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#469 Nite Ize Handleband, Kingston MobileLite, Instruments from Xcode, Tom Merritt on Net Neutrality and the FCC

My debut in Screencasts Online Monthly Magazine as a screencaster (only $4.99 for the issue!) Nite Ize Handleband iPhone Holder for your Bicycle. I’ve decided to give away a six month subscription to Cloak from getcloak.com – listen to the show to find out how to enter to win (or read on). George from Tulsa answered Sandy’s question in our Google Plus Community about how to back up her iOS devices (and others) with the Kingston MobileLite . My iPhone battery woes turn into a great discovery of the application Instruments to run Activity Monitor on your iPhone from your Mac – and of course a tutorial on how to set it up! In Chit Chat Across the Pond, Tom Merritt of the Daily Tech News Show at dailytechnewsshow.com joins us to help me understand the Aereo Supreme Court Case, and the kerfuffle over Net Neutrality and the FCC.


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Hi this is Allison Sheridan of the NosillaCast Mac Podcast, hosted at Podfeet.com, a technology geek podcast with an EVER so slight Macintosh bias. Today is Sunday May 4, 2014 and this is show number 469. Last week I think I remembered to tell you that I got to do my first guest screencast for Don’s great show Screencasts Online. I surmised that the video would be in the next issue of the Screencasts Online Monthly Magazine and it turns out it is! This is a great way for you to get your feet wet with Don’s show, and to read some great articles by Mac notables like Katie Floyd, David Sparks, Wally Cherwinski and more. I put a link in the shownotes to the app, and when you get it downloaded, you can buy the latest issue for $4.99. Go check it out, I’m pretty darned proud of my debut in screencasting!

On this week’s Chit Chat Across the Pond I convinced Tom Merritt of the Daily Tech News Show to come on and explain a couple of things to me, one of which is the big kerfuffle going on with the recent FCC ruling in the US about net neutrality. I realized after we recorded that we never technically explained why you might care about any of this. I’d like to set that up right now so that when you get to Chit Chat Across the Pond you’ll understand a little bit better.

Net neutrality means that traffic isn’t prioritized based on how much money someone spends. People who create content care about this a lot because if you’re not already a big player, it’s very hard to become a big player if the big boys are paying to have faster speeds on the Internet. Now why do you care? You might care because you want to see the Internet continue to spawn cool, crazy new ideas that may or may not turn into something you can’t live without. It’s hard to project forward what we’d be missing because we don’t know what innovation is around the corner but we can visualize it by looking at a possible scenario in the past. Imagine if Youtube were a big player with lots of money because they were owned by Google, but Netflix had yet to establish itself as a video giant. If Google had the money to pay Internet service providers to deliver its content for a really good user experience, but fledgling startup Netflix would deliver video that was stuttering and buffering? Would Neflix have grown in popularity so that eventually they could bring us amazing original content like House of Cards?

We can even look at podcasting. Sure Leo Laporte has the biggest podcasting network with the most listeners and viewers, but if we don’t have net neutrality, there’s no way he could compete with the big video players to bring us his videos in such high quality if he had to pay extra to be in a digital fast lane. There’s someone else just around the corner we don’t know about who is hatching the next big thing, and without an open and neutral Internet, we won’t ever find out what it is. Ok, that’s why you might care, now that I’ve set it up with that tease, we’ll go to our regularly scheduled programming and come back to Tom in Chit Chat Across the Pond.

Give Away Cloak

A few shows back I was raving about how great the VPN service Cloak is. We did an interview with them at Macworld and I’ve been using it on my iPhone, iPad and Mac on the free 30 day trial and I love it. I walk into Starbucks and when I join the wifi networks, boom, I’m instantly on VPN because Cloak doesn’t have that network in its white list. I’ve told you this before, but there’s a reason I’m telling you now. At Macworld in my press kit I was given six months of free Cloak service, but I’ve decided not to use it myself, I’m going to give it away and pay for Cloak myself. It’s only $4/month so it’s not a huge deal but I figure I can say for sure that it’s worth every penny if I do this, right? Now don’t expect me to do it every time I get something free, but I’m really excited about this service helping to protect you guys so I want to prove a point.

Now…how do you get your name into the hat? Let’s make it a little bit tricky to remember just as a test of your resolve. Send me an email with the title Cloak Me! and I’ll wait one week after this show goes live to pick a winner. So send your email by Saturday, May 10th and I’ll pick the winner on Sunday. Please don’t enter just because you like to win free stuff, but do enter if you care about securing your online communications when away from home and mooching off of free wifi!

Clarify

You heard me mention just now that I created a tutorial for you on how to set up Instruments, and you may be thinking that I spent hours and hours doing that. But I didn’t. While I was messing around figuring it out, I simply launched Clarify from clarify-it.com and started taking screenshots. It didn’t matter if I got it right the first time, because it’s easy to rearrange the steps later when I get it figured out. After I had the whole thing figured out, we happened to hit the road for a long drive. I then went back into Clarify and wrote witty narrative for each step, added some annotations to point at the interesting things to click on the screens, put in some sequence steps, and then posted it right from Clarify to podfeet.com. It was so easy. You can test out the new beta of Clarify 2 over at the link in the shownotes for Mac or PC and see how awesome it is yourself! If you buy now, you’ll get a free upgrade to Clarify 2 when it gets released, and it looks like it will be released really soon! Check it out, amaze your friends and family!

Chit Chat Across the Pond

Tom Merritt of the Daily Tech News Show at dailytechnewsshow.com joins us to help me understand two important topics.

Aereo

https://www.aereo.com

  • Basically they have a bunch of tiny antennas (not antennae btw) and you rent one
  • So you get over the air TV
  • Aereo is going to the Supreme court to defend their right to do this workaround
  • Les Moonves of CBS (?) says he’ll pull content from over the air TV if Aereo wins
  • My question is:
  • How do the broadcasters lose money if I get the content in the identical form that I would get it if I had my own antenna at my house? Don’t I still see the commercials?

FCC – net neutrality

One of my pet peeves in the news in general is something big happens but I miss the importance up front so I’m lost for the next two years. Your job is to fix that for all of us!

  • Open Internet ruling a couple of years ago
  • Genekowski was really on our side?
  • Verizon sued – illegal because ISPs aren’t common carriers
    • So what’s a common carrier?
  • New Ruling
    • “commercially reasonable” – what’s that mean?
    • Wheeler – former head of something to do with the cable companies?
  • Title 2 Title 3 what?
  • Verizon/Netflix deal
    • Netflix is paying Verizon (and paid Comcast) to put servers at their sites, so isn’t that non-net neutrality right there?
    • If Netflix was on clogged tubes, and their new deal with Verizon fixes that, doesn’t that mean the tubes are less flogged for other video services…like podcasters?
  • Are there actions a concerned citizen could take right now?
  • Other stuff you’d like to plug?

    Sword & Laser Anthology http://swordandlaser.com/store

    Fantasy Sports League Kickstarter http://fsltonight.com

    That’s going to wind this up for this week, many thanks to our sponsor for helping to pay the bills, Blue Mango Learning at bluemangolearning.com makers of Clarify. Don’t forget to send in your Dumb Questions, comments and suggestions by emailing me at allison@podfeet.com, follow me on twitter and app.net @podfeet. Check out the NosillaCast Google Plus Community too – lots of fun over there! If you want to join in the fun of the live show, head on over to podfeet.com/live on Sunday nights at 5pm Pacific Time and join the friendly and enthusiastic NosillaCastaways. Thanks for listening, and stay subscribed.

    5 comments to #469 Nite Ize Handleband, Kingston MobileLite, Instruments from Xcode, Tom Merritt on Net Neutrality and the FCC

    • Allister

      Maybe I misinterpreted, but you sounded a little disbelieving(?) when Tom described the British local loop unbundling.

      We’ve had exactly the same thing happen here in New Zealand. Telecom NZ was the “incumbent” much like AT&T or British Telecom (BT). The NZ government stipulated unbundling because Telecom NZ owned almost all of the copper in the entire country – their only competitor for fixed line was a small cable operator that only had parts of 2 cities covered (not including our largest, Auckland) and showed no sign of ever expanding. Unbundling was critical to providing healthy competition.

      Recently, the government has made available a large amount of money (NZD$1.35b) to roll out fibre across the more populous parts of the country. Telecom NZ, with its massive customer base and all that aged copper, wanted a big slice of that. But the government (rightly I think) said NO. So Telecom NZ split itself in two (the ultimate unbundling!) The new company, Chorus, gained ownership of the entire copper network (previously owned by Telecom NZ) and also got allocated 70% of the fibre rollout along with the government funding to aid in that.

      Telecom NZ is now just one of many retail providers of fixed line services over Chorus (or others in the 30%) fibre or Chorus copper. So now we have two tiers of companies providing fixed line services. Chorus and contemporaries provide the pipes while Telecom NZ and the others pay for those pipes and provide ISP and phone services over them for their margin. The government are also stipulating a “fair price” for Chorus (and friends) to charge the 2nd tier companies for the pipes. Of course there is constant argument over what constitutes “fair” (and for whom), but the basic principle is that consumers not get screwed by a greedy 1st tier provider.

      What has this actually achieved? As recently as 18 months ago, the best service I could get at my house was ADSL2+. A theoretical maximum of 24Mbit down and 1Mbit up. 3 years ago, this had to travel from my local exchange and I got an actual 7Mbit down. Chorus then “cabinetised” this area (and many more) meaning my “exchange” was now a cabinet on the side of a road only 678 line metres away and my speed increased to 12Mbit. Late in 2012, the cabinet was enabled for VDSL with theoretical maximums of 52 and 16Mbit (down and up). I March 2013 my ISP began offering a VDSL product and I now have 25 down and 9 up in real terms (measured, sustained throughput). By the end of next month, the Chorus fibre laid earlier in the year in my area will be ‘switched on’ and I will have access to either a 30/10 or 100/30 service on that. And I can choose to purchase that service from a plethora of retail service providers who will all try to differentiate themselves on price, toll minutes or zero rating, data caps and other value add services.

      In short, I think this approach is working! From 7/1 to 100/30 in a few years is not to be sneezed at. Primarily based on fibre rollout, but also with a “Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI),” which uses latest generation mobile tech, the government goal is to have high speed broadband available to 97.8% of NZers. They claim we will reach 75% by 2020 and are prioritising schools and healthcare, which should be at 100% by the end of 2015.

      Mobile is different, in that there are two major networks across the country, plus a third in major cities (which partners with one of the big two outside those cities). Telecom NZ happens to wholly own one of those networks, but as there is a viable competing network, no unbundling of that is on the cards.

    • Allison, regarding your iPhone battery poor performance:
      Before completely going the clean install route here’s something you may not have tried yet.

      Close every single app. (The swipe up on the small cards thing)
      Press and hold Home button plus Sleep/wake button ten seconds or so until the Apple logo appears, the phone is rebooting.
      Go to Settings>General>Reset and reset network settings.

      I’m always downloading new apps. I find that once in a while one is just not stable or is buggy and causes battery drain for whatever reason and this procedure has always worked. You may not even need to reset network settings.

    • I didn’t disbelieve him at all, Allister. That was the sound of amazement. You have some good data on how competition has benefited you. I wonder how it’s working for people who don’t live in a major city. I know there’s the rural effort but has it made progress yet?

    • Ooh – Bob – that sounds easier than everything else they offered. I’ll give it a try!

    • Allister

      I just heard you mention this on the Daily Tech News Show. Great show. :-)

      Regarding the rural effort, I’ve heard of successes and complaints, but then I expect any system will have its problems. The rural service promises “a minimum” of 5Mbits which doesn’t sound a lot, but when you’re out in the sticks on copper, you’re pretty much limited to dial-up currently, as no form of DSL will make it far enough down the line, so it is a big boost. Also consider that as at our 2001 census, 86% of the population live in urban areas and I imagine that figure has only grown since then.

      There are also mumblings on the fixed line side. Some people have issues with property access on long rights of way and I know someone who lives in a city apartment where the landlord can’t be bothered sorting out an agreement to get fibre into the building. A friend of mine moved house recently and fortunately he’s only renting temporarily because he was rather disappointed to find out that the fibre rollout stopped at his neighbour’s house! It’ll be expanded there by 2020, no doubt, but the biggest push (in our wider area at least) has been up to the end of this year. He’ll have the last laugh, though, because he’s building a new house that not only has fibre to the premises but will also be pre-wired with Cat-6.

      On a final and slightly humorous note, giving rural users a high quality 3G or 4G (using our newly freed up 700MHz spectrum) cellular signal offers one other significant advantage.

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