Vodafone-TelstraClear deal cleared

Commerce Commission chairman Dr Mark Berry said in a statement, “In reaching its decision, the Commission considered that the merged entity would continue to face competition from Telecom, as well as Orcon, Slingshot and other smaller businesses in providing fixed line voice and broadband services to residential and small business customers”.

“The Commission did not find any significant business overlap between Vodafone and TelstraClear in the provision of either mobile phone services or fixed line services to large businesses.

The path to approval was cleared by Vodafone not seeking to acquire all of TelstraClear’s spectrum, which falls in the 4G-friendly 1800MHz and 2100MHz bands.

Ah, so not all spectrum obtained in the deal.

Jailbreaking now legal under DMCA for smartphones, but not tablets

No more unlocking

In 2006 and 2010, the Librarian of Congress had permitted users to unlock their phones to take them to a new carrier. Now that’s coming to an end. While the new rules do contain a provision allowing phone unlocking, it comes with a crippling caveat: the phone must have been “originally acquired from the operator of a wireless telecommunications network or retailer no later than ninety days after the effective date of this exemption.”

In other words, phones you already have, as well as those purchased between now and next January, can be unlocked. But phones purchased after January 2013 can only be unlocked with the carrier’s permission.

The reasons for the distinction include that none can be made about what is a tablet.

Former RIAA Lobbyist Firm Hired as Independent Technical Expert to Review ‘Six Strikes’ System | GamePolitics

CCI???s choice of a former RIAA lobbying firm makes it clear that the copyright owner parties to the Memorandum of Understanding were more interested in appointing someone they trust than in appointing someone the public can trust,

Lobbyist firm, “independent and impartial technical expert.”

Thin walls and traffic cameras

In the timeline of human history, privacy is relatively recent. It may even be that privacy was an anomaly, that our social natures rely on leakage to thrive, and that we’re nearing the end of a transient time where the walls between us gave us the illusion of secrecy.

But now that technology is tearing down those walls, we need checks and balances to ensure that we don’t let predictions become prejudices. Even when those predictions are based in fact, we must build both context and mercy into the data-driven decisions that govern our quantified future.

David Weinberger: “Leeway is the only way we manage to live together: We ignore what isn’t our business. We cut one another some slack. We forgive one another when we transgress. By bending the rules we’re not violating fairness. The equal and blind application of rules is a bureaucracy’s idea of fairness. Judiciously granting leeway is what fairness is all about. Fairness comes in dealing with the exceptions. [–––] Matters are different in the digital world. Bits are all edges. Nothing is continuous. Everything is precise. Bits are uniform so no exceptions are required, no leeway is permitted. Which brings us to “digital rights management” […]” (Via Ed Felten.)

A very rational take on the fact that, prediction is not an invasion of privacy. And not necessarily a bad thing. That perhaps our “privacy” was a transient anomaly on the path to big data.

It doesn’t spare us though from the need to provide human slack in all things.