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A story has been circulating about a group of men in East New York who were charging people $20 to view an image of a beaver that street artist Banksy has stenciled onto a wall there. In any case, it’s generated a series of questions about various parties’ rights.
First, Some Background
At the start of blog posts like this it's always a good idea to remind readers what the heck we're talking about. In this case it's the "PSTN" again--the "public switched telecommunications network" that voice calls usually go over (but which is not limited to voice). You know, that thing with the phone numbers.
We're in the middle of a debate in this country about the "transitioning" of the PSTN. That means that a some technologies are being switched over to cool new technologies. Just as electronics replaced electromechanical switches, which replaced human operators, news kinds of networking technology (packet-switched) are replacing older kinds of networking technology (circuit-switched).
Public Knowledge asks the FCC to deny AT&T's acquisition of Leap Wireless to ensure continued access to a low cost competitor.
Joined by Consumer Action and the Writers Guild, West, Public Knowledge has asked the FCC to deny AT&T's acquisition of Leap Wireless, most commonly known to the public by its brand, Cricket. Thanks to its value-oriented plans, Cricket is often the wireless carrier of choice for consumers who are traditionally left out of the larger wireless carrier markets. We've taken this step to ensure low-income, minority and immigrant communities have continued access to a low cost competitor. AT&T's acquisition of Leap would also limit available spectrum for smaller, rural, regional, and low-cost competitors and leave the Internet economy vulnerable to harmful business practices.
Tied into our current 3D printing boom is a second, equally interesting one: an explosion of accessible 3D scanners. As you may be able to guess from the name, 3D scanners can take physical objects and turn them into digital files. Once you have digitized an object you can modify it, share it over the internet, and/or print it out with a 3D printer.
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