One Small Step for Broadband

Friday, Nov. 19 —

Stop the presses. The Federal Communications Commission did the right thing this week on a broadband data issue.

The commission told the nation’s local telephone monopolies they had to behave more fairly with potential competitors that want to provide Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) services. Chalk one up for consumers, who’ll now have more choices for broadband (or at least broader-band than we have now) Internet service.

The commission’s decision again raises the question, of course, why it won’t take a similar stand with the cable-TV crowd. Those equally repellent monopolists insist on the right to be sole providers of Internet access through their own data pipes. Commission Chairman William Kennard and his colleagues say they want the cable barons to have an incentive to upgrade their systems. Uh, huh.

More info:

Mercury News story
TechWeb story

Selling Out Your Friends

Friday, Nov. 19 —

In one of the more disgusting marketing come-ons I’ve seen yet, a game software company is offering discounts to customers who send their friends’ e-mail addresses along with their product orders. The more addresses, the bigger the discount. Now there’s one company that will never, ever get my business.

And here’s a promise. If I ever learn about a “friend” who sends in my information to an operation like this, kiss one friendship good-bye.

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