Oscar Nominations

The Academy Award nominations were announced this morning. “American Beauty” is looking deservedly strong.

I suggested an Oscar for hypocrisy in my column today, and gave three examples in the tech industry. Leading the list, of course, was America Online’s swiftly shifting position on open access for cable data pipes.

UPDATE: A bit of good news from south Florida, where a federal judge dismissed most of a cable company lawsuit challenging Broward County’s open access rules.

Phone Company v. ISPs

SBC, the regional conglomerate that owns Pacific Bell and other local phone companies, is giving away Internet access (Cnet story) to people who sign up for DSL service. For $39 a month you’ll get DSL service, Internet access, installation and all the hardware. On its face, this sounds great.

Look closer. Can SBC be making money on these prices? Highly doubtful. Is this a naked attempt by SBC to put its DSL competitors out of business? Highly likely.

SBC is easily the nastiest of the regional monopolies. If you think it’ll give you such a good deal after it’s squashed the competition, think again.

Symbian Developers Conference in Silicon Valley

Microsoft has the PR muscle to dominate the news this week with the launch of Windows 2000, but some of the people who see small devices as the next frontier are in Silicon Valley for the first Symbian developers conference.

Symbian is a partnership comprised of major wireless companies and Psion, the handheld computer company based in England. They’re collaborating on operating systems and other software designed for the wireless data market, with a focus on mobile phones.

Microsoft doesn’t own the low end of the market. Symbian, which has had a somewhat rocky start, is nonetheless a real player in a growing field.

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