iFive: FCC Bars Paid Priority Net Traffic, Kindle Sells Millions, Windows Going on ARM, Red Hat Profit, Avatar Tops Pirate List

Wednesday’s here, so to help you get over the hump here’s the early tech news digested down to small, delicious nuggets for easy reading:

1. The FCC’s Net Neutrality plans were voted through yesterday, amid controversy on the wireless Net. But there seems to be one big concession in the rulings: The FCC has noted that agreements between wired ISPs and third parties to favor some traffic–“Pay for Priority”–would breach its “no unreasonable discrimination” rules. This settles some big worries about how ISPs may traffic shape in anti-competitive ways.


2. Amazon, always mercurial on actual figures, has suggested Kindle sales will “beat” expectations. That’s not hard if your expectations are artificially low (and secret too!), but some analysts suggest around 8 million Kindles will be sold during 2010. A success for e-readers? Kinda–Apple’s new TV sold a million units in just three months, and it’s a mere “hobby” project, rather than a market-defining piece of tech.

3. The Intertubes are throbbing with rumors that at CES Microsoft will reveal it’s working on a version of Windows that’s compatible with ARM chips. Is this the end of the decades-long Intel-MS love affair? In a way, yes–MS’s move is to maximize its chances in the tablet PC game, where ARM chips rule, and Intel has yet to make a big dent. Consumers can look forward to ARM-Windows gear with much better battery life.

4. Red Hat, the big force behind Linux, is saying its revenues are up 21% on a year ago. Profits were up just 5%, thanks to a class action settlement payout, but the overall news is impressive, especially for a company that chiefly sells a free product. It seems enterprise is really embracing the benefits of Linux, in competition with Windows, and is happy to pay Red Hat for subscription technical support.

5. Piracy is rising! Data on this year’s most pirated movie is out–and it may not surprise you to learn it’s blockbuster Avatar. Super-hero comedy Kick-Ass came second, and Inception third. The big news is that it looks like Avatar was pirated much, much more than last year’s winner Star Trek.

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


About the author

I'm covering the science/tech/generally-exciting-and-innovative beat for Fast Company. Follow me on Twitter, or Google+ and you'll hear tons of interesting stuff, I promise.