Verizon Astroturf Email Campaign

Verizon sends email on customer’s behalf without telling him as part of sleazy PR campaign

By on April 17, 2014 at 2:15 PM.

Verizon sends email on customer’s behalf without telling him as part of sleazy PR campaign

Sleazy astroturf campaigns are nothing new in the corporate world but Verizon may have just taken things to a whole new level. Ars Technica reports that New Jersey’s Board of Public Utilities (BPU) recently received hundreds of identically worded emails from different people that all supported Verizon’s demands that it be let off the hook for building out broadband infrastructure that it had agreed to build as part of an agreement with the state that dates back to two decades ago. There’s a problem, however: Some of the people who supposedly sent emails to the board say they did no such thing.

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Cortana vs Google Now

Microsoft is giving Cortana Google Now-like powers

By on April 16, 2014 at 6:30 PM.

Microsoft is giving Cortana Google Now-like powers

In addition to creating its own voice-based virtual assistant that can stand its ground against Siri and Google Now, Microsoft appears ready to offer even more personalized search features to users in order to better compete against its main rival when it comes to search. The company on Wednesday announced on its Bing blogs that Bing.com is getting “more personal,” a feature it teased at Build 2014. More →

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Senator Franken Letter To Netflix

Sen. Franken looks to recruit Netflix in his quest to kill the Comcast-TWC merger

By on April 16, 2014 at 5:10 PM.

Sen. Franken looks to recruit Netflix in his quest to kill the Comcast-TWC merger

Senator Al Franken (D, Minn.) has been one of the most vocal critics of the proposed merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable and now he’s trying to bring in the big guns to help him kill it once and for all. Franken on Wednesday sent a letter to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings asking him or his company to publicly weigh in on a merger that Franken says will hurt competition for online video services going forward. More →

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Google Fiber New York

Google doesn’t have ‘any plans to bring Google Fiber to New York’

By on April 16, 2014 at 3:15 PM.

Google doesn’t have ‘any plans to bring Google Fiber to New York’

It was too good to be true after all. Speaking with Ars Technica on Wednesday, a Google spokesperson made it clear that there are no plans to bring Google Fiber to the New York area at this time, despite a seemingly surreptitious job listing discovered earlier this week. More →

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10Gbps WiFi 2015 Launch

Forget 5G – 10Gbps WiFi is coming next year

By on April 16, 2014 at 11:57 AM.

Forget 5G – 10Gbps WiFi is coming next year

The 5Mbps, 10Mbps or even 20Mbps download speeds we see now are fast, and the 5G data speeds we have been promised down the road are even more impressive. But wait until you hear about the next big advancement in WiFi technology. WiFi is already much faster than any current-generation cellular network will ever be, of course, but the wireless standard’s limited range is a big barrier to its utility outside of homes and offices. In 2015, however, we can now look forward to WiFi that is exponentially faster than current networks and also has a much further range. More →

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Man Gets Kicked In Head By Train Conductor

Video: Man gets kicked in the face by a conductor while taking a selfie in front of a speeding train

By on April 16, 2014 at 9:50 AM.

Video: Man gets kicked in the face by a conductor while taking a selfie in front of a speeding train

No, you probably shouldn’t take selfies when standing in close proximity to large vehicles that are hurtling toward you. Gawker points us to a new video posted this week by someone named Jared Michael, who says that he recently “tried to take a selfie while a train passed a ‘safe’ distance behind.” The trouble was that he was still close enough to the tracks for the train’s conductor to reach out with his foot and kick him in the face. The results are predictably hilarious. More →

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Why Are So Many Websites Crashing

Why you should expect your favorite websites to crash over the next few weeks

By on April 15, 2014 at 8:30 PM.

Why you should expect your favorite websites to crash over the next few weeks

If you find yourself unable to access your favorite websites over the next few weeks, don’t worry: The Internet isn’t broken, it’s just undergoing very needed repairs. The Washington Post has talked with some security experts who expect that patching the Heartbleed bug is going to cause major disruptions on the Internet for a while as major web companies scramble to guard their websites against a bug that caught the tech world flat-footed last week. More →

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Google Gmail Terms Of Service

Google admits just how much it scans our Gmail

By on April 15, 2014 at 6:30 PM.

Google admits just how much it scans our Gmail

Even though Microsoft’s Scroogled campaign against Google might have been a flop, it did raise some legitimate questions on behalf of users who might not be comfortable with Google’s algorithms scanning their private emails for frequently used keywords that it would use to sell more targeted ads. The Guardian brings us word that Google has issued an update to its Gmail terms of service where it explicitly lays out how it scans your emails and how it uses the data it gathers from them. More →

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Google Fiber New York City

Job listing hints Google is eyeing New York City for Fiber expansion

By on April 15, 2014 at 2:12 PM.

Job listing hints Google is eyeing New York City for Fiber expansion

A job opening on Google’s website this week might be the first sign that Google Fiber is finally making its way to New York City. Geek.com came across the listing on Tuesday for a Google Fiber Regional Sales Manager for New York, a position in which the chosen individual “will manage multiple teams that evangelize Google Fiber services to MDU (multi-dwelling apartments and condos) and large SMB owners.” More →

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Comcast TWC Merger Data Caps

Get ready for even more data caps after the Comcast-TWC merger

By on April 15, 2014 at 12:15 AM.

Get ready for even more data caps after the Comcast-TWC merger

As if we didn’t already have enough reasons to be wary of the proposed merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable, GigaOM gives us a new one: Data caps. GigaOM points out that Time Warner Cable and Cablevision are the only two major cable companies in the United States that haven’t yet imposed data caps on their customers but that could change if TWC gets gobbled up by Comcast as part of a $45 billion acquisition. More →

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Facebook Money Transfer Service

Would you trust Facebook to be your bank?

By on April 14, 2014 at 8:30 PM.

Would you trust Facebook to be your bank?

It’s been a long time since Facebook was just a social media platform, and now the empire is looking to expand into yet another field. The Financial Times reports that Facebook is just weeks from obtaining regulatory approval in Ireland to offer services that would let users store their money, as well as pay and exchange that money with other users. Facebook would become an “e-money” institution, making the virtual currency valid throughout Europe. More →

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Comcast Netflix Streaming Speeds

Netflix streaming speeds see major boost after Comcast payouts

By on April 14, 2014 at 7:15 PM.

Netflix streaming speeds see major boost after Comcast payouts

Surprise! Paying off Comcast does have its benefits. Less than two months after coming to a peering arrangement with Comcast where it agreed to make regular payments to the cable giant to ensure high-quality streaming for its customers, Netflix reported that average streaming speeds have surged by 65% on Comcast’s network. In fact, the increase in streaming speeds was so large that Comcast jumped ahead a full six spots in Netflix’s rankings of Internet service providers and now is the fifth-fastest ISP for Netflix streaming in the United States with an average speed of 2.5Mbps. More →

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