Kate Cox

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter RSS Feed
Byron Chin

You Don’t Care About Your Friends’ Data, And 4 Other Things We Learned From Privacy Experts

The things we buy and use every day are increasingly connected — to the internet, and to each other — and while this new level of interconnection provides a slew of benefits, it also raises a new set of privacy problems and security challenges. Yet, as we recently learned, consumers are often self-centered when it comes to protecting their data and don’t give much thought to making their friends’ info available. [More]

MarteaDesignCo

British American Tobacco Actually Buying Reynolds For Real This Time, For $49 Billion

It looks like the end of a months-long, will they-won’t they saga is finally drawing to a close: North-Carolina based R.J. Reynolds American has finally agreed to let British American Tobacco buy out the remaining part of the company it doesn’t already own for $49 billion. [More]

It’s Creepy, But Not Illegal, For This Website To Provide All Your Public Info To Anyone

It’s Creepy, But Not Illegal, For This Website To Provide All Your Public Info To Anyone

This week, the social media world has been alight with warning about a “genealogy” site that makes just about anyone’s information — addresses (current and former), age, family members, possible associates — available for free to any user. While this has caused a minor uproar, with concerned folks telling each other how to opt out of having their data shared by this site, this sort of data-aggregating service isn’t exactly anything new — and while what this site is doing might seem remarkably creepy, it is, in fact, completely legal. [More]

Yahoo

Yahoo To Kick CEO Off Board, Rename Company To Altaba — If Verizon Deal Goes Through

After losing 1.5 billion customer records in two different hacks, what can you possibly pull off for a third act? That’s what Yahoo is wondering right about now. Its answer? Throw the CEO off the board, change names post-haste, and hope that sweet Verizon acquisition is still on track. [More]

Uber | YouTube

Uber Trying To Make Nice With Cities By Sharing Traffic Data

Have you ever watched a busy downtown city street and wondered how many of those cars are Ubers, how far they’re going, and how long it usually takes them to get there? City planners and transit administrators do, and so to make their lives a little easier, Uber’s planning to start giving away some aggregated, public-interest data to help transit planners plan. [More]

Theranos

Former Blood-Testing Company Theranos Somehow Still Has 155 Employees To Fire

Remember Theranos, the blood-testing company that managed to be one of the most scandal-plagued startups of recent years? The company is back in the headlines, with the sad news that it’s managed to find 41% of staff it hadn’t yet laid off, and has targeted them for downsizing immediately. [More]

LG

Ransomware Spreading Onto Smart TVs, Is A Pain To Fix

Streaming TV has been a boon for consumers. Programming is everywhere, right at our fingertips, as soon as we get our screens online. But that connectivity comes with a big risk: wherever there’s an internet connection, there’s a possibility for bad guys to show up. And now they are showing up in the real world, holding TV sets hostage with ransomware and demanding cash to let you access your own stuff. [More]

Xavier J. Peg

Calling Customer Service? An AI Is Picking The Agent That’s “Best” For You

Think back to the last time you had to call a real, live person in order to complete a purchase or have a problem resolved. How did it go? Did you and the customer service representative you spoke to have trouble understanding one another in some fundamental way? Or was it a smooth interaction, almost as if the CSR you spoke with was carefully hand-picked for you by robots?

If it’s the latter, it might be because the CSR you spoke with was in fact carefully hand-picked for you by robots. [More]

inajeep

Senators Question Comcast, Charter About “Broadcast TV” & “Regional Sports” Fees

The 115th Congress only just came into town and got properly sworn in and down to business on Tuesday, but returning members aren’t wasting any time picking their favorite projects back up. And so, only a few days into the new year, a pair of senators are turning on Charter and Comcast to ask what, exactly, those two think they’re doing with their pricing schemes. [More]

Comcast

Comcast Snaps Up Watchwith So It Can Tell You What’s Happening Inside Your Show

It doesn’t seem like much of a story, at first: a giant tech conglomerate has quietly acquired a smaller, newer company that does things kind of like what the big company already does. It’s basically the story of the entire 21st century world of tech in a nutshell. But with every new set of players comes a new set of concerns. [More]

Flyinace2000

Got An Idea On How To Make ‘Internet Of Things’ More Secure? You Could Win $25,000

Internet-connected (“smart”) devices are becoming ubiquitous, but they have this persistent problem: they’re internet-connected. A huge number are extremely vulnerable to being taken over by bad actors, for a whole host of reasons. And so, before your fridge becomes part of the next record-breaking botnet, the Federal Trade Commission wants to give someone cold, hard, cash money for coming up with a way to prevent it. [More]

Mike Mozart

AT&T To Start Using DirecTV Now To Test 5G Tech

The future is wireless. At least, so all the wireless companies say. Sure, running actual cables to houses and apartment buildings brought broadband this far, but the always-on, always-streaming future is just going to get more and more mobile. And so the current era of 4G LTE wireless connections will eventually give way to 5G, which promises to be faster, better, and stronger in every way. But before you can use 5G tech, first you have to make it, you know, work. [More]

angela n.

Telecom Lobbyists Trying To Overturn New Privacy Rules, Eventually Gut Net Neutrality

It’s no secret that the incoming administration is pretty keen on gutting the 2015 Open Internet rule (aka, net neutrality) as soon as it gets a chance. But while there might be new leadership at the FCC in just over two weeks, the rules of process still apply. There’s no magic “remove it” wand for folks opposed to net neutrality to wave; there’s just the long, slow road of petitions, hearings, and evidence, which has formally kicked off this week. [More]

Seiki

Amazon To Start Selling Actual FireTV TVs, Make Alexa Do More Things

CES — the annual Consumer Electronics Show — is about to light up Las Vegas for the rest of the week. So ’tis the season for tech news to come rolling on in from far and wide. Today’s big announcements come courtesy of Amazon, which wants to put its Fire interface and AI assistant Alexa basically everywhere. [More]

AirTV

Dish’s New AirTV Device Combines Streaming 4K Video With Over-The-Air TV

Remember how Dish kind-of, sort-of, possibly-accidentally quietly announced it had new streaming hardware on the way? Well, that device — the AirTV player — is today finally a real thing, with a real price tag, that you can buy if you want. [More]

AT&T Scrapping $35 DirecTV Now Pricing In January; Bumping Bundle To $60

AT&T Scrapping $35 DirecTV Now Pricing In January; Bumping Bundle To $60

Well, that really didn’t last long. The promising $35-per-month price for AT&T’s DirecTV Now streaming bundle was always billed as “promotional” and time-limited, but that time appears to be short. Super-short. As in: ending on Jan. 9, in just over a week. [More]

Philografy

2016, By The Numbers

Well, 2016 sure has been a year. From exploding phones to “glitches” that grounded thousands of flights to the ever-increasing, ever-depressing mountain of student loan debt. Let’s not forget bankrupt and shuttered retailers and restaurants, growing resistance to antibiotics, and the continuing opioid epidemic. Before we flip the calendar to 2017, let’s have our annual look at some of the numbers behind the year we’re finally leaving behind. [More]

run-dmc

Run-DMC Suing Online Retailers, Including Amazon and Walmart, For $50 Million

Run-DMC might have broken up 14 years ago, but the name and the musical legend live on in the world of licensed, endorsed merchandise. Unfortunately, according to a new lawsuit, the Run-DMC name also lives on in infringing merchandise being sold by major online stores. [More]