T-Mobile CEO John Legere Sorry For Cursing Out Critics On Twitter

T-Mobile CEO John Legere Sorry For Cursing Out Critics On Twitter

Last week, T-Mobile CEO John Legere went on Twitter to post video responses to questions about his company’s Binge On program. While the rabble-rousing exec is often applauded for his plainspoken demeanor, he was roundly criticized for cursing out one pro-consumer group that has been critical of his company. After a few days to think about it, Legere is now apologizing. [More]

T-Mobile CEO John Legere To Critics Of Binge On: “Who The F**k Are You?”

T-Mobile CEO John Legere To Critics Of Binge On: “Who The F**k Are You?”

Earlier today, I predicted that there would be further slinging of words between T-Mobile and critics of its Binge On video streaming program. What I didn’t know at the time was that T-Mo CEO John Legere would go on Twitter to respond to, and profanely insult, those critics. [More]

Test Claims To Show T-Mobile’s YouTube “Optimization” Is Just Connection Throttling

Test Claims To Show T-Mobile’s YouTube “Optimization” Is Just Connection Throttling

We’ve had a bit of a high-tech tiff going on for the past few weeks between YouTube and T-Mobile. First, YouTube accused T-Mobile of unfairly degrading their video. T-Mobile replied nuh-uh, everything is simply optimized for mobile and the world is great. So who’s right? [More]

Google Accused Of Snooping On Students’ Internet Activity

Google Accused Of Snooping On Students’ Internet Activity

Google is one of more than 200 companies that have signed on to the “Student Privacy Pledge,” in which it promises to, among other things, “Not collect, maintain, use or share student personal information beyond that needed for authorized educational/school purposes.” But a new complaint accuses the Internet biggie of breaking its oath and spying on kids’ online activity. [More]

Appeals Court Makes Important Ruling In “Dancing Baby” Copyright Case

Appeals Court Makes Important Ruling In “Dancing Baby” Copyright Case

By now, you’ve probably heard about the “Dancing Baby” lawsuit, involving a botched attempt by Universal Music to have YouTube remove a video 29-second video of a playful toddler because a Prince song can be heard in the background. Today a federal appeals court sided on one important issue with that kid’s mother, who is suing Universal, claiming the music giant overstepped the law by not considering that the background music falls under the umbrella of an acceptable fair use. [More]

8 Years Later, Universal Music Still Defending Takedown Of “Dancing Baby” YouTube Video

8 Years Later, Universal Music Still Defending Takedown Of “Dancing Baby” YouTube Video

Back in February 2007, a mother of a young boy posted a short, grainy video of her baby “dancing” around the kitchen while a Prince song plays, barely audibly, in the background. In the eight years since, the video has received nearly 1.3 million views on YouTube — not because it’s a particularly interesting clip, but due to its role in a copyright lawsuit that won’t go away. [More]

Senate Passes USA Freedom Act, Ushering In A Kindler, Gentler Era Of NSA Snooping

Senate Passes USA Freedom Act, Ushering In A Kindler, Gentler Era Of NSA Snooping

As expected following the June 1 expiration of one of the PATRIOT Act’s most controversial privacy-invading provisions, the Senate today passed a substitute bill, the USA FREEDOM Act (or rather, deep breath… the Uniting and Strengthening America by Fulfilling Rights and Ensuring Effective Discipline Over Monitoring Act of 2015) that prohibits the sort of mass data collection the National Security Agency enjoyed under the recently sunset Patriot provisions, but still leaves in place many concerns for privacy advocates. [More]

GM: That Car You Bought? We’re Really The Ones Who Own It.

GM: That Car You Bought? We’re Really The Ones Who Own It.

Congratulations! You just bought a new Chevy, GMC, or Cadillac. You really like driving it. And it’s purchased, not leased, and all paid off with no liens, so it’s all yours… isn’t it? Well, no, actually: according to GM, it’s still theirs. You just have a license to use it. [More]

(Emily)

U.S. Patent Office: Patent Troll Does Not Entirely Own Concept of “Podcasting”

“Podcasting” might as well have been the word of the year in 2014, when “Serial” shot the form straight to the top of the pop-culture buzz charts for a few months. But while everyone in America was plugging in earbuds and trying to decide whodunit, the U.S. Patent Office had the more important end of the challenge: deciding who actually owns the patent for the idea of podcasting. [More]

(Jason Cook)

How The Gaming Industry Uses Copyright To Prevent You From Playing Abandoned Games

It seems like every few months we hear about another video game that the publisher has decided it’s no longer worthwhile to support. Once upon a time, that merely meant no more patches or new content. But now that more frequently means that much, if not all, of that game is now unplayable because gamers will no longer be able to access the servers needed to play or authenticate the title. And it’s all perfectly legal thanks to the infamous Digital Millennium Copyright Act. [More]

(Renee Rendler-Kaplan)

DEA Sued Over Secret Mass Surveillance Of Phone Calls

The backlash against the federal government’s surveillance programs continues. This time, the folks at Human Rights Watch have filed suit against the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, alleging that the DEA’s bulk collection of data related to certain phone calls made by the organization runs afoul of basic protections afforded by the Constitution. [More]

BytePhoto.com has been running online contests since 2003, but is now being sued by a company that obtained a patent on this sort of online voting.

Hobbyist Photo-Sharing Site Defends Itself Against Company With A Patent On Online Voting

Patents are intended to protect the developers of specific concepts. That’s why you don’t see a patent for “thing that can treat diseases,” but for individual medicines and devices. Last summer, the Supreme Court confirmed you can’t simply patent a generic idea just because you apply it to a computer. But a small photo-sharing site is being sued for infringing on a patent that arguably covers a vast range of vote-for-your-favorite competitions. [More]

(Dusko Tasic)

Privacy Advocates Sue DOJ For Info About Planes Used To Snoop On Cellphones

Last November, a Wall Street Journal report pulled back the covers on a U.S. Marshals Service program that uses small planes carrying devices that mimic cellphone towers, allowing them to track criminals but also scoop up information from countless other phones of citizens not involved in any crimes. After months of trying to get more details on the program, one consumer privacy advocacy group has sued the Dept. of Justice hoping to compel the release of this information. [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]

(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]

Latter-Day Saints Church Says Dating Site Can’t Match Mormons Because “Mormon” Is Their Trademark

Latter-Day Saints Church Says Dating Site Can’t Match Mormons Because “Mormon” Is Their Trademark

A businessman wants to launch a new website. Like a Christian Mingle or a JDate, its purpose is to let members of a particular religion find love with one another. In this case, the target is members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, better known as Mormons. But he’s running into a snag with the name. When is a Mormon not a Mormon? When he’s a “Mormon®.” [More]

(afagen)

Apple, Google, Facebook & Other Tech Giants Pen Letter Asking For NSA Transparency

In the wake of that whole thing where the National Security Agency is reportedly snooping on people, a whole bunch of tech industry giants have banded together with privacy advocates to send a letter to the lawmakers and President Barack Obama asking for some transparency when it comes to government surveillance. [More]

Top 10 Reasons To Quit Facebook

Top 10 Reasons To Quit Facebook

F**** Facebook! More and more, fed up with ever-disintegrating privacy policies, are saying just that, even going so far as to kill their Facebook accounts. Gizmodo has “Top Ten Reasons You Should Quit Facebook,” among them, one-sided terms of service, a “war on privacy,” the sharing of private data with applications, but perhaps best of fall, “Facebook is not technically competent enough to be trusted”: [More]