Our reader Hank Scorpio, while taking a break from plotting to take over the world, suggested an awesome web tool earlier today: Readability. Drag the bookmark to your browser’s bookmark bar, then click it when you’re on a badly cluttered page and watch magic happen. [via Hank Scorpio]
Comcast is now claiming that the FCC “has no legal power to stop the cable giant from engaging in what it calls ‘network management practices’ (critics call it peer-to-peer traffic blocking),” reports Ars Technica. In an amazing display of spin, Comcast writes that letting the marketplace “maximize consumer welfare” has been “enormously successful” as proven by the “Comcast customer experience”—seriously, we’re not making up these phrases. On a less humorous note, the filing in which Comcast makes these claims also seems to imply that it will sue the FCC if it tries to enforce any changes on how Comcast blocks P2P traffic.
Sprint appears to be blocking MMS picture messages on certain phones, specifically high-end ones like the HTC Touch. Although the phones are fully capable of sending and receiving such messages, Sprint sells them with the required features disabled, and each time a third-party developer comes up with a software solution that solves the problem, Sprint swoops in and “fixes” it so that it no longer works.
Advocacy groups and legal scholars filed a network neutrality complaint with the FCC today against Comcast, asking the government to issue a temporary injunction against the cable company that forces it to “stop degrading any applications. Upon deciding the merits, the Commission should issue a permanent injunction ending Comcast’s discrimination.” More importantly, the complaint asks the FCC to classify any blocking of peer-to-peer file sharing as a violation of the agency’s Internet Policy Statement, “four principles issued in 2005 that are supposed to ‘guarantee consumers competition among providers and access to all content, applications and services.'”
Comcast is in heavy PR-spin mode this week following last week’s reports that they spoof customers’ computers to cancel peer-to-peer connections, and have been blocking corporate users from sending large attachments via Lotus Notes (that blockage was “fixed” last week, around the time this story broke). Comcast says that they don’t “block” anything but rather delay requests, and that it’s only done to improve overall performance for their customers.
Lifehacker’s got a pointer to an FTC article for avoiding “credit card blocking” when booking trips, whereby a hotel will stake claim for the full cost of your stay, plus the incidentals it feels you may buy, prior to checking out of the hotel.