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Hostetter’s ‘Ex-Con’ Reunion Went Viral, Drawing 300 Plus To Boston Party Before Show

5/28/2012 12:01 AM Eastern

The Cable Show’s return to Boston after
44 years presented an opportunity for cable pioneer
Amos Hostetter to throw a reunion party. It ended up
drawing some 300 people
who worked for his former
cable company, Continental
Cablevision, or
for Pilot House Ventures,
his investment firm, to a
tented area outside the
New England Aquarium
on Boston Harbor.

Hostet ter sold Cont
inental to then-telco
U S West in 1996 for some
$11.7 billion, according to
The Cable Center, and 80
of his longtime employees
became millionaires.
Needless to say, he remains popular among the people
who worked for him.

“Thank you all for making Continental the company it
was,” he said when the time came to quiet the jazz combo
and welcome the assembled “ex-Cons,” as the invitations
called them.

“Someone said to me as I was coming in, this is very
much like a high-school reunion,” Hostetter said. “And
I’ve got to say, in many respects it is, because that’s the
age we were when we started.”

An actuarial study done for the company’s first insurance
policy, in the late 1960s or early 1970s, found the
average employee age was under 30, he said. “We were
not old enough to realize we
could fail and, as a result, we
didn’t.”

Afterward he shook a
lot of hands and posed in
countless photos.

Robert Sachs, a longtime
Continental executive
and former head of the
National Cable & Telecommunications
Association,
asked attendees to share
anecdotes with former Wall
Street Journal
reporter Scott
McMurray, who is writing a
company history.

Which Congressional
Heads Sound Smarter
Than a 12th Grader?

The Sunlight Foundation has released a new analysis of
the Congressional Record that ranks legislators by the
grade level at which they speak.

The analysis is based on the Flesch-Kincaid test,
“which equates higher grade levels with longer words and
longer sentences.”

Perhaps with Ernest Hemingway in mind, Sunlight
concedes the limitations of its approach, saying that what
some might call the dumbing down of Congress — the level
has dropped by almost one grade in the past seven years
— others would call effective communications, particularly
as the average American reads at an eighth-grade level.

The Wire looked at scores from the heads of the communications
oversight committees to see how they rated.
Democrats scored generally better than Republicans. But
for Congress overall, Republicans scored three of the top
five spots. No. 1 was Dan Lundgren (R-Calif.), at a whopping
16.01, or college senior level. Conservative Republicans
claimed the five lowest spots in Congress.

In order, here’s how leaders of the House and Senate
Commerce and Communications panels fared:


Senate Communications: John Kerry
(D-Mass.), 12.235.


Senate Commerce: Jay Rockefeller
(D-W.Va.), 12.234.

House Communications: Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), 11.936.

House E&C: Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), 11.786


House E&C: Fred Upton
(R-Mich.), 11.777


House Communications: Greg Walden
(R-Ore.), 11.425

Senate Communications: Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), 10.873.

Senate Commerce: Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Tex.), 10.856

Stanford Team Grabs
Hack-a-Thon Trophy
With Bandwidth App

BOSTON — Two weary-but-happy students
from Stanford University took
home the $10,000 grand prize in
the NCTA’s Imagine App Challenge
48-hour “hack-a-thon” competition,
with an app that allows broadband
users to set bandwidth priorities for
content and applications.

Student developers from Stanford,
Pace, Wellesley, the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology
and Rutgers had
two days to develop an idea and build a prototype app.
The National Cable & Telecommunications Association
picked up travel and food expenses.

“We are so honored and proud to have you here on
the floor,” NCTA president and CEO Michael Powell said
in announcing the winners. “I think you inspired us all
about a future that we’re not going to build — you’re
going to build.”

The Stanford students, Yiannis Yiakoumis and
Te-Yuan Huang, developed an app called “My Home”
that lets a user set preferences for prioritizing traffic into the home network. Users can choose to give
priority to any content providers or applications they
wish.

“ISPs provide best-effort traffic delivery today,” Yiakoumis
said in presenting the app. “This shows as long
as you give the user the control over prioritizing traffic
... there are ways [for operators] to make money out of
it by exploiting infrastructure better.”

The App Challenge was organized
by Jon Potter, president of
the not-for-profit Application Developers
Alliance
, and sponsored
by Civolution and Rovi.

“I think the endorphins kicked
in last night [May 22] at 2 a.m.,”
Potter said. “I don’t know how
much Chinese food they sent out
for, but when I came in this morning,
they were all still smiling.”

READY TO SCOOT HOME

BOSTON — RLTV said Trevor Arp, vice president of programming
and product deployment for Comcast’s
Northeast division, was one of two winners of a
Vespa 150 LX i.e. scooter in a show-floor drawing
at Cable Show 2012. To enter, contestants had to
name their favorite person over age 50 — which, in
Arp’s case, was Olivia Newton-John.

September