“On Sunday, Netflix agreed to pay Comcast an undisclosed amount to ensure that its videos stream smoothly to Comcast customers. But fans of Francis Underwood’s manipulations on House of Cards might want to temper their celebrations.
This is more than a deal between two giant companies: It will affect everyone who uses the Internet. And as with so many things involving Comcast, consumers will end up paying for it in the end.”
"Let’s be clear. The Comcast-Netflix agreement is not the outcome of a free market. This is Comcast having Netflix over a barrel, and backing off only when it became clear that this sort of trickery could potentially derail its mega-merger with Time Warner Cable."
"This is a critical moment for our country. If Comcast acquires Time Warner Cable, it will control 55 percent of the U.S. market’s pay-TV/Internet bundled customers. It will be the only provider of this advanced communications package to nearly four out of every 10 U.S. homes. With this much control over the platform we all use to communicate and share with the outside world, the new normal will be whatever Comcast wants it to be.
Our country used to guard against the consolidation of this much market power, but in recent years policymakers have forgotten the lessons of history. We need to put the “public” back into public policy and some teeth back into our antitrust enforcement.
The average Internet user is at the mercy of companies like Comcast and Verizon, which won’t hesitate to degrade their services as a negotiating ploy. We need a watchdog in Washington who will demand transparency and who has the authority to stop discrimination and anti-competitive behavior.”
This one’s for you, Kristy.
Jamaica’s underfunded underdogs are going back to the Olympics—and this time their trip is backed not by wealthy businessmen but by a legion of generous Internet fans.
Bobsled driver Winston Watts and brakeman Marvin Dixon qualified for the Sochi Games, but their entry was in jeopardy after they came up $80,000 short of the funding needed to make the trip.
Enter the Internet.
Crowdfunding sites Crowdtilt and Indiegogo took up the Jamaicans’ cause, hauling in six figures in just two days from donors around the world (the original fundraising deadline was nine days). “The outpouring of support at the grassroots level through crowdfunding sites was tremendous and humbling,” said Chris Stokes, a member of the 1988 team that inspired the movie Cool Runnings and the current head of the Jamaica Bobsleigh Federation.
Read more. [Image: Photo: Robert Laberge/Getty Images; National Journal illustration]
Cool runnings 2.0
“MagicBands: like magic beans, except they grow data.”
I miss #London sometimes. Not today though.
Later this week, I’m going to a sporting event. The tickets were bought online. But they’re asking that I print out the ticket in order to get into the arena. I just checked my calendar. It’s 2014. When will this madness end?
If I had to guess, I’d say that 75% of the things I printed last year were tickets to sporting events and/or shows where a physical copy of the ticket was required. Why were they required? Who knows. We all carry these small devices perfectly capable of displaying an electronic ticket. 1 But some venues are seemingly nostalgic and reluctant to change.
But they’ll have to, of course. And so I wonder: how long until there is no more paper in this world?