More safeguards for Americans' data and additional protections for emails are some of the recommendations being made by the White House as it asks Congress to pass new privacy laws. Six recommendations in total are being offered by President Barack Obama’s counselor John Podesta, who posted the proposals on the White House website.
For the past three and a half years, President Obama has been to foreign locales and all over the United States. As he fights to keep his job in the upcoming election, his travels took him to a new destination, a pitstop on Reddit as he embarks on his campaign trail. If you couldn't access Reddit for a short while yesterday, it's because users flocked to the site to participate in his AMA (Ask Me Anything) session.
President Barack Obama appointed Indian-American Vivek Kundra as the White House's first ever Chief Information Officer (CIO), a position he held for two and a half years but will leave behind in August to become a joint fellow at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government and the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, said Jacob J. Lew, the White House budget director, in a blog post.
Cuban folk star Silvio Rodriguez made a plea to U.S. President Barack Obama and Google CEO Eric Schmidt to provide developing countries with free Internet access, Yahoo News reports. The 40-year-old singer became inspired to make the request after hearing President Obama recently met with big wig Internet entrepreneurs, such as Schmidt, Apple CEO Steve Jobs, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.
The money will be spread out across 66 new broadband projects affecting all 50 states. Obama administration officials estimate that some 5,000 jobs will either be created or saved as a direct result of the funding and projects.
According to Gary Locke, secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce, the grants and loans are primarily intended "to put Americans back to work immediately, managing projects, digging the trenches, laying fiber-optic cable, and stringing up those utility poles."
Included in the funding will be over $200 million in private investments.
It’s been a long seven months since the White House released a cyber security review, and an even longer ten months since President Barack Obama declared cyber security a priority, so it’s about time the White House has gotten around to naming Howard A. Schmidt as the nation’s new cyber security coordinator.
Schmidt, who The Atlantic refers to as a “veteran cyber security warrior”, has wide ranging experience in cyber security, including stints as chief of cyber security for Microsoft (no snickering, if you please), and eBay. He’s also worked with local and federal government agencies, including time with the FBI, and was vice chairman of President George Bush’s Critical Infrastructure Protection Board.
At at townhall style session with Chinese students in Shanghai, President Obama spoke up for an uncensored Internet. “I am a big believer in technology and I’m a big believer in openness when it comes to the flow of information,” the President said in response to a student’s question, following up with “I think that the more freely information flows, the stronger the society becomes, because then citizens of countries around the world can hold their own governments accountable. They can begin to think for themselves. That generates new ideas. It encourages creativity.”
Mr. Obama was treading carefully, given the Chinese government’s careful control of Internet content, derisively referred to as “the great firewall.” During the days surrounding the 20th anniversary of Tiananmen Square, for example, the Chinese government blocked access to popular Web sites, such as Hotmail, Flickr and Twitter. (YouTube has been blocked since March.)
The President added: “I’ve always been a strong supporter of open Internet use. I’m a big supporter of non-censorship. This is part of the tradition of the United States that I discussed before, and I recognize that different countries have different traditions. I can tell you that in the United States, the fact that we have free Internet — or unrestricted Internet access is a source of strength, and I think should be encouraged.”
Want to make a lasting impression at the next Junior Republican Convention? Just tell everyone you have the President in your pocket, and you don't even have to fib about it thanks to Active Media, makers of the WWF Penguin and Panda USB drives. The USB manufacturer today adds the 8GB Obama USB drive to its growing lineup of unique flash media.
"The drive is loaded with content to explore. We've more than doubled the bonus content compared to our original Obama drive," noted Jerry Thomson, vice president of marketing at Active Media Products. "This historically important product is offered at a time when the country celebrates its 233 year birthday."
More specifically, the 8GB USB drives comes pre-loaded with 80MB of material ranging from high resolution phots of President Obama and the First Lady, to over two hours of speeches in MP3 format. Also included are several speeches in PDF form.
Both the original 2GB and newer 8GB capacities are available now for $10 and $30, respectively.
Depending on where you check your stats, the US ranks anywhere from 15th to 22nd in broadband speeds, falling way behind other countries such as Iceland, Denmark, and even Canada. The broadband problem in the US gets even worse as you move out further into the rural areas where some communities have the choice of dial up, or if they have a ton of money to burn, super high latency satellite. This is a problem that won’t be solved overnight, but a new bill proposed in Congress last week by Democratic Representative Anna Eshoo, might just be the long term solution everyone is looking for.
The new bill would force governments to build fiber conduit into the sides of all new road projects allowing high-speed connections to flow naturally throughout the country. The costs are expected to be relatively low, since the bulk of the cost associated with laying new fiber is digging up and burying the cables.
Eshoo is the representative pushing the proposal forward in Congress, but doesn’t deserve full credit for the idea. The concept was initially proposed last year in the New America Foundation’s playbook, a guide published by Ben Lennett and Sascha Meinrath who were advisors to the Obama campaign on tech issues. The cost of the fiber optic cables will still be paid by private companies, but it will make for a much more compelling return on investment for fiber deployments in the future.
With all the new roads the Obama administration is proposing to stimulate the economy, this certainly seems like an idea they should implement sooner, rather than later. What do you think?
Now that we’ve got Barack Obama in the White House, correct oath or not, the planned $6 billion stimulus package should finally be on its way. But, according to a recent study, most Americans that don’t already have broadband simply don’t want it.
Many Americans don’t see broadband as the saving grace that those that have it do. For example, 19 percent of dial-up users said that nothing would get them to upgrade, not even lowered prices. Of the 25 percent that don’t regularly use the Internet at all (too busy watching mid-day reruns of MacGyver), one third stated that they’re not even interested in going online, whereas an additional 10 percent claimed that they thought it was too difficult.
While many of these statements may hold water today, one can only hope to see what this planned broadband stimulus will bring to the table. Perhaps a healthy dose of cheap, fast broadband is just what the doctor ordered? Plus, it’s difficult to think about all of the modems still making that wretched screech after all these years.