// HAPPENING TODAY
- Net neutrality advocates will be blasting away at the new rules just passed by the FCC.
- Ubisoft reports full-year earnings.
So all this hand-wringing over FCC Chairman’s Tom Wheeler’s “Open Internet” proposal? Entirely unnecessary. Why? Turns out there has always been a fast lane on the Internet for companies willing to pay for it. This according to Comcast* EVP David Cohen, who said Wednesday that even current net neutrality rules permit broadband providers to offer Internet companies paid-prioritization deals. “Honestly, we don’t know what paid prioritization or a fast lane is. It’s something people are stirring up because it sounds bad,” Cohen told attendees of the MoffettNathanson Media & Communications Summit. “But whatever you want to call it, it has been completely legal for 15 or 20 years. The 2010 FCC Open Internet Order did not prohibit paid prioritization. So whatever it is, we are allowed to do it.”
* Comcast owns NBCUniversal, which is an investor in Revere Digital, Re/code’s parent company.
If You Don’t Want Your Next Original to Be “House of Buffering,” Somebody’s Got to Pay
Speaking of things that Comcast is allowed to do, Cohen says Netflix CEO Reed Hastings really needs to get used to them. Specifically, he needs to stop complaining that Comcast forced Netflix to sign a deal guaranteeing fast delivery of the video service’s streams to its cable customers. “Reed would like free transit and I don’t blame him,” Cohen said. “But his argument that he should have free transit is just a cost shifting argument. … If Netflix doesn’t bear its share of the costs to connect to the network, then we have no choice but to raise prices for everyone else — even though Netflix is responsible for one-third of the traffic on the Internet at peak times. Why should two-thirds of the people who never use Netflix pay for the cost for Netflix to attach to our network?”
Re/code’s Amy Schatz: “So the #netneutrality meeting has just started and we’ve already had three protesters who are getting ejected.”
Xiaomi Unveils iPad Mini 5c
“We wanted the hardware to come close to, or even surpass, Apple’s iPad.” That’s what Xiaomi founder Lei Jun said at the launch of the company’s first tablet today — seemingly without a hint of irony. Because Xiaomi’s new Mi Pad looks a hell of a lot like the iPad mini — if Apple had given it the same “unapologetically plastic” design treatment it gave to the iPhone 5c. Scheduled to arrive at market in China next month, the Android tablet will be offered at a starting price of $240, quite a bit less than the $399 iPad mini. “It’s very difficult to do tablets well, and the market is going to be very hard,” Lei said. “We believe the Xiaomi tablet will be the best Android tablet out there.”
Who Said It? Larry Page or Hooli CEO Gavin Belson?
Google CEO Larry Page: “Googlers make everything possible.”
Dr. Dre Temporarily Postpones Next Embarrassing Hip-Hop Billionaire Video
Apple’s $3.2 billion acquisition of Beats Electronics may not close until next week.
And if You Run Into Any Problems, Just Call the NSA Geek Squad
A National Security Agency manager describes a Cisco router “upgrade”: “Here’s how it works: shipments of computer network devices (servers, routers, etc,) being delivered to our targets throughout the world are intercepted. Next, they are redirected to a secret location where Tailored Access Operations/Access Operations (AO-S326) employees, with the support of the Remote Operations Center (S321), enable the installation of beacon implants directly into our targets’ electronic devices. These devices are then re-packaged and placed back into transit to the original destination.”
Hey Girl, Wanna Check Out My N64?
Seth Rogen: “I would confidently say the reason I never really had a girlfriend in high school was because of Goldeneye. I specifically remember leaving parties to go play it.”
And Remember, “If You Have Something That You Don’t Want Anyone to Know, Maybe You Shouldn’t Be Doing It in the First Place.”
What’s Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt’s take on the European Court of Justice’s recent “right to be forgotten” ruling? Not a fan. “You have a collision between a right to be forgotten and a right to know. From Google’s perspective, that’s a balance,” Schmidt said during Google’s annual shareholders meeting Wednesday. “Google believes, having looked at the decision, which is binding, that the balance that was struck was wrong.”
Lost Art of Writing Lost Again
Awl co-founder Choire Sicha: “I’ve noticed that with friends, email is dying. There’s more and more email, but there’s less and less friends, it’s less and less personal. I didn’t like email that much, but now I feel like the way I felt when letter-writing died. I used to write people long emails. Then I wrote people short emails. And now I don’t know if I even really write people emails at all.”
CBS Adds “Gloating With Les Moonves” to Fall Lineup
During CBS’s annual upfront presentation Wednesday afternoon at Carnegie Hall, President and CEO Les Moonves took a moment to tweak TV’s emerging digital rivals — Netflix, Amazon and “the Silicon Valley guys.” “Welcome to the world of television production,” Moonves said. “These are the upfronts. We are flattered that these companies are now doing the ‘newfronts’ — presentations from online companies just like these presentations from broadcasters. They used to call us ‘oldfronts’ — before they started doing exactly what we do.”
Tell Me Again How the Japanese Hate the iPhone
Wired, 2009: “What’s wrong with the iPhone, from a Japanese perspective? Almost everything: The high monthly data plans that go with it, its paucity of features, the low-quality camera, the unfashionable design and the fact that it’s not Japanese.”
Bloomberg, 2014: “Apple boosted iPhone shipments in Japan to 36.6 percent of the market in the year ended March, up from 25.5 percent a year earlier, according to Tokyo-based MM Research Institute Ltd. The Cupertino, California-based smartphone maker shipped 14.43 million phones in Japan the past fiscal year.”
Fewer Calories, More Bytes
Cheryl Oberwood, nutritionist to the stars, on “Inside Amy Schumer”: “I’m gonna find you the perfect diet. You’re gonna stick to that diet, and you’re gonna become the perfect woman. Okay, option one: The Instagram Diet. That’s where you order whatever you want, take a picture of it, post it, throw it in the garbage. Tweet it, don’t eat it.”