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IN THE NEWS: FCC SETS UP PRIORITY LANES FOR SOME INTERNET SERVICES
LOS ANGELES (AP) — It could be the electronic equivalent for those new highway lanes in some big cities that let some drivers zip along on less congested roads — for a fee. That's the direction the Federal Communications Commission is heading when it comes to net neutrality. The agency wants to allow for a paid "fast lane" for movies, music and other high-bandwidth uses on the Internet. A federal appeals court had struck down earlier net neutrality rules — which kept Internet access providers from discriminating against traffic that might compete against their own products and services. Under the new plan, Internet access providers could charge companies like Netflix to make sure their products arrive at customers' devices without being bottlenecked by other Internet traffic. Those fees could be absorbed by the companies — or passed along to users. The FCC insists the new rules don't represent a departure from its past policy.
IN THE NEWS: AMAZON LAUNCHING GROCERY SERVICE
NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon is adding another feature to its Prime membership program: groceries. Members can now fill a box with groceries weighing up to 45 pounds — and have it shipped to them for $5.99. The service is called Prime Pantry — and features a wider selection of items you can get in a grocery store, as well as bulk items you might buy online or at a warehouse store. As you shop, the Prime Pantry site shows you how much space each item takes up in the grocery box — and how much room is left. The items are shipped within one to four business days. Recently, Amazon added a video streaming service to the mix, even as it increased its annual membership price to $99 from $79.
ON THE WEB: NO CHARGES IN FAKE TWITTER ACCOUNT CASE
CYBERSPACE (AP) — Prosecutors in Peoria, Illinois say there will be no charges filed over a fake Twitter account that claimed to share the mayor's thoughts on subjects like sex and drugs. Mayor Jim Ardis filed a criminal complaint over the matter — and police raided a home last week, seizing computers and taking in residents for questioning. That sparked criticism that the mayor had abused his power and violated free speech rights. The site explicitly states it's a parody, something Twitter requires for such accounts under its terms of service. Police were looking the fake Twitter account as an impersonating a public official case. But prosecutors say the law indicates the crime must be carried out in person — and does not mention using the Internet or other electronic media.
Twitter site: http://www.twitter.com
IN STORES: NETFLIX TEAMING UP WITH CABLE PROVIDERS
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — It's a move that shows the growing popularity of online entertainment. Netflix — the service many people use to get away from cable and satellite providers — is joining the lineup of three cable TV providers. The companies aren't big ones — at least not now. But the agreements with Atlantic Broadband, RCN Telecom Services and Grande Communications gives Netflix's subscription service a channel on the TiVo boxes that the three cable services provide their customers. Netflix will debut on Atlantic and RCN on Monday. The third service, Grande, will see the site added by the end of May. The move helps Netflix move forward in its effort to make its Internet video service more like premium channels such as HBO and Showtime.
Netflix site: http://www.netflix.com
by Oscar Wells Gabriel II
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