Sometimes the government is so ridiculous. One of the conditions of the FCC accepting the AOL/Time-Warner merger was open access to AOL’s instant messaging services — when AOL combines IM with broadband services. Ugh. What the hell does that mean? In the meantime, big corporate players like Yahoo and Microsoft have supposedly completed a unified IM standard. Why didn’t they use an existing standard? Perhaps their system will be unified but not open, which certainly won’t do anyone any good.