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Links 1 through 10 of 95 by Amy Gahran tagged access

"Mac Tonnies’s digital afterlife stands as a kind of best-case scenario for preserving something of an online life, but even his case hasn’t worked out perfectly. His “Pro” account on the photo-sharing service Flickr allowed him to upload many — possibly thousands — of images. But since that account has lapsed, the vast majority can no longer be viewed. Some were likely gathered in Plattner’s backup of Tonnies’s blog; others may exist somewhere on his laptop, though Dana Tonnies still isn’t sure where to look for them. All could be restored if Tonnies’s “Pro” account were renewed. But there’s no way to do that — or to delete the account, for that matter: no one has the password Tonnies used with Flickr, which is owned by Yahoo."

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"Years ago David Cheriton at Stanford taught me something that seemed very obvious at the time -- that if you have a network link with low bandwidth then it's an easy matter of putting several in parallel to make a combined link with higher bandwidth, but if you have a network link with bad latency then no amount of money can turn any number of them into a link with good latency.

It's now many years later, and this obvious fact seems lost on the most companies making networking hardware and software for the home. I think it's time it was explained again in writing."

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"The FCC concluded that the spectrum deficit will reach 300MHz within the next five years due to a 35 times increase in demand for mobile broadband. The FCC believes that growth and demand will outstrip technology's ability to keep pace. Last, the FCC thinks the spectrum shortfall will increase the value of spectrum by $120 billion. As it stands, the National Broadband plan has called for 500MHz of spectrum to be made available within 10 years, and 300MHz of it within five years. The FCC notes that, because it generally takes between six and 13 years to make spectrum available, the government needs to enact steps to free up the necessary spectrum sooner."

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"Unfortunately, the prepaid phone situation in the United States is pretty backward. Yes, you can buy prepaid SIM cards here, but it's a more convoluted process than it is in many other countries. For example, while most U.S. carriers require you to buy a phone to get prepaid service, carriers in other countries don't have such restrictions. I've been to a few countries in Europe and Asia where I purchased a SIM card from a carrier store and then popped it into my handset I brought from home. They didn't care whether I used one of their handsets or not; it only mattered that I was purchasing service. Other countries, particularly those in cell phone-loving Scandinavia, make it even easier by selling prepaid SIM cards in vending machines.

"There are a few places in the United States that sell SIM cards without a phone. I would check a few wireless stores when you get to Delaware and see if they have them. Best luck in third-party cellular stores not operated by a carrier.

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Typical CJR pooh-pooing of anything new in journalism: "The databases have been an unexpected hit -- so popular, in fact, that the site’s biggest initial splash has been not as a fountain of authoritative reporting and analysis, but as a resource for readers to do their own exploring. While that fact may be humbling for reporters, it’s part of a “data-as-journalism” mentality that has become the Tribune’s most far-reaching calling card.

"The Tribune’s idealistic stance toward data has the whiff of a familiar claim: if we give the public raw information, people will take the initiative to make sense of it and put it in its proper context. In effect, they will do what journalists have historically done for them. But the scale on which this in fact happens is uncertain, and the inherent journalistic value of raw data remains unclear."

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"Dan Gillmor argued that the government's subsidy of broadband would be a more appropriate way for the federal government to support journalism than to provide direct payment to establishment media.

"I agree. Payments to establishment media fund a limited number of existing voices. Expanded broadband coverage - in both geographical reach and availability of more bandwidth to all - would create fertile ground for the growth of many more voices.

"This is the battle that will be fought in the courts and in Congress over the next months, and years. Will we allow a limited number of broadband ISPs to use their market power to limit the bandwidth that consumers and producers may access? Or will we use the collective power of our government to expand bandwidth to more consumers, to create more entrepreneurial opportunity?"

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Must-listen podcast for context on current FCC flap over broadband regulation.

"Last week the FCC announced that they would seek a “third way” in regulating the broadband industry, one that they hope will respect a recent court decision prohibiting them from cracking down on telecomms, while also ensuring some level of net neutrality.

"Susan Crawford co-led the FCC Agency Review team for the Obama-Biden transition team and served as President Barack Obama’s Special Assistant for Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy until December 2009. She now teaches at the University of Michigan Law School. She founded OneWebDay and can be found blogging here.

"Susan spoke with David Weinberger about what the FCC’s “third way” is, and what it could mean for how bits get to your house."

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"An Orange County, California judge ruled this week that the parcel data requested by the Sierra Club is not available at the cost of duplication, as are other data under the state's Public Records Act. Instead, the judge ruled, that dataset is considered software, and thus is exempt from that regulation. The Club and others will continue to be charged $375,000 for the data, until an expected appeal. Our editors unravel the case, the ruling and the implications of the decision."

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Must-listen audio podcast by the author of "13 Bankers"

"We invaded Iraq because our political leaders wanted to invade Iraq, and our Congress voted for it because they did not want to be seen as voting against a war in the run-up to an election, and that’s all there is to it.

And with the financial crisis: I’m not saying that bankers wanted the financial crisis, but they engineered it. They engineered a climate of deregulation and non-regulation that allowed them to invent whatever products they wanted to, sell them to anyone they wanted to, increase their leverage so that they could make larger and larger profits, and they engineered that consciously. This was the product of intention, and it was bound to blow up. And it finally blew up. And that is the message that Wall Street does not want people to hear. They want people to think it was all a colossal mistake made by well-meaning people who had mistakes in their models. That is not what happened."

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No kidding: "To avoid getting delayed behind noisy schoolkids waiting in line to pass through new metal detectors at the state Capitol, lobbyists are signing up for concealed handgun permits exempting them from the security checkpoints.
Visitors to the Capitol also now are subject to inspections of purses, bags and briefcases by Department of Public Safety officers.
The only people exempted are lawmakers, properly identified state employees or Texans who carry a pistol with a concealed handgun license — or just the license itself, which allows them to bypass the security lines for an express lane reserved for “CHL: Holders.”

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