4 Reasons Consumers Union Has Asked The FCC To Block The Comcast/TWC Merger

4 Reasons Consumers Union Has Asked The FCC To Block The Comcast/TWC Merger

The full regulatory approval process for the Comcast/TWC merger has months left to go, but we’re getting down to the wire on one part of it: the deadline for public comments is Monday. Our colleagues down the hall at Consumers Union, the advocacy arm of Consumer Reports, have now officially asked the FCC to block this thing, and with good reason. [More]

Now’s Your Chance: FCC Public Comment Period For Comcast/TWC Merger Ends Monday

Now’s Your Chance: FCC Public Comment Period For Comcast/TWC Merger Ends Monday

Comcast and Time Warner Cable announced their intention to merge into wedded corporate bliss back in the middle of February. Now, six months later, the process is still rolling along. Monday — August 25 — is the deadline for members of the public to leave comments with the FCC about the merger. Got thoughts? You have three days left to make them heard. [More]

Lawmakers Wade Into Fight Over FCC Chair’s Potential Plan To Overturn Bans On Municipal Broadband

Lawmakers Wade Into Fight Over FCC Chair’s Potential Plan To Overturn Bans On Municipal Broadband

Not very much happens in Washington, D.C. in August. But even as the city slows down, FCC chair Tom Wheeler continues to make strong noises about using the FCC’s authority to preempt state laws that prohibit the expansion or creation of municipal broadband utilities. And now, some members of Congress are joining him. [More]

Leaked Movie About Kicking Butt Vanishes From File-Sharing Sites After Butt-Kicking From Courts

Leaked Movie About Kicking Butt Vanishes From File-Sharing Sites After Butt-Kicking From Courts


For decades, we’ve all been sitting through FBI warnings before our movies. Those warnings tell us that sharing media is very wrong, piracy is bad, and we will all get into trouble for doing it. So the operators of file-sharing torrent sites know they might end up on risky legal ground. But what they might not expect is to have their websites removed from the internet for them before they even know they’re being sued. [More]

Comcast Says Mobile Data Is Competitive, But It Costs $2k To Stream Breaking Bad Over LTE

Comcast Says Mobile Data Is Competitive, But It Costs $2k To Stream Breaking Bad Over LTE

Comcast keeps on claiming that mobile broadband is real competition for wired home broadband. But for most users, it’s just plain not. Not only is the speed and reliability of mobile broadband still hugely variable depending on location and time of day, but also mobile data is still clearly not competitive on price. And how much more expensive is it to keep your phone on 4G instead of grabbing the nearest wi-fi signal? Our math says that trying to use your mobile data the same way you use your home wi-fi will cost you about twenty times more per month than your wired broadband bill. You’d have to be Walter White to be able to afford to watch all of Breaking Bad over your wireless network. [More]

Founder Of One Laptop Per Child: Maybe Net Neutrality Isn’t Such A Good Idea After All

Founder Of One Laptop Per Child: Maybe Net Neutrality Isn’t Such A Good Idea After All

The FCC is still working through the public comments about their current net neutrality proposal, and it will be many months still before any final rule is made. But one industry veteran, with over four decades of experience in defining the digital world, suggests that maybe we want to slow down and rethink this a bit. What if, he suggests, true net neutrality isn’t actually everything we think it’s cracked up to be? [More]

(gumby liberation organization)

Study: Popular, Ineffective Antibacterial Chemical Found In 100% Of Pregnant Women, May Interfere With Fetal Development

That “antibacterial” hand soap sitting next to your sink? The chemical that supposedly makes it work is called triclosan, and it’s in tons of products. A new study also finds that it’s in tons of our bodies — and in the bodies of pregnant women, it might be interfering with fetal development. [More]

Comcast Spends $110k On Award Dinner For FCC Commissioner, Doesn’t See Why Anyone Thinks That’s A Problem

Comcast Spends $110k On Award Dinner For FCC Commissioner, Doesn’t See Why Anyone Thinks That’s A Problem

Comcast really wants to buy Time Warner Cable. Really really. And they have no shortage of ways, both subtle and obvious, to try to push the odds farther in their favor. Targeted philanthropy and sponsorships are definitely a part of that, and Comcast is usually happy to take the credit. So while spending six figures to sponsor an event honoring a sitting FCC commissioner who gets to make decisions about things like media mergers might seem a little out of bounds to the likes of you and me, Comcast is shocked, shocked that we would think they could possibly have an ulterior motive. [More]

Soon You Can Use Your Xbox One To Stream Live TV To Your Phone (But Not In The U.S.)

Soon You Can Use Your Xbox One To Stream Live TV To Your Phone (But Not In The U.S.)

The Xbox One gaming console is getting a new function added to it, Microsoft announced today. As of this fall, the late-2013, next-gen, still-new gaming and media device will also function as high-tech rabbit ears for your TV. [More]

How To Answer Rude (But Perfectly Legal) Personal Questions At A Job Interview

David Blackwell

Job interviews are a nerve-wracking experience. And while we’re all prepared to answer, “What’s your biggest weakness?” or “Tell me about a time you made a mistake at work,” most of us aren’t expecting to hear, “Are you planning to become pregnant?” or “Where do you go to church?” or, “What country were your parents born in?” Such incredibly personal questions are often jarring and possible deal-breakers for some applicants. Many people think it’s illegal to be asked these kinds of questions, but in most cases it’s not against the law to ask — it’s just illegal to use that information as the deciding factor in whether or not to hire someone. So the next time you’re hunting for a job, here’s what you need to know about what your next boss can and can’t ask you — and what you can do about it if things get weird. [More]

Parents Calling To Make Sure Their Kids Aren’t Driving While Distracted Are Distracting Their Teenage Drivers

Parents Calling To Make Sure Their Kids Aren’t Driving While Distracted Are Distracting Their Teenage Drivers

Teens and driving are already a combination that makes many an adult quake in fear. Throw cell phones into the mix, and parents (and the rest of us who have to share the road) get downright desperate. Distracted driving is definitely dangerous. But the next time junior borrows the keys to the family station wagon, mom and dad may want to remember that calling him to remind him not to text his friends doesn’t actually cut down on distractions — it just means they are the distraction. [More]

Medical Debt Still Stinks, But New Credit Score Change Will Make It Hurt Your Life Less

Medical Debt Still Stinks, But New Credit Score Change Will Make It Hurt Your Life Less

Credit reporting behemoth FICO is making changes in the way it calculates credit scores. And for once, there’s some good news. The changes are expected to make it easier for most Americans to access credit — that is, to borrow money and take out loans — and will punish fewer consumers for incurring some debts that were out of their control. [More]

New, Updated Foursquare Is Always Watching You… Even When You Aren’t Running Foursquare

New, Updated Foursquare Is Always Watching You… Even When You Aren’t Running Foursquare

If you launch Foursquare, you expect it to know where you are. The app is explicitly designed to record your location when you open it and so nobody’s shocked if it, well, records their location when they open it. But users who download the new Foursquare are in for a nasty surprise. The app is now tracking users’ locations at all times, whether they’ve opened it or not. [More]

Coffee Rankings Are Personal, But In Wi-Fi Starbucks Beats McDonald’s And Panera Hands-Down

Coffee Rankings Are Personal, But In Wi-Fi Starbucks Beats McDonald’s And Panera Hands-Down

Heading out for some breakfast and a cup of coffee? Excellent. For quality food and drink, your choices are wide, wide open. But if what you really want is some sweet free Wi-Fi, you may want to skip that chocolate chip bagel from Panera and head across the street to Starbucks for a frappuccino instead. [More]

All Four National Wireless Companies Accused Of Breaking FCC Rules By Hiding Information About Data Throttling

All Four National Wireless Companies Accused Of Breaking FCC Rules By Hiding Information About Data Throttling

Just over two weeks ago, the FCC not-so-gently reminded all four big wireless carriers that although true “net neutrality” might not apply to them, there are still rules about transparency and disclosures that they have to follow. At the time, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler said that companies had no excuse to think the FCC wasn’t watching them — and the FCC isn’t the only group putting wireless companies on notice over their lack of transparency. [More]

Will End Of Sprint’s Marriage To T-Mobile Make Things Easier For Comcast & TWC?

Will End Of Sprint’s Marriage To T-Mobile Make Things Easier For Comcast & TWC?

After months of will-they-won’t-they talks, this week Sprint finally gave up on trying to buy T-Mobile and wandered off to go try making money in other ways. But Sprint’s sad day could be good news for some other companies with mergers on their minds, it seems. [More]

GameStop Promises More Money For Trade-Ins… Just Not A Lot More

GameStop Promises More Money For Trade-Ins… Just Not A Lot More

GameStop’s much-maligned trade-in program is leveling up. Their new plan doesn’t do anything about fingerprints or ID collection, because those are legal issues, but it does do one big thing shoppers always like: players who trade in games will now get more money for them. [More]

Comcast Happy To Sing Comcast’s Praises To Regulators For Making Tiny Improvements To Broadband Access Program For Low-Income Families

Comcast Happy To Sing Comcast’s Praises To Regulators For Making Tiny Improvements To Broadband Access Program For Low-Income Families

Comcast yesterday announced a few changes to its Internet Essentials program. The program is, in theory, great. It aims to provide broadband internet access to low-income households, allowing families to stay connected to critical jobs, education, government and social services, and social media just like everyone else. And while Comcast is indeed taking baby steps to let more families access Internet Essentials, they are mainly taking great strides to shout aloud about every incremental, insufficient change in the hopes that regulators will nod along. [More]