TelecomTV *Raw

The best of TelecomTV, plus (un)related junk from the site’s Director of Content

Blog Watch is Back

Last year, TelecomTV published a daily “Best of the Blogs” post, highlighting some of the most interesting and thought-provoking articles that we come across as we research the top stories of the day. The Mobile Planet documentary film put paid to that. But now that colossal project is nearing completion, it’s time to resume normal service, albeit on a more civilized weekly basis.

The conflict in Georgia starts us off. Dean Takahasi on Venture Beat has an excellent summary of how the five day Georgia-Russia war spilled over into cyberspace:

Georgian web sites buckled under overwhelming waves of bogus traffic, sent from huge swarms of compromised computers. The attacks began as probes as early as July 20, according to Internet experts. As the war began on Friday, millions of extraneous requests — a so-called Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack — took down Georgia’s banking and government sites … The first attacks reported by the Russian press noted that the web site of the South Ossetian government had been hit with a DDoS attack, just hours after the shooting started on Aug. 8. On Aug. 9, the Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs web site was defaced, with photographs of Georgian president Mikheil Saaskashvili juxtaposed with Adolf Hitler’s image. A group called the South Ossetia Hack Crew claimed responsibility for the defacements.

He included a comment from Gadi Evron, a security expert, who wrote a post-mortem on the Estonia experience.

“Does an Internet attack warrant a reaction from NATO? What about the UN? Is there such a thing as a ‘just’ Internet war and what is a country’s right to defend itself against one?”

Moving away from malicious attacks on the Net to just plain-old traffic overload; will the ISPs really buckle under the weight? According to a report from Cogent, highlighted on the DSL Reports blog, no they won’t. Or at least, not at the moment, as Cogent has just seen its first ever quarterly traffic volume decline.

The decline is blamed in part on normal lower seasonal use, but the company says they also “saw a series of video and social networking sites exhibit much more modest traffic growth than they had been.” Cogent CEO Dave Schaeffer even goes so far as to proclaim “we’ve not seen a massive migration of video consumption over the Internet.” He notes that the average consumer still watches online video for 4.5 minutes per day and traditional broadcast television for 4.5 hours per day.

One for aspiring start-ups now. VC blogger Fred Wilson knows a thing or two about investing in young Internet firms. On a trip to the UK this week, he asked a group of entrepreneurs from the North of England to list their top funding questions. Full notes and comments over at his blog, but the list (as Fred remembers it) is as follows:

1) How do you evaluate a new investment opportunity?
2) What is going on with the US economy and how will it impact the global economy?
3) What do you make of technology platforms and software as a service business models?
4) How do you evaluate management teams before and after you invest in them?
5) What’s next for the web and web-based businesses?
6) What are the limits of advertising based business models and are they sustainable?

There is clearly a great deal of unease in the entrepreneur community about the economy and the reliance on advertising based business models. I got a distinct sense that everyone is looking for other areas and business models for inspiration.

Paid Content’s Rafat Ali interviewed Jim Keyes, the CEO of bricks and mortar DVD movie rental company Blockbuster. With online rental services, such as iTunes and Netflix, growing in popularity, a drop in trading numbers for Blockbuster comes as no surprise. But the former boss of the 7-Eleven convenience store chain still has faith in physical distribution.:

Q: This is a hypothetical one. Would you be ever interested in buying Netflix?

Keyes: Not really. Netflix doesn’t really have or do anything that we can’t and don’t already do ourselves. So, there’s really no advantage in buying. We think we can compete and play effectively on our own because what they don’t and couldn’t have very easily anyway is the depth of physical presence that we have. This is the key question: is everybody going to buy everything electronically in the future or for quite some time into the future, is there going to be a good balance between physical and electronic? If physical still has a role or any period of time into the future, we’re far better positioned to leverage that advantage.

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Friday, 15 August 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

College Classes on Virus Writing

The Schultz Information Center.Image via Wikipedia

This one is interesting. Newsweek story picked up by Techdirt on colleges teaching students how to write computer viruses. On the face of it, not a god idea. But look again. I’ve never had any joy with anti-virus programs, one of the reasons I’m Mac-based now. “Know your enemy”? Maybe it’ll work:

Theodp writes in to let us know about an article in Newsweek about a course being taught at Sonoma State University by George Ledin, where students are tasked with creating their own malware. Once again, various security companies are condemning the technique, even sinking so low as to compare Ledin to A.Q. Khan, the Pakistani scientist who sold nuclear technology to North Korea. They even insist they won’t hire his students — which seems particularly short-sighted. As Ledin points out, it appears that this is really more about the security companies wanting to keep the world more scared than they need to be of malware, so as to pretend that they’re the only ones who can solve the “problem” — when the truth is they’re not very effective at it. He complains that anti-virus firms keep their code secret (thank you, DMCA). He points out that if they were willing to open it up, and let lots of folks work on improving it, it would get much, much better. All he’s trying to do is help more people understand the enemy without first having to work at one of those companies that’s been so ineffective in stopping malware — in the hopes that maybe some of his students can actually come up with a better soltuion.

[From College Classes On Malware Writing Still Piss Off Anti-Virus Firms]

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Monday, 4 August 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

So much for Apple’s open application environment

The App Store iconImage via Wikipedia

Wouldn’t it be nice to use the mobile network connection of your iPhone to connect your laptop to the Internet? After all, you can do it with most other handsets. Enter Nullriver Inc with its incredibly useful NetShare application, available for just $9.99 from the Apple App Store. There’s also a helpful guide to it on the Apple Insider site.

Enter Apple, with its free and open Apps Store, offering to open up the world to developers, and give then 70% of the application price in the process. The only rule: they won’t sell offensive or pornographic applications. Fair deal, we all thought. But Nullriver has just discovered that it’s not so fair after all, after Apple pulled the application from its store. If you didn’t buy it in the minutes it was up there on Thursday night, then you’ve missed the boat.

“We’re not quite sure why Apple took down the NetShare application yet, we’ve received no communication from Apple thus far,” said the company on its website. “NetShare did not violate any of the Developer or AppStore agreements. We’re hoping we’ll get some feedback from Apple today. Sorry to all the folks that couldn’t get it in time. We’ll do our best to try to get the application back onto the AppStore if at all possible.”

Well, it’s still not there. TelecomTV has failed to speak to a human being within Apple’s PR machine about this matter, but we’ll keep trying.

The big question is; was it Apple who pulled the app, or it’s exclusive US operator partner, AT&T? NetShare is best described as a “tethering application”, useful for laptop users who don’t have dedicated 3G data cards and service whilst traveling (such as me, for example). Did AT&T choke on the prospect of giving away more of its new 3G bandwidth for no extra cost? Either way, this is bang out of order. You’ll notice the words “open application environment” in the header of this post; I use these words to describe the inclusive nature of App Store, allowing everyone to take part. But it’s far from being open in the traditional mobile ecosystem sense of the word; with Apple controlling the distribution of applications 100%.

You want ease of use, nice clean interfaces, low costs, wide range of content? Well, you had better be prepared for an equal measure of control, oversight, censorship and interference. If Apple and its partners don’t want you to have something, then you ain’t gonna get it!

Of course, you could work around not having a dedicated application. Into Mobile posted such a guide recently, but you’ll have to jailbreak your phone first — which is not for everyone. And so we await a statement from Apple…. but don’t hold your breath. Remember Apple’s IBM Big Brother Ads? How things change…

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Monday, 4 August 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Test post from Netnewswire using ECTO

A second direct post, this time using ECTO

NetShare logoFor all you out there willing to shell out a few bucks for the convenience of hassle-free iPhone tethering (”tethering” is a method that allows your laptop to use your mobile phone’s wireless data connection to surf the web, check email, etc.), a new iPhone application has hit the AppStore… again.

NetShare, the iPhone application that allows you to tether your iPhone or iPhone 3G to your computer with a simple button-press, went live in the AppStore yesterday. Then it disappeared. Now it’s back again. Whatever the reason for the mysterious disappearance, NetShare seems to be back online and ready to do your iPhone internet connection share bidding.

[From NetShare for iPhone 2.0 OS – iPhone EDGE / 3G tethering made easy]

End

Plus, automatic Amazon related link:


“iPhone Open Application Development: Write Native Objective-C Applications for the iPhone: Programming an Exciting Mobile Platform” (Jonathan Zdziarski)

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Saturday, 2 August 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Single post from Netnewswire

Test clipping from Netnewswire via Blogo

For all you out there willing to shell out a few bucks for the convenience of hassle-free iPhone tethering (”tethering” is a method that allows your laptop to use your mobile phone’s wireless data connection to surf the web, check email, etc.), a new iPhone application has hit the AppStore… again.

NetShare, the iPhone application that allows you to tether your iPhone or iPhone 3G to your computer with a simple button-press, went live in the AppStore yesterday. Then it disappeared. Now it’s back again. Whatever the reason for the mysterious disappearance, NetShare seems to be back online and ready to do your iPhone internet connection share bidding.

Er, no it’s not. It has disappeared again. Test to TTV site.

via IntoMobile



Saturday, 2 August 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment