Obama Backs Net Neutrality, Google Fights Ebola, & More… [Tech News Digest]
Also, the Microsoft Lumia 535, edit captions with new Instagram update, The Who goes mobile, and the hour-long World of Warcraft documentary.
Obama Wants Broadband To Be A Utility
U.S. President Barack Obama has come out in favor of reclassifying broadband as a utility. This is regarded as the surest way to ensure the Internet remains open and free from interference by commercial entities. In other words, it would protect the principle of net neutrality , which is that all traffic should be treated equally.
President Obama issued a statement saying, “To put these protections in place, I’m asking the FCC to reclassifying internet service under Title II of a law known as the Telecommunications Act. In plain English, I’m asking [the FCC] to recognize that for most Americans, the internet has become an essential part of everyday communication and everyday life.”
Obama’s support for net neutrality and reclassifying broadband as a utility gained support from many, but Republicans and broadband companies united in their vehement opposition to what they claim is Internet regulation. Their view is best summed up by the following tweet from Senator Ted Cruz, which was eloquently countered by The Oatmeal.
“Net Neutrality” is Obamacare for the Internet; the Internet should not operate at the speed of government.
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) November 10, 2014
Obama’s support for Title II reclassification of broadband as a utility doesn’t actually mean the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will comply with his wishes. It looks likely its decision on how to deal with this issue will be delayed until sometime in 2015.
While the FCC considers its next move, everybody reading this should ensure they’re fully informed about net neutrality . At its core it’s a surprisingly simple ideal, but the message is being twisted by entities opposed to net neutrality being enshrined into law.
Google Donates Money To Fight Ebola
Google has donated $10 million to help fight Ebola, with the money going to non-profit organizations tackling the virus. In the blog post announcing the donation, Google CEO Larry Page named, “InSTEDD, International Rescue Committee, Medecins Sans Frontieres, NetHope, Partners in Health, Save the Children and [the] U.S. Fund for UNICEF” as organizations being given financial backing.
In addition to the $10 million already donated, Google has launched a campaign to raise funds from the public. For every $1 donated, the company will donate $2 until an additional $7.5 million has been raised. Donations of $10, $25, $50, $250, $500, and $1000 can be made at onetoday.google.com/fightebola.
Lumia 535 Is First ‘Microsoft’ Phone
The Lumia 535 may be just another low-end Windows Phone handset, but it’s more important than most because it’s the first Lumia to carry Microsoft branding rather than Nokia branding. The Microsoft logo is visible on the front and rear of the Lumia 535, leaving users in no doubt who made this phone.
As for the device itself, the Microsoft Lumia 535 boasts a 5-inch qHD display, a 1.2GHz quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM, and a capable 5-megapixel camera. It also has Skype, Office, OneDrive, Cortana, and OneNote integrated into Windows Phone, making the $130 price tag sound extremely reasonable.
Instagram Update Lets You Edit Captions
why does Instagram update every .2737373 second
— Jack Dail (@JackDail) November 11, 2014
Instagram has released an update which means you can now edit captions on your photos long after you post them online. This oft-requested feature is accompanied by new options for finding people to follow on Instagram , with the ‘Explore’ icon revealing the changes.
The Who Goes Mobile
The Who, the British rock group no one under the age of 40 is likely to have heard of, has released a free mobile app for iOS and Android. The app, released as the band celebrates 50 years in the business, features a virtual museum and information on The Who’s biggest hits.
Not content with invading smartphones and tablets, The Who is also coming to the Oculus Rift. A forthcoming virtual reality app , due to be released early in 2015, will let Oculus Rift users fly through a world filled with objects and themes from the band’s songs. So, expect a magic bus and a pinball table at the absolute minimum.
Watch World Of Warcraft Documentary
And finally, to celebrate 10 years of World of Warcraft , the hour-long documentary, World of Warcraft: Looking For Group, is now available to watch for free. And it’s embedded above to save you from even having to click through to YouTube.
World of Warcraft: Looking For Group is an inside look at the epic MMORPG, with talking heads revealing its origins and how it grew into such a mainstream monster. Looking For Group is a Blizzard production, so it’s extremely biased, but it’s still a must-see for any fan of the game.
Your Views On Today’s Tech News
Is President Obama right to publicly support net neutrality? Will you be donating money to help fight Ebola? Does the Microsoft branding make you more or less likely to buy the Lumia 535?
Let us know your thoughts on the tech news of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.
Image Credit: Quinn Dombrowski via Flickr