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Tonya Garcia

The FCC Has More Than a Million Net Neutrality Comments to Read

man using computerWith the deadline to file comments passed, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) now has to begin the task of combing through 1,067,779 submissions from the public, a number that the FCC’s head of public engagement Gigi Sohn said is among the highest ever. Many of the comments are said to be angry and filled with foul language.

Reply comments will continue through September 10. New rules are expected by the end of the year.

According to Variety:

Much of the interest appears to have been triggered by the notion that the FCC proposal will be too weak to prevent ISPs from making deals for so-called “paid prioritization,” in which an Internet site could pay to have content like video delivered to a subscriber at a faster speed and better quality. Critics say that “paid prioritization” would lead to a Balkanization of the Internet, in which well-heeled content providers pay for “fast lanes” to gain an advantage.

Some companies like Verizon would be happy to charge companies a little extra for the privilege of having faster speeds.

“Such flexibility to experiment with alternative arrangements not only can reduce costs to end users while allowing them to access the content they demand, but also benefit [Web services] and spur continued investment in broadband infrastructure,” they wrote in a letter to the FCC.

Netflix is not.

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Internal Comms 101: Don’t Fire The Exec That Everyone Likes

demoulasUp in New England, the workers at the grocery store chain Market Basket are up in arms. The president of the company Arthur T. Demoulas was ousted last month over a family dispute. His wasn’t the only head to roll: two other execs were fired and seven stepped down according to Business Insider.

But it’s Demoulas’ dismissal that has the company’s employees riled up. To the point in fact that some of them were dismissed for organizing protests on his behalf.

And it’s not just the employees; local politicians are asking shoppers to boycott the store until Demoulas is reinstated. And shoppers look to be obliging that request. It’s turned into an issue that has sparked protests in the street and lots of coverage by The Boston Globe.

Business and family many times don’t mix. There are some big issues (including lawsuits) driving the rift in this family business. Generally, for the sake of the business, fights between partners have to be kept under control.

More than that, it’s a bad idea to can a leader that has the loyalty and dedication that Demoulas clearly has. Compromise would’ve been a much less painful option.

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FedEx Responds to Indictment for Shipping Items From Illegal Online Pharmacies

fedex truckFedEx is facing a 15-count indictment including a conspiracy to distribute controlled substances charge, stemming from allegations the shipping company did not heed warnings from US drug officials that illegal online pharmacies were using the company’s services to ship prescription drugs. FedEx SVP Patrick Fitzgerald says the company will plead not guilty.

According to the indictment, FedEx had been warned as far back as 2004 about these illegal online pharmacies. “In one instance,” reports The New York Times, “FedEx knew the Drug Enforcement Administration had shut down one pharmacy, but continued to ship packages from its affiliates.” The company is accused of coming up with other ways to get these packages to recipients, including deliveries to parking lots and vacant homes.

Fitzgerald posted an extended response to the indictment on the FedEx website, using a hot keyword in its defense: “privacy.”

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Phony Fans Aside, Shakira Reaches 100M Facebook Likes

shakira fbA new milestone has been reached on Facebook: Shakira has 100 million likes, the first person to hit that mark. Actually, at the time of this writing, she’d already exceeded that by 718,000-plus likes. The photo at right, posted on the 12th of this month, actually has more than 3.6 million likes on its own, making it one of the most liked pics on the social network.

The Shakira page juggernaut is fueled by her status not just as a celebrity in this country, but around the world. In and of itself, having a ton of Facebook likes only means so much. Just because a lot of people clicked the button doesn’t mean they’re buying what you’re selling. But her page does show that with all of her fans comes a good amount of awareness and engagement.

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Marvel Continues Its Diversity Push With a Black Captain America

the falconComic book fans have had a lot to talk about this week. The latest news from Marvel is we’re going to be getting a new Captain America. Sam Wilson, aka The Falcon, will become Captain America come October. The Falcon is a black character; he was portrayed by Anthony Mackie in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. He’s the second black character to portray Captain America and one of the few black characters ever in the comics.

The news comes hot on the heels of the announcement that Thor will be a goddess. Taken together with the recent introduction of a Pakistani Muslim Ms. Marvel, Kamala Khan, and the ongoing success of Miles Morales in the Spider-Man comics, you have a diverse cast of characters that reflects a trend we’re also seeing in television entertainment.

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‘D-List Publicist’ Talks About Taking on the Clients No One Wants

jeremy weeksIt’s probably become one of the most famous mugshots in history. The eyes. The slight cock of the head. It’s Jeremy Meeks, the “hot convict” that had social media users promising to overlook his rap sheet in exchange for doing a little time with him.

Of course, upon seeing the positive reaction to the photo, Meeks got himself a publicist. And for a problematic client like him, there could only be one publicist for the job: “D-List publicist” Gina Rodriguez. A former adult movie actress and Playboy model, now she works with people who usually end up with a catchy moniker: “Octomom” Nadya Suleman and the “White House party crashers” Michaele and Tareq Salahi.

Now, she tells The Daily Beast that she’s working to find Meeks a reality TV show.

All in a day’s work (and please call her “celebrity manager”).

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With Drought Measures Becoming More Strict, Nestle Continues California Water Bottling

arrowheadNestle is kicking up controversy with its continued water bottling operations despite a drought that is so severe, it has prompted water restrictions.

Nestle owns Arrowhead Mountain Spring Water, which is sourced from a spring  Millard Canyon, CA. Nestle Pure Life is another one of its brands, both of which are bottled on a Native American reservation in the state.

In January, Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency because of water shortages. On Tuesday, water regulators approved fines of $500 for things like watering lawns and washing cars. The measures were put in place after the governor announced he wanted to reduce water usage by 20 percent and that goal hadn’t been achieved. The drought has been going on for three years. Other measures will be considered if water usage still isn’t reduced.

Reservations are considered sovereign states that don’t have to follow state regulations. But knowing the dire situation that the state is in, should Nestle do something?

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Marvel Targets Women With Goddess Thor

thorThe Thor that we’ve all come to know — the manly blond man throwing a hammer — has undergone quite the makeover. Marvel has announced that the god Thor is now a goddess.

“While details are scarce, we now know that this new Thor was saved by her predecessor, the former male Thor, who is no longer worthy to wield Mjolnir,” writes iO9. “The only other details we have is that this #1 issue will premiere in October under the supervision of Jason Aaron and Russell Dautermann.”

Thor is one of the “big three” characters for Marvel (the other two are Iron Man and Captain America), so this is huge for the company and for the comic book world.

The move also says a lot about how Marvel is trying to grow its audience.

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Gov. Chris Christie Previews His Summer Plans With Fake Action Movie Clip

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has released a fake movie trailer to highlight the fiscal issues he plans to focus on during a summer tour of the state. “Rated ‘R’ for “Reform,” the “No Pain. No Gain.” clip includes all of the booming sounds and explosions that you would expect from an action movie, but it’s about the state’s budget.

After Beyonce and Jay Z released a movie trailer for their “On the Run” tour, people were so interested that there was a petition to get the movie made. We’re pretty sure the same thing won’t happen here. Moreover, the movie was already made when it was called Pain & Gain, which is where the Christie team got the footage of The Rock. Still, there’s powerful footage of a New Jersey Transit train going by. Not sure whether to laugh or groan at this one, so we’ll do both.

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Kids Are Getting Rashes Because They’re Allergic to Their Tablets

children with tabletsUsed to be that kids would play in the dirt and come home with ringworm. Now kids are spending a whole lot of time playing on the couch or on the porch and still end up with suspicious skin rashes. What gives? Nickel.

Pediatrics is reporting that there’s an increased number of kids reporting cases of allergic contact dermatitis, a skin irritation that can happen when they come in contact with nickel. They’re coming in contact with the metal when they play on their tablet devices.

Says USA Today, “According to the Mayo Clinic, contact dermatitis is a red, itchy rash that is neither contagious nor life-threatening, but can be uncomfortable.” To treat it, steroid creams and antibiotics have to be applied.

For parents, this is a problem. For tablet makers, this could be a bigger problem.

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