Google fiber – “experiencing awesome things together”

The advent of the commercial Internet in 1995 was a big deal, a major transformative shift. Now we’re going through another, quite different, but equally enormous shift: Fiber. Asian and Northern European countries are upgrading to fiber connectivity. One strand of fiber has thousands of times more bandwidth capacity than any of the last generation technologies like DSL, cable, satellite and wireless. It is likely to be useful for more than 50 years; it allows for equal uploads to downloads, and it’s highly scalable. We’ll see enormous future increases in…

700 MHz Update: Will VZ comply with the rules?

Last Friday (HT::  IPDemocracy), Google filed a petition [PDF] asking that the Commission ensure that Verizon understands what those “open platform” requirements for the C Block really mean.  Verizon has taken the position in the past that its own devices won’t be subject to the “open applications” and “open handsets” requirements of the C Block rules, and Google says it is concerned that Verizon doesn’t plan to follow those requirements in the future. This is big.  Here’s the background. In the 700 MHz auction rules, the Commission noted that public…

Comparative internet law

Alan Davidson visited Yale Law School today, speaking to my Internet Law class and to a large lunchtime group.  Key takeaway for me::  the center of gravity of internet policy is not so much in Washington any more.  Discussions of Issues like ISP filtering and data retention are taking place in Europe with enormous energy.  There things we might take for granted here – like avoiding online content regulation, or the undesirability of using ISPs as private police – are actively considered. At the same time, Alan points out, architectural…

Making the wireless world more web-friendly

Your wireless carrier (in the U.S., probably AT&T or Verizon Wireless) has a lot of control over the handset you can use and the applications that can run on that device. In fact, wireless carriers routinely ask for (and get) an enormous slice of the revenue from applications that work on their networks, and they force handset manufacturers to jump through all kinds of hoops in order to be allowed to sell devices that can connect to these networks. (You can’t, usually, buy devices except through the wireless carrier itself.)…

Judgment and automation

What would you do if you were Google? You know that targeted keyword-driven ads will be useful to customers. In fact, your company’s survival depends on keywords working well. At the same time, you know that trademark holders seem to think that they own the string of letters that make up their mark – no matter in what context, or for what purpose, that string of letters is being used. You know this because you keep getting sued when companies get huffy that “their” string of letters is being used…