TechFast: FCC vs. Net Neutrality, Apple Blocks WikiLeaks, WP7 Apps Surge

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Good morning. Here are today’s top tech links so far. We’ll cover some of these throughout the day but feel free to get a head start.

FCC set to back Internet traffic rules

Source: Reuters

The FCC will vote on new web traffic rules today. The group is expected to rule that home broadband providers can’t block "lawful" traffic but that they’ll be able to "manage network congestion and perhaps charge based on Internet usage," according to Reuters.

The proposal also pushes for the creation of premium traffic pipelines "for businesses, investors, and entrepreneurs," which is getting net neutrality proponents all riled up. The plan won’t go before Congress until next November and can be tweaked between now and then, according to CNN.

AOL Acquires Personal Profile Startup About.Me

Source: TechCrunch launched a few days ago. It’s a personal start page about you (hence the "" thing). Shortly after launch, it got snapped up by AOL. Surprising, right? Except that those involved with go way, way back with AOL. Ryan Block? Former editor of Engadget, which is owned by AOL. CEO Tony Conrad? He’s an advisor to AOL Ventures, the part of AOL that buys startups (like, for instance).

Free calling in Gmail extended through 2011

Source: Gmail Blog

Have you made a phone call inside your Gmail account yet? Put it on your bucket list. It’s surreal. Actually, it’s pretty normal after the first time. Google has decided to offer free phone calls from inside Gmail to any phone number in the U.S. through all of next year.

Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 App Market Off to Healthy Start: Analyst

Source: eWeek

The Windows Phone 7 Marketplace has added over 4,000 apps since its launch in late October. It took the Android Market around five months to hit the same number of apps, notes IDC analyst Al Hilwa. This prompted Hilwa to predict that Microsoft may have "the third largest app portfolio in the industry by the middle of next year." I can tell you first hand that after using a Windows Phone 7 device for the past couple months, I’d trade 3,900 of the available apps for 100 high-quality apps from big name developers. Notably missing: ESPN, Angry Birds, banking apps, Kindle, AIM, and plenty of others.

Apple Removes WikiLeaks App From App Store

Source: TechCrunch

For a few days, there was a $2 app in the iTunes App Store that let you read WikiLeaks documents. Now it is gone. Would a free version have made it? The world may never know. If only you could access the web with your iPhone and read the documents directly from the web browser. Oh, right.

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