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Submission + - Is .CO the new .COM?

lpress writes: It is more likely that a name will be available in the .CO domain than in .COM. Colombia is emerging from decades of political violence and hopes to get some revenue and polish their image a bit by promoting the .CO domain.

Comment Today nearly all Cuban traffic is over the cable (Score 1) 64

This study was done last spring, when significant amounts of Cuban international traffic were routed over satellite, but in July nearly all international traffic moved to the undersea cable, significantly improving performance. Furthermore, the study used the only RIPE Atlas probe in Cuba, so may not have been representative of the entire island at that time. For details on the transition in July and the situation today, see http://laredcubana.blogspot.com/2015/11/before-and-after-cubas-shift-to-alba-1.html.

Submission + - Is buying Cuban software legal in the US?

lpress writes: The Treasury Department recently issued new regulations authorizing "the importation of Cuban-origin mobile applications and the employment of Cuban nationals by persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction to develop such mobile applications." Great, but that is ambiguous, so I asked Treasury some follow-up questions: why is the rule restricted to mobile apps, what is the definition of a mobile app and can the Cuban developer work for a Cuban cooperative or government enterprise or must it be an individual? The answers were mostly "no comment" so the best way to clarify the situation is to try it and see what happens.

Submission + - Cuba's report urging the UN to condemn the embargo is flawed.

lpress writes: On October 27th, the United Nations General Assembly is expected to vote on a resolution urging the United States to end its economic embargo on Cuba. Last June, Cuba issued a report arguing against the embargo and claiming that it has cost the Cuban people $833.7 billion — $57,122,900 of that in the sector of "communications and informatics, including telecommunications." The communications and informatics claims are one-sided and invalid. Cuba has introduced resolutions condeming the embargo 24 times. Last year only Israel and the US voted no and the Guardian has reported that the US has decided to vote against the resolution again because it does not fully reflect the new spirit of engagement between the US and Cuba and the Cubans were unwilling to revise it.

Submission + - From a Hole in Space to Cuba's WiFi hotspots

lpress writes: Cuba has opened 35 public-access WiFi hotspots. They are slow and expensive, but people are using them to communicate with friends and family. This is reminiscent an often overlooked, pioneering project. In 1980, artists Kit Galloway and Sherrie Rabinowitz created a "Hole in Space" by connecting larger-than-life displays in New York and Los Angeles with a satellite feed. It was the mother of all video chats, demonstrating that electronic communication could convey presence and emotion. We should re-create Holes in Space using modern technology.

Comment Re:What will be funny... (Score 1) 109

Is when the average Cuban has better bandwidth than the average US Citizen because they actually decided to build infrastructure

That will take a while -- Cuba is one of the least connected countries in the world and they are making a big deal of making slow DSL "available" to half their homes by 2020.

That being said, there are good reasons for them to remain independent -- I wouldn't wish Comcast or TWC on anyone.

Comment Re:China learned the foreign aid lesson from the U (Score 1) 109

Then the common people will see Chinese companies and workers building infrastructure for their benefit, generating goodwill.

The Chinese role in Cuba has been different than in Africa, where Chinese companies and Chinese workers build roads, etc. The Chinese were involved in financing and installing Cuba's udersea cable, but on the island China has been an equipment vendor with Cubans installing and running the networks.

I wouldn't be surprised to learn the details of this successful "bid" may include 100% financing by China, probably at low interest, so Cuba don't have to pay a dime upfront.

China has at times had problems collecting Cuban debt. (See the Wikileak quote in the post; however, it has been reported that they lent the money for the undersea cable then participated in its installation. That does sound like the US -- give or loan money to be used to purchase products from US companies. A sweet deal for the US companies.

Submission + - Cuban infrastructure investment -- China won the first round

lpress writes: The US would like to sell Cuba Internet service and equipment, but we have had little success so far. China has won the first round — they financed and installed Cuba's undersea cable, supplied backbone equipment and public WiFi access centers and will provide equipment for the forthcoming home DSL rollout. That being said, Cuba has very little connectivity today and most of what they have and plan to install is already obsolete by today's standards, so they will be buying a lot of equipment in the future.

Submission + - Google News is redundant and favors large sites

lpress writes: Google News, Alerts and search are discovering redundant articles on large news sites and they miss the in-depth expertise of focused, long-tail news sources. For example, copies of a recent Bloomberg post on the Internet in Cuba were posted with slight modification on at least 18 news sites. The copies had the same body text as the orginal, but the "splash" photo was changed, the section sub-headings deleted, a chart removed and errors in the ortginal were not corrected. Google Alerts discovered at least 6 of those copies. Does ad-supported, algorithm-driven news discovery inevitably lead to redundant, derivative news and news-site consolidation?

Comment Re:Google Fi Access Points (Score 1) 198

That's more likely what they're doing. Seeing how far they can expand the Fi network.

In what sense does this let them expand the Fi network? Maybe they could do a deal with an ISP like Comcast to let them do public facing access over home routers (http://cis471.blogspot.com/2014/03/isp-competition-testing-time-warner.html), but why would an ISP go for that?

Submission + - Google's OnHub WiFi router is a strategic product

lpress writes: Last quarter, Google made $16 billion on advertising and $1.7 billion on "other sales." I don't know how "other sales" breaks down, but a chunk of that is hardware devices like the Pixel Chromebook, Chromecast, Next thermostat, Nexus phone and, now, WiFi routers. Does the world need another $200 home router? Why would Google bother? I can think of a couple of strategic reasons — they hope it will become a home-automation hub (competing with the Amazon Echo) and it will enable them to dynamically configure and upgrade your home or small office network for improved performance (hence more ads).

Comment Re:A "phone" is already obsolete. (Score 1) 138

That is true for the US and a lot of other places, but Cuba has very little IP connectivity today so their 2G phones are still useful. In my post, I was suggesting that in perhaps five years they would be able to ditch their 2G phones and not bother with obsolete phones beyond that. Check the graph in my post for confirmation of your contention that "phones" are obsolete.

Honesty is for the most part less profitable than dishonesty. -- Plato