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Senator Barack Obama, a Democrat from Illinois, has been elected the first African-American president of the U.S., news organizations declared late Tuesday night. Obama seems to have reached the necessary 270 electoral votes to become president. Obama hasn’t talked a lot about tech issues during the 2008 presidential campaign, but he did put out a lengthy tech policy paper a year ago. In addition, during a debate with rival candidate John McCain in September, Obama called for the U.S. government to focus on rolling out broadband to the parts of the country that don’t yet have it.

Dell hopes it can better weather the economic storm by implementing a number of new cost-cutting measures, including an enhanced severance package for employees who voluntarily leave the company. Within the next couple of weeks, employees will be able to apply for a voluntary separation plan under which they can leave the company and receive a severance package that is better than Dell’s regular offer. In addition, Dell is offering employees voluntary unpaid time off from one to five days during the company’s fourth quarter, which stretches from November through the end of January.

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission voted Tuesday to approve rules that would allow new broadband devices to operate in unused television spectrum. The FCC voted on the rules governing the operation of new devices in the so-called spectrum white spaces over the objections of television broadcasters, wireless microphone makers, several sports leagues, and dozens of performing artists and U.S. lawmakers. The vote will allow more broadband competition in the U.S., with wireless devices competing with providers of cable broadband and DSL/fiber-based broadband.

AT&T is capping the monthly bandwidth use of new DSL users in Reno, Nevada, to try out a system for easing the impact of heavy network users.  In a trial that began Nov. 1, the carrier is limiting subscribers of each speed tier of DSL to uploading and downloading a certain amount of data. The trial may be expanded to one other market before the end of this year, according to an AT&T statement. It’s part of an effort to deal with a few very heavy users who hurt the broadband experience for average subscribers, the carrier said in a letter to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission

…And those are the top stories from the IDG Global IT News Update, brought to you by the IDG News Service. I’m Sumner Lemon in Singapore. Join us again later for more news from the world of technology.

 

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