A Brief Nod To Cox For Raising Its Bandwidth Caps

I need some sort of icon or whatever for “while I don’t necessarily like what you’re doing, I like the way you’re doing it.” Last week, that went to Speakeasy for giving excellent notice on its unfortunate decision to block certain phone numbers. This week, my “Tip of My Hat While Wagging My Finger” (yes, the reference Stephen Colbert is obvious) goes Cox Cable and their decision to increase the size of their bandwidth caps (new terms of service here).

I am not happy with bandwidth caps, but don’t have a position yet on regulating them unless they are so obviously limited that they appear designed to protect video revenues and fall into the antitrust/competition zone. I recognize there are advantages and disadvantages to metered pricing. In the short term, it can help bridge the gap where demand for capacity rapidly outpaces available capacity. In the longer term, it works to reduce use and innovation which has negative implications for our economy and overall digital future. It’s also not that clear that there is a good linkage to bandwidth caps and actual capacity limits, and whether bandwidth caps discourage investment in capacity by making it easier and cheaper to cap use rather than build capacity.

Still, if one must have bandwidth caps, then they need periodic review and should get upgraded as “average” use grows and as network operators make needed upgrades. So while I’m not thrilled that Cox has bandwidth caps in the first place, I’m pleased they have now upgraded them. Hopefully Comcast, which has had the same bandwidth capacity cap for a year now, will soon follow suite and upgrade its 250 GB cap.

Stay tuned . . . .

The War on the Consumer: Congress to Pass Secret DRM Law?

I guess I’ll make this into a reoccurring feature, since everyone seemed to like the last one I did, and it seems we have no end of stupidity from media companies and their hired hands.

So, let’s see what the media companies have been shopping for in Washington. I bet there’s a lot of post-Holidays sales of legislation going on…

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Touchability Cues

When I wrote “Touchability,” it had already been a while since a buddy had shown me a haptic mouse he was working on. For example, you could feel an actual bump when the mouse enters and leaves an object (a real version of what developers sometimes call rollover). Force feedback was such an obviously good thing that I didn’t even mention then the cool stuff that’s now happening in this area.

As much as I think physical touchability is good, I want to be clear that I want to make Croquet applications be emotionally touchable, too. I want to capture what it is that makes things seem (be?) real. Even without physical force feedback, it should still be fun to fondle stuff because of active visual and aural responses and good 3D design.

To be sure, I’d love to add to the effect with more sensory stimulus. There are huge possibilities, and I hope folks will explore them. This stuff is cool. There’s someone working on stereo display for Croquet. Others working on large screens in public spaces. I don’t doubt that we’ll see Croquet on small or cheap devices. There’s plenty of room for innovation.

Shameless Self Promotion

TotSF is my personal project and has no relationship to my employer, Media Access Project. All the views, etc. expressed herein are my own. At the same time, I think we do good work and hope other folks will take the time to appreciate us and support us.

So I am posting a link to MAP’s end of year update and appeal. If you like what we do, have some extra cash, and want to make all of us here at MAP feel appreciated, follow the link at the bottom to make a contribution online (or you can save time and click here).

Of necessity, a lot of the work we do is behind the scenes inside the beltway stuff. We don’t produce the independent programming or the community networks or the innovation on the internet. But we try to get rules that make it possible for that stuff to happen. When we get a donation from someone, however small, it does a lot to boost morale by showing that people care about our work and appreciate why it’s important.

Don’t get me wrong. We have very high esprit d’corp here at MAP. No one does this work and sticks with it unless you think it’s important. But it’s nice every now and then to know someone else appreciates it as well.

Stay tuned . . .