Showing posts with label Federal Communications Commission. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Federal Communications Commission. Show all posts

Saturday, August 01, 2015

Musk's Cross Pollinating Ways

English: Elon Musk at the panel Tribeca Talks:...
English: Elon Musk at the panel Tribeca Talks: Revenge of the Electric Car, for the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Musk, it should be noted, had no experience building rockets. All he knew about space exploration had been gleaned from books and training manuals. Vance describes in gleeful detail Musk’s improbable quest to build a NASA-worthy rocket essentially from scratch. “I am a billionaire. I am going to start a space program,” Vance reports him saying to the man he enlisted to go with him to Moscow to persuade the Russians to sell him an intercontinental ballistic rocket, which he planned to use as a launch vehicle. When that didn’t work out—Musk thought the Russians were trying to get him to part with too many millions of his billion-plus fortune—he crunched some numbers and determined that it made more sense to build the rocket himself. It would be low-cost, low-orbiting, and designed to ferry satellites into space on a regular schedule. The idea, he told the first employees of his new company, Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), was to become the “Southwest Airlines of Space.” ....... the spirit of a Silicon Valley start-up—learn by doing and do it around the clock—and like those start-ups, it would take advantage of exponential increases in computing power. Software developers would tap into that power to design and build the company’s avionics, while the rocket’s components would be assembled, as much as possible, from equipment purchased off the shelf. ...... because of Musk’s relentless and successful pursuit of the best young engineers and coders and the unremitting demands he placed upon them, it would be made. ...... it, too, fell back to earth. The company was burning through Musk’s money; its margin for error was narrowing while Musk’s reputation as yet another rich guy with a vanity space program was growing ........ Finally, in 2008, six years after Musk declared his galactic intentions, and four and a half years after he said it would happen, the SpaceX Falcon 1 became the first privately constructed rocket to reach orbit. As Vance tells it, the human costs were at least as high as whatever number of dollars had come from Musk’s pocket (one estimate put it at $100 million) ......... Some of these people had spent years on the island going through one of the more surreal engineering exercises in human history. They had been separated from their families, assaulted by the heat, and exiled on their tiny launchpad outpost—sometimes without much food—for days on end as they waited for the launch windows to open and dealt with the aborts that followed. So much of that pain and suffering and fear would be forgotten if this launch went successfully. ............ The portrait of Elon Musk that emerges from these pages is of a man of visionary intellect, fierce ambition, and fantastic wealth, who is emotionally bankrupt. “Many of us worked tirelessly for him for years and were tossed to the curb like a piece of litter,” one former employee told Ashlee Vance. “What was clear is that people who worked for him were like ammunition: used for a specific purpose until exhausted and discarded.” ......... Loyalty was expected but not honored. Fear of getting publicly dressed down by Musk—or worse—was rampant. “Marketing people who made grammatical mistakes in e-mails were let go,” Vance reports, “as were other people who hadn’t done anything ‘awesome’ in recent memory.” And then there was the employee who “missed an event to witness the birth of his child. Musk fired off an e-mail saying, ‘That is no excuse. I am extremely disappointed. You need to figure out where your priorities are. We’re changing the world and changing history, and you either commit or you don’t.’” ........... Musk’s severe rationality and emotional detachment, as well as his preternatural ability to master complex subjects quickly, have led to an ongoing joke among denizens of certain Internet forums that he must be an alien, beamed down from space. (No wonder he’s so keen to colonize Mars!) In fact, the man has all the attributes of a classic narcissist—the grandiosity, the quest to be famous, the lack of empathy, the belief that he is smarter than everyone else, and the messianic plan to save civilization. Steve Jobs comes to mind, though Jobs’s ambitions were pedestrian compared to Musk’s. ........... Twelve electric vehicles besides the Tesla Model S were brought to market in 2014 and fourteen were released in 2015. One of them was conceived and designed in Croatia. ....... He has applied to the Federal Communications Commission for permission to test a satellite-beamed Internet service that, he says, “would be like rebuilding the Internet in space.” ............ While SpaceX’s four thousand circling satellites have the potential to create a whole new meaning for the World Wide Web, since they will beam down the Internet to every corner of the earth, the system holds additional interest for Musk. “Mars is going to need a global communications system, too,” he apparently told a group of engineers he was hoping to recruit at an event last January in Redmond, Washington. ......... fifth mode of transportation ..... Musk’s critics—and he has many—are quick to point out that he is merely piggy-backing on existing technologies, not inventing them. There were electric cars before there was Tesla, rockets before there was SpaceX, solar panels before there was SolarCity, and even pneumatic tube travel has a long, if spotty, history. Yet as true as this is, it misses the point of what Elon Musk is doing. By now it is a cliché to put the words “Silicon Valley” and “disruptive innovation” in the same sentence, but disruption is precisely the point of every one of Musk’s ventures. He has made disruption itself his business plan and it is working. It required a lot of hubris to take on the aerospace industry and the automobile industry and the utilities, but he did, and he is, with precipitous consequences. Will they be precipitous enough to catapult the man to Mars, ten years hence?

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Net Neutrality In Danger?

Logo of the United States Federal Communicatio...
Logo of the United States Federal Communications Commission, used on their website and some publications since the early 2000s. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Tim Wu: Goodbye, Net Neutrality; Hello, Net Discrimination
The broadband carriers want to make more money for doing what they already do. Never mind that American carriers already charge some of the world’s highest prices, around sixty dollars or more per month for broadband, a service that costs less than five dollars to provide.
It is a matter of disbelief to me that net neutrality should be in jeopardy. That is quite a statement on the political system. This impacts quite literally everybody. And yet the vested interests are ploughing along. What should instead happen is deregulation that brings the price down on broadband services.

So long, net neutrality? FCC to propose new pay-for-preferential treatment rules
Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Google, Dish And A Trillion Dollars

Seal of the United States Federal Communicatio...
Seal of the United States Federal Communications Commission. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
There never has been a trillion dollar company. Some people thought Apple was on its way. But I disagreed then, and I disagree now. Apple has run out of ideas. It will ride the iPhone, iPad wave for as long as it can. But that is steam for a few more years max. Apple has peaked. And it is trying to do TV the wrong way.

Mobile hardware is not where it is at. All that is on its way to becoming commodity. Google is an amazing company because it long mastered the most important thing. You can't charge for search, but you can serve ads. That basic mastery will propel it into all major innovations areas.

My bet is Google could hit a trillion dollar valuation by 2020, and if it does not do so by 2020 it will not do it at all. And it will hit a trillion dollar valuation not through search - although search is where the action is - but by entering the global ISP space in a big way, first through mobile and then for all device sizes. Just like the line between Chrome and Android is blurry, what's the difference between your Nexus phone, a Nexus tablet and a Chromebook? There isn't any. They all live on electricity and internet.

Give Me Blazing Broadband, Or Give Me, Give Me

Globally wireless gigabit broadband is what a political and economic unification of the world looks like. Google, of all entities, stands to challenge the nation state, here in America and everywhere else.

Sergey Brin's Is The Right Stand

Google picked a fight with China, America did not. That was quite telling.

Google Wireless Phone Service Coming? Dish LTE Could Help
A few months ago there were multiple reports of Google and Dish having formal talks about offering a wireless network that would rival Verizon and AT&T. Those talks can now fuel a bit more speculation as the FCC has granted approval to Dish to use its AWS-4 spectrum for 4G LTE data services. ..... A network could be built for data only and their services like Google Voice would power traditional conversations. Google has long been rumored to be launching their own wireless service and at a very aggressive monthly price.
Dish gets FCC approval to build next-generation LTE network
Dish Network has gotten approval from the Federal Communications Commission to build a cellular network on spectrum previously allocated to satellite services. Dish has said it plans to build an LTE-Advanced network, which would be much faster than today's LTE service, but the targeted rollout date isn't until 2016. ..... Dish is talking with Google about a wireless partnership .... the future of cellular technology—LTE-Advanced ..... DISH believes it can deploy its network to 60 million POPs [points of presence, or potential users] within four years. .... Dish has 40MHz of spectrum from 2000-2020 MHz and 2180-2200 MHz.
More Wireless Choice May Affect The Big Cellular Carriers
Another approach would be for Google to focus on building smaller Wi-Fi areas, similar to what it's doing with Google Fiber. .... Verizon won that auction on spectrum, but at a price that ensured that it couldn't prevent devices or applications from running on its spectrum. This means it wouldn't be able to block people from using apps such as Google Voice on its network. In fact, the company was fined for preventing people from using its phones as Wi-Fi hotspots. The second rule means that Verizon also has less control over what devices people use on that spectrum, giving people greater choice.
Google exec confirms phone service aspirations were axed
Lately we’ve heard a few reports that Google and Dish were in talks to launch their own Google wireless service, something that would be amazing. Today however it looks like Google’s been looking into offering their own phone services before, but those plans have all since been axed and canceled. ..... Google’s recently launched their high-speed Google Fiber cable service in Kansas, and apparently their phone service was just as close — but never saw the light of day ..... a VoIP service could very well have been a reality already for Google if it weren’t for regulations that blocked them from entering the market. .... The cost of actually delivering telephone services is almost nothing. However, in the United States, there are all of these special rules that apply. ..... Hopefully all this talk with Dish regarding a “data-only” service ends up happening

Dish Network Wins a $9 Billion Spectrum Prize
how slowly regulators have moved to put much-needed airwaves to more valuable uses..... as owners of devices like the iPhone spend more and more time surfing the Web and watching video wirelessly. .... The FCC was growing concerned about the concentration of wireless spectrum among big carriers like Verizon Wireless and AT&T Inc. and commissioners were looking for ways to free up more airwaves to carry cellular traffic. ..... as the FCC's decision frees up more bandwidth for data-hungry devices like smartphones and tablets
Sprint May Partner With Dish For A Joint Wireless Service
will put Dish’s idle satellite spectrum to use in providing a wireless mobile service .... if it agrees to host Dish’s wireless services on its network .... Unfortunately for Sprint, however, it looks like Dish has wireless ambitions of its own. Dish plans to launch its own 4G wireless network using satellite spectrum to provide a land-based wireless broadband service. Lest anyone feel that Dish is touting its wireless ambitions in order to extract maximum value for its spectrum, CEO Charlie Ergen made a statement by stepping down from his post in June to focus on the company’s mobile strategy. Since Dish is serious about entering the mobile space, Sprint will probably not be able to buy the spectrum outright
Google Wants To Grab 90% Of Office Users From Microsoft
“Our goal is to get to the 90 percent of users who don’t need to have the most advanced features of Office.” ..... in 2012, “This was the year where we broke the barrier and got large-scale customer adoption.” This was quite a change from 2011, when Google could barely compete in the enterprise market, awkwardly navigating the bidding process – and often losing. Google even backed out of a bid for Toyota, which ended up going with Microsoft Office 365
Dish's plans to use satellite spectrum for wireless network approved by FCC

Dish Gets FCC Approval For High Speed Wireless Spectrum Usage

Voice is data. If you can watch YouTube videos for free, why can't you make voice calls for free? Makes no sense that you can't.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Wireless Broadband's Big Appetites

spectrum (Photo credit: Free Press Pics)
It is good news that the bad news is not all that bad. There will not be a spectrum crunch. But there is one now. The possibilities have not been realized.

The Spectrum Crunch that Never Really Was
Cisco estimates that mobile data traffic will grow by a factor of 18 by 2016, and Bell Labs predicts it will increase by a factor of 25..... when wireless networks are overloaded, the real culprit may be inefficient use of existing spectrum rather than a fundamental shortage. ..... "We don’t have a spectrum crunch so much as we have a spectrum policy crunch .... The so-called ‘spectrum crunch’ really reflects artificial spectrum scarcity" ..... “The challenge now is to extend those proven successes to enable wider-area broadband access using other underutilized portions of the spectrum.” ... such strategies could increase wireless capacity by thousands of times...... half the new demand through 2015 would be handled by small cells—Wi-Fi plus cells handling frequencies used by 3G and 4G networks ...... it might be possible to increase capacity tenfold even without spectrum sharing. ..... rigid regulations don’t allow the use of flexible new technologies like cognitive radio ...... “Right now, we have a 15- to 20-year backlog of new technologies and architectures, including sharing and small cells, which can take us a long way into the future.”
Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, December 26, 2011

White Space Revolution

USB wireless adapterImage via WikipediaThe real question is why does broadcast television have a-n-y spectrum? Why is it not all going to wireless broadband? But until we get there, this small development is small solace. This development taken to its logical conclusion will finally turn the smartphone and the tablet into the laptop. In that I mean connectivity will cease to be an issue. For a flat monthly fee you can have as much of it as you want.

Business Insider: The Next Billion Dollar Wireless Industry Has Officially Launched
White Spaces has been called "WiFi on steroids" and has been championed by the likes of Google and Microsoft...... White spaces brings with it tons of potential for new devices and applications. It is faster than WiFi so it can handle more data. It can bring (nearly) free Internet access to the most remote areas of the country, places that can't get WiFi. ......... Because it uses broadcast television signals, any place that can pick up a broadcast TV signal should be able to tap into White Spaces. A large range of wireless frequencies have always been reserved for broadcast television, much of it unused

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I Share Mark Cuban's Passion On The FCC Broadband Plan

WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - NOVEMBER 29:  (FILE PHOTO...Image by Getty Images via Daylife
The FCC Needs to Set Its Sights Higher.. Much Higher (Mark Cuban)

The recent FCC broadband plan has been the talk of the town in the tech blogosphere. (Broader Broadband) There seems to be broad agreement in liking what the FCC has come up with. Some key people have come out saying it is not enough. But nobody seems to be saying what I said in one of Fred Wilson's comments sections: The American people need to revolt like they revolted against the British.

Well, here comes along Mark Cuban saying what the FCC is proposing is not entirely enough. And he is saying it with some passion. Yeah, why stop at 100 megabits per second? That might look a lot now, but not long back 5 megabits per second looked like a lot.

A parallel story is Gmail. Gmail storage looked like a lot when it came out. But soon people started running out of space, at least the power users did.

High speed internet to Cuban is less about video and more about Internet 2. Ride on.

Google has its sights on 1 gigabits per second. And although Mark Cuban is on record wanting to upend the Google search business, here he seems to be in agreement with Google's bandwidth goals.

Mark Cuban is worried about applications that might not show up even when speeds go up. I am not. I think it is inevitable that new applications will show up when super high speed is everywhere.

Cuban, passionate plenty, still does not match my talk. Revolt. Free up the spectrum for the people. There Cuban and I seem to have some disagreements. He is more cautious than I'd like.

Free Is The Future: Picking A Fight With Mark Cuban

Mark Cuban: A Quick Thought on the Viacom/Youtube Lawsuit Disclosures
Don’t Waste the Internet on TV – Protect the Future of the Internet
Should the FCC Reclaim Broadcast Spectrum

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Broader Broadband

Fred Wilson: The National Broadband Plan

My comment to Fred's post that I left at his blog: Of all the blog posts I ever read at this blog, and I have read my share, this post really stands out for me. This topic gets me like nothing else in computing.

"....another 500mhz of hiqh quality spectrum to be used for "terrestrial broadband services" over the next decade...."

This is miserly. This is not going to cut it. TV needs to take second place to broadband. This is not some tertiary concern. This is the number one - Numero Uno - thing America needs to do to become a post-industrial, information age economy. The government just needs to get out of the way. The government selling that spectrum space to a handful of old companies is the government getting in the way. The American people need to revolt like they revolted against the British.

The nastiest part of that phrase is "over a decade. This has to happen in 2010, not in 2020. The jobs are needed now, "look around."

Broad Broadband
Silicon Valley Vs. New York City
Fred Wilson's Insight

John Chambers: Why America Needs A National Broadband Plan
betanews: FCC: Wireless Spectrum 10X More Valuable For Wireless Broadband Than For TV
Steve Cheney: Why Google Broadband Finally Makes Sense
CNet: TV Broadcasters Prepare For Spectrum Battle

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Monday, August 24, 2009

Something's Rotten, It's Not The Fish

The Truth: What’s Really Going On With Apple, Google, AT&T And The FCC TechCrunch how the Google Voice application hurts “the iPhone’s distinctive user experience.” ..... over the last few months Apple expressed dismay at the number of core iPhone apps that are powered by Google. Search, maps, YouTube, and other key popular apps are powered by Google. Other than the browser, Apple has little else to call its own other than the core phone, contacts and calendar features. The Google Voice App takes things one step further, by giving users an incentive to abandon their iPhone phone number and use their Google Voice phone number instead (transcription of voicemails is reason enough alone). Apple was afraid, say our sources, that Google was gaining too much power on the iPhone
This is a generational conflict. Apple and Google belong to two different generations of tech. This small iPhone app conflict is symbolic. The larger conflict between the two brands is to be seen in the smartphone arena where Apple sees the phone as a smaller desktop, and Google suggests there is nothing much to download, all apps should be web-based.

A happy ending would be if the costs for calls start sliding down dramatically. How do you do that? Serve ads like for search.

Weekend Reading
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]