Around the IT Industry 2/25-3/1

by Modis on March 1, 2013

Time Warner Unconvinced of Demand for Gigabit Internet

In spite of Google’s recently launched Google Fiber initiative, Time Warner Cable has issued a statement that is somewhat dismissive of Google’s impact on the marketplace.  Claiming that Time Warner is in the “business of delivering what consumers want” and stating that they “just don’t see the need of delivering that to consumers,” it has become clear that Time Warner will not be offering fiber services to their considerable client base anytime in the near future.  The company representative did go on to say that, if the initiative catches on and applications which require that much bandwidth become more common, the company would certainly be building their product base to deliver such speeds when it becomes necessary.

Comcast’s New ‘Six-Strikes’ Copyright Infringement Policy In Action

Comcast is one of several ISPs to recently implement a new “six-strikes” policy for users who download copyrighted media illegally, whether it be movies, television shows, or music.  Primarily designed to crack down on the rapid growth of Internet piracy, these policies allow the ISP to issue a series of warnings to users informing them of their illegal activity and urging them to cease such activities at the risk of losing Internet access permanently.  After four such alerts, Comcast’s system will enact a browser “hijack” that prevents the user from continuing to browse the Internet until they contact a Customer Security Assurance person to unlock their browser again.  Once they have received six alerts, their Internet service will be rescinded.

Learn to Code from Harvard for Free

Harvard University (yes, that Harvard University) has put forth an incredible offering to individuals looking to broaden their knowledge of programming and computer science in general:  they are making videos of their introductory courses available free of charge online via YouTube, iTunes, and the university’s course page itself.  The courses are specifically designed for people with little to no practical computer programming knowledge, but are certainly excellent refreshers for even veteran programmers to peruse at their leisure.

The Internet Needs a ‘Plan B’

The Internet has existed for over 30 years now and, by and large, remains structured in much the same way now as it was at its inception.  While it has certainly grown by leaps and bounds and protocols have changed as technology evolved, the fact remains that the Internet is vulnerable.  More than once it has been that a simple Internet glitch has caused significant disruption in the daily lives of thousands (or more) and it is safe to say that such “glitches” could be replicated by individuals with hostile intent in order to substantially cripple the systems we have come to rely so heavily upon.  Thus, Danny Hillis has proposed a “Plan B” for the Internet in which a separate global network be maintained for emergency services, the transportation industry, and government in order to prevent everyday users on the Internet from interfering with such critical systems, glitch or otherwise.

New E-Ink Smartphone Could Redefine Battery Life Standards

E-ink screens are nothing new, having been a mainstay of the e-reader market for years now in favor of their extremely low power consumption and readability in nearly any lighting condition.  What is new, however, is the idea of using e-ink in a smartphone.  Utilizing a simplified version of the Android OS, these new devices would reportedly last an entire week on a single battery charge, considerably longer than most current generation devices and at a much lower price.  The devices’ displays are monochromatic, of course, and refresh a bit slower than the bright screens we’ve all grown accustomed to.  Still, for people who spend extended amounts of time away from electrical outlets or people who just don’t want to wait for their phone to charge as often, e-ink could be the next big thing.

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