Around the IT Industry 6/11-6/15

by Modis on June 15, 2012

Apple MacBook Pro Rated “Least Repairable” Laptop

Hardware experts at ifixit.org have been in the business of dismantling and repairing all kinds of computer hardware devices over the years. When the latest piece of Apple technology crossed their desks in the form of the new MacBook Pro with Retinal Display, they rated it the least repairable laptop they’ve encountered to date. With laptops, particularly Apple laptops, being one of the most expensive electronics on the market these days, knowing the relative ease and cost of repairs should be an important consideration for consumers.

White House Debuts Plan for More Accessible Broadband

President Obama is signing an order that will lower costs and speed up the installation of broadband networks on and through federal property. This order is the first of several steps towards the lofty Internet accessibility goal set forth by the President in his 2011 State of the Union Address. Major communications companies such as Verizon, AT&T, and Comcast amongst others, are supporting the legislation and seeking to roll out new technologies to support high-speed Internet in new markets across the country.

Department of Justice Investigating Major Cable Providers

The Department of Justice is investigating allegations that major telecommunications companies such as Comcast have been unfairly imposing data usage limitations on customers that only apply to data streamed from sources outside of Comcast’s control. In particular, streaming video providers like Netflix and Hulu are being impeded by the data caps, while Comcast’s own Xbox 360-based video streaming program did not count towards the data cap. Such discrimination could be a violation of anti-trust laws, which the DOJ intends to determine.

Skype to Introduce Ads to Calls

The Microsoft-owned VoIP program Skype has announced plans to incorporate silent advertising in Skype-to-Skype calls for all users who do not have Skype credits or a subscription plan. These ads will be silent and may make use of user information to determine the ads they are targeted with. According to the Skype blog, these ads are intended to provoke conversations between one-to-one callers to generate interest in the products and services offered.

HTTP Status 451 Proposed for Legal Restrictions

Tim Bray, the creator of the popular web scripting language XML, has proposed a new HTTP error code for server requests that are denied due to legal injunctions against the requested address: HTTP Error 451. The proposal would bring transparency to sites which had been shut down due to legal interference, allowing users to know why a particular request went unanswered. The status code, 451, is an homage to Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, which is often cited as an example of government censorship and control going too far.

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