Welcome to our new weekly wrap-up video where we will cover three to five of the biggest stories in tech and business over the past week and add our unique perspective into the mix. We love hearing from you so definitely feel free to leave a comment or tweet us with your thoughts as well.
Late Sunday night Apple kicked Alex Jones and his conspiracy-theory driven show InfoWars off its platform. Apple removed five of InfoWars’ six podcasts from iTunes and the Podcast apps.
Other companies soon followed suit, including YouTube which removed Jones’ channel that had nearly 2.5 million subscribers and more than 1 billion views. Facebook, Spotify, and Stitcher also removed Alex Jones’ content.
Meanwhile, he’s still on Twitter because Jack Dorsey & Co. are a bunch of buffoons.
These are companies are well within their right to remove Jones’ content from their platforms even if, as one of his supporters pointed out, they’re public companies. Here’s the issue with that argument: they’re publicly traded companies, owned by private investors, they’re not owned by the public interest. So they can do whatever they want provided it doesn’t upset the shareholders.
[Source: Buzzfeed News]
ISP’S CHARGE TOO MUCH FOR SLOW INTERNET
A new study by the National Digital Inclusion Alliance illuminates the fact that many Americans are paying a lot of money for slow internet speeds.
According to the report, tens of millions of AT&T, Verizon, and CenturyLink customers are stuck paying an arm and a leg for last-generation DSL that fails to even meet the FCC’s 25 Mbps definition of broadband. Frequently, these users are paying the same rate for substandard speeds as those in more competitive markets pay for much faster service.
“In recent years AT&T and Verizon, the nation’s two largest telco Internet providers, have eliminated their cheaper rate tiers for low and mid-speed Internet access, except at the very slowest levels,” notes the report.
For example, many users on lines as slow as 1.5 Mbps downstream are stuck paying $63-$65 a month.
To put that in perspective: I pay $195/month for Gigabit speeds, plus I get every TV channel Verizon has to offer and home phone service.
So what’s happening? These cable/telcom companies are lazy and in some cases are refusing to upgrade their technology to better serve their customers (usually those in low income and rural areas). It’s terrible, especially as video content is becoming more popular online.
One thing that could change all of this is the rollout of 5G networks, providing high speed, wireless internet to more people.
FIREFOX CREATES A “FORWARD” BUTTON
Mozilla, the company behind Firefox is launching a new web extension for its browser. It’s called Advance (I know, it could use a better name).
Think of Advance like a “forward” button for your browser. It makes smart recommendations of other types of content you may want to read based on what you’re currently reading and also your past browsing history. The extension sits in the sidebar of Firefox.
The whole purpose of the Advance sidebar is that according to Mozilla, “it enables discovery without disrupting workflow.”
You can download The Advance extension by joining the Test Pilot program at testpilot.firefox.com.