Kickass Torrents Down

The US government has taken down the owner and domains of the world’s biggest pirate site

By on July 20, 2016 at 8:32 AM.

The US government has taken down the owner and domains of the world’s biggest pirate site

KickassTorrents (KAT) is the biggest pirate site in the world, hosting thousands of torrents covering the biggest movies and music in the world. The 30-year-old Ukrainian founder, Artem Vaulin, was arrested in Poland today, and the US government has requested his extradition.

A court in Chicago has also ordered the seizure of bank accounts and domain names related to the site.

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Apple Samsung Lawsuit

Apple vs Samsung has a date with the Supreme Court

By on July 14, 2016 at 2:25 PM.

Apple vs Samsung has a date with the Supreme Court

Yes, the rounded rectangles dispute will be going all the way to the land’s highest court.

Five years after the Apple vs Samsung patent dispute officially kicked off, the case is set to be resolved once and for all. The Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments over Samsung’s appeal in part of its long-running legal dispute, with the date set for October 11th. A verdict is expected sometime in December or January.

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Apple Lawsuit

Behold, the most ambitious Apple lawsuit ever

By on June 28, 2016 at 5:15 PM.

Behold, the most ambitious Apple lawsuit ever

As you’d expect from the world’s largest seller of consumer electronics, Apple gets sued a lot. Some of those suits go places, others get dismissed out of hand the first time they get to court.

And then there’s Florida.

MacRumors has spotted a gem of a lawsuit filed by Thomas S. Ross, a Floridian who feels that Apple’s iPhone infringes on the sketches he made of an “Electronic Reading Device” in 1992.

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Fitbit Heartrate Inaccuracy

Fitbit’s inaccurate heart-rate tracking can ‘put consumers at risk’

By on May 24, 2016 at 7:00 PM.

Fitbit’s inaccurate heart-rate tracking can ‘put consumers at risk’

Fitbit is currently embroiled in a class-action lawsuit over the accuracy of its heart-rate tracking. As part of their case, the plaintiffs commissioned a scientific study of the accuracy of the Fitbit Charge HR and Surge. Wareable spoke to the scientist who was paid to do the testing, and unsurprisingly, he has bad things to say about Fitbit’s devices.

Dr. Edward Jo, an assistant professor of Applied Physiology at California State Polytechnic University, was paid to conduct a “validation study,” seeking to prove that Fitbits mis-report heart-rate data when users are working out.

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‘Big brother’ black boxes to soon be mandatory in all new cars

By on April 19, 2012 at 11:05 AM.

‘Big brother’ black boxes to soon be mandatory in all new cars

Beginning in 2015, all new cars in the United States will likely need to be fitted with data-recording “black boxes” very similar to the devices currently used in aircraft. The U.S. Senate has already passed a bill that will make the devices a requirement, and the House is expected to approve the bill as well. Section 31406 of Senate Bill 1813 states that mandatory event data recorders must in installed in all cars starting in 2015, and it outlines civil penalties that will be levied against violators, Infowars.com reports. While the primary function of the black box devices would be to record and transmit data that could be used to assist a driver and passengers in the event of an accident, the bill has legislation built in that would give the government access to the data with a court order, and it also gives authorities the ability to access the data as part of an investigation. According to the report, these caveats could potentially lead to Big Brother-like scenarios where citizens are monitored or even actively tracked without their knowledge or consent. More →

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Senators introduce bill to hold carriers accountable for ‘4G’ claims

By on October 13, 2011 at 10:45 PM.

Senators introduce bill to hold carriers accountable for ‘4G’ claims

If you are an everyday wireless consumer walking into a store to purchase a new smartphone, the terms HSPA+, WiMAX and LTE may mean very little to you. Yet, each of those networks is different and each is being advertised as “4G” in the United States, thanks to an International Telecommunications Union policy that allows carriers to market newer 3G technologies as “4G” networks. A new bill presented to the U.S. Senate this week hopes to force wireless carriers to clarify what exactly their “4G’ networks offer, including minimum and maximum data speeds. The bill was filed by Senator Amy Kobuchar and Al Franken from Minnesota as well as Senator Richard Blumenthal from Connecticut. “Wireless providers need to make sure their customers can count on the speed, reliability, and the price they were promised when they signed up” Senator Franken explained. “And if they can’t fulfill their promise, they need to be held accountable.” The bill is in addition to The Next Generation Wireless Disclosure Act, which was filed in June by Congresswoman Anna G. Eschoo, who applauded the new bill from Kobuchar, Franken and Blumenthal. Read on for the full press release from Eschoo’s office. More →

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Cell phone retailers must now warn consumers of radiation risks in SF

By on July 21, 2011 at 7:01 AM.

Cell phone retailers must now warn consumers of radiation risks in SF

The city of San Francisco has approved an ordinance that will require cell phone retailers to warn customers about the dangers of cell phone radiation, the Los Angeles Times reported on Thursday. The ordinance, which was passed in a 10-1 vote, asks that phone retailers “post general warnings” about risks. It’s unclear what exactly will be required of the retailers, and researchers have flip-flopped on whether or not there are any real risks associated with mobile wireless devices. On May 31st, the World Health Organization published a report that said cell phones are “possibly carcinogenic,” but The Economist fired back shortly after and said there’s no way the devices cause cancer. A second group wrote published a separate report in an issue of Environmental Health Perspectives and argued there is evidence “increasingly against the hypothesis that mobile phone use can cause brain tumors in adults.” A similar law was passed last year that required cell phone makers to publish specific absorption rate (SAR) figures on boxes of cell phones, but the CTIA sued before the law took effect.  More →

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Supreme Court rejects violent video game law

By on June 27, 2011 at 11:02 PM.

Supreme Court rejects violent video game law

On Monday, the United States Supreme Court rejected a law that would make it illegal for video game stores and publishers to sell or rent violent video games to minors. The law, which was adopted in 2005 and rejected in a 7-2 vote, was deemed unconstitutional and against freedom of speech rights. According to Reuters, a number of big players in the gaming industry opposed the law, including the Entertainment Software Association, whose ranks include Sony, Microsoft, EA, and Disney. “Our cases hold that minors are entitled to a significant degree of First Amendment protection,” Justice Antonin Scalia said. “Government has no free-floating power to restrict the ideas to which they may be exposed.” More →

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RIM being investigated for possible securities law violations

By on May 23, 2011 at 1:21 PM.

RIM being investigated for possible securities law violations

Atlanta, Georgia based law firm Holzer Holzer & Fistel, LLC announced on Monday that it has launched an investigation into possible federal securities law violations made by cell phone maker Research In Motion. The firm claims that its investigation will focus on whether a series of statements made between December 2010 and April 2011 were intentionally false and misleading. The statements in question dealt with problems associated with RIM’s aging product line that were negatively impacting the company’s business, the firm said in a press release. In March of this year, Holzer Holzer & Fistel, LLC launched a similar investigation into Palm surrounding statements the company made before it was acquired by HP.

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Verizon Wireless cries foul, responds to FCC-mandated data roaming rules

By on April 7, 2011 at 2:31 PM.

Verizon Wireless cries foul, responds to FCC-mandated data roaming rules

The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday voted in favor of a new set of rules that will force larger cellular carriers such as Verizon Wireless and AT&T to provide roaming access to their data networks at prices set by the FCC. The move will allow smaller regional carriers to take advantage of the large investments made by national carriers at a mere fraction of the cost of building out their own data networks. Immediately following the FCC’s vote, Verizon Wireless’ executive vice president of public affairs, policy and communications Tom Tauke issued a statement. “Today’s action represents a new level of unwarranted government intervention in the wireless marketplace,” Tauke said. “By forcing carriers that have invested in wireless infrastructure to make those networks available to competitors that avoid this investment, at a price ultimately determined by the FCC, today’s order discourages network investment in less profitable areas. That is directly contrary to the interests of rural America and the development of facilities-based competition and potential job creation. Therefore, it is a defeat for both consumers and the innovation fostered by true competition.” Hit the jump for Tauke’s full statement. More →

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Verizon, Google issue joint statement on net-neutrality

By on August 9, 2010 at 3:17 PM.

Verizon, Google issue joint statement on net-neutrality

Today, Google and Verizon released a joint statement outlining the parallel feelings the two companies foster towards net-neutrality. The statement contains seven points that both feel are crucial to keeping the world wide web open and accessible while fostering innovation, growth, and leadership in the United States. Google and Verizon support FCC enforcement of net-neutrality principles and published the memo as, “a suggested legislative framework for consideration by lawmakers.” Hit the jump to read the statement in its entirety.  More →

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AP: New government law makes it legal to unlock your phone, load 3rd party apps on iPhone

By on July 26, 2010 at 11:26 AM.

AP: New government law makes it legal to unlock your phone, load 3rd party apps on iPhone

Okay, this is just in… The AP is reporting that a new federal ruling from the Library of Congress has sided with consumers, and the before sort-of-grey-area is now pretty clear — legally, you can unlock (and in Apple’s case, jailbreak) your device. Here’s what the AP article says:

WASHINGTON – Owners of the iPhone will be able to break electronic locks on their devices in order to download applications that have not been approved by Apple. The government is making that legal under new rules announced Monday.

The decision to allow the practice commonly known as “jailbreaking” is one of a handful of new exemptions from a federal law that prohibits the circumvention of technical measures that control access to copyrighted works. Every three years, the Library of Congress authorizes such exemptions to ensure that existing law does not prevent non-infringing use of copyrighted material.

Another exemption will allow owners of used cell phones to break access controls on their phones in order to switch wireless carriers.

This is a pretty big thing in the tech world and has ramifications across many different platforms and devices, not just Apple’s iPhone. More as we get it! More →

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Verizon loses class action ETF appeal, will pay $21 million settlement

By on July 2, 2010 at 12:59 PM.

Verizon loses class action ETF appeal, will pay $21 million settlement

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A California appeals court has ruled that Verizon Wireless is to pay some 175,000 customers current and former customers $21 million as a settlement in a class action lawsuit over early termination fees. The class action suit was filed in California on the behalf of customers who were upset that Verizon asked they pay a flat ETF of $175 regardless of how many months were left on their contract. Each customer is expected to receive $87.50 as a result of the ruling. Too bad history is bound to repeat itself now that Verizon’s ETF for “advanced devices” (i.e. smartphones) is set at $350. More →

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