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John St. Julien
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126 followers
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Freedom to Connect (AKA F2C) began today and even if you weren't able to attend you can get the day's video. Heck you can even watch the thing live. (And participate in the chat for 25 bucks—a heck of a lot cheaper than flying to Washington.

 Lafayette folks: Huval presented today. Worth the listen.

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Those two dots under the "X" —John and Layne. :-)

http://bmander.com/dotmap/index.html#8.00/30.222/-92.023
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Wowsers: this map has a dot for every person in north america! Population density at every scale in a single map. 

Someone developed it just to see if they could. And then released the product and the code for others to use. (http://bmander.com/dotmap/methods.html)

<Blissfully living in an age of wonders all unawares.>

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Support Susan Crawford for FCC chair. Maybe because it is likely to "fail" as badly as Elizabeth Warren's did. :-) Or so I think... 

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Crawford would make a great FCC chair. By which I mean she'd actually do the job that an FCC chair is mandated to do. (it's been a long time since we actually had an FCC chair worthy of the position.)
A number of people who I happen to agree with believe that Susan Crawford would make a great next FCC chair. She'd certainly be more likely to initiate change than the previous guy... Here's an OpEd she published in the NYT yesterday. 

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Positive-Externality Resentment

Put that phrase into your explanatory tool kit. I think it will turn out to be extremely useful.

Cory Doctorow coins the phrase in a brilliant essay in the Gaurdian. Go read it and see for yourself how he applies the idea to explain a range of attempts to illegitimately extract money from the value that the users of a service create.

But beyond the way he usefully frames the issue it seems to me that the concept is the seed of even more useful ideas, for instance: it should guide folks that are trying to develop ways to "monetize" their online service. Attempts to clawback value that users create leads down a hole where everybody rejects your service or is willing to jump to the first provider that isn't so abusive. But if you develop a system that encourages the network effects and value creation of users you can create a virtuous circle that lock your users in and expands the network of value. For instance: Charging per phone call minimizes usage and kills some part of the value that could be gained by developing a "call without thinking" densely developed and intensely used phone network. Instead charge as low a fee as you can for unlimited service and your network will expand both in density and intensity of use. That drives down the per-use cost and increases the value of a service contract...and allows you to lower the fee for unlimited service. A virtuous circle. 

This will be, I think, a useful conceptual tool. Read it!

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Really cool...or at least only really hot for the first few minutes...how to dramatize engineering. :-) 
.An extraordinary challenge: landing Curiosity on Mars (in early August). Watch the video to see the challenges and pitfalls awaiting the rover as it approaches the Martian surface, slowing down via a heat shield, parachute, rockets and finally, the amazing sky crane maneuver. Next weekend, The Planetary Society will celebrate this milestone with Planetfest 2012 in Pasadena. I’ll be there Saturday, along with Bill Nye, Robert Zubrin, Louis B. Friedman, Robert Picardo and others. Join us!
http://www.planetary.org/get-involved/events/planetfest-2012/

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Worth supporting; copyright nonsense is the root of much evil. :-) 
Sign this White House petition to restore original copyright term (14 years plus 14-year renewal). If enough people sign, the administration has to at least respond. We all know that the response will be, "No way," but why not get yourself on the record anyway? I am. 

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Very worthwhile exposition of the reasons why the public internet can't (with any honesty) support Quality of Service and why service providers want to offer it anyway.

 —The practical solution? Oversupplying bandwidth at any choke point that appears. For most folks that's most often in their last mile connection. If you're on LUS Fiber it's going to be further out in the web or at the supplier endpoint. 
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