FCC issues net neutrality rules
The FCC delighted net neutrality advocates this week with its ruling in favor of a free and open internet. Net neutrality refers to the freedom of the internet from being manipulated and controlled by broadband companies looking to charge higher prices for different tiers and qualities of services.
The ruling mandated that broadband access be reclassified as a telecommunications service and thus be subject to much heavier regulation. In addition, broadband providers cannot block or speed up connections for a fee or strike deals with content firms to direct traffic to consumers, amongst other things.
The man who coined the term “net neutrality,” Columbia Law School Professor Tim Wu, expressed his pleasure at the ruling. “It is a historic day in the history of the internet,” he said. “Net neutrality, long in existence as a principle, has been codified in a way that will likely survive court scrutiny. More generally, this marks the beginning of an entirely new era of how communications are regulated in the United States.”
The decision was made in a bid to keep the internet “fast, fair, and open.” Tom Wheeler, the FCC Chairman, stated that “no one…should control free and open access to the Internet. It’s the most powerful and pervasive platform on the planet. The Internet is too important to allow broadband providers to make the rules.”
The stage has now been set for a giant legal battle between cable and broadband companies and the FCC, as the former are expected to challenge the FCC ruling in court.
Apple’s Spring Forward event
“Join us on March 9 at 10 a.m. PDT for our Special Event”
Themed “Spring Forward,” tech giant Apple is holding a special event on March 9 in San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. The theme hints strongly that the event will focus on the company’s newest product line, the iWatch.
It’s a safe assumption that unreleased details about the upcoming iWatch, such as price and availability, will be brought to light. The aluminum sport model will start at $350, but the price points of the regular and luxurious models are still unknown, as is the exact product release date.
Rumors are swirling about a potential new MacBook Air design, but the focus will undoubtedly be on the new wearable tech that even the company is extremely excited about.
“What we want to do at Apple, that’s our objective: We want to change the way you live your life,” CEO Tim Cook said at a Goldman Sachs conference two weeks ago. “And just like this iPad has changed the way you work, and hopefully the way you live, and the iPhone has done that, we see the Apple Watch doing that.”
According to the Guardian, it is customary that Apple products are shipped within weeks of a keynote. That could mean consumers can get their hands on Apple Watches before the slated release date of some time in April.
Lenovo hit by hack
Lenovo has suffered a string of bad publicity recently. After apologizing last week for pre-installing potentially malicious adware, Superfish, onto its Lenovo laptops and failing to provide accurate instructions for the removal of that adware, Lenovo is now the victim of yet another cyber hack..
On Thursday morning in Asia, the Lenovo site was completely taken down with the traditional url redirecting users to an anonymous page of children looking into a webcam, the Wall Street Journal reported.
“Unfortunately, Lenovo has been the victim of a cyber attack,” said the company in a statement. “One effect of this attack was to redirect traffic from the Lenovo website.”
A hacking group called Lizard Squad claimed responsibility over the attack via Twitter and reportedly released personal information from Lenovo employees’ emails.
The Chinese-firm will be looking to clean up the mess as soon as possible. “We are also actively investigating other aspects of the attack,” the computer maker said in the statement. “We are responding and have already restored certain functionality to our public facing website.”
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The week in numbers
Employee communications specialist GuideSpark raises $22.2m
Accounting software company Xero bags $111m in funding
Music rights company Kobalt raises $60m Series C round