Sunday, December 30, 2007

What I've learned in 2007

Each new year gives us all an opportunity for reflection - as I look to the past I feel a deep sense of gratitude.

My family has grown this year three new family lines have been added with the addition of my daughter's wedding, my niece and my brothers wedding.

This has been a break through year - proving that you should never give up!!

Opportunities to be of service to others continually had great rewards

I spent some time reviewing some of books and presentations that have had a strong positive influence on me personally one of which I would like to share with you.

It was the 2006 TED conference and the speaker was Tony Robbins I hope you take a moment to watch this yourself.

So best wishes for a great new year

Sunday, November 18, 2007

A collection of quite images

Florida, Alaska, Georgia, California

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Energy of the Solar System

Now that we are starting to see more darkness in the Northern skies it is time to look up in the evening toward the Aurora Borealis (the Northern Lights, although if you were able to travel to the far Southern pole you might find a mirror of what we see in the North.

A very cool 24 hour shot of the Aurora can be found on uTube and a good explanation of what the Aurora is - here is a short piece along with audio of the Northern Lights.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Doctors going Solo

Accolades to my brother Donny - who launched in his basement a private practice - with high tech tools and some smart buying he has taken the practice of being a Doctor back to the personal touch we all need and want.

Great job

Meaning of Life

This week Randy Pausch a 46 year old Carnegie Mellon CS professor gave his "Last Lecture" a powerful message about what is truly importaint in life. Randy was diagonsed with terminal cancer and was given only a few months to live.
His lecture can be found at the ABC new site --> Lecture of a Lifetime

This isn't about Self-Pity - Randy a father of three speaks to his family and friends about what is truly important.

Take a moment to listen it may impact your own prospective.

Monday, September 17, 2007

They really have it all Wrong

Verizon appeals the “Google Amendment”

by Mark Hewitt
September 17th, 2007

Verizon claiming the restriction of how to use the new 700 Mhz spectrum is a violation of “Free Speech”.

Well in my opinion – they’ve got it all wrong – the Spectrum belongs to the American Public – the FCC has been entrusted to regulate and manage its use – however Verizon nor any licensee owns the spectrum –

Spectrum like easements for Tower, Fiber, and other Utilities are part of our Infrastructure and should be managed and regulated as such. Requiring a licensee to abide by such rules is fair and prudent use of our resources.

One should also take note of the ruling against Microsoft this past week as they loose their appeal in the EU anti-trust case. Key to this ruling is how Microsoft used the Operating System sales to give preference to either Microsoft applications or those of favored partners, and while it could easily be said that the O/S wars are nearly over still this is a good example of the miss-use of power and marketing.

And you wonder why Google maintains the company motto of “Do no Evil”.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

(Un)predictability and the Noah Effect

By Mark Hewitt
August 11th, 2007

The only predictable constant in the Universe is Change, hard to argue this one. The real question is what does it mean and how do we achieve stability and security amid all of this ciaos.

I believe the answer is simple – we don’t. Think about this one – Noah was presented with a vision of a great flood and had three choices.

  • First - was to ignore the vision. (Since the universe works a lot like a scatter gun I believe Noah was not the only one of his time to have a vision of a great flood – he simply was the one with the resources and faith to do something about it.)
  • Second - spread the word. (It is likely others had the same vision, however trying to spread the world that a great flood is coming would get you branded as a conspiracy theorist)
  • Third – build an ARC. (Assuming that you can’t change the world this would be the best way to preserve the future)

We all know the story of Noah and while I believe in the story I also believe Noah represents not one man and that there was not just one ARC which is why today we have so much diversity in the human genome.

Like most of you I read many of the doom and gloom stories of just how bad things are, yet amidst all of this I see a constant glimmer of the future. This past week forecasts of our declining energy reserves and our dependence on oil to maintain our way of life has the press and political leaders in a frenzy. Yet hidden in the back pages of the news are weekly announcements of new discoveries leading to new sources of energy, materials, and medicine.

Life is quite unlike the Hollywood stories we have become familiar with today, the clarity of good and evil, right and wrong are in real life never quite black and white.

Across our culture and the world we are witnessing a modern day “Noah Effect” as we see the migration from our cities and urban environments to a new “Rural” style of living. We see many versions of Noah as both community leaders and developers have begun the task of creating a new and sustainable life style, full of hope and stability.

So I tend to agree with idealists like "Laura Sperling" in here editorial "A vortex of constant change". So I seek others who look forward to the "Noah Effect" and envision a future through change.

The “Noah Effect” was first cloned by Benoid Mandelbrot and simply states that when something changes, it can change abruptly

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Irrational exuberance

by Mark Hewitt
August 7th, 2007

My friends and family will often shrug as I sometimes get quite excited about things that don’t seem to have much impact on everyday life – this is one of those times

This week marks the discovery of one of the most impactful forces of nature to our future – Two teams of Physicists have discovered how to manipulate the Casimir Force causing atoms and subatomic particles to repel each other. This is the force described in the Zero Point energy a quantum mechanical phenomenon for energy generation.
This discovery has the potential of making computers even smaller and could someday produce a truly clean energy source and improve transportation systems.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

The “Internet is Dead” long live the Internet

by Mark Hewitt - July 29th, 2007

Last Wednesday Mark Cuban declared the Internet “Dead” -
"The Internet’s dead. It’s over." His basic point: The Internet has gone stagnant. The only "new application" on the World Wide Web of recent vintage was, in his view, YouTube -- which, unlike Cuban’s, ripped off the creative content of intellectual-property owners to build its video-based business.

From Cuban’s perspective I guess I would agree – here in North America – actually the United States specifically we have given over the keys to the kingdom to corporate types like Joseph Nacchio, former Qwest CEO – recently sentenced to six years in prison.

Unlike the U.S. market other countries push ahead with significant pushes toward national broadband strategies – and many smaller political divisions throughout the US market move ahead such as the Ohio rural broadband plan with all 88 counties due to participate.

So Long live the Internet!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

The "Media Center" will Fail

A vision of the future

by Mark Hewitt - July 28th 2007

Our company "EcoSystem Partners" is founded on the premise that the Internet has caused a fundamental shift in the creation and delivery of Broadband services. The traditional model which combines the “Utility” nature of Infrastructure with the economics of “Services” has come to an end.

The Internet today can be delivered over an array of Infrastructure and thus the dependence of limiting supply to increase the demand no longer works. This has been proven as we have witnessed the largest bankruptcy cases in history with MCI and Global Crossing – followed by the reintegration of the RBOC’s to the New “AT&T”.

We continue to see Innovation bring about strong new products with examples like, Plaxo, MySpace, Google, and the list goes on. EcoSystem Partners believe that the old business model that calls for the restriction of access to bandwidth to increase the value is actually causing damage to our overall economy. Today we support efforts to bring about a careful blend of ownership of our Communications infrastructure and to create a separation between Infrastructure and Services. This separation of power is designed to promote responsibility over our core Communications Infrastructure and the services that improve our security and quality of life.

We see many business leaders today working toward a goal of bringing together bundles of products and services, designed to simplify product selection for consumers. Yet every time a product attempts to incorporate proprietary control they fail. I predict one of the largest failures will be seen in Microsoft’s “Media Center” it is too restrictive and content will only grow once it is free to do so.

This process accepts an element of risk that most investors and CEO’s are unable to deal with (the exception to date is Google) yet this process is well documented with a rich history of how success requires supplier to work in “Open Markets”. We know that consumers will choose not to buy when they are either confused or feel that they have no choice. Nobel mathematician John Nash has given us the proof which today continues to fuel an expanding World Market.

I encourage any and all comers willing to collaborate on this vision of the future to join with us in strategy, resources, marketing, and investment to grow a market where innovation is allowed to flourish.

Start by sending me a brief note of your interest and how either networking, collaboration, or joint efforts may help to bring about a successful venture.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Universial Broadband act of 2007

by Mark Hewitt
July 26th 2007

Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Senator John McCain (R-AZ) today introduced a bill supporting legislation to help make "Community Broadband" a reality for everyone.

The proposed leglislation is very careful to protect many of the existing business and development business and utility models currently expanding across the United States today.

The Community Broadband Act of 2005:

  • Ensures that no State prevents a municipality from offering high-speed internet access to its citizens if the municipality so chooses;
  • Ensures that when a municipality
    is in the position of regulator or competitor, it does not abuse such authority.
    For example, the municipality could not enact a three percent franchise fee on itself, but a five percent franchise on a competitor; and
  • Ensures that a municipality complies with the Telecommunications Act of 1996 and any other federal or state telecommunications laws.
The measure is also sponsored by Senators Gordon Smith (R-OR), John Kerry (D-MA), John McCain (R-AZ), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), and Olympia Snowe (R-ME).

Monday, July 23, 2007

Light really bends

William Bookbinder's breakthrough in optical fiber will change the way we distribite information.

In an exclusive interview with Fortune senior writer Stephanie Mehta the Corning team shows off this new material.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Looking for Success in Failure

SunRocket's failure is a model of how not to invest

by Mark Hewitt - July 20th, 2007

The recent collapse of “SunRocket” one of the largest VoIP Venture funded startup’s in recent times is a strong indicator of a much larger issue of our times.

SunRocket which sacrificed long term revenues for short term gains in sales sold its future to satisfy an impatient financial market place. Players including the Mayfield Fund, Doll Capital Management and Anthem Capital Management placed unrealistic goals on the start up. This in combination with a business course that was too similar to the business model of a failing telecom market is a familiar pattern of failure in our current climate of business investment.

Just to show that I’m not picking on just these investors – remember “Genuity” a 2 billion dollar VoIP startup – that went down hill the day the doors were opened by trying to simply replace a legacy product with new technology.

An example of how to build a successful product

Consumers want choice and are always seeking simplicity – this has been at the foundation of the recent success of the “iPhone” by Apple. The iPhone success is predicated on the history already established by the iPod and combines the ability of consumers to have “Choice” one of the most elusive elements of success that most product companies and investors fail to understand.

Economic Game Theory

John Nash the Noble Prize winner for his work in Economic Sciences pioneered the analysis of equilibria in his theory of “non-cooperative games” – today referred to as “Modern Economic Game Theory” the application of this fundamental theory is at the core of very successful ventures.

SunRocket and their investors failed to apply this most fundamental basis of success proven time and time again. Companies like “Google” and business success as in Rupert Murdock’s media empire are fine examples of the application of these business basics.

Investors like (not unlike all of us) to repeat prior success yet we know that change is the basis of all things. This investment process seeking a direct or familar repeat a past success has a very limited rate of return. History has shown us that siginificant success has always been a break in the norm, Microsoft, Google, Henry Ford, are good examples of this pattern of success.

I will most likely be slammed for saying this however the failure of the SunRocket startup is a great example of how not to invest – VoIP is not a direct replacement of the legacy telephone industry – that is a failed model. Broadband however an opportunity for change – investors and executive teams must look past the technology and seek a plan that is adaptive.

Some related Articles:

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Well it's not Technology - or maybe it is ;)

Wedding Day Bliss
by Mark Hewitt - July 8th 2007

This past Saturday my brother Carl and his now wife Larisa tied the knot - following the best part of a year in planning they pulled off one of the most impressive weddings that I will most likely ever be a part of.

I know that I try to keep things here focused on convergance and technology, yet this is a story about how such things improve our lives. Carl and Larisa took the time to collect and share their experiances with a very large collection of family members and friends.

One of the highlights is the same day edit done on the Wedding Video Go to Same Day Edit's Blog to see the video --> then go to the Image of Carl and Larisa to watch.

None of this would be possable without broadband and technology - quality of life stuff

Best wishes to Carl and Larisa

Friday, June 29, 2007

Apple's iPhone is more than just another pretty phone

Mark Hewitt - June 29th, 2007

Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs is widely recognized for his Product Prowess – the ability to build to the consumer’s dreams – and the creation of the iPhone is another great example of that ability.

The iPhone however has done one thing that will change the way you see and view wireless devices – it may actually be the primary catalyst in reforming the Wireless industry.

Upcoming infrastructure called WiMax technology is growing in much the same way as did Cellular across the US market, where today we have several duplicate networks each incompatible with the other – in other words my Sprint phone won’t work on the Verizon network, or my ATT phone won’t work on the NexTel system, TMobile won’t work on Alltel – and so on.

The original idea was that competition would bring the best technology to the top of the food chain – the reality is that the overall US Cellular networks have been obsolete and still today US subscribers pay more for less service than any other place in the world.

We are today all aware of how the propriety nature of each of these carriers has led to failed innovation and competitive features – for example my Verizon phone will not play MP3 music files because the carrier though by restricting the phone’s actual music player to play only Verizon downloaded music would make them more $$.

The iPhone has now broken this choke hold on the consumer – ATT in order to gain the exclusive rights to this new device has broken their own service agreement. Today iPhone users will be able to watch video, play music, and interact with the Internet without carrier restrictions.

Others will follow – now let’s see if Congress and the FCC will move to standardize the Utility of wireless or continue to push our economy and infrastructure back into the dark ages. (which I highly doubt will occur)

I predict that the initial release of new WiMax services will also follow the Cellular model and carriers will build exclusive networks. This however will be set back in a couple of years when the increases of cancer and health issues from these new high powered devices become recognized. (it is interesting to note that new WiMax spectrum is very close to that of Microwave Ovens) The next iteration will center on the “Unlicensed” spectrum where standards begin to take over. This is called WiFi technology and even though it is Unlicensed this will become the dominant “Last Mile” of wireless – and while I don’t believe the current 802.11N will be the standard that does this, it will tend to be a protocol that incorporates error correction similar to EVDO or perhaps just basing the primary radios on QAM – regardless within three years the rest of the market will begin to see a clear path to a Standard Wireless world.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Incumbent "Child Like" response to consumer rights

by: Mark Hewitt - June 23rd, 2007

Verizon the only primary RBOC left to support fiber via the Fios project has today reached one million subscribers in a statement by the companies CEO this week. The incumbent which still controls regulated utility status and thus the ability to use “eminent domain” to secure property for easements to deliver communication services – has again shown a child like respect of consumer rights –

In a move much like “we want our cake and eat it too” approach to the FCC 1996 Telecom law designed to protect consumers rights to multichannel video programming called CableCARD – Verizon is hoping for an FCC reprieve from the ruling.

In similar actions the old MaBell used invalid patents to cripple an upcoming competitor to the telephone side of Verizon’s service income – in an attack on the VoIP provider Vonage – costing millions of dollars that could have been used to improve customer service and release new products.

Verizon Wireless was also hit by a recent Patent dispute over Broadcom technology which is most commonly used in the Cell Phones sold to consumers of the Verizon Wireless network – a recent halt to the import of these devices by a DC judge – and again rather than respect the Intellectual Property of another party the carrier appeals to President Bush for a reprieve.

Draw your own conclusions – however I feel that it is time to take control over key utility infrastructure as is today the case of several State and Local government actions – such as the recent eState initiative in Vermont and proposed legislation in New Jersey and New Hampshire.

The need to separate the Infrastructure from what should be “Open Market” services has put the United States 15th in broadband subscribers per 100 inhabitants.

“We are failing to bring the benefits of broadband to all our citizens, and the consequences will resonate for generations. There is no justification for America’s declining status as a global Internet leader. Instead of more excuses, it’s time for true national broadband policy that will put America’s digital future back on track.” said Ben Scott, policy of director of Free Press. [via broadband reports]

Friday, June 22, 2007

Unanimous Support for Broadband

Mark Hewitt - Friday June 22, 2007

First is was Rhode Island and the now historical Business Innovation network – a wireless project backed by the Governors Economic Development authority, and built by Stratum Broadband (an EcoSystems Partner)

Followed soon by the eState initiative just signed into law by Vermont’s Governor Jim Douglas becoming the first true e-state with the authority to bond and develop a Communications infrastructure to be shared by carriers and generating significant economic benefit to the residents of Vermont.

Now we see many others follow – today a New Jersey bill specifically authorizing municipal wireless pass the Senate “unanimously.

And let’s not forget some of the early leads that bore so much of the wrath of incumbent carriers – Truckee – now again the PUD debate the possibility of high speed fiber optic for residence.

Keep up with this and other Broadband and Technology related issues by subscribing to Mark's Blog and News Feed

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Technology Review: Mapping the Internet 

Technology Review: Mapping the Internet 

AT&T chief live at conference: we’re gearing up for best iPhone experience on Day One | IP Telephony, VoIP, Broadband |

AT&T chief live at conference: we’re gearing up for best iPhone experience on Day One by ZDNet's Russell Shaw -- I’m blogging live from NXTComm, the telecom industry trade show being held in Chicago this week. The morning keynotes have just fired up. First is newly installed (June 3) AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson. It’s under Stephenson’s watch that AT&T Wireless is teaming up with Apple to launch the iPhone a week from this Friday. “You may have heard about this,” [...]

Will The FCC Finally Serve the Public Rather Than Private Interests?

The U.S. is very much behind Asia and Europe in offering high-speed broadband Internet access to the public. Now, the cable and telcos wanna hog all the new bandwidth for themselves so they can either use it for other purposes or make sure it does not fall into the hands of cheaper services that could compete with them on the high speed Internet market. Senator Kerry has the right idea. Give the access to the people, not the corporations.
Sen. Kerry: Open the Airwaves for a Better Internet
Sen. John Kerry joined the broad public movement for a better wireless Internet today when he urged the Federal Communications Commission to ensure that our airwaves be used to make the Internet “more competitive, affordable and widespread.”
Last week, the FCC was flooded with more than a quarter-million letters from people who urged the agency to use soon-to-be-available public airwaves to connect more Americans to an open, neutral and accessible Internet.

Senator Kerry cited recent reports showing the United States has fallen behind much of the world in broadband penetration.

“Nearly 60% of the country does not subscribe to broadband service — in large measure because it is either unavailable or unaffordable,” Kerry wrote. “The 700 MHz auction could put this country one step closer to achieving ubiquitous Internet access throughout America.”

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North America´s Largest solar Farm

The Canadians push Clean Energy foward with a 40 megawat project in Ontario - the California company finds a more frendly government outside of the US to get started.
clipped from

TORONTO, Ontario (Reuters) -- The Ontario government has given a California company the green light to build North America's biggest solar-power station, a spokesman for the energy minister of the Canadian province said Thursday.

Once complete in 2010, the 40-megawatt project, near Sarnia in southwestern Ontario, will be able to supply enough emission-free electricity to power between 10,000 and 15,000 homes on sunny days.

It will be built by OptiSolar Farms Canada Inc., a subsidiary of Hayward, California-based OptiSolar Inc.

The Toronto Star newspaper, which broke the story of the OptiSolar "farm," said the largest solar energy project in the United States is a 15-megawatt solar PV system to be built at an air force base in Nevada. It said a 40-megawatt solar project is under construction in Europe.

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Clean Energy in Spain

The Spanish do it again - with this solar power station
clipped from

Spanish pioneer solar power station

Nope. It's Europe's first commercially operating power station fuelled entirely by the sun's rays. Environmentalists hope the tower will become a model for clean energy, powering Southern Europe's more arid regions without pumping harmful greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

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