The future of net neutrality in the US looks pretty bleak right now. Next week, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler will step down after leading the commission for the last three years. During his time as chairman, Wheeler issued the 2015 Open Internet Order, a set of rules that protests net neutrality by prohibiting ISPs from blocking or throttling web traffic. All indications show the new US FCC will work to undo the current commissions work "as soon as possible".
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AT&T will purchase Time Warner for over $US80 ($105) billion, the Wall Street Journal reports. "According to people familiar with the plans," the two companies will likely announce this as soon as Saturday night. AT&T will reportedly pay between $US105 ($138) and $US110 ($145) a share for Time Warner. According to another anonymous source, the deal is half-cash, half-stock.
Two of America's largest wireless providers suspended their replacement programs for the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 this weekend following reports of "safe" replacement phones igniting. In separate statements, AT&T and T-Mobile announced on Sunday that they would continue to accept Note 7s to be exchanged but would only replace them with other devices.
The funny thing about buying a smartphone in 2016 is that it's hard to go wrong. Not too long ago, even great phones could have terrible battery life, be bogged down by gobs of unwanted software, have an awful camera, or be missing a crucial feature or two. Now, we find almost every major handset will last till bedtime, take decent photos, display them on an excellent screen, blaze through apps with a speedy processor, and browse the web with fast 4G/LTE connectivity.
One month ago, we tried Google's experimental cell phone service in New York. It was a disaster. But I guess the second time's a charm. After spending two weeks with Project Fi in the San Francisco Bay Area, I'm just about ready to ditch my old carrier.
Today, AT&T is regularly listed as one of the most hated companies in the United States. But back in 1891, two years after Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone, the company was just taking its first steps. This map of its network from that year is just beautiful. Think of it as AT&T's baby picture.
You can keep your flying cars and jetpacks. The real sign that we're living in the future? Real-time language translation. Skype just put its version into wide release. But effortless translation is something we've been waiting on for quite some time, as you can see from this 1993 clip of an AT&T concept video called Connections.
Today, Google announced its very own wireless network in the US. Just $US20 a month for unlimited call and texts, plus $US10 per gigabyte of data. No contracts or termination fees. Google will even refund your unused megabytes. Sounds awesome. So what's the catch already?
A semi-rural New Jersey community about 72km outside of New York City seems like an unlikely home for the most important breakthroughs in telecommunications of the 20th century. But that's exactly what happened at Bell Labs' Holmdel facility in the 1960s.
Let's all agree on one thing: The Federal Communications Commission passing the strongest net neutrality rules in America's history is a step in the right direction. But that didn't stop an army of naysayers from crowing about an imaginary government takeover of the internet or how the new plan would slash their profits. Some chose half-intelligent ways to make those arguments. Others did some pretty dumb stuff.
It's a good day for the internet: Wired just published an op-ed by FCC chairman Tom Wheeler detailing his new proposal for strict net neutrality rules, rules that largely resemble the terrific plan President Obama outlined a few months ago. Great! But let's be real: An opinion piece is not a new policy.
The Hello Machine is a fascinating short film directed in 1974 by Carroll Ballard. It shows the mind-boggling process of making AT&T's Electronic Switch System mainframe by hand, a formidable machine was built after 20 years of research and spending 500 million dollars — 2.4 billion in 2014 dollars!
For years, the US government and phone carriers have been squabbling over secret surveillance — because of the dollar amount on the bill. Most recently, AT&T's thrifty little offshoot Cricket Communications has agreed to pay out $US2.1 million in a settlement for overcharging federal and state law enforcement agencies for wiretaps and pen registers, and Sprint is also being sued by the US government for overcharging for wiretaps.