The FCC action will help bring broadband competition to new areas, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said. “You can’t say you’re for broadband, and then turn around and endorse limits on it,” he said. ‘You can’t say you’re for competition, then deny local officials the right to offer competing choices.”To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here
Don Keough, retired chief operating officer at Coca-Cola, died earlier this week at the age of 88. He is described in a Fortune headline as “The real boss behind Coke's secret formula.”Among the accomplishments credited to Keough is one that directly involved that secret formula, namely convincing CEO Roberto Goizueta in 1985 to reverse course on the disaster that was “New Coke” in favor of returning to the original recipe.News of Keough’s death had me rereading a 2010 Buzzblog post that involved this thought experiment:
Let's rewrite history: It was 25 years ago tomorrow, April 23, 1985, that the world's most famous soft drink company committed arguably the world's most famous product development/marketing gaffe: New Coke.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here
Lenovo’s defaced website points to weakness in Net domain name systemSome hackers took Lenovo’s corporate web address for a joyride on Wednesday, redirecting traffic to a video stream showing an apparently bored teen sitting in his bedroom. The prank, like the hijacking of Google’s Vietnam site recently, highlights continued weakness in the Internet’s Domain Name System, which translates website names into IP addresses.Samsung gets more woe over eavesdropping TVsThe fuss over data collected by voice-operated TVs made by Samsung Electronics is not going away, despite its efforts to minimize the issue. Now the Electronic Privacy Information center is asking the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to investigate, in a complaint that says Samsung has violated federal law.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here
Southern California Edison (SCE) IT workers replaced by H-1B contractors have become the latest Exhibit A in Congress for reformers of the visa program.Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who has long advocated for changes to the H-1B program to protect U.S. workers, said the Edison layoffs illustrate how some employers "are potentially using legal avenues to import foreign workers, lay-off qualified Americans, and then export jobs overseas."I was shocked by the heartless manner in which U.S. workers were injured," said Grassley in a Senate floor speech Wednesday.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here
The U.S. Congress should pass net neutrality legislation that overturns proposed rules at the Federal Communications Commission so that the protections survive over the long term, some opponents of the FCC approach said.With the FCC scheduled to vote on new net neutrality rules in less than 24 hours, broadband advocates at a House of Representatives hearing Wednesday told Republican lawmakers they should move forward with plans to pass their own rules.FCC rules without congressional action on net neutrality could open up the regulations to a court challenge or repeal by a future FCC, said Rick Boucher, a former Democratic congressman who is now honorary chairman of the Internet Innovation Alliance, a broadband advocacy group. Long-lasting net neutrality rules are needed, he told members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here
MIT researchers this week are demonstrating a design for new radio chips that could be used to efficiently power the Internet of Things.The researchers, led by MIT Professor in Electrical Engineering Anantha Chandrakasan, are presenting their work at the IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference in San Francisco, where the show theme is "Silicon Systems -- Small Chips for Big Data." The MIT paper is titled "A +10dBm 2.4GHz Transmitter with sub-400pW Leakage and 43.7% System Efficiency."MORE: Internet of Things to bring new economic boomTo read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here
SIM card maker Gemalto has dismissed recent reports that U.K. and U.S. spies obtained encryption keys protecting millions of mobile phones by hacking its network.Secret documents revealed last week suggested that spies from the U.S. National Security Agency and the U.K. Government Communications Headquarters had stolen SIM card encryption keys from Gemalto, allowing them to intercept the conversations of millions of mobile phone users. The GCHQ documents, dating from 2010, were among those leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here
Extreme Networks CEO Charles Berger: "The change for Extreme vs. where we were prior to the [Enterasys] acquisition is pretty dramatic."
It’s been about 15 months since Extreme Networks completed the acquisition of Enterasys Networks, a move that bolstered not only Extreme’s financial heft, but widened its switching line and beefed up its wireless LAN capabilities. Extreme CEO Charles Berger gave IDG US Media Chief Content Officer John Gallant an update on the progress of integrating Enterasys’s technology and discussed how software-defined networking is reshaping the industry. He also discussed how Extreme’s work on in-venue wireless with NFL teams and others will benefit all customers.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here
As HP reports numbers, questions will be on its splitHewlett-Packard is due to report its first-quarter results on Tuesday afternoon, but analysts will be more interested in hearing updates from CEO Meg Whitman on plans for the company’s split into two, says re/code. The company’s earnings are expected to hit $27.4 billion.GOPers on FCC want to delay net neutrality voteThe two Republican members of the Federal Communications Commission want to put a last-minute roadblock in the way of a proposal to reclassify the Internet as a utility and put stronger net neutrality protections in place. In a move that’s unlikely to succeed, Commissioners Ajit Pai and Mike O’Rielly want to delay the vote scheduled for Thursday, and have the FCC open the 332-page proposal to the public for comment. An agency spokeswoman said that the FCC already has already gotten “unprecedented levels of public comment on a variety of options” for net neutrality rules.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here
ARM and IBM want hobbyists to make their own connected devices in a matter of minutes with a new development kit announced Monday.The ARM mbed IoT Starter Kit -- Ethernet Edition will allow users to make cloud-ready Internet of Things products that could receive or transmit data for analysis or alerts. The development kit will come with ARM's mbed OS and connect into IBM's BlueMix cloud, which will help in the development of applications and services.The kit is for those with little to no experience in embedded or Web development. Prototype designs will guide enthusiasts through the process of making a device and connecting to IBM's BlueMix cloud service.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here
Samsung Electronics and South Korean mobile operator SK Telecom plan to demonstrate next week research into future “5G” wireless and data transmission at 7.55Gbps.The two companies, which formed a research and development agreement on 5G wireless in October last year, will show off the technology at the Mobile World Congress expo in Barcelona. The annual event, the biggest in the wireless telecommunications industry, begins on Monday.The transmission will use millimeter wave frequencies, which are generally considered to be those over 6GHz. That’s higher than current mobile phone and Wi-Fi frequencies and something that brings advantages and disadvantages.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here