Former FCC Commissioner: “We Should Be Ashamed Of Ourselves” For State of Broadband In The U.S.

Former FCC Commissioner: “We Should Be Ashamed Of Ourselves” For State of Broadband In The U.S.

In Washington, DC today, a group of internet industry executives and politicians came together to look back on the Telecommunications Act of 1996, and to do a little crystal-ball gazing about the future of broadband regulation in the United States. Former FCC commissioner Michael Copps was among the presenters, and he had sharp words for the audience about the “insanity” of the current wave of merger mania in the telecom field and the looming threats of losing net neutrality regulation. [More]

Here’s Why The Justice Dept. Should Block The Comcast & Time Warner Cable Merger

Here’s Why The Justice Dept. Should Block The Comcast & Time Warner Cable Merger

Now that Comcast and Time Warner Cable have been paraded in front of the Senate and Congress to state their case publicly for why they should be allowed to merger into a truly massive mega-company, it’s time for the investigation that really matters, as regulators at the FCC and the Justice Dept. look into whether or not this deal is good for the public or violates antitrust law. [More]

Why Starting A Competitor To Comcast Is Basically Impossible

Why Starting A Competitor To Comcast Is Basically Impossible


The mega-rich can dabble in pretty much any business they want to. Warren Buffet owns everything from furniture stores to ice cream chains. Richard Branson started a commercial spaceflight company, for crying out loud. And yet with demand for high-speed, affordable internet access going only up, up, and up, no new business or venture capitalist seems to be stepping into the fray to provide it. People passionately hate their current cable companies — so what’s stopping an enterprising entrepreneur from making a giant wad of cash entering the telecom game? [More]

Michael J. Copps

5 Ways The FCC Has Failed Consumers (And One Way To Fix It), From A Former FCC Commissioner

Former FCC commissioner Michael Copps has a long history of trying to support consumer interests. He has been an outspoken critic of media consolidation for many years. Back in 2011, he was the lone dissenting vote on the Comcast/NBC merger and recently, he’s been calling on the FCC to reclassify broadband ISPs and fix net neutrality ASAP. [More]

Goldman Sachs Loses Money For First Time Since Financial Crisis Began

Goldman Sachs Loses Money For First Time Since Financial Crisis Began

For the first time since the advent of the financial meltdown, and for only the second time since 1999 when it became a publicly traded company, Goldman Sachs has — Gasp! Horror! Shock! — lost some money. [More]

Why You Should Thank BofA For The $5 Debit Card Fee

Why You Should Thank BofA For The $5 Debit Card Fee

Bank of America’s new $5 monthly fee for having a debit card is getting painted as a public enemy, but columnist Michael Hiltzik for the Los Angeles Times says we should be giving it a great big hug. [More]

Credit Card Marketer Uses Clever Way To Circumvent New Regs

Credit Card Marketer Uses Clever Way To Circumvent New Regs

Looks like at least one credit card marketer has cooked up a clever way around regulations that forbid unsolicited credit cards from being issued and showing up in your mailbox. [More]

How Bank Of America Picked $5 As The Debit Card Monthly Fee

How Bank Of America Picked $5 As The Debit Card Monthly Fee

The new $5 monthly fee Bank of America is charging debit card holders wasn’t just picked because the spreadsheet guys really like Subway $5 footlongs. There’s actually a calculation behind it. Here’s the math. [More]

What If Food Labels Looked Like This?

What If Food Labels Looked Like This?

Maybe the real reason Americans are so fat is because our food labels are so ugly. If they were easier on the eye to read, maybe more people would read them and make better eating choices. That was the idea in mind behind a recent design contest at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Journalism aiming to give the standard government-mandated food label a much-needed makeover. The winning entry uses colored boxes for each ingredient that are sized in proportion to how much of each is inside the package. [More]

How Snake Oil Dodged Basic Laws In 1907

How Snake Oil Dodged Basic Laws In 1907

It’s funny how similar the labeling tactics used by hucksters of fake snake oil used after getting busted by new laws in 1907 are to some techniques used by food and product packagers today. [More]

What Has Changed Since 146 Workers Died In Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire 100 Years Ago?

What Has Changed Since 146 Workers Died In Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire 100 Years Ago?

The government proposes new regulation to make an industry safer. The industry shouts back that the new measures are “cumbersome and costly,‟ tantamount to “a confiscation of property.” A newspaper opines, “Excited persons rarely accomplish anything…No new laws are needed.” Trade groups issue dire warnings about how the new laws will wipe out entire industries and sacrifice jobs. Are these the latest response to new Consumer Product Safety Commission guidelines? Banking giants balking at financial reform? Nope, those were quotes from when fire protection guidelines were proposed after the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire of 1911, in which 146 garment workers died. Friday marks the 100th anniversary of this tragedy. [More]

FAA Orders O2 Masks Removed From Airplane Bathrooms

FAA Orders O2 Masks Removed From Airplane Bathrooms

Airlines are removing the emergency oxygen generators from airplane bathrooms by order of FAA directive, reports KPRC. The concern is that someone could go in there, rip the supply out, and rig it into an explosive device. [More]

NBC Tells Staff To Submit Paperwork For Comcast Transition, Even Though Merger Isn't Approved

NBC Tells Staff To Submit Paperwork For Comcast Transition, Even Though Merger Isn't Approved

A tipster says that NBC is having employees submit new paperwork for a new personnel management software program that will take over after the Comcast merger, even though that merger hasn’t been approved by the FCC yet. Hmm. Here’s the note: [More]

Comcast's Letter To The FCC About Netflix Tollgate

Comcast's Letter To The FCC About Netflix Tollgate

Here is the letter Comcast sent the FCC after eyebrows were raised when Level 3 accused the cable company of setting up a effective tollgate to collect fees when L3 tried to deliver Netflix content to Comcast customers. [More]

Comcast Charges Toll For Netflix Delivery

Comcast Charges Toll For Netflix Delivery

The largest broadband backbone provider in the world says Comcast has set up a tollbooth, charging it a fee to deliver Netflix content to Comcast customers. “This action by Comcast threatens the open Internet and is a clear abuse of the dominant control that Comcast exerts in broadband access,” said Level 3 in a statement. [More]

Coming Soon, A Way To Find Out How That Online Ad Knows What You Like

Coming Soon, A Way To Find Out How That Online Ad Knows What You Like

Last year the FTC asked online marketers to regulate targeted advertising, so in an attempt to avoid new regulatory policies the major ad industry groups have gotten together to launch a new service. Starting late summer, when a targeted ad from a participating marketer appears on your screen, you’ll be able to click a small icon somewhere on the ad and see your profile on that marketer’s site. You’ll also be able to then opt out of future ads from that ad network, reports Wired. [More]

Johnson & Johnson Hired Fake Shoppers To Buy Up Bad Motrin, Avoid Public Recall

Johnson & Johnson Hired Fake Shoppers To Buy Up Bad Motrin, Avoid Public Recall

Ever since the FDA and Congress started asking Johnson & Johnson to explain why it keeps recalling medicine, there have been references to an unpublicized “recall” that happened in November 2008. Last month, at a hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, a J&J executive swore that the company didn’t mean to mislead anyone. It turns out that wasn’t exactly accurate: Bloomberg has obtained emails from J&J’s company, McNeil Consumer Healthcare, that show executives knew the secret recall would trigger an FDA reaction if the agency got wind of its full scope. [More]

Want More Lead Or Pesticide In Your Body? Try Dietary Supplements

Want More Lead Or Pesticide In Your Body? Try Dietary Supplements

Lead has a deservedly bad reputation when it comes to human health and development, but because it’s classified as a heavy metal it will always be kind of awesome. Well, to me. Pesticide, not so much. If you dislike ingesting either type of toxin, you might be interested in a new study being released today by the Government Accountability Office that found trace amounts of “lead and other contaminants” in every sample of 40 health supplements tested. [More]