USTelecom Wants To Stop The Best Internet In The USA From Growing

Jacob Kastrenakes, The Verge:

A group representing giants in the cable industry is trying to shut down two municipalities’ proposals to expand their public broadband networks, arguing that public broadband has a “mixed record” and can be harmful to taxpayers, despite these two networks already being successful where they’re already operational.

USTelecom, United States Telecom Association, represents Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and other large companies.

Dominic Rushe, The Guardian:

Chattanooga has the largest high-speed internet service in the US, offering customers access to speeds of 1 gigabit per second – about 50 times faster than the US average. The service, provided by municipally owned EPB, has sparked a tech boom in the city and attracted international attention. EPB is now petitioning the FCC to expand its territory. Comcast and others have previously sued unsuccessfully to stop EPB’s fibre optic roll out.

I live in Silicon Valley, San Jose to be specific. I have two choices when it comes to broadband connectivity: AT&T U-verse and Comcast. I go back and forth between the two based on speed, price, and reliability. AT&T U-verse has better reliability: I can rely upon it to provide the broadband speed I paid for. But what I pay for is expensive; right now I can get 45Mbps for US$65 per month. Comcast has better deals: $40 per month for 50Mbps, but what you actually get is much less. Yesterday I ran Speedtest and got 5.64Mbps. Today, at 5:08pm, I got 8.00Mbps, about 1/6th the speed I pay for. One is way too expensive, the other is supposedly fast and cheap for the supposed speed, but is actually as fast as molasses. This is broadband in Silicon Valley, in 2014.

What would I do if the city of San Jose decided to roll out fiber and offer me 1Gbps — that’s 1024Mbps — broadband? For $70? I’d get it. Not only because it’s a great deal, but because the alternative deals from AT&T U-verse and Comcast suck.

LG 55EC9300

The LG 55EC9300 is a 55-inch curved OLED TV with a pixel format of 1920×1080. Each pixel has four sub-pixels (red, green, blue, and white), which LG calls 4 Color Pixel, and the result is “a brighter picture with a wider range of colors and superior color accuracy.”

I was recently invited to the LG Silicon Valley Lab to take a look at the company’s OLED TVs, the 55EC9300 in particular. At the end of the event I became certain the future of TV is OLED. LG compared its OLED TV to a competitor’s 4K UHD LCD TV and it could not compete; OLED was superior, hands down.

I was impressed by many things, but I’d like to point out one in particular: the OLED display had little to no brightness/color shifts at wide viewing angles. LG showed snippets of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. Bilbo Baggins was in Erebor, the Lonely Mountain, where all of the Dwarf kingdom’s treasures are, much of it gold. I was in the sweet spot of the LCD TV and then moved to the side; gold turned into silver. I’m exaggerating a bit here, but the color shift was terrible on the LCD TV. On the 55EC9300 gold remained gold.

The 55EC9300 was pure eye candy. Price: US$3,499 at Amazon.

McLaren P1 Design Inspired by Sailfish

Dalmeet Singh Chawla, BBC:

The analysis revealed that the scales on the sailfish’s skin generate little vortices that result in the fish being enveloped in a bubble of air instead of denser water. This reduced drag allows the fish to move even faster.

McLaren’s designers applied the same texture as the scales of the sailfish to the inside of the ducts that lead into the engine of their P1 hypercar. This increased the volume of air going into the engine by 17%, improving the car’s efficiency […]

Cool.

Comcast Coerce Netflix → Netflix Lose Customers

Peter Kafka, Re/code:

Florance has already argued that Comcast forced Netflix to pay for a “transit” deal, by effectively degrading the quality of Netflix streams for Comcast’s broadband customers. […]

Now, in his FCC statement, Florance says that Netflix’s Comcast customers noticed, and complained, and in some cases quit paying for Netflix.

It is 6:15pm on a Thursday evening in Silicon Valley. I am a Comcast customer and pay for 50Mbps. I wanted to see how fast my actual download speed was so went to www.speedtest.net and ran a test. The results? 5.64Mbps, a little more than 1/10th the speed I’m paying for.

If Comcast was messing around with Netflix streams, on top of already crappy speeds, I can understand how miserable the experience could have been. Instead of cancelling Netflix I would have cancelled Comcast. But in some areas there are no other options but Comcast.

Kobo Aura H2O

Kobo: The Kobo Aura H2O is an IP67 certified 6.8-inch 1430×1080 E Ink reader, which means you don’t have to worry about water ruining your reading experience. Just make sure the port cover is closed.

12.9-inch iPad

Tim Culpan, Adam Satariano, and Ian King, Bloomberg:

The new iPad will have a screen measuring 12.9 inches diagonally, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the details aren’t public. Apple currently produces iPads with 9.7-inch and 7.9-inch displays. The Cupertino, California-based company has been working with suppliers for at least a year to develop a new range of larger touch-screen devices, said the people.

Too big.

Some consider the 12-inch Surface Pro 3 “big for a tablet”.

HTC One M8: Windows Phone Edition

Brad Molen, Engadget:

The software giant has buddied up with HTC to convert the One M8, its Android flagship, into a Windows Phone. That’s all there is to it. There’s absolutely no change to the hardware — and it’s a fantastic idea.

As long as smartphone hardware manufacturers, like HTC, design smartphone hardware so either Android or Windows Phone can run, a bit of power might trickle back to them during negotiations with Google and Microsoft. Wouldn’t it be interesting if Samsung decided to launch Windows Phone editions of its Galaxy S5 and the upcoming Galaxy Note 4…

Prime-time Twitch Is Bigger Than CNN, MSNBC, And MTV

Ben Popper, The Verge:

One year ago the video game live-streaming platform wasn’t even equal to HLN in size. Fast-forward to this summer and Twitch is bigger during prime-time hours than CNN, E!, or MSNBC, with occasional spikes that put it above MTV as well.

Gregor Aisch and Tom Giratikanon, The New York Times:

Twitch’s peak viewership now rivals the average prime-time viewers of some cable networks, as seen in the chart above. But compared with online video giants, Twitch is small. In hours of video viewed each month, Netflix is roughly eight times larger than Twitch, and YouTube is roughly 24 times larger, according to statistics from each company.

Traditional TV is dying.

Livescribe Notebook by Moleskine

Moleskine:

The Livescribe Notebook by Moleskine #1 is an elegantly designed blank space that brings thoughts and ideas straight to your device as you write on its pages. Using the Bluetooth technology of the Livescribe 3 Smartpen and dot paper, its content instantly appears in the app in real time.

An elegant analog plus digital note taking solution.