Obama: Sony “Made A Mistake” Pulling ‘The Interview’ From Theaters

Obama: Sony “Made A Mistake” Pulling ‘The Interview’ From Theaters

The FBI announced today, and President Obama confirmed during a press conference, that North Korea is indeed behind the attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment. The President expressed his sympathy for Sony employees, but gave voice to what many in the United States are thinking: that hacks are inevitable, and in pulling their movie, Sony did the wrong thing. [More]

Target Shoppers Get Go-Ahead To Sue Retail Giant Over 2013 Hack

Target Shoppers Get Go-Ahead To Sue Retail Giant Over 2013 Hack

A year after Target discovered it was the, well, target of one of the largest retailer hacks ever, and a few weeks after banks got permission to sue the corporation, Target shoppers have now gotten the all-clear for their lawsuits, too. [More]

Verizon: We Can Basically Charge Netflix For Peering Forever And There’s Nothing The FCC Can Do To Stop It

Verizon: We Can Basically Charge Netflix For Peering Forever And There’s Nothing The FCC Can Do To Stop It

The FCC is facing a lot of opposition this year, but Verizon in particular just really seems to thrive on challenging the agency. The latest move from the telco giant is a message to the FCC that even if they use Title II to regulate net neutrality, there is nothing the commission can do to prevent interconnection fee spats like the one Verizon and Netflix had this year. [More]

Graph from the Department of Commerce report showing how many Americans have competition for broadband services at high speeds. Spoiler: not enough.

Gov’t Report: True High-Speed Broadband Competition In The U.S. Remains Largely Nonexistent

You know broadband competition in most parts of the country is terrible. We know broadband competition in most parts of the country is terrible. The FCC knows broadband competition in most parts of the country is terrible. Heck, even Comcast kinda sorta knows that broadband competition is mostly terrible. And so the findings of a recent major government report, which finds that broadband competition is really terrible, should not be a surprise. [More]

Report: U.S. Government Agrees North Korea Actually Is Behind The Hack Attack On Sony

Report: U.S. Government Agrees North Korea Actually Is Behind The Hack Attack On Sony

It has been a bad, bad month for Sony Pictures. In the wake of the hack that loosed their employees’ most personal information onto the internet, threats of violence resulted in the cancellation of their Christmas-day comedy release The Interview. And now, federal investigators aren’t sure how to point the finger of blame — not because they don’t know who’s behind it, but because they do. North Korea is indeed to blame, administration officials say, and the U.S. has to figure out how to handle international relations in the face of what is not just another hack, but cyberterrorism. [More]

Consumer Advocates Head Back To FCC, Continue Urging Agency To Reject Comcast/TWC Merger

Consumer Advocates Head Back To FCC, Continue Urging Agency To Reject Comcast/TWC Merger

After a long pause, the FCC’s review of the Comcast/TWC merger is back underway. Now, the wave of comments in response to Comcast’s last data dump are starting to roll in, once again asking the agency to block the merger. [More]

(Kat N.L.M.)

If You Have A Reason To Go To Cuba, You Can Now Bring Cuban Rum And Cigars Back To The U.S. With You

You can get a Cuban sandwich in almost any city in the U.S., but it’s been fifty years since it was last legal to have a Cuban rum drink along with it, or to go smoke a Cuban cigar on the patio out back afterwards. Until today. [More]

Netflix Now Available On Dish Subscribers’ Boxes

Netflix Now Available On Dish Subscribers’ Boxes

Netflix and traditional pay TV companies are ever at odds in the public eye. But behind the scenes, it seems they are getting ever more cooperative: as of today, Dish subscribers now have access to Netflix on their set-top boxes. [More]

Medical Marijuana Suddenly A Whole Lot Less Illegal Nationwide

Medical Marijuana Suddenly A Whole Lot Less Illegal Nationwide

Congress passed a massive omnibus government spending bill over the weekend. And while most of the attention is on the fact that lawmakers have managed to avoid the mess of another government shutdown, the 1600-page, $1.1 trillion bill has a lot in it. Particularly of note? After many long years, the federal government has effectively lifted its prohibition on medical marijuana nationwide. [More]

Comcast, Charter, TWC All Admit That Strong Net Neutrality Rules Won’t Actually Be The End Of The World

Comcast, Charter, TWC All Admit That Strong Net Neutrality Rules Won’t Actually Be The End Of The World

Every single one of the big ISPs has been spending the better part of a year telling both the government and the public that using Title II to regulate net neutrality would be so counterproductive, ineffective, and unlawful that it would ruin the whole internet for everyone forever. Their main threat has been that with tighter regulation, they will stop spending money investing in networks. But to their investors, company executives are telling a different tale entirely: Comcast, Charter, and Time Warner Cable have now joined Verizon in admitting that from an investment standpoint, Title II won’t really harm them or change much of anything at all. [More]

U.S. Patent Office To Decide Whether Patent Troll Company Actually Owns Podcasting

U.S. Patent Office To Decide Whether Patent Troll Company Actually Owns Podcasting

Podcasts are simply the done thing, in 2014: everyone’s taking their modern update on the radio show with them on the go. One company out there, seeing all the dollar signs, now claims that they invented and patented podcasting 18 years ago, and is suing anyone not paying them license fees. But consumer tech advocates are fighting back, and hoping to get regulators to make the patent trolls crawl back under their bridge. [More]

AT&T Scores Big New Contract From Government Agency After Hiring Their CIO

AT&T Scores Big New Contract From Government Agency After Hiring Their CIO

AT&T nabbed two big scores from one federal agency this year: one, a top executive with years of government experience and two, a lucrative contract to be that agency’s mobile carrier. Both AT&T and the agency say the two are unrelated, and they very well may be. But the timing highlights once again that the revolving door between government and business is an opening not only for career opportunities, but also for big questions about how corporations can gain undue influence in Washington. [More]

(Great Beyond)

Advocacy Groups Worldwide Ask For Terms Of Trans-Pacific Partnership To Be Made Public

The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a really big deal — literally. The international trade agreement, still under negotiation, has wide-ranging implications for every sector of the American economy and individuals’ rights within it. But its contents are, largely, a complete black box mystery. And now a large group of advocates from around the world are once again asking the negotiators and nations involved to change that. [More]

Verizon: New Net Neutrality Rules Won’t Actually Hurt Our Network Investment At All (But We’ll Still Sue)

Verizon: New Net Neutrality Rules Won’t Actually Hurt Our Network Investment At All (But We’ll Still Sue)

All of the big ISPs have been full of bluster about the FCC’s pending new net neutrality rules, but none more so than Verizon. Verizon is the company that sued in the first place to get the 2010 rule overturned, and they are the company that has been most aggressive with promises to sue again when the FCC actually comes up with a rule. Their main argument has been that strong regulation will damage their ability to invest in their networks — but it seems even Verizon’s own top executives don’t fall for that nonsense. [More]

Survey Says: Yes, Everyone Really Is Binge-Watching A Lot More Netflix (And Cutting Back Cable)

Survey Says: Yes, Everyone Really Is Binge-Watching A Lot More Netflix (And Cutting Back Cable)

Americans watch a lot of TV. But increasingly, we don’t watch it “on TV.” If you feel like everyone you know is spending Saturday devouring whole seasons of programming on Netflix instead of channel-surfing on the cable box, you’re not alone. At least half the people you know are doing that, a new survey confirms — and those numbers just keep going up. [More]

Comcast Customers Sue Cable Giant For Making Their Home Routers Into Wifi Hotspots

Comcast Customers Sue Cable Giant For Making Their Home Routers Into Wifi Hotspots

Of course Comcast customers can connect to Comcast wifi at home. That’s the point. But Comcast wants Comcast customers to be able to connect to Comcast wifi no matter where they are. To that end, they’re building a massive nationwide network of hotspots for their Xfinity customers… by using their other Xfinity customers as a source. The service has been controversial since Comcast first announced it, and now that controversy has turned into legal trouble. [More]

(Los Angeles Daily News)

Walgreens Pulls Swastika-Patterned Hanukkah Gift Wrap From Stores

Swastikas in any pattern are terrible. But swastikas — intentional or not — in the pattern of Hanukkah-themed items are even more jaw-droppingly terrible. And that’s exactly what a California customer says she found when she went shopping at Walgreens. [More]

Always Double Check: Stores And Their Websites Still Sell Things At Wildly Different Prices

Always Double Check: Stores And Their Websites Still Sell Things At Wildly Different Prices

To we consumers, it feels like a store’s physical locations and their website are, y’know, all still part of the same store, and should be treated as such. But as we’ve found over and over, a chain’s retail storefronts and their web presence can be two very different beasts, with two different sets of inventory — and at two different sets of prices. [More]