Tech 2.0 for Monday, February 3, 2014
President Barack Obama says the government is looking into ways to keep the Internet free and open. The action from the White House will be an attempt to get around a ruling by a federal court, which set aside rules designed to keep Internet Service Providers from restricting certain types of online traffic. The panel ruled last month to vacate rules that make sure Internet content be treated equally. The president says Internet neutrality is an issue he cares deeply about, partly because his campaign was powered by an Internet that was free of commercial barriers. While he says the court's decision must be respected, the Federal Communications Commission is looking into options -- which can include an appeal of the court's ruling or setting up new rules.
The search for bargains in these troubled economic times is sending a growing number of people to the Internet to seek relief. That was especially so during the holiday shopping season, where sales numbers rose 10 percent during November and December, while sales at stores rose just 2.7 percent. Amazon.com is among the online outlets that have flourished in the recent market. It reported last week that both its profit and revenue grew in the latest quarter.
NBC is using the Olympics to push interest in technology allowing cable or satellite TV subscribers to see live Winter Olympics competition on mobile phones or tablets. The network said Monday it will give subscribers a 30-minute "free pass" to Olympics video before they are asked to verify that they are paying customers. On subsequent days, customer will get five minutes free before they have to check in. NBC's hope is that the big event will increase interest in its "TV Everywhere" initiative, which has been slow to get started. Nearly 10 million mobile devices were authenticated for Olympics video during the London games in 2012.
With the Super Bowl a blowout win for the Seattle Seahawks, it's likely most of the chatter at work today will focus on the Super Bowl ads. And if you're one of those who tuned out of the game because of the score -- or used the time during the ads to hit the party buffet -- take heart. You can use any number of sites to catch up on what you might have missed.