FCC In Court And Poor AT&T Decisions

On Episode 432 of the Waves of Tech, we have a packed episode for you!  In 1999, Bill Gates made 15 incredible predictions that sounded outrageous but came true in under 20 years.  Several tech companies and advocacy groups took the FCC to court last week in a major attempt to reinstate net neutrality regulations and the Open Internet Order of 2015.  After racking up $150 billion in debt over four years, AT&T is now losing consumers at a significant rate and passing incremental costs off to their customers. Google Plus is shutting down in April of this year leaving some groups curious of where to go.  Lastly, $190 million of cryptocurrency is gone forever after the CEO unexpectedly passed away and did not leave a record of passwords. Thanks for tuning in and don’t forget to keep on techin’.

15 Predictions Bill Gates Got Right

Bill Gates authored a book in 1999 titled “Business @ The Speed of Thought” and he outlined a variety of predictions.  At that time, these ideas Gates had in mind sounded outrageous and far fetched. Well fast forward 20 years and nearly every prediction has become a reality in some respect.  Here are just a few examples to spike your curiosity.

  • Price-comparison sites, mobile phones, personal companions (digital assistants)
  • Online home monitoring, automated promotional offers, online recruiting
  • Smart advertising, online discussion boards, project management software
  • Much of today’s major tech companies are built on these or utilize as models

FCC Battled in Court by Mozilla & Tech Trade Organizations

On this podcast, we have been an advocate for the Open Internet Order since it passed in 2015 under the Obama Administration.  Since the Trump presidency has began, the new FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has deliberately sought after repealing the net neutrality regulations with attempts to pass more control and power to internet service providers.

  • Mozilla filed suit in federal court suing for reinstatement of the net neutrality order
  • Many argue the FCC did not have the authority to change the internet’s classification
  • A diverse group of open internet advocacy groups are fighting to put consumers first
  • Attorneys argue the FCC did not follow administrative procedure law

AT&T Passing Billions of Debt to Customers

We said it here on the podcast last year – the AT&T and Time Warner Cable mega merger valued at $86 billion would be bad for pocket books, customers relations, and services offered.  The latest news from Motherboard is showing a significant drop in subscribers both in traditional cable packaging and also DirecTV Now users.

  • Dropping subscribers is meaning a new cost of service adjustment to users
  • Increased debt is leading to layoffs and less customer representation
  • Many AT&T customers are annoyed by the company’s assault on net neutrality
  • The incremental price hikes are driving loyal customer to cancel services

Google+ End of Life is Near

April 2, 2019 – the end of Google Plus as we know it.  Last December, Google hinted at shutting down their quasi social media application due to lack of user growth, low usage, and “challenges involved in maintaining a successful product that meets consumers’ expectations (Google Release).”  Some of pleased, some don’t care, and some are really saddened.

  • Many large communities are not happy as most don’t want to head to Facebook
  • If you’re an active user, be sure to download and save all your Google+ content
  • G Suite accounts will remain active and can expect new features, look soon
  • Communities will need to migrate membership base to other applications

$190 Million Gone After Cryptocurrency Executive Dies

What a strange technological reality we live in.  Gerald Cotten was the founder of QuadrigaCX, a Canadian based cryptocurrency exchange.  He sadly passed away recently due to health complications, but he was the only one with the passwords to access the digital currency.  And we all know that without passwords, the $190 million cannot be accessed.

  • Jennifer Robertson, wife, has hired security experts to crack passwords with no luck
  • Cotten held “sole responsibility for handling the funds and coins” according to reports
  • QuadrigaCX customers have taken to social to voice their frustration
  • In a world of digital currency, we need to know the laws of governance and access

Resources & Links

Bill Gates Wacky 1999 Prediction
Basics Behind FCC Court Case
Verge Report – What We Learned in Court
Open Internet Order Predictions & Next Steps
AT&T Bit off Too Much Debt
Google Plus End of Life
$190 Million in Digital Currency Gone Forever

Thanks for tuning in and don’t forget to keep on techin’

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