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Paul Merrell

FCC Votes To Start Slashing Net Neutrality Protections - 0 views

  • The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) under President Donald Trump on Thursday afternoon voted to begin slashing regulations protecting a free and open internet. The decision (pdf) ran along party lines, with the FCC’s two Republican members voting to dismantle net neutrality. Mignon Clyburn, the Commission’s Democratic member, was the sole dissenting vote. “While the majority engages in flowery rhetoric about light-touch regulation and so on, the endgame appears to be no-touch regulation and a wholesale destruction of the FCC’s public interest authority in the 21st century,” Clyburn wrote in her dissent, according to The Hill.
Paul Merrell

How Silicon Valley, in a Show of Monopolistic Force, Destroyed Parler - Glenn Greenwald - 1 views

  • As Silicon Valley censorship radically escalated over the past several months — banning pre-election reporting by The New York Post about the Biden family, denouncing and deleting multiple posts from the U.S. President and then terminating his access altogether, mass-removal of right-wing accounts — so many people migrated to Parler that it was catapulted to the number one spot on the list of most-downloaded apps on the Apple Play Store, the sole and exclusive means which iPhone users have to download apps. “Overall, the app was the 10th most downloaded social media app in 2020 with 8.1 million new installs,” reported TechCrunch.It looked as if Parler had proven critics of Silicon Valley monopolistic power wrong. Their success showed that it was possible after all to create a new social media platform to compete with Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. And they did so by doing exactly what Silicon Valley defenders long insisted should be done: if you don’t like the rules imposed by tech giants, go create your own platform with different rules.
  • But today, if you want to download, sign up for, or use Parler, you will be unable to do so. That is because three Silicon Valley monopolies — Amazon, Google and Apple — abruptly united to remove Parler from the internet, exactly at the moment when it became the most-downloaded app in the country. If one were looking for evidence to demonstrate that these tech behemoths are, in fact, monopolies that engage in anti-competitive behavior in violation of antitrust laws, and will obliterate any attempt to compete with them in the marketplace, it would be difficult to imagine anything more compelling than how they just used their unconstrained power to utterly destroy a rising competitor.
Paul Merrell

Apple iPhone 5G Launch Could Be Delayed Due To Coronavirus | Zero Hedge - 4 views

  • The much anticipated iPhone 5G - and the next obvious cash cow for smartphone technology company Apple in its long line of smartphone cash cows - may be put on hold due to spillover effects from the coronavirus. Bank of America put out a note on Friday morning, citing a conversation with an expert on the company's supply chain, that said the product launch may wind up being pushed back.  The expert said that  “the iPhone 5G launch in the fall could see a month of delay.” He also warned that the launch of the iPhone SE2 would be delayed by "a few months" due to supply issues and weaker demand as a result of coronavirus. 
Paul Merrell

Google's web app plans collide with Apple's iPhone, Safari rules - CNET - 0 views

  • Google and Apple, which already battle over mobile operating systems, are opening a new front in their fight. How that plays out may determine the future of the web. Google was born on the web, and its business reflects its origin. The company depends on the web for search and advertising revenue. So it isn't a surprise that Google sees the web as key to the future of software. Front and center are web apps, interactive websites with the same power as conventional apps that run natively on operating systems like Windows, Android, MacOS and iOS.  Apple has a different vision of the future, one that plays to its strengths. The company revolutionized mobile computing with its iPhone line. Its profits depend on those products and the millions of apps that run on them. Apple, unsurprisingly, appears less excited about developments, like web apps, that could cut into its earnings.
Paul Merrell

Break up Amazon? Seattle Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal takes on tech giants | The Seattle Times - 2 views

  • As a general rule, politicians don’t pick fights with their state’s biggest private employers, but Seattle Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal is doing just that, sponsoring legislation that would break up Amazon.Jayapal’s Ending Platform Monopolies Act is part of a broader, bipartisan effort in Congress to rein in the power of the Big Four tech giants: Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Google.Following up on a 16-month antitrust investigation completed last fall, House lawmakers this month unveiled five antitrust bills aimed at checking the power of the companies by limiting their abilities to gobble up or hamstring competitors.Jayapal’s proposal would allow the federal government to sue to force the Big Four tech firms to sell off lines of business deemed a “conflict of interest.” That would mean Amazon could no longer run its marketplace for third-party sellers while also competing against them with its own products. Similar divestments would be required of the other top tech firms, and all could face massive daily fines for noncompliance.
  • The focus on today’s ubiquitous big tech giants in some ways echoes past antitrust confrontations in the U.S. In the 1980s, the federal government forced the breakup of the Bell System phone monopoly. In the late 1990s, the U.S. sought to bust up Microsoft over its PC market stranglehold — a battle that ended in a 2002 settlement curbing some of its practices.The Big Four have inspired blowback from across the political spectrum, though not always for the same reasons. All five of the House bills rolled out last week had both Democratic and Republican co-sponsors — producing some unusual alliances.
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