Tag Archives: Engadget

Get The Net!

Sara Jerome at The Hill:

After nearly a decade of battle, the Federal Communications Commission approved contentious net-neutrality regulations on Tuesday over the strong objections of two Republican commissioners.

The vote marks the first time the agency has created formal rules for Internet lines, fulfilling an Obama campaign promise to prevent phone and cable companies from exerting too much control over the Internet.

“As we stand here now, the freedom and openness of the Internet are unprotected … That will change once we vote to approve this strong and balanced order,” FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said at a commission meeting on Tuesday.

Tuesday’s vote closes a long chapter for Genachowski, after he sped out of the gates last year promising strong net-neutrality protections.

He quickly drew the wrath of the telecommunications industry and the skepticism of both parties in Congress, while frustrating consumer groups as his promises became mired in delay.

Ryan Kim at Gigaom:

The Open Internet Coalition, which includes Google, Skype and others Internet companies said the order addresses some important issues in protecting an open Internet and providing some stable rules for the Internet ecosystem. But Markham Erickson, Executive Director of OIC said the order still does not go far enough in protecting the wireless Internet, which has great potential for consumers, innovators and the economy.

“The Commission should move to apply the same rules of the road to the entire Internet moving forward,” Erickson said in a statement. “We will continue to monitor the progress under this rule and work to ensure the FCC fulfills its responsibility to protect consumers’,  small businesses’ and nonprofits’ ability to fully access and enjoy the benefits of the open Internet.”

Christopher Libertelli, Skype’s senior director of government & regulatory affairs said the Internet communications company is generally pleased with the trade-offs in the FCC’s rules.

“On balance, this decision advances the goal of keeping the Internet an open and unencumbered medium for Skype users. Specifically, we support the Commission’s decision that it will not tolerate wireless carriers who arbitrarily block Skype on mobile devices. This decision protects a consumer’s entitlement to use Skype on their mobile devices and we look forward to delivering further innovation in this area.”

Free Press, a media advocacy group, called the new rules a squandered opportunity that was heavily influenced by the Internet service providers the FCC should be regulating. Rather than protect an open Internet, the new order will enable discrimination for the first time, said Free Press Managing Director Craig Aaron.

“These rules don’t do enough to stop the phone and cable companies from dividing the Internet into fast and slow lanes, and they fail to protect wireless users from discrimination. No longer can you get to the same Internet via your mobile device as you can via your laptop. The rules pave the way for AT&T to block your access to third-party applications and to require you to use its own preferred applications.”

Mike Wendy, director of MediaFreedom, a market-oriented media organization said the new rules were unwarranted regulation of the Internet, the result of an over-reaching agency. He said the order could undermine U.S. competitiveness if not overturned in the courts or by Congress.

“If not overturned… these new regulations will harm the roll out of Internet infrastructure and services. Moreover, they will take America backwards at a time when our economy needs every advantage it can get to provide jobs for Americans, and compete globally,” Wendy said in a blog post.

Alexia Tsotsis at Tech Crunch:

What was actually voted on today has still yet to be published, but according to reports it lays out two different frameworks for fixed broadband and mobile broadband traffic. In both cases carriers like Comcast or Verizon will need to provide transparency to customers and will be prohibited from blocking competing services such Google Voice or Skype.

The discrepancy between the way the two different services are handled and the precise meaning of “reasonable network management practices” is what has the opposition in a huff. Initial reports of the regulations describe them as explicitly forbidding providers to accept pay for unreasonable traffic prioritization in the case of broadband and offering no such protections in the case of mobile broadband.

If today’s vote has succeeded in anything it is in creating debate as to whether or not the FCC has ultimate authority to regulate Internet practices. Republicans have already started to make noise about blocking the regulations when a more Republican Congress takes over in January. McDowell has also hinted at potential blocks from courts “the F.C.C. has provocatively chartered a collision course with the legislative branch.”

This is not without precedent: A federal appeals court ruling against the FCC in April quashed the FCC’s authority as it attempted to enforce net neutrality principles against Comcast for discriminating against file sharing.

Nilay Patel at Engadget

Peter Suderman at Reason:

Genachowski’s remarks portrayed the rules as a moderate middle ground between the extremes. It was a decision driven not by ideology but the desire to “protect basic Internet values.” If it’s a middle ground, it’s a legally dubious one. Earlier this year, a federal court ruled that the FCC had no Congressionally granted authority to regulate network management. Congress hasn’t updated the agency’s authority over the Net since then, but the FCC is now saying that, well, it has the authority anyway. Genachowski’s team has come up with a different legal justification, and they’re betting that this time around they can convince a judge to buy it.

Still, Genachowski’s portrayal of the order may be half right: The FCC’s move on net neutrality is not really about ideology. It’s about authority: He’s not so much protecting values as expanding the FCC’s regulatory reach. According to Genachowski’s summary remarks, the new rules call for a prohibition on “unreasonable discrimination” by Internet Service Providers—with the FCC’s regulators, natch, in charge of determining what counts as unreasonable. In theory, this avoids the pitfalls that come with strict rules. But in practice, it gives the FCC the power to unilaterally and arbitrarily decide which network management innovations and practices are acceptable—and which ones aren’t.

It’s the tech-sector bureaucrat’s equivalent of declaring, Judge Dredd style, “I am the law!” Indeed, Genachowski has said before—and reiterated today—that the rules will finally give the FCC the authority to play “cop on the beat” for the Internet.

The comparison may not be quite as comforting as he seems to think. But it is telling: Genachowski may not be eager to tell the public exactly what the Internet’s new rules of the road are, but he’s mighty eager to have his agency enforce them.

Scarecrow at Firedoglake:

’ll leave to Tim Karr and others to describe the technical features and sell outs that have allowed the Western World’s Worst internet/broadband structure to become slower, more expensive and more discriminatory than services in other countries. Senator Al Franken gave an excellent speech, worth watching on the full range of policy issues.

It may help to have an analogous framework on how to think about what corporate capture of the internet and broadband service means, not just in terms of speed and coverage but in terms of content and pricing. It’s not just that our service is slower and we face monopoly pricing, it’s that a tiny handful of corporations are seizing control of what we’ll be allowed to watch and read.

Suppose that President Eisenhower had proposed we build an interstate highway system, but we’d allow only three or four large corporations to carve up and own all the main interconnections, determine the tolls and decide who got to drive on them during which hours. The corporations could also decide where the on/off ramps were, which communities they did or didn’t serve, where the routes went, depending on which provided better tax breaks.

And suppose these same companies owned a couple of auto companies, and they could decide whether cars and trucks made by their affiliate companies got better access, more lanes, higher speeds and lower tolls than cars/trucks sold by competitors.

Then suppose the Justice Department and the FTC did not think it their job to enforce the anti-trust laws of the United States, while the federal highway regulators did not believe they should have rules requiring open access, fair pricing, and non-discrimination.

Welcome to the forthcoming US policy on broadband/internet access.

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Status: Time’s Man Of The Year

Lev Grossman in Time:

Almost seven years ago, in February 2004, when Zuckerberg was a 19-year-old sophomore at Harvard, he started a Web service from his dorm. It was called Thefacebook.com, and it was billed as “an online directory that connects people through social networks at colleges.” This year, Facebook — now minus the the — added its 550 millionth member. One out of every dozen people on the planet has a Facebook account. They speak 75 languages and collectively lavish more than 700 billion minutes on Facebook every month. Last month the site accounted for 1 out of 4 American page views. Its membership is currently growing at a rate of about 700,000 people a day. (See a Zuckerberg family photo album.)

What just happened? In less than seven years, Zuckerberg wired together a twelfth of humanity into a single network, thereby creating a social entity almost twice as large as the U.S. If Facebook were a country it would be the third largest, behind only China and India. It started out as a lark, a diversion, but it has turned into something real, something that has changed the way human beings relate to one another on a species-wide scale. We are now running our social lives through a for-profit network that, on paper at least, has made Zuckerberg a billionaire six times over.

Facebook has merged with the social fabric of American life, and not just American but human life: nearly half of all Americans have a Facebook account, but 70% of Facebook users live outside the U.S. It’s a permanent fact of our global social reality. We have entered the Facebook age, and Mark Zuckerberg is the man who brought us here.

Mark Joyella at Mediaite:

The announcement was made live this morning on NBC’s TODAY by TIME managing editor Richard Stengel.

When it came right down to it, as Stengel told Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira, it was Zuckerberg’s social networking site Facebook (perhaps you’ve heard of it?) that was the deciding factor:

“It’s something that is transforming the way we live our lives every day. It’s social engineering, changing the way we relate to each other.”

Zuckerberg’s also the subject of an Oscar-buzzy film, The Social Network, which portrays the Facebook mogul as a geekily shy CEO. As Stengel put it:

“He’s very affable, he’s in the moment, he’s quick-witted,” Stengel said, but “he has this thing when he gets on camera” and becomes suddenly shy.

Also-rans in the Person of the Year competition were WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, those Chilean miners, and members of the Tea Party.

Sam Biddle at Gizmodo:

Congrats, Zuckerberg! You’ve officially made the list—up there on TIME’s cover issue hall of fame alongside Churchill, some popes, and Hitler. But unlike the awards of their pre-internet era, the selection couldn’t mean less today. POTY, you’re obsolete.Let’s not mistake the irrelevance of TIME’s pick for the irrelevance of Facebook, or even Zuckerberg, in the history of technology. They’ve both changed almost all of our lives, even if only in the most superficial of ways. Some of us use Facebook to talk with wonderful people whose friendship might have otherwise shriveled up and died had it not been for a way to trade photos and messages. Some of us use it as a way of remembering what we did last night. Some of us just use it as another way of being vain (Ugh, do my cheekbones look good in this new profile picture? Is my music section obscure enough?). But putting its merits aside, anything as ubiquitous as Facebook is important qua its ubiquity—as is Zuckerberg. But Zuckerberg’s importance is something for historians to pick over sometime in the near future. The accomplishment that TIME beams over—that Zuckerberg “wired together a twelfth of humanity into a single network, thereby creating a social entity almost twice as large as the U.S.”—has taken seven years. It’s an incredible feat, but it isn’t 2010’s feat. So why shine a glossy mag spotlight on him for this one, particular year? I want to ask you—what did Mark Zuckerberg do this year that he hadn’t done before?

Oversee some marginal redesigns?

Get caught in privacy imbroglios?

Find himself portrayed pretty well by Jesse Eisenberg?

How was this Zuckerberg’s year? It wasn’t. For a roundup of entities that actually made 2010 the strange contortion of good and awful it was, you can look, ironically, at TIME’s “Runners Up” list: The Tea Party. Hamid Karzai. Julian Assange. The Chilean Miners.

Well, maybe not so much the Chilean Miners.

But to think that Assange—a man whose actions in less than one year have shocked governments around the world, sent the US State Department scrambling with its face beet-red, put INTERPOL on a controversial manhunt, and triggered internationally coordinated hacker retribution—was overlooked, is asinine. Assange’s determination to make information available at any cost is unprecedented in the history of information—and 2010 was the year his cause ignited, whether you consider him villainous or virtuous.

But we don’t need TIME to tell us any of that. Hell, you don’t need me to tell you any of that. Like the cables he leaked, Assange’s story was everywhere, spread online through a diversity of mediums, un-suppressible and undeniable despite the attempts of world governments.

You blogged about it. You GChatted about it. You texted about it. You commented about it here. And, we now know, you tweeted the hell out of it.

Statistical troves like Twitter’s 2010 Year In Review show (and validate) more than TIME can ever hope to in 2010. We don’t need a magazine to tell us what we care about. We know what we care about—because we’ve make it important, not an editorial board.

On Twitter’s list of most-mentioned people, where is Zuckeberg? Nowhere. Instead, we have Tween Internet Baron Justin Bieber (OMGZ!!), Lady Gaga, Nobel Prize-winner Zilda Arns, and, of course, Julian Assange. But no Zuck. Granted, TIME’s Person of the Year isn’t a popularity contest, but if the man had made such an earthquaking difference in the past 365 days, wouldn’t people be talking about him? Or talking about him at least enough to bump top ten Twitter trender Joannie Rochette—a Canadian figure skater?

Ed Morrissey:

Honestly, though, what other real and significant impact has Facebook had?  It has spawned a Hollywood movie, which is probably why Time bothered to notice it after more than six years.  It’s a popular meeting space, and it allows people to reconnect to old friends, as well as waste vast amounts of time with imaginary farms and wannabe virtual Mafia dons.   Facebook is mostly a time suck.  At least Twitter had an impact last year in the attempt by the Iranian people to rebel against the dictatorship in Tehran.

We deal in politics, and so it’s possible that our perspective on the most significant trend or person this year is somewhat skewed.  However, it seems pretty clear that while Facebook allowed a lot of people to play, the Tea Party dismantled Barack Obama’s agenda and took both political parties by surprise.  Even Julian Assange would have been a better choice; while his impact was certainly malicious, he changed the way the world does diplomacy, at least temporarily, and opened a new front in radical transparency.  I have nothing against Zuckerberg, but this is a silly, insubstantial choice.

Juli Weiner at Vanity Fair

Owen Thomas at Social Beat:

For the Person of the Year is an observation, not a celebration. As a young editor a decade ago, I worked at Time magazine and helped on Jeff Bezos’s 1999 Person of the Year profile. Within the Time-Life Building’s corridors, we always discussed the fact that Time’s founder, Henry Luce, defined the annual feature as noting the person who “for better or for worse” had done the most to change the news, even if that message didn’t always resonate in the wider world. Time’s current managing editor, Richard Stengel, dutifully notes that Person of the Year “is not and has never been an honor” and adds that Zuckerberg’s creation is “both indispensable and a little scary.”Zuckerberg himself seems to lack that perspective. “This is a real honor,” he wrote on his Facebook page. The adulatory comments posted on his Facebook wall seem to mirror that naïveté.

Before anyone starts popping champagne corks in Palo Alto, consider the company Zuckerberg has joined: Adolf Hitler. Joseph Stalin. The Ayatollah Khomeini. Richard Nixon. Okay, and Gandhi, JFK, and Martin Luther King, Jr. But still.

Zuckerberg’s not the youngest Person of the Year — that was Charles Lindbergh, the aviator — but he has a long career ahead of him. With more than 500 million users on Facebook, he’s the sovereign of a new nation in cyberspace. Facebook’s corporate structure is designed to keep him in control for years to come. But do we really know how he’ll wield his power? And will it be for better or for worse?

Tim Stevens at Engadget

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Is Fox Mulder’s Life Work About To Get Vindicated?

Jason Kottke:

Here’s a curious press release from NASA:

NASA will hold a news conference at 2 p.m. EST on Thursday, Dec. 2, to discuss an astrobiology finding that will impact the search for evidence of extraterrestrial life. Astrobiology is the study of the origin, evolution, distribution and future of life in the universe.

I did a little research on the news conference participants and found:

1. Pamela Conrad (a geobiologist) was the primary author of a 2009 paper on geology and life on Mars

2. Felisa Wolfe-Simon (an oceanographer) has written extensively on photosynthesis using arsenic recently (she worked on the team mentioned in this article)

3. Steven Benner (a biologist) is on the “Titan Team” at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory; they’re looking at Titan (Saturn’s largest moon) as an early-Earth-like chemical environment. This is likely related to the Cassini mission.

4. James Elser (an ecologist) is involved with a NASA-funded astrobiology program called Follow the Elements, which emphasizes looking at the chemistry of environments where life evolves (and not just looking at water or carbon or oxygen).

So, if I had to guess at what NASA is going to reveal on Thursday, I’d say that they’ve discovered arsenic on Titan and maybe even detected chemical evidence of bacteria utilizing it for photosynthesis (by following the elements). Or something like that.

Vlad Savov at Engadget:

So NASA seems to have made some hot new astrobiology discovery, but just like the tech companies we’re more used to dealing with, it’s holding the saucy details under embargo until 2PM on Thursday. That’s when it’s got a press conference scheduled to discuss its findings, which we’re only told “will impact the search for evidence of extraterrestrial life.” It’s unlikely, therefore, that little green (or brown, or red, or blue) men have been captured somewhere on the dark side of the moon, but there’ll definitely be some impactful news coming within only a couple of days. NASA promises a live online stream of the event, which we’ll naturally be glued to come Thursday.

Alessondra Springmann at PCWorld:

What does that mean? Judging by the researchinterests of the scientistsinvolved in the upcoming announcement, our guess is that this astrobiological discovery will have something to do with water, evolutionary biology, and aquatic bacteria.

We’ll be covering the press conference and the discovery that’ll be announced on Thursday after 11AM PST (2PM EST), so keep an eye on GeekTech, or watch the press conference on NASA’s site. NASA will also show a video broadcast of the press conference to journalists at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View.

Until then, what do you think this discovery will be? Has extraterrestrial bacterial been discovered preserved in a meteorite? Have we seen evidence of life on a ocean-covered exoplanet?

Alasdair Wilkins at IO9:

Considering NASA’s claim that this will impact our search for alien life, I’d have to figure this has something to do with expanding the definition of “life as we know it”, suggesting more elements than we previously thought possible can be used as the raw materials for life. All this, of course, is just speculation – we’ll be listening in to the press conference on Thursday and have the news for you as it breaks.

Mike Wall at Space.com

Max Read at Gawker:

Of course, the announcement could be something totally different! Or, it could be that NASA has been contacted by a warlike race of space aliens and a certain-to-fail mission carried out by a ragtag bunch of scientists is our only hope of survival.

Phil Plait at Discover Magazine:

So what’s the press conference about? I don’t know, to be honest, beyond what’s in the announcement. The scientists on the panel are interesting, including noted astrobiologists and geologists who work on solar system objects like Mars and Titan. So this is most likely going to be something about conditions on another moon or planet conducive for life.

Of course, the speculation is that NASA will announce the discovery for life. Maybe. I can’t rule that out, but it seems really unlikely; I don’t think they would announce it in this way. It would’ve been under tighter wraps, or one thing. It’s more likely they’ve found a new way life can exist and that evidence for these conditions exists on other worlds. But without more info, I won’t speculate any farther than that.

As for the public reaction, well, we’ve seen this type of thing before. Just last June, JPL had a press release about a surprising lack of acetylene in Titan’s atmosphere, with the title “What Is Consuming Hydrogen & Acetylene on Titan?” That sparked vast speculation, and even though the press release was clear enough it was misleadingly reported as NASA finding signs of life on Titan. It got so silly that I wound up writing a post about it, and a NASA scientist went so far as to write an article to clear up the rumors of life on Titan.

I can’t really blame NASA, the press outlets, or the public about this. When scientists have newsworthy findings that are published in a journal, there may be a press conference about them. But some journals have embargoes; they don’t want the news released until the issue is published. Fair enough. So NASA schedules a press conference for the time the issue publishes, and sends out a notice to the press about it. I got just such an email for this one, for example. They have to say something in the email so the press can decide whether to cover it or not, and NASA doesn’t want give too much away. So they give some minimal line about findings that’ll have an impact on the search for life, and those of us who’ve dealt with it before know what that means.

But the public is naturally more inclined to interpret that line as NASA having found life, or at least solid evidence of it. That’s not surprising at all. But it can lead to “news letdown”, where the reality is something less than the speculation. And that leads to news fatigue, which is worse. If people keep expecting really exciting news and don’t get it, well, there you go.

I don’t want to blame anyone, but I do sometimes wish the press folks at NASA were more aware of what kind of cascade a line like that provokes (like the one from a few weeks ago which said it was about “an exceptional object in our cosmic neighborhood” but it turned out to be a supernova/black hole 50 million light years away). When announcements like these go public, it’s bound to be disappointing when the actual news gets out and it’s not a black hole right next door or actual life on Mars. And that’s too bad, because the news is usually pretty interesting and scientifically exciting. As soon as I got this latest announcement, my first flood of thoughts literally were: “Sounds like cool news/I bet there will be tons of over-the-top speculation/I hope people aren’t disappointed when the real news comes out/I wonder if I’ll have to make a post a couple of days before to cool off rumors?”

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What, No Ironic Rabbit Ears App?

Apple:

Apple® today announced the new Apple TV® which offers the simplest way to watch your favorite HD movies and TV shows on your HD TV for the breakthrough price of just $99. Apple TV users can choose from the largest online selection of HD movies to rent, including first run movies for just $4.99, and the largest online selection of HD TV show episodes to rent* from ABC, ABC Family, Fox, Disney Channel and BBC America for just 99 cents.

Apple TV also streams content from Netflix, YouTube, Flickr and MobileMe™, as well as music, photos and videos from PCs and Macs to your HD TV. Enjoy gorgeous slideshows of your photos on your HD TV using Apple TV’s selection of built-in slideshows. Apple TV has built-in HDMI, Wi-Fi, Ethernet and an internal power supply for easy set-up, and features silent, cool, very low power operation in an enclosure that’s less than four inches square—80 percent smaller than the previous generation.

“The new Apple TV, paired with the largest selection of online HD movie and TV show rentals, lets users watch Hollywood content on their HD TV whenever they want,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “This tiny, silent box costing just $99 lets users watch thousands of HD movies and TV shows, and makes all of their music, photos and videos effortlessly available on their home entertainment system.”

Apple TV users can now rent thousands of commercial free, HD TV episodes on iTunes® for just 99 cents, with up to 30 days to start watching and then 48 hours to finish—or watch multiple times. Users can also rent over 7,000 movies with over 3,400 available in HD, with most new releases available the same day they are released on DVD.

Matt Burns at Crunchgear:

Forget the iTV name, the refreshed Apple TV is still called the Apple TV. But that’s about where the similarities end. The entire system from the form factor to the UI is different; even the entire concept is different. I think we can officially say Apple is taking the Apple TV and the whole streaming market seriously now. It’s no longer just a hobby despite what Steve says.

The new model is dramatically smaller than the old one — 1/4 of the size actually. It features 802.11n built in with HDMI, Ethernet, and optical audio on the backside. The power supply is even built-in. No more power bricks, people!

Just like the rumors stated, the new Apple TV is significantly smaller than the previous generation. That’s partly because it no longer utilizes a spinning disk hard drive for local storage. Flash memory now handles that task, but it’s really only for buffering as it’s not that large. This device is after all a low-cost streamer designed not to hold your media, but to access it from other locations.

The real news is the added content. Apple feels that people do not want to manage local storage — hence the lack of hard drive — and so content will be delivered from the cloud. Keep in mind, there’s no purchasing content, just renting. First-run movies will be available the same day that they hit DVD for $4.99. TV shows now cost $.99 rather than the old price of $2.99 but only Fox and ABC are on board right now.

Then there’s Netflix. Yep, it’s in the box as well and so is YouTube. Both are available through beautiful custom-built UIs. No more red screens for Netflix. (yay!)

Sam Biddle at Gizmodo

Brian X. Chen at Wired:

The major limitation: For TV rentals, only two studios are on board to stream shows through the Apple TV — ABC and Fox. This isn’t an adequate replacement yet for cable subscriptions.

So calling it a “hobby” was right — Apple’s starting out small, and maybe it’ll roll into something bigger if more studios warm up to the idea.

Nonetheless, I got some hands-on time with the new Apple TV and it is a promising start.

TV and movie rentals are really snappy and fast. After choosing to rent a movie or show, the Apple TV takes a few seconds to prepare a buffer and begins streaming your video live.

Also particularly cool was internet integration. I enjoyed searching through Flickr streams: Select a photo and hit the Play button and it immediately plays a slideshow with music and fancy transitions. I’m too lazy to check my friends’ Flickr streams the normal way on Flickr.com, aren’t you? Plus, the photos look great on a big screen through the Apple TV’s HDMI connection.

The Apple TV’s remote is familiar: It’s got the same aluminum and black design as the current MacBook Pros. It’s also very similar to the current Apple remote that controls Macs — only it’s a little longer and the buttons have small bumps for subtle tactile feedback. It feels great in the hand and navigating through the Apple TV menu was really smooth.

As good as the idea sounds, you won’t be able to use your iPhone or iPad as a remote for the Apple TV (not yet, at least). Instead, there’s a feature called “AirPlay,” so if you’re using your iPad or iPhone to listen to music, look at photos or watch a video, you can tap an AirPlay button, select your Apple TV and boom — your content is streaming onto your Apple TV. We weren’t able to test that since this feature won’t be available until iOS 4.2 ships in November, but we’ll keep you posted.

Paul Miller at Engadget:
It’s now a streaming-focused device (as we predicted months ago) in a small matte black enclosure we’re calling “the hockey puck.” It has HDMI, Ethernet, optical audio, and USB plugs around back, and of course 802.11n for the cable-averse. Inside there ain’t much — there’s no local storage, which makes this thing an entirely different beast than old Apple TVs, relying entirely on the “cloud” for content. Those new streaming HD TV rentals from ABC and Fox will be a mere 99 cents, while first run HD movies will be a less thrilling $4.99. Other services include Netflix, YouTube, Flickr, and Mobile Me, along with Rotten Tomatoes integration in the movie catalog. You can also stream from your computer, if you miss those old hard drive-sourced days of yore, but iOS 4.2’s AirPlay also enables streaming from an iPad straight to an Apple TV for something much more surreal. The best news? Apple will start shipping this sucker four weeks from now for $99.

Don MacAskill:

If only there were a way to seriously monetize the platform *and* open it up to all services at the same time. Oh, wait, that’s how Apple completely disrupted the mobile business. It’s called the App Store. Imagine that the AppleTV ran iOS and had it’s own App Store. Let’s see what would happen:

  • Every network could distribute their own content in whichever way they wished. HBO could limit it to their subscribers, and ABC could stream to everyone. Some would charge, some would show ads, and everyone would get all the content they wanted. Hulu, Netflix, and everyone else living in perfect harmony. Let the best content & pricepoint win.
  • We’d get sports. Every geek blogger misses this, and it’s one of the biggest strangleholds that cable and satellite providers have over their customers. You can already watch live, streaming golf on your iPhone in amazing quality. Now imagine NFL Sunday Ticket on your AppleTV.
  • You could watch your Facebook slideshows and SmugMug videos alongside your Flickr stream. Imagine that!
  • The AppleTV might become the best selling video game console, just like iPhone and iPod have done for mobile gaming. Plants vs Zombies and Angry Birds on my TV with a click? Yes please.
  • Apple makes crazy amounts of money. Way more than they do now with their 4 year old hobby.

The new AppleTV runs on the same chip that’s in the iPhone, iPad, and iPod. This should be a no-brainer. What’s the hold up? What’s that you say? The UI? Come on. It’s easy. And it could be the best UI to control a TV ever.

WORLDS BEST TV USER INTERFACE

Just require the use of an iPod, iPhone, or iPad to control it. Put the whole UI on the iOS device in your hand, with full multi-touch. Pinching, rotating, zooming, panning – the whole nine yards. No more remotes, no more infrared, no more mess or fuss. I’m not talking about looking at the TV while your fingers are using an iPod. I’m talking about a fully realized UI on the iPod itself – you’re looking and interacting with it on the iPod.

There are 120M devices capable of this awesome UI out there already. So the $99 price point is still doable. Don’t have an iPod/iPad/iPhone? The bundle is just $299 for both.

That’s what the AppleTV should have been. That would have had lines around the block at launch. This new one?

It’s like an AppleTV from 2007.

Devin Coldeway at Crunchgear:

The other players are scrambling to set themselves in opposition to the new Apple TV: earlier this week, Roku dropped their prices preemptively; Amazon is touting 99-cent shows; now, Boxee is pricing their long-awaited Boxee Box. It’s $199, and they defend the price in a blog post, saying that people really do want the extra features it offers. I’d tend to agree, but in the end it’s the consumers who will decide it.

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I’ll Have A Martini, Extra-Dry, With Vodka, Stirred With An iPhone

Jason Chen at Gizmodo:

You are looking at Apple’s next iPhone. It was found lost in a bar in Redwood City, camouflaged to look like an iPhone 3GS. We got it. We disassembled it. It’s the real thing, and here are all the details.

While Apple may tinker with the final packaging and design of the final phone, it’s clear that the features in this lost-and-found next-generation iPhone are drastically new and drastically different from what came before.

[…]

We’re as skeptical—if not more—than all of you. We get false tips all the time. But after playing with it for about a week—the overall quality feels exactly like a finished final Apple phone—and disassembling this unit, there is so much evidence stacked in its favor, that there’s very little possibility that it’s a fake. In fact, the possibility is almost none. Imagine someone having to use Apple components to design a functioning phone, from scratch, and then disseminating it to people around the world. Pretty much impossible. Here are the reasons, one by one.

It has been reported lost
Apple-connected John Gruber—from Daring Fireball—says that Apple has indeed lost a prototype iPhone and they want it back:

So I called around, and I now believe this is an actual unit from Apple — a unit Apple is very interested in getting back.

Obviously someone found it, and here it is.

John Gruber at Daring Fireball:

It’s been an open secret to those of us in the racket that Gizmodo purchased this unit about a week ago, from those who claimed to find it. That this belongs to and was made by Apple is almost beyond question at this point. Just how much it looks like what Apple plans to ship this summer, I don’t know. Note that it’s thinner than a 3GS.

I’m mentioned in the article, and must respond. Jason Chen writes:

Apple-connected John Gruber — from Daring Fireball — says that Apple has indeed lost a prototype iPhone and they want it back:

So I called around, and I now believe this is an actual unit from Apple — a unit Apple is very interested in getting back.

Obviously someone found it, and here it is.

Note that I did not use the word “lost”. It is my understanding that Apple considers this unit stolen, not lost. And as for the “someone(s)” who “found” it, I believe it is disingenuous for Gizmodo to play coy, as though they don’t know who the someones are.

Daniel Lyons at Newsweek:

The photos of the phone are splattered all over the home page of tech-gadget blog Gizmodo today. If they’re real, the folks at Apple, a place known for its crazy secrecy and security measures, must be freaking out.

“This is our biggest Apple week ever,” says Brian Lam, editor of Gizmodo. “This is the best. It’s just so great.”

Traffic to the site was so heavy that Gizmodo had to take down its comments system. The post, they said, was “setting our servers on fire.”

Apple, for its part, did not respond immediately to NEWSWEEK’s request for comment.

MG Sielger at Tech Crunch:

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: a guy walks into a bar. No, a guy walks into a bar with an iPhone. No, a guy walks into a bar with a next-generation iPhone disguised as a current-generation iPhone. No, a guy walks into a bar with his next-generation iPhone disguised as a current-generation iPhone and leaves it there. Okay, we’ve never heard anything like this before.

Yes, it appears that the next hardware iteration of the iPhone (two common monikers are ‘iPhone 4G’ or the ‘iPhone HD’) has been outed. And while the apparent specs are sexy (higher rez screen, front-facing camera, bigger battery, etc), the story behind the leaked device seems even more interesting.

[…]

There are still a few oddities to all of this. First, assuming this is real, it is definitely the most high-profile leak of all time out of the super-secretive Apple. Hell, it may be the most high-profile hardware leak of all time from any company. If there has ever been anything that will draw the wrath of Apple’s legal team, this would seem to be it. And yet, if Gizmodo (or its parent, Gawker) have gotten a take-down notice, they haven’t let it be known yet.

It’s possible, and likely even probable, that Apple is taking this as something worthy of action much more serious than the fairly common takedown notices the company sends from time to time. As Gruber noted earlier today, according to his sources, Apple considers this device to be not lost, but stolen.

Well what do you know about this? With all those rumors flying around that the iPhone 4G we’d spotted was no more than a Japanese knock-off of an Apple product, it was starting to look like this thing was too good to be true. That is until one of the Engadget editors spotted what seems to be solid proof that this is — in fact — the next iPhone. If you’ll recall, the night before the iPad was revealed, we had leaked shots of the device from what appeared to be an Apple test lab. Upon further inspection of these pictures today, the aforementioned editor discovered that the new iPhone 4G we’ve just gotten photos of is actually sitting on the table beside the iPad prototype! Imagine how blown our minds were when we realized we have had a photo of the next iPhone for months! As you can see in the pic above, the left side of the new device is clearly visible on this table in the upper right hand corner, and since we believe that these photos come directly from an Apple testbed, it’s hard to deny that the phone you’ve just seen is in fact the real deal. Not only that, but we suspect that the device on the tablet itself is also a version of the new phone (you can see what looks like aluminum along the bottom) which seems to be housed in some type of iPhone 3G-like case.

Additionally, a source — who confirms this is the next Apple iPhone — also tells us that the device apparently does have a higher res screen on-board, a front-facing camera, a higher resolution camera with flash, and takes MicroSIM cards (that’s the little “button” around the side you see in the Twitpic which is floating around the internet)

Juli Weiner at Vanity Fair:

Someone miraculously found what could very well be the new iPhone in some bar in California and just gave it to Gizmodo. The editors say the prototype was “camouflaged” to look like the current version of the iPhone, but such a disguise did not fool the enterprising bloggers, who have already disassembled, photographed, and reviewed the thing. Josh Gruber of Daring Fireball corroborates the phone’s legitimacy: “So I called around, and I now believe this is an actual unit from Apple— a unit Apple is very interested in getting back.” Gruber says Gizmodo’s videos and description—along with Engadget’s photos of the device, posted over the weekend—are consistent with Apple’s 2006 patent for “the use of Zirconia as a radio-transparent material for part of the enclosure.”

The new version also apparently includes a “front-facing video chat camera,” a back camera with flash, an “improved display,” an entirely flat back, and a “16 percent larger battery,” among other things. Of the design: “Gone is the flushed screen glass against the metal rim. Gone is the single volume button, replaced by two separate ones. Gone is the seamless rim, and gone are the tapered, curved surfaces.” The result? A phone that feels “freaking amazing.” As we reported earlier, it’s rumored that Apple could release the device as early as this summer.

UPDATE: M.G. at The Economist

Brian Lam at Gizmodo

UPDATE #2: Huffington Post

UPDATE #3: Jon Stewart

UPDATE #4: Michael Malone at ABC

Matthew Yglesias

David Carr in NYT

Rod Dreher

UPDATE #5: Connie Guglielmo and Joel Rosenblatt at BusinessWeek

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Steve Jobs Will Come Out… Tomorrow… Bet Your Bottom Dollar… That Tomorrow… There’ll Be Tablets

The Tablet is almost here!

David Carr at NYT:

This Wednesday, Steven P. Jobs will step to the stage at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco and unveil a shiny new machine that may or may not change the world.

In the magician’s world, that’s called “the reveal.”

And the most magical part? Even as the media and technology worlds have anticipated this announcement for months, Apple has said not word one about The Device. Reporting on the announcement has become crowdsourced, with thousands of tech and media journalists scrambling for the latest wisp and building on the reporting of others.

However miraculous the thingamajig turns out to be — all rumors point to some kind of tabletlike device — it can’t be more remarkable than the control that Apple and Mr. Jobs have over their audience.

“The reason that we all write about Apple is because we are, of course, interested, but also because everybody likes to read about Apple,” said Matt Buchanan, a contributing editor at the technology site Gizmodo. “Even if they hate Apple.”

Joel Evans at ZDNet:

To be clear, I’ve been doing an informal survey of consumers, including friends and random people that know me as an early adopter. According to my survey, people want the Tablet because it will do everything. This goes along with what also gets me excited about the soon to be released Kindle Development Kit, since the kit will allow the Kindle to be a lot more than an ebook reader.

Building on the point that the Apple tablet will do everything, the consumers I spoke with were excited about reading websites, playing games, sending and receiving e-mails, watching TV, and whatever else Apple offers up as an option on the Apple tablet. And if the report posted by Flurry is to be believed, this new Apple tablet will definitely play games, and is being tested with more than 150 of them.

The results of my informal survey seem to go against my earlier thought that consumers wouldn’t want to add another piece of technology into their lives. Instead, it seems that they are ready to embrace this new technology as long as it does everything they can think of.

From the early days of the Palm and Pocket PC devices, one complaint I heard time and again was that the form factor was just too small for extended use. This was either because your eyes would be fatigued after a certain amount of time or that a certain age group would have trouble both reading the screen and manipulating the tiny stylus. Now we have manufacturers working hard to bring a tablet into everyone’s hands, and they’re finally the size that everyone can enjoy.

As with most technology, the concept of the tablet is nothing new, but with consumers now using their phones for just about anything you can think of, the time is finally right for a device like the tablet to enter into everyone’s home.

Matt Buchanan at Gizmodo:

The Apple tablet is almost here. We hear. Actually, we’re hearing a whole lot lately. With this exhaustive guide to every tablet rumor, we’ve got the clearest picture of the Apple tablet yet. Updated constantly.

1/25/2010: 9to5Mac claims to have talked to some publishers who have the scoop on the tablet, and they say the cost will be “[nowhere] near $1000, as has been reported elsewhere.”

1/25/2010: The LA Times reports that the NY Times has been cooped up in Cupertino for the last few weeks developing a version of its paper for the tablet. The article also has a quote from a Conde Nast press release in which the publishing giant just comes out and says it: they will develop “more content for the iPhone and the anticipated tablet from Apple.”

1/25/2010: Tech Crunch heard through the grape vine that Steve Jobs said of the tablet, “This will be the most important thing I’ve ever done.”

1/22/2010: Fox News’ Clayton Morris has heard Apple’s “in talks” with both Verizon and AT&T to provide data for the tablet.

1/22/2010: iLounge has a an oddball that they’ve “double-confirmed”: Double dock connectors, so it can be charged in both portrait and landscape mode. Making more sense, a tablet-wide plastic stripe for decent connectivity (plausible),

1/21/2010: A truckload from the WSJ: Apple “envisions that the tablet can be shared by multiple family members to read news and check email in homes,” and has experimented with facial recognition through a built-in camera, along with virtual sticky notes that can be left behind. Also backing up our earlier report, the WSJ Apple’s in discussions with newspaper, mag book publishers like the NYT, Conde Nast and Harper Collins, and has “exploring electronic-textbook technology.” EA is apparently on tap to demo video games for it.

Also curious: The WSJ says Steve Jobs is “supportive of the old guard and [he] looks to help them by giving them new forms of distribution,” referring to old media companies, which echoes a quote in the NYT that in the battle over ebook pricing with Amazon, apparently “Apple has put an offer together that helps publishers and, by extension, authors.”

1/19/2010: Apple’s shell company, Slate Computing, has also filed for a trademark on the name iPad. Oh God help us.

Kirk McElhearn at PC World:

Apple’s tablet (and the copycats that will follow it) will be a game-changer, just as the iPod and iPhone have been. Because of Apple’s aura, this tablet will get more attention than the plethora of e-book readers we have seen recently. And I’m betting that Apple will get it right, as far as features, interface and usability are concerned. It will also be an excellent tool for reading the news. Newspapers and magazines will be able to package their content in multimedia bundles (either as apps or something similar to the iTunes LP) that will be designed for reading on a portable screen; this won’t simply be web pages viewed on a smaller screen.

The key to hardware being successful is the software that supports it. One of the main advantages to Apple’s tablet, as far as the press is concerned, is the iTunes Store. Since Apple already has this platform to sell and deliver that content, even on a subscription basis, readers will be able to easily buy their favorite newspapers and magazines and get them delivered instantly. They’ll be cheaper than the print versions, and they’ll be a lot greener too. And the iTunes Store will be able to provide a better selection than readers can find by going to individual Websites. Whether by subscription or by single issue, it’ll be extremely simple to buy newspapers and magazines to read on the Apple tablet.

This change won’t happen overnight. Apple’s tablet will probably be priced so that only the most tech-lusting among us will run out and buy version 1.0. But it will be a bellwether for the future of such devices and how they will change print media. New publishing experiments will be part of the attraction for this new device, and, in the near future, most major newspapers and magazines will offer tablet versions. And with them, a return to being able to provide the news we need.

Daniel Dumas at Wired:

We’ve taken a lot of time to track down the rumors, innuendo and even a few sparse facts about the device since the first whispers of its existence some two and a half years ago.

But now we’re going in a separate direction. Admittedly the five features below are are a little crazy — but their inclusion in the tablet would make it a whole lot more fun. Hey, a gadget journalist can dream, right?

Why it’s a pipe dream: When was the last time Apple offered anything for free, besides truckloads of reality-distorting hype at its press conferences?

UPDATE: Of course, now we know it is the iPad.

John Hudson at The Atlantic

UPDATE #2: Cory Doctorow at Boing Boing

Ann Althouse

Roger Simon at Pajamas Media

Joel Evans at ZDNet

UPDATE #3: Allah Pundit

David Frum at CNN

Darren Murph at Engadget

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Neutral Tubes, Regulated Tubes, Free Tubes, Paying Tubes

net neutrality

John Carey at BusinessWeek:

To Julius Genachowski, the Internet is one of humanity’s great inventions. “I can’t imagine what life would be like without the Internet,” the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission said in a Sept. 21 speech at the Brookings Institution. “It has unleashed the creative genius of countless entrepreneurs.” And, Genachowski is convinced, it can help solve problems in areas ranging from health care and education to energy.

One of the keys to the Internet’s success, Genachowski argues, is that it is an open system, allowing anyone to use it and develop new applications. Now, he says, “few goals are more essential than preserving a robust and open Internet.” That’s why Genachowski proposed new net neutrality rules for the Internet in his Brookings speech.

The central idea, as Genachowski explains, is that network carriers such as AT&T (T), Verizon (VZ), and Comcast (CMCSA) would be prohibited from discriminating against users or applications. The providers could not favor, say, the transmission of their own videos over those of others. They wouldn’t be able to punish competitors by transmitting their content at slower speeds. And they wouldn’t be able to limit access to lawful content or new applications. “The fewer the obstacles, the greater the opportunity,” Genachowski said. The proposed new rules, he argued, will make sure that “in the 21st century, the garage, the basement, and the dorm room will be places where people can innovate and bring dreams to life.”

David L. Cohen, Executive Vice-President of Comcast:

Today, the Chairman of the FCC, Julius Genachowski, announced that he will ask the FCC to adopt new regulations on the way that companies like Comcast, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, Hughes Satellite, and thousands of others provide Internet services to consumers.

There’s been a debate in Washington for the last six years over whether rules like these are necessary to promote an “open Internet” and an innovation economy. And before that, there was a debate that began more than a decade ago over whether Internet Service Providers should be required to let others resell their services.

We welcome the dialogue suggested by the Chairman in his comments, and we completely agree that any consideration of new “rules of the road” begin with notice and an open, public rulemaking proceeding – this is both fair and appropriate.

But before we rush into a new regulatory environment for the Internet, let’s remember there can be no doubt that the Internet has enjoyed immense growth even as these debates have gone on.

The Internet in America has been a phenomenal success that has spawned technological and business innovation unmatched anywhere in the world. So it’s still fair to ask whether increased regulation of the Internet is a solution in search of a problem.

The FCC has had a “policy statement” in place since 2005 that sets expectations for “openness” on the Internet. We support and honor those policies.

When it was alleged in 2007 that one of Comcast’s network management practices regarding uploads of P2P files violated those policies, we defended our actions as a reasonable form of network management. However, the public scrutiny also led us to discuss our network management practices openly with the Internet community. And these discussions convinced us to move to a different network management practice.

We have implemented consumer-friendly disclosures regarding our network management practices, on the theory that, as the Chairman pointed out today, consumer transparency in this context is extremely important.

We went to court to challenge the way the FCC acted on that 2007 complaint against us, but for a relatively narrow reason — because the former FCC leadership simply handled the matter improperly, as even some who disapproved of our earlier network management system have conceded.

We will wait to see the specifics of the proposals that Chairman Genachowski brings before the FCC. But we welcome his proposal to have an open rulemaking process to discuss and analyze these important issues.

Daniel Indiviglio in The Atlantic:

In modern American culture, discrimination has a terribly negative connotation. When you think of discrimination, you think of racism, sexism, ageism, and lost of other -isms that sophisticated people just shouldn’t tolerate. The only thing that the tolerant can’t tolerate is intolerance.

In reality, however, individuals and businesses discriminate every day — just in more socially acceptable ways. When you choose to have a turkey wrap for lunch instead of a Burger King cheeseburger, you might be discriminating against unhealthy food. When a business hires a Wharton finance major over a University of Iowa English major, it might be discriminating against liberal arts and a lesser-ranked school. Neither of these decisions generally involves scorn from sophisticated individuals.

Businesses also discriminate to earn the highest profit. An airline may cancel a route where there are not enough travelers, because running the route just isn’t profitable enough. Genachowski’s fifth principle would prevent such discrimination for internet providers.

For example, imagine if there were certain types of file sharing programs used by college students to share music files that drained an extraordinary amount of bandwidth. Since the internet provider, say Verizon, charges based on a flat fee, instead of usage, it’s highly unprofitable to allow that application to operate through its servers. But Verizon has no choice if the FCC upholds the fifth principle.

This presents an interesting sort of disparity between how internet providers behave compared to most other businesses. Usually, companies want consumers to use as much of their product or service as possible. Then they’ll buy more and those companies will profit more. But the more bandwidth consumers use, the more it costs internet providers, without a corresponding increase in revenue; thus, more usage lowers their profits and provides less money to invest on new infrastructure.

That’s why I worry that the all-you-can-surf model for internet access is not sustainable. It’s akin to all restaurants being all-you-can-eat. Clearly, for light eaters it’s not a very good deal. But for heavy eaters, it’s great. Now imagine if those restaurants had no choice about whether or not they serve caviar and foie gras. Then it would be an even worse deal for light eaters who don’t have expensive tastes. In order to accommodate the FCC’s desire that internet providers not discriminate among content or applications, before long usage-based fees will probably be necessary.

Richard Koman at ZDNet:

A day after FCC chairman Julius Genachowski proposed rules to ensure application and protocol net neutrality on Internet and wireless networks, six Republicans rushed to the battle, hoping to swat away anything with the stink of “regulation.”

The group, led by Sen. Kay Hutchison (R-TX), signed on to an amendment to an appropriations bill that would prohibit the FCC from spending money to create new “regulatory mandates.” From the statement:

“I am deeply concerned by the direction the FCC appears to be heading. Even during a severe downturn, America has experienced robust investment and innovation in network performance and online content and applications. For that innovation to continue, we must tread lightly when it comes to new regulations. Where there have been a handful of questionable actions in the past on the part of a few companies, the Commission and the marketplace have responded swiftly. The case has simply not been made for what amounts to a significant regulatory intervention into a vibrant marketplace. These new regulatory mandates and restrictions could stifle investment incentives.”

Right. The U.S. wireless industry is the very definition of innovation and openness. The amendment is a blatantly unconstitutional attempt to assert Congressional control of an executive function. They try to get around this by controlling “expenditures,” and I certainly don’t know the Supreme Court holdings on such approaches, but it seems to me that controlling purse strings is tantamount to controlling rulemaking.

In other words, it’s a bunch of hot air, which may or may not cause Genachowski to troop on down to Capitol Hill and make his case, but in any case, the FCC rulemaking will move forward, the three Democrats will approve the new rules and AT&T and Comcast and Verizon will just have to live a playing field that actually encourages innovation.

Tony Bradley at PC World:

The response seems over the top and really brings into question what the true political motivations are. Congress didn’t seem to object to the FCC witch hunt and waste of budgetary dollars pursuing CBS for the infamous Janet Jackson ‘wardrobe malfunction’.

The FCC is charged with responsibility for managing the airwaves, bandwidth, and communication in this country. Genachowski is simply working to address emerging technologies and the changing landscape of communications to adapt and evolve in a manner that is fair to both providers and customers.

Genachowski has said that nothing has been determined yet. He called for an open and public discussion of the pros and cons of net neutrality that is “fair, transparent, fact-based, and data-driven.” If there are real concerns about incentive to invest and innovate, opponents should show up, present the case, and let a decision be made. What are they afraid of?

Tim Lee of Cato’s paper on net neutrality

Two posts from Julian Sanchez, one at Cato and one here. Sanchez:

What we’ve actually seen are some scattered and mostly misguided  attempts by certain ISPs to choke off certain kinds of traffic, thus far largely nipped in the bud by a combination of consumer backlash and FCC brandishing of existing powers. To the extent that packet “discrimination” involves digging into the content of user communications, it may well run up against existing privacy regulations that require explicit, affirmative user consent for such monitoring. In any event, I’m prepared to believe the situation could worsen. But pace Genachowski, it’s really pretty mysterious to me why you couldn’t start talking about the wisdom—and precise character—of some further regulatory response if and when it began to look like a free and open Internet were in serious danger.

If anything, it seems to me that the reverse is true: If you foreclose in advance the possibility of cross-subsidies between content and network providers, you probably never get to see the innovations you’ve prevented, while discriminatory routing can generally be detected, and if necessary addressed, if and when it occurs.  And the worst possible time to start throwing up barriers to a range of business models, it seems to me, is exactly when we’re finally seeing the roll-out of the next-generation wireless networks that might undermine the broadband duopoly that underpins the rationale for net neutrality in the first place. In a really competitive broadband market, after all, we can expect deviations from neutrality that benefit consumers to be adopted while those that don’t are punished by the market. I’d much rather see the FCC looking at ways to increase competition than adopt regulations that amount to resigning themselves to a broadband duopoly.

Instead of giving wireline incumbents a new regulatory stick to whack new entrants with, the FCC could focus on facilitating exploitation of “white spaces” in the broadcast spectrum or experimenting with spectral commons to enable user-owned mesh networks. The most perverse consequence I can imagine here is that you end up pushing spectrum owners to cordon off bandwidth for application-specific private networks—think data and cable TV flowing over the same wires—instead of allocating capacity to the public Internet, where they can’t prioritize their own content streams.  It just seems crazy to be taking this up now rather than waiting to see how these burgeoning markets shake out.

Darren Murph at Engadget

Reihan Salam at NRO

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