One week after a federal court upheld the Federal Communications Commission’s landmark net neutrality policy, emboldened FCC officials are moving to advance an ambitious set of reforms that are already generating static from the broadband industry and its political allies.
The decade-long battle over net neutrality, the principle that all content on the internet should be equally accessible to consumers, is not over. Industry giant AT&T has said it plans to join an appeal of the DC Circuit’s decision to the Supreme Court, and net neutrality foes in Congress continue to pursue their relentless campaign aimed at knee-capping the FCC’s consumer protections.
But now that the FCC’s regulatory authority is on the strongest legal footing in years, agency officials are well-positioned to address pressing policy issues without the albatross of net neutrality around their necks. Speaking to the National Press Club on Monday, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler sounded a defiant note on the question of the agency’s legal power as he outlined new plans to promote 5G wireless spectrum.
“Our networks are open and will remain open for innovators to use without permission, and for consumers to access any place they want to go on the web, without permission, without blocking, without throttling, and without paid prioritization,” Wheeler told reporters.
After six years of litigation, Sony is now agreeing to pay the price for its 2010 firmware update that removed support for the Linux operating system in the PlayStation 3.
Sony and lawyers representing as many as 10 million console owners reached the deal on Friday. Under the terms of the accord, (PDF) which has not been approved by a California federal judge yet, gamers are eligible to receive $55 if they used Linux on the console. The proposed settlement, which will be vetted by a judge next month, also provides $9 to each console owner that bought a PS3 based on Sony's claims about "Other OS" functionality.
The deal also provides up to $2.25 million in attorneys' fees for the lawyers who brought suit. Under the plan, gamers eligible for a cash payment are "all persons in the United States who purchased a Fat PS3 model in the United States between November 1, 2006, and April 1, 2010." The accord did not say how much it would cost Sony, but the entertainment company is expected to pay out millions.
The troubles began with the PS3 software update 3.21. On March 28, 2010, Sony announced that the update would "disable the 'Install Other OS' feature that was available on the PS3 systems prior to the current slimmer models." This feature, Sony claimed, would be removed "due to security concerns."
Another day, another rumor that Apple is going to ditch the headphone jack on the next iPhone in favor of sending out audio over Lightning. Or another phone beats Apple to the punch by ditching the headphone jack in favor of passing out audio over USB-C. What exciting times for phones! We’re so out of ideas that actively making them shittier and more user-hostile is the only innovation left.
Look, I know you’re going to tell me that the traditional TRS headphone jack is a billion years old and prone to failure and that life is about progress and whatever else you need to repeat deliriously into your bed of old HTC extUSB dongles and insane magnetic Palm adapters to sleep at night. But just face facts: ditching the headphone jack on phones makes them worse, in extremely obvious ways. Let’s count them!
Intel Corp. attacked the European Commission for being unfair in a probe that led to a record 1.06 billion-euro ($1.2 billion) fine.
The key issue in the investigation was loyalty rebates to lower retail prices, Daniel Beard, a lawyer for Intel, told the European Union’s Court of Justice in Luxembourg on Tuesday. But the European Commission failed to analyze “all relevant circumstances” to see if the rebates shut out rivals, he said.
The world’s biggest chipmaker is making a final attempt to overturn the penalty doled out in 2009 for unfairly squeezing out Advanced Micro Devices Inc. No date for a ruling has been set.
Two years ago, the EU General Court rejected Intel’s first appeal. That ruling was a timely boost to the Brussels-based European Commission, which is embroiled in lengthy probes of search engine giant Google and chip designer Qualcomm Inc. Regulators say Google gave financial incentives to telecommunications operators and phone makers that install its search app. They also allege Qualcomm paid a smartphone and tablet manufacturer to mostly use its chips.
In its early days as a streaming service, Netflix wasn’t just the biggest and best company on the block – it was the only one. In those heady days, Netflix was able to charge low subscription rates and still provide a catalog that included just about everything.
As we’ve seen, that’s been changing. With new competition from companies like Hulu and Amazon, Netflix has seen streaming deals get pricier and customers get antsier. For a few years now, Netflix’s catalog has been shrinking while its prices have been rising.
So where’s a streaming company to find new profits in a tight market? According to some people, the answer is for Netflix to start showing ads, like competitor Hulu does. That would give the company new revenue streams without forcing them to raise prices.
Of course, there’s a group of stakeholders that’s still left unaccounted for here: Netflix’s customers. We decided to ask them about the issue. And, in a survey of more than 1,200 people on Reddit, we got some pretty clear answers.
Internet startup culture has evolved and matured over the past five years, and there’s no better example of this than the RISE conference happening this week in Hong Kong. Whereas Silicon Valley was once the sole hub of internet innovation, startups here hail from Bangalore, Singapore, and other cities. The macho bravado many associate with the culture has even dampened somewhat—34% of attendees are women.
As startup culture has gone global and transcended stereotypes, though, one of its defining traits has stuck around. Startup jargon is alive and well, and it seems to be getting worse.
“Content.” “Platforms.” “Synergy.” “End-to-end.” “Solutions.” It’s nearly impossible to find a startup at the conference that doesn’t resort to jargon when describing itself.
These words sound technical and informed. But they mean nothing, and they make it difficult for ordinary people to understand what a company actually does. In an effort to either sound smart and attract investors, or to simply dress up an otherwise boring product, startups that rely too much on jargon end up alienating the users they want to attract.