Google Should Take Its Broadband to Failing Cities, Not Happy Ones

Wouldn't it be great if Google installed its gigabit broadband network in cities that could really use the help?

Instead of holding a beauty pageant, in which cities such as Topeka and Duluth, can nominate themselves and find novel ways to get the company's attention, perhaps Google should do its own research and choose cities that would most benefit from a bandwidth boost.

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DHS Crowdsources Ideas for Cybersecurity Campaign

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is looking to Internet users for new ways of getting its cybersecurity message out, and before you ask, the agency says that the method chosen "may under no circumstance create spam."

To crowdsource its public education needs, DHS is holding a competition, called the National Cybersecurity Awareness Campaign Challenge, which ends April 30. The agency wants submissions, in Word format, of proposals for how it can "clearly and comprehensively discuss cybersecurity with the American public."

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Dept of Homeland Security Crowdsources Cybersecurity

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is looking to Internet users for new ways of getting its cybersecurity message out. And before you ask, the agency says that the method chosen "may under no circumstance create spam."

To crowdsource its public education needs, DHS is holding a competition, called the National Cybersecurity Awareness Campaign Challenge, which ends April 30. The agency wants submissions, in Word format, of proposals for how it can "clearly and comprehensively discuss cybersecurity with the American public."

Businesses and individuals may enter the competition, which might be a good way for a PR firm, writer, or security consultant to become better known.

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Google Broadband: Topeka May Be Sorry

With cities going gaga to get Google's gigabit broadband, maybe more attention needs to be paid to the other end of the deal: What happens when Google leaves?

Sure, Topeka may be willing to rename itself Google, Kansas, for a month to get the company's attention and maybe even the broadband installation. But what happens at the end of what Google describes as an experiment? And for how long is Google willing to promise to operate and invest in the system?

Is Topeka, or any other city that nominates itself and is "lucky" enough to win Google's approval, ready to operate the network itself--and probably at a big loss--should Google retreat back to the Googleplex?

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Why Apple's Really Suing HTC

Apple's lawsuit against Nexus One maker HTC and its ongoing legal battles with Nokia and Kodak suggest a universal truth: that lawyers start where innovation stops. Maybe smartphone innovation has slowed so much that Apple now finds it easier to play defense than to invent cool new iPhone technology.

HTC Nexus One
The case demonstrates the extent to which former BFFs Apple and Google are now at each other's throats, with smartphone manufacturer HTC caught in the middle. Or maybe Steve Jobs merely woke up in a nasty mood and called his lawyers.

My take is that the lawsuit is an attempt to spread FUD--fear, uncertainty, and doubt--across the Android world. While it names HTC, the suit really targets Google, which is not named in the legal filings.

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FCC Broadband Plan Likely to Meet Financial Resistance

It won't be released for two weeks, but the FCC's national broadband plan is already drawing critics, who say it is overly broad and unworkable. The plan, a child of FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, calls for as much as $25 billion in spending, money Congress isn't likely to part with easily or all at once.

Businesses should watch the plan carefully as, to whatever extent it becomes law, it is likely to have a huge impact on how they communicate. Rural broadband, for example, could extend business-class Internet access to many places that lack it today, while changes in available frequencies will definitely impact wireless services, availability, and pricing.

Genachowski will need to make a very strong and ongoing case for the positive long-term economic impact of his proposals if they are to gain any traction with the public and lawmakers.

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