🍪 Newley’s Notes 115: Net Neutrality Explained; Streaming Holiday Films; Message From Cookie Monster


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📲 5 Cool Tech-ish Reads This Week

1. So, wait, what’s up with net neutrality? Get up to speed with these reads:

Q: What happened? A: Per our WSJ story:

The Federal Communications Commission Thursday voted to roll back far-reaching rules governing how internet-service providers treat traffic on their networks, a move expected to empower cable and wireless providers and transform consumers’ online experience.

Q: Where do we go from here? A: According to The Verge, lawsuits are coming; ISPs could decide to throttle some high bandwidth services; some lawmakers might try to fight the vote.

Q: Are consumers going to foot the bill for higher prices? It’s unclear, but it’s possible, as this WSJ piece says.

Q: What is net neutrality anyway? A: It’s the idea that all traffic on the internet should be treated equally. Vox has more.

Bonus tip: For an in-depth examination of the larger issues, check out “The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires,” a 2010 book by Columbia University professor Tim Wu, who coined the term “net neutrality.”

2. The Disney-Fox deal could mean a new threat to Netflix. According to Axios:

Walt Disney Company announced Thursday that it has agreed to acquire the entertainment assets of 21st Century Fox, including Fox’s movie studio and entertainment television networks, as well as Fox’s international TV assets.


The deal would give Disney the scale to take on Netflix, but first it will need to convince regulators that it doesn’t pose the same sort of monopoly risk as AT&T’s proposed purchase of Time Warner.

For more on the geographic implications, see this WSJ Heard on the Street piece, which says:

Despite a global brand and some glitzy theme parks in Europe and Asia, Disney remains a quintessentially American company. After its deal with 21st Century Fox, Disney will be much more a citizen of the world.

3. Speaking of Netflix: The reasons you can’t find any good holiday movies to stream: they’re “too good and too old,” according to Bloomberg, which points out that just five of the American Movie Classics’s 25 best Christmas movies are on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon. (Side note: Some people people feel “Die Hard” should be classified as a holiday flick, right up there with the very best. What do you think?)

4. The Pentagon had a little-known program to study U.F.O.s, The New York Times reports. It ran from 2007 and 2012, and may still continue today.

5. Trailer of the week: “Ready Player One.” The Steven Spielberg sci-fi film, due out out March 30, is about a young hero drawn into a high-stakes virtual reality game in the not-too-distant, dystopian future. Watch the trailer here. It’s based on the 2011 bestseller by Ernest Cline.

💫 1 Silly Thing

Cookie Monster has a few things he’d like to get off his chest.

Quote of the Week

“S–t, I got what I asked for. I’m a chair farmer.”

That’s from an Atlas Obscura story about a guy who has a company in England that grows furniture out of trees.

👊 Fist bump from New Delhi,



Published by Newley

Hi. I'm Newley Purnell. I cover technology and business for The Wall Street Journal, based in New Delhi. I use this site to share my stories and often blog about the books I read, tech trends, sports, travel, and our dog Ginger. Join the growing group of readers who get my weekly email newsletter.