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Time to Stop Texting and Driving #ITCANWAIT

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Nine Americans are killed every day from motor vehicle accidents that involve distracted driving, such as using a cellphone and texting. The probability that a motor vehicle crash involved a cell phone is one in four. Yet, despite these statistics, 33 percent of U.S. drivers ages 18 to 64 surveyed admitted to reading or writing text messages while driving.

“It Can Wait” is a national movement urging drivers to visit www.ItCanWait.com, where they can pledge to keep their eyes on the road, not on their phones, and share their pledges via Twitter (#ItCanWait) and Facebook. Since its launch in 2010, the campaign has helped increase awareness of the dangers of texting while driving to about 90 percent for all audiences surveyed.

Join the more than 7.2 million people who have already taken the pledge not to text and drive and remember “It Can Wait”.

Clarity Around Net Neutrality

So just what is net neutrality?  Net neutrality, sometimes referred to as the Open Internet, is a concept based on three principles: transparency in how service providers manage their networks; equal treatment of all Internet traffic by a broadband provider; and ensuring that consumers have access to any lawful online content.

 

Nearly every civil rights leader supports these principles, but where proponents of Title II and the civil rights community diverge is on the appropriate regulatory framework for ensuring that Open Internet principles are met and that broadband is deployed to all Americans, especially underserved communities.   Most civil rights groups support application of section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996.  This section calls on the Federal Communications Commission to promote the deployment of broadband with the use of an array of regulatory tools that promote competition.

 

Promoting competition leads to greater investment and deployment of broadband facilities in minority communities.  Not only does consumer welfare increase from getting more providers to choose from, but a competitive market also creates more incentive for broadband providers to adhere to Open Internet principles.   The opposite approach, which is favored by some, is to apply so-called Title II regulations. But this approach would only be needed if the broadband market was a monopoly, dominated by a single provider. But the structure of the market is quite the opposite.  The fierce competition in the broadband market between wireline and wireless providers, all of whom want our business allows for the freedom of choice and more importantly entry points at any price level.

 

Today’s consumer has a number of choices for access to the Internet via a range of broadband platforms – cable, DSL, fiber, wireless, Wi-Fi, satellite.  This competition actually benefits lower income families because it allows for them to get access at lower price points and grow as their situation improves but most importantly they are not shut out. For these reasons, the type of regulation that people are  pushing for  is totally out of step with the reality of today’s marketplace. Ironically, at least for people who oppose this, we have a robust e-commerce environment because broadband, content, and other edge providers have been adhering for over two decades to the very openness principles that they are now opposing.

 

Another fallacy in the net neutrality narrative is how the concept is applied to content.  Proponents argue that net neutrality governs how content is managed; that changing net neutrality, and thus how content is managed, is in the financial interest of Internet service providers like Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon.  This argument is misleading because it’s based on a false premise.

 

First of all, net neutrality is not about governing how content is managed.  Net neutrality is about regulating the transport of and access to content.  By stating that net neutrality governs how content is managed, this wording implies that consumers and content providers have to watch out for whether broadband operators are editing actual messages.  This creates anxiety over something that is not the real issue. The simple issue is capacity and how delivering video to millions of people is different than delivering as people insist, then the Internet ecosystem would shut down.  Trust is essential to adopting the Internet as a digital medium, and that trust would evaporate if such content interference became reality.

 

Lastly, people also argue that courts have made it clear that reclassifying broadband under Title II is the only way for the Federal Communications Commission to protect net neutrality rules.   Actually, what the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia said was that the FCC, under its challenged net neutrality rules, was treating broadband as a common carrier even though the FCC had ruled in the past that broadband providers were not common carriers.  The court went on further to say that under section 706, the FCC could apply net neutrality principles to broadband providers without reclassifying them as common carriers. Indeed, the court went to great lengths to spell out how the FCC could do this without having to reclassify.

 

Let’s start by focusing on deployment of broadband to unserved areas once we ensure the playing field to access and opportunity are level for everyone, when I see the people I connect with daily in a position to experience the benefits that the people looking to change it have for so long , then I can feel like we are where we need to be and my hope is that we let this be our common ground.

Patnering with Urban Apps and Maps To Get More People to Code

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I recently partner with the Urban Apps & Maps program created by Temple University and sponsored by the Knight Foundation. Our goal was to increase enrolled in the program that teaches HS kids how to build civic minded apps. The orshops resulted in a 200% increase in enrollment over last year. See the video below

 

At Consumer Electronics Show, ‘smartphone revolution’ spreads from car to closet

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At Consumer Electronics Show, ‘smartphone revolution’ spreads from car to closet (via PBS News Hour)

The Internet is moving beyond computers and phones. From your toaster to your car to your socks, almost everything you touch can be wired for connectivity. Judy Woodruff talks to Cecilia Kang of The Washington Post about the technological breakthroughs…


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Speech to 4H Summer Science program @Rutgers

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My Speech To the Last Graduating Class of MLK Middle School in Newark!

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Proud to Be Named to The Black Enterprise “10 Black Innovators to Watch” List

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Black Enterprise Magazine names Navarrow Wright as one of their picks who could emerge as the Next Steve Jobs. Wright joins a select group of people makings moves in technology.

Read the whole story here

Reflecting On Where God and Technology Have Brought Me

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One thing I Wished The President Talked About More In The SOTU Address: Why We Need 4G Networks To Help Close The Divide

President Obama’s SOTU address was one of the best I’ve seen in a long time. He came out clearly reminded people what he had accomplished and what he felt needed to be done next. He also touched on the importance of bringing jobs back to the US and training people to be able to take open tech jobs. The one area I wished he would have covered more is the importance of creating 4G networks and how they can help close the digital divide . My podcast below talks about my thoughts on subject.

By the Time Apple’s IBook Textbooks Reach Minorities And Inner City Schools, The Divide May Be Too Wide To Close.

With the launch of Apple’s IBook textbook application a new era in learning has begun. Listen to my podcast where I explain that while the technology is game changing, not getting it to minorities and the inner cities could create a new digital divide. I believe a post from Time magazine paints an accurate picture of the worst case scenario:

Thus in the most frightening scenario, one could imagine a world where Apple’s textbooks serve only to increase the digital divide, and thus the achievement gap. In this scenario, there will be some students who are able to use the new textbooks, likely those at wealthy suburban schools where either the school or their parents can afford to buy them an iPad, while other students, most likely those in impoverished urban schools, are stuck using paper textbooks that have been handed down for years.