University publicly funded research is often published openly, and is frequently used by free market enterprises as a basis for their products, say, drugs.
The GPS you use every day has proprietary map data at it's core, probably from Google, NavTeq, or Telenav. However, all of those cartography companies started their geo data using the TIGER database provided by the federal government. TIGER is old, but it gave everyone a pretty high platform as a starting point.
Crazy as the idea is, the NSA data exists. It's ours. It could be useful. And as a tremendous starting point platform, it would create a more competitive environment for the technology/web/advertising industry.
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Oh, shift from "compete with free" to "at a reasonable price"!
Apparently, going to the store and buying a case of water, carrying it to the car, carrying it out of the car into the home, opening the plastic, then carrying an individual bottle...is more convenient than getting a cup and turning a tap.
No, sir. I use the tap over bottle water, mostly for the additional convenience.
Are you physically unable to say anything correct?
Each of those technologies reproduces the phone screen on a big display. And they are included in hundreds of phone models...including this one by Canonical. Hey, I love the concept of convergence with the desktop (done well). But it's not a missing feature, nor significantly innovative compared to the competition.
Disclosure: I have consulted for MHL as an evangelist.
One of the problems they are going to face is a lack of low-hanging fruit.
In 2006, the cellular industry had languished since the turn of the century with slow phone innovation. Carriers blocked improvements because they cost an additional 30 cents, or because they threatened their stranglehold on industry control.
I worked for a Korean cellular company, and we tried selling our 3G solutions to US carriers that were still on 2G networks. One of our humble improvements was color on the phone LCD. I was in talks with the senior people at a top US phone company, and my favorite quote remains:
"We're not sure the US consumer wants color in their phone."
That was 2001. After that, the US was treated to a number of years of Motorola Razr, where the best innovations involved a new color each year. If, on occasion, a phone maker made a better phone, like 2005's Nokia N95, then carriers would not subsidize it because it cost too much. The market was not competitive, but it was "locked down" by carriers.
That left all kinds of low-hanging fruit for a new entrant able to upset the apple cart and give consumers a decent product. So, we all know what happened -- Apple did just that. Capactive touch screens and a good UI that respects the user were not new ideas...it's just that it took Apple to commit to use it. The challenge around Shuttleworth's efforts today are, the market looks completely different.
Today, cellular phones are tremendously competitive and I would argue almost as good as they can be. There is competition at the high, mid, and low tiers, but the greatest competition in the market is for the so-called flagship phones. The hero phones, or the halo phones that make the entire brand look cool. So HTC, Motorola, LG, Nokia, Samsung, Sony et al compete to put out the best device. When they don't push it far enough, Google puts out a Nexus model to nudge things forward. On the OS side, Apple and Android are doing a good job of giving the consumer features they want in a good UI. If they hesitate to improve, they know Windows Phone, BlackberryOS, Tizen or others will eat their lunch.
In technology, there is often an unseen missing feature, or some better way of doing things that a newcomer can use as a doorway in. But at this juncture, there are several big players already trying to find those doors to claw their way back against Samsung. The market simply lacks the low-hanging fruit. So good luck to Canonical, I'll cheer for the underdog, but I'm not putting my money on this bet.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again. In a rational rule system the locking of phones should be illegal. It is tantamount to Ford selling you a car, but not giving you the keys.
There are other countries where SIM locks are illegal, such as Belgium. If carriers want to pursue a subsidy model, which is a good idea, then they need to protect their investment in ways that don't cripple the hardware the consumer purchases.
Make no mistake. The consumer does purchase the phone, subsidy or not. If you breach your carrier contract, you pay the ETF and keep your phone...they don't ask for the phone back, do they? Is that an option? NO. And after the 2-year contract, the phone still belongs to the customer. It seems clear that the phone is the customer's -- so why is it not illegal for the carrier to booby-trap your phone?
Forget making consumer unlocking legal. The People should be demanding that the locking of phones be made illegal.
Sorry, Tim, but I don't agree on this one. Sure, AT&T and most carriers operate like sociopaths, and try to extract as much profit from each user as they can, however, trying to paint this latest move as evil doesn't stick.
OK, so it's annoying that their bundled apps are limited. But so long as they let people download and install other apps that are not limited, that's still a neutral network.
We all know they want you to pay for the bigger data packages, then use as little as possible. That's good biz for them. So they bundle video apps that are crippled. Why would you expect you to offer "weapons" to forces that are not their allies? Do you think they are the CIA?
No surprise they do what they do. And no real scandal to talk about, since the fix is as easy as downloading a better option. I think that non-deletable bloatware in general is a bigger issue.
Voice is "unlimited" by some carriers because it is inherently limited.
A cellular voice line, connected and left on for 24 hours a day and one month, would use in the neighborhood of 3-4 GB of data. It cannot possibly use more, and most likely will use much, much less.
OTOH, a mobile data user is able to transceive tremendous amounts of data, not limited by the fact that the codec is 8-16 Kbps. And the more a carrier upgrades the network and the phone, the more data each subscriber can move.
They charged more for tethering, but they also blocked it, fought against it, and the OS and firmware installed made tethering apps hard to install, and only available to moderately skilled hackers.
In this case, they're just saying "You wanna stream video, you download the app."
If tethering had been that easy, there would never have been any tethering controversy at all.
PS: Their tethering stills sucks *even* when you pay for it. They put a complicated app on the phone to manage tethering, and it checks with the network to ensure that you have paid for tethering, then it pops up several useless warnings like "Tethering will turn on your Wi-Fi. Yes, no?" then it turns finally tethers. Probably about 15 seconds delay for what should be 2. That inserts complexity and delay. I'd rather use hacks, even though I paid.
"It seems they'd be much better served by having a visionary leader who looks at ways to embrace new opportunities and who has realized that they can help to better promote, to connect with fans and to monetize their works."
The current battle to allow unlocking by petitioning the White House and Librarian of Congress for an exemption to the DMCA is most def a copyright issue. But that's not the real problem.
The real issue is: "Why are the telcos allowed to lock our phones in the first place?" and that's a telecom issue. The very absurdity of being legally "allowed" to unlock our own property, but needing to ask the telco for the keys is preposterous (although their are hacker methods to unlock, most people just call their telco to request the keys, and they oblige under certain conditions that *they* deem fit).
Now, I'm usually the telco apologist on Techdirt, but in this case, there is no fair way the telcos can both foist Early Termination Fees and contracts on customers AND lock phones.
This practice diminishes the resale value of our equipment, and is an environmental issue, as more used and locked phones are tossed in a drawer for 3 years, then tossed in a landfill when deemed too old. Re-use would limit environmental impact.
I like the example of Belgium, where SIM-locking cellphones has been illegal for almost a decade. If their government is serving the citizen, whose is ours serving?
"Were there more competition, someone new would compete on price or value of service. As it stands, Verizon can use their faster service and low caps to further the aforementioned business model."
As much as I'd love MORE competition, we have enough right now to refute your premise: someone DOES "compete on price or value of service". Lots of someones.
Sprint offers unlimited all-in plans with a nationwide network of EV-DO and is currently upgrading to LTE. T-Mo offers plans with no subsidy and $50 for unlimited use. Republic Wireless, an upstart MVNO, is coming out with Wi-Fi-heavy phones that roam onto Sprint with $20/mo unlimited plans. Then there are various other MVNO options.
Now, some comments have already addressed their belief that Sprint or T-Mo don't offer as good network coverage or LTE speeds as Verizon. Well, OK. But don't go buying the Lexus, and complain to me that it isn't as cheap as the Hyundai. Any Verizon customer can switch out their carrier to cheaper options without limits, and take their phone number with them.
The fact is, putting in an LTE network is not cheap. Verizon did it first in the country (and very early for the globe), and has an advantage as a result of that gutsy early investment. There are rewards for moving the infrastructure forward with smart investments. We call those "profits". Right now, they can reap some, but eventually there will be more LTE from other carriers and prices will fall.
Don't bitch about VZW's pricing. If you honestly think it's a bad deal, go to a cheaper provider. They're out there.
Just running a Proxy server does not automatically mean that a company is decrypting your traffic.
Mike didn't mention the main reasons that companies provide this proxy browsing for mobile devices, so I'll list the top three:
- When your phone traffic goes through a proxy, the proxy detects the kind of phone you have, and its resolution. It then scales down images so that a bunch of unviewable data isn't transmitted unnecessarily. Also, heavy content like flash can be edited out if the device can't display it. This makes the browsing experience faster, without sacrificing any quality. Network operators also like the lighter traffic.
- Some proxies can detect when your browser cannot display some content, and can reproduce the content in a way you CAN see it. Like taking a streaming video and turning it into a series of JPGs. This can add to the capabilities of your limited phone.
- going to one proxy server is supposedly easier to manage for your phone than going to dozens of different TCP/IP connections to all the different servers and ad servers that make up a web page.
If you remove the spying aspect...this can be a win win for network operators AND customers.