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The Friday Five

11:40 AM -- Here's our quasi-weekly look at a handful of other stuff that happened in the world of cable this week that bears sharing or repeating:

  • Damned if you do, damned if you don't -- Earlier, when Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) was being panned for its "invisible cap" for Internet consumption, part of the presumption as to why it was kept hidden was to deter people from abusing it or somehow circumventing it. (See A Tip of the Broadband Cap.) Following Comcast's disclosure yesterday that it will enlist a 250 GB cap on excessive users starting on Oct. 1, the backlash is in full force, with many arguing (I think, rightly) that the MSO should also provide a gauge that shows how much has been consumed during any time during a given month.

    Comcast hasn't provided such a gauge (yet), but some folks are already up in arms about this situation, believing that the caps are an effort to stymie video services that compete with Comcast's own, and want people to bring the pain to the MSO's broadband network. For example, the GigaOM folks have issued the 250 GB Challenge, egging on consumers break the Comcast ceiling before the new cap goes live on Oct. 1.

  • Hey, stop your Blu-ray talk! -- Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH) is trying to up the HD ante with content formatted in the glorious 1080p format, but it looks like the Blu-ray Disc Association wants the satco to stop saying it's offering content in "Blu-ray Disc quality 1080p resolution," holding that what Dish is doing does not measure up to the image quality of the disc format.

  • Not impressed? -- There's been a Canoe Ventures LLC sighting! Apparently the MSO-backed advanced advertising firm is pitching its first effort -- Elections '08 On Demand -- but it has so far failed to set the ad world on fire. The cable concerns counter that it does demonstrate that the initial effort lays the foundation for a bigger future.

  • A bargain at any price? -- It's no secret that the telcos' second quarter DSL results were sub par... terrible even. (See DSL's Worst Quarter Ever .) Maybe Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) has figured out a way to pump up those numbers again: give DSL away. The telco's spin machine was in full force when it told the pub that the DSL promotion is "not a desperation move but a campaign to introduce new customers – dial-up or cable modem – to this versatile, powerful service."

  • For grins -- The Beijing Olympics are but a sweet memory, so it follows that The Onion would report that experts believe Michael Phelps "will be mentioned by name only half dozen more times throughout human history." Discounting trivia questions, of course.

Until next week... well, next Tuesday, anyway.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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