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FCC Slaps T-Mobile with $819,000 Fine

August 28, 2014 10:59 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

The FCC has levied a $819,000 fine against T-Mobile, citing the carriers has for more than two years failed to offer its customers enough hearing aid-compatible digital wireless handsets. Originally spotted by Phone Scoop, the FCC’s complaint against T-Mobile alleges the carrier “willfully and repeatedly” violated the mandate toward carrying hearing aid-compatible phones.

CTIA Preps Super Mobility Week Keynote Stage for iPhone Launch

August 27, 2014 3:45 pm | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

"When you think about it, the forty thousand people in the industry who will be affected most by...

CTIA Chief Urges FCC to Revise Wireless Siting Process

August 27, 2014 11:00 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

CTIA CEO Meredith Attwell Baker implored the FCC to revise rules in order to speed up the...

Connecting the Home Creates New Security Risks

August 25, 2014 1:29 pm | by Ben Munson | Articles | Comments

The connected home is built largely on a promise of heightened security. But by adding smart...

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Fitbit Denies Claims It Sells Personal Data

August 25, 2014 9:39 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

The San Francisco-based fitness wearables company spelled out its privacy policy on its website after Schumer warned of a potential "privacy nightmare" relating to concerns that the makers of fitness monitoring devices could sell users' data to advertisers.

Assange Hints at Leaving Embassy

August 18, 2014 9:14 am | by Raphael Satter, Associated Press | News | Comments

Leaving the embassy would be a big move for Assange, who has remained trapped in the building since he sought refuge there more than two years ago. Assange is seeking to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted over sex crimes allegations, or the United States, where authorities are investigating his spectacular disclosures of secret information.

T-Mobile Urges FCC to Reserve Half of 600 MHz Spectrum for Smaller Carriers

August 13, 2014 11:42 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

T-Mobile is asking the FCC to consider reserving half or more of the 600 MHz spectrum cleared for auction for smaller carriers to bid on. In an FCC filing, T-Mobile said adjusting the spectrum reserve based on different clearing scenarios would “promote robust competition among service providers and ensure the continued vitality of four nationwide providers.”

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Judge Rejects Settlement over Tech Hiring Practices

August 11, 2014 8:33 am | by Michael Liedtke, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

The settlement would have been paid by Apple, Google Inc., Intel Corp. and Adobe Systems Inc. The lawsuit alleges they and three other companies — Intuit Inc., Pixar Animation and Lucasfilm — secretly agreed not to recruit each other's workers at various junctures from 2005 through 2009.

FCC Expands Text-to-911 to Smaller Carriers, Messaging Apps

August 8, 2014 3:28 pm | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

In a push to make the service more uniformly available, the new rules expand availability beyond the U.S.’s big four carriers, all of which agreed to support the service by May 2014. Now all other carriers will have to make the service available and “interconnected” text messaging providers including OTT apps like Whatsapp.

FCC Streamlines Tower Regulations

August 8, 2014 2:27 pm | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

The Commission said that the order adopted today puts the FAA in charge of overseeing rules regarding the marking and lighting of cell towers so that planes can see them. It also makes changes to Commission rules such as allowing tower owners to provide tenants with antenna structure registration (ASR) information via mail, email or other electronic methods. 

Google Focusing on Encrypted Messaging

August 8, 2014 9:38 am | by Michael Liedtke, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

Google beefed up security of its search engine and popular Gmail service after former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden revealed that the U.S. government has been vacuuming up personal data. The surveillance programs exploited gaping holes in unencrypted websites.

WTO Accuses China of "Rare Earths' Violations

August 8, 2014 9:26 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

China has about one-third of global deposits of rare earths but accounts for more than 90 percent of production. In 2009, it alarmed foreign companies by limiting rare earth exports in an attempt to boost its domestic manufacturing base. U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman said that Thursday's decision "marks the end of the line" for the rare earths dispute.

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Verizon to FCC: Throttling Unlimited Users “Widely Accepted”

August 5, 2014 10:21 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

Verizon has officially responded to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler after the Commissioner criticized the carrier’s decision to start slowing data speeds for some unlimited plan customers on its LTE network. The United States’ largest carrier called the practice “widely accepted,” according to Reuters. Verizon CEO Dan Mead, to whom the FCC’s letter was addressed, said the policy was in line with FCC principles.

LinkedIn Settles on $6M in Unpaid Wages, Damages

August 5, 2014 9:44 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

The U.S. Department of Labor said an investigation found LinkedIn Corp. in violation of overtime and record-keeping rules that are part of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. It said the violations occurred at company branches in California, Illinois, Nebraska and New York.

Alternatives to Passwords Gain Traction on Mobile

August 5, 2014 9:41 am | by Anick Jesdanun, AP Technology Writer | Articles | Comments

They're a pain to use, and they aren't secure when they are based on easy-to-guess digits, such as a birth date or street address. Many people don't bother using them on phones, even though that means any thief can get instant access to email, banking apps and more. Fortunately, phone makers have started to come up with alternatives to passcodes.

Report: DoT Leans Toward Banning In-Flight Cell Phone Calls

August 4, 2014 11:16 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

The Department of Transportation (DoT) is leaning toward an outright ban on in-flight cell phone calls, according to the Wall Street Journal. The agency plans to publish a NPRM by the end of the year that will outline its objections and open the conversation for public comments. The DoT’s focus is on calls and not texting or cellular data use.

FCC May Spoil Sprint, T-Mo Joint Bidding Plans

August 4, 2014 10:25 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

“We must make sure that the biggest providers are not able to limit broad participation in the spectrum auction,” FCC Wireless Telecommunications Bureau Chief Roger C. Sherman wrote in a blog post. “Therefore, the item tentatively concludes that joint bidding arrangements between nationwide providers should not be allowed.”

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Wheeler to Verizon: Throttling Is Not Network Management

July 31, 2014 9:51 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

In a letter to Verizon CEO Dan Mead, the Chairman voiced his objections to plans Verizon announced last week to begin throttling LTE customers on unlimited plans that use an exorbitant amount of data. Verizon said the change will only affect about 5 percent of its users and it is being done in the name of network managment. 

China Pursues Monopoly Investigation of Microsoft

July 29, 2014 10:45 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

The State Administration for Industry and Commerce said it opened a case in June after complaints Microsoft improperly failed to publish all documentation for its Windows operating system and Office software. It said investigators visited Microsoft's China headquarters in Beijing and branches in Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu in southwestern China this week.

BlackBerry Bolsters Security Offerings with Secusmart Buy

July 29, 2014 9:21 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

John Chen, executive chairman and CEO for BlackBerry, said in a statement that the acquisition of Secusmart underscores his company's focus on addressing security costs and threats ranging from individual privacy to national security. 

Obama Applauds Passage of Unlocking Bill

July 28, 2014 10:10 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

In a statement, Obama said the White House had laid out steps that the FCC, industry, and Congress should take to ensure copyright law does not undermine wireless competition, and worked with wireless carriers to reach a voluntary agreement that helps restore consumers' rights to unlock their phones. 

Report: China Concludes Qualcomm Is A Monopoly

July 25, 2014 9:14 am | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

China is the world's biggest manufacturer of mobile phones and other wireless devices. The communist government has complained about the high cost of licenses for foreign technology. It has tried to reduce dependence on foreign know-how by investing billions of dollars to develop its own phone, encryption and other technology.

Verizon Breaks Taboo with Lucrative Location Play

July 21, 2014 4:49 pm | by Andrew Berg | Blogs | Comments

Carriers have long been trying to figure out how best to make use of the massive amounts of data out various cellular-connected devices create. Until now, they haven't really done a good job of what many analysts refer to as digital gold.

Verizon Mining Location Data with Opt-In Rewards Program

July 21, 2014 10:48 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

Verizon Selects will then analyze the information that is collected about customers to see whether they fit into certain audiences Verizon or third-party marketers are trying to reach. Verizon hopes the program will allow it to deliver more relevant ads via email, text, postal mail or online or mobile advertising.

Internet Companies Lobby FCC for True Open Internet

July 14, 2014 10:28 am | by Andrew Berg | News | Comments

Speaking as part of the Internet Association, the companies asserted that an "open and decentralized model is precisely what enabled the Internet to become one of the greatest engines for growth, prosperity and progress the world has ever known." 

Samsung Investigates China Supplier over Child Labor

July 14, 2014 9:11 am | by Youkyung Lee, AP Technology Writer | News | Comments

China Labor Watch said children as well as minors under 18 worked at Shinyang for three to six months to meet production targets during a period of high demand. The watchdog said the child workers were paid for 10 hours a day but worked 11 hours.

CCA Calls FCC’s Rural Broadband Experiments Unfair to Mobile

July 11, 2014 3:55 pm | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

"Making the vast majority of funding contingent on achieving speeds that are several multiples higher than those required of price-cap carriers in receiving CAF Phase I funding makes little sense,” CCA CEO Steven K. Berry said in a statement. “The primary directive of these experiments should be to determine which providers can deliver adequate broadband..."

AT&T Calls T-Mobile’s Data Roaming Proposals Unlawful

July 11, 2014 10:34 am | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

In a blog post today, AT&T Vice President of Regulatory Joan Marsh said T-Mobile’s revised roaming agreement rules proposal would violate the Telecommunications Act and “push the Commission’s regime over the line into impermissible common carrier regulation.”

FTC Sues Amazon Over In-App Purchases Made by Kids

July 10, 2014 2:30 pm | by Ben Munson | News | Comments

The Federal Trade Commission is suing Amazon over unauthorized in-app purchases made by children. The FTC is seeking refunds for consumers and is looking to permanently stop Amazon from billing account holders for purchases made without their consent. According to the complaint, Amazon keeps 30 percent of all revenue from in-app purchases.

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