No Net Neutrality, Winamp Lives, Kanye Kills Coinye [Tech News Digest]

Today in Tech News Digest, net neutrality suffers a loss, Winamp lives to fight another day, Beats Music is revealed ahead of launch, Tumblr adds Mention alerts (finally), Kanye West succeeds in killing Coinye, a man dies trying to save his phone, and the Internet is given the honor of naming a baby.

Court Rules Against Net Neutrality

Net neutrality has suffered a huge defeat in court, with a ruling stating that the FCC’s rules on the matter are “invalid.” As GigaOM reports, an appeals court in Washington rejected most of the FCC’s Open Internet Order designed to keep the Internet free and fair for all.

Net neutrality is, at its core, a very simple concept. It describes an Internet free of bias or favoritism, so all traffic is equal no matter what content is being delivered and who is paying for it to be delivered.

If the idea of net neutrality is abandoned when we face the prospect of an Internet split up into different categories, with ISPs able to give priority to some traffic while throttling others. BuzzFeed paints a vivid picture with its article about a ‘Net Neutrality Nightmare Scenario’. A bit melodramatic, perhaps, but scary nonetheless.

Winamp Lives On

Winamp has been saved from execution, with Radionomy having acquired it (and Shoutcast) from AOL. The terms of the deal have not been reported, but TechCrunch suggests AOL took $10 million in cash and a 12 percent stake in the company to rid itself of its unwanted wares.

In November 2013 AOL declared Winamp surplus to requirements and announced Winamp was shutting down. The Internet reacted to the news with sadness, as there was nostalgia attached to the music service. But all’s well that ends well. That is if Radionomy can persuade people to actually start using Winamp again.

Beats Music Revealed

beats music1   No Net Neutrality, Winamp Lives, Kanye Kills Coinye [Tech News Digest]

Ahead of its launch on Jan 20, 2014, more details have been revealed about Beats Music. It’s essentially another music streaming app — competing with the likes of Spotify, Rdio, and Pandora — but one that has the popular Beats brand behind it.

Beats Music is initially only available in the United States, with an asking price of $10-per-month gaining you access to 20 million tracks. The leaked screenshots suggest Beats Music will look good, but will it be style over substance just like it is with Beats headphones?

Tumblr Adds Mention Alerts

Tumblr has finally climbed aboard the Mention bandwagon, by adding Mention alerts to its service. Mentions are that mainstay of social networks which let you direct a message to someone by using the @ symbol followed by their username.

Tumblr has actually featured Mentions for months, but until now users weren’t alerted when someone mentioned them in a post. Why this has taken so long when Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn have all had this feature for years remains a mystery. Still, better late than never.

Kanye Kills Coinye

Coinye is dead, and it was Kanye West who pulled the trigger. Coinye was a cryptocurrency that lightly mocked the rapper it was named after, but a cease-and-desist from Kanye’s lawyers appears to have been enough to scare the creators of the currency into submission. Members of the community have vowed to keep fighting, but the chances of them succeeding against expensive lawyers is almost non-existent.

Man Dies Saving Phone

A 26-year-old Minnesota man has died trying to save his phone from an icy river. The incident, which saw the man drop his phone into the water before clambering over a railing to get it back, happened in Chicago on Sunday night. The man died in hospital, and a female friend who dived in to save him is missing, presumed drowned.

This tragedy should act as a reminder that it’s never worth risking life and limb over a gadget, no matter how beloved or valuable it may be.

The Internet Is Naming A Baby

namemydaughter   No Net Neutrality, Winamp Lives, Kanye Kills Coinye [Tech News Digest]

And finally, the Internet has been gifted the opportunity to name a baby. A brave couple decided to open the naming process for their daughter up to Reddittors, and the website set up to track progress has since found its way onto the mainstream Web.

Names for the baby can be submitted or voted on right up until the poor little girl enters the world on April 2, 2014. Some names are being vetoed, and the couple have made it clear they’ll make the final decision, but they let the Internet down at their peril. Cthulhu it is then.

Tech News Digest… Breaking News Into Bite-Sized Chunks.

Image Credit: Abri le Roux

8 Comments - Write a Comment

0 votes
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Howard Pearce

Net Neutrality is nothing more than a concept that allows the state to dictate to ISP’s what news to publish in the name of neutrality. It shocks me people are so easily duped into turning control of the net over to the state .

While the goals may be noble, using the state to mandate what people say/print/or publish is a clear violation of freedom of the press. Perhaps you would support a newspaper neutrality act where the state could dictate to newspapers what they print in the name of neutrality.

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Mike

Howard: It is not about the government dictating what your ISP can and can’t show you. It’s not about the government controlling the ‘net. It’s about preventing ISP’s from throttling or blocking some data sources in favor of others. It’s about *your* freedom of choice. For example, my ISP is Comcast. Without net neutrality rules, there is nothing to keep them from blocking my access to Netflix, Amazon Prime or other steaming services to force me to pay much more for their Comcast cable content in order to be able to stream the content I want.

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Dave P

That isn’t what net neutrality is about at all. Mike has it correct.

0 votes
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Howard Pearce

Regardless of the motives others may have in deciding not to publish certain news or information, a dictate by the state to publish otherwise is indeed a violation of freedom of freedom of speech/press/media.

Newspapers all the time decide to throttle some stories for others that they consider more important. Some of us consider this bias by the news but we do not see that bias as an excuse to use the state to make them behave or print otherwise.

Like I said before, the motives behind net neutrality are fine but the means touted as a solution which involve the state in regulating what is published/not published/not throttled is a severe mistake IMHO.

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Dave P

You’re comparing apples and oranges. There’s a big difference between a news organization showing bias towards certain stories and companies giving all the bandwidth to companies that pay them for priority.

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Tom W

I’m glad that Winamp is going to carry on, I use it because it is lightweight and has all of the features I need.

0 votes
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Howard Pearce

Dave P

So basically your complaint is the motive for the bias and not rather these ISP’s have a right to their actions and biases regardless of the motives.

Then simple fact is that even if newspapers sold their stories in making the decisions of what is important and what to print (i.e. traffic they carry), it would still be unconstitutional for the state to dictate to these newspapers what to print.

The traffic any news/information entity decides to carry whether on paper or cable/etc is theirs to make if you want support freedom of the press.

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Guest

This is why we need to get private corporations completely out of the Internet, cable, satellite, and mobile phone service and make them public utilities. Public utilities would offer the same service to all regardless of ability to pay. Internet should be a public service available to all, but it would have to be 100% end-to-end encrypted to protect against spying by the government (which happens already, thanks to complicity by the major telco’s, ISPs and social media websites). If this were to happen, Verizon, Comcast, etc. would go bankrupt and be irrelevant, and “net neutrality” would be a moot point. I wouldn’t mind having a U.S. Department of Open-Access Telecommunications as long as it was protected from the NSA, DHS, FBI, CIA, DEA, etc.

But probably the biggest reason why this doesn’t happen is because of big-business politicians on one side of the aisle who don’t like the idea of government strangling big business, not to mention those on that same side who operate on a “morals” clause and don’t want tax dollars supporting public access to “taboo” material (the side that pushes to “ban” books at public libraries would probably try to “ban” public access to everything from the Planned Parenthood website to supermarket flyers advertising chicken *breast*). Then again, you’ve also got the copyright trolls on the left who would freak out if tax dollars were paying for a service that lets people “steal” movies — something tells me that in their heart of hearts (if such a thing exists), they probably don’t like the idea of public libraries either. How dare multiple people be allowed to read the same book without paying for their own copy…

My DSL subscription costs $39.95/month for unlimited usage however I want. I shouldn’t have to pay extra for a higher “tier” just to be able to watch YouTube videos or listen to Pandora. That’s called a mobile data plan, and mobile Internet sucks. Cable has done that for years and they lose out to piracy and Netflix, because people don’t feel like spending an extra $30/month for HBO just so they can watch Game of Thrones. Imagine a newspaper charging you extra to read the sports section, or a supermarket charging you extra because you used a cart and not a basket — or heck, carried all your groceries in your own arms! When will the government step in and put a kibosh on these corporations gone haywire in the pursuit of profit?

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