To be fair, Cogent's network has sucked for a long time. I've used them in previous jobs for high bandwidth connectivity, and they've always had issues and been terrible to deal with. While I agree this may not be a good precedent, Cogent is as much at fault here as anyone.
As someone who has all 3 next gen consoles, I find that currently the Xbox One actually gets the most use, but by far mostly for media. The HDMI pass through does work with 5.1 for most people, you just have to enable it as its still technically a "beta" feature since they can't yet ensure 100% compatibility with all cable boxes. If you have a larger Cable provider (Comcast, Cox, Time Warner et al) you should be fine.
Right now the biggest issue is the lack of solid games all around, but each console does have great things coming. The Xbox's 100 dollar premium is high, but positioning themselves inbetween your TV and Cable box was genius really. No matter what I'm doing on my TV, the Xbox is always the first thing turned on, as it then turns on my receiver and TV, so they're ensuring they make their platform the simplest to access.
Also, the reason Kinect is required is specifically because of the media offerings. The IR blasting is done using the Kinect sensor so you don't have to use those old school little dongles running the IR sensor of each device you want to control. It emits the IR signal out the Kinect which then bounces the signal around the room and the devices then pick up the signals and activate. They really should do a better job explaining this to people.
Overall, I'd say currently if you're a cable TV subscriber Xbox One is the winner if you're into media, tv and some gaming. If you are strictly into gaming then go PS4, as it is slightly more powerful with games running a bit higher res on it.
ATT has actually been doing this for several years. The only way around it I've found is using an unlocked phone. I have an unlocked Samsung Focus I gave my daughter, and they didn't add a data plan to it. If you use a phone that is still ATT locked and branded, they'll definitely get ya.
A gradual building of applause, usually starting with one person clapping slowly, and ending with an enthusiastic standing ovation. Generally shows approval for an underdog in a come from behind victory or after losing with pride intact.
We are actually finding a lot of problems with apple devices in the corporate environment, I imagine its even worse in schools.
I'm currently trying to sort out why Apple's recommended course for action for buying software for employees to use is to buy a code to give to the employee to redeem in their PERSONAL iTunes acct. So if the employee leaves, the software does too.
Straight up, Apple is moving farther and farther away from being functional in corporate/enterprise/educational environments, yet because they are trendy everyone wants them, and it is causing huge headaches for everyone.
It really sounds like a Kindle or a Nook would be awesome for you. I recommended a Kindle to my dad because he's been a voracious reader all his life, but his eyesight has been giving him more trouble over the years. With the e-readers, you change the font type and size to make it easier to read, and it's been fantastic for him. If you haven't already, go to Best Buy or something and play with one and see if it might help for you.
Sure works for movies too, bought Hunger Games blu-ray this weekend cause Amazon gave me an On-Demand version as well so I could watch it that way before it shipped. Normally the digital version is 15 bucks, the blu-ray was 20 with digital bundled. Got me to spend money I probably wouldn't have if I had to choose between them.