lpress writes: The Wall Street Journal says the White House is pushing Cuba to make deals with Google and General Electric. Google has spent a lot of time in Cuba and ETECSA, the Cuban government's monopoly telecommunication provider, will start a fiber trial in Havana this month. If that trial were a joint project of ETECSA and Google, it would be a win for the Cuban people, Google and the Obama administration.
lpress writes: The Internet was a major source of news — fake and real — during the election campaign. The operators of fake sites, whether motivated by politics or greed, are often anonymous. We avoid voter fraud by requiring verification of ones name, age and address. A verifiable real-names domain registration policy would discourage information fraud.
lpress writes: When President Obama picked Tom Wheeler, a former lobbyist for the mobile and cable industries, to head the FCC, many expected him to be a puppet of the ISP industry, but he surprised them by opting to serve the public interest, not the ISP industry, on several important issues. Will "populist" Donald Trump surprise us and work to make the American Internet great again?
lpress writes: Politifact rates 53% of Donald Trump's statements, 14% of President Obama's statements and 13% of Hillary Clinton's statements as untrue and the Internet makes it easy to spread those lies to people who are predisposed to "like" and believe them. We are in the early days of the Internet as a political medium — will it co-evolve along with our society and education system to bring us something better?
lpress writes: Originally, the embargo, the economy and fear of free information stifled the Cuban Internet, but each of those barriers has been eroded. The problem today is bureaucracy and its companions — fear of competition, change and stepping out of line.
lpress writes: !n the 1990s Bill Gates and partners in a company called Teledesic planned to launch a constellation of satellites to provide global Internet connectivity. They failed, but twenty years later, two companies — SpaceX and OneWeb — are trying to do the same thing using modern rocket and electronic technology. SpaceX passed a significant milestone yesterday by recovering a $60 million rocket after soft-landing it on a barge at sea. Reuse of first stage rockets will significanltly cut the cost of putting satellite/routers into orbit.
lpress writes: The Mac and the Tesla Model 3 have a lot in common. Both came out at the just the right time — not too early and not too late. The Mac was not the first computer with a graphical user interface and the Model 3 was not the first electric car, but their predecessors were niche products. The Mac and Model 3 came out just as the technology had progressed to the point to enable them to appeal to the mainstream. The development of both was bankrolled by previous products, which were starting to fade, and both were based on comprehensive, proprietary designs. But Apple fights to protect its inventions while Tesla has released its patents to encourage other manufacturers to collaborate in an effort to move away from gasoline-powered cars.
lpress writes: A There were regulatory changes and a number of companies made announements just before and during the President's trip. Google's broadband hotspot got a lot of hype, but new regulations and financial services, support for university exchange programs and Cisco's Networking Academy at a leading computer science university are more important.
lpress writes: Sci-Hub is a Russian site that seeks to remove barriers to science by providing access to pirated copies of scientific papers. I don't feel guilty using Sci-Hub, but I would feel (a little) guilty about pirating Star Wars. Should/could there be a fair-use copyright exemtion for scientific publication?
lpress writes: Network-based citizen journalism began on Usenet, long before today's social media. There was sparse reporting on the 1989 Tienanmen Square protests, but coverage of the 1991 Soviet Coup attempt was relatively widespread and significant within and outside of Russia. Usenet was the only free medium during the coup attempt; which occurred in August, 1991, the month the first experimental Web server went online. An archive of the coup-attempt traffic is online for historians.
lpress writes: Sci-Hub is a Russian site that seeks to remove barriers to science by providing access to pirated copies of scientific papers. It was established in 2011 by Russian neuroscientist Alexandra Elbakyan, who could not afford papers she needed for her research and it now claims to have links to 48 million pirated and open papers. I tried it out and found some papers and not others, but it provides an alternative for researchers who cannot afford access to paid journals. After visiting this site, one cannot help thinking of the case of Aaron Swartz, who committed suicide as a result of prosecution for his attempt to free scientific literature.
lpress writes: The FCC dropped Cuba from its exclusion list on January 25, so there are now no restrictions on US telecom company dealings with ETECSA, the Cuban government telecommunication monopoly, or any other Cuban organization. Last week the US sent our second high-level telecommunication delegation to Cuba. The delegates were FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and other government officials plus representatives of Cisco, Comcast and Ericsson. Some of the news — there are at least 6 proposals for an undersea cable between Havana and Florida; Cisco has proposed a Network Academy at Cuba's leading computer science university (Chinese infrastructure dominates today); 4G mobile connectivity was discussed and Google was conspicuously absent. The time for Cuba to act is now — while President Obama is still in office.