Forget fast lanes. The real threat for net-neutrality is zero-rated content


The net-neutrality provisions adopted by the European Parliament earlier this month ruled that specialized services like “fast lanes” can’t be used by telcos to the detriment of the availability or quality of internet access services. On the other side of the Atlantic, Americans are less fortunate. The FCC said this week that it would propose new rules that allow companies like Disney, Google or Netflix to pay internet service providers like Comcast(s CMCSK) and Verizon(s VZ) for special, faster lanes to send video and other content to their customers.

This is the price the U.S. pays for delegating such crucial policy decisions to an unelected ex-lobbyist rather than delegating to Congress. Meanwhile, the open internet isn’t safe yet in Europe: The Council hasn’t spoken and the devil is in the details.

What zero-rating is and why it matters

According to Digital Fuel Monitor data, eight incumbent telcos are sabotaging net neutrality…

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The Screen That Doesn’t Scream


In a noisy room, trying to shout louder to make yourself heard just escalates the problem of being overwhelmed with sound.

It’s a fitting analogy for mobile devices and content too. More, bigger, shinier, more colourful and capable screens filled with more and more apps, making incessant demands on our attention. It’s a whole cacophony of noise. In that context, less starts to feel like more.

For that reason I love e-ink. It’s the screen that doesn’t scream. Yet it’s a technology that is underutilized and one that feels increasingly overlooked in the rush to cram over-saturated HD panes onto all the smart surfaces in our lives.

Arguably e-ink’s underuse is just stored potential. This technology just needs neat ideas. Ideas like the Yota Phone, dual-screen smartphone, which uses it as a supplementary, secondary screen for low powered, always-on notifications.

Or even an idea as quasi-crazy as this entirely e-ink smartphone. Ok, you wouldn’t be watching YouTube videos on it but it’s low…

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Stewart Butterfield’s Slack Is Raising $30 Million In New Funding


Slack , a collaboration platform founded by Flickr co-founder Stewart Butterfield, is raising $30 million-plus in new funding, we’ve learned.

For background, Butterfield left Yahoo and started TinySpeck (and a multiplayer game called Glitch) but then decided to take a different turn, tackling the enterprise market. Thus Slack was born as a collaboration platform that lets users port in conversations and links to other work from dozens of other apps (including Dropbox, Google Docs, GitHub and Asana). The aim is to track progress on different projects in one platform; reducing email overload.

Over the past few months, Slack has been growing fast, quickly becoming the rising new star in the enterprise collaboration market. The company had said earlier this year that it had plenty of cash leftover from the Glitch days and was heading towards profitability. In the current market it makes sense for the company to raise as growth…

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