Source: Google, Verizon near net neutrality plan

Google Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. are close to finalizing a proposal for so-called “network neutrality” rules, which would dictate how broadband providers treat internet traffic flowing over their lines, according to a person briefed on the negotiations, the Associated Press reports. A deal could be announced within days, said the person, who did not want to be identified because negotiations are still ongoing. Any deal that is reached could form the basis for federal legislation and would likely shape efforts by the Federal Communications Commission to broker an agreement on the contentious issue, which has pitted the nation’s big phone and cable companies against many big internet companies. The FCC has been holding talks with a handful of large phone, cable and internet companies–including Verizon and Google–to try to reach some sort of industrywide compromise on net neutrality that all sides can accept. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski is seeking to adopt rules that would require phone and cable companies to give equal treatment to all broadband traffic traveling over their networks…

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Google tells lawmakers it never used Wi-Fi data

Google Inc. is telling lawmakers that it never dissected or used any of the information that it accidentally sucked up while collecting data about public Wi-Fi networks in more than 30 countries, reports the Associated Press. In a letter to three key members of the House Commerce Committee, the company apologized for collecting fragments of eMails, search requests and other online activities over unencrypted Wi-Fi networks. The company got the information while photographing neighborhoods for its “Street View” mapping feature. Google said it was trying to gather information about the location, strength and configuration of Wi-Fi networks so it could improve the accuracy of location-based services such as Google Maps and driving directions. Going further and collecting snippets of information traveling over those networks “was a mistake,” Pablo Chavez, Google’s director of public policy, wrote in the letter…

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Google Maps inspire creativity

A new technology from internet search behemoth Google Inc. is making innovators out of some educators, who have begun envisioning practical uses for the company’s new Google Maps feature to make previously unavailable graphic representations of everything from school district bus routes to geography lessons.

Educators aren’t the only ones taking advantage of the technology. Others also have discovered how to tinker with the search engine’s mapping service to graphically illustrate vital information that might otherwise be ignored, overlooked, or not perceived as clearly.

“This is pretty interesting for organizations, such as school districts, that have maps that provide boundary information and such,” wrote Tim Lauer, principal of Meriwether Lewis Elementary School in Portland, Ore., and a frequent contributor to eSchool News Online’s Ed-Tech Insider, a blog for educators and technology advocates. “Imagine a district map that showed bus stops combined with Google content. Families could punch in their home address and easily find the closest stop.” …Read More