The Onlive cloud-based game streaming service hasn't even launched in the US yet, but plans are already being laid for a European version of the service. British Telecom has committed to taking a 2.6 percent stake in the Onlive product. In return, British Telecom will receive exclusive rights to bundle the gaming service with its broadband internet packages. Onlive will also be available as a separate purchase to users of other telecoms.
Onlive probises to deliver high quality 3D gaming to various devices with weaker hardware. This could included inexpensive laptops, mobile phones, or even TVs. A Beta test has been underway in the US, and a final release is supposed to happen next month. It's unclear if Onlive will be striking any special deals with US ISPs.
Onlive has been trying to gain a foothold in Europe since 2009, and has even gone so far as to set up data centers to test the service. Tests have been run in several countries with the aim of having different data presences in each country because of regulatory concerns. Resolution may not be what PC gamers are used to, but it might find its audience. Would you subscribe to Onlive?
Say what you want about bandwidth caps, metered Internet service, and other ISP woes - when all is said and done, the broadband business is thriving, and it will continue to do so, suggests ABI Research practice director Jason Blackwell. According to Blackewell, global fixed broadband service revenue will top $210 billion in 2014.
Broadband revenue has been steadily climbing. After reaching $145 billion in 2008, fixed broadband service pulled in $164 billion in 2009, a pretty big jump considering we're dealing with billions of dollars.
What's interesting to note is that broadband revenue continued to show significant growth, even as the economy came to a screeching halt. Part of the reason is because of the popularity of services like IPTV and online gaming.
The biggest benefactor is still DSL, which claims the lion's share of the market. DSL broadband service revenue claimed nearly $100 billion in 2009 all on its own, though ABI expects that to only grow to $103 billion in 2014.
Fiber broadband revenue, on the other hand, is showing tremendous growth. ABI Research reckons fiber broadband will pull in $24.4 billion in revenue by the end of the year.
Google owns a lot of network infrastructure around the country, and now it looks like they plan to put some of it to work. On the Google blog today, the Mountain View company announced that they plan to offer “experimental” high-speed internet service in select markets. When you hear how fast, you’ll want to be in one of those markets. Google says the new service will offer speeds of around 1 gigabit per second. Just let that sink in. As for price, Google would say only that it would be “competitive”.
The search giant claims only benevolent motives in this course of action. “Our goal is to experiment with new ways to help make Internet access better and faster for everyone,” Google said in the post. Google points specifically to what developers might do with nearly unlimited bandwidth as something they will watch. They also hope to gain experience in running large fiber networks. Google also promises to manage the network in open and non-discriminatory ways. Clearly, Google plans to use this opportunity to showcase how net neutrality should work.
Communities interested in being part of this grand experiment have until March 26th to submit a request for information. Google says they plan to offer the fiber service to at 50,000-500,000 individuals. Both local governments and individuals are able to nominate a community. So maybe go have a chat with your mayor after you submit your own request. How does Google provided broadband make you feel, excited or paranoid?
The FCC has formally issued their draft net neutrality rules, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is calling foul. The document contains language covering so-called “reasonable network management”. According to the EFF, this creates a loophole that would allow ISPs to block BitTorrent.
The net neutrality debate really took off when in 2007, Comcast began blocking BitTorrent connections. Eventually the FCC forced them to stop, but Comcast is still appealing the decision. This copyright loophole in the draft could be used by content producers to encourage ISPs to enforce copyright law. In fact, the EFF claims the exact behavior that got Comcast in hot water, and kicked off the debate could be perfectly acceptable under the proposed regulations.
It may not be feasible for the FCC to be intimately involved in every aspect of an ISP’s network management. What’s the solution? Can they just require protocol agnostic management?
Maybe Verizon spokesperson Bobbi Henson thought she was being reassuring, but her recent statement to CNET actually reads like more of a veiled threat. When asked about Verizon’s ongoing handling of illegal file sharing Henson said, “We've cut some people off. We do reserve the right to discontinue service. But we don't throttle bandwidth like Comcast was doing. Verizon does not have bandwidth caps.” Well, as long as they’re not throttling, right?
Verizon seems to have confirmed that multiple warnings for illegal file sharing could result in suspension of service. This policy is very similar to the one heavily favored by the recording industry. The RIAA originally announced their intention to work with ISPs in late 2008. The partnerships seemed not to have materialized, but this may be proof that Verizon has quietly fallen in line with the RIAA.
According to Verizon, the system works much as you’d expect. Content owners troll the p2p networks capturing IP addresses. They forward those along, and Verizon sends out infringement letters. No information was given to indicate how many infringement notices a customer will receive before being cut off. They did not give any information about what a customer can do if they feel they received a notice in error. Verizon claimed repeat offenses were rare, but are they just creating craftier, harder to catch file sharers?
Remember when Comcast was sanctioned by the FCC for throttling BitTorrent? Well, they’re still in court trying to get that overturned, but at the same time they’re making some noise about the whole issue of Net Neutrality. On the face of it, their position sounds downright reasonable. Comcast is pushing for “clear rules” for Net Neutrality from the FCC.
The internet giant is apparently worried that the all but inevitable regulations pushed by FCC Chair Genachowski could end up being overly broad and confusing. Comcast says that they were completely surprised that fiddling with users’ BitTorrent connections and lying about it would be frowned upon. They just want to avoid that sort of embarrassing incident in the future.
Comcast also spoke disapprovingly of the tone of debate saying, “It’s truly sad that the debate around “net neutrality,” or the need to regulate to “preserve an open Internet,” has been filled with so much rhetoric, vituperation, and confusion.” There seems to be a bit of a disconnect here, considering a lot of that rhetoric comes from the ISPs. It could be that Comcast is just trying to save face as it becomes clear Net Neutrality will move forward.
The Canadians, it seems, were miffed by The Yes Men’s parody (or hoax, according to the Canadian government), because it denigrated Canada’s “deplorable climate policy”. The website, contrary to current Canadian policy, was promising strict action on regulating carbon emissions. Mark Landreville, of Environment Canada, in an email to Serverloft, wrote: “We trust you appreciate the importance of avoiding confusion among the public concerning Canadian governmental affairs and that you will assist us in preventing this hoax from spreading further,” asked the offending sites be taken down, and that no others of the ilk be allowed. Serverloft, with nothing more official than the email, complied with the request, and in the process dumped, without notice, an additional 4500 websites unrelated to the parody.
The Yes Men were quick to respond, lamenting the action taken by the Canadian government, blasting its ready suppression of free speech, and wondering if the Canadian government “could instead figure out reasonable ways of responding to their growing legion of critics,” rather than shutting them down.
I'm sure many readers of Maximum PC--this one included--have jumped onboard the Google DNS ship, lured either by promises of increased speed versus one's own DNS server or a simple fascination at anything Google does. Fair, at least with the latter. Because it would be erroneous to just switch over to an alternate DNS server without any kind of assessment that what you're doing is actually the best-case scenario for your home or office setup.
That said, it's important to first give props to Google for delivering a DNS service that appears to be free of any kind of takeovers or unexpected redirects. Just try hand-pounding your keyboard after clicking on your browser's address board, then hit enter. If the resulting "fasdfljsajdf.com" isn't actually a Web site, you'll notice how... nothing happens, save for the standard "what are you doing?" error page (depending on your browser of choice). That's a bit different than OpenDNS, which routes you over to one of its own landing pages--oddly, a rebranded version of Yahoo! search--that's stacked with advertising related to whatever it is you mistyped. Weak.
Redirects aside, it's important to know exactly what you're getting into when you start fussing around with going a step beyond your ISP's default DNS servers. Like a tangible product review, you should really assess what you're gaining and losing through the use of either OpenDNS or Google DNS from both a performance and features standpoint.
After the jump, I'll share my own personal results with using both Google DNS and OpenDNS, and show you exactly how you can figure out the best-case scenario for your own browsing needs!
Remember when Juliet told Romeo that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet? We suppose the opposite must also be true, and America Online, whether abbreviated AOL or Aol, is still, after all, America Online.
The ISP on Sunday previewed its new brand identity, which it describes as a simple, confident logotype. The full identity won't be fully unveiled until December 10, when AOL common stock begins trading on the NYSE.
"Our new identity is uniquely dynamic," said Tim Armstrong, CEO of Aol. "Our business is focused on creating world-class experiences for consumers and AOL is centered on creative and talented people -- employees, partners, and advertisers. We have a clear strategy that we are passionate about and we plan on standing behind the AOL brand we take the company into the next decade."
Judging by the all-caps used throughout the press release, the new Aol branding looks to apply only to the company's "ever changing" logos, which were developed by branding outfit Wolff Olins.
Have you heard? Comcast is raking in cash like no one’s business. The internet service provider reported today that their net earnings for the third quarter amounted to $944 million. That is a 22% increase year over year. Some of this comes from cost cutting, but Comcast has seen substantial subscriber increases as well.
Comcast saw a 2.7% decrease in the number of TV subscribers, but that was offset by large increases in internet and phone service. Overall internet subscribers grew 6.4% to 15.6 million, while voice accounts grew a staggering 20% to 7.3 million. Overall, Comcast’s customer base grew 3.4% to 46.8 million.
With these strong numbers, Comcast seems more able than ever to proceed with plans to acquire a stake in NBC. No new announcements have been made, but reports suggest that the ISP wants to move into the media space with a controlling interest in GE-owned NBC-Universal.