And in return for providing this service, they're protected by the government as a natural monopoly. They have no competitors and there is no free market for electricity. It's completely reasonable for tax payers to compel a utility to do some things for free in exchange. Having no competition is a tremendous boon, and it's not something that we should give away freely.
I don't know where you've been, but my local Pizza Hut's pizzas have been dreadfully dehydrated since at least 1995.
I'm mostly in favor of laissez faire policies, but there are some industries where it just doesn't make sense. Communications is one of those. There's only so much EM spectrum to sell, and only so much space for copper wire, fiber, etc. There's an argument to be made that it's a natural monopoly, and in some ways we treat it that way; whichever company buys a bit of spectrum from the FCC has a monopoly on it, and in many places cable companies have contracts with local governments that grant them a monopoly in the area in exchange for money or promises of better services. But we only have policies like that in place where it benefits the telecoms, not consumers. They assume all the perks of a government-sponsored monopoly with none of the responsibility. If we're going to grant these companies exclusive rights -- and frankly it makes sense to -- they need to be regulated. If you want exclusive rights to be the cable provider in the area, you have to provide consistently good service at a reasonable price.
...to a nicer company. I feel bad for their customers, but I'm hoping this kind of breach pushes people to insist that their sensitive data isn't stored when it isn't absolutely necessary.
People keep bringing that idea up, but it seems really stupid to me. Installing a new OS is a non-trivial task for most people, and even most PC gamers I think. Throw in dual-booting with an existing Windows installation and you might as well ask them to fly to the moon. Valve's whole business model, the reason people swallow their DRM without complaining, is based on making your games go from the storefront to installed in your library with a few mouse clicks, and then keeping them all in one place. Requiring a dual-booted OS just for one game is the antithesis of that. It's everything people hated about EA's Origin magnified tenfold. Valve knows better.
I believe that in IP law the trademark needs to actually be used sometime in the near future for it to be defensible. You can't just trademark a bunch of things for shits and giggles with no intention to use them. If you could, Valve would have trademarked HL3 a long time ago.