July 20, 2007

Google Puts Some $$ Where Its (Spectrum Policy) Mouth Is [1:39 pm]

Official Google Blog: Our commitment to open broadband platforms [via Machinist]

For instance, we wrote last week on our Public Policy Blog about Google’s interest in promoting competition in the broadband market here in the U.S., to help ensure that as many Americans as possible can access the Internet. However, it takes more than just ideas and rhetoric if you want to help bring the Internet to everyone.

So today, we’re putting consumers’ interests first, and putting our money where our principles are — to the tune of $4.6 billion. Let me explain.

[...] There are some who have claimed that embracing these [open platform] principles and putting American consumers first might somehow devalue this spectrum. As much as we don’t believe this to be the case, actions speak louder than words. That’s why our CEO Eric Schmidt today sent a letter to FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, saying that, should the FCC adopt all four license conditions requested above, Google intends to commit at least $4.6 billion to bidding for spectrum in the upcoming 700 Mhz auction.

As Majoo says in the Machinist:

It’s a brilliant strategy, one that puts wireless companies in a tough spot. We’ve long known that Google hired the smartest engineers in the world. Now we’re seeing their public policy gurus aren’t too shabby either.

Later: Google’s long shot in wirelesspdf; Google Set to Bid Billions for Airwaves; Google Pushes for Rules to Aid Wireless Plans

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A Look At The Ideologies of Science [9:15 am]

A little off-topic, but right in line for some of my other work, and an interesting challenge to the ways in which the public is exposed to science and technology — a museum review: Liberty Science Center - Museum - Review: Touch Me Feel Me Science

One characteristic of this reinvention is the message that for all the threat of cataclysm, nothing is as aggressive, or distressing, as the species actually shaping this exploratory enterprise. Humans create global warming “How much damage do you do?” asks an interactive video screen and destroy habitats they “pose the greatest danger” to the world’s most dangerous predators. In turn, they are regularly threatened by microbes. The arrivals and departures of pandemics are listed like plane flights — and flights, as a mock-up of a plane’s cabin suggests, really are potential incubators of communicable disease.

Ah, the difficulties of being human in the age of the new science museum! There was a time when such museums developed out of collections of objects that science created, used or studied. Science was an undertaking that required discipline and enterprise; it was somewhat imposing because it could seem so impersonal in its quest, and somewhat heroic because it was so full of mystery and possibility. Now everything is urgent and personal.

And, often, the personal is also political.

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