Monday, October 26, 2009

Funeral Webcasting is Alive and Well

The Internet is for people-to-people communication and this application is proof. Affordable broadband is the tie that binds us.

The folks at IEEE report "If webcasting a funeral seems a little, well, ghoulish to you, you’re not alone. The decade-old service has been a hard sell to most funeral directors until recently. But the advent of cheaper broadband, the financial strain of travel, and deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan have all contributed to increased use of the Web as a tool to connect loved ones during such times of need."

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Only You Can Prevent a Lousy National Broadband Plan

Check out this picture of telecom lobbying from Jan through June 2009 courtesy of DSL Reports.

The battle of the corporate lobbyists is already taking place in our nation’s capitol and, most assuredly, is twisting the discussion on a national broadband plan to fit individual corporate goals. If we have learned ANYTHING from the recent recession and taxpayer bailout, we should recognize that businesses do what is right for them (and isn’t it nice if it actually aligns with what is good for the public.) (In 2003, I worked on the Gigabit or Bust report that noted this very thing was a major bottleneck for a real broadband agenda in this country.)

The national broadband strategy MUST be aligned with the public interest. The U.S. cannot afford to continue to be a goofy, denial-based, lobby-controlled, broadband-famine county. We are a nation of innovators and small businesses. We absolutely must balance lobbyists and their employer's self-interests and focus on a big broadband as an innovation platform for the public. As Paul Budde says, “I think it all depends on good leadership and understanding the social and economic benefits, not just the shareholders value.”

Learning to Surf the Internet Gives Brain a Boost

HealthNews reports that a "new study shows older adults who learn to search for information online experience a surge of activity in key decision-making and reasoning centers of the brain. The results suggest Internet training and searching online could potentially enhance brain function and cognition in older adults. “We found that for older people with minimal experience, performing Internet searches for even a relatively short period of time can change brain activity patterns and enhance function,” Dr. Gary Small, a professor of psychiatry at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA, said in a news release. Previous research by the UCLA team found that searching online resulted in a more than twofold increase in brain activation in older adults with prior experience, compared with those with little Internet experience."