Internet

Smartphones are sole source of Internet for 7% of Americans

Smartphones are sole source of Internet for 7% of Americans

Though data caps can still be an issue for many, mobile Internet speeds are on the upswing and tethering options abound...even among many prepaid smartphone plans. Most people have a home Internet connection that meets most of their needs, however, leaving the smartphone as a supplement to be used while away from home. For 7-percent of Americans, however, that's not the case, with them relying entirely on their smartphone as their primary/only Internet connection. Not surprisingly, specific groups tend to rely primarily on their phones for Internet access, including young people.

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Google turns to GIFs (oh, and facts) to slam FTC snark

Google turns to GIFs (oh, and facts) to slam FTC snark

Weaponized GIFs are apparently the new way to make serious points more flippant online, with Google smacking back at News Corp. criticism that the search giant had made a habit of hanging around the White House. Google had been accused of chasing undue political influence, with the News Corp. owned Wall Street Journal suggesting it was sneaky maneuvering that saw Google escape FTC censure over activities contrary to the public interest. Key to the accusations was a count of the number of times Google had visited senior officials since President Obama took office.

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Facebook’s huge solar drone takes the web to the skies

Facebook’s huge solar drone takes the web to the skies

Facebook's internet-spreading drone has successfully completed its first test flight, paving the way to connecting the 3bn people currently without connectivity. The milestone is the handiwork of the Facebook Connectivity Lab, a team set up within the company by CEO Mark Zuckerberg, examining ways to bypass expensive and laborious wireline connections and instead take to the skies to beam the internet down from high altitude. And, while the test vehicle may look small, in actual fact Facebook's achievement is big both in the scale of its ambition and its construction.

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FTC hits back; Google investigation integrity questioned again

FTC hits back; Google investigation integrity questioned again

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is coming out against statements made last week by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), as well as new claims that Google had used its political ties to the Obama administration to obtain a favorable outcome in the FTC investigation into alleged anti-trust and unfair internet search practices. The FTC states that such claims are unfounded and undermine the integrity of its investigation, while the WSJ is giving weight to the idea that anti-trust investigation might not have had much integrity on the FTC's part at all.

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Google Fiber hits SLC, ‘extremely unlikely’ for Portland right now

Google Fiber hits SLC, ‘extremely unlikely’ for Portland right now

Last year, Google announced several potential sites for Fiber, their Gigabit Internet service. Today, Google announces Salt Lake City is the latest to receive Fiber’s ultra-quick Internet, joining Atlanta, Charlotte, Nashville, and Raleigh-Durham in the recent surge of Fiberhoods. Though Google isn’t saying when buildout will begin for SLC, they’ve been busy talking about Fiber elsewhere, namely Portland. With other cities playing ball, Oregon legislators may have just passed a bill that shoots the city’s Fiber efforts square in the foot.

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Facebook wants to host the news, not just share it

Facebook wants to host the news, not just share it

Facebook may be a major source of eyeballs for online news, but the social site is reportedly hoping to not only direct readers to stories but host those articles too, as it tries to keep surfers on its site and happy. Mark Zuckerberg & Co. are said to be in negotiations with a number of high-profile publishers, including BuzzFeed and National Geographic, to host content on Facebook's own servers rather than direct shared links externally. The strategy would help cut loading times, which are said to be a key concern at Facebook as it tries to ensure its users stick around, particularly on mobile devices.

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First lawsuits against FCC’s net neutrality are filed

First lawsuits against FCC’s net neutrality are filed

The FCC just announced its ruling on net neutrality last month, and lawsuits are hitting the agency right off the bat. The FCC declared that the Internet is a utility, which allows the government to regulate it. As such, the FCC created net neutrality rules which treat all web traffic equally. Well, no one likes being told what to do, especially by the government. The telecom industry is up in arms over the FCC's net neutrality ruling, and now the lawsuits are beginning to trickle in. These lawsuits are part of an industry-wide effort to overturn what private companies believe are the FCC's unlawful regulations.

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Twitter quietly introduces abusive language filter

Twitter quietly introduces abusive language filter

Twitter has been busy trying to stem the flood of abusive users and trolls, the latter of which it has been given a lot of grief over in recent times. Among its different efforts is a new one the social network has rolled out without much fanfare: a filtering tool that allows verified users in particular to filter out tweets containing abusive language. Verified users have been reporting seeing it roll out, and it appears that it is only available for the iOS mobile app at this time, though it'll likely be appearing elsewhere in the future.

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Facebook user’s fake suicide threat lands him in psych ward

Facebook user’s fake suicide threat lands him in psych ward

In our modern world, people often take their woes online, leaving hints about private troubles or outright threatening suicide as a last-ditch cry for help. Facebook, being the most popular of social networks, is one of the places a person is likely to turn, and so it isn't surprising the company has implemented so-called suicide prevention tools. Those tools were recently updated, and one user -- making a fake threat -- has ended up demonstrating how well it works.

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HBO, Showtime, and Sony want an Internet fast lane for TV streaming

HBO, Showtime, and Sony want an Internet fast lane for TV streaming

In the wake of the FCC's Net Neutrality vote, all web content is created equal. However, nothing is every black and white, and there is a new gray area when it comes to managed services. HBO, Showtime, and Sony Corp. are pushing for their streaming content to be treated separately and have talked to Comcast Corp. about being included in their separate data lane for "managed services."

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