Net neutrality is a hot button topic in many of our circles since it affects each of us who use the internet in the U.S. It carries such significance with a lot of voters that several politicians have made it part of their platforms since the original FCC rules were repealed. Yesterday, however, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that the Democrats will introduce a bill this week that aims to bring back net neutrality. Read More
Huawei and ZTE, two multi-national telecommunications companies based in China, are under fire by the United States and other governments over the companies' ties to the Chinese government. ZTE nearly shut down last year over an import ban, and now it and Huawei may be prevented from selling telecommunications equipment to the United States. Read More
Congress is set to vote on a bill that would prevent any government agency from requiring device manufacturers and software developers to implement backdoors in the encryption models for their products. Dubbed the Secure Data Act, this bipartisan initiative is a surprisingly good step toward keeping our data secure from unauthorized government access. Read More
...and he's totally down with it.
So, technically using software to unlock digital carrier blocks on your phone in the US is a violation of everyone's favorite draconian copyright legislation, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Unlocking your phone yourself could be seen as breaking a "technical measure," akin to cracking a DRM package (which, in most cases, is illegal). The Library of Congress can grant specific exemptions, like it already does for rooting and jailbreaking, but the latest one in 2012 was passed over without renewal. A bill to re-instate legal unlocking by consumers passed the Senate earlier this month, and now the House of Representatives has also passed the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act. Read More
The devices you buy from US mobile carriers are almost always locked to a single network, and unlocking them has been a legal gray area for the last few years. Now Congress is finally taking action to remedy that. The Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act has been passed by the Senate, matching a House bill passed in February. As you can imagine, consumer rights groups are pretty jazzed.
The legality of certain phone modifications in the United States, particularly those that allow phones to be used on wireless carriers for which they weren't originally intended, is currently on a congressional see-saw. Every three years, the Librarian of Congress has to approve or extend an exemption of the infamous Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to allow or deny consumers the right to unlock (read: carrier unlock, and in some cases rooting/jailbreaking, but not unlocking bootloaders) their phones by circumventing digital rights management. Congress let the exemption slide earlier this year - read the gory details here. Now a new bill has been entered that, if passed, would grant a permanent exemption to the DMCA for carrier unlocking, among other things. Read More
In October of 2012, the Library of Congress elected not to renew DMCA exemptions that explicitly allow end users to unlock their cell phones at will, thus ending a six year tradition. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move. The quest to do something about it began almost immediately. And by "almost immediately" I mean "nearly three months later and at almost the very last minute."
Still, regardless of when the outrage gained steam, the fact is it did. Quite a bit of steam, in fact. Despite the White House raising the bar for online petitions to 100,000 signatures (after the previous bar of 25,000 resulted in an entertaining, if frivolous response about why the President won't build a Death Star), you did it! Read More
Yesterday, HTC dropped a teaser on their Facebook page: a vector outline of a phone with an HTC logo and a big "5" in the center and a caption of "This Sunday you'll discover something fast." With 5 days to go until MWC began, we took a few stabs at what it could mean. Today, the company has followed up with a "4" teaser image on their Facebook, with the caption of "This Sunday, you'll hear something authentic."
I'm going to go out on a limb here and do some speculation, so take everything with a major grain of salt. Read More
Shortly after CES ended, we heard word of a new phone from LG that would be the first to sport NVIDIA's impressive new quad-core CPU, the Tegra 3. Other specs were rumored to include a 4.7" 1280x720 display, 16GB on-board storage (plus a microSD slot), a 2000mAh battery (!), an 8MP camera in the rear, and a 1.2MP front-facer.
Now, the extremely reliable Paul O'Brien of Modaco has word from a source that those specs are correct - the sole exception is that the front-facing camera is 1.3MP (not 1.2). The build used in the shots sent to him runs Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0.3) and the latest kernel from NVIDIA, and suggests little UI customization by LG. Read More