Big cable-backed broadband bill soars through NC House, one step closer to stifling ISP competition

via Engadget by Darren Murph on 3/30/11

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: Time Warner Cable is made up of some insanely shady folks. And frankly, it’s not just TWC to blame here — CenturyLink, Embarq and a smattering of other big telecom companies are banding together in order to push the ironically-named H129 “Level Playing Field” bill straight into law. Unfortunately, said bill sailed through the clearly oblivious (or “persuaded”) North Carolina House this week, with just 37 sane individuals voting against 81 delusional proponents. For those outside of the loop, the bill effectively suggests that commercial entities — municipal ISPs like Wilson’s own Greenlight that provide greater levels of service with lower costs — are unfairly competing against for-profit monoliths. In short, that’s an absolute joke. Rep. Bill Faison nailed it with this quote: 

“This bill will make it practically impossible for cities to provide a fundamental service. Where’s the bill to govern Time Warner? Let’s be clear about whose bill this is. This is Time Warner’s bill. You need to know who you’re doing this for.” 

Yours truly just so happens to reside in the wonderful state of North Carolina, and knows first-hand what it’s like to live in a major metropolitan area with a single high-speed broadband carrier. TWC has only recently announced impending DOCSIS 3.0 coverage, but early installations in the heart of Raleigh have been fraught with latency issues and router difficulties. Oh, and it’s charging $99 per month for a service with 5Mbps up; for comparison’s sake, Greenlight gives customers 10Mbps internet (in both directions), home phone and expanded basic cable for the exact same fare. So, NC lawmakers — how exactly do your constituents gain access to that “level playing field?” 

[Image courtesy of IndyWeek]

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Why cellphone bandwidth is running out (and what to do about it)

via DVICE Atom Feed by Stewart Wolpin on 7/30/10

Why cellphone bandwidth is running out (and what to do about it)

Conventional wisdom holds that we need to build more highways in order to curb congestion. But what ends up happening is, more highways encourage more driving, creating a Möbius strip of never-ending highway building and even more entangled traffic jams. But there’s only so much room to build new highways, which means eventually we’ll be living in eternal gridlock.

The same Möbius strip of more capacity=more traffic is happening in cellphone land.

Netflix to Stream Movies and TV Shows to Xbox 360 in High Definition

via 8bitjoystick.com by Jake on 10/28/08

I have another super secret cool cat to let out of the bag. Netflix streaming to the Xbox 360 is going to have high definition HD content offered if you have the bandwidth. This is not a rumor it is a fact and it is going to be a part of the NXE on day one. I have this on pretty darn good authority.

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Microsoft is not going to talk about it now and Netflix is not going to talk about it for two weeks or so but when the New Xbox Experience or NXE ships on November 17th there is going to be high definition content from Netflix available as a part of the video movie streaming offering. I don’t know what movies or TV shows is going to be available in HD but since Netflix has a deal with CBS and Disney I would guess that those are probably going to be some of the first stuff out the door.

When you sign up for Netflix on the Xbox they give you a four digit code that you then type in to the Netflix website on a PC and the two are then synced. Also the video quality looks a lot better on the Xbox 360 than Netflix streaming on a computer but it is all dependant on the speed of your net connection to the Xbox. Since the 360 has graphics power and CPU power to spare it can handle streaming HD video. I don’t know what resolution of HD they are going to offer. It also remembers what point you were last at in a movie or show and you can change your instant playlist on the Xbox 360 or your PC in real time.

In order to use the service you need to have an Xbox Live Gold account and a Netflix membership that has streaming enabled. Most of them do. It looks like a pretty slick business alliance between Microsoft and Netflix. Microsoft wants their Xbox fans to subscribe to Netflix and Netflix wants their views to get Xbox Live. I subscribe to both Netflix and Xbox Live so I am a happy camper.

I fully expect European and Canadian Xbox 360 fans to start complaining about this in 3..2…1.. Look I am sorry folks but Netflix does not offer their business outside the US and if you want it then you need to write them and convince them to open up locally. It’s is not Microsoft’s fault that they can’t offer this outside of the US since it is up to Netflix to run their business. If I were you I would write the Prime Minister and Netflix and demand it because it looks cool.

On a similar note I would not hold my breath on a Blu-Ray player for Xbox 360. Microsoft wants you to use Xbox Live instead or roll your own MP4s.

So hopefully we will be able to watch CSI in HD over the Xbox 360 in time for Thanksgiving if you have the macho pipes for your hook up to the series of tubes that is the internet.

Netflix + Xbox 360 NXE + Mad bandwidth = HD Goodness! FTW!