Broadband Plan Summary Available

March 15, 2010

Tomorrow, March 16, is the day that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is supposed to present its National Broadband Plan to Congress.  However, according to an article at the Washington Post Web site, the FCC has already made the Executive Summary section of the report available online [PDF].  I haven’t yet had a chance to read it,  but it’s relatively short: the document is 6 pages long, but there are only about 4½ pages of actual text.

The FCC Chairman, Julius Genachowski, also had an Op-Ed piece in yesterday’s Post, outlining some of the background to the plan.

While the United States invented the Internet, when it comes to broadband we have fallen behind as other nations have raced ahead. Some studies show us to be as low as 15th in the world in broadband adoption; others have us higher, but none puts us even close to where we need to be.

It has been a well-accepted idea for many years that the government has a role to play in providing public goods, like highways and a legal system.  Although in the case of the Internet we are transporting information, not oil, refrigerators,  or parcels, it seems to me that the same sort of arguments very much apply.

Temporary Fix for Internet Explorer Flaw

March 15, 2010

I posted a note previously about an unpatched vulnerability in older versions (6 and 7) of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.  This was initially being exploited only in targeted attacks, but last week a pre-packaged exploit appeared on the Internet.   Microsoft has now released a temporary fix to protect against this type of attack.  There are two parts to the fix, both of which can be found by scrolling down the page.  The first, labeled “Fixit Soluton for Peer Factory”, is applicable to Windows XP and Server 2003 installations.  The second, labeled “Fixit Solution for Data Execution Prevention”, is applicable to all Windows installations except Windows 2000.

To install either “Fixit”, just click on the button under “Enable this Fix”.  IF you experience problems, the fix can be uninstalled by clicking the button under “Disable this Fix”.  These steps will only work if you are accessing the Web site from the computer you wish to patch, using Internet Explorer.  For other situations, you will have to download the patch “wizard” and then run it on the desired system.

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