Verizon’s Refusal To Repair Landline Service Leaves Elderly Man Without Phone For Months

(Alain Ferraro)

While plenty of Americans rush to acquire the latest and greatest in new telecom technology, there are some that only need the basic phone service they’ve had for decades. But as we’ve seen on multiple occasions recently, a number of traditional landline users are being left out in the cold as Verizon tries to transition customers away from copper line service and to fiberoptic phone lines. And for one elderly New Yorker, Verizon’s apparent inflexibility resulted in months of having absolutely no service at all. [More]

(jayRaz)

Hackers Can Now Remotely Attack A Gun, Change Its Target, And Lock The Owner Out

Over the past few years we’ve heard a lot about the smart, connected devices that make up the internet of things. From ceiling fans to cars and cameras, they’re everywhere. Unfortunately, anything that can connect to the internet can be hacked through the internet… and now, it seems, that includes guns. [More]

(Mike Matney)

From Apple To Walmart, Over A Dozen Of The Biggest Businesses In The U.S. Sign On To White House Climate Pledge

A huge number of the world’s nations are coming together in Paris this December to negotiate an agreement to stem emissions and forestall further climate change. Ahead of this winter’s United Nations talks, however, some well-known names here at home are pledging their own contributions to the cause. [More]

(Scott Akerman)

Bad News: Security Hole Can Let An Attacker Take Over Your Android Phone With A Single Text

It’s a bad news Monday for up to 950 million — yes, that’s almost 1 billion — Android device owners worldwide. A vulnerability that would let a hacker take over your phone remotely has been announced, and it’s a doozy. [More]

Cheaper, More Competitive Broadband: Not Gonna Happen Anytime Soon, Analyst Tells Congress

Cheaper, More Competitive Broadband: Not Gonna Happen Anytime Soon, Analyst Tells Congress

A committee in Congress yesterday held a hearing on promoting broadband infrastructure investment. That is, getting more wires put in the ground so more people can get online faster and more reliably. That’s a laudable goal that we here at Consumerist tend to cheer on. But one theme became clear from the testimonies of the assembled analysts, industry members, and local public companies who spoke: real improvement is going to be a long, ugly series of fights… and consumers are going to keep paying a lot more while it happens. [More]

Comcast Exec: Netflix Thrives Because Cable Is Too Expensive, Is Company’s “Ultimate Frenemy”

Comcast Exec: Netflix Thrives Because Cable Is Too Expensive, Is Company’s “Ultimate Frenemy”

This is a weird time to be a cable company. On the one hand, everyone’s watching more content than ever before. And on the other hand, they’re watching cable less than ever before. That’s bad for cable companies, except that cable companies are also broadband companies. The push and pull is a reality almost all of us live in, but it’s something that the cable folks don’t really talk about much. Until they do. [More]

Apple Wants To Pre-Check Your Spending Power Before Advertising To You

Apple Wants To Pre-Check Your Spending Power Before Advertising To You

Apple products are popular, but they’re not cheap. There’s a certain cachet that goes with them, a projection of status and class. And Apple’s newest patent isn’t for another high-cost, high-popularity product… it’s for tech that will only advertise stuff to you that they think you can afford. [More]

15 Years Into Agreement To Provide St. Paul’s Elderly A Cable Discount, Comcast Reps Have Never Heard Of It

15 Years Into Agreement To Provide St. Paul’s Elderly A Cable Discount, Comcast Reps Have Never Heard Of It

The Minnesota city of St. Paul sits, like its twin Minneapolis, squarely in Comcast territory, with nary a competitor in sight. But the franchise agreements that create local monopolies can also be used to residents’ benefit: as part of the contract that lets them be the exclusive cable company in town, Comcast offers low-income and elderly St. Paul residents a discount off their cable bills. Great, right? Well, it would be… if anyone in town could actually sign up for it. [More]

Netflix Is Totally In Favor Of Charter’s Plan To Buy TWC Because It Will Save Them Some Money

Netflix Is Totally In Favor Of Charter’s Plan To Buy TWC Because It Will Save Them Some Money

Netflix is almost 37% of all prime-time internet traffic. ISPs have been known to degrade that traffic until Netflix pays for peering. Netflix really hates having to make (and pay for) those agreements. And so Charter has quickly learned that the quickest way to Netflix’s heart is to promise not to do that. [More]

Home internet adoption consistently remains lowest in the lowest-income households. Source: Pew Internet Project

White House Unveils New Plan To Get Affordable Broadband Access To Low-Income Households

By 2015 it seems like everyone has broadband access, but that “everyone” is very deceptive. Although the vast majority of middle- and high-income homes in the United States have broadband access at home, low-income homes are much less likely to. [More]

Got A Burning Need To Stream Old Video Games Though Your Cable Box? Comcast And EA Have A Service For You

Got A Burning Need To Stream Old Video Games Though Your Cable Box? Comcast And EA Have A Service For You

The only two companies ever to win Consumerist’s Worst Company In America award more than once are now teaming up for realsies. Comcast and EA are unveiling a new set-top streaming gaming service together, and it looks like a resounding “meh.” [More]

Facebook, Firefox Want Adobe To Just Kill Flash Already After More Security Exploits Found

Facebook, Firefox Want Adobe To Just Kill Flash Already After More Security Exploits Found

The questionable stability and frequent security issues with Adobe’s Flash have long been a running joke among the tech-minded. Although the once-ubiquitous plugin’s star began to wane after mobile browsing took off, it still makes a lot of the content on the internet move. But after the release of yet another potentially disastrous vulnerability recently, the crowd clamoring for an end to Flash has now gone far beyond your local IT office, and includes both Firefox and Facebook. [More]

(Alan Bruce)

FCC Proposal: Phone Companies Need To Offer Backup Power, Actually Notify You If They Kill Off Your Copper-Wire Landline

FCC chairman Tom Wheeler is introducing a new proposal to the commission today that would attempt to protect consumers’ interests while advancing the transition away from plain old copper-wire service and onto IP data networks. [More]

Senate Advances Bill That Would Require Social Media Sites To Report “Terrorist Activities”

Senate Advances Bill That Would Require Social Media Sites To Report “Terrorist Activities”

If it seems like everyone uses social media, well, that’s because basically everyone does. But it’s not just cake recipes and birthday party meet-ups people plan online; plenty of illegal activity gets talked about in digital space, too. And now members of the Senate want to make sure that when certain kinds of no-no topics pop up, the platform owners let the feds know. [More]

Survey Says: You’d Rather Have Your Nude Pics Leaked Than Your Financial Information

Survey Says: You’d Rather Have Your Nude Pics Leaked Than Your Financial Information

MasterCard wants to know how you feel, so they asked a bunch of people: Do you feel safe? Do you feel secure? Do you feel like you need a cookie and a nice cup of cocoa? Wait, scratch that last one. MasterCard’s survey only covered feelings about how safe and secure you feel your financial information is. The answer? Not very secure at all. [More]

United Airlines’ Computer System Back Up, Delays Linger Nationwide [Update]

United Airlines’ Computer System Back Up, Delays Linger Nationwide [Update]

Travelers trying to fly to anywhere from anywhere on United this morning are being met with delays, confusion, and misinformation as a massive computer system outage has struck the airline. [More]

TiVo Invokes Aereo’s Corporate Corpse To Market An “Exclusive” Deal That Costs $70 More Than No Deal At All

TiVo Invokes Aereo’s Corporate Corpse To Market An “Exclusive” Deal That Costs $70 More Than No Deal At All

Aereo only operated for two years, and in that time the company commanded a small but loyal fan base. Customers in the cities where the streaming service operated enjoyed being able to capture, record, and stream local over-the-air broadcasts… until the company got shot down by the courts and went bankrupt. Now, another company is trying to fan those flames of affection for its own marketing — and the deal on offer is not good at all. [More]

(frankieleon)

AT&T Claims 11.7M People Could Get Gigabit Fiber If DirecTV Merger Approved

AT&T and DirecTV are still hoping their mega-merger is on track for approval. While they wait, the FCC has been asking them to clarify some of their earlier statements about why this deal is a good idea for the public. And buried in those new answers is the nugget that post-merger, AT&T plans to bring fiber networks to almost 12 million customers… kind of. [More]