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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. AT&T currently struggles to match cable speeds -- much less 1 Gbps fiber -- so the flimsy worded announcement made AT&T come off as disingenuous.
Not helping themselves, AT&T is now claiming they had been planning to deploy this 1 Gbps network all along, and that the project actually had nothing to do with Google Fiber. Speaking at the Jeffries 2013 Global Technology, Media and Telecom Conference, Bill Smith, President of AT&T Network Operations had this to say
"Our 1 Gbps plans were not in response to Google's announcement," Smith said. "We had a team suit up and developing that plan for some time, but they accelerated our need to go public with it but we had been planning to do it."
To be clear, AT&T does not offer 1 Gbps residential service anywhere. More than half of AT&T's customers remain on last-generation DSL with speeds slower than 6 Mbps. Most of their U-Verse customers are on slower fiber to the node technology.
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. "Plaintiffs 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.
Russia's Communications and Press Ministry has proposed banning children from using Wi-Fi networks in public, seemingly oblivious to the uphill battle enforcing such a law could pose to restaurants and other establishments. According to the St. Petersburg Times
, an official at the country's Federal Mass Media Inspection Service insists the ban would cover anyone eighteen years of age or younger, with establishments who fail to enforce the new rule facing fines ranging from 20,000 rubles to 50,000 rubles ($640 to $1,600). The push is part of a new campaign in the country that begins in November aimed at blocking Web pages that contain "material harmful to child welfare." Restaurants worry that determining the age of patrons and blocking them from hotspots will be borderline impossible.
In what could be a record for these sorts of stories, one French woman has been greeted with a phone bill for 11,721,000,000,000,000 euros
($15,066,462,883,968,732). The error was the fault of French provider Bouygues Telecom, who initially told her there was nothing the company could do about the huge bill, then proceeded to inform the woman they'd be nice enough to allow her to pay the bill off in installments
. After some back and forth the company finally acknowledged that the bill should have been for 117.21 euros, and said they'd waive the entire fee for their error. The company blamed the screw up on "a printing error and a subsequent misunderstanding between the client and staff at their call center."
Companies and governments are rushing to distance themselves from Chinese hardware vendors Huawei and ZTE after a House Intelligence Committee report accused the companies of being Chinese spies
, despite no evidence after an 11 month investigation. It's widely believed this is simply protectionism with a coat of fear mongering, and the media is helping the U.S.
Though a parade of gushing, uncritical reviews have proclaimed the iPhone 5 a device created by gods
that was perfectly hewn from the metal of the ancients
, back on planet earth all is not well within the church of Apple. While some have noticed that the device is easily scratched
, the biggest issue this week was that Apple's mapping software may be currently be the worst in the business.
Back in August we explored how a Canadian citizen and Videotron customer Arthur Pequegnat found himself banned from his own account and e-mail
after his wife removed him during an ugly divorce. At the time, Videotron stated there was nothing they could do, since the man had
added his wife as an authorized user to the account.
A new study from Citrix Systems
unsurprisingly finds that most of the public remains rather clueless about the term "cloud computing," despite the fact the term has been in circulation for at least six years and possibly since 1996
. According to the survey
, 51% respondents stated that stormy weather can interfere with cloud computing, and while technically not wrong (thunderstorms) a quick look at the survey results shows you they weren't thinking quite that deeply.
We've all seen more than a few public Wi-Fi initiatives rise and fall as cities realize that it's simply not very profitable selling Wi-Fi service many places already offer -- for free. Municipal operations looking to improve regional connectivity have instead shifted their attention to fiber networks. story continues..
Late last year Iranian leaders made it a criminal offense to bypass the country's Internet filters using VPNs or any other technology. The announcement
by Iranian Telecommunications Minister Reza Taghipour insisted the move was made to combat a "soft war being waged by Western countries against Iran (read: we want to spy on our own citizens and stifle information exchange among government critics). Amusingly, Iranian leaders recently issued a fatwa about getting around the filters -- a fatwa that was immediately filtered
The website Tabnak reports that Khamenei's "fatwa" on the illegality of using antifiltering tools in Iran was itself blocked in the country, some 30 hours after it was published on Iranian websites. The ruling was seemingly filtered because it contained the word "antifiltering," which triggered the country's censorship system to automatically block it.
Meanwhile, Iran has also recently made it illegal
for local banks, insurance firms and telephone operators to use foreign-sourced email services like Gmail to communicate with clients.
Marketing firm Bartle Bogle Hegarty is courting more than a little controversy with their decision to use homeless people as walking human Wi-Fi hotspots at this year's South by Southwest festival in Austin. The ad agency is calling "Homeless Hotspots
" a "charitable experiment
" aimed at drumming up funds for homeless shelters as an alternative to things like homeless selling newspapers. Each homeless person dons a T-shirt promoting the program and carries a 4G MiFi device users can pay what they want to access. But Wired
critiques the program as a shallow and ultimately hollow effort to simply drum up publicity for supposedly "cutting edge" marketing that ultimately doesn't do all that much for the plight of the homeless.
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Recent news contributorsKarl Bode , JKukiewicz , swintec