Tag - Internet
A challenge to the sweeping "net neutrality" rules issued by the FCC in 2015 has been rejected by the Washington, DC US Circuit Court of Appeals. The court, which had previously rejected some of the FCC's earlier net neutrality proposals in a 2-1 ruling that forces AT&T and a national ISP industry group, which brought the challenge, to obey federal regulations that prevent the extortionate practice of blocking or slowing some internet traffic and prioritizing those that agree to pay the providers a fee.
You do have to pity hotels: they spent all that money fitting Ethernet to their rooms, and then nobody used it because Wi-Fi came along. Mind you, your pity may get a little tempered by how the hotel often charges you for that Wi-Fi hand over fist. We'd rather not pay excessively for Internet access, but our concern today is less about price, and more about privacy. Hotel Wi-Fi can save your bacon on a trip -- but it can also be how nefarious people in the next room get your bank details.
In the 2015 Open Internet Order (also referred to as the net neutrality order) the Commission enhanced the rule governing broadband providers' disclosure of commercial terms, network performance, and network management practices. During the debate and framing of the regulation, the US Federal Communications Commission found that consumers needed an easy way to understand specifics of broadband offerings, and required that providers convey the required information in a simple format that would enable consumers to easily compare services of different broadband providers. In a press conference earlier today, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler rolled out the new labels in conjunction with Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray.
Amazon customers in the United States are now able to order cable service from the retailer's online store for the first time. The Amazon Cable Store is offering a number of Comcast products and services that customers can subscribe to, including ordering an Internet connection, setting up a pay-TV package, and even ordering a "triple play" bundle combining Internet and TV with a phone line, all without leaving the Amazon marketplace.
Listen, the Living With articles have become a staple of MacNN, and in every single case they are articles about what we've learned using hardware and software over an extended period, instead of solely in the initial testing. In some cases, they are apps or products that we loved, and that instantly became part of our working life, and sometimes we didn't really appreciate them until many months down the line, when they've somehow become indispensable. This is the first and hopefully last Living With where it isn't our choice: we have been trying to get rid of Kaspersky Internet Security from the day we finished testing it.
Google is bringing its high-speed Internet service to San Francisco, but it will be taking a different strategy to create its network compared to earlier buildouts. Rather than constructing its own city-wide infrastructure, the gigabit Internet service will instead take advantage of existing fiber installations, a move which will severely limit the reach of Google Fiber to a number of areas that already have fiber running to buildings.
American Airlines has filed a lawsuit against in-flight Internet provider Gogo, attempting to get out of its contract so the airline can use a competitor. The suit, filed on Friday, claims ViaSat is offering a faster service to competing airlines, including Virgin America, Jet Blue, and United Airlines, which American Airlines believes allows it to break the contract agreement and switch providers, so it can provide in-air connections to passengers on a par with its opposition.
Maybe every app is really someone's personal preferences made flesh, or at least made pixels, and a hit is just when their needs match up with those of many customers. Internet 1.0 is its own developer's idea of the perfect web browser, and there's a chance it's going to be yours too -- but, unfortunately, not a very great chance.
An assortment of special interest groups are petitioning US Federal Communications Commission head Tom Wheeler to limit privacy protections offered to Internet users, under the guise of hampering innovation and harming consumers. Among the petitioners are cable and broadcast industry advocacy groups The American Cable Association, U.S. Telecom Association, Consumer Technology Association, National Cable & Telecommunications Association, and others.
Facebook's project to provide people in developing countries access to essential websites has come under fire in India, with the local telecommunications regulator banning free mobile data programs that appear to go against net neutrality principles. Free Basics, the Facebook-created service is no longer allowed to operate in the country, after the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) instituted new regulations effectively forbidding it.
Now AAPL Stock: 93.4 ( -2.7 )
WhatsApp now handles over 100M calls daily
WhatsApp is celebrating that it is being used for over 100 million calls every day. In a brief notice, the Facebook-owned messaging platform advises the voice-calling feature it rolled out to its users last year now deals with an average of over 1,100 calls initiated per second. Earlier this year, it increased the security of its calls and other messages, by introducing end-to-end encryption on all platforms. http://bit.ly/292HqCX
Adele's '25' album now streaming
Recording artist Adele has "pulled a Kanye" after saying that her current album "25" would not be available for streaming. The seven-month-old record, which has yielded a number of hit singles, is now available for streaming on all the major streaming services, such as Apple Music and Spotify, as of today in most major markets, with worldwide distribution to come. Reportedly, the singer had demanded streaming be limited to paid subscribers -- a condition that has hurt some streamers with artists, who aren't paid royalties for free or trial listens . Apple pays performers its normal royalty rates during its free trial, avoiding the issue -- and having repeated success in both signing up exclusives and placing those exclusives into the top of the charts. http://ti.me/28U7NOu
SanDisk iXpand case has battery, storage
A new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s case from SanDisk appears to be the "holy grail" of accessories: a stylish and protective case that offers both extra storage as well as the option of extra battery power as well. The iXpand Memory case offers either 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of additional storage incorporated into the case, and an optional add-on battery pack (sold separately) adds up to an extra day or more of charge. Through the associated iXpand app, camera photos and videos can be automatically stored on the extra storage, optionally password-protected, The cost for the case is (in order of storage capacity) $60, $100, and $130. The battery pack's release data has not yet been announced, but the add-on should retail for an additional $30. http://bit.ly/291epHu
Fifth Hong Kong store to open June 30
The 46th official Apple store in what the company calls the "Greater China" region will open at 10AM local time in Hong Kong's New Town Plaza in the Sha Tin district on Thursday, June 30, according to a new page on Apple's retail website. Despite slowing growth due to economic turmoil in China, the country is still Apple's fastest-growing market. The new story will be the fifth for Hong Kong, a lucrative market for Apple thanks to the high concentration of wealth there and a thriving "gray" market. Normal store hours for the new store will be 10AM to 10PM every day. http://apple.co/291diaT
Apple Music bug bites very short songs
There appears to be a reproducible bug in the current version of iTunes -- version 12.4.1, running on OS X 10.11.5, both the current non-beta versions of the respective software -- that causes a streamed song to become "stuck" in endless buffering if the streamed item just before this happened was 60 seconds or less in length. The problem appears to stem from code in iTunes that signals the next track to start downloading one minute before the currently-playing track is done, and thus songs shorter than one minute don't trigger the download. Locally-stored music is unaffected by the bug, and the problem does not appear to exist in either the macOS Sierra developer beta or versions of iTunes earlier than 12.4, and does not affect the iOS Music app at all. http://bit.ly/291cN0l
Walmart Pay expands to 15 states
Walmart, one of the key progenitors of the failed CurrentC mobile payment system that was distinguished from Apple Pay by its ability to collect and share customer financial and buying data among its participants, has expanded the soft rollout of its alternative solution "Walmart Pay" to an additional 15 US states following a pilot program in Arkansas and Texas last month. Walmart continues to resist adding Apple Pay. The system, built into the Walmart app for iOS and Android, works with a complicated system of the camera scanning a purchase code at the register, then generating a QR code which is then scanned by the register. The system is available now in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington, DC. http://apple.co/28SqZfu
Amazon refreshes entry-level Kindle
Amazon has added a new Kindle to its ebook reader range, one that is thinner and lighter than the previous entry-level model. Offering a six-inch 167-dpi touchscreen display, a doubled 4GB of storage, and an option for a white casing, the new model also adds in the ability to export highlights and notes to an email account as a PDF. Two versions of the all-new Kindle are available, priced at $80 including "Special Offers" and $100 without. http://amzn.to/28Q4c3R