FCC Plan To Use Thanksgiving To ‘Hide’ Its Attack On Net Neutrality Vastly Underestimates The Looming Backlash

FCC Plan To Use Thanksgiving To ‘Hide’ Its Attack On Net Neutrality Vastly Underestimates The Looming BacklashKarl Bode / Techdirt
  • Numerous reports have indicated that the FCC intends to try and hide its attack on net neutrality behind the looming Thanksgiving holiday.
  • "It's a devilishly brilliant plan by the FCC and its chairman, Ajit Pai, who has made no secret of his wish to undo the benchmark rules put in place during Barack Obama's presidency.
  • Except this obfuscation plan isn't "devilishly brilliant," it's a massive underestimation of the brutal backlash awaiting the broadband industry and its myopic water carriers.
  • Net neutrality has been a fifteen year fight to protect the very health of the internet itself from predatory duopolists like Comcast.

Broadcom Eyes Big Changes For Qualcomm’s Patent Practices

Broadcom eyes big changes for Qualcomm’s patent practices CNBC
  • As part of its $103 billion bid to buy Qualcomm, Broadcom has hinted that it would make big changes to Qualcomm's patent licensing business, a major cash-cow for the company but a source of bitter conflict with regulators and key customers including Apple.
  • But Broadcom has given few details about how it would go about revising Qualcomm's practices.
  • Patent licenses accounted for some $5.1 billion in pre-tax profits for Qualcomm in its fiscal 2017, compared with $2.7 billion in pre-tax profits for its chip business that brings in two and a half times more revenue.
  • If Broadcom is successful in buying Qualcomm, a source familiar with the matter said that Broadcom would try to maintain the economics of the licensing business by adjusting the pricing structure between the licensing and chip selling businesses.

Blockchain Company Confido Goes Dark In Apparent Initial Coin Offering Scam

Blockchain company Confido goes dark in apparent initial coin offering scamDuncan Riley / SiliconANGLE
  • In what could be the first of many cases to come, a dubious startup that raised money through an initial coin offering has gone dark amid allegations that it was nothing more than a scam to begin with.
  • The company in question went by the name of Confido and pitched an Ethereum blockchain-based app for making payments and tracking shipments in an ICO between Nov.
  • The tokens successfully debuted on coin and token trading sites and all seemed well with the company until the team behind it posted on Reddit (via ETHNews) that it was having issues with a legal contract and that as a result “development has been delayed until a resolution is found.” The statement went on to say that while the firm would likely “be able to find a solution,” it also warned that “we cannot assure with you 100% certainty that we will get through this.”
  • A startup experiencing problems is not out of the ordinary, but what happened next most certainly is.

This AI Can Spot Art Forgeries By Looking At One Brushstroke

This AI Can Spot Art Forgeries by Looking at One Brushstroke MIT Technology Review
  • In a new paper, researchers from Rutgers University and the Atelier for Restoration & Research of Paintings in the Netherlands document how their system broke down almost 300 line drawings by Picasso, Matisse, Modigliani, and other famous artists into 80,000 individual strokes.
  • The researchers also trained a machine-learning algorithm to look for specific features, like the shape of the line in a stroke.
  • Since the machine-learning algorithm was trained on specific features, the difference between it and the RNN probably points to the characteristics the neural network was looking at to detect forgeries.

WeChat Owner Tencent Becomes First In Asia Worth Over $500B

WeChat owner Tencent becomes first in Asia worth over $500BZoey Chong / CNET
  • Tencent, the owner of WhatsApp-esque WeChat in China, crossed the $500 billion mark when markets closed in Hong Kong yesterday, Bloomberg reports.
  • It now joins global tech elites including Apple, Alphabet, Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft.
  • Tencent's exceptional growth is in part boosted by its game business, which includes popular titles League of Legends and Honour of Kings.
  • Honour of Kings held the top spot on Apple's App Store in China for nearly a year, and caused so much concern about kids playing the game too much that Tencent had to limit playtime for those under 12

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Will Reveal Plans To Dismantle Net Neutrality

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai will reveal plans to dismantle net neutrality CNBC
  • Federal regulators are expected to scrap Obama-era rules that require internet service providers to treat all web traffic equally, according to Politco.
  • Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai, who was appointed by President Donald Trump, will reveal plans on Tuesday to his fellow commissioners to fully dismantle the agency's core net neutrality rules, Politico said, citing sources.
  • Pai would also follow through on his plans to scrap the legal foundation adopted in 2015 that required tighter oversight on internet service providers, Politico reported.

AWS Launches A Secret Region For The U.S. Intelligence Community

AWS launches a Secret region for the U.S. intelligence communityFrederic Lardinois / TechCrunch
  • Amazon today announced that its AWS cloud computing service now offers a new region that’s specifically designed for the workloads of the U.S.
  • AWS’s announcement comes about a month after Microsoft made a similar announcement.
  • It’s worth noting that the original and air-gapped Top Secret cloud, which AWS operates for the intelligence community, was limited to intelligence agencies.
  • While Google has long offered its G Suite to government customers, the company’s effort to bring on more enterprise users hasn’t quite extended to government agencies and their cloud computing needs.

Uber Adds Early Booking Feature, Better Location Sharing

Colorado Hits Uber With $8.9 Million Fine Over Drivers With Criminal Records

Colorado hits Uber with $8.9 million fine over drivers with criminal records CNBC
  • Uber was hit with an $8.9 million fine by Colorado's public utilities commission Monday, after regulators found that dozens of drivers were operating there despite often egregious criminal histories.
  • In a press release detailing the fine, Colorado officials said that 57 Uber drivers over the past year and a half were on the job despite having felony convictions, major moving violations or were driving with a suspended, revoked or cancelled driver's license.
  • The fine comes as the ride-hailing company continues to be battered by lawsuits for assault against its contractor drivers and struggles to polish a brand image that has been tarnished by a sexist corporate culture that toppled cofounder and CEO Travis Kalanick.
  • While Uber and other ride hailing companies do perform background checks on driver, Colorado determined that despite having information that should have disqualified many drivers, Uber "allowed (them) to drive anyway," Colorado Public Utilities Commission director Doug Dean said in a statement.

The Trump Administration Is Suing AT&T To Stop Its Purchase Of Time Warner

The Trump administration is suing AT&T to stop its purchase of Time WarnerTony Romm / ReCode
  • In response, AT&T redoubled its commitment to the deal, pledging to fight the Justice Department in a court case that could span months or more — and hinge at least in part on President Donald Trump’s public opposition to the two companies’ plans.
  • In the eyes of DOJ, the merger — one of the largest “in American history,” an agency official told reporters — would result in “higher prices for consumers and less innovation for millions of Americans.”
  • Specifically, DOJ said it had no choice but to sue because it believes AT&T would “use its control over Time Warner’s popular and valuable networks to hinder its rivals by forcing them to pay hundreds of millions of dollars more per year for the right to distribute those networks,” the official explained.
  • “Fortunately, the Department of Justice doesn’t have the final say in this matter,” said David R.

Volvo Is Selling 24,000 SUVs To Uber For A Network Of Self-driving Cars

Volvo is selling 24,000 SUVs to Uber for a network of self-driving carsJohana Bhuiyan / ReCode
  • Uber and Volvo are taking the next step in their self-driving relationship.
  • Volvo, which first began working with the ride-hail player in August 2016, has agreed to sell 24,000 SUVs to Uber between 2019 and 2021, the automaker announced on Monday.
  • An Uber spokesperson confirmed that Volvo has agreed to sell the ride-hail player 24,000 cars but said that it is a general framework.
  • The Volvo XC90s will have the “core” technology — like redundant processors — needed to enable autonomous driving, to which the ride-hail company will add some of its own technology after the fact.

Qualcomm: Mesh Networking Is The Future Of Smart Homes

Qualcomm: Mesh networking is the future of smart homes ZDNet - 30 mins ago
  • Home broadband services are on the cusp of change and mesh networking is needed to push the industry forward, according to Qualcomm.
  • According to Qualcomm's Wi-Fi router consumer survey, out of 1500 respondents from the UK, France, and Germany this year, 50 percent of those surveyed said they use a device in three different rooms simultaneously.
  • You might pay for top speeds and reliability, but with cheap router equipment, only so much spectrum being available and a broadband infrastructure which has not received enough investment over the years, home networks do not always live up to the same standards we've come to expect from cellular services.
  • Not only could mesh Wi-Fi fill a home with the same level of connectivity, but such systems could also be set to automatically fix connectivity issues as they arise, centralize the control of data, media, and IoT devices, and also provide opportunities for managed connected device services and data analytics.

Uber Fined $8.9M In Colorado For Driver Screening Failures

Uber fined $8.9M in Colorado for driver screening failuresNatasha Lomas / TechCrunch - 46 mins ago
  • Uber has been slapped with an $8.9 million fine in Colorado after state criminal investigators found it had allowed 57 individuals with past criminal or motor vehicle offenses to drive and pick up passengers on its platform over the past year and a half.
  • The news was reported yesterday by the Denver Post, which notes that Uber has 10 days to pay half the fine or request a hearing to contest it.
  • The penalty, issued by the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC), breaks down to $2,500 per day for each day a disqualified driver was found riving for Uber.
  • PUC transport enforcement staff launched an investigation earlier this year after a local police force referred details of an Uber driver accused of assaulting a passenger.

Red Hat Integrates Its OpenShift Container Platform With AWS Services

Red Hat integrates its OpenShift container platform with AWS servicesMike Wheatley / SiliconANGLE - 1 hour ago
  • Red Hat Inc. is adding native integration with many of Amazon Web Services Inc.’s cloud services to its OpenShift Container Platform.
  • The OpenShift Container Platform is Red Hat’s on-premises private platform-as-a-service product, built around a core of application containers powered by Docker, with orchestration and management provided by Kubernetes, on a foundation of Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
  • The company said in its announcement that it’s difficult to provide consistency across public cloud platforms for modern applications, because these are dependent on a combination of components and microservices.
  • To that end, Red Hat said the OpenShift Container Platform 3.7 update enables direct access to a range of AWS services, which can be configured and launched directly from the platform.

Google Home Now Supports Multiple Calendars And A Default One To Create Events On

Google Home now supports multiple calendars and a default one to create events onRita El Khoury / Android Police - 1 hour ago
  • I've barely used the calendar or My Day feature of my two Google Homes since getting them because of the lack of one major feature: multiple calendar support.
  • You can find the option if you open the Google Home app, go to More Settings in the left side menu, and scroll down to the Calendar section.

Facebook Releases First Mini-game For Social VR Platform ‘Spaces’, Paving The Way For More To Come – Road To VR

Facebook Releases First Mini-game for Social VR Platform ‘Spaces’, Paving the Way for More to Come – Road to VRScott Hayden / Road To VR - 2 hours ago
  • Facebook Spaces, the company’s social VR platform available on Oculus Rift, has updated to include a new mini-game that aims to pave the way for more yet to come.
  • Announced during the Oculus Connect developer conference this year alongside the news that Home will soon get a full social overhaul, Facebook has finally released their first game for Spaces, a Rift-native iteration of Resolution Games’ Gear VR title Bait!
  • Facebook Spaces Head of Product Mike Booth says the main reason the company used a game like Bait! was “because it’s a 3-dimensional, real-time simulation that’s social—so it could be used as a prototype to start building our third-party developer tools.” Boot, who’s overseen the project since the beginning says putting the game into Spaces forced them “to do the kinds of things we’ll need to do in a 3D environment for developers, rather than a 2D environment.”
  • As a game that admitted allows you to be socially active but not take “100% of your mental bandwidth,” as Resolution Games CEO Tommy Palm puts it, it’s an interesting first entry that plays to the strengths of the platform as it is currently. Facebook Spaces still doesn’t feature any sort of artificial locomotion, making an ice fishing game, where you’re necessarily tied to a single location, a natural starting point.

Palo Alto Networks’ Shares Jump 7% On Solid Q1 Earnings

Palo Alto Networks’ shares jump 7% on solid Q1 earningsMike Wheatley / SiliconANGLE - 2 hours ago
  • Cybersecurity company Palo Alto Networks Inc. saw its shares jump almost 7 percent in after-hours trading after posting first quarter fiscal 2018 results that sailed past Wall Street’s expectations.
  • The company saw strong growth, posting first quarter revenue of $505.5 million for the quarter, up 27 percent year-over-year.
  • Wall Street’s forecasts had the company down for earnings after certain costs of just 69 cents per share on revenue of just $489 million.
  • With such a strong performance it was no surprise to see shareholders push up Palo Alto Network’s share price to $142.53 in after-hours trading, a rise of almost 7 percent.

Uber Riders Are Again Getting Charged Thousands Of Dollars For Trips They Didn’t Take

Uber riders are again getting charged thousands of dollars for trips they didn’t takeYvette Tan / Mashable - 2 hours ago
  • Multiple Uber riders in Singapore are reporting being charged for rides halfway across the world that they never took, with charges of up to $2,949 (S$4,000).
  • One Uber rider says she was charged some $958 (S$1,300) for up to 30 rides she did not take.
  • "I logged in to check my bank account and realised all my money was being used for Uber transactions," Jenna Lim told Mashable.
  • A spokesperson from Uber told Mashable that they were "reviewing the incident" and would address it accordingly.

Uber Could Consolidate With Rivals In Southeast Asia Following SoftBank’s Investment

Uber could consolidate with rivals in Southeast Asia following SoftBank’s investmentReuters / VentureBeat - 2 hours ago
  • SoftBank’s multi-billion dollar investment in Uber opens up the possibility of combining it with other ride-hailing assets the Japanese group owns in a consolidation of a rapidly growing business across Asia, industry sources say.
  • SoftBank has also been a big investor in Uber’s rivals across Asia, including Southeast Asia’s Grab, China’s DiDi Chuxing, and India’s Ola, as it works to achieve founder Masayoshi Son’s vision of a future driven by artificial intelligence and interconnected devices.
  • At the same time, ride-hailing companies have been competing fiercely across Asia to attract both riders and drivers, with discounts and promotions that have driven down profit margins.
  • “SoftBank will play a consolidating role,” said a source close to Singapore-based Grab.

Singapore Airport To Trial $5M Digital Air Traffic Tower

Singapore airport to trial $5M digital air traffic tower ZDNet - 2 hours ago
  • Singapore has awarded a S$7 million (US$5.16 million) contract to UK-based NATS to trial a digital tower at its international airport.
  • "CAAS will then evaluate the operational feasibility before determining the suitability and robustness of such a smart digital tower for a busy airport like Changi Airport," said the local industry regulator.It noted that other development efforts on digital tower operations had been focused on airports with low to moderate air traffic volume.
  • Voted best airport this year by Skytrax, Singapore's Changi Airport currently serves more than 100 airlines flying to some 380 cities in some 90 countries and territories.

Airbnb Wrote A Letter To Marriott, Claiming Hotel Fleeces Taxpayers

Airbnb wrote a letter to Marriott, claiming hotel fleeces taxpayers CNBC - 3 hours ago
  • On Monday, Airbnb's head of public policy Josh Meltzer sent a letter to Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson, asking him to explain to Americans "your industry's habit of taking billions of dollars from taxpayers to subsidize the construction and operation of your hotels."
  • The letter, a copy of which CNBC obtained, follows a Fortune interview with Sorenson last week.
  • "I don't know that I see that they're more willing to concede," Sorenson answered.

As Launch Dates Approach, Here’s What We Can And Can’t Expect From Samsung’s Upcoming Smartphones

As launch dates approach, here’s what we can and can’t expect from Samsung’s upcoming smartphonesCollen Kriel / SiliconANGLE - 3 hours ago
  • LetsGoDigital reported Monday that the latest clue to an upcoming launch date comes from Samsung itself who has added a support page for the Galaxy X on its South Korean site.
  • While no specifications are given for the Galaxy X on the support page, the holding page is a strong indicator that the launch is weeks, rather than months, away.
  • While Samsung may be ahead of its competitors in this niche market, it isn’t the only tech giant to set its sights on the foldable smartphone market, with reports emerging that Apple Inc., LG Corp., Oppo Electronics Corp.
  • A launch date for the Galaxy X is still unknown at this stage, but the company will not want it to conflict with the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S9 launch, expected to take place ahead of Mobile World Congress on Feb.

Apple Plans To Make IPhones And MacBooks From Recycled Materials

Apple plans to make iPhones and MacBooks from recycled materialsChris Smith / BGR - 3 hours ago
  • Apple wants its products to be as eco-friendly as possible and keeps working on improving its environmental policies.
  • The company reaffirmed its commitment to running an eco-friendly business in a recent interview, saying that it plans to manufacture its popular products like the iPhone and MacBook from recycled materials and new materials like bioplastics.
  • “What we’ve committed to is 100 percent recycled material to make our products, or renewable material,” Apple’s vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives Lisa Jackson told news.com.au in an interview..
  • “As far as I know, we’re the only company in the sector trying to figure that out.

Honda Will Use Facebook To Alert Customers About Takata Recall

Honda will use Facebook to alert customers about Takata recallBrittany A. Roston / SlashGear - 3 hours ago
  • Honda will start using Facebook to alert its customers about the deadly Takata air bag recall, which continues to affect many drivers throughout the US.
  • The Takata air bag recall has been a major one; unfortunately, it has resulted in at least 18 deaths and more than a hundred injuries.
  • According to Reuters, Honda will find Facebook users who have a vehicle with the recalled air bags using its list of encrypted email addresses.
  • The Takata air bag issue has been ongoing for years at this point, and there’s no signs of that slowing down.

Japanese Pawn Shop App Cash Acquired For $62.2M By DMM

Japanese pawn shop app Cash acquired for $62.2M by DMMCatherine Shu / TechCrunch - 4 hours ago
  • DMM, one of Japan’s largest Internet and e-commerce conglomerates, announced today that it will pay 7 billion yen (about $62.2 million) for pawn shop app Cash.
  • Cash was developed by Bank, a startup launched by serial entrepreneur Yusuke Mitsuomoto earlier this year.
  • Bank has just six employees and the startup was apparently overwhelmed when Cash first launched on June 28.
  • In a statement, Bank said the acquisition of Cash by DMM means the app now has access to financial resources and talent to support its growth and expansion into new markets.

OnePlus 5 Will Soon Be Discontinued

OnePlus 5 will soon be discontinuedJC Torres / SlashGear - 4 hours ago
  • It could, however, affect future sales of the first model it would launch in the year.
  • Unlike the case with OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T, there are more differences between the OnePlus 5 and OnePlus 5T, many of them subtle.
  • The cameras have been mixed up a bit, though it remains to be seen whether the changes are for the better.

DreamQuark Beefs Up Financial Services Through Artificial Intelligence

DreamQuark beefs up financial services through artificial intelligenceRomain Dillet / TechCrunch - 4 hours ago
  • Meet DreamQuark, a French startup that wants to help banks, insurance companies and asset management firms with all of their artificial intelligence needs.
  • Many banks still rely on COBOL code to compute all sorts of financial operations.
  • DreamQuark has been working on a product called Brain so that financial companies can make smarter decisions.