Some interesting bits of news and buzz are streaking around the tech world this week.
I keep hearing that the FCC is all set to punish Comcast in some undisclosed and possibly uninforcable way for its attempts to control Internet bandwidth. Common Cause published Comcast Punished by FCC for Violating Net Neutrality. The article says,
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today voted to stop Comcast from blocking legal file-sharing activities on its network as a violation of the FCC's net neutrality principles.
The fact that the FCC felt they had sufficient grounds to hold Comcast accountable shows how egregious the violation was, as the FCC's principles are weak and it has given itself limited enforcement capacity.
It is unclear at this time if Comcast will be fined, but at the very least they must stop blocking peer-to-peer traffic and disclose the methods it uses for "network management."
An good resource, if you'd like to get up to speed on the Comcast issue, is this Timeline of the F.C.C. Investigation Into Comcast. BlogHer has followed the Comcast/Net Neutrality/FCC issue over the months mentioned in the timeline. Several pertinent articles from BlogHers are listed at the end of this post.
For the gadget lovers there's some buzz about a mini desktop computer from Dell. Erica Ogg reported in Dell's minidesktop launching tomorrow (which is today to us) that a new small desktop computer that uses 70% less energy than a normal desktop machine is ready for release. It will cost about $500 without the monitor.
According to the photos in Erica Ogg's article, the computer will be about the size of a Wii. There are also some images at Engadget in Dell Studio Hybrid mini pc shows up in hidden Dell customer service page. It isn't portable, but it does have a small footprint that may interest dorm residents or other people living in small spaces.
There's a new search engine creating a buzz. It's called Cuil.com and claims to have more information and to display it better than the big guys. Cuil is pronounced 'cool.' Does that make it cool?
Cuil was started by some ex-Google employees, according to Ex-Googlers launch rival search engine. Among the Cuil founders are Anna Patterson and Katie Watson.
I took it for a spin. The look is familiar, but black.
I searched for BlogHer08 and got 581 results.
The search results are very different from what we are accustomed to from Google or Yahoo!. They are organized in columns. If a photo is available, it is displayed by the heading. A paragraph from the page is given.
I didn't find that the results were filtered very well, however. I saw results from my own blog that I knew had nothing to do with BlogHer08, but one of the categories listed on my blog is "BlogHer" so it was apparently picking that up. Next, I tried a search on 'Women in Technology' and got 119,075 results. There were suggested categories for further exploration, such as Women Computer Scientists and Organizations for Women in Science. It is certainly easier reading than what we are used to seeing from search engines. I don't know if that will be enough to tempt me away from my current favorite search tool. It will be interesting to watch this new search tool and see if it lives up to the buzz. Have you formed an opinion of cuil.com yet?
How about buzz from the far distant past, like 1996? OK, so that's only 12 years ago, but I'm talking about Internet years. It was news in the New York Times Cyber Times section back in 1996. The article is Dear Old Mom Is Baking Virtual Cookies. (I'm feeling snarky enough to point out that in 1996 it wasn't placed in Fashion and Style.) The article was a feature for Mother's Day,
This Mother's Day, whether you are a mom or just have one, perusing moms' home pages is clearly the vogue way to celebrate. Each page is as unique as the mom herself.
It listed several popular sites by women. Only one can still be found: Tachyonlabs. It was last updated in 2003, but points to some newer projects by the author. I remember the first web site I made in 1997. It looked a whole lot like this one. Looking back over twelve years of iterations of HTML and CSS, the web standards movement, the end of the browser wars, and Web 2.0 makes me realize how much mental energy people have to devote to "keeping up" with changing times in this technological age.
- The FCC Holds Hearings on the Comcast Strangle Hold on Bandwidth
- Net Neutrality in the hands of legislatures
- If a website is built, and nobody can access it, does it make a noise? (Net Neutrality developments)
- FCC will investigate Comcast on Net Neutrality
- Because the phrase "net neutrality" doesn't blast off the screen
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