San Francisco Is Quietly Building an Open Access Fiber Network

By Karl Bode Apr 06 2018; Original article here.

With Google Fiber pausing deployments to consider a pivot to wireless, San Francisco is one of several cities left standing at the altar. The city had been part of an effort by Google Fiber to deploy service to a few key locations where fiber was already deployed. But with Google Fiber apparently now fascinated with next generation wireless technologies like millimeter wave, the city is considering one of the biggest municipal broadband deployments ever conceived.

Like Seattle, San Francisco is tired of broadband being defined as being forced to choose between two companies whose service pricing and quality clearly reflect a disdain for paying customers.

As such, the company is promising to connect every single home and business in the city to fiber optic broadband. A consultant’s report (pdf) recently released by the city indicates that the cost of doing so would be somewhere around $1.9 billion. But the cost of that investment would result in numerous, direct benefits to the city, the report concluded.

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Verizon to Roll Out So-Called Small Cells to Densify Napa Cellphone Towers

Comments from Scientists for Wired Technology (‘S4WT’)

by Howard Yune | |
Apr 2, 2018; Updated Apr 4, 2018 ; Original article here.

This year, two dozen utility poles around Napa may gain something extra on top. Compact cellular transmitters are slated for installation atop poles in various neighborhoods, in the debut of an effort by Verizon Wireless to improve call capacity and Internet speeds for users of mobile phones and tablet computers.

S4WT Comment: coming.

The so-called “small cells” – a fraction the size and range of conventional wireless towers – will be added as attachments to existing power poles, or included in replacement poles up to 52 feet high, taller than normal to improve signal range.

Installation is expected to take place within the next two months and continue during 2018, according to Rommel Angeles, a network implementation manager for Verizon in Northern California. Spokespeople for the carrier said they have received permits from Napa to install 24 of the devices across the city, at locations including Franklin, Coombs, Jefferson and Greenbach streets as well as Old Sonoma and Browns Valley roads and Cabot Way.

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Cambridge Analytica Facebook Targeting Model

March 30, 2018 by Matthew Hindman, Associate Professor of Media and Public Affairs, George Washington University; Original article here. Matthew Hindman does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

The whole point of a dimension reduction model is to mathematically represent the data in simpler form. It’s as if Cambridge Analytica took a very high-resolution photograph, resized it to be smaller, and then deleted the original. The photo still exists – and as long as Cambridge Analytica’s models exist, the data effectively does too.

How The Model Really Worked

In an email to me, Cambridge University scholar Aleksandr Kogan explained how his statistical model processed Facebook data for Cambridge Analytica. The researcher whose work is at the center of the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data analysis and political advertising uproar has revealed that his method worked much like the one Netflix uses to recommend movies.

The accuracy, he claims, suggests it works about as well as established voter-targeting methods based on demographics like race, age and gender. Kogan’s account would mean that the digital modeling Cambridge Analytica used was hardly the virtual crystal ball that a few have claimed. Yet the numbers Kogan provides also show what is – and isn’t – actually possible by combining personal data with machine learning for political ends.

Aleksandr Kogan answers questions on CNN.

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2018 NTP Conclusions re: RF Microwave Radiation Studies in Rats

The National Toxicology Program (NTP) convened the NTP Technical Reports Peer Review Panel (“the Panel”) on March 26-28, 2018, to peer review two Draft NTP Technical Reports on Cell Phone Radiofrequency Microwave Radiation. Meeting information, including the draft reports, is available at the NTP website ( A meeting report will be prepared and posted to the NTP website when completed

Neoplastic Lesions: GSM Modulation

Male Hsd:Sprague Dawley SD rats, exposed to GSM-modulated cell phone RF Microwave Radiation at 900 MHz

  • Panel 2 voted to recommend (8 yes, 3 no, 0 abstentions) the conclusion,

Clear evidence of carcinogenic activity of male Hsd:Sprague Dawley SD rats based on incidences of malignant schwannoma in the heart

  • Panel 2 voted to recommend (7 yes, 4 no, 0 abstentions) the conclusion’

Some evidence of carcinogenic activity of male Hsd:Sprague Dawley SD rats based on incidences of malignant glioma in the brain.

  • Panel 2 voted to recommend (6 yes, 4 no, 1 abstention) the conclusion,

Some evidence of carcinogenic activity of male Hsd:Sprague Dawley SD rats based on incidences of pheochromocytoma (benign, malignant, or complex combined) in the adrenal medulla

Nonneoplastic Lesions: GSM Modulation

  • Panel 2 voted to accept unanimously (11 yes, 0 no, 0 abstentions) the conclusion as written,

Increases in nonneoplastic lesions in the heart, brain, and prostate gland of male rats occurred with exposures to GSM cell phone RF Microwave Radiation at 900 MHz.

  • Panel 2 voted to accept unanimously (11 yes, 0 no, 0 abstentions) the conclusion as written

Increases in nonneoplastic lesions in the heart, thyroid gland, and adrenal gland in female rats occurred with exposures to GSM cell phone RF Microwave Radiation at 900 MHz.

How Big Wireless Duped the World re: the Hazards of RF/MW Radiation

By Mark Hertsgaard and Mark Dowie, THE NATION, March 29, 2018 Original article here.

Mark Hertsgaard, The Nation’s environment correspondent and investigative editor, is the author of seven books, including HOT: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth .

Mark Dowie, an investigative historian based outside Willow Point, California, is the author of the new book, The Haida Gwaii Lesson: A Strategic Playbook for Indigenous Sovereignty.

Disinformation — and Massive Radiation Increase — of 4G/5G Close Proximity Microwave Radiation Antennas

Things didn’t end well between George Carlo and Tom Wheeler; the last time the two met face-to-face, Wheeler had security guards escort Carlo off the premises. As president of the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association (CTIA), Wheeler was the wireless industry’s point man in Washington. Carlo was the scientist handpicked by Wheeler to defuse a public-relations crisis that threatened to strangle his infant industry in its crib. This was back in 1993, when there were only six cell-phone subscriptions for every 100 adults in the United States. But industry executives were looking forward to a booming future.

Remarkably, cell phones had been allowed onto the US consumer market a decade earlier without any government safety testing. Now, some customers and industry workers were being diagnosed with cancer. In January 1993, David Reynard sued the NEC America Company, claiming that his wife’s NEC phone caused her lethal brain tumor. After Reynard appeared on national TV, the story went viral. A congressional subcommittee announced an investigation; investors began dumping their cell-phone stocks; and Wheeler and the CTIA swung into action.

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Scientists Find Definitive Link to Cancer from RF Microwave Radiation Exposure

Adapted from the article by John Murawski March 28, 2018; Original article here.

Research Triangle Park, NC — Cellphone radio-frequency waves can be decisively linked to cancer in rats, according to a national science panel meeting in Research Triangle Park on Wednesday. The scientists’ finding establishes the clearest connection of cellphone risk to humans in a major U.S. study to date.

The scientists made their announcement at the end of a three-day meeting to review a $25 million rodent experiment conducted by the National Toxicology Program in RTP for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The draft of the study, issued in early February, had established a weak link in some cases and no link in others, but the scientific advisory panel on Wednesday said the data is more compelling and indicates greater risk than initially acknowledged.

Wednesday’s decision is expected to change the debate over cellphone safety as the telecommunications industry, with encouragement from the Federal Communications Commission, prepares to roll out the next-generation high-speed 5G wireless technology. Public health activists predict the science panel’s conclusions of wireless risks will increase pressure on federal agencies to issue safety warnings and tighten safety standards of the ubiquitous electronic device.

Ronald Melnick, the National Toxicology Program scientist who designed the study before he retired nine years ago:

"It should most likely lead to a reduction in exposure limits. This matters a lot because the agencies that will receive this data will make public health decisions based on this information."

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Cambridge Analytica CEO Promised More Than He Delivered

March 28, 2018 5:30 a.m. ET, By Sam Schechner, Jenny Gross and Rebecca Ballhaus; Original article here

Alexander Nix is now under fire for his use of Facebook data

LONDON — Cambridge Analytica CEO Alexander Nix’s sales pitch was simple and powerful: his firm’s personality-profiling ability would let politicians win votes by tapping into people’s deepest fears and desires. Nix vowed ‘big data’ could hone messages for maximum impact.

Clients of the company, including Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, said Cambridge Analytica struggled to make good on Mr. Nix’s bold claims. Among the data Mr. Nix’s team crunched was information on 50 million Facebook users obtained and allegedly stockpiled in violation of Facebook policies, former Cambridge Analytica worker Christopher Wylie told the New York Times and the U.K.’s Observer earlier this month.

The ensuing scandal has sheared $80 billion off the market value of Facebook and led to calls for Mr. Nix to testify again before U.S. and U.K. lawmakers. Investigators from Britain’s data-privacy watchdog last week searched the Cambridge Analytica’s London offices.

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4G/5G Wireless Is the New Bait-and-Switch Scandal

Adapted from a 3/8/18 article by Bruce Kushnick, New Networks Institute

The 4G/5G Close Proximity Microwave Radiation Antennas (‘CPMRA’) scheme is the latest in a long list of scandals by AT&T and Verizon to use the promise of a new technology to

  1. Eliminate regulations
  2. Kill off competition
  3. Raise rates

This 4G/5G CPMRA scheme relies on the AT&T/Verizon/ALEC-influenced FCC-Majority and Telecom-funded politicians, to push it through, since Americans hate this scheme: NO ONE WANTS A CELL PHONE TOWER 15–50 FEET FROM THEIR HOMES.

Compare the 4G/5G Densification Vision, as sold in the US House on 3/6/18 . . . to actual fights over 4G/5G Antennas in neighborhoods, documented at My Street, My Choice!

This onslaught on local communities has intensified with the FCC-Majority’s recent attacks on the public interest. Not surprisingly, the FCC-Majority is gung-ho about the 4G/5G densification plan. The FCC recently eliminated Net Neutrality and dumped Americans’ basic privacy protections. The FCC’s endorsement of 4G/5G densification should trigger both distrust  and disgust.

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Magda Havas on Ramazzini Institute Study

By Magda Havas; Original article here.

One mistake people make is they look for that ONE study that is going to be so persuasive that no one with two or more brain cells firing will be able to disagree with the conclusions.
The evidence in the Ramazzini study is important, but it isn’t until it is combined with other studies that it becomes powerful.

Let me explain.

In research, one of the most powerful results is confirmative evidence. By this I mean studies that are pointing us in the same direction using different tools, different locations, different subjects.

We use three primary tools in health/pollution research: epidemiological studies, in vivo studies, and in vitro studies. They all have their strengths and weaknesses. However, when they all point in the same direction they provide very powerful scientific evidence.

  • The epidemiological studies are conducted under realistic conditions, using human subject (mostly) and show an association between an agent and an outcome. In this case the agent would be microwave radiation and the outcome would be cancer.

  • The in vivo studies are with living specimens (seldom humans) and are conducted in artificial, highly controlled environments and show a cause-effect relationship as only one parameters is altered at a time.

  • The in vitro studies (in glass) are similar to the in vivo studies but they look at cells, organelles, biochemical reactions, etc. and provide evidence for a mechanism.

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Verizon in Sebastopol

By E.I. Hillin, Staff Writer, Mar 23, 2018; Original article here.

Sebastopol Council Initiates Update on Telecom Ordinance

Although the advancements in telecommunications have been unprecedented in the last two decades, the city of Sebastopol has failed to update its telecommunications ordinance since 1996.

As telecommunications giant Verizon swoops in to implement “better” network coverage, attempts from city government and backlash from concerned citizens may not be enough to hold off the impending “small cell” towers. The Sebastopol City council approved the initiation of an updated telecommunications ordinance during its regular meeting on March 20. The moratorium on telecommunication applications that several citizens had requested was pulled off the table.

Although agenda item 12 did state the council would be “considering enacting a temporary moratorium on telecommunication applications during the ordinance update,” Mayor Patrick Slayter announced it was in fact not on the agenda and that it was a “typographical error.”

Verizon submitted an application on Feb. 6 for two Close Proximity Microwave Radiation Antennas (CPMRA) installations within city limits. One proposed installation would be on an existing wooden pole at the intersection of Woodland and McFarlane Avenues and the other would be on an existing wooden pole at the intersection of Highway 116 and Hutchins Avenue. A revised application for the installation on McFarlane Avenue was submitted on March 6.

On legal advice from the city attorney Larry McLaughlin, enacting a moratorium could potentially open the city up to be targeted for a lawsuit:

“Normally when a city council takes up the subject of revising a land-use type of ordinance, it’s pretty much a no-brainer that city council could pass a moratorium on applications while it considers updating that particular ordinance. In this case, with the topic being telecommunications, enacting a moratorium would be problematic”

The Verizon application is still under review and is being processed under the existing telecommunications ordinance. City Planning Director Kenyon Webster said staff has a 150-day timeline to make a decision on the application, from the date it was filed. Failure to do so could allow the applicants to receive automatic approval. “The clock is still running,” he said.

Given the process for updating such a complicated ordinance, including initial discussion, public input, direction from the commission; preparation of a draft and allowing time for comment; a formal commission hearing; final direction from the commission; and then a similar process with the council, Webster predicted it would take four to six months to finalize the updated telecommunications ordinance.

Verizon, one of the largest communication technology companies in the world, boasts it powers the nation’s largest and most reliable 4G LTE network with wireless coverage in more than 98 percent of the U.S. Now Verizon plans to unleash its advanced 5G wireless technology. According to the Verizon website, Verizon’s first commercial launch is planned to be in Sacramento in the second half of 2018.

In an article about public policy driving the 5G network, Verizon’s Vice President of Public Policy, Melissa Glidden Tye said the Sacramento launch will also include several other communities"

“Verizon is at the forefront of this vision for America’s future, because we’re building the modern network infrastructure all over the country that will make it a reality."

Verizon is not only dealing with just City councils. Verizon lost it’s heavily-lobbied State Telecom Bill, Senate Bill 649 which Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed on October 15, 2017 — a bill that was strongly opposed by over 300 California Cities, including Sebastopol, and a majority of California Counties. Not a single California County or City supported this bill.

Verizon also continues to lobby at the Federal Level, according to Verizon’s Melissa Glidden Tye:

“To accelerate the benefits of 5G, we need elected leaders at every level of government to adopt smart policies that support the deployment of new infrastructure. Leaders on both sides of the aisle and across the federal government have sent strong signals that it’s time to double down on America’s future in 5G, and time to start finding ways to accelerate deployment, remove regulatory barriers, connect local communities and close the digital divide.”