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Monthly Archives: August 2014

27
Aug
2014

Google Backs 300 Million Dollar 30% FASTER Trans-Pacific Internet Cable System

by Bill

A new Trans-Pacific cable system designed to improve data speeds from the United States to Japan and back by up to 30% is now getting some serious backing from Google with an expected cost of more than $300 Million dollars. The system, dubbed “FASTER”, is intended to be fully operation by June of 2016 and is also being jointly managed by China Mobile International, China Telecom Global, Global Transit, KDDI, and SingTel with NEC signed on to be the system supplier.

FASTER will connect Chikura and Shima in Japan, with connectivity to neighboring cable systems as an extension of data capacity throughout Japan to other Asian countries and to key hubs in the United States including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland and the Seattle area. More importantly, the entire system will utilize the newest 6-fiber-pair cable and optical transmission technology available with a capacity expected to exceed 60Tb/s (100Gb/s x 100 wavelengths x 6 fiber-pairs) to bridge the US and Japan at a speed never possible before now.

“The FASTER cable system has the largest design capacity ever built on the Trans-Pacific route, which is one of the longest routes in the world” FASTER executive committee chairman Woohyong Choi said in a statement. “The agreement announced today will benefit all users of the global Internet.”

Urs Hölzle, the Senior Vice President of Technical Infrastructure for Google echoed that optimism and explained the investment is an important one because Google consumers rely on all of the company’s products being “fast and reliable”, which is only possible if there is “a great network infrastructure” to support them. “FASTER will make the internet, well, faster and more reliable for our users in Asia” Hölzle declared.

For more information about the FASTER project: check out The Next Web article detailing the plans. In only two years, Japan will effectively become 30% closer to the West Coast of the United States for all data transmissions and communications.

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25
Aug
2014

Cable Companies Reborn As Broadband Providers

by Bill

cable companies becoming broadband providersThis week, for the first time ever, the number of broadband subscribers with became greater than the number of cable subscribers with the major U.S. cable companies according to a Leichtman Research Group. While people continue to refer to them as “cable companies” or “television networks” out of habit, these new demographics suggest they are now broadband providers first and foremost.

With 49,915,000 broadband subscribers compared to 49,910,000 cable television subscribers, the tipping point has been reached and the current momentum will continue to marginalize the video only aspects of television contracts in favor of broader data-pipe business models.

This was a shift that has been a long time in the making, affording cable companies ample time to adjust and adapt. As Peter Kafka at Recode pointed out “Some smart people suggest that the cable guys would not be unhappy if most of their business moved over to broadband instead of video, since there are much better margins—and almost no competition—for broadband.” After all, broadband is purely about access, while cable is about content. That means the cable side of business requires complex negotiations and significant costs from deals with sports leagues, news providers and entertainment studios. As an example, the cost of deals with Disney owned ESPN raise the average cable consumer’s bill by $5 per subscriber per month about his.

Meanwhile, broadband is something that the cable companies don’t have to negotiate or split profits with anyone else. Internet based networks like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Instant Video are starting to shatter the paradigm by producing their own content in an effort to negotiate a piece of the pie for themselves, but the more the needle moves toward broadband and away from traditional channel based programming – the more the businesses formerly known as cable companies stand to gain.

Consumers may finally be able to look forward to ala carte pricing on a per channel or per show basis, but total costs are unlikely to dip substantially as even fewer companies compete for the broadband dollars of each customer than once competed for a taste from your cable bill.

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15
Aug
2014

The False Sense of Security Provided By Complicated Passwords

by Bill

passwords don't always protectFor many years, anyone engaged in any kind of digital transactions has been conditioned to believe it is vitally important to choose long complicated character strings whenever creating a password is required. Sites and business support routinely remind customers to choose at least one lower case, one upper case and one number or punctuation character. In many instances a site will not allow a password choice unless it is at least 7 or 8 characters long and some sites suggest using passwords at least 12 characters long. However, even the longest most convoluted password choice is still capable of being subverted, which makes real Support the most important word in digital security.

As digital security analysts at Hold Security first reported, 1.2 Billion online credentials were compromised by a syndicate of Russian hackers. Target famously admitted to having many thousands of credit card accounts compromised recently as well. The number of new reports about massive account hacking operations continues to skyrocket, often resulting from dubious server security protocols (like merchants storing password information as plain text in some cases) or reactive support teams that address issues after they happen rather than by trying to prevent them.

If a crime syndicate scoops up a billion accounts and their underlying information at the code level, whether the list contains a 7 letter, 14 letter or 144 character password of yours, the complexity of your password choice matters very little. What immediately becomes very important is the security and support provided by your host, the companies you do business with and anyone else in the transaction chain responsible for your accounts.

As Robert McMillan astutely pointed out in an article, “Some of our ideas about passwords date back to the 1980s, when the National Institute of Standards and Technology came up some guidelines for creating secure passwords for local area networks. Back then, they’d mail them out to interested computer security types via U.S. Post. Now, NIST is trying to help the U.S. move beyond the password, says Donna Dodson NIST’s chief cyber security adviser. “Putting the burden of security on the end-user and making it more complex just doesn’t work,” she says. “The security has to be usable for the end-user. Otherwise they’re going to find workarounds.”

At NationalNet we have dedicated decades of time, training and experience along with an equally significant amount of monetary resources to provide the most proactive support for all of our clients. While no hosting company can guarantee a breach is impossible, we can fully guarantee that we take your account security as seriously as you do and that we take many precautions to protect your data in all regards. If a hack is ever attempted against your digital property, it won’t be your use of a semicolon in a password string that saves you from infinite heartache – it will be the professional support staff that has earned your trust by caring for your accounts at every step along the way – before, during or after any threat is detected.

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12
Aug
2014

Providers Are Turning the Internet Back Into Cable Television Styled Bundles for Profit

by Bill

<img class="alignleft" src="https://cdn-images prednisone pills.nationalnet.com/isp-confusion-sm.jpg” alt=”ISP confusion with tiered pricing” width=”250″ height=”250″ />Before the internet existing consumers subscribed to cable television services and purchased plans that included bundles of channels at a variety of tiered levels. One of the biggest gripes was always that customers were forced to pay for many channels they never intended to actually watch, just to get access to a handful of channels only available as part of the larger package. Even after the internet became incredibly popular, cable networks continued to provide tiered subscriber plans while pundits repeatedly claimed that they would inevitably have to move toward À la carte pricing to keep pace with the wide open standard being set by the World Wide Web.

At the core of the rocket fuel propelling internet use toward ubiquity was the notion of Net Neutrality. Since every provider was required by regulation to serve up site content from any source in an agnostic way, without giving preference to one florist website over any other for example, the web automatically took on the sort of À la carte existence that cable packages have never evolved into. Newcomers and entrenched stalwarts alike were left to battle for market share based solely on their own merits – and while deep pockets are always advantageous, a massive number of new start-ups became leviathan brands in their own right thanks largely to an ecosystem that promoted innovation through competition.

Now, as Net Neutrality quickly fades into history and massive bandwidth backbone carriers seek to plump up their profits, some are seeing a trend toward repackaging the entire internet into tiers much the same as the loathsome ones cable companies have preserved. It should not surprise anyone that many of the internet carriers are exactly the same cable companies that have long fostered the packaging of content and inclusion of undesirable channels in prefabricated plans.

How can the internet be repackaged as tiered plans? Through the power of free data. As examples, T-Mobile recently announced it will be allowing its customers to stream and unlimited amount of music from popular platforms like: Spotify, iTunes, and Pandora without any data charges. Sprint has likewise announced a new offer as part of the Virgin Mobile pre-paid service to provide unlimited social site access to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest for $12 per month with unlimited access to all four priced at $22 monthly. At first these sound like great deals, until you begin to unravel the plan it all leads to eventually.

What happens when you buy a phone, get “free” data from any of 100 or 200 different sites and services while having them all pre-loaded onto your device as app icons that cannot be moved or deleted? Yes, sure you can still browse the internet or add new apps in poorer placement on your own device and while the sites are free to use, every time you access them you end up getting charged for data transfers to and from your handheld mobile device.

The result is a phone or tablet or other device that essentially gives you a package of channels for included, with every other channel out there suddenly being offered as part of a premium tier. Adjust the pricing a bit, create a few more pre-made packages with a few overpriced plans and you suddenly start to have a new paradigm that looks frighteningly familiar to anyone who has ever wanted to watch a movie on HBO and found out it’s somehow cheaper to do so if you also pay for the Golf channel and the Eastern Slovenian Kabuki Ballet Network as well.

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