The cable industry has historically tried to argue that cord cutters either don't exist or are so lame they aren't relevant
. That same industry, as it faces a very real trend of growing user defections, has now launched a strange new media campaign intended to change the mind of intended cord cutters. The new campaign, dubbed "The Hole Saga," features the tagline "life without cable leaves a mighty big hole."
The campaign involves a series of ads directing users to some marginally-interactive-but-odd videos over at the National Cable and Telecom Association website
From a quick look, the lesson the cable industry appears to want cord cutters to know is that if you try to save money by cutting cable -- you'll be eaten by sharks or killed by mutant rabbits with laser eyes.
So keep that in mind. Or not.
Speaking before a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy yesterday
, Robert Litt, general counsel at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, insisted the NSA has absolutely no idea how often it collects data on American Citizens. What's more, Litt proclaimed it would violate citizen privacy to try and do so.
Yesterday we noted that a glitch in Verizon's website was allowing Verizon Wireless customers the ability to upgrade their handset without losing grandfathered unlimited data
. Verizon has traditionally waged a quiet war on grandfathered unlimited users, restricting many plans, upgrades and other features unless they choose to go to metered plans.
Back in 2009, you'll recall that former Qwest CEO Joe Nacchio headed to prison
to serve a six-year prison sentence for cooking the books and insider trading. You might also recall that Nacchio claimed he was being punished
in part because Qwest (now CenturyLink) was the only US telco to refuse to participate in the government's warrantless wiretapping program.
: This glitch has already been fixed by Verizon. User spike010101
writes in: "Verizon's website is currently allowing customers to select their unlimited plan when going through a device upgrade. I myself have taken it all the way to the checkout area where you enter your credit card details and submit the order, and have a friend who has completely gone through with an order."
The news is curious in that Verizon has been waging war on grandfathered unlimited users for several years now
, using every tactic possible (most specifically device upgrades) to try and push those users on to metered plans. There's some additional discussion about this over at Howard Forums
and at Droid Life
The MPAA, RIAA, AT&T and Verizon have joined forces to "educate" California school children on the details of copyright, ignoring things like "fair use" -- lest it confuse the toddlers. Wired
has a report on the curriculum the coalition is pushing on California schools for grade one
, grade two
, grade five
and grade six
(pdfs), all of which is about as nuanced as you might imagine.
Last month a widespread malware attack on the Tor network used a Firefox exploit to send the personal data of Tor users to an IP address in Reston, Virginia. While it was already believed that this IP address belonged to an FBI subcontractor
working on the FBI's "computer and internet protocol address verifier" (CIPAV) spyware iniatiative, a new Wired report
confirms that the FBI in court has acknowledged they controlled the servers behind that attack on the Tor network.
Things haven't gone particularly well for porn copyright troll Prenda ever since the organization pissed off a Judge
who had started noticing the outfit was engaged in all manner of sleazy behavior operating under the umbrella of a vast maze of shell companies and organizations.
Said sleazy behavior allegedly includes everything ranging from extortion to identity theft, and last week TorrentFreak
revealed that Prenda had taken things one step further: they created a honeyput offering the very files they claim to protect in order to lure people into downloading them, then demanded cash from those users.
There are plenty of things that can cause interference with wireless networks (faulty ATM, lights or signal boosters), and you can now add beer fridges to that list. Using "software robots" to scan network performance logs, The Herald Sun
says that engineers for Australian telco Telstra identified a strange signal that was disrupting cell service "several neighborhoods." After driving around using "Mr Yagi" antennas to seek out the origin of the signal, the engineers wound up at the source: the motor of a beer fridge in one man's beer refrigerator. "We just look at them all and go after the ones that are worst and approach it that way," says Telstra. "There's no particular focus now on beer fridges."
Several news outlets like the Christian Science Monitor
this week proclaimed that the telegraph would finally be dying next month. 144 years after Samuel Morse sent the first telegram in Washington, insists the news outlet, the world's final telegram was to be sent in India on July 14, 2013.
A few weeks back, in response to Google Fiber, AT&T announced a plan for fiber to the press release in Austin
. That is, the company issued a very weaselly-worded statement claiming they were "prepared to build" an "advanced fiber optic infrastructure" technically capable of 1 Gbps if
they saw the precise perks they wanted from regional regulators.
directs our attention to the fact that for the first time, a Comcast user has been sued three different times for one download of an animated film. "Plaintiff’s technical monitoring personnel failed to notice the repeat entries of the identical IP address after sorting and filtering and filed 3 different federal lawsuits," the John Doe writes in his own defense. "This calls into question their accuracy in managing their cases properly." Torrent Freak
and the plaintiff speculate that he was sued three times in the hopes nobody would notice, thereby increasing the chance of getting a subpoena from at least one of the three Judges. Instead, all three cases landed on the desk of one Judge.
While Google's principles may have slid sideways in recent years (their selling out on net neutrality being exhibit A
) the company does appear to be putting up a good fight against the government's use of national security letters (NSLs). We've covered for several years the growing use (or in a significant number of proven cases, the abuse
) of NSLs, which allow the government to obtain personal user records from ISPs (or banks and other companies), then involve a gag order against the company preventing them from ever mention it -- all with no judicial review.
A Berkeley city councilman has proposed a tax on e-mail and each bit as a possible way to help shore up the United States Postal Service's dwindling funds. "There should be something like a bit tax," insisted District 8 Berkeley Supervisor Gordon Wozniak
this week. "I mean a bit tax could be a cent per-gigabit and they would still make, probably, billions of dollars a year. And there should be, also, a very tiny tax on email,” he said.
CBS's existing legal efforts to scuttle Dish's Hopper ad-skipping DVR just got slightly more ridiculous. Back in January CBS shot itself in the public relations foot by injecting itself into CNET's editorial standards
, demanding the news outlet pull a CES award for the device -- and avoid reviewing it -- ever.
A small bug in a line of Facebook code temporarily rendered a huge swath of websites, including CNN, Gawker, The Washington Post, and The Huffington Post -- inaccessible. Users trying to access those sites were redirected to a borked Facebook page
instead of the requested content. In typical spokesperson fashion, a statement issued to the press by Facebook significantly underplayed the scope of a problem. "For a short period of time, there was a bug that redirected people logging in with Facebook from third-party sites to Facebook.com. The issue was quickly resolved, and Login with Facebook is now working as usual."
You'll recall that executives at CBS recently shot themselves in their very expensive loafers when they decided to prevent CBS-owned CNET
from giving a CES best-of-show award to Dish's ad-skipping Hopper DVR. Not only did CBS ban CNET from giving the CES award, CBS decided to ban CNET from reviewing any Dish products -- ever
A Sprint network glitch is incorrectly directing users to the home of Wayne Dobson in North Las Vegas. According to the Las Vegas Review Journal
, an unexplained location and GPS data glitch is sending victims of cellphone and tablet theft -- and the police looking for them -- to this poor guy's home at all hours of the day and night.
CIAPC story continues..
, the Finish wing of the entertainment industry, has saved the world from the evil of a nine year old girl and her Winnie the Pooh laptop. The organization, which has been responsible for forcing Finish ISPs to block The Pirate Bay, conducted an early morning police raid on a household that hadn't responded to the entertainment's industry settlement demands.
A T-Mobile employee decided that the best way to deal with a complaining customer -- was to stab him. The 59-year-old customer went to a store outside of Philadelphia this week to complain about being double-billed, but according to the Philadelphia Inquirer
, received a knife in the rib cage instead of a refund.
·more stories, story search, most popular ..
Recent news contributors