Entries Matching: Choke Points
The First Amendment and the principles of free expression are fundamental to the proper functioning of our society and they are a bedrock of the law. The fact that this sentiment is well-worn to the point of cliche doesn't make it any less true. Speech and other expressive conduct must be protected, even when it's bad speech, and even when the short-term consequences of allowing it seem bad too--because the consequences of having the government decide what kinds of speech are acceptable and what kinds of speech are not are even worse.
But the importance of free expression has unfortunately provided some telecom companies with rhetorical cover in their attempt to avoid all oversight, and with aid and comfort from some in the judiciary, they've attempted to characterize business activities that are not expressive as "speech" and to enlist the Bill of Rights in the battle against consumer interests.
Few things make me experience the bitter joy of
Cassandrafreude more than watching someone flip the other guy’s argument. So
it is with Netflix and Time Warner Cable, and their current beef over Netflix
making its new uber-HD content available to ISPs for free, but only through
Netflix’s content delivery network (CDN). TWC accuses Netflix of demanding "unprecedented" access and privileges for its own (i.e., Netflix's, not TWC's) content. (Although ESPN360 actually went so far as to charge ISPs on a per subscriber basis some years back, which strikes me as a little more extreme than just saying "use my CDN," but lets not quibble on this point.)
Independent app developers would be harmed by reduced competition in the wireless market. But according to Morgan Reed of the Association for Competitive Technology (ACT), nothing’s going to help independent mobile app developers more than the AT&T/T-Mobile merger--apparently app developers should look forward to the day when the gatekeepers that stand in the way of them and their customers have more power.
The Senate is gearing up for another go-round on rogue websites legislation, and this time, they've jettisoned the "COICA" label in favor of calling it the "PROTECT IP Act." Like a summer blockbuster sequel, it tightens up some things, adds a few new villains, but in the end reprises the same general plot.
If you are a regular reader of this blog, there is a good chance that you are the type of person who gets questions about choosing cell phones from family, friends, and when you go to cocktail parties. People probably ask for your opinion about this phone or that, or the merits of one carrier vs. another.
In the next few weeks you are probably going to be getting new questions about networks, specifically about 3G vs. 4G. If you really want to blow the mind of the person asking you the question, you can tell that it may not matter.