Justice Dept. Digging Deep “In The Weeds” Of Broadband Issues In Comcast/TWC Merger

Justice Dept. Digging Deep “In The Weeds” Of Broadband Issues In Comcast/TWC Merger

Comcast and Time Warner Cable have been making the case for their merger nearly all year. The two companies talk up their TV programming sides a lot, but most watchers know that the merger — and the future — are really all about broadband, and that market is what Comcast is poised to control on a national scale. That potential dominance has worried not only businesses and consumer advocates, but also has apparently attracted the attention of the Justice Department as well. [More]

(Mike Cook Foto)

The Future Will Be Online TV, But That Might Come With Online Blackouts

It’s been a heck of a week for anyone who’s been waiting for all their TV to go online. HBO, CBS, and Univision have all announced online streaming subscription packages this week, which is big news for consumers. But the future, while different, may not be rosy. You can’t watch streaming video without internet access, after all. So what happens to your show when your TV network and your ISP get mad at each other? [More]

FCC Filing: “At Least One” ISP Violating Net Neutrality By Blocking Encrypted Traffic

FCC Filing: “At Least One” ISP Violating Net Neutrality By Blocking Encrypted Traffic

Broadband and mobile companies are happy to claim that we don’t need new rules to protect net neutrality, because even without rules in place, they’ve never blocked traffic in any harmful way and don’t particularly want to in the future either. However, one internet business says they have proof it happens — and the way the ISPs are doing it can have a huge effect not only on the quality of internet traffic, but on the safety of it, too. [More]

(Adam Fagen)

CBS Joins HBO, Launches Online-Only Subscription Service

On the heels of yesterday’s surprise announcement that HBO is creating an online-only, cable-free, streaming-access package in 2015, broadcast network CBS has announced that it, too, is joining the cord-cutting party. [More]

HBO Launching Stand-Alone Online Service In 2015

HBO Launching Stand-Alone Online Service In 2015


HBO will be launching a stand-alone service in 2015, Time Warner executives announced in an investor presentation today. [More]

Netflix's ISP speed ranking for October, 2014.

Netflix-Verizon Connection Agreement Finally Pays Off: FiOS Users Seeing Fastest Streaming Speeds

Netflix and Verizon have done a lot of very public verbal poo-flinging at each other this year over the abysmal connection speeds FiOS customers have had when trying to stream video from Netflix. Last mongh, FiOS customers finally started to see some relief (and some smoothly playing TV). It looks like the paid interconnection agreement between the two, though, has finally led to some cooperation and is bearing fruit, as Verizon FiOS customers are now seeing faster average Netflix streaming speeds than from any other large ISP in the country. [More]

Aereo To FCC: No, Really, We’re A Cable Company Now. Treat Us Like One, Pretty Please?

Aereo To FCC: No, Really, We’re A Cable Company Now. Treat Us Like One, Pretty Please?


Streaming broadcast TV service Aereo was unceremoniously shut down by the Supreme Court last spring, but although they suspended all operations it wasn’t entirely the end of their business. Either Aereo or the law would have to change in order to get them beaming TV around again. Since the relevant law is immovable in the current political climate, that leaves change on Aereo’s end. But the last two attempts Aereo’s made haven’t ended well for them. Is the third time the charm? [More]

Ultra HD 4K Kevin Spacey On Netflix Now Costs $3 Extra

Ultra HD 4K Kevin Spacey On Netflix Now Costs $3 Extra

Ultra high definition 4K video is still a pretty new thing. The TVs themselves are still pretty expensive, and there’s not all that much 4K content out there to watch on them. On top of all that, now, there’s another price penalty for early adopters to pay: Netflix is raising the price for their 4K streaming video. [More]

Do You Ever Shop Anywhere? Congratulations: Your Data Will Be Hacked

frankieleon

By the numbers alone, basically everyone in the country has been the victim of at least one data breach in the past year, if not more. 106 million Americans had their card data stolen from Target and Home Depot alone, to say nothing of the data breaches at Jimmy John’s, Dairy Queen, P.F. Chang’s, UPS, Albertsons, Jewel-Osco, ACME, Shaw’s, Sally Beauty Supply, Goodwill, some Marriott hotels, Neiman Marcus, and Michael’s craft stores. And that isn’t even considering other breaches that were too small to make national headlines, or that simply haven’t been discovered yet. [More]

(Ash)

Cable Lobbyists Pretending To Be Cool Digital Hipsters To Convince Youth That Net Neutrality Is Bad

The fight for net neutrality has players from all corners amped up and joining in. Millions of individuals, as well as consumer advocacy groups, internet businesses, internet business groups, cable and telecom businesses, and their trade groups, have all been pressing the FCC toward one decision or another. But now there are some new groups wading in to the morass. They look like millennial, digital-savvy, pro-internet hispters — but their message is straight out of Comcast and AT&T’s playbook. So what’s going on? [More]

(Nicole)

Adobe’s Newest Security Hole: Telling The World What You Do With Your Library Books

It’s pretty great that in the modern age, you can borrow digital books from libraries, to read at home on the computer or e-reader of your choice. It’s a lot less great that the piece of software most library books use is apparently spying and collecting data on every word you read. [More]

GM Recalls Yet Another Half-Million Cars Over Increased Crash Risks

GM Recalls Yet Another Half-Million Cars Over Increased Crash Risks

It’s the track on infinite repeat this year, it seems: General Motors has issued a recall of 524,000 vehicles for safety reasons. The two separate recall actions have nothing to do with ignition switches, at least, but both — on Cadillac and Saab SUVs and Chevy Spark cars — are hazards that increase the risk of a dangerous crash. [More]

Consumer Advocates Urge Justice Dept. To Block Comcast/TWC Merger

Consumer Advocates Urge Justice Dept. To Block Comcast/TWC Merger

The FCC isn’t the only agency reviewing the Comcast/Time Warner Cable merger; the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice is all over it, too. And while the full public doesn’t get to have its riotous say with the DoJ the same way we did with the FCC, businesses and consumer advocates can file in opposition (or support). Our colleagues down the hall at Consumers Union, the advocacy arm of Consumer Reports, have now officially chimed in to ask the DoJ to watch out for the interests of consumers, and block the merger. [More]

Oops: Cops Distributing Spyware To Families As “Internet Safety” Tool

Oops: Cops Distributing Spyware To Families As “Internet Safety” Tool

Over the last couple of decades, internet safety has become as much if not more of a concern for many parents and families as physical safety. To help, many local police departments have given out free safety software to families as “the first step” to keeping their children safe online. Sounds great, right? Sure… except that “safety software” is really a keylogger that sends your family’s every word zipping unencrypted over the internet, ripe for anyone to steal. Oops. [More]

(Amanda Hoffman)

Forget Computer Cookies: People Happily Give Up Personal Data For The Baked Kind

It’s never a bad time for a cookie. Warm, just sweet enough, fresh from the oven… man, I could totally use a cookie right about now. How about you? Yeah? Excellent. Just hand over your address, mother’s maiden name, and the last four digits of your SSN and you can have this fresh hand-made dessert for free. Wait, what’s that you say? Yes, all this personal information does seem like too high a price to pay for one baked confection, no matter how delicious. And yet it was a deal that nearly 400 people were happy to make. [More]

(Molly)

Some Small Cable Companies Are Dropping TV, And Customers Don’t Seem To Mind

Plenty of people have cut back on pay TV — cable and satellite — and gone to internet-only subscriptions in order to save some cash. But the individual cord-cutters aren’t the only ones realizing how expensive programming can be, and how they can live without it in the broadband era. Some small-scale cable companies are also taking the plunge, and cutting out TV service altogether. [More]

(frankieleon)

Media Companies Afraid To Show FCC Their Comcast Contracts Because Rivals Might Learn Their Secrets

It’s no secret that media companies are pretty worried about the repercussions of letting Comcast and Time Warner Cable merge. But what is a big secret are the agreements that those companies have with Comcast and TWC right now. They’re so secret, in fact, that networks are refusing to share any data with the FCC because they’re afraid their rivals might benefit from it. And that’s a problem, because without that data, the FCC is missing one of the key tools it should have in its toolbox as it evaluates the merger. [More]

FTC: You Cannot Lose Weight By Wearing Caffeinated Underpants

FTC: You Cannot Lose Weight By Wearing Caffeinated Underpants


Infusing ladies’ undergarments with caffeine does not make them weight loss aids, as it turns out. This news may not come as a surprise to most of us, but two companies were trying to sell just such a product with the claim that it would indeed have a slimming effect. The not-so-magical underwear has made one thing significantly smaller, though: the bank accounts of the two companies in question, which have reached a $1.5 million settlement with the Federal Trade Commission. [More]