TMS #45 National Innovation Alliance

Peter Kay from Your Computer Minute and Derek Gabriel join me to talk about the Hawaii Innovation Alliance and during the show Peter launched the National Innovation Alliance. If you have a tech business or are in the tech field you are going to want to watch this episode. I hope that you will consider becoming active in one of the two groups.

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If You Live In or Visit Hawaii Your Rights are Being Threatened

  The Bill of Rights The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized”- 4th Amendment, Bill of Rights, U.S. Constitution

What would you say if your state decided that your ISP had to keep records of all the Web sites you went too? That they had to keep records of both Internet protocol address and domain names of all sites that you visited and they had to keep them for a minimum of two years. That is what is being proposed in the Hawaiian State Legislation under H.B. 2288, which states that Internet destination history information and the subscriber’s information, such as name and address must be saved for no less than two years. I know what some of you are saying I don’t care if the government knows what Web sites I visit I have nothing to hide, or if you aren’t doing anything wrong what’s the problem.

Do you currently belong to any political or social organization like the Tea Party  and do you visit supporting Web sites a lot.  How would you feel if the government started investigating the Tea Party and started looking for information on its members. Now how do you feel about the legislation. Let’s take this to the real world, what if the government required the local retail stores to keep a record of every book you bought, every magazine article you read, the talk radio you listen too, the clubs you joined, the people you associated with, now how do you feel. If you are like me you are saying to yourself that’s none of the government business, well this legislation does exactly that only in the virtual world.

Rep. John Mizuno of Oahu is a lead sponsor of the bill and a similar bill is being introduced in the Hawaii Senate. The bills are being introduced at the behest of Representative Kimberly Marcos Pine, who is in the middle of a dispute with a web designer Eric Ryan, who launched KymPineLsACrook.com and who says she owes him money. Her email was also hacked last summer, at the same time an article was written in the Hawaii Reporter about the dispute.  Because of these incidents Rep Pine has advocated tougher cyber laws. Those who support the legislation say that this type of law is necessary to “to protect people of Hawaii from these attacks and give prosecutors the tools to ensure justice is served for victims.” Unfortunately for the supporters of this bill, that is not how the law works in the United States, you can’t gather information on a large group of people in hopes that you may capture a few bad apples.

If the constitutionality of the bill is not enough there is also the question of what the Internet Provider can do with the information while they hold it. The bill says nothing about how the data should be stored or if it needs to be encrypted. There is no prohibition against the Internet Companies selling the information to anyone including advertiser or insurance agencies. So if you don’t care about the government having the information, how about your insurance company. The police aren’t even required to get a court order to view the information of anyone who uses a computer in Hawaii. This legislation would not only apply to Hawaiian residents but it would also apply to the 6 million tourist who visit the state each year. Which mean coffee shops, hotels, bookstore or anyone else with a public wi-fi would have sweeping requirements and cost put upon them.

We all want the bad guy to be caught and stopped, but not if it means giving up our rights and freedoms. Although SOPA and PIPA were stopped last week in the U.S. Congress, the fight over our rights and freedoms on the Internet is on going, it has simply moved to state legislation, we all need to remain vigilant.

GNC #690 Professional I think Not

Wow huge response to our Roku Contest congrats to Mason Mannie of Fargo ND… We have more ways to win, listen to tonight’s show.. It’s like the Keystone cops for about the first 5 minutes of the show. Watch me juggle about 10 things at once and you will at least have your laugh for the day! Lots of tech today… But best news of all is Shoko is back in Hawaii. Probably the reason I cannot think straight. :)

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DOCSIS 3.0 Road Runner in Hawaii?

Now that about a week has passed since we had our broadband scare here in Hawaii when a Fiber Cable between two islands was cut, it got me to thinking about all the things we are missing out in here in the land of Paradise.

We have no real competition to Road Runner, several ISP’s offer DSL but their is no high speed competition to Road Runner.
Verizon only has a Federal Business presence here, and does not to my knowledge have plans to offer FIOS here.
Clearwire is here with 4G, but its not much better than DSL for speed.

So the question I keep asking Oceanic Cable, the Time Warner / Road Runner affiliate is when do we get DOCSIS 3.0 and the long awaited upgrade in speed? I have been here in Hawaii now going on 14 years, and the cable service has only barely improved from the days when I first signed up for service. My understanding is that their is no plans to roll out DOCSIS 3.0 to the islands of Hawaii anytime soon while Time Warner in the lower 48 has been deploying it at a snails pace.

The potential answers to why they have been so slow in rolling out DOCSIS 3.0 is simple, no competition. There is no pressure from competitors to upgrade or improve the service. Another reason could be that they have not invested enough into the infrastructure over the past few years to support the upgrade and are simply dragging their feet because not enough people are demanding it.

I would gladly pay for more speed, but the increment increase has to be on both the download and upload speed. Like 10’s of thousands of other customers here in Hawaii, we better get used to waiting because I have a feeling DOCSIS 3.0 will be delivered on Unionized Hawaiian Time.

GNC-2010-07-29 #597 Yes the Net is Working Here!

Close call for us in Hawaii, cut fiber do not bode well for Internet reliability but we are up and online. Lot’s of exciting things in the frying pan and boy has it been a week of firsts. The longer I work in this new media space the more my eyes are opened to the possibilities of this medium.

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Hawaii Internet Slow Down could last a Month or More!

Late last night a Fiber Optic cable between two islands was cut here in Hawaii that is causing massive disruption for users of  Time Warner Road Runner Internet service.  Road Runner did not have in place any redundant back haul, and customers statewide were without Internet service for many hours. When the service did come back on-line it is throttled to speeds that rival dial up days as you can see by the speed test I ran.

A very informed GNC reader told me tonight that they are in mass panic, because they are going to be hard pressed to keep services online at a level of service that customers demand and it could be a month or more before the fiber is fixed and service is fully restored to a level that is considered acceptable. He recommended I call other providers immediately, as their is going to a run on other service providers to get connected to something that resembles something other than dial up speeds.

The first question I am asking is how come Oceanic / Road Runner did not have a backup plan. If a single fiber optic line being damaged was enough to bring down the states internet infrastructure there is some gross negligence by Road Runner management here in Hawaii in my opinion, and someone should be held to account for this lack of basic planning.

This should not come as a surprise because basic bandwidth speeds have not increased here significantly in many years. We have waited and waited for promised increased speeds and it has never happened. This incident makes it very obvious that they do not have the infrastructure in place to handle increased speeds. If one fiber cable is damaged resulting in this massive decrease in available service it is obvious that they have not been investing in infrastructure . This should be a wake up call to Oceanic.

Wait times to talk to customer service representatives were endless. While the cutting of a Fiber optic line is bad, they should have realized we live in Hawaii and our nearest neighbor is 2500 miles away.  This slow down is going to cost Hawaii business owners literally 100’s of thousands of dollars.

I encourage Hawaii Road Runner customers to keep the heat on Oceanic / Time Warner. I do not feel sorry for them, they should have considered this as a possibility before, and had the back haul in place to keep us connected at acceptable speeds.

McDonald’s Outsources the Drive-Thru Workers in Hawaii McDonalds!!!

McdToday I had a BigMac attack the first time in a long time and I also wanted to verify a rumour that was going around the office. They guys were telling me that the order taker at the drive-thru was in California, remember I live in Hawaii!

I rolled up to the Golden Arches and got in the drive-thru line. When I got done placing my order I asked the person taking the order if it was true that she was taking orders from California. When she replied yes I said that’s weird, she did not reply. I also asked if she was really in California and not India or someplace else. Again no Reply

The usual window that is open to take money and has the person taking the drive-thru orders was closed, but I could see in the window the ordering monitor was alive with activity. The screen that they usually press to enter orders was updating on it own with no one touching it.

When I got to the checkout window I asked if it the person taking the order was really in California. The guy looked at me and said thats what were supposed to say and gave me a wink? This surprised me and it really pushed one of my get pissed off buttons.

I told him to cancel my order and to inform the manager I would not support a food chain that outsource service level jobs. I was pretty sarcastic when I told him that, I added that at least they could not out source him. That earned me a smile. He actually said thanks when I drove off.

I don’t go to McDonald’s very often, but it makes me really mad that they are outsourcing service level jobs to either a foreign country or another state. Normally those entry level employees would spend their paychecks in this state and add to the tax base.

I am unsure how widespread this is, but I will never step foot in McDonald’s again. They will never ever get a single penny of my families money. I hope this makes you mad enough to vote with your wallet.

Note: I will continue to support the Ronald McDonald houses as that is a wonderful organization and a charity worth supporting!

Windows Genuine Advantage exposes U.S. counterfeiters

What caught my attention in a press release by Microsoft today, is that a local guy here in Hawaii was on the list of people Microsoft is going after, allegedly Billy Williams of Kailua, Hawaii is one of eight individuals that Microsoft is going after in a big way. Doing a Google search shows that this guy has has some net trouble before. I am sure this will make the news here, but oh man to have the heat of Microsoft upon you is not a good thing.

On March 15, 2006, Microsoft began legal proceedings against eight companies and individuals for allegedly marketing counterfeit software. In the cases listed here, customers used Windows(r) Genuine Advantage to report the alleged marketing of non-genuine Microsoft(r) software-including sales from online auction sites such as eBay.

Sprint 3G EV-DO in Hawaii getting better!

A week or so ago I was contacted by a person I have met at Sprint and we discussed my connectivity issues at the Honolulu International Airport, he assured me they were going to find out why the gate I was at did not have a connection. Meanwhile I am now a pretty happy camper and have canceled a dial up account I have that was being used from time to time. I am able now to have close to broadband connectivity almost anyplace that I am working from, luckily they turned a critical area on a couple of weeks ago!

The increase in productivity is just amazing, things I would never consider doing before I am able to do now with no issue. So I am a very happy Spring EV-DO user and may even consider paying the cancellation penalty with my mobile provider and switching everything over to Sprint.

It’s just to bad that Verizon was so yet to get on the 3G EV-DO bandwagon here in Hawaii.

Sprint EVDO 3G Service in Hawaii Limited!

Well I am glad Sprint has a 14 trial period, I am sad to say both of the locations I needed 3G service in only has 1G and I’m not paying $79.99 for that. One of the main Sprint Representatives swore to me that the areas I needed where covered. Well guess what he was wrong.

I drove all over trying to find a 3G signal, I actually had to drive 5 miles before I picked up the service. I can understand a mile or so but 5 miles from where they claimed the service was. Pisses me off that I spent a couple of hours getting the service setup. It’s better than dial up but not that much better.

We live in a digital world and these companies better hurry up and get their service rolled out to bigger areas I and many others need high speed 24/7 not just when we are at home.