The Copyright Alert System – What it Means for You

The Copyright Alert System – What it Means for You

You may have heard recently about the ‘Copyright Alert System’, or “CAS” (also being called the “Six Strikes” system. This is the ‘6 strikes’ system that was proposed by the RIAA as a new way for Internet service providers (ISPs) to help combat the illegal downloading of copyrighted materials such as movies and music. Did you catch that? Your ISP is getting involved in the fight to keep you from downloading illegal content.

Free Wi-Fi in New York City Courtesy of Google

Free Wi-Fi in New York City Courtesy of Google

We first reported that Google was aiming to provide free public wifi Internet access to the world over seven years ago, and they kicked off that goal by offering free wi-fi to Mountain View, and now they’ve announced that the area of Chelsea in New York City is the latest recipient of free Google wifi as they do their part to grow Manhattan’s Silicon Alley.

The Copyright Alert System: Did You Get a Warning from your ISP for Downloading Copyrighted Material?  Here’s Why

The Copyright Alert System: Did You Get a Warning from your ISP for Downloading Copyrighted Material? Here’s Why

Be prepared for a series of virtual hand slaps if your ISP is saying that you downloaded copyrighted or infringing material or files. A “graduated response” program, aimed at cutting down on illegally downloaded files, was rolled out at the beginning of July and has drawn widespread criticism for both its intent, and execution. Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) CEO, Cary Sherman, is at the helm of a new initiative that aims to punish those accused of illegal downloading.

Turning the Homeless into Portable Wifi Hotspots:  “Homeless Hotspot” Business Model Debuts at SXSW

Turning the Homeless into Portable Wifi Hotspots: “Homeless Hotspot” Business Model Debuts at SXSW

How many times have you thought “Damn, if only I could get on the Internet right now! Where is the nearest public access wireless hotspot?” And how many times have you seen a homeless person standing on a street corner trying to raise some cash? Well, BBH Labs (the Bs stand for Bartle and Bogle and the H stands for Hegarty) have what they believe to be the answer: combine the two by turning the homeless into on-demand portable wifi hotspots. BBH debuted the so-called “Homeless Hotspots” at South by SouthWest (SXSW) this week, in Austin.

Customers Leave GoDaddy in Droves as CEO Bob Parsons Flaunts Killing Elephant, Defends Elephant Video and Leopard Kills

Customers Leave GoDaddy in Droves as CEO Bob Parsons Flaunts Killing Elephant, Defends Elephant Video and Leopard Kills

Usually it’s the feminists who are outraged by the actions of GoDaddy CEO Bob Parsons, but this time he’s raised the ire of the animal rights activists, including (but by no means limited to) PETA (which stands for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). It’s not hard to understand – in this day and age people are more likely than not to be upset by the killing of an elephant, let alone by the braggadocio posting of a video of the deed. And despite the timing, the GoDaddy elephant video is no April Fool’s joke – it’s all too real.

What’s the Big Deal About Google, Verizon, and Net Neutrality?  We Explain.

What’s the Big Deal About Google, Verizon, and Net Neutrality? We Explain.

Tech news and forums this week have been overrun by chatter about the legislative proposal for net neutrality that Verizon and Google jointly released on Monday. The proposal, which both Google and Verizon posted to their blogs at 1:38 p.m. EST and 1:47 p.m. EST, respectively, was, they say, intended to spark discussion, and spark discussion it did. If your head is spinning with this week’s discussions of network neutrality, wireline, wireless, a private Internet, and “differentiated online services”, read on.

Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to Start Charging Users for Processing Spam Addressed to Users

Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to Start Charging Users for Processing Spam Addressed to Users

A group of U.S.-based Internet service providers (ISPs) have announced that they are going to start charging their email users for processing the spam that is addressed to them. As the deluge of spam continues unabated, ISPs are seeking new ways to help offset the cost of processing the trillions of pieces of junk email that they are keeping out of their customers’ inboxes (or, in some cases, still delivering to their customers’ inbox or junk folder).

What is the National Broadband Plan and its Impact on Individuals?  Broadband in Every Home is Obama’s Version of “Chicken in Every Pot”

What is the National Broadband Plan and its Impact on Individuals? Broadband in Every Home is Obama’s Version of “Chicken in Every Pot”

There’s been a lot in the news this week about the National Broadband Plan, and while it was first inserted into public awareness nearly a year ago, many were not aware of even the possibility of a National Broad band Plan, let alone the reality of it, until recently. At its broadest, the American Broadband Plan is about making sure that the U.S. has a robust, and wicked-fast, broadband infrastructure, to not only keep up with – but to keep ahead of – the rapidly changing Internet landscape and demands. It looks at allocation and reallocation of parts of the wireless spectrum, it considers redefining Federal funds currently earmarked to ensure that everybody has access to basic telephone service to include broadband access as well, and it looks at who ought to be paying for all of this broadband development and access. But it also has aspects that are much more personal, and hit much closer to home for the average American.

Creation of .xxx Domain, .god Domain and .gay Domain Being Considered by ICANN this Week

Creation of .xxx Domain, .god Domain and .gay Domain Being Considered by ICANN this Week

You’ve probably already heard of the .xxx domain that has been proposed, rejected, re-rejected, and reconsidered, but did you know that there are also a .god domain and a .gay domain being considered? The .xxx domain was first proposed – and provisionally approved – back in 2005, and then was rejected in 2006 and 2007, primarily as a result of lobbying by conservative and religious groups; now it’s being reconsidered. Interestingly, the .god domain, which has had considerably less press, was first proposed as far back as 1995, and has been in the public awareness since at least 2000. The .gay domain is among the newest of proposed TLD (Top Level Domain) offerings (actually “gTLD”, which stands for generic Top Level Domain), although not the only new one (consider New York City’s request for a .nyc domain) – all of which are being considered this week as the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) meets in Nairobi.

On Canter and Siegel and the Green Card Spam

On Canter and Siegel and the Green Card Spam

Now here’s a blast from the past. I was trolling Usenet recently (many of you may know it better as Google groups since Google borged Usenet), and I came across the letter to the editor that I wrote in reponse to a letter that the American Bar Association Journal had published, written by Martha Siegel (she of the Cantor and Siegal Green Card Lottery Spam infamy). In the letter, Ms. Siegel attempted to justify the mass-spamming of Usenet that she and her associate had done in the name of trying to drum up business for their law firm. It was, if not the first mega-spam, certainly the most high-profile of those among the first.