Exploring the impact of broadband and technology on our lives, our businesses, and our communities.

The Internet of Things has jumped the shark

Someone has come out with a Bluetooth-enabled baby bottle. As someone who has spent plenty of time feeding babies, I never thought even once, "I wish this baby bottle sent alerts to my phone." In concept, I kind of understand the notion that a "smart bottle" can help train a new parent about issues like letting the child suck too much air (bottle held at wrong angle), or lumps in the milk (did not mix powdered formula enough), but these are things you figure out very quickly on your own.

Technology News:

Death of TV: Part LXXII: 40% of homes now stream video over the Internet

A new report from Nielsen, the TV tracking firm, shows that 40% of American homes are streaming video over the Internet. This represents a 10% year to year increase. At that rate, there will be few subscribers left on cable and satellite in five more years.

Technology News:

How much "broadband" does a business need?

The Blandin Foundation has a must-read letter from a relatively small business that illustrates very clearly the problem that "not enough broadband" has on economic development.

The whole letter lays out numerous problems, but this is one of the most striking:


"I find many candidates that are excited to raise a family in a rural community, but they do not want to live in the digital equivalence of the 1980’s."

Community news and projects:

HBO and Apple announce partnership

HBO and Apple announced today that HBO's streaming service will be available in the U.S. only via AppleTV and other Apple devices.

HBO is half of the holy grail of streaming video, with the other half live sports (i.e. ESPN). Cable TV is barely breathing....

Knowledge Democracy:

Technology News:

Open Access Explained, Part III: What the Local Transport Provider Does

The local transport provider has several important roles and responsibilities in providing a high-quality experience for both providers and their customers. The LTP provides professional day-to-day management of the network, offloading that work from the service providers. Typical work activities include

Broadband Information:

Technology News:

Death of TV: Part LXXI: Millennnials ditch TV

Young people in the 18 to 34 age group continue to ignore traditional cable and satellite TV packages in favor of Internet-based Over The Top (OTT) packages like Netflix and Hulu, among others. With ESPN and HBO joining the OTT revolution, cable and satellite TV are dead, dead, dead, as live sports and specialty programs (think HBO offerings like the hugely popular Sopranos) are now available without that bloated and over-priced cable TV subscription.

Technology News:

Work from home: Neighborhoods are business districts, and fiber is the new road

Dave Sobotta, our VP of Marketing, writes here about his experiences over the past thirty years. Much of that time, he has been working from home, making him one of the work from home pioneers.

The fully automated home: take a glimpse at the future

A good friend of mine who is a programming genius and an inveterate tinker has provided a glimpse of what is possible with largely off the shelf technology. All of the items on the list below are already implemented and in place.

Open Access Explained, Part II: The Local Transport Provider and Backhaul

As we design and build Local Transport Networks for our community clients, we are frequently asked, "Where will the LTP get backhaul?"

LTPs do not need backhaul, because the LTP is not an Internet Service Provider. Put another way, the LTP is a broadband provider, not an Internet provider. Unfortunately, "Internet" and "broadband" are used interchangeably even though they are two different things. In the roads analogy, broadband is the single, high performance road network, and Internet is one of the trucks that use that road.

Broadband Information:

Technology News:

Open Access Explained, Part I: The Local Transport Provider, or LTP

Open access networks unbundle the physical network from the services being carried over that network. We have become so used to having the network and service provided by the same company that it is sometimes a struggle to remember that that approach is only an artifact of very old technology. The copper twisted pair deployed for phone service was only capable of delivering that one thing: voice phone calls. And copper coaxial cable was only capable of delivering one thing: TV content.

Broadband Information:

Technology News:

The emerging revolution in health care

Fourteen major U.S. hospitals are experimenting with trial programs using the Apple HealthKit tools, which provide health and fitness tracking on iPhones and iPads.

Knowledge Democracy:

2015 Intelligent Community Forum Smart7 Candidates Announced

The Intelligent Community Forum announced the Top7 Intelligent Communities for 2015 today.

The Top7 list is dominated by the United States with three communities: Arlington County, Virginia; Columbus,Ohio; and Mitchell, South Dakota.

The others come from four nations: Ipswich, Australia; New Taipei City, Taiwan; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Surrey, Canada. Four of the cites are on the Top7 list for the first time: Mitchell, New Taipei City, Rio de Janeiro and Surrey.

Community news and projects:

If you still think broadband is not important....

...consider this. Apple sold half a billion dollars in apps during the first week of January.

Think about that. Remember getting in your car and driving to the store to buy software? I do...vaguely. Everyone under thirty would have no idea what I was talking about.

Technology News:

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha....

Excuse me for the headline....I could not stop laughing. Verizon's snazzy cloud service, eponymously named "Verizon Cloud," will be shut down "for up to" 48 hours. Granted, it is being done over a weekend, but suppose you are a retail business open on Saturday and Sunday? Do you close the store? What are they thinking?

Technology News:

Death of TV: Part LXX: The fat lady just sang!

As the old saying goes, "It ain't over 'til the fat lady sings." Dish Network just brought the fat lady out on the stage, and she is singing Sling TV. It's a new OTT (Over The Top) streaming video service that will include ESPN, Disney, CNN, TNT, and a bunch of other "channels," and I have "channels" in quotes because it is an archaic concept that dates back to the 1950s. But we know what it means.

Knowledge Democracy:

Death of TV: Part LXVIV: The dam just broke

Not with a whimper, but a bang. The Washington Post has an article indicating that ESPN is going to roll out a streaming service for its sports content. This lack of live sports on the Internet has kept a lot of households tethered to a costly and bloated cable TV subscription. I think what happened is that ESPN figured out they were passing up huge revenue growth by staying tethered to cable. Many households, once they cut the cable TV bill, may well end up spending more on streaming video, but it will be in small amounts....FOR EXACTLY WHAT THEY WANT TO WATCH.

Death of TV: Part LXVIII: Kids are cutting the cord

New data suggests that the death of cable and satellite TV is being led by children. Kids don't care about watching the latest episode of a cartoon...reruns are just fine to keep them amused. Kids are growing up with on-demand services like Netflix and Hulu for their video fix. When they strike out on their own, the notion of buying a package of cable TV is going to seem quaint.

Knowledge Democracy:

Sony irony and "The Interview"

David Strom has a thoughtful analysis of the Sony hacking mess and the subsequent North Korean threats against the Sony movie "The Interview," where he points out several sad ironies in the two incidents.

Knowledge Democracy:

Technology News:

Comcast must read this blog

Comcast must be reading my stuff. I have been noting for years now that the cable HFC network is not meeting the needs of home-based workers. Via Lightwave, Comcast has announced a new service to improve connectivity. But it sure sounds like you can't get it unless your company buys corporate service from Comcast, as the article mentions "low" construction costs to get fiber to your place of business. So it will likely be of limited usefulness.

Technology News:

Just what we all need: A WiFi doorbell

The SkyBell is actually pretty cool. It is a WiFi-enabled doorbell with a camera and microphone. Stick it on the wall next to your front door. When someone pushes the "doorbell" button, you get can talk to them via your smartphone. It also has a motion sensor, so the camera turns on and notifies you if someone is hanging around your front door but has not rung the bell.

Technology News:

Pages

Subscribe to Technology Futures RSS