Archive for March, 2010
It’s bad enough the U.S. continues to lag behind many other countries in broadband speed, considering we (though not Al Gore) basically developed it. It’s worse when you consider we pay more, and much more in some cases, for that “privilege.”
The Akamai report covers the “State of the Internet 3rd Quarter, 2009.” In that report, Akamai noted that the following countries are at the top.
- South Korea 14.6 Mbps, up 29% Q2-Q3, up 16 percent year-over-year
- Japan 7.9 Mbps, up 8.2 percent Q2-Q3, up 11 percent year-over-year
- Hong Kong 7.6 Mbps, up 10 percent Q2-Q3, 13 percent year-over-year
Meanwhile, not only is the U.S. in 18th place with 3.9 Mbps, it was up from Q2-Q3 1.8 percent, but down 2.4 percent year-over-year, not a good trend.
It wouldn’t be so bad, perhaps, if the United States’ slower connections were also cheaper. Not so, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The slower connection here in the U.S. costs about $45.52 per month on average, while in South Korea an average broadband bill runs about $28.52. That means South Koreans pay more than a third less, yet have broadband that’s 3.75x faster than the U.S.
Many have pointed to the obvious fact for the reasons that the U.S. pays more and gets less: lack of competition. For most consumers, they can choose only between a cable company and a telephone company (DSL) when they sign up for broadband. In other countries, including South Korea, the list of choices is much higher.
Yochai Benkler, co-director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School, said the following in a New York Times op-ed:
Affordability is the hard part — because there is no competition pushing down prices. The plan acknowledges that only 15 percent of homes will have a choice in providers, and then only between Verizon’s FiOS fiber-optic network and the local cable company. (AT&T’s “fiber” offering is merely souped-up DSL transmitted partly over its old copper wires, which can’t compete at these higher speeds.) The remaining 85 percent will have no choice at all.
[...] But without a strong commitment to open access, things will get worse. Because of the high price of laying their own next-generation fiber optics, would-be competitors like AT&T and Qwest have largely abandoned their goal of bringing fiber to the home, leaving the highest-speed tiers to the cable companies.
The multi-touch feature of the iPhone is the one that enables Apple to use pinch-to-zoom in the browser and other applications. According to the report, Elan filed a similar suit in U.S. District Court last year. However, a loophole allows them to refile the suit in a different venue, this time the International Trade Commission (ITC).
The patent, 5,825,352, was first awarded to Logitech but is now owned by Elan.
Apple recently sued HTC over a number of its patents it believed were infringed upon; one was a multi-touch patent, thus leading to the word “ironic” to describe this story.
Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple (with Steve Jobs), can afford anything. Thus, he’s not afraid to be an early adopter, and not afraid to buy multiples of anything. Thus, as he said, he’s getting the iPad, and two of them.
He’s getting two: one of the wi-fi only models, which ship this Saturday, and one of the 3G models, which ship later in April (exact date still unannounced). And as he said, he already has a use case for the iPad:
I’m out here on the road with four cell phones and two GPS devices, trying to look at maps, and I wish I had an iPad with me now.
Wozniak’s four phones are two iPhones, a Nexus One (Android), a Droid (Android), plus a Garmin and TomTom (both GPS). He also has his Prius’ navigation system.
Wozniak has previously said he loves the Nexus One, so the fact that he’s carrying that device is no surprise.
As far as why he has two iPhones, it’s because of the battery life issues on the iPhone, as well as the lack of multitasking. It’s a rather expensive way to correct those issues, but with a multimillionaire, it’s not an issue. There is another way to fix the background processing issue: jailbreak.
Additionally, Wozniak said he would wait in line for his iPad, starting Friday night. It’s unclear why he didn’t simply have it shipped. It’s also not clear if he would attempt to “cut,” as he did when the original iPhone came out. After all, who will stop the Woz?
Seton Hall University has become (AFAWK) the first university to announce it is giving all of its full-time students an iPad. The initiative starts in the fall semester, as part of the school’s Griffin Technology Advantage program.
Not only that, these students will receive a 13″ MacBook, and after two years, another brand new MacBook, to take with them when they exit the program. Here’s what the school says about their program:
Seton Hill is committed to moving past the teaching of information literacy (understanding how to locate and evaluate information from resources that range from the traditional library to sophisticated online sources) to what we like to call “creative literacy” – teaching you not just how to find the information you need, but how to process it in the way that allows you to make sense of the information, apply the information to actual situations, and solve problems.
In the past, other schools have given out iPhones, iPod touches (and indeed MacBooks, too). While not clear from the announcement, it’s likely Seton Hall is giving out the lowest-priced (16GB) and wi-fi only version of the iPad ($499).