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FTC head speaks out against proposed FCC Title II regulation of ISPs

09/30, 12:56pm

Dueling regulatory boards fight over future of ISP regulation

Allegedly concerned about protecting the American consumer, US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) head Maureen Ohlhausen has come out as strongly against Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler's net neutrality provision, specifically, the possibility of Title II regulation of ISPs. The comment against the possibility of regulating Internet providers as a utility is the FTC's second in September.

Alcatel bundles smaller Bluetooth phone with Pop Mega phablet

09/30, 12:42pm

Smaller Buddy accessory for Pop Mega offers phone functions in smaller device

Alcatel is attempting to make the large-screen phablet useful to those wanting a smaller device, by bundling it with a secondary phone device. One of two new devices, the Pop Mega is a phablet with a six-inch display which Alcatel has paired with a small "Buddy" candybar-style accessory, capable of making and receiving calls without needing physical access to the main device.

Quanta to begin Apple Watch production in January 2015, report says

09/30, 12:25pm

May put Watch shipments in February

Taiwan's Quanta Computer will only start mass production of the Apple Watch in January 2015, according to a supply chain rumor from Apple Daily. Apple has only officially stated that the Watch will ship in early 2015. If production does begin in January, that will likely place shipments in February.

New York regulators seek concessions for Time Warner/Comcast merger

09/30, 11:30am

Improvement in customer service, expansion of low-cost broadband demanded

Several states are having regulatory discussions in governmental circles about the Comcast and Time Warner Cable merger. Two New York state agencies, the Division of Consumer Protection Utility Intervention Unit (UIU) and the Department of Public Service are taking serious issue with the merger and are demanding concessions. As a result, the UIU's vote on its discussion has been postponed from October 2 until November 13, over "deficiencies associated with the Companies' current substandard customer service" and other issues that is sees as being generated or acerbated by a combined company.

Briefly: Mozilla's new streaming dongle, TiVo adds Android streaming

09/30, 11:03am

Mozilla announces launch of Matchstick streaming Internet and media dongle

Creator of the open-source Firefox OS Mozilla has announced the launch of its own Internet and media streaming dongle device, named Matchstick. A competitor to Google's Chromecast, the dongle runs Firefox OS, and allows users to view content - via a WiFi connection - from their smartphone, tablet, or laptop to stream to a big screen TV. TV apps will be available for download through the Matchstick App Store, and both the hardware and software for Matchstick are open-source, providing ready potential for other uses for the dongle to appear. Matchstick has been launched as a Kickstarter campaign, with backers pledging for the Early Bird option receiving one Matchstick dongle for $12. Retail pricing is anticipated to be $25.

Belkin revamps Express Dock; adds Thunderbolt 2, 4k support

09/30, 10:58am

Revised dock has eight ports, pass-through Thunderbolt 2 port

Accessory manufacturer Belkin today introduced the Thunderbolt 2 Express Dock HD with cable, a cross-platform docking solution designed for both OS X and Windows-based computers. Equipped with two Thunderbolt 2 ports, the new dock allows users to take full advantage of Thunderbolt 2 technology's high-speed 20Gbps bandwidth, and provides reliable transfers between laptops and up to eight other devices connected through the dock using one single Thunderbolt cable.

PayPal, eBay splitting into two separate public companies in 2015

09/30, 10:38am

Splitting of eBay, PayPal expected to be beneficial to each business

Auction site eBay and payment service PayPal are splitting apart into two separate companies. A plan has been approved by the eBay board of directors to separate the two into independent publicly traded companies by next year, subject to regulatory approval, with each company set to be presided over by two new chief executives.

Decade-old Apple versus Real will see trial, possibly in November

09/30, 9:43am

Judge rules 'battle between the economists' needs a jury

The new judge on the Apple versus Real anti-trust case has declared that there is enough evidence to go to trial, after nine years of litigation and a judge's retirement during the process. Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers has ordered a trial after an earlier pre-trial conference, finding that Real attorneys have presented enough evidence to show that Apple created a monopoly with its FairPlay DRM, which then allowed the Cupertino manufacturer to overcharge customers.

EU accuses Ireland of giving Apple illegal state aid

09/30, 9:35am

Apple denies 'selective treatment'

As expected, the European Commission has issued a preliminary finding in which it suggests that Apple is receiving illegal state aid from the Irish government. "In the light of the foregoing considerations, the Commission's preliminary view is that the tax ruling of 1990 (effectively agreed in 1991) and of 2007 in favour of the Apple group constitute State aid according to Article 107(1) TFEU [Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union]," the document says. "The Commission has doubts about the compatibility of such State aid with the internal market. The Commission has therefore decided to initiate the procedure laid down in Article 108(2) TFEU with respect to the measures in question."

HP shows Stream line of full Windows laptops, tablets

09/30, 8:34am

New entry-level line features 32GB local storage, 1TB online

HP yesterday expanded the HP Stream line-up of thin and light Windows products with the addition of two new notebook PCs and two new tablets. Now released are two models of the entry-level HP Stream laptop, and two sizes of the new full Windows 8.1 HP Stream tablet with quad-core Atom processor.

Basis Peak fitness tracker launches with touchscreen controls

09/30, 7:59am

Heart rate tracker of Basis B1 upgraded in Peak fitness tracker

Basis, producers of the B1 fitness tracker, has unveiled its first wearable device since its acquisition by Intel. The Peak is a fitness and sleep tracker which builds upon its predecessor by replacing the collection of buttons and display with a larger touch-enabled screen, as well as upgrading the rear-mounted heart rate tracker to the point where Basis suggests it could replace a chest-strap monitor completely.

Project Ara head claims modular smartphone parts 'hot swappable'

09/30, 6:38am

Modules from Project Ara will be switchable while smartphone is in use

Google's modular smartphone project will allow users to replace individual modules from the mobile device while it is still running. The majority of Project Ara modules will be hot swappable, with exception to the processor and display, so users will not be required to shut down the device before making any changes to the hardware.

Briefly: Cortana adds musical notifications, Chromecast Hulu Plus

09/30, 5:26am

Cortana issues public transport notifications, local concert suggestions

Cortana, Microsoft's virtual assistant for Windows Phone 8.1, has been updated with two event-related changes. WMPU reports the service will now show notifications for when a user's favorite music acts are performing nearby under "Concert Watch," while WP Central notes users in the US and UK can now benefit from public transport notifications, including delays, outages, and advising of the best time to head to an appointment or event.

Update: iPhone 6, 6 Plus approved in China, debuts October 17 [u]

09/30, 12:34am

Holdup revealed to be privacy concerns by regulators, October 10 still rumored debut

[Update: Apple official announcement reveals China debut of iPhone 6, 6 Plus on October 17] The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus have now finally been cleared by the country's regulatory agency for sale in China, and will formally debut on October 17, Apple says. According to Bloomberg, the holdup was apparently over some privacy concerns brought up by Chinese authorities. The company agreed to make some changes, which may or may not be included in the forthcoming iOS 8.1 beta, and received the clearance to use Chinese LTE and 3G networks.

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