Phone service is obsolete

Wait, so why do we need phones again? - Computerworld: ""The truth is that Internet-based phone calls are good enough. There's a delay, but the sound quality can be superior. More to the point, voice communication itself has been sidelined for most communication. Young people are gravitating to IM or social network messaging. Business people and others are embracing video conversations. All kinds of apps are providing innovative voice communications that aren't phone calls, exactly. These "intercom," "push-to-talk" or "walkie-talkie" apps are cheap or free, and so common as to be a banality. For phone conversations, we can use Google Voice, Google Talk, FaceTime, Skype or any number of similar VoIP apps. . . . Phone service is obsolete. The ability to talk to someone using a phone is just another app. So let's dismantle the AT&T model and replace it with the Google model, in which phone service is an app that's integrated into other communications services, and where there's competition between many companies to provide us with the best possible service at the lowest possible price."

With Lenovo's entry, Chromebooks are gaining popularity fast | ZDNet: "I've predicted from early on that the Chromebook could become a Windows PC killer. It looks like vendors and end-users are agreeing with me. Now that Lenovo, the world's number two PC vendor, has a toe in the Chromebook market, I'll be very curious to see how Lenovo's future Chromebook plans and those of other major PC vendors, such as Dell and HP, work out."

FCC pushes for gigabit broadband in all 50 states by 2015 | Politics and Law - CNET News: "FCC hopes the Gigabit City Challenge will further these types of efforts. The FCC hasn't committed any funds to the "Gigabit Challenge," but the agency said it will help communities create an online clearinghouse of best practices to help educate local officials and local service providers on the most cost-effective ways to increase broadband deployments. The agency will also hold workshops on gigabit communities to educate the public about the benefits of these networks and to bring community leaders together to evaluate barriers, increase incentives, and lower the costs of speeding gigabit network deployment."

Former FCC Chairman admits data caps aren't about preventing network congestion | The Verge: "Last December a report from the Open Technology Institute accused internet service providers of using the threat of network congestion to justify data caps when their real motive was profit — and now the former head of the Federal Communications Commission appears to have admitted as much. Broadcasting & Cable reports that Michael Powell — president of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, and former FCC Chairman — told an audience earlier this week that the threat of network congestion was not a factor when it came to data caps. "That's wrong," he reportedly said. "Our principal purpose is how to fairly monetize a high fixed cost.""

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