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The US communications authority is proposing a fine of nearly $US2 million for cable channels that aired a trailer for Olympus Has Fallen, which uses the tones from the Emergency Alert System. The thinking is that if you hear the tones all the time, you’ll get desensitised to them and stop paying attention.
We already knew that the FCC in the US had plans to rewrite the technology that supports the nation’s ageing landline phone network, and now its decided to start beta testing new infrastructure to ensure it can deliver.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation’s recent post on Net Neutrality started off well. It rightly noted that “[v]iolations of network neutrality are a real and serious problem: in recent years we have seen dozens of ISPs in the US and around the world interfere with and discriminate against traffic on their networks.”
Years ago, I believed experts who said Net Neutrality wasn’t a big deal for two reasons. First, It never really existed in the first place (because many ISPs prioritise traffic in some way, say, for or against online gaming). Second, the free market would solve the problem, because ISPs that threw up bad content roadblocks would be abandoned.
A US federal court dealt a deadly blow to net neutrality on Tuesday by striking down the FCC’s open internet rules and practically inviting broadband providers to offer preferential treatment to companies willing to pay for it. It was a deadly blow, but did it really kill net neutrality dead?
There’s been debate for years about whether people should be allowed to use their mobile phones on planes. And with safety concerns diminishing, we’ve collectively moved on to other grievances: namely how annoying it will be to listen to five different phone conversations at once while trapped in a small, airborne pod.
After yesterday’s very promising news that the FCC is (finally) considering allowing passengers to make cell phone calls on flights, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler all of a sudden seems to have cold feet. His two most recent statements show how drastically he’s changed his tone in the past 48 hours.