New Rules of the Road
Love it or hate it, the die is cast. The FCC has ordered that broadband providers are a telecommunication service and therefore a public utility with certain rules of the road to ensure consumers fast, fair and open access to the content of their choice.
According to the FCC, because large broadband providers have innate economic incentives to “prioritize their interests above the interest of their users,” the new new rules prohibit certain behaviors:
- No Blocking: broadband providers may not block access to legal content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices
- No Throttling: broadband providers may not impair or degrade lawful Internet traffic on the basis of content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices.
- No Paid Prioritization: broadband providers may not favor some lawful Internet traffic over other lawful traffic in exchange for consideration of any kind—in other words, no “fast lanes.” This rule also bans ISPs from prioritizing content and services of their affiliates.
Users should understand that the new rules don’t mean that all customers will receive the same level of service. You already pay for different speed levels. The ruling essentially says that gatekeepers (the major broadband providers) as a public provider of services may not unfairly abuse that position to interfere with user access to unfettered content of their choice.
According to most reviews, the new Outlook apps for iOS and Android are both welcome and quite robust.
They feature integration of mail and calendar functions from multiple accounts including Gmail, iCloud and Yahoo, and can save files to – and email from – Google Drive, Dropbox and Box.
Google’s Chrome browser will now warn you before you enter a site that encourages you to download nefarious programs. The new warnings also extend to Google search and ads. You can read more at Computer World and PC Mag
Thermoneystat promises to let you control the money you spend on heating and cooling, help the planet, and alert you about a failure. Still in the Kickstarter phase, the developers claim it uses load leveling algorithms to manage your heating and cooling, and by so doing eliminates big surprises in your energy bill. Whether it works out or not for the developer, time will tell, but it’s at least an idea you could warm up to, eh? More at TechHive and Kickstarter
Eero: Seamless Home Networking
Here, There, Everywhere.
Eero promises to bring state-of-the-art wireless (think no dead spots) to your home in one pretty little package. It’s not only a router, but a range extender and a repeater in a single device. While one Eero works just fine, the beauty is that by adding another Eero or two, you have an instant mesh network with no mess or fuss, because it’s all self configuring.
Just plug the additional Eeros into any wall outlet, and the Master Eero auto configures the added units. With its cloud component, Eero constantly optimizes connections and monitors speed, updates and security issues. Though a startup, Eero developers and advisors have some sterling credentials. You can read more at Eero, and reviews at Engadget and The Verge.