Phone and Cable Companies Fight FCC Plans to Regulate Broadband – 74 representatives sent a letter to the FCC last month warning them not to move forward with their plan to extend their oversight to broadband and eventually provide a nationwide wireless service. They demand the FCC wait for Congress to pass specific legislation. Their message copied the view of AT&T, Comcast and Verizon, whose executives and political action committees have been among the top 20 campaign contributors to lawmakers in the past two election cycles. Political contributions from AT&T in the current election cycle have reached $2.6 million and will soon exceed the total in each of the last three elections. Comcast has spent more than $2 million and Verizon $1.2 million. Altogether, cable and phone companies have spent $20.6 million lobbying the government in the first quarter of this year. Among these lobbyists are 276 former government officials, including 18 former members of Congress. The FCC – who, granted, have done some dumb things – wants to guarantee open, nondiscriminatory and competitive access to the most important telecommunications network of today, and to protect consumers’ rights at the same time. But they might have a rough time of it with the lobbying money being spent.
Jazz at Newport – One of the more interesting regional jazz festivals takes place for the seventh year Oct. 1-3 at the Oregon coastal town of Newport. Flutist Holly Hofmann is the festival’s music director, and has assembled another great lineup of artists for 2010, including saxist Houston Person, bassist John Clayton, pianists Bill Cunliffe, Benny Green and Greg Goebel, guitarist Bruce Forman, and rising trumpet star Jeremy Pelt. There are quiet duos as well as large group jam sessions, all in a comfortable intimate environment. There will also be special clinics on jazz guitar and jazz vocals plus a jazz panel. www.jazzatnewport.org
New Video Recording Studio Chain for the General Public – Studio One Media, based in Scottsdale, AZ, has put its revolutionary MyStudio HD Recording studio in malls and other shopping outlets, with the latest opening this week in Grapevine, TX. The SOTA studios provide ordinary consumers as well as musicians and businesses the ability to create inexpensive quality HD videos for music, auditions, comedy, modeling, resumes, personal greetings and dating. Using green-screen technology, users select their own custom backgrounds and thousands of licensed music tracks are available to create music videos for public viewing. Videos are uploaded to the MyStudio.net website, users can enter contests, receive free DVDs of their videos, download MP3 audio files and print hi-def photos from their videos. A five-minute recording session is only $20. Studios have been installed thus far in Phoenix, Hollywood and Miami, with more coming soon.
Amazon Sells More e-Books Than Print Books – Amazon has announced they are now selling more e-Books for their popular under-$200 Kindle reader than they are selling standard printed books. The top book publishers are in an uproar, and some have banned the sale of their books for digital distribution.
Samsung Big on LED HDTVs for 3D – In addition to their LCD 750 series and plasma 7000/8000 series, Samsung hopes to be the leader in 3D innovation with their LED 7000/8000/9000 series of 3D displays. The 46” and 55” LED 7000 models are currently available, and the lowest current online pricing is about $1700 and $2000 respectively. All sets come with a 3D starter kit including two pairs of 3D active shutter glasses, and the 7000 series models have Internet connectivity, including the world’s first HDTV app store which allows users to download and view applications on their TV screens. The LED displays feature 1240Hz refresh rate technology and a built-in 3D processor compatible with the major 3D formats. Samsung will also soon make available the entire Shrek film franchise series in 3D.