Bradford's Brain Balloon #0014 - Troubleshooting Never Ends. A black square with the thought bubble of "Okay, what did you touch?"

Bradford’s Brain Balloons Column #0014 – Troubleshooting never changes

I get to work with some large and complex systems as part of my role at Harman Professional Systems. Sometimes the systems don’t work as intended. As I joke, “the best way to make a system crash, demonstrate it to customers.” The problem quickly turns into a stressful time for everyone involved. There are lots … Read more

Image of Bradford thinking, "Sorry I can't tell you that. It is my secret power."

Bradford’s Brain Balloons Column #0013 – Can you tell me what you are doing?

Last week I talked about losing my notebook but I did not lose my knowledge. This week I want to continue discussing losing knowledge. The challenge is “tribal knowledge” or people who have been at the company and know the processes. The blunt way to put it is, “What happens if you get hit by a bus?” That is pretty extreme. A better example could be what happens if your web architect goes on a cruise and is not reachable and you need to update the website.

Title panel for Bradford's Brain Balloon #12. Hard Copies are optional. Sub heading, I lost my notebook but not my data.

Bradford’s Brain Balloons Column #0012 – Hard copies are optional

Title panel for Bradford's Brain Balloon #12. Hard Copies are optional. Sub heading, I lost my notebook but not my data.

This post is a response to a few people’s request for me to review a Internet of Things pen, the Neo smartpen.

A few months ago I purchased the Moleskine Smart Writing Set. The reason is that I want to be able to digitize my notes as I went. Some of the other solutions require an additional step of taking pictures of the notes to import into the software solution. This one simply records what I am writing using special pen and paper. I just have to synchronize every so often.

Read moreBradford’s Brain Balloons Column #0012 – Hard copies are optional

Picture of a stack of coins for Bradford's Brain Balloon #0011 - Change is constant. A thought bubble says "Well, except from vending machines."

Bradford’s Brain Balloons Column #0011 – Change is Constant

On July 28, 2017 Legrand announced that they are purchasing Milestone AV for US$950 million dollars. Legrand had made a press release and acquisition information available. The brands of Milestone are Chief, Da-Lite, Projecta, SANUS, and Vaddio. Currently Legrand owns at least 18 other brands in the infrastructure market.

Bradford_Brain_Balloons_0008 EdTech Electronic Education About Privacy - Kids are having an unbelievable 1984 experience, not just reading it!

Bradford’s Brain Balloons Column #0008 – EdTech Electronic Education about Privacy

As many of you know, I am a proponent of online privacy. Recently I received an article about the implications of Educational Technology (EDTech) and the use of it and how it impacts privacy. While I don’t have children, I believe that their education is important. Part of that education is learning about privacy, what … Read more

Bradford Brain Balloons Title Card with Bradford thinking, No Tim, I am not transcoding eveeything to AAC

Bradford’s Brain Balloons Column #0007 – MP3 is dead, Long Live MP3

In April an astonishing 30 years of audio technology development came to an end with a simple sentence, “On April 23, 2017, Technicolor's mp3 licensing program for certain mp3 related patents and software of Technicolor and Fraunhofer IIS has been terminated.” The reason for the termination, “Those [modern codecs] can deliver more features and a ... Read more
Bradford thinking that Static isn't just for the radio while standing in front of equipment

Bradford’s Brain Balloons Column #0006 – How do you set your address?

When I was starting to think about writing this weekly column, I asked people for topics. Only one person answered. This individual had lots of questions. The biggest question he had is why the Bears suck at picking a quarterback. The other inquiries were good also. This topic stuck as a good discussion. Should IP … Read more

Bradford's Brain Balloons #5 - Net Neutrality, Equal Bandwidth for All!

Bradford’s Brain Balloons Column #0005 – Net Neutrality 2017

Bradford's Brain Balloons #5 - Net Neutrality, Equal Bandwidth for All!

Once again, the Federal Communications Commission is changing the way that Internet traffic will be handled within the United States. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. on April 26, 2017, gave a speech entitled, “The Future of Internet Freedom.” During this speech (transcripts) Chairman Paj put forth the idea that Internet Broadband communication should not be covered under Title II. This statement means that the broadband or Internet Service Providers can treat different data, differently.

Currently, under Title II many of the services we use as part of the AV Industry are covered and protected as it prevents service providers from throttling the speed of connections for most traffic. Virtual Private Networks (VPN) and other services are not part of this protection. What this means is that your local Internet provider must deliver all the network traffic with limited traffic shaping or control, it is called the common carrier principle, and it is what applies to the phone system. That principle is what allows one to dial from an AT&T connection to a Sprint connection.

Through the suggested repeal of Title II for Internet traffic, that is no longer the case. The service provider can change the rates of data and which data gets through based on almost any criteria they chose.

Now comes the question that everyone is thinking, “Sure Bradford, you and Josh talk quite often about Net Neutrality and Privacy quite a bit. How does this impact me? Why do I care?”

I am glad you asked. Allow me to provide a simple real world example. Comcast offers packages of bundling certain applications and services with their high-speed Internet connectivity. For example, if you look at the Comcast Business Internet pages you will see packages for some services that they offer. I am going to use the backup services in this model as it is something I have done already for myself. On the product page, they talk about “Cloud Based Solutions℠ – Online Backup and Storage.” The services that they offer packages with for Online Backup are Carbonite and Mozy; I can not find Comcast’s storage solutions. There is a difference between backup and storage. Backup indicates that the data on a device will be regularly copied to a separate location. If the original is deleted, it will also be removed from the archive or backup after a period of time. Online storage means the storing of data whether deleted from the original or not. A user may remove it manually, but it will not be purged automatically if the original is removed.

For that reason, as well as others such as data durability, I decided not to use either of these services; I use JungleDisk. I have a single account and application that supports both data backup and data storage. I place files that I need easy access to on the JungleDisk Storage; I configured JungleDisk Backup software to backup my computer once a day.

Here is where Net Neutrality comes into play. Under the Title II ruling that Internet connectivity is a utility, most Internet traffic is processed equally. However with the repeal of the Title II that would change. It would mean that Comcast would have the ability to throttle or slow my communication with JungleDisk, reducing my success with the service. At the same time, they could prioritize traffic to their partners at Mozy and Carbonite. I am not indicating that they have or that they would, I am saying that they can. It would basically force me to use one of Comcast’s partners’ service instead of the one that I chose if I want an efficient process.

Without the protection of Title II, it would fall to me to prove that my traffic is impacted. One would also have to document that it violates the agreed upon terms of service from the Internet provider. After those two hurdles, it would be up to the Federal Trade Commission to investigate if the issue is an unfair trade practice.

All of these items are retroactive, except for Title II engagement. Under Title II it is proactively  indicated that the favoring of traffic has a much more stringent set of guidelines and is designed to prevent the problem from happening in the first place.

Many of you know that AVNation is a member of the Electronic Frontier Alliance (EFA) organized by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). I am supporting the EFF in fighting for Net Neutrality and ask you to get involved as well by going to the EFF page about this key topic.

Read moreBradford’s Brain Balloons Column #0005 – Net Neutrality 2017

Sign up for the AVNation newsletter