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

Google’s Big Ad-Blocking Update Comes to Chrome Tomorrow: Here’s What We Know

2018.02.15 01

It’s been in the works for nearly a year and Google’s great ad-pocalypse is now upon us. On Thursday, the Chrome browser will begin to automatically filter out ads that don’t meet certain quality standards. Your browsing experience is about to change a little bit. Here’s what you need to know.

In April of last year, the news first broke that Google planned to integrate some form of ad-blocking into its browser that would be on by default. Since then we’ve seen a gradual rollout of the feature, beginning with the ability to mute autoplay videos with sound on the sites of your choosing. Now, Google going all-in with a set of criteria for what ads will be kosher in Chrome.

Along with its fellow ad giant Facebook, Google is a member of the Coalition for Better Ads, an industry group that has performed research on what forms of web advertising annoys people the most. It’s created a list of the 12 types of web experiences that should ideally be avoided by advertisers. Now Google is going to enforce that list with Chrome, which is used by over half of all people accessing the web with a browser.

Google’s Big Ad-Blocking Update Comes to Chrome Tomorrow: Here’s What We Know

Google Device Bug Chokes Home WiFi Networks

2018.01.29 01

A bug in the software used by Google Cast devices such as Chromecast and Home can slow down or crash WiFi networks.

The problem — initially believed to be isolated to a particular router model made by TP-Link — appears to affect models made by other manufacturers, including Asus, Linksys, Netgear and Synology.

The Cast feature on Google’s home devices is the culprit behind the WiFi problems, according to a post on the TP-Link website. Cast sends MDNS multicast discovery packets in order to discover and keep a live connection with Google products such as Home. These packets normally are sent in 20-second intervals.

However, after a device wakes up from sleep mode, it sometimes broadcasts a large amount of the packets — more than 100,000 on some occasions — at a very high speed in a short amount of time. The longer the device is asleep, the larger the packet burst will be.

Google Device Bug Chokes Home WiFi Networks

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

How Marconi Gave Us the Wireless World

2016.08.24 05

Contact: A hundred years before iconic figures like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs permeated our lives, 60 years before Marshall McLuhan proclaimed media to be “the extensions of man,” an Irish-Italian inventor laid the foundation of the communication explosion of the 21st century. Guglielmo Marconi was arguably the first truly global figure in modern communication. Not only was he the first to communicate globally, he was the first to think globally about communication. Marconi may not have been the greatest inventor of his time, but more than anyone else, he brought about a fundamental shift in the way we communicate.

Today’s globally networked media and communication system has its origins in the 19th century, when, for the first time, messages were sent electronically across great distances. The telegraph, the telephone, and radio were the obvious precursors of the Internet, iPods, and mobile phones. What made the link from then to now was the development of wireless communication. Marconi was the first to develop and perfect a practical system for wireless, using the recently-discovered “air waves” that make up the electromagnetic spectrum.

How Marconi Gave Us the Wireless World

Plume Podifies Home WiFi

2016.06.21 01

Plume last week introduced its eponymous self-optimizing WiFi system for the home.

Plume adapts in real life to the different network demands made by various devices and ensures that each gets the fastest speeds possible, according to the company.

In essence, Plume is “treating WiFi as a cellular network, where each pod is kind of like a mini-cell site,” he explained. “That’s what’s clever about this.”

The traffic dynamics are different from those of cell networks, but allowing pods to collaborate on channel assignment to moving devices “starts to look like cell site hopping,” Jude said.

Plume Podifies Home WiFi