Monthly Archives: December 2006

Aggregate, Collective, and Collaborative

For some time I’ve been saying that aggregate damage requires collective action. Recently I ran across a slightly different take on that:

Collective adversity mandates collaborative adaptation

Hal S. Knowles, III, Coordinator, Program for Resource Efficient Communities, University of Florida, 13 Feb 2006

I found this quote used by someone else as a one sentence summary of the social effects of the three laws of thermodynamics (often paraphrased as you can’t win, you can’t break even, and you can’t get out of the game). It may be true that you, singular, can’t win, etc. But we can win if we collaborate and adapt….

Now that’s risk management!


Net Neutrality and Rights of Way

I just ran across an interesting point regarding net neutrality and what it means that telcos no longer are required to abide by it:
The Bells claim privileges based on over 100 years of practice that may or may not coincide with the intent and limits of the original deals, but the resulting laws explicitly require a public purpose in exchange for the right-of-way concessions.

The obligations established on a state by state basis sometimes include build-out requirements or other compensation, but they all specify that access to state right-of-way at largely no cost or limit requires common carrier status (aka net neutrality.) The loss of common carrier status invalidates the contracts. The Bell companies have no access to state right-of-way for deployment of private, closed, non-neutral, non-common carrier network deployments.

Why Even Bells Need Net Neutrality, By Daniel Berninger, Written by Om Malik, Posted Tuesday, May 9, 2006 at 7:07 AM PT

I hadn’t made the connection between net neutrality and rights of way, but clearly there is one. And that’s not all! Continue reading

Reputation as Asset

Jon Harmon writes in an interesting commentary about the HP pretexting scandal (I recommend reading his whole post), in which he recommends a post of Chief Reputational Officer (CRO):
Postscript: Mark my words. Five years from now, the office of CRO will be commonplace among global corporations. And ten years from now, the CRO will vie with the CFO as the most likely path to the office of CEO. Reputation is a corporation’s most valuable capital asset and those who manage it best will be rewarded handsomely.

Empty Seat at the Table Devastating in HP Debacle Jon Harmon, Force for Good, 10 December 2006.

On the one hand, I get a bit of reflex reaction to that suggestion, of “is this just more perception over content, of which we already have too much in the corporate world?” Continue reading

Exploding TV

So the big telco ISPs keep pushing abrogation of net neutrality on the grounds of having to build out capacity to handle video, by which they mean TV and HDTV from the usual Burbank studios.

What if they’re fighting the last war? Jeff Pulver points out:

Back on August 29th I posted a list of “TV Shows Only Available on the Net.” The following day, Network2 was born. Today 232 shows can be found in the Network2 guide.

Exploding TV on the Net: From 80 to 230 shows in 3 Months on Network2, Jeff Pulver, The Jeff Pulver Blog, December 13, 2006

Seems like it would be better risk management for those telcos, not to mention for the public, to be dealing with what people actually want.


Less Pretext?

It seems HP (and others) may soon have less pretext, since Congress just passed a law to criminalize pretexting:
“Stealing someone’s private phone records is a criminal act that can now be prosecuted,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., lead sponsor of the proposal in the Senate. “Phone information and call logs should be protected with the same safeguards as financial data or medical records.”

The issue became big news late last summer following revelations that investigators working for executives at Hewlett-Packard Co. used deception to obtain phone numbers of board members and reporters in an effort to track down news leaks.

Senate Approves Anti-Pretexting Bill, By JOHN DUNBAR, The Associated Press, Saturday, December 9, 2006; 5:17 AM

Three or four months is pretty quick for Congress. Let’s hope not so quick but that they took time to study the problem and to write a law that will actually do some good. As seen with other laws passed after corporate malfeasance, hastily written laws can produce as many problems as they help solve.


What’s Your Score?

Q: What country rates everyone who goes in and out of it, citizen or not, as to whether they are likely terrorists or criminals, won’t show its ratings to those rated, can’t be challenged about them, uses them to decide who can work for a wide variety of governments and companies, and plans to keep them for 40 years? Continue reading

P2P v. Censorship

Just as in the old days of USENET, the net still interprets censorship and damage and routes around:
Psiphon works through social networks. A net user in an uncensored country can download the program to their computer, which transforms it into an access point.

They can then give contacts in censored countries a unique web address, login and password, which enables the restricted users to freely browse the web through an encrypted connection to the proxy server.

Web censorship ‘bypass’ unveiled BBC, 27 Nov 2006

So even though Ahmedinejad or Castro may jail bloggers, people in Iran or Cuba could still see foreign bloggers. Continue reading