Independent tester finds that Verizon beats out all other carriers for first half of 2014
A new study of wireless carriers for the first half emerged today, putting Verizon at the top of the pile in five categories, marking it as the best overall carrier in the United States. Market research firm RootMetrics announced its findings, showing that Verizon was the best carrier in reliability, speed, data performance and call performance.
Organization believes that auction violates Spectrum Act, abuses discretion under APA Act
The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) filed a petition with the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, seeking a review of the Federal Communications Commissions (FCC) 2015 spectrum auction. In the filing, the NAB states that the FCC isn't taking the proper precautions to protect broadcasters that choose to retain their spectrum. According to the NAB, an updated methodology the FCC is using will result in a loss of coverage area for remaining broadcasters.
US Digital Service created to avoid issues similar to Healthcare.gov launch
The Obama administration has launched a new team dedicated to managing the IT practices of government agencies. The US Digital Service (USDS), headed by former Google engineer Mikey Dickerson, aims to help government-created public IT projects work as effectively as privately-owned services, in order to avoid issues similar to the ill-fated Healthcare.gov launch, a project Dickerson helped rescue.
NTIA may be called to create voluntary best practices for commercial drones
President Barack Obama may issue privacy guidelines for commercial drones in the United States, claims a report. Plans to issue an executive order allegedly involve the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) working with consumer groups, and companies planning to operate drones in the future, to create "voluntary best practices" for the unmanned aircraft.
Worldwide shipments up 0.1 percent over second quarter 2013, US shipments up 7.4 percent
Following up on the projections it says that PC shipments worldwide witnessed flat growth during the second quarter of 2014. Total PC shipments, which includes desktops, notebooks and premium ultra-mobiles, peaked at 75.7 million units, with the United States taking up 15.9 million of the total.
Proposal would extend US Privacy Act rights to EU citizens
European citizens could receive some of the same rights to privacy as Americans in the future, if new proposals are adopted. US Attorney General Eric Holder advised to European leaders in Athens, Greece on Wednesday that the Obama administration is working on legislation that would provide EU residents similar protections under the US Privacy Act as US citizens already have.
Discounts of $100, $200 on Surface Pro 2 through Microsoft Store
Microsoft has cut the price of the Surface Pro 2 tablet in the United States, before the latest incarnation of the device, the Surface Pro 3, starts shipping. Echoing a similar discounting scheme in the United Kingdom, the lower cost of previous-generation Surface Pro tablets comes at the same time as news that there could be some delays in Surface Pro 3 shipments.
Report shows streaming performance of YouTube videos over 30-day period
Google is expanding the coverage of its Video Quality Report to all Internet service providers in the United States. Originally launched in Canada in January, the service monitors the quality of connections between YouTube servers and the end user, with ratings provided for each ISP in an attempt to pressure telecommunication companies to improve their services.
Signers of three letters to FCC receive 1.2 to 5 times more lobbyist money from telecoms
Members of the United States House of Representatives responsible for sending letters to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) over net neutrality concerns have received more than double the average campaign contributions from telecommunication companies over a two-year window. The contributions, tracked by Maplight, shows the funds that the politicians of both parties have received via political action committees and employees of organizations.
Demands placement of GLONASS ground stations on US soil
Russia is threatening to shut down American-run GPS stations in the country, in retaliation to the refusal by the United States to allow similar sites to operate in its territory for the competing GLONASS system. The threat comes at the same time as another against NASA's use of the International Space Station, in retaliation to US sanctions.
Smart chip cards as found in Europe making way to customers in next 18 months
Credit cards in the United States will begin transitioning away from the aging technology of magnetic swipe strips in the next 18 months. Future cards will have embedded smart chips containing card data as well as a magnetic strip, much like the cards that are used in Europe and Canada. The system currently in place, that relies wholly on magnetic strips, is still used in Mongolia, parts of the Middle East, and Papua New Guinea.
NTIA starts process to end DNS management, American monitoring in 2015
The United States government has asked the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to begin drafting a proposal to transition the National Telecommunications and Information Administration's (NTIA) responsibility of domain name system (DNS) administration away from the United States. Stepping away from governance of ICANN would mark the final phase of DNS privatization that had been set in motion in 1998, allowing ICANN to operate independently.
Nokia rolls out Refocus app to all Lumia devices running Windows Phone 8
Nokia is making its Lytro-style Refocus app available to all Windows Phone 8 Lumia devices, as a free download via the Windows Phone Store. The app, which was initially released for Lumias with PureView, allows users to adjust the focal point of an image, after the photograph has been taken, with the resulting image shareable on social networks and stored on OneDrive.
Lower Simple Choice plans gain more data, new higher tier offered
T-Mobile in the United States has updated its Simple Choice price plans with a few changes. The amount of data available to customers on the carrier has both risen and fallen, depending on the tier of service, with all plans also gaining enhanced global data and text services in more countries, and the extra introduction of unlimited stateside international text messaging.
Majority of Galaxy S devices will get Android 4.4 update
Samsung has confirmed it will be bringing Android 4.4.2 to a large number of its mobile devices in the United States. The upgrade to Android KitKat, rumored last month, will apparently start rolling out to devices from today onwards, and while the timing will vary between carriers and individual devices, it will continue "throughout the coming months."
Support scheme provides display repair, Google Drive storage
HTC is upgrading the level of support it provides customers in the United States, in its new HTC Advantage program. The improvements, teased on Valentine's day, include a commitment to offering the major Android updates for two years from the launch date of the device, as well as a free replacement display in the event the customer cracks the screen in the first six months of ownership.
Price cut an attempt to grow OLED television market, claims LG
LG has lowered the cost of its curved OLED television in the United States, in an attempt to improve demand for OLED devices. The 55EA9800, a curved OLED Full HD television that went on sale in the US through Best Buy in July last year, is being cut down in price from the initial $15,000 down to $8,000, with an extra $1,000 rebate bringing the price down to $7,000.
Kobo to serve as e-book option for customers
In addition to getting out of the personal computing business and spinning off their television division, Sony will start dropping out the e-book business as well. In a press release from the company, Sony will be teaming up with Kobo in the United States and Canada in late March 2014, closing its Reader Store in the process.
Agrees to measures requiring court approval for NSA metadata searches
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has given its approval to changes President Barack Obama has requested as part of a surveillance reforms speech last month. Two measures in the reforms have been accepted by the court, which will affect the way the National Security Agency (NSA) searches its phone records database in the future.
NSA,GCHQ allegedly claimed to collect information on individuals from mobile advertising
Intelligence agencies in the United States and the United Kingdom are allegedly taking advantage of smartphone apps to collect a wealth of information about individuals, in new spying allegations. The National Security Agency (NSA) and the UK's Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) are able to use the "leaky" nature of popular mobile phone apps to extract information about an individual, according to new leaked documents.
1,400 US patents and applications bought by Qualcomm
Processor producer Qualcomm has acquired a considerable haul of patents from HP, including some originally from the portfolios of iPAQ, Bitfone, and Palm. Though the sale price was not revealed by the company in a statement, it did reveal that the purchase includes approximately 1,400 granted patents and pending applications from the United States, and another 1,000 from other countries.
Collection programs such as Prism is illegal according to review board
An independent federal watchdog has decided that the National Security Agency's (NSA) phone call logging and collection activity is illegal. The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board advises that the call log collection provided "minimal" benefits to current counter-terrorism operations and should be stopped, in a 238-page report set to be released today.
Collected data to be handed to third party, judicial findings required for access
The United States government will reform the way it uses surveillance data, President Barack Obama has announced. Addressing concerns over the National Security Agency (NSA) and the various programs employed to monitor potential threats, Obama outlined a number of changes in how the data will be accessed by security agencies as he attempts to ease the concerns of US citizens.
Price cut follows earlier discounts, Moto X flash sales
Motorola is making a bigger push for sales of its flagship Moto X in the United States, by giving it a permanent price cut. The change, coming after a number of similar discounts on the smartphone, comes at the same time as reports that its cheaper stablemate, the Moto G, is being sold at Best Buy for $100 on Verizon with no contract.
Unlocked device has quad-core 1.5GHz processor, 2GB RAM
Blu Products has launched another Android smartphone, just days after launching two other similar mobile devices in the United States. The Life Pure differs from the Studio 5.0 II and the Advance 4.0 in offering a five-inch Full HD 1080p display with a pixel density of 441 PPI, held within a single piece polycarbonate body that measures just 7.7mm thick.
Adverse weather conditions slows production, shipping of smartphones
Deliveries of the Moto G and Moto X to customers in the United States have been delayed, because of adverse weather conditions. The manufacturing and shipping facility in Fort Worth, Texas was affected by "Winter Storm Dion," with the snow causing significant transportation issues for finished goods as well as for Motorola employees.
Discounted iTunes codes wipe out PayPal gifts launch supplies
PayPal has launched an online gift store, with Apple as its only launch partner, in preparation for holiday season shopping. The PayPal Digital Gifts store, coming a week after the service provided support for prepaid credit cards, will allow existing PayPal users in the United States to buy gifts and gift cards to provide to other people.
Persistent security claims by US officials behind market exit
Huawei is planning to pull out of the United States, according to an interview with CEO Ren Zhengfei. The head of the company is effectively giving up on the US market, following two years of criticism and intense scrutiny by the US government, along with accusations that the telecommunications company is helping the Chinese government spy on US citizens and businesses.
French music streaming service avoided US because of intense competition
Paris-based Deezer will finally offer its music-streaming service in the United States. The service, which has launched in a number of other countries including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and across Europe, will be available to use in the US sometime next year, though the company is reluctant to provide a final launch date until it can find another company to provide extra support.
Proposal comes after FAA, EASA allows device use in flights
Passengers on flights in the United States may be allowed to use the cellular connection on their smartphones and tablets while traveling in the future. New proposals from the FCC come weeks after the FAA and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) allowed device use at all stages of flight, and after the European Commission (EC) permitted 3G and 4G LTE connections during transit.
Winter pop-up stores will showcase Google-based products
Google has opened up a total of six pop-up shops across the United States, which it calls the "Winter Wonderlab." The temporary stores are meant to promote Google's own devices, as well as those heavily associated with the company, with the centerpiece being large snow globes that can record slow-motion video of attendees surrounded by digital snow.
Sony PlayStation 4 lands in US, Europe to wait until November 29
Sony has launched the latest model in its line of game consoles in the United States. The PlayStation 4, on sale now before a later release on November 29 in Europe, is being priced by retailers at $400 for the console alone with a single touchpad-equipped DualShock 4 controller, though unlike the Xbox One and the Kinect, the Playstation 4 Eye is an optional purchase costing $60 on top.
Bundle includes console, Wii Remote Plus, Nunchuk, Mario Kart Wii
Nintendo is bringing the Wii Mini to the United States, a year after it first went on sale in Canada, and after a European release. Effectively a stripped-down version of the Wii, the Wii Mini will be going on sale later this month for $100, making it the second re-modelled console the company is launching in the US, after the Nintendo 2DS.
North America to continue Nintendo Wii sales over holiday season
North America is the last major market to still receive shipments of the Nintendo Wii, after an announcement concerning European availability. Shipments of the game console to retailers in Europe have now ceased, following a similar announcement covering Japan earlier this week, but shipments of the motion-sensitive console to the United States will not be affected in any way.
LG releasing G Pad 8.3 in United States on November 3rd
LG has put its G Pad 8.3 Android tablet heading to the United States, following its release in the United Kingdom and South Korea. The tablet, with an 8.3-inch 1920x1200 display, 1.7GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, and a 4,600mAh battery, will go on sale from November 3rd priced at $350.
Entire payment transaction carried out over e-mail after registration
Payments system Square has opened up its e-mail-based money transfer service to users in the United States, added on top of its existing in-store and mobile paymentsservices . At the same time as widening availability of Square Cash after starting its beta in May, the company is releasing a pair of apps for iOS and Android that performs the same type of transaction as the e-mail version.
Marketing efforts also a factor in Sony's change of priorities
Sony could be relaxing its push to release smartphones in the United States, in order to protect its sales in Japan and Europe. CEO Kaz Hirai advised that, in terms of smartphone sales, Sony's "biggest priority is maintaining our share in Japan or increasing it," as it attempts to fight off the rising popularity of the iPhone in its home country.
Free service offers 200 minutes, 500MB, 500 texts each month
Mobile data provider FreedomPop has launched its free cellular service for smartphones, one it revealed in July. The service, which provides a free allocation of data, voice minutes and text messages each month, similar to its existing free Internet hotspot service, with the carrier using Clearwire's WiMax 4G phone network for coverage.
Curved OLED HDTV also sees price cut by LG in United States
LG is preparing to step up its Ultra HD television efforts in the United States, by planning to ship a pair of 4K-capable televisions. Already announced for release in South Korea, the two UHDTVs will be reaching the US later this month, alongside price cuts on existing UHD offerings, as well as its on-sale curved 55-inch OLED HDTV.
Wi-Fi models sold at first, 3G, 4G LTE versions in the future
Samsung has revealed it will be shipping the 2014 edition of its Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet in the United States next month. The updated large-screened tablet will be available to pre-order from midnight EST on September 27th, ahead of its October 10th shipping date, and though it will be available in 3G and 4G LTE versions in the future, only the Wi-Fi models will be going on sale at first.
US, Europe release of PS Vita TV could happen, states Sony senior vice president
Sony is considering releasing its PlayStation Vita TV set-top box in the United States and European markets, following a "strong response" from gamers. The move effectively reverses an earlier report, where an executive claimed the company was "not planning" to release the device further afield than markets close to Japan, such as China and South Korea.
Gold version of iPhone 5s shows as shipping in October
Following sales opening in Australia, Asia, and Europe, Apple has started selling the iPhone 5s through its online store in the United States, hours before its expected retail release. While the iPhone 5c has been available to pre-order through the store since the 13th of September, and is also currently available to buy, this is the first time that the iPhone 5s is being sold through Apple itself.
US asks for most user data, followed by India, UK, Italy, Germany
Government agencies representing 74 countries requested details from 38,000 Facebook accounts in the first half of the year, the social network has revealed. Its first Global Government Requests Report, similar to transparency reports published by Microsoft and Google, shows the governments of the United States, India, the United Kingdom, Italy, and Germany as making the largest numbers of requests for user data from Facebook for the period.
SEC suit against Bitcoin hedge fund forced district court ruling
Bitcoin is a recognized currency that is subject to the laws of the United States, according to a federal judge ruling over a lawsuit by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) against a Bitcoin hedge fund owner. Judge Amos Mazzant in Texas declared Bitcoin as "a currency or form of money," paving the way for government regulation in the virtual currency.
Redbox Instant app downloadable on Roku in United States
Redbox Instant by Verizon is now available to use on the Roku set-top box. Downloadable through the Roku Channel Store and usable on Roku 3, 2, HD, and LT models as well as the Roku Streaming Stick, the Redbox service provides access to over 5,500 streaming movies and more than 1,500 movies at 43,000 Redbox kiosks. Redbox Instant with four DVD credits costs $8 per month.
Comedy Central, Nickelodeon apps go live on Xbox 360 in US
The Xbox 360 in the United States has received two more entertainment apps offering streaming video. The Comedy Central app provides unlimited access to the CC: Stand-Up library of 6,000 videos, with the Nickelodeon version offering full episodes of shows and animated shorts. Both require a paid Xbox Live Gold subscription, with Nickelodeon also needing a subscription to a relevant TV provider.
Curved television gains THX Display certification, $15,000 price tag
LG has started selling its 55-inch curved OLED television in the United States, following a launch in South Korea a few months ago. The 55EA9800, appearing in some Best Buy stores, has also been declared by LG to be the first OLED TV in the world to have THX Display Certification, after passing more than 600 picture quality tests.
Plan to create devices for emerging markets could help HTC financials
HTC is creating a new unit dedicated to "Emerging Devices" and undeveloped markets, as part of a shake up of its United States operations. Changes to the executive roster in the US arm have also taken place, as the company attempts to rectify its uncomfortable financial situation in the face of repeatedly poor quarterly results.
Statement from executive follows claims from ex CIA boss, UK government
Huawei has fought back against security risk accusations by authorities in the United States and the United Kingdom. Huawei vice president of external affairs William Plummer has said in a statement that it is time for those accusing the company of helping state-sponsored hackers in China to provide proof of their claims.