Comcast: All You Can Eat…Up to 250GB!

By  |  Thursday, August 28, 2008 at 10:27 pm

How much data do I download from the Internet a month? I have no idea, and it’s probably not all that much. But I’m still concerned about Comcast’s plan to cut off customers who are a little download-crazy.

Maybe They Should Call it “ComCapped”
Remember when online services charged by the hour? It had a profound effect on folks used ’em, since they always had to watch the meter. I thought about that as the news broke that Comcast plans to put a 250GB cap on the amount of data a cable customer can download each month, starting on October 1st. The limit won’t crimp most people’s enjoyment of the Net; supposedly, it’ll only impact one out of a thousand Comcast customers. But as the things that people do on the Net evolve, today’s more-than-enough limit may become tomorrow’s onerous restriction–there was a time when a 250 megabyte cap wouldn’t have felt restrictive. Comcast, of course, looks as the limit as a way to help ensure that average customers get the bandwidth they need. But I wonder if it plans to adjust the cap as those average customers need more gigs each month?
Read more at: ZDNet, DSL Reports, GigaOM

“Mac Touch” Patent
A couple of days ago, I expressed doubt that Apple was going to release a touch-screen Mac any time soon. Now there’s discussion of another new Apple patent on what sure looks like a touch-screen Mac. Apple, like any inventive company, patents lots of stuff that never turns into real products, such as an iMac-like computer with a phone cradle built in.  And the new patent was filed in April, which would seem to suggest that any “Mac Touch” is still months or years off. But it’s fair enough to say that Apple is at least intrigued by the idea of putting a touch UI on a device larger than an iPhone. And I’m intrigued by the idea of them doing it, too–if they can figure out a way to make it less clunky than most touch-driven PC interfaces to date.
Read more at: AppleInsider

Bold Anticipation
We still don’t know when AT&T plans to start selling the new BlackBerry Bold in the U.S., but positive reviews of the new device continue to surface. Gizmodo’s tried one, and is extremely enthusiastic about the phone’s new keyboard design, its high-resolution screen, its modern browser, and other improvements. More and more, I’m thinking that the superphone wars will boil down to an iPhone-Bold confrontation for the result of 2008, with possible skirmishes involving the first Google Android device, apparently arriving later this year from T-Mobile. One thing about the Bold that remains a mystery is its price: Gizmodo theorizes that it may be $249 or $299 with contract. Not unreasonable, but not an, ahem, bold move to match the iPhone’s $199 starting price, either.
Read more at: Gizmodo

iPhone Security Fix
The flaw in the iPhone 3G’s software that let snoops bypass password protection by using the emergency-call feature will be fixed soon, according to Macworld. Apple spokesperson Jennifer Bowcock calls the hole “minor”–a description that’s certainly subject to debate–and says that an update in September will seal it up. I still think that it’s safest to consider password protection as a feature that makes it somewhat more difficult for folks to get at your information, rather than one that lets you stop worrying about data theft.
Read more at: Macworld

Microsoft’s Search Payout Doesn’t Pay Off
In May, Microsoft tried to jumpstart Windows Live Search by offering users discounts on products they purchased from users–an attempt, in effect, to steal market share from Google by paying folks to use the search engine. Has it worked? TechCrunch says no: At first, there were signs that Live Search’s share was bubbling up, but the latest data shows it bubbling back down again. On one hand, that’s kind of reassuring: Maybe people would rather use the best search engine than the one that throws money their way. On the other, I like healthy competition and worry about Google’s utter dominance of search. I sure hope that other companies–be they behemoths like Microsoft or upstarts like Cuil–figure out ways to not only stay in the race but chip away at Google’s dominance over time. Even if it’s one of the thorniest challenges there is on the Internet.
Read more at: TechCrunch

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