Last week ATT admitted muting Pearl Jam’s political lyrics during its exclusive webcast of the band‘s Lollapalooza show on Aug. 5. ATT rightly apologized, said the silencing was a mistake by a content monitor, and claimed that the company “does not censor or edit performances.” ATT spokeswoman Tiffany Nels also told the Los Angeles Times that it uses the content monitors to block “excessive profanity.” read more
Pearl Jam closed Lollapalooza in Chicago on Sunday night with what was by all accounts a rousing performance, but if you weren‘t there you didn’t see the whole show. According to a Pearl Jam press release, ATT, which had the exclusive rights to webcast Lollapalooza via its “Blue Room,” silenced a piece of video from its live webcast that featured anti-Bush lyrics.
During the song “Daughter,” Eddie Vedder sang “George Bush leave this world alone” to the tune of “Another Brick in the Wall.” When he repeated the line again and then sang “George Bush find yourself another home” the sound was muted, even though it can clearly be seen Vedder was singing. The editing was first discovered by Pearl Jam fans, who notified the band. read more
It seems the good folks over at Save The Internet have managed to get their hands on ATTCEO Ed Whitacre’s final speech to his board of directors. Whitacre, who will receive a $158.5 million retirement package complete with access to ATT’s corporate jet, just can’t resist squeezing customers one more time.
ATT announced today it would begin filtering pirated music, films and other content from its network—something every ISP had long avoided up until this point. The L.A. Times reportsATT began working with movie studios and record companies last week to develop technology to keep the biggest pirates off its service.
It’s now become clear why ATT is pushing so hard to charge web sites for faster download speeds—they have to pay for the ginormous retirement package of their CEO, Ed Whitacre, who announced he’s stepping down today. I’m joking, but if you think your company’s matching funds for your 401k look pretty good, check this out (from the Financial Times):
Mr. Whitacre will receive a retirement package totaling $158.5m according to the company’s proxy filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission â€“ one of the largest pension packages ever unveiled.
In addition, he will receive $24,000 a year in benefits to cover car costs and $6,500 a year for home security, and will be entitled to use the company jet for 10 hours a month. read more
Interesting development in the case of AT&T, Sprint, Verizon and Qwest vs. FreeConference.Com, which we reported on last month (see below). FreeConference says Qwest and Cingular have stopped blocking their calls after an angry outpouring from customers.
FreeConference is a web-based service that allows users to make conference calls with a single long distance call. The telecoms began blocking FreeConference claiming the service was pulling a quick one by exploiting a loophole in telecommunications law. They said multiple people were never intended to be connected on one line. FreeConference officials said what they were doing was perfectly legal, but the telecoms were actually worried about all the business they were losing to the upstart. read more
There is an interesting bit of news from Consumer Affairs this week that should sound eerily familiar to anyone concerned about net neutrality. AT&T, Sprint, Cingular, and Qwest have begun blocking subscribers’ access to FreeConference.com, a web-based service that offers conference calls for the price of a single long distance call. read more