OEM apps are pretty hit and miss – with emphasis on the miss – and web browsers often seem like a wasted effort given the competition out there, not least from Google's own Chrome browser. Samsung Internet succeeds where many others fail, however, and offers a compelling experience whether you own a Samsung device or not. It's fast and stable, and the devs have been on a roll adding useful new features since it was launched. Read More
Net neutrality was codified under the FCC's Title II regulatory authority nearly three years ago, regulations that covered both wired and wireless internet providers. The providers were none too happy about this - Verizon's morse code sass being the most memorable response.
Today, the FCC voted to end its authority over ISPs under Title II, putting an end to those net neutrality protections. Ajit Pai, chairman of the FCC, is largely credited with making this happen. This is all, to put it succinctly, very bad.
Today, you'll probably hear a lot about how your favorite websites will slow down, be blocked, or only be available as part of special paid packages. Read More
If you have an Android phone made by Samsung, there's a good chance you use the company's own web browser. Unlike many bundled browsers, Samsung Internet is built using the Chromium open source project, so it's pretty close in functionality to Google's Chrome, but better integrated with Samsung's wider ecosystem of apps. The developers of Samsung's browser are pretty quick to add new features, and the latest of these is a feature to help when filling out a form.
'Smart Go Next' is a relatively simple change, but one that could be very useful and save a lot of frustration. Read More
Some people use the anonymity afforded by the internet to be jerks. Meanwhile, other people share too much personal information or get taken in by fake news. Google is looking to help the next generation be better at using the internet than we are, and it's doing it with the "Be Internet Awesome" campaign. It's a program that includes resources for parents and educators, and some games for kids. Well, they're educational games, but that still counts. Read More
Changing your network settings, especially on a per-device basis, isn't easily possible unless you have a newer router - like the Google Wifi. For Xfinity customers using one of the standard Wireless Gateways, you could change basic settings from the Xfinity Account app, but not much else. Now Comcast has released a new app, xFi, that gives customers far greater control over their home network. Read More
Experienced internet explorers will know about The Onion Router Project, and some of you may have even used it at one point (guilty). Regardless of your thoughts on it, Tor has always tried to stand for internet freedom. The organization frowns upon censorship and throttling, which is why it has released ooniprobe to help raise awareness for the issue. Read More
Google's initiative to put privacy and security back into the hands of users through a revised permission system has received generally positive responses. It's no secret that this approach closely matches the way iOS prompts users for access to things like the contacts or location. Aside from the possibility that permission requests could become annoying with too much frequency, this has proven to be a pretty effective approach. However, since the announcement, one sticking point seems to have emerged around access to the Internet. As it turns out, users will never be asked to grant access to the outside world, and it's not even possible to revoke it, even if they wanted to. Read More
The rumors of Google buying a stake in SpaceX started percolating a few days ago, and now it's official. Google and Fidelity have invested a total of $1 billion in the private space firm, which gives them about 10% share. SpaceX says the new funding will go toward the development of reusable rocket technology and satellite manufacturing.
There have been rumblings recently that, adding to its other (perhaps more far-flung) efforts to improve Internet access around the world, Google would eventually deploy its own fleet of satellites. Today, those rumblings got a little bit closer to reality as Google announced its agreement to acquire satellite imaging company Skybox for $500 million in cash.
Skybox's journey so far, according to the announcement on its own blog, has been about revolutionizing "access to information about the changes happening across the surface of the Earth." Having already deployed the world's smallest high-resolution imaging satellite, the company says it's already made "great strides." Read More
Google Fiber coming to your city, with its promise of gigabit Internet speeds up to 100 times faster than what most of us currently put up with, is about as awesome as winning the lottery often enough to buy Time Warner Cable yourself and using all of the company's resources to funnel a connection to your house and yours only. Thus far the service has only appeared in a few parts of the country, namely Kansas City, Austin, and Provo. Today Google has announced that Fiber may be heading to 34 additional cities spread across nine metropolitan areas.
Everyone, be jealous of people in:
- Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe
- San Jose, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Palo Alto
- Atlanta, Avondale Estates, Brookhaven, College Park, Decatur, East Point, Hapeville, Sandy Springs, Smyrna
- Charlotte, Carrboro, Cary, Chapel Hill, Durham, Garner, Morrisville, Raleigh
- Portland, Beaverton, Hillsboro, Gresham, Lake Oswego, Tigard
- San Antonio
- Salt Lake City
I say may because none of this is set in stone. Read More