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Last Friday, the FCC voted along party lines to approve Title II regulation for Internet Service Providers. This means -- absent lawsuits from Verizon and Comcast -- that the FCC would be able to enforce net neutrality regulations preventing ISPs from selectively throttling whatever traffic it wants and extorting content providers into expensive side-deals ("Nice streaming video service you've got there. It'd be a shame if it slowed down ...")

If you thought that the FCC was hurting poor, defenseless mega-corporations, then you've got a friend in Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn!

Well, color me shocked. In an essay published today in Wired, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler backed the strongest-ever plan for net neutrality: Regulating Internet service providers as telecommunications utilities under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934.

The move, if successful, would allow the FCC to regulate broadband ISPs in the same way it regulates phone companies. And as you might expect, the ISPs aren't happy about it, even though it's good for customers.

Solos and small firms likely can't afford much in the way of overhead, whether it's expansive office space or support staff. Fear not! Technology is here to help.

When someone calls the office, who's going to answer the phone? You? Try again: You're at a court date, a deposition, a settlement conference -- in other words, not in the office. Enter the virtual receptionist, which is like a real receptionist, but more ... virtual?

This Is How I Got a Free Vanity Phone Line for My Law Firm

Phone numbers are hard to memorize. True story: At one point, I didn't even know my own cellphone number. Everyone used my Google Voice number, which forwarded to the prepaid cell phone that I carried at school. So when I decided to open my practice, I wanted a phone number that was a little bit easier to memorize.

And my old GV number, part of which spelled out the word "CHUNKY," wasn't going to cut it for a law firm.

I also wanted a landline around the office for support staff and for the once or twice per year that somebody decides that it's time for me to dust off my fax machine. The solution? A $30 adapter and Google Voice.

The battle for your wireless dollars is heating up. In October, we reported that Marriott was caught red-handed using a device to prevent users' personal Wi-Fi hot spots from working, in a transparent attempt to force conference attendees into buying Marriott's sensationally overpriced wireless access ($250 to $1,000 per access point).

The FCC fined Marriott $600,000 for that stunt. Now Hilton, Marriott, and the hotel industry trade group are asking the FCC for an exception. Microsoft and Google are vehemently opposed.

Companies are allowed a certain amount of bluster ("puffery") when making advertising claims. If those claims are demonstratively false, though, that's when you get into trouble with regulators.

AT&T claims that that its U-Verse DSL Internet service is the "fastest Internet for the price," which is true -- only if you're talking about its 3 Mbps plan, the slowest one it offers.

Have you been following this story? Roca Labs sells "neutraceuticals" that it claims on its website create the same effect as a gastric bypass without surgery. Many unsatisfied customers who bought Roca Labs' products vented on a website called Pissed Consumer.

Roca Labs, pursuant to a clause in its contract with customers, turned around and tried to sue Pissed Consumer for interfering with Roca's contractual relations with its customers. Pretty prosaic stuff, right? That's just the tip of the iceberg.

Apple iMessage Bug Spawns Deregistration Tool, Class Action Lawsuit

Apple has long-since had an issue with its messaging service not playing nicely with Androids and other smartphones. I noticed the issue when I ditched my badly aging iPhone 3GS for a Google Nexus 4 a few years ago -- texts would be lost in the vapors, especially group text messages.

It turns out I wasn't alone: iMessage, which routes text messages though Apple's service, was intercepting text messages from fellow Apple users, even after users switched to Android. For a while, the problem went unaddressed. Then Apple was sued by an aggravated Galaxy S5 owner.

Now? Apple released a tool to fix the problem late last week. And U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh ruled Monday that the lawsuit could move forward.

It used to be that, on the Internet, no one knew you were a dog. Now, though, the feds know that you're not a real person. See what a difference surveillance makes?

The Federal Trade Commission proposed fining JDI Dating, operator of several different dating websites, $616,000 for sending fake messages to members, ostensibly from people who wanted to meet them. But really, no one wanted to meet them. (Well, maybe someone did, but not the fake people who messaged them.)

In an interview with Bloomberg TV, Tesla founder Elon Musk was asked about the legal implications of autopilot on the Tesla Model D, which will come to market throughout next year.

Musk was very careful to point out that there's a difference between "autonomous" driving and "autopilot." The former sounds more like what Google's driverless cars are seeking: "You can go to sleep and wake up at your destination," Musk explained. Autopilot, he said, is "what they have in airplanes. For example, we use the same term they use in airplanes, where there's still an expectation there will be a pilot. The onus is on the pilot to make sure that the autopilot is doing the right thing."