Una infografía con 10 pasos para convertirse en emprendedor online. Vía Castilla y Léon Económica Económica
Archivado en: Comercio electrónico, Emprendedores, Sociedad de la información Tagged: Comercio electrónico, Emprendedores, Infografía, internet, tic
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Una infografía con 7 formas de aumentar tráfico en tus Redes Sociales. Vía
Archivado en: Infografía, Redes Sociales, Sociedad de la información Tagged: Infografía, internet, redes sociales, tic, Web 2.0.
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There are two kinds of people in the world: people who take cruises, and people who have already made up their minds that they hate cruises. The CEO of Carnival Cruise Lines says that it’s his company’s job to find the people in that second category and convert them.
Currently, about 51% of cruisers come from the United States. What’s interesting is that we’re a nation firmly divided into categories of cruisers and non-cruisers. Non-cruisers’ aren’t quite clear who is on cruises: it could be old people, teens, young children, or morbidly obese people enjoying some sunshine between buffets. What they do know is that cruises might be for someone, but that someone is definitely not them.
“It’s clear to me that as an industry we have not done a good enough job effectively communicating to the public … to those who don’t know what cruising is,” Carnival Cruise Lines CEO Arnold Donald told reporters earlier this week. When all American non-cruisers have to go on are stereotypes and news coverage of industry catastrophes like the Poop Cruise and persistent norovirus outbreaks.
In countries where people don’t already have a set of stereotypes about what kind of person takes cruises, Donald notes that the industry is finding enthusiastic new cruisers in all demographics.
Carnival’s CEO Explains the Cruise Industry’s Biggest Problem [Bloomberg Businessweek]
by Laura Northrup via Consumerist
Una infografía sobre cómo las Redes Sociales están cambiando los CRM.
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Archivado en: Infografía, Redes Sociales, Sociedad de la información Tagged: Infografía, internet, redes sociales, Software, tic, Web 2.0.
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It’s a big year for the FCC. It’s got two huge mergers to review — Comcast/Time Warner Cable, AT&T/DirecTV — while also trying to reinstate the recently gutted net neutrality laws without ticking off the entire Internet. These related issues put the FCC in a position to force some cable operators to accept stricter net neutrality, but that’s really just kicking the can down the road.
Earlier this year, a federal appeals court struck down the core of the 2010 neutrality rules — which prohibited Internet service providers from blocking, degrading, or prioritizing the content they carry to and from end-users — because it ruled the FCC didn’t have the correct authority to regulate broadband Internet in this way.
This left the FCC with two options: reclassify broadband as a telecommunications service (as opposed to its current classification as an information service), giving the commission to enforce neutrality, or come up with a compromise that may pass legal muster under the existing classifications. Since reclassification would likely result in another protracted legal battle, FCC Chair Tom Wheeler has come up with a controversial compromise that would allow ISPs to seek exceptions to neutrality guidelines in order to charge more for so-called “fast lanes.”
The Cheap Solution
Even though the old neutrality rules now lay dead and bloodied on the courtroom floor, Comcast is still legally obliged to abide by them through 2018 as a condition of its merger with NBC Universal. Now that Comcast is trying to swallow Time Warner Cable, it has already pledged that acquired TWC Internet customers would similarly benefit from this compliance obligation.
And when AT&T announced it was buying DirecTV, it volunteered to abide by those stricter 2010 rules if the merger was approved. The companies have pledged to follow these guidelines even if Wheeler’s less strict version ends up being enacted.
It would be incredibly easy — and expected — for the FCC to use its merger approval leverage to make Comcast and TWC pledge to extend neutrality beyond 2018, and to talk AT&T/DirecTV into a long-term promise to follow the 2010 rules. As much as these companies would love to plunder the pockets of large content providers, they aren’t going to risk mammoth, market-changing mergers on the possibility of some extra revenue, especially not when the paid-peering deals like the arrangement between Comcast and Netflix shows there are ways to squeeze money from content companies without violating the neutrality rules.
Don’t Give Into Temptation
Okay, so it looks like the FCC would be able nudge pay-TV companies with a combined audience of around 50 million people into decent net neutrality agreements. What could possibly be wrong about that?
Lots of things.
“You got two-thirds of the industry in front of you potentially by the end of the summer, which is enormously tempting to try to create an industry structure around that,” Harold Feld of Public Knowledge explains to the Wall Street Journal. “But it’s not as easy as it looks. You’ll have a bunch of different companies, many of whom may not be willing to go that far.”
Partial Victories Are For Losers
You may look at the 50 million or so consumers that would be affected by the FCC pushing the 2010 neutrality rules on both the Comcast/TWC and AT&T/DirecTV mergers and think that’s a pretty good chunk of the country that would benefit from having those guidelines enforced. But the actual number is significantly less than that.
AT&T’s broadband business is growing but still small, and while DirecTV has some 20 million pay-TV customers, almost all of them get their Internet access from a local cable or telephone company. Now, some of those subscribers are also Comcast/TWC customers, so they’d be included, but all the DirecTV subscribers who rely on Verizon, Cablevision, Charter, Cox, RCN or any of the other ISPs that aren’t currently trying to merge with each other would not benefit from the neutrality that AT&T is promising.
And of course all of the customers of those other ISPs would be getting their broadband from companies that will be operating under whatever regulations the FCC ultimately settles on.
The Expiration Date
The biggest problem with the FCC possibly using its merger-related leverage is that, unlike reclassifying broadband, it will only be for a limited time. While all of these companies appear to be willing to tack on a few more years of the 2010 neutrality rules, we can’t imagine that any of them would be willing to sign something permanent or any condition that locks them into these rules for more than a handful of years.
And so any deal made by the FCC would have an expiration date on it, which would be fine if the Internet were a passing fad.
Chairman Wheeler has previously stated that he believes it’s more important to craft “an enforceable rule” than it is to “debate over our legal authority that has so far produced nothing of permanence for the Internet,” which implies that he is fine with doing the right-now thing instead of the right thing.
The issue of neutrality will not be resolved by kicking the can further down the road, hoping that the FCC can continue to occasionally strong-arm ISPs into committing to strict neutrality guidelines.
Reclassifying broadband provides an immediate solution by giving the FCC the authority to regulate ISPs as the vital pieces of infrastructure they have become. It also allows for flexibility in the long run, allowing the commission to tweak those regulations as the Internet continues to grow out of its current adolescent stage.
by Chris Morran via Consumerist
After being denied access to what it claims are public documents about financial incentives the U.S. Dept. of Education provides to private debt collectors, a consumer advocacy group has filed suit under the Freedom of Information Act to have those documents released.
The National Consumer Law Center’s Student Loan Borrower Assistance Project aims to provide consumers with information regarding student loan issues, borrower rights and responsibilities. The project relies on the cooperation of loan issuers, but the NCLC claims that the Dept. of Education is refusing to cooperate.
The lawsuit, filed in a federal court in Boston this week, seeks documents related to the financial incentives and oversight that the Dept. of Education provides to private companies collecting from borrowers with federal student loans.
According to NCLC, taxpayers paid nearly $1 billion in commissions to private student loan debt collectors in 2011, and it projects that number to reach over $2 billion by 2016.
“Collection agencies routinely violate consumer protection laws and prioritize profits over borrower rights,” National Consumer Law Center attorney Persis Yu says in a new release [PDF]. “Abuses by these debt collection agencies cause significant hardship to the millions of students struggling to pay off their federal student loans. Taxpayers and student loan borrowers have a right to information about the impact of the Education Department’s policy of paying outside debt collectors on the rights of borrowers.”
Attorneys with NCLC’s Student Loan Borrower Assistance Project first requested the information from the Dept. of Education in March 2013. However, the department denied NCLC’s request and the information it did provide was heavily redacted.
In addition to filing the lawsuit, the officials with NCLC sent a letter to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan expressing concerns about the department’s policies and practices related to debt collection.
The letter noted that the department is moving toward a model that “justifies withholding basic information because of supposed proprietary arrangements” in order to avoid accountability.
Consumerist has extensively covered the sometimes abusive practices used by debt collectors. Both the FTC and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau have reported that debt collection was the top issue consumers faced when filing complaints.
Earlier this month, consumer advocates voiced their disapproval of a bill that would require the Internal Revenue Service to use private debt collection agencies to collect taxes.
NCLC Files Lawsuit against U.S. Department of Education for Access to Public Documents Regarding Private Debt Collectors [National Consumer Law Center]
by Ashlee Kieler via Consumerist