Tech News Today 482

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Tech News Today
Episode 482

Tech News Today 482: Don't Tip The Bellman In The Face

Who has the fastest 4G, is there really a spectrum crisis? Hope for the Internet's future, and more.

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Top Stories

  • Is there really a spectrum crisis?
  • Verizon Plans to Sell off Some Mobile Spectrum
    • AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint say they need more radio spectrum for phone calls and wireless data & they need the govt to help.
    • next few years they may not have enough of it to meet the exploding demands for mobile data. spotty connections, bad service. Recent study but Cisco shows mobile data usage more than doubled in 2011.
    • inventor of the cellphone, former VP Motorola, chairman at Dyna LLC (tech co. incubator)Martin Cooper says the wireless industry has technology to fix networks. says we go thru this every few years.
    • TECH EXAMPLE: the smart antenna. A traditional radio antenna on a cell tower sends energy out in all directions, but only some goes to the right phone. smart antenna would direct energy straight at the phones, current spectrum used more effiently. 4th gen LTE networks are supposed to adopt smart antennas, but most carriers haven’t started installing them yet. new antennas should ship inside phones in next 2 years too.
    • F.C.C. divides up the spectrum by bands of frequency to keep certain frequencies interfering with one another, then gives licenses for each frequency band to entities like the military, TV stations, astronomy researchers, phone carriers.
    • When a company gets the license for a band of radio waves, it has the exclusive rights to use it. Once a company owns it, competitors can’t have it. (ATT wanted T-Mobile for spectrum) spectrum licenses come with obligations where carriers had to agree to serve the public interest, but those agreements have significantly weakened.
    • FCC spokesman Neil Grace says “No single action is a silver bullet when it comes to meeting mobile capacity needs,” “More efficient use of spectrum, new technologies, and unleashing new spectrum are all important parts of the mix.”
    • David P. Reed, SVP at biz software co SAP Labs & former prof. comp sci/engineering MIT, says electromagnetic spectrum is not finite, says there's tech for transmitting and receiving signals so that they do not interfere with one another. Separating the frequency bands shouldn't even be required, spectrum can be shared

Discussion Stories

  • In Facebook Deal, Board Was All But Out of Picture
  • Zuckerberg did $1 billion Instagram deal on his own
  • With Instagram Deal, Facebook Shows Its Worth
    • WSJ reports - Negotiating mostly on his own, Mr. Zuckerberg had fielded Mr. Systrom's opening number, $2 billion, and whittled it down over several meetings at Mr. Zuckerberg's $7 million five-bedroom home in Palo Alto.
    • Later that Sunday, the two 20-somethings would agree on a sale valued at $1 billion.
    • 3 day deal started April 5th, By the time Facebook's board was brought in, the deal was all but done. The board, according to one person familiar with the matter, "Was told, not consulted."
    • Mr. Zuckerberg owns 28% of Facebook's stock, and controls 57% of its voting rights, giving him the freedom to act independently if he wants. Mr. Systrom, similarly, owns about 45% of his company.
    • Amin Zoufonoun, Facebook's director of corporate development, helped hammer out details later in the talks
    • Zuckerberg had been interested in acquiring Instagram since the previous summer
    • Zuckerberg's motivation: concerned when he saw millions of people signing up for the Android app, people familiar with the matter said. One concern: Facebook was falling behind in mobile as younger start-ups were innovating more quickly.
    • Coming up with a sale price: Zuckerberg told Systrom to value Instagram as a %age of Facebook. Systrom said FB could be a $200B company and Instagram could go for 1% of FB --> discussed FB being valued at $104B
    • Mr. Zuckerberg also offered Mr. Systrom assurances that Instagram could remain independent under Facebook
    • NYT reports the $1b is broken down as 70% stock, 30% cash
  • Google: Oracle, Sun blew it on a Java smartphone
  • Google's legal slides paint Oracle as a gold digger, Java as free and open software
  • Ellison, Page both take the stand as Google argues "Java language is free and open"
  • Larry Page: Android isn't critical, it's a delivery vehicle for Google services
    • Google had their own slides and used a "failed" stamp on Sun and Oracle efforts to build a java smartphone platform.
    • Google's 'Key points of evidence'
      • Sun gave the Java language to the public
      • Google built Android using free and open technologies
      • Sun publicly approved Android's use of Java (Quotes from CEO Jonathan Schwartz praising Android's utilization of Java)
      • Google made fair use of the Java language APIs in Android
    • It all comes down to whether the APIs are open or not, as we know
    • Googlequotes the 2011 depositions, this time turning to the chief architect of the Java Platform Group at Oracle, Mark Reinhold:
    • "Well, if there were no APIs, we would only have a language. You would be able to write basic computations that never did any IO, had any communication with the outside world or the underlying platform."
    • Google thinks Oracle is trying to get money where they failed to before: APIs constitute a dramatically small portion of Android's 15 million lines of code. Oracle lawyers have found exactly nine lines of code that are the same as Sun's code
  • Google CEO Larry Page took the stand again this morning
    • spent much of his testimony claiming not to know things or to be an expert
    • Was unable to identify a piece of evidence which caused a legal tussle between the two teams of lawyers, if another witness can identify it, Page may be called back.
  • Tim Berners-Lee: demand your data from Google and Facebook
  • Sergey Brin: I Didn’t Actually Conflate Government Censorship With Apple and Facebook
    • In an interview with the Guardian, Berners-Lee said: "My computer has a great understanding of my state of fitness, of the things I'm eating, of the places I'm at. My phone understands from being in my pocket how much exercise I've been getting and how many stairs I've been walking up and so on."
    • "One of the issues of social networking silos is that they have the data and I don't … There are no programmes that I can run on my computer which allow me to use all the data in each of the social networking systems that I use plus all the data in my calendar plus in my running map site, plus the data in my little fitness gadget and so on to really provide an excellent support to me."
    • Google now offers users immediate access to all data it holds on them and Facebook will send users their data, though it may take as long as three months to recover all of it. But the data needs to be standardized.
    • It's interesting that people throughout the existence of the web have been concerned about monopolies. They were concerned [about] Netscape having complete control over the browser market until suddenly they started worrying that Microsoft had complete control of the browser market. So I think one of the lessons is that things can change very rapidly.
    • Was also critical of locked down systems like smartphone apps and surveillance and control fo the Net by governments
    • Part of The Guardian's week-long "Battle for control of the Internet" series. "Here are the three key sentences from Brin’s defense of himself today: “The primary threat by far to internet freedom is government filtering of political dissent.” “I certainly do not think the problem of "digital ecosystems that are not as open as the web itself" is on a par with government based censorship.” “While openness is a core value at Google, there are a number of areas where we can improve too.”

News Fuse


  • North Korea Spent a Whole $15 Making Its Website
    • Michael DiTanna, a Fordham student, dug intoNorth Korea's webpage source and found out that the template costs a whopping $15.
    • He was doing a project for his Korean history/political science course
    • A keyword search for “envatowebdesign” will turn up a prompt comment from the site’s theme seller telling the person who bought it how to customize.
    • DiTanna did some investigation which brought him to the $15 template




"Dear TNT Show,

In regards to your discussion on near field payment systems replacing cash, all I can say is that until I can tip a Stripper with Bitcoins, no digital currency will replace cash.

There will always be perfectly legal transactions that a person would prefer that a payment processor not know about. It could be a guy's night out, how much junk food you buy, or the amount you tithe at your house of worship.

Until a micro payment system combines convenience with the desire for anonymity, cash will still be king.

Warm Regards, McKinley Tabor"



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Production Information

  • Edited by: Jason
  • Notes:
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