Sad thing is, what T-Mobile is doing may be useful
Throttling a video stream creates backpressure to the video server, forcing the server to reduce the bitrate (and video quality).
The sad thing is, T-Mobile is correct that this can actually be useful.
I'm sure many of their customers prefer to use less data (that they pay for) and accept lower video quality in exchange. My (old) eyes can't tell the difference between HD and SD on a tiny phone screen, yet most video servers will push the maximum quality stream that'll fit on the channel.
The problem is just the lying and confusion about it.
They want to call it "optimizing" because that sounds way better than "throttling".
This is a marketing problem - they should have found an honest way to describe what they're doing that doesn't sound bad. (That, and make it trivial for customers to turn it off when they want.)
They could have called it a "data saver" or "bitrate reduction" (and then describe it accurately).
Of course the better way is for the phone to tell the server what video quality it wants (as configured on the phone). I assume IETF hasn't gotten to that yet, or this wouldn't be an issue in the first place.
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You are right - despite all the bad news, the world is not going to hell in a handbasket and things really are getting better. All the time.
I'll turn 55 in 2016. I've been watching this stuff for 35+ years. (I joined EFF in 1990 during the Clipper chip fight; remember that?)
And I can tell you people are learning, the culture is getting better (not worse!), and we are winning.
Slowly, in fits and starts, with many setbacks along the way. But we're winning. And I think will continue to win, if we continue to fight.
Jefferson said that eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. Techdirt is part of that vigilance. If we (with your help) keep paying attention, and keep fighting, we will keep and expand our liberty. Despite the very real forces opposing us.
...said the court, rights are contingent upon responsibility. If a chimp can’t be expected to fulfill his social duties, neither can he have rights.
“Unlike human beings, chimpanzees cannot bear any legal duties, submit to societal responsibilities or be held legally accountable for their actions,” wrote the judges.
“In our view, it is this incapability to bear any legal responsibilities and societal duties that renders it inappropriate to confer upon chimpanzees the legal rights—such as the fundamental right to liberty protected by the writ of habeas corpus—that have been afforded to human beings,” they concluded.