Thursday, January 21
Yesterday, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration announced the latest batch of broadband grants. In all, $63 million in grants were awarded to three states: Massachusetts, Michigan, and North Carolina.
So far NTIA has awarded $253 million in grants, roughly 3.5 percent of the eventual total.
According to Business Week, Apple is in talks to make Microsoft’s Bing search engine the default search in the next version of the iPhone. From the story:
The discussions reflect the accelerating rivalry between Apple and Google, now the main provider of Web search on the iPhone. While the two companies have worked as partners in the past and Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt had a seat on Apple’s board, Apple and Google have more recently begun competing in several markets, including mobile phones. Google sells a smartphone, the Nexus One, that competes directly with the iPhone and it has spearheaded development of a wireless handset operating system that rivals the iPhone OS.
Whether the search-switch discussions are indeed fueled by an Apple-Google rivalry, or are merely a bargaining chip for Apple to get more money from Google, remains to be seen. But at the end of the Business Week piece there is a bit of a bombshell:
Even if it’s consummated, an Apple-Bing deal may prove short-lived. The person familiar with Apple’s thinking says Apple has a “skunk works” looking at a search offering of its own, and believes that “if Apple does do a search deal with Microsoft, it’s about buying itself time.” Given the importance of search and its tie to mobile advertising—and the iPhone maker’s desire to slow Google—“Apple isn’t going to outsource the future.”
Google, Microsoft, and Apple all in the search business? That’s a lot of heavy hitters all vying for a piece of the same revenue pie.
Via MSNBC comes the amazing story of a man buried beneath rubble for 65 hours following the devastating earthquake in Haiti, his ability to use an iPhone to examine himself, and the handy first aid iPhone app that helped him treat his wounds.
Today’s New York Times has an interesting story on how when it comes to passwords, most people are leaving themselves vulnerable to being hacked:
Despite all the reports of Internet security breaches over the years, including the recent attacks on Google’s e-mail service, many people have reacted to the break-ins with a shrug.
According to a new analysis, one out of five Web users still decides to leave the digital equivalent of a key under the doormat: they choose a simple, easily guessed password like “abc123,” “iloveyou” or even “password” to protect their data.
“I guess it’s just a genetic flaw in humans,” said Amichai Shulman, the chief technology officer at Imperva, which makes software for blocking hackers. “We’ve been following the same patterns since the 1990s.”
GigaOm highlights a new report from research firm Informa that finds fixed-line broadband subscribers will reach 500 million worldwide within the next four years, with developing countries leading the charge.
Wednesday, January 20
A new study from the Phoenix Center finds that broadband users are 50% less likely to give up searching for a job. The Hill examines why this is important:
Discouragement has been cited by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as a reason for an expected increase in the jobless rate this year. As of December, a large number of workers have quit looking for work because they think no jobs are available.
“Our study also shows the enormous potential benefit of community broadband centers for those who are not connected at home,” said Lawrence Spiwak, president of the Phoenix Center. “While broadband use at home delivers significant benefits, shared facilities can be a valuable solution to connectivity gaps in unserved and underserved communities.”
Online video giant YouTube wants to get in the business of streaming live sporting events, and they’re starting with Cricket. Specifically, the Indian Premier League.
On a (loosely) related note, here’s a list of Cricket terms courtesy of Wikipedia.
The White House has released an official iPhone app, offering news and even live video streaming of events such as the State of the Union address on January 27th.
Good news to travelers who find themselves trapped in Boston. Six years after installing Wi-Fi throughout Logan Airport, the Massachusetts Port Authority has recouped its initial investment and will now offer free access to passengers.
Faced with falling ad and circulation revenues, the New York Times has announced it will start charging a fee to read the paper online. Reports, fittingly, the New York Times:
Starting in early 2011, visitors to NYTimes.com will get a certain number of articles free every month before being asked to pay a flat fee for unlimited access. Subscribers to the newspaper’s print edition will receive full access to the site.
But executives of The New York Times Company said they could not yet answer fundamental questions about the plan, like how much it would cost or what the limit would be on free reading. They stressed that the amount of free access could change with time, in response to economic conditions and reader demand.