iFive: FCC’s Net Neutrality Vote, Apple Pulls WikiLeaks App But Boosts Roku, Windows Phone App Growth, AOL Buys

Commuting to work on a wintry Tuesday? Here’s some early news nuggets to keep you busy while en route:

1. The FCC is expected to vote today on a suite of rules that will enshrine the principles of Net Neutrality. But expect a ton of controversy after the vote: The guidelines will only apply to wired Net connections, which opens up all sorts of wicked traffic-shaping and censorship possibilities for mobile providers.


2. Apple has pulled a $2 app from the App Store, which is the sort of thing that happens all the time. This time, though, it was an app that gave you access to WikiLeaks’ leaked content and its Twitter feed. It’s not clear if it violated any particular Apple policy, other than being very controversial.

3. According to Roku’s boss, when Apple’s new, cheap Apple TV hit the living room it had an unexpected side effect on Roku’s business: Sales of its set-top Net TV boxes roughly doubled. It’s the iHalo effect, this time spinning up interest in a market sector that may otherwise have been novel to many consumers. Shame the same’s not working for Google.

4. It’s early days yet, but there’s one interesting statistic about Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 series of phones: While it doesn’t have hundreds of thousands of apps yet, obviously, the growth of the app market on the new platform is much faster than it was for Android. Developers really do seem to be embracing the new OS, perhaps thanks to MS’s incentives.

5. AOL just bought, the one-stop-shop for Net personal homepages. It’s odd because: a) it makes it trickier to explain what exactly AOL is for, and b) the company only officially launched four days before the buy-out.’s CEO explained it’s for sound fiscal reasons, and if you’re an AOL detractor, at least there’s still the similar service.

To read more news on this, and similar stuff, keep up with my updates by following me, Kit Eaton, on Twitter.


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