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  • BrainStream

    A stream of consciousness from the brain of B.K. DeLong


    Verizon: Fiber to the Home

    Filed under: B.K. DeLong @ 12:37:08 pm

    I’m still not sure how to process this alleged announcement from Verizon that they’re ready to bring fiber optics into the home. According to some chatter on Dave Farber’s Interesting People list, Verizon has announced a new “Fios” service, (which appears to be referred to as FTTP on their site as well), which will bring 15MB/s for only $44.95 a month.

    To put this into perspective, I’m about to get a new DSL line for roughly $140 a month that only does 768K, (or .768MB). And at 2MB/s - which is what The Leaky Cauldron will be at with our new host - that will allow us to transfer over 750GB, (or 750,000,000MB) oer month. How are they going to afford to do this? If this pricing is correct, they will blow the lid off cable Internet and the business bandwidth pricing market.

    The story is still developing but, if true, we’ve just moved to a new level with home network solutions. Streaming movies will now be possible at full DVD quality.

    UPDATE: It’s confirmed. Wow.


    My own FOAFing in WordPress

    Filed under: B.K. DeLong @ 2:15:25 pm

    Being extremely jealous of the other guys hacking apart WordPress to make it FOAF-y, I’ve actually done my own PHP hack. This one required nothing more than making sure the “Profile” field under the WordPress User Profile contained a one-line bio. Or…thereabouts. Then I added the “olb” property from the Bio Vocabulary.

    Then I made an edit to Christoph Görn’s hack of Morten Frederiksen’s FOAF-output plugin 1.9, (found in wp-content/plugins when installed) and added the following lines:

    After the line


    I added:


    and after the line

    $RDF .= “\n\t” . ‘<homepage rdf:resource="‘ . htmlspecialchars($authordata->user_url) . ‘"/>’;
    , I added:

                    $RDF .= “\n\n\t” . ‘&lt’bio:olb>’ . htmlspecialchars($authordata->user_description) . ‘</bio:olb>’ . “\n";

    Finally, something I can hack myself. Next step is to try and add a birthdate. Not nearly as easy.


    BrainDump: Digital Convergence scratchpad

    Filed under: B.K. DeLong @ 9:21:17 am

    What follows is a braindump from one of my morning walks around campus. Unfortunately, I did not have a means of recording
    this braindump so I had to “go over it” again at my desk. I hope to begin taking some sort of recording devlice with a
    hands-free mic that I can use to start capturing these live.

    A brief intro to the below unintelligible jabbering: I have recently started getting involved more in the semantic web
    community - specifically the development of the FOAF or “Friend Of A Friend” RDF metadata schema. This has lead to alot of
    thinking and dreaming on my end about the future of the Web, the Internet and human use of technology in general.

    Recently on the main list for FOAF discussion, rdfweb-dev, there was some line-drawing between what constitutes a FOAF
    document and what makes up a “presence” document. Danny Ayers, a frequent muser himself, coined the phrase “MeNow” on-the-fly
    to describe something that gives contextual presence to what a person is doing at any given moment. Joel De Gan has ran with
    the idea and begun work on an RDF vocabulary around the idea with Chris Schmidt hacking together a concept of what a MeNow
    document might look-like.

    This idea led me to contact the researchers at MIT’s Wearable Computing Lab, (and Joel contacted Steve Mann), to discuss how
    such a semantic language could be used in those creating a personal, live digital presence of themselves.

    In thinking about wearable computing, I also started thinking about Home Networking and the convergence between various
    devices in the home and the people who reside in it. That, of course, raises incredible privacy issues so I’ve touched on some
    ideas to allow for privacy while also allowing for data to get to the right people.


    See the below braindump for more details.

    I have got to come up wityh a way of having some sort of voice recorder during my morning walks. Something that could be
    converted to text via voice-recognition and then posted into Weblog format.

    Translation: look at latest voice recog software

    So all this work with MeNow comes down to convergence and really fits in with the wearable computing crowd. See crschmidt’s
    MeNow document.

    Being able to have book metadata for your reading list and ownership schema for things you own including media of all sorts.
    being able to pull metadatafrom your tivo live - what are you watching “this second"? What is the metadata for the show? What
    is the episode information, what channel etc.

    How about a real-time status feed from your tivo itself - what is it recording and doing? Seems to me this is where the
    convergence really happens. Digital sensors everywhere in a house - what is the temp of the fridge - what is the various
    states of “filled” of objects in the fridge - RFID - what is IN the fridge and RFID -what have you thrown away - disposable
    RFID tags?

    Is the oven on? Is the pilot light lit? Where is the dog in the house? What is currently on your iPod or Nomad Jkebox? What
    are yu listening to? Which lights are on in the house? Are any of your windows open? doors? Who is in the house? are windows
    ad doors locked?

    What is the baby doing? What are the baby’s vital signs? RFID’s on legacy stuff like VHS tapes. When in the VCR, it is
    detected and posted what is playing.

    Privacy and Encryption is key. how to prevent neighbors from snooping outside the house? House needs RFID protection -RFID
    signels are encrypted before “leaving” thehouse against keys only certain people can read based on trust/relationships.
    Electric company has key to read meter, gas company has key to read gas meter, police and fire or alarm company has key to
    read security and safety information.

    Back to MeNow - digtal media schemas? casettes, cds, dvds, vhs tapes, television or just music and video schemas with media
    type designations?

    Wearable computing Blackboxes - vital signs, gps, aural feed, visual feed, sensory?

    User agent representations? How are you “accessing” the net at a given time? Hardware designation, connectivity designation -
    phone, pda, laptop, desktop, some other method? television? Kiosk? Wireless, cable, dsl? Speed check?

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