Week In Geek: FCC WiFi classification could be a game changer

By Jonathan Blum and Seth Elkin

The road to a world full of Wi-Fi services is paved with a lot of legal mumbo-jumbo. The Federal Communications Commission has ruled that Wi-Fi is an “information service.” That means it’s not subject to the fees and other limitations that television and telephone services face. Keeping it classified as a data service will make it more simple to deploy, setting the stage for a major expansion of wireless data products.

Microsoft is continuing to expand the multi-media capabilities of its Xbox 360. Indeed, it is rapidly becoming more than just a gaming console. The latest move was the announcement that Microsoft plans to integrate Windows Live Messenger instant messaging into the 360’s gaming environment. They’ve even got a Qwerty device on the way to facilitate IMs. Consider this and the rising all-ages popularity of the Nintendo Wii and then ask yourself where is Sony’s PlayStation 3 in all of this?

With falling prices, there’s never been a better time to buy a big-screen TV. But for some reason, everybody’s still losing money. The story in the flat-panel TV market is falling profits. We saw a story this week reporting the declining profits in plasma sets. It’s not that the products aren’t worthwhile. On the contrary, we think some of the newer Light Emitting Diode Digital Light Processor sets we’ve seen are fantastic. But it may be turning out that big box stores just can’t sell TVs.

In other tech news, 3D chip sets from IBM will lead to bigger, faster
processors and a jump in performance … Bowers & Wilkins is bringing high-end surround audio to cars … Amp’d Mobile had a 70 percent jump in subscribers, so maybe MVNOs have a future after all … 3D crowd has an online magazine … People are watching TV shows online during prime time. So much for time shifting.

And finally, you thought your street was bad?

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