Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Archive for January 29th, 2018

A National 5G?

leave a comment »

The other major IT news looming over this Monday morning centers around a Power Point presentation and memo – both produced by a senior National Security Council official – which were presented recently to senior officials at other agencies in the Trump Administration.

According to a report from Axios, the documents indicate America needs a centralized, nationwide 5G Network within three years, and lays out two options for how such a network would be built and paid for.

One, the US government would pay for and build the single network.

Two, an alternative plan would have wireless providers build their own 5G networks. But Axios goes on to point out that a source familiar with the document drafting says option 2 is really no option at all, because a single centralized network is what’s required to protect America against China and other bad actors .

The Wall Street Journal’s reporting of this story leads by writing that “the threat from China, in particular, justifies a ‘moonshot’ government  effort like the construction of the interstate highway system.”

What happened to a laissez faire, hands-off Republican approach (a la the FCC’s rescinding of the so-called “Net Neutrality” rules?

The answer: National security, natch.

But it may not be that easy for Uncle Sam to do the build:

The problem, according to people working on the White House’s 5G plan, is that the U.S. is almost uniquely ill-suited to build such a national network due to several factors, including an effective oligopoly among telecommunications and cable companies, tight regulations and the lack of indigenous manufacturers. Meanwhile, China is progressing swiftly with its development of 5G, and whoever ends up deploying the technology more quickly will gain a significant competitive advantage, these people say, because 5G is expected to provide the underlying architecture of the global information economy. A national network is a prerequisite for self-driving cars, automated farming and other technologies.
– via WSJ

And yet…

Some in the White House have concluded that the only path forward for the U.S. is to build a single network because multiple networks wouldn’t have enough bandwidth. The current debate is focused on whether the government should build the network or if a private consortium of companies should get together to build it, according to people familiar with the discussions. The plans being discussed at the White House are only focused on midband 5G technology—officials always planned to leave private- industry players to build their own low- and high-band 5G, which is where most of the margins are, these people said. Officials had been planning soon to begin formal outreach to industry players to gauge their interest.
– via WSJ

We may be in uncharted bandwidth here…

Written by turbotodd

January 29, 2018 at 10:42 am

Big Joggers, Deadly Data

leave a comment »

Happy Monday.

If you’re looking for a Grammy’s update, didn’t watch them this year, can’t tell you anything.

What I can tell you about was the big New York Times expose over the weekend about the rise and rise of automated Twitter bots, and the pay-to-play marketplace that has risen up around them, particularly by celebrities, YouTube stars, and other luminaries looking to raise their online profiles.

Kind of reminded me back in dot com bubble when Media Metrix numbers were used to support the insane valuations of emerging Internet companies.

More interesting to me is a report by The Guardian about how sensitive information about the location and staffing of U.S. military bases and outposts around the world have been revealed by a fitness tracking company.

Remember when the U.S. military cracked down on the kinds of things soldiers could post on social media?

Get ready for the great fitness data crackdown.

Here’s how The Guardian told it:

Sensitive information about the location and staffing of military bases and spy outposts around the world has been revealed by a fitness tracking company. The details were released by Strava in a data visualisation map that shows all the activity tracked by users of its app, which allows people to record their exercise and share it with others. Strava suggests military users ‘opt out’ of heatmap as row deepens Read more The map, released in November 2017, shows every single activity ever uploaded to Strava – more than 3 trillion individual GPS data points, according to the company. The app can be used on various devices including smartphones and fitness trackers like Fitbit to see popular running routes in major cities, or spot individuals in more remote areas who have unusual exercise patterns. However, over the weekend military analysts noticed that the map is also detailed enough that it potentially gives away extremely sensitive information about a subset of Strava users: military personnel on active service.
– via the Guardian

To bring it closer to home, “If soldiers use the app like normal people do, by turning on tracking when they go to do exercise, it could be especially dangerous…because it “looks a lot like a regular jogging route.”

Soldiers, vary your jogging routes and stop being so predictable…that’s an order! Better yet, leave that Fitbit in your locker.

Finally on this glorious Monday, if you’re interested in the emerging area of quantum computing (including the headwinds), check out this piece from Quanta Magazine, “The Era of Quantum Computing is here. Outlook: Cloudy.”

Written by turbotodd

January 29, 2018 at 10:17 am

Posted in 2018, quantum computing

%d bloggers like this: