Ajit Pai Is Intentionally Delaying His Net Neutrality Repeal and No One Knows Why

2018.04.26 02

Despite claims that net neutrality officially died this week, the FCC has not officially posted the repeal yet.

More than four months after the Trump FCC formally voted to kill net neutrality, the rules remain on the books. And there’s every indication that the agency is intentionally delaying the final, killing blow—just to further help AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast.

While numerous news outlets claimed net neutrality officially died this week, that’s not technically true. Before net neutrality rules can truly be scrubbed from the books, the repeal needs to not only be posted to the Federal Register, but the US Office of Management and Budget needs to sign off on the flimsy replacement protections proposed by the FCC.

But consumer advocates this week pointed out that the FCC appears to be intentionally delaying the final repeal via intentional, bureaucratic gridlock.

So why is the Trump FCC stalling on formally killing rules it professes were devastating to the telecom sector?

The most popular theory is that ISPs and the FCC wanted more time to garner support for their effort to pass a bogus net neutrality law. A law they promise will “solve” the net neutrality feud once and for all, but whose real intention is to pre-empt tougher state laws, and block the FCC’s 2015 rules from being restored in the wake of a possible court loss.

Ajit Pai Is Intentionally Delaying His Net Neutrality Repeal and No One Knows Why

As the net neutrality CRA deadline in Congress approaches, support continues to grow

2018.04.26 01

When the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted last year to dismantle net neutrality rules, internet activists and lawmakers teamed up to tell millions of frustrated supporters that the fight was not over.

As the wave of immense public pushback against the FCC’s decision continued to grow, lawmakers and activists decided to wield a congressional tool to try and save net neutrality–the Congressional Review Act (CRA).

The act allows Congress to overrule federal regulations issued by government agencies within a 60-day window, which internet activists say gives them time to try and rally the web once more to show their lawmakers that net neutrality, which ensures all internet traffic is treated equally, isn’t a niche topic. Instead, they hope to show it is something millions of people want to see saved.

As the net neutrality CRA deadline in Congress approaches, support continues to grow

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s Congressional Testimony

Mark Zuckerberg’s congressional testimony from April 11, 2018 over the leak of data and Cambridge Analytica. The actual hearing begins at 32:20.

Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg Testimony | Day 1

Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg Testimony | Day 2


Silicon Valley’s Corrupt Underbelly: It’s Far Worse Than We Thought

2018.02.19 01

After addressing the topic of sexual harassment and misconduct in Silicon Valley last month, I finally got my hands on a copy of Brotopia, an eye-opening new book, and a lot of executives should be happy I did not pursue my career in law enforcement. Otherwise I would be working my butt off to get them off the streets behind bars.

Everyone connected to tech — especially investors, employees or customers of tech firms — should read this book. Specifically, for investors, it will give you insights into a level of extreme avoidable risk that has not been factored into the market — at least not yet.

If I were interested in developing a strategy either to ensure a Republican win in the mid-term elections or to move the center of tech to China, India, South Korea or Israel, this book would be invaluable.

That’s because it highlights how easily most of the men and some of the women in the book could be blackmailed (given the nature of China, North Korea and Russia, perhaps that’s already happening to some of them). That could be one of the reasons Russia’s fake news effort was so successful during the last election, and why its expected larger effort in the coming elections once again could succeed.

Silicon Valley’s Corrupt Underbelly: It’s Far Worse Than We Thought

Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, JP Morgan Aim to Untangle Employee Healthcare Knot

2018.02.09 01

Three corporate giants on Tuesday announced they were banding together to provide healthcare for their 1.1 million employees.

The companies — Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JP Morgan Chase — plan to form a company “free from profit-making incentives and constraints” in order to improve employee satisfaction with their healthcare coverage as well as reduce costs.

The company initially will focus on technology solutions that provide U.S. employees and their families with simplified, high-quality and transparent healthcare at a reasonable cost.

“The ballooning costs of healthcare act as a hungry tapeworm on the American economy,” said Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett.

“Our group does not come to this problem with answers,” he continued, “but we also do not accept it as inevitable. Rather, we share the belief that putting our collective resources behind the country’s best talent can, in time, check the rise in health costs while concurrently enhancing patient satisfaction and outcomes.”

Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, JP Morgan Aim to Untangle Employee Healthcare Knot

Facebook is re-sculpting our memory

2017.07.18 03

For much of history, the only way to chronicle life was to write about it. Now, many of us take selfies on our smartphones to share on Facebook, and create picturesque albums of our daily meals on Instagram. And as the mediums we use to recall and review the past change, so do our very memories.

Daniel Schacter, a psychology professor at Harvard University, first established the effects of photographs on memories in the 1990s. In one experiment, he showed that it was possible to implant false memories by showing subjects photos of an event that they could have conceivably experienced, but didn’t. In another, he found that not only did looking at photos boost the memory of that particular event, but also impaired memories of events that happened at the same time and were not featured in the photographs. The primary focus of Schacter’s lab is on how memory relates to other cognitive abilities. His research has shown that weaknesses in our memory are positive attributes in allowing us to think meaningfully about the future.

Facebook is re-sculpting our memory

Facebook says it shouldn’t have to stay mum when government seeks user data

2017.07.18 02

Facebook is fighting a court order that prohibits it from letting users know when law enforcement investigators ask to search their political communications — a ban that Facebook contends tramples First Amendment protections of the company and individuals.

Most of the details of the case in the nation’s capital are under wraps, but the timing of the investigation, and references in public court documents, suggest the search warrants relate to demonstrations during President Trump’s inauguration. More than 200 people were detained and many have been charged with felony rioting in the Jan. 20 protests that injured police and damaged property in an area of downtown Washington.

Facebook says it shouldn’t have to stay mum when government seeks user data

Why emojis may be the best thing to happen to language in the digital age

2017.07.18 01

The fourth annual World Emoji Day (yes, it’s a thing) is Monday, celebrating the explosion in use of the little characters that have changed the way people around the world communicate.

Some have despaired that the symbols are the harbingers of the end of the written word. But experts say that far from destroying language, emoji are enhancing people’s ability to fully express themselves as text-based communication increasingly replaces face-to-face interaction.

“Emoji is making us better communicators in the digital age,” said linguist Vyv Evans, author of The Emoji Code. “Saying that emoji is a backward step would be like saying when you speak to someone you’re not allowed to make any facial expression.”

Why emojis may be the best thing to happen to language in the digital age

Are you ready to forfeit your laptop when flying?

2017.05.12 02

Since 9/11, airline passengers have had to deal with the full panoply of security measures: bans on liquids, inspection of laptops at security gates, taking shoes off, not to mention coping with shrinking legroom and most recently, passengers getting dragged off planes.

Now, the Trump administration and the Department of Homeland Security are contemplating a laptop ban that could cause even more tension between passengers and airlines.

Are you ready to forfeit your laptop when flying?

Tech Giants Team to Battle Terrorism Online


Facebook has teamed up with Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft to fight the proliferation of terrorist content on the Web. The tech giants will create a shared industry database of hashes for violent terrorist imagery, terrorist recruitment videos, or images they have removed from their services.

They may use these shared hashes to help identify potential terrorist content on their platforms. Hashes to be shared will apply to content that’s most likely to violate all the companies’ content policies.

“Each one of the companies that is part of this agreement has its own specific definitions, practices and processes in place for governments to make requests to them for user data and to remove content,” YouTube explained in policy notes provided to TechNewsWorld by company rep Stephanie Shih. “Any such requests for information will be routed through each company to handle as they normally do per its individual policies and procedures.”

No personally identifiable information will be shared. There will be no automated takedowns of terrorism-related content. Each company will retain its own process for dealing with appeals against its removal of content.

The four will apply their own transparency and review practices when responding to any government requests.

Tech Giants Team to Battle Terrorism Online