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Newsnotes, August 10

3 Things Not Mentioned in the Net-Neutrality Coverage

1. The Google-Verizon proposal excludes wireless internet.  Wireless isn’t just the future – it’s the present.  There are 1 billion wired internet users in the world today, and 4 billion people with mobile devices.  There will be 6 billion mobile devices by 2015.  Most mobile devices will have internet capability.  That means five-sixths of the planet will get its internet without wires.  In the developing world, wires are expensive, and wireless is cheap.  So if you exclude wireless, you’re creating a toll road for the people least able to afford it.

2. In America, more non-white people than white people get their internet via wireless devices.  Why?  Fewer are at desk-jobs, where they’re web-browsing on company time, and there is less incentive for ISPs to hard-wire less-affluent communities.  So if you exclude wireless, same point as above.

3. Europe and Asia are not utopias of net neutrality either.  They have had these fights and continue to have them.  But Europe and especially Asia are a decade more technologically advanced than we are.  They have better devices, better service, and it costs less.  Why?  Better government policy designed to create internet and wireless pathways as utilities, and judicious application of tax incentives.  They aren’t spending more money, they’re just using it more wisely.

Blackberry’s E-mail “Secrecy”

In yesterday’s New York Times, BlackBerry admits, though a carefully worded statement, that it has given email traffic access to the US and some other governments.  Times reporters Miguel Helft and Vikas Bajaj pick up on this, which was a detail I had posted here on August 5.

Music Comments

Great comments on the right side of this page about yesterday’s Music post.  Well worth reading.  Thanks for the good discussion.

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