Cable lobbyist turned FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has tried to "balance" his attempt to nuke Net Neutrality by promising to override state laws that prohibit cities from setting up their own broadband networks. But it's a largely meaningless gesture: practically every big city in America is locked into a decade-long contractual "franchise" arrangement with a big cable company.
Those agreements are entered into bilaterally—local politicians know what they're getting into when they sign one. But often, these franchise agreements can last for more than a decade, so politicians are locked in for several election cycles. Even if a new city administration has a change of heart—or simply wants to offer its residents another, better option—they're locked down for years at a time.
The ones getting screwed are the consumers, who are contractually faced with few, limited options.
The agreements aren't uncommon—if you have access to cable, your city has a franchise agreement. Beyond that, sometimes the telecom companies own or lease the actual pipes that the fiber would be laid in—and they aren't likely to let a community ISP use them.
The FCC Can't Help Cities Trapped By Predatory Internet Deals With Big Telecom [Jason Koebler/Motherboard]
The Nameless Coaltion, a global alliance of women’s groups, LGBTQ groups, human rights and digital rights groups has asked Facebook to abandon its “Real Names” policy, which puts Facebook users in danger of reprisals including state violence, stalkers, and on-the-job harassment.
Protesters angry over proposed layoffs stormed an Air France executive meeting and cornered Director Pierre Plissonnier and Resources Director Xavier Broseta, tearing off the men’s jackets and ripping their shirts off, forcing them to scale a fence to get free.
Maciej Cegłowski’s posted another of his barn-burning speeches about the Internet’s problems, their origins and their solutions (previously), a talk from the Fremtidens Internet conference in Copenhagen called “What Happens Next Will Amaze You.”
The Lytro Illum dares to be different, boasting even more robust features than its first generation predecessor and a sleek design reminiscent of professional DSLRs. What’s so cool about it? Most cameras capture the position of light rays, producing a statoc 2D image.
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