Conference, shaped bandwidth, ad aggregation


Wharton School Professor Kevin Werbach is holding his Supernova conference in San Francsico this week and kicking off Tuesday with an open workshop that anyone can join. In scanning the speaker’s list I noticed an entry for Peter Merholz, who I’ve run into a time or two at dinners in San Francisco, and visited his blog,, to get a flavor of his written work. There I read Peter’s blog entry on a documentary about the typeface Helvetica (which I understand is turning 50. Happy birthday modern look in graphic design!) What a curious interest and, as a former typographer, one I happen to share. Anyhow if you have a chance to check out Supernova, you now have the means even if you are not in San Francisco (I’m on vacation north of the city, in the redwoods; but I brought my laptop.)

Bandwidth shaping? Here’s a term that’s new to me. It’s from a BBC article that talks about whether the crush of video files flowing through the web will crash the network. In the course of pointing out the possibility that traffic demands could grow faster than fiber carrying-capacity and routing expertise, the article talks about ISPs already taking steps to limit the download demands of their biggest consumer users:


“The real issue that people are going to face, and are already noticing at home, is that ISPs are starting to cut back on the bandwidth that is available to people in their homes,” said (a net expert). “They call it bandwidth shaping. They do this because they have a limited capacity to deliver to 100 or 200 homes, and if everybody’s using the internet at the same time then the whole thing starts to get congested. Before that happens they cut back on the heavy users.”

Advertising collective? Direct Marketing News reports that suburban newspapers have formed one-stop shop for national advertisers trying to buy into them. Susan Karol, executive director of the Suburban Newspapers of America Foundation explained the new advertising network:


“Right now, our segment of the newspaper industry is somewhat fragmented and complicated to buy. The network will remove that barrier and open up a new option for national advertisers looking for an alternative to metro newspapers.”