In September 2018, the European Parliament approved new copyright legislation that could change the way the internet works forever. One aspect of the new directive would force websites to pay for snippets they use from an external source, and Google is wisely already testing a stripped-down version of its news search results in anticipation of the law change. Read More
Facebook announced yesterday that it's going to be making policy changes for users around the world based on the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Although GDPR doesn't take effect until May 25, Facebook says it's rolling out the changes in Europe this week, with other regions following later. Read More
In February this year, it was announced that new EU legislation would abolish roaming charges. Citizens of EU member states, as with anywhere else, have always had to pay exorbitant fees to use their mobiles abroad. Each country has certain networks that offer better roaming deals, but on average the costs have been immense. Thankfully, that all stops today, as the new 'Roam like at Home' law comes into effect. Read More
Two bills recently passed in the states of New York and California that aim to weaken smartphone security in order to combat crime. The laws would prevent the sale of smartphones with full-disk encryption that could not be unlocked by the manufacturer (at the request of law enforcement). In response, Rep. Ted Lieu of California, a Democrat, and Rep. Blake Farenthold of Texas, a Republican, have proposed a bill, the Ensuring National Constitutional Rights for Your Private Telecommunications (ENCRYPT) Act of 2016, that would block state-level attempts to ban encryption on smartphones sold in the US.
The bipartisan bill addresses multiple issues. 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
4G. The acronym is probably the most abused term in tech industry since "HD." And if you spend as much time reading up on mobile phone news as us (we hope you don't, that's what we're for!), you probably have come to the same conclusion: it's almost without meaning, constantly misrepresented, and defined on a completely subjective basis. We don't like any of this.
Neither do some of the members of congress, apparently. Today, a bill was introduced in the U.S. Senate that would require carriers to disclose the following information to consumers about their supposed "4G" services:
- 4G Minimum data speed
- 4G Network reliability
- 4G Coverage area maps
- 4G Pricing
- 4G Network tech used
- Conditions which may affect network speed
It's kind of a lot. Read More