Google in talks on phone network in US: executive, Technology – THE BUSINESS TIMES

March 4th, 2015

Interesting report that Google intends to become an MVNO (reselling wireless service).

[BARCELONA] US Internet giant Google says it is in talks with telecom companies about operating its own mobile phone services in the United States.

"We are actually working with carrier partners. You will see us announce it in the coming months," Sundar Pichai, Google’s senior vice-president for products, said on Monday.

"We don’t intend to be a network operator at scale," however, he added, speaking at the Mobile World Congress, a major telecom trade fair in Barcelona.

The California-based company would become a kind of virtual mobile operator by buying access to existing firms’ networks and selling it on to clients.

via Google in talks on phone network in US: executive, Technology – THE BUSINESS TIMES.

Five years gone

March 1st, 2015

It was five years ago today that my close friend Gerry Reid was killed in a freak traffic accident. The days that followed were some of the darkest days of my life, though obviously they don’t even come close to what his family went through.

The scars heal but the wound never goes away. I miss Gerry’s wisdom and humor. Someday we will hoist tasty brews again, my friend. Cheers to you, wherever you are.

Time stands still?

March 1st, 2015

Kelly and I had a rare night alone last night, having shuffled Hallie off to a friend’s party and Travis off to a sleepover. We settled in on the couch to watch a movie, keeping an eye on the clock on the mantle so we could pick Hallie up from her party in time.

As the clock advanced to our 9:30 departure time, we increased the frequency of checking it, of course. I looked at it at 9:15, turned again to the TV, then checked the time again a few minutes later. It seemed that time was passing more slowly than I had expected but I thought little of it.
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Google Wants To Help You Buy Solar Panels For Your House. Seriously. | ThinkProgress

February 28th, 2015

It’s a shame this type of innovation is blocked by North Carolina law.

If you to want to install solar panels on your roof but haven’t yet because it’s too expensive, Google really wants to help.

The search giant, valued at $370 billion, is once again boosting its investment in SolarCity’s residential solar power model by $300 million, both companies announced Thursday. Combined with a new financing structure from SolarCity, the companies say this will result in a new fund worth $750 million to help install distributed rooftop solar on homes across the country.

via Google Wants To Help You Buy Solar Panels For Your House. Seriously. | ThinkProgress.

This Is How Verizon Bullshits You | Maximum PC

February 28th, 2015

Verizon hates regulation, but when it hurts their greedy business model.

The fact that Verizon is releasing this kind of PR stunt designed to tell you, the public, that the FCC is using an outdated regulation not suitable for the modern technology era, is complete horse shit. The PR machine at Verizon is essentially spitting in your face, thinking you won’t even notice because it knows the majority of the public is too ignorant of what actually goes on behind the scenes and that most people don’t really have the time to dig through reports and papers.

Up until today, Verizon was freely using Title II on and off wherever it felt it could cut costs and fund infrastructure using public funds. It’s now only making a play that the FCC’s rules are unfit for modern society because the new rules will hurt its revenue stream from content providers.

via This Is How Verizon Bullshits You | Maximum PC.

Snow daze

February 27th, 2015

We’ve just gone through a string of 8 snow days over the past two weeks. The first storm was ice and sleet of about 1-2 inches. The second was a powdery snowfall that surprised everyone Monday morning and kept us hunkered down most of the week. Just when the dust cleared by Wednesday and the temperatures finally warmed up enough to allow some semblance of normalcy we got hit with another storm. When the flakes began falling Wednesday night, forecasters predicted anywhere from 2-8 inches possible, with some predictions of epic levels of snow. The blizzard predictions were largely a bust here in East Raleigh as warm air created a wet, slushy snow that started melting quickly. The end result was a week’s worth of school (and lost work productivity for the grown-ups), and a few scattered power outages in the neighborhood. I was so happy today to brave the roads and sit at my office desk again!
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What linguists say about Kevin Spacey’s bizarre Southern accent on House of Cards – Vox

February 27th, 2015

Kevin Spacey’s fake Southern accent, explained by real linguists.

The last two seasons of Netflix’s House of Cards have wavered between shocking and silly, campy and sinister, good and bad. But the show has always had one big, scenery-chewing constant: Kevin Spacey’s Southern accent.

Spacey’s accent is as crucial to his character, the diabolical Frank Underwood, as venom is to a cobra. The lines Spacey delivers as the conniving congressman now president are some of the most ridiculous in television history — "I’ve always loathed the necessity of sleep. Like death, it puts even the most powerful men on their backs." But they’re only enhanced by Spacey’s slow-cooked, honey-glazed take on the South Carolina drawl.

But is Spacey’s accent accurate at all? We talked to a couple of linguists who specialize in American dialects, and found that, well, the accent is just as trustworthy as the maniacal lawmaker himself.

via What linguists say about Kevin Spacey's bizarre Southern accent on House of Cards – Vox.

Wilson’s official statement on today’s FCC ruling

February 26th, 2015

Here is Wilson’s official statement on today’s FCC ruling.

CITY OF WILSON APPLAUDS FCC CHAIRMAN WHEELER AND THE COMMISSION FOR ITS LEADERSHIP IN DECIDING IN FAVOR OF LOCAL BROADBAND CHOICE

Wilson, N.C. — The City of Wilson applauds FCC Chairman Wheeler and the Commission for their leadership today in approving the City’s petition to preempt a North Carolina state law that restricts municipal Gigabit broadband deployment. Today’s historic decision now enables Wilson and other North Carolina municipalities to provide the Gigabit broadband infrastructure and services that North Carolina and America need in order to remain competitive in our emerging knowledge-based global economy.
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Fuse cutout – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

February 26th, 2015

During bad weather, many folks will hear electrical booms in their area and blame it on a “transformer blowing.”

The truth is that transformers are expensive, so the power companies protect them with equipment called “cut-out fuses.” In a lot of cases where a branch has brushed a power line, these fuses will blow and cut power to a street. If the branch falls away and the line isn’t damaged, a lineman can quickly restore power just by resetting the fuse using a long pole.

So now you know.

In electrical distribution, a fuse cutout or cut-out fuse is a combination of a fuse and a switch, used in primary overhead feeder lines and taps to protect distribution transformers from current surges and overloads. An overcurrent caused by a fault in the transformer or customer circuit will cause the fuse to melt, disconnecting the transformer from the line. It can also be opened manually by utility linemen standing on the ground and using a long insulating stick called a "hot stick".

via Fuse cutout – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

The FCC rules against state limits on city-run Internet – The Washington Post

February 26th, 2015

Wilson’s petition to the FCC was just granted and I couldn’t be happier. North Carolina’s “Level Playing Field” law, written by Time Warner Cable, is now null and void. Now communities across the state can build themselves their own digital future with a community broadband service.

I would be dancing in the street if the street wasn’t a slushy mess right now!

For years, cities around the country have been trying to build their own, local competitors to Verizon, Charter and other major Internet providers. Such government-run Internet service would be faster and cheaper than private alternatives, they argued. But in roughly 20 states, those efforts have been stymied by state laws.

Now, the nation’s top telecom regulators want to change that. On Thursday, the Federal Communications Commissions voted 3-2 to override laws preventing Chattanooga, Tenn., and Wilson, N.C. from expanding the high-speed Internet service the cities already offer to some residents.

via The FCC rules against state limits on city-run Internet – The Washington Post.