When I started my company in 1999, wireless email was just getting started. I started selling the RIM Blackberry and was part of their Reseller program. I will be closing my company in one year as it is no longer a going concern. The global crisis was the death knell. I have owned many Blackberry devices over the years and still carry one. I am a great admirer of Research in Motion and the company’s co-founder, Jim Balsillie.
The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) and the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET) are pleased to announce a new partnership aimed at furthering their complementary missions. [see video below]
CIGI, founded and chaired by director and co-CEO of Research in Motion (or “RIM,” the company that created the Blackberry smartphone) Jim Balsillie will provide $25 million (CAD) over five years to joint CIGI-INET activities.
Both organizations are committed to broadening and accelerating the development of innovative thinking that will lead to insights and solutions for the great economic and governance challenges of the 21st century.
CIGI strives to be the world’s leading think tank on international governance, with recognized impact on significant global problems.
CIGI will build bridges from knowledge to power, conducting world-leading research and analysis, and influencing policy makers to innovate.
CIGI believes that better international governance can improve the lives of people everywhere, by increasing prosperity, ensuring global sustainability, addressing inequality and safeguarding human rights and promoting a more secure world.
When I first read about House Republicans seriously proposing to cut funding for NOAA, I was taken aback. This, is light of what is going on in Japan. The NOAA performs many critical functions that serves the best interests of Americans as regards their safety.
Climate Progress has an excellent article on the issue. Click here
The National Ocean and Atmospheric Association released new data yesterday showing precisely how the loss of environmental monitoring satellites would affect our ability to forecast extreme weather events. NOAA used the example of the “Snowmageddon” storm that dumped massive precipitation from the Gulf of Mexico to New England on February 5-6, 2010.
We here at CAPAF and Climate Progress have been keeping close tabs on House Republicans’ efforts to make the country more vulnerable to extreme weather events. If Congress refuses to fund new environmental monitoring satellites to replace aging spacecraft that could fail at any time, it will undoubtedly expose Americans to increased risk from storms, floods, blizzards, and hurricanes. Meanwhile, more and more science is emerging that strengthens the link between unprecedented weather phenomena and human-caused global climate change.
Without the satellite data, NOAA’s forecasts lose as much as 50 percent of their accuracy, underforecasting snowfall in Washington, D.C. by almost a foot, and rainfall in the Gulf by up to an inch. The resulting failure to prepare for flash floods, roadside strandings, air traffic delays, and transit interruptions could halt all commerce. Even worse, failing to maintain our satellite network, according to NOAA, would reduce future flood preparedness time from days to mere hours, putting human lives at risk.
The GOP-controlled Congress took steps to eliminate $700 million in funding for NOAA’s satellite program in its bill to fund the federal government for the remainder of the fiscal year (until October 2011). Though that bill is still being negotiated, the three-week continuing resolution that keeps the government open until April 8 also contained cuts to NOAA’s vital satellites.
Contact your representative to oppose cuts to NOAA.
I have worked in the telecommunications business owning my own company for eleven years (Masterline Technologies). I have worked with all the carriers in the United States at one time or another. I was one of the first companies to sell Blackberry as a RIM reseller. When RIM decided to go with the carriers to sell their products — primarily with Cingular, now AT&T wireless — I was pushed out of the Blackberry market as the RIM reseller program was shutdown. I lost many thousands of dollars in potential sales to a giant corporation and not allowed to compete in that sector any longer.
I predicted years ago that we would see two platforms in the wireless space: CDMA and GPRS. CDMA will be Verizon and Sprint with a likely merger of the two; and AT&T and T-Mobile, pending merger now.
Net Neutrality Issues
I wrote about net neutrality issues back in December 2010 before the FCC voted on new rules regarding the Internet and access. The emerging duopoly is of great concern, BUT the larger concern is this: AT&T and Verizon (the latter who who spied on Americans for the Bush admin), are anti-Net Neutrality. They want to control access of the Internet and be the gatekeepers. This fight is ongoing with the FCC.
A 2009 CNET article, Verizon, AT&T: Net neutrality not OK for wireless, shows exactly where these two companies stand:
The wireless industry is gearing up to fight new Net neutrality rules that the Federal Communications Commission is formulating to keep the Internet open. Broadband providers such as AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon Communications have opposed regulation or new laws that would dictate how they could run their networks. Up until this point, the Internet has been free of any regulation. And these companies would like to keep it that way.
Verizon and AT&T, which operate the nation’s largest and second-largest cell phone networks, respectively, say the rules should not apply to wireless Internet access.
Fast Forward December 21, 2011
On Dec. 21, 2010, the F.C.C. approved a compromise that would broadly create two classes of Internet access, one for fixed-line providers and the other for the wireless Net. The vote was 3 to 2, with the Democratic commissioners supporting it and the Republican commissioners against.
The rules, which address some of the principles of so-called network neutrality, will be tested in the courts in the months ahead, and Republicans said that they would challenge the rules in Congress as well.
The new rules are, at best, net semi-neutrality. They ban any outright blocking and any “unreasonable discrimination” of Web sites or applications by fixed-line broadband providers, but they afford more wiggle room to wireless providers like AT&T and Verizon. They require all providers to disclose what steps they take to manage their networks. In a philosophical break with open Internet advocates, the rules do not explicitly forbid “paid prioritization,” which would allow a company to pay for faster transmission of data.
Related: A true duopoly is a specific type of oligopoly where only two producers exist in one market. In reality, this definition is generally used where only two firms have dominant control over a market. In the field of industrial organization, it is the most commonly studied form of oligopoly due to its simplicity. Source: Wikipedia
It’s all about the supply chain….no production, dwindling inventories, etc;
Industry Week reports: The economic aftershocks from the massive earthquake off the coast of Japan, the resulting tsunami and a feared nuclear meltdown could hit global production of everything from aircraft to iPads.
With ports, airports, highways and manufacturing plants across Japan shut down, the government has predicted “considerable impact on a wide range of our country’s economic activities.”
Panic selling sent Tokyo shares down 10.55 on worries the nuclear crisis would become a catastrophe Tuesday, after radiation levels near a quake-stricken nuclear plant surged following explosions and a fire. The Nikkei index closed off 1,015.34 points at 8.605.15.
The crisis has led to a huge stock sell-off, with Japanese giants such as Sony and Toyota hit after they were forced to halt production in the country.
Sony dived 6.27%, while Toyota lost 4.83% and Nissan was off 3.6%.
Reactor-maker Toshiba, which fell by its 16% daily limit on March 14, was ask-only.
Singapore bank DBS estimated the quake and tsunami would cost Japan’s economy $100 billion, equivalent to about 2% of its gross domestic product.
And the ripples are just beginning to register in the global economy. Japan manufactures more than 40% of the world’s electronic components, according to brokerage firm CLSA.
I subscribe to the NIRS newsletter. There is ongoing information on the NIRS website about Japan’s nuclear emergency. A video of today’s press conference can be viewed as well.
Click here to go to Nuclear Information and Resources
BREAKING NEWS. Fact sheet on Fukushima reactors and aftermath of Japan earthquake. Updated 2:30 pm, Sunday, March 13. Core is uncovered at Unit 3; Tokyo Electric Power calls it “a considerably serious situation.”
There are currently 23 General Electric Mark I reactors in the U.S.–the design that exploded at Fukushima. A top Atomic Energy Commission official first proposed banning this design nearly 40 years ago. List/fact sheet. Updated, includes license renewal information.
Link to video of press conference in Japan by Citizens’ Nuclear Information Center (in Japanese with English translation), March 13, 2011.
Statement of Citizens’ Nuclear Information Center, March 12, 2011
Green Action blog on Japan nuclear crisis, includes updates, video links.
TMI Alert piece on similarities/differences between Fukushima and Three Mile Island events.
2002 report from Citizens’ Nuclear Information Center on cover-ups of safety problems by Tokyo Electric Power Co.
November 2010 presentation from Tokyo Electric Power on how high-level radioactive waste is stored at Fukushima (including pool inventory and dry cask info).
ASHEHAM PRESS OP-ED ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Meteorological officials warned that there is a 70 percent chance that a magnitude 7 aftershock could hit Japan in the next three days, which could pose another risk to already unstable nuclear reactors. Source: NPR
Today we come to find out four of Japan’s nuclear reactors are in danger of a meltdown. Earthquakes and Tsunamis cannot be avoided, but nuclear power plants are manmade and the entire situation in Japan is now untenable and the building of new power plants, indefensible. The facts are simple. The gravity of what has happened makes clear that nuclear energy is a threat to the entire planet. We cannot control nature and thus we cannot control nuclear power plants. Most of the plants in Japan are state of the art – but their superior construction it is not good enough to withstand the force of the major earthquake which occurred on March 11th. We are witnessing hydrogen explosions, cracks in the structures allowing radiated steam to escape into the air, crumbling of structures, build-up of hydrogen, and leakage of highly dangerous radioactive particles, like the highly toxic Cesium-137. While nuclear experts are making their assessments and asserting the manageability of the situation, here is what is happening at ground zero:
Japanese officials struggled on Sunday to contain a quickly escalating nuclear crisis in the aftermath of a devastating earthquake and tsunami, saying they presumed that partial meltdowns had occurred at two crippled reactors, and that they were bracing for a second explosion, even as they appeared to face cooling problems at two more plants and international nuclear experts said radiation had leaked from a fourth.
Plus, over 200,000 have been evacuated from these areas; and many Japanese workers have already suffered radiation poisoning; plus we have no idea the fallout that will affect the ground, air, ocean, and wildlife.
It is unconscionable that industries have put our world in such peril. The building of these facilities is not by consensus, not by permission of the vote, not by power granted from the people. It is collusion between powerful interests, corporations and literally power brokers to build and maintain these facilities. It is one more glaring example of corporate power run amok. And it is also an example of how these particular corporations view the value of human life — expendable.
Who Owns U.S. Nuclear Power Plants? Download this list from Nuclear Energy Institute:
The NEI has created timeline and a new fact sheet, “Radiation and the Japanese Nuclear Reactors,” which describes the events at the Fukushima Daiichi and Daini nuclear plants in Japan following the earthquake and tsunami nearby. Also a description of radiation dose limits and exposures to workers and the public in the United States, with a placeholder for radiation doses at the affected reactors in Japan.