Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 23rd Aug 2012 08:29 UTC
Apple "AT&T is defending its decision to limit the use of Apple's video chat feature, FaceTime, to its Mobile Share data plans by saying that the limitation does not violate the FCC's net neutrality rules. The company wrote in a blog post on Wednesday that some groups had 'another knee-jerk reaction' to AT&T's limitation, but the company argues that its decision meets all FCC requirements." You can expect Verizon to follow suit soon. Carriers don't do things like this unless they know the competition will tag along. This also happens to explain why Apple probably can't do much about it; if both Verizon and AT&T give FaceTime the boot like this, there's little Apple can do. For what it's worth - I'm happy The Netherlands (and Chile!) has unconditional net neutrality. This would not fly here, further illustrating the need for net neutrality.
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Comment by marcp
by marcp on Thu 23rd Aug 2012 09:11 UTC
marcp
Member since:
2007-11-23

Don't be so sure, Thom. It all starts with small things, like using proprietary operating system [both PC and mobile], proprietary document, video. music formats, and then it comes to the internet land, because people have eyes and braines and they can see, that "oh, look! they are willing to pay thousands of dollars to lock themselves up in Apple's/Micfosoft's/whoever walled garden, let's try the same with internet packets, packet priorities, etc".
So you may think to yourself "oh, well, I'm gonna trie new Windows 8/OSX/iOS/whatever", but you vote with your wallet. You vote for specific - not instantly obvious to read - technologies which may actually make your life harder.
The reasonable choice is to support open and free projects. Support them with your wallet [vote with your wallet], your knowledge [participate in projects], etc.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by marcp
by ssokolow on Thu 23rd Aug 2012 10:32 UTC in reply to "Comment by marcp"
ssokolow Member since:
2010-01-21

Not as eloquent as I've seen but well said.

This sort of thing is why I use neither Microsoft nor Apple products at home, why I can count the number of closed-source packages on my Linux PC on one hand, and why I don't own a cell phone.

(Well, that and cellphone plans are expensive here in Canada and Google Now is just plain creepy.)

Edited 2012-08-23 10:33 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by marcp
by marcp on Thu 23rd Aug 2012 10:40 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by marcp"
marcp Member since:
2007-11-23

I'm sorry I dissapointed you ;) I am not a native english speaker.

Regards

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by marcp
by zima on Tue 28th Aug 2012 03:16 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by marcp"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

why I don't own a cell phone.
(Well, that and cellphone plans are expensive here in Canada and Google Now is just plain creepy.)

You know, owning a cellphone is just plain... prudent.
(you don't even need to have a mobile plan, nor even prepaid - any old, passed down for free by somebody, GSM phone will dial 112... even without a SIM card inside, or even if its locked)

Reply Score: 2

net neutrality isn't neutral...
by roracle on Thu 23rd Aug 2012 10:30 UTC
roracle
Member since:
2009-05-14

The company providing the service should have a say in how it provides service. Customers have no say in this except the classic "vote with your wallet".

If I came in and said you had to change OSnews to provide news that wasn't jiving with your site, or forced you to change anything at all, you wouldn't like it much. Same thing with any other company, no matter how big or small. They have the right to run their business the way they want, and you have the right to go to someone else if their service isn't necessary for you anymore.

Reply Score: 0

RE: net neutrality isn't neutral...
by iskios on Thu 23rd Aug 2012 11:23 UTC in reply to "net neutrality isn't neutral..."
iskios Member since:
2005-07-06

I guess you believe the Power company should tell you you cannot use your electric heating unit unless you go to their more expensive "Live Sustainer" plan right? Or that the water company can tell you you can use the water service for everything except bathing, unless you go for the higher priced "Cleanliness" plan?

Before you say it isn't the same, it is. You are paying for access to something and these companies are now slowly gouging you for every nickel and dime by taking back normal uses. It's the crack business paradigm. Let them use it, then take it back so they have to pay more, and it's scuzzy.

Reply Score: 3

marcp Member since:
2007-11-23

Please take a look at philosophical concepts of positive and negative freedom. You'll get many interresting things out of it.

Positive freedom is all about "I want to do this and that [no matter what, who, etc]"

Negative freedom is all about "I want to be free from you doing this or that [no matter what, who, etc]".

It is absolutely horrifying that people - nowadays - have absolutely no clue about the fact that their freedom is limited with the freedom of others. The hurt others until they don't get hurt themselves. Then they're suddenly shocked. This is so rediculous and just senseless. So little thinking, so much acting. Only "me, me, I want, I'm gonna do". Damn!

Reply Score: 3

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

The whole unlimited data plan seems to be the problem. There just isn't enough spectrum around for everyone to use as much as they want, so they have to ration it. The most fair way to do that is to pay per unit consumed. Like electricity, water ( some communities just charge a flat fee), ect.

Reply Score: 2

zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Perhaps it would also help if metering didn't start for everybody from the same moment, the beginning of the month - possibly too many people jump on using the network at that time - but be more evenly spread throughout the month.

(but overall, we just seem to perceive the world as if it didn't have limits... NVM http://www.osnews.com/permalink?532676 when there's http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Human_welfare_and_ecological_foot... or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planetary_boundaries )

Reply Score: 2

zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Well there is some ambiguity in the examples you gave...
It's ultimately about the capacity of the pipe (and/or source) in all given cases.

Yes, electric company effectively can (and does) limit the amount of electricity used in a "basic" plan - by specifying the maximum current and voltage that goes into the house (and electric heating is quite power-hungry), and giving you an option of more "industrial" installation (say, the 400 V one; in the future, it should be useful also for charging electric cars).
And there definitely are (coming from the inherent nature of electric supply generation limits & economics - base load vs peak load) electric supply plans which, in practice, tell you when it's best to turn on that heater or laundry machine... (when it's cheapest - at night)

Water similar - what when there isn't enough capacity for all & only rationing makes it somewhat usable if everybody wants to bathe?
(and, really, a full-blown bath isn't required for cleanliness and hygiene - by implying so you're kinda mocking most of people, who do fine with much smaller amounts of water, and/or you are falling into "western problems" thinking...
...plus generally, for bathing or washing, a drinkable water is absolutely not required - which kinda even makes two-tier approach logical)

Edited 2012-08-28 04:04 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: net neutrality isn't neutral...
by ricegf on Thu 23rd Aug 2012 11:27 UTC in reply to "net neutrality isn't neutral..."
ricegf Member since:
2007-04-25

I don't think this isn't legally true in the US - AT&T would be considered a "common carrier" (please google, IANAL), while OS News is an over-achieving blog site.

From wikipedia, a common carrier is "a company that transports goods or people for any person or company, [and] ... offers its services to the general public under license or authority provided by a regulatory body. ... In the United States the term may also refer to telecommunications service providers".

From legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com, "A common carrier is legally bound to carry all passengers or freight as long as there is enough space, the fee is paid, and no reasonable grounds to refuse to do so exist."

For better or worse (and in spite of my stubborn Libertarianesque leanings), in the USA AT&T arguably can't discriminate against telecommunications traffic unless it can demonstrate to Big Brother that it has reasonable grounds to do so. I suspect that Internet neutrality could be implemented at the stroke of a bureaucrat's pen, though congress makes period runs at autoscribing.

Reply Score: 4

tanzam75 Member since:
2011-05-19

A couple of sections down in the same Wikipedia article that you quoted (emphasis mine):


The Telecommunications Act of 1996 made extensive revisions to the "Title II" provisions regarding common carriers and repealed the judicial 1982 AT&T consent decree ... The Act gives telephone companies the option of providing video programming on a common carrier basis or as a conventional cable television operator. ...

Computer networks (for example, the Internet) that are built on top of telecommunications networks are Information Services or Enhanced Services, and are generally regulated under title I of the Communications Act ... Internet Service Providers have argued against being classified as a "common carrier" and, so far, have managed to do so ...

Because ISPs are no longer prohibited from discriminating among different types of content under common carrier law, Internet providers may charge additional fees for certain kinds of services, such as Virtual Private Networks. Some network neutrality supporters advocate reclassifying all ISPs as common carriers in order to prevent content discrimination.


In this case, FaceTime would operate over a packet-switched data network. It would thus be considered an ISP for regulatory purposes, and not be subject to common-carrier requirements.

But note that even circuit-switched telephone voice connections are subject to fewer regulatory requirements when a mobile carrier is involved. For example, landline ILECs are required to sell their networks to CLECs at wholesale. Cellular providers are not. Most of them provide wholesale access to MVNOs anyway, but this is strictly a business decision -- they are not legally required to do so.

Reply Score: 3

Who use facetime?
by spiderman on Thu 23rd Aug 2012 10:55 UTC
spiderman
Member since:
2008-10-23

Anyway, who use FaceTime?
I thought video chat was dead a decade ago and people were texting instead, and I thought FaceTime was a lesser video chat that only works between iPhones. WTF is AT&T limiting its use? Is there anybody using it seriously?

Edited 2012-08-23 11:01 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE: Who use facetime?
by MOS6510 on Thu 23rd Aug 2012 11:56 UTC in reply to "Who use facetime?"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

Yes, a number of people do. All of them employed by Apple working in the testing division and a few who make commercials.

I don't think video adds much to a call. If any it makes it harder to hear someone.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Who use facetime?
by orfanum on Thu 23rd Aug 2012 12:16 UTC in reply to "RE: Who use facetime?"
orfanum Member since:
2006-06-02

It looks as though the fates have decreed we must always disagree with each other ;) I have relatives far, far away; FaceTime gives me a cheap, effective way via wireless of speaking to them and keeping that contact alive (well, it will do until the point at which I get my Galaxy SIII at which time I will skip to Skype or Tango).

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Who use facetime?
by MOS6510 on Thu 23rd Aug 2012 12:25 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Who use facetime?"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

The problem I have with camera's is that I was around when people started getting them (webcams) and they kept video chatting without having any other reason but to use their cam.

I have often even denied having a webcam!

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Who use facetime?
by orfanum on Thu 23rd Aug 2012 12:51 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Who use facetime?"
orfanum Member since:
2006-06-02

Not that I am on my phone all the time! I know what you mean, there - need to be with the ones we are with, when we are with them!

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Who use facetime?
by zima on Wed 29th Aug 2012 08:13 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Who use facetime?"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

relatives far, far away; FaceTime gives me a cheap, effective way via wireless of speaking to them and keeping that contact alive (well, it will do until the point at which I get my Galaxy SIII at which time I will skip to Skype or Tango).

Though generally speaking (worldwide perspective, and such), FaceTime can be hardly described as "cheap" since it requires buying into Apple hardware ...for all videocall participants. And/or rejecting those family members who won't or can't do that ;p (which basically means most of computer/smartphone-using planet)

Yeah, Skype OTOH...

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Who use facetime?
by zima on Tue 28th Aug 2012 11:55 UTC in reply to "RE: Who use facetime?"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Yes, a number of people do. All of them employed by Apple working in the testing division and a few who make commercials.

But you ignore the absolutely crucial usages of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camfecting , http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camgirling , chatroulette, and general cybering!!1

Or of ~businessmen and ~politicians being able to pose for PR pictures, showing us how they're hard at work of making decisions! ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Medvedev_and_Nurgaliev_TANDBERG_T... & http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Medvedev_and_Vladimir_Yakunin.jpg ). I suppose we can also use the "camwhore" term in this case, maybe even more so.

Or of students being able to pretend they get to know other cultures! ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:American,_Indonesian_Students_Lin... )

Yay & I don't think scifi authors were predicting something quite like that (but generally... http://www.osnews.com/permalink?523521 & http://www.osnews.com/permalink?525237 & http://www.osnews.com/thread?492454 & http://www.osnews.com/permalink?492991 & http://www.osnews.com/permalink?489385 ...come to think of it, videoconferencing is a very old trick of myths and storytelling: just back then via spells and magically transmitting vision/presence - but do computers work any different than magic for most people?)


...well, and there are also services, here and there, to relay & interpret telephone communication with the deaf, I suppose.

Edited 2012-08-28 11:57 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Who use facetime?
by MOS6510 on Tue 28th Aug 2012 12:02 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Who use facetime?"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

This is more about webcams. FaceTime is Apple's video calling, which works only via WiFi making is already half useless.

Personally I see no reason, very most of all the time, to be able to see the other person. I'd rather hold the phone to my ear than keep it in front of me.

Also I don't find it very easy to make a FaceTime call. I'd rather make a "normal" call and have the iPhone indicate it's also possible to switch on the cam (like is switches to iMessage from text message when it finds out the target is an iPhone). Now I have no idea who has and who hasn't FaceTime.

If a FaceTime call fails it could be because they have no FaceTime or are not in WiFi range. So why bother with the hassle and not make a voice call straight away.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Who use facetime?
by zima on Tue 28th Aug 2012 12:18 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Who use facetime?"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Though webcams overall and FaceTime are so related that they both fall into the same general pitfalls - especially since FaceTime is also an OSX and iPad thing, is it not?

Anyway, multi-platform availability of Skype or Gmail video helps them only marginally...

BTW, with mobile, I remember some research into how people are actually using mobile videocalls - turns out that, after the first few "novelty calls", the primary (but even that rare, of course) usage scenario is to show the other person not yourself, but your immediate surroundings. Ironically enough, that doesn't even require a front-facing camera & actually works better with the rear one... (can you switch to the rear camera as video source in iPhone? I know of few SE "feature phones" that could do it, and had one which had only the rear camera - but still could do 3G videocalls)

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Who use facetime?
by MOS6510 on Tue 28th Aug 2012 12:20 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Who use facetime?"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

Aye, you can switch camera's on an iPhone 4/4S, an option I indeed used to walk someone around the office virtually.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Who use facetime?
by pysiak on Fri 24th Aug 2012 11:42 UTC in reply to "Who use facetime?"
pysiak Member since:
2008-01-01

Yes, video chat has it's behavioural obstacles but I must say I've seen my colleague use FaceTime to talk to his wife and daughter, while he was away from home.

I wouldn't care for video chat, except for talking to my family. That would count to me, especially if I'm away, wanted to see their faces, show them the place around, or people I'm with. Heartwarming use case.

Reply Score: 1

Sounds familiar
by Drunkula on Thu 23rd Aug 2012 13:02 UTC
Drunkula
Member since:
2009-09-03

Reminds me of all the new fees airlines have been loading on to customers. Pillow fees, carry-on baggage fees, checked baggage fees.

Unlimited means unlimited - no exceptions (unless a law is broken of course).

Reply Score: 2

RE: Sounds familiar
by Johann Chua on Sat 25th Aug 2012 09:38 UTC in reply to "Sounds familiar"
Johann Chua Member since:
2005-07-22

I hate buying airline tickets online since the website only gives the real total when you're ready to pay. The "low" fares are always padded with surcharges, like fuel and taxes. Contrast with buying in a supermarket where tax is already figured into the sticker price.

Reply Score: 2