In the year since the FCC passed net neutrality rules, ISP allies in Congress have run the agency through an endless gauntlet of show-pony hearings. While most of these hearings profess to be focused on agency transparency and accountability, they're really geared toward one single purpose: to publicly shame the agency for standing up to deep-pocketed telecom campaign contributors. Given the fact the only real way to overturn the rules is for ISPs to prevail in court or via Presidential election, this showmanship has been little more than a stunning display of wasted taxpayer dollars and stunted intellectual discourse.
Undaunted, the Senate held yet another "FCC accountability" (read: pointless tongue-lashing) hearing last week, during which Senators pummeled FCC boss Tom Wheeler with many of the same, repeatedly-debunked claims net neutrality opponents have been making since the rules were approved. Among them was the claim that the rules somehow hampered broadband investment, despite the fact that objective data (including quarterly ISP earnings reports) repeatedly shows that simply isn't the case.
The Department of Justice’s latest filing is best classified as vitriolic. It does not hint that Apple has commercial motivations, it accuses the company of manufacturing the entire controversy — and a great deal more besides. The second sentence of the filing reads: “This burden, which is not unreasonable, is the direct result of Apple’s deliberate marketing decision to engineer its products so that the government cannot search them, even with a warrant.”
Apple has taken a strong, pro-user stance on this issue and numerous security experts (and even John Oliver) have weighed in to explain why creating this kind of backdoor for the FBI is dangerous. You can watch his video here.
The FBI’s brief dismisses all of this as a marketing ploy, and then blasts Apple as a literal threat to American democracy, writing: “Apple’s rhetoric is not only false, but also corrosive of the very institutions that are best able to safeguard our liberty and our rights: the courts, the Fourth Amendment, longstanding precedent and venerable laws, and the democratically elected branches of government.”
Microsoft has announced it will natively support cross-platform play between Xbox One, Windows 10, and other "online multiplayer networks." The move effectively opens the Xbox Live platform so that it can accommodate players on Sony's PlayStation Network, among others.
The announcement was made on Xbox.com by Chris Charla, director of ID@Xbox, who said "it's up to game developers to support this feature" and noted that players will "always have the option of choosing to play only with other Xbox Live players."
"In addition to natively supporting cross-platform play between Xbox One and Windows 10 games that use Xbox Live, we're enabling developers to support cross-network play as well," Charla explained.
"This means players on Xbox One and Windows 10 using Xbox Live will be able to play with players on different online multiplayer networks--including other consoles and PC networks."
Tomorrow, March 11, Samsung will start shipping its new Galaxy S7 and S7 edge smartphones to pre-orderers and they’ll be able to block ads while browsing the web immediately, thanks to Adblock Plus.
The new Adblock Plus for Samsung Browser only works on Android Marshmallow, which is the OS found on the S7 and S7 edge.
As the battle between iOS and Android rages on, it can be said that both operating systems are wonderful. True, Apple's offering allows more timely updates, but Google's mobile OS is available to many manufacturers for various device types. It is clear why Android is the most-used mobile operating system in the world -- it allows affordable devices, while Apple simply doesn't.
Today, Google shocks the tech world by releasing the first official Developer Preview of Android N -- the successor to the wonderful Marshmallow. It is available for many Nexus devices, and you can install it now. Google even shares a handy how-to guide below.
"Today we're happy to announce a Developer Preview of the N release of Android! We're doing something a little different this year by releasing the preview early… really early. By releasing a 'work in progress' build earlier in development, we have more time to incorporate developer feedback. Also, the earlier preview allows us to hand off the final N release to device makers this summer, so they can get their hands on the latest version of Android earlier than ever. We’re looking forward to getting your feedback as you get your apps ready for N", says Dave Burke, VP of Engineering, Google.