Technology is great—but it alone won’t solve all of India’s development problems | Quartz


There has been a hopeful but ungrounded optimism among many thinkers and practitioners in the last few years, with them believing that technology can fix all the problems that we as a country are facing.

The proponents of this belief system, especially around digital technology, think that problems of agriculture, health, nutrition, gender injustice, education, and governance can all be solved expeditiously if the country embraces the digital revolution; that digital will awaken the country from the slumber that it is in.

I have my own grave reservations, and I believe that there is a limit to what technology can do …

Source: Technology is great—but it alone won’t solve all of India’s development problems — Quartz

Justice, AT&T trade accusations over CNN sale | TheHill


Sources at the Justice Department told The Hill and other news outlets that antitrust officials had rejected an offer from AT&T on Monday to divest in CNN in order to win approval for the $85 billion deal.

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, however, flatly denied that his company had ever entertained the idea of selling CNN to win approval of the deal.

“Throughout this process, I have never offered to sell CNN and have no intention of doing so.”

It is highly unusual for details of such offers to emerge in public …

Source: Justice, AT&T trade accusations over CNN sale | TheHill

Telcos earnings: Indian telecom companies to see revenue dip, rest of Asia to grow: Moody’s | The Economic Times


Ratings agency Moody’s said India will be the only Asian country where telecom industry revenue declined due to brutal price competition spurred by a new entrant, Reliance Jio Infocomm, in late 2016, while profitability for operators will remain under pressure over the next 12-18 months.

Source: Telcos earnings: Indian telecom companies to see revenue dip, rest of Asia to grow: Moody’s – The Economic Times

NTT Com launches ultra-low-latency connectivity service between Japan and Chicago


The service, called JPX-Chicago Co-Location Direct, will link the financial markets operated by Japan Exchange Group, which includes the Tokyo Stock Exchange, to the Cermak Data Center in Chicago through NTT Com’s PC-1 subsea cable.

NTT Com claims the new service includes the industry’s lowest-level latency by linking the Japanese firm’s point of presence in the JPX colocation centre through PC-1, offering the shortest route available.

Source: NTT Com launches ultra-low-latency connectivity service between Japan and Chicago

Why you should know about Germany’s new surveillance law | openDemocracy


At the end of its eighteenth electoral term, the German Bundestag voted in favour of a controversial law that allows government authorities to install a malware, the so-called ‘state trojan’, on smartphones, tablets and computers during a criminal investigation.

The new bill passed with support of the grand coalition of Conservatives (CDU/CSU) and Social Democrats (SPD) on 22 June 2016. It was hidden in an amendment to an apparently uncontroversial law that advocates a more effective and practical criminal code. This is one reason why it remained widely unnoticed until its adoption.

Simply put, once the malware is installed on a suspect’s device, it will allow investigators to monitor messages before they are encrypted and thus, read communications on messenger services such WhatsApp.

Whereas previous surveillance measures were limited to a few serious crimes, the new bill allows the use of malware in various other cases such as subsidy fraud, tax evasion, sports betting fraud or falsification of documents.

Source: Why you should know about Germany’s new surveillance law | openDemocracy

Portugal Doesn’t Have Net Neutrality. This Is What Their Internet Looks Like | IFLScience


Thanks to the actions of certain corporations and governments, net neutrality is under threat. Instead of being seen as a public utility, it is becoming more of a product. As highlighted by Quartz, Portugal – a nation with no net neutrality protective laws in place – may be a vision of a dark future in this sense.

MEO, a Lisbon-based telecommunications company, is taking advantage of the lack of regulations. They’re now offering packages at different prices that give their customers varying levels of access to the Web. If you pay a few euros per month, you just get to use messaging apps; a bit more, and you can use Facebook more, or perhaps Netflix more.

This seems like an alien concept to most. If you pay for the Internet, why don’t you have access to all of it?

Source: Portugal Doesn’t Have Net Neutrality. This Is What Their Internet Looks Like | IFLScience

Why is net neutrality important? Look to Portugal and Spain to understand | Quartz


Consider Spain and Portugal. Lisbon-based telecommunications firm MEO has been rolling out mobile packages (link in Portuguese) that provide users with data plans limited to specific apps. Customers will be charged more for using data for apps outside the package relative to those in the preferred packages. It was not clear if companies paid to be included in the packages.

“[That’s] a huge advantage for entrenched companies, but it totally ices out startups trying to get in front of people which stifles innovation,” wrote Silicon Valley congressional representative Ro Khanna on Twitter.

“This is what’s at stake and that’s why we have to save net neutrality.”

Source: Why is net neutrality important? Look to Portugal and Spain to understand — Quartz

2 Protons Annihilate: What Makes AT&T’s Merger So Crazy – AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) | Seeking Alpha

For those who don’t remember, in high school science we learn all about how two protons repel each other. We also read sometimes about those massive science facilities that use magnetic fields or other forces to basically force them to collide with each other. When they do they both explode. I’m starting to think that might, unfortunately, be an apt metaphor for AT&T (NYSE:T) and the two formerly independent companies they are about to force together: Time Warner (TWX) and DirecTV.

.. I do want to respond to one particular point that has been made repeatedly by those who are bullish on AT&T: this upcoming merger will not rescue the last one. Time Warner is not the balm to salve the DirecTV wound.

The two formerly independent companies are rather like the two protons being forced toward one another by the magnets of AT&T’s financial power. And when they hit, I’m afraid shareholders are going to get caught up in the bang.

Source: 2 Protons Annihilate: What Makes AT&T’s Merger So Crazy – AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) | Seeking Alpha

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Verizon has a new strategy to undermine online privacy and net neutrality | Ars Technica


The now-defunct FCC privacy rules would have required ISPs to obtain customers’ permission before they use, share, or sell the customers’ Web browsing and application usage histories. Legislators in some states have tried to replicate the laws on the local level. But the most notable attempt to do so, in California, failed after pressure from lobbyists.

Verizon is still worried that states might restrict how Verizon can use customer data. “[L]egislative bodies in nearly 30 states—including California, New York, and Washington—have considered adopting privacy laws aimed at ISPs in response to Congress’s repudiation of the Commission’s privacy rules,” Verizon wrote.

While the California bill died in the state legislature, Verizon complained about a “recently filed ballot initiative in California” that would require “most medium and large-sized businesses (including ISPs) to maintain detailed records of disclosed information, to allow users to opt out of information-sharing in a way that would impair service to customers.”

Source: Verizon has a new strategy to undermine online privacy and net neutrality | Ars Technica

In Northern New York, Broadband Expansion Faces Challenges


Gaining access to desired areas is time-consuming and complicated, but financial implications can also hinder the process. Determining whether there are enough potential customers in an area can make or break a potential infrastructure expansion.

“We are building rural and one of the economic realities of building rural is density becomes a real challenge. Other companies have made a determination a long time ago that once the density got to a certain level, that is where the network ends and they are not going any further,” Mr. Lynch said.

“We have pushed that pretty far but what happens is that we run into fixed costs we have to do when we operate independent of the number of customers.”

Some of those fixed costs can be expensive. Pole rental fees, for example, can cost Slic $400 per mile per year.

Source: In Northern New York, Broadband Expansion Faces Challenges