— ZL 3NL signing off
— Busted Manginas
— Local Loopiness
Nobody likes me - I don't care
ZL 3NL signing off
I can't think of anyone in the local tech industry who commanded quite
the same respect as Sir Angus Tait, who died this week at the age of 88.
Tait built a worldwide business, and from what I can tell, stuck to his
vision and ideals, while remaining very much a human being who learnt
from his failures as well as successes. We need more Angus Taits.
I am sad and livid at the same time. The second-funniest blogger and
fervent anti-Bono persona in the world has been unmasked, but why? So
that Brad Stone and The NYT can get off on spoiling it for everyone
else? Idiots. Now the Fake Steve Jobs' blog is history.
Americans just don't get the subtlety thing, do they? The way the story
should've been done, after finding out who FSJ is (not hard), is... you
tell the world you know who he is. Without doubt. But, you don't tell
the readers, because that's akin to taking your size 46 boots and doing
a tap-dance on their funny bits.
Then again, there are people over there devoid of funny bits, like
Quick question: what was meant to happen six or seven years ago, but only
took place yesterday and then in a token form? That's right, local loop
Ihug and Orcon has been allowed to put in their rather garishly-coloured
(red and purple together? ick!) equipment into the Ponsonby and Glenfield exchanges in
Auckland. The equipment however wasn't even connected to the copper that
goes to customers — this will take place in the next two weeks, Ihug
hopes. Actually, Orcon (Korcon? Ordia?) reckons it has a few test
customers connected already, but not the full Monty unbundling.
LLU is hugely anticipated and there was a big media scrum with online,
print, TV and radio all represented. The PR trolls were grinning
with their fiendish fanged mouths wide-open at the sight of so many
journos in the same room, and this of course had the competition green
Other providers rushed to issue media statements saying they too were in
on the LLU game, including a rather strange one from TelstraClear. The
Smales Farm crowd says Ihug and Orcon are only doing what TelstraClear
did some ten years ago, and issued a grave warning to its competitors
that they might bump into the "precision hardware" it already has up and
TelstraClear wouldn't tell what said "precision hardware" is, and didn't
answer a question if it happened to be the telephone service
interconnection gear that Clear Communications put in, before it was
bought by the Australians. Perhaps some savvy FryUp readers can
enlighten us as to what it might be?
Silly press releases seem to be what TelstraClear generates nowadays,
and not to mention large losses. A $28 million loss for TelstraClear
must grate across the Tasman, where the mothership is actually bringing
home the bacon for shareholders. Where's the funky media release on that
Cartoon by www.xkcd.com
Robert X Cringely
Welcome to Googlian's Island
Is it just me, or did we all miss something truly big in the recent Google-FCC fandango? For those of you just tuning in, Google offered to meet the $4.6 billion minimum for bidding on chunks of the 700-MHz spectrum now used for analog TV broadcasts. That spectrum might otherwise become a vast wasteland (ignoring for a moment the fact TV already is a vast wasteland) when all television broadcasts go digital in 2009. But first, Google wanted the FCC to change a few things about how it allots spectrum and the kinds of services that can be provided over it. Google didn't get everything it wanted -- for example, the FCC nixed the idea of letting big spectrum owners auction off bits of bandwidth to smaller companies. But it got the Feds to open up part of the spectrum to new devices and services, and that's probably enough. (Personally, I love the way the casual way Google flashes its roll, show us all those billion dollar bills, and says,"if you just do some things our way, you can have some of this." Unfortunately, they have yet to make the same offer to me. ) Google hasn't said whether it will ultimately bid, or what it plans to use that spectrum for if it does. But the G-men can do just about anything they want at this point, including becoming the world's biggest wireless ISP. So the same radio waves that used to deliver "Gilligan's Island" could soon deliver Googlian's Island. And if that happens, little buddy, watch out. That duopoly created by the telcos and cable operators to control all home broadband access? Gone. Those problems getting WiMax installations off the ground (and the huge gaps between them)? Sayonara. Net neutrality? No problem. Those bandwidth restrictions on your wireless card account? Who cares? And while you're online, would you like to make a VoIP call? Download a movie? Watch endless reruns of "I Dream of Jeanie"? Oh, and by the way, the Internet is now free, because we know that if you see enough Google ads you'll eventually click on some of them, and that more than pays the bills. Free ubiquitous Internet access and all it entails. What more could any grown geek want? Of course, this is all wild speculation. Maybe Google doesn't want to be the world's ISP. But it could, if it wanted to (and the FCC let it). That surely must be giving the fat cats at AT&T and Comcast some serious acid reflux. As they say on the idiot box, tune in tomorrow.