Obama’s FCC

Good times coming for the ‘net, courtesy of whoever Obama puts on the FCC, says Ars Technica:

The favored will include Internet portals and application providers (“Google, Yahoo! etc—big winners,” Lipman declared). The reason is pretty obvious. Obama is a net neutrality supporter, and observers should expect plenty of proactivity in this area from Obama and Congress, including policies “prohibiting discrimination, prohibiting rationing of capacity,” and “prohibiting prioritization of traffic charges.” Plus Obama “probably would be skeptical of even bandwidth caps,” Lipman speculated.

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Crackberry Withdrawal

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Obama probably will have to give up his Blackberry and e-mail, says the NYT. Given the technology’s addictive tendencies, this will not be well-received by the new president. Question: Couldn’t he just use PGP?

Apple Users for Microsoft

Just remember, guys, the cover-up is always worse than the crime:

Metadata found on Microsoft’s creative copy used in its ‘I’m a PC’ ad reveals that the graphics were actually produced using Macs running Adobe Creative Suite 3. After the details were published on the Flickr photo sharing site, Microsoft scrambled to polish off the embarrassing details last night.

The New iPods

Saw them today at the Apple Store, wasn’t impressed. I find the new Nano’s much-touted screen to be too small for video. It’s OK as a portable photo album. The new Classic doesn’t seem as solidly well-made as its predecessors. The action nowadays looks to be all on the iPhone/iPod Touch side of the operation.

Will Play for Food

Rhodri Marsden isn’t seeing a business model that works for the music industry, and doesn’t necessarily consider that a bad thing:

Slight poverty is what drives music forward. It only works if you’re in the red. You’ve never felt so alive as when you’ve just maxed out your credit card to get your band on a cross channel ferry for a one-off gig in Antwerp.

FAA IT Systems: Snafu

In the dog-bites-man department, the computer system the Federal Aviation Administration relies on to track flight plans is tottering:

Stratfor, along with many other industry watchers, is very concerned about the flight-plan system and evidence that the system is wearing out.

“Regardless of what caused the Aug. 26 [National Airspace Data Interchange Network] crash, [there] is a monumental challenge the event underscores. Here an archaic system that had survived nearly seven years of 9/11-inspired overhauls went down, dumping its entire workload on one other switch. The NADIN system had already been partially upgraded with systems from Lockheed Martin and is slated to be replaced altogether with the FAA’s much-hyped NextGen Air Traffic Control system. But the lack of redundancy and dynamism demonstrated again by the latest NADIN crash makes a cyberattack against critical U.S. infrastructure all the more feasible. And the cost of comprehensively upgrading these systems would be an enormous financial investment, far more than we have seen so far in the years following 9/11.”

Why, oh why, does the feds’ civilian IT infrastructure suck so badly?

Michigan Cracks Down on RIAA Snoopers

Amid all the complaining about the RIAA’s unlicensed snooping into file-sharing, Michigan’s legislature has passed a law that, yes, says firms engaging in “computer forensics” must obtain a private-investigations license.