A well-placed source in Washington, D.C. with knowledge of the matter tells Stop the Cap! the Federal Communications Commission is prepared to take a hard look at the issue of Internet data caps and usage-based billing if a major cable operator like Comcast imposes usage allowances on its broadband customers nationwide.
Comcast introduced its usage cap market trial in Nashville, Tenn. in 2012 but gradually expanded it to include Huntsville and Mobile, Alabama; Atlanta, Augusta and Savannah, Georgia; Central Kentucky; Maine; Jackson, Mississippi; Knoxville and Memphis, Tennessee; Charleston, South Carolina; and Tucson, Arizona.
"Two and a half-years is exceptionally long for a "market trial," and we expected Comcast would avoid creating an issue for regulators by drawing attention to the data cap issue during its attempted merger with Time Warner Cable," said our source. "Now that the merger is off, there is growing expectation Comcast will make a decision about its "data usage plans" soon."
Mobile networks in Europe plan to start blocking online ads to target Google’s stranglehold on digital ad revenue, according to a report in the Financial Times.
The newspaper says that “several” carriers have installed ad-blocking software — developed by an Israeli company called Shine — in their data centers, and plans are afoot to switch the technology on by the end of the year. The software stops most ads from loading, though “in-feed” ads like the ones you find on Twitter or Facebook aren’t affected.
Citing a source at one European carrier, the report suggests that the network will introduce an opt-in ad-free service initially, but is also considering extending it to its entire network automatically. It’s not clear whether this would be a paid or free offering, but ultimately it’s designed to target the major online ad companies such as Google.
It's no secret that AMD has had a tough time over the last few years. While the company managed to post a profit at the start of 2014—largely thanks to its chips being used in the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One—more often than not its reliance on a declining PC market has seen its profits plunge and turn into losses since the Athlon 64 glory days. Millions (if not billions) of dollars of losses were common throughout the 2000s. $61 million was lost in 2001, followed by $1.3 billion in 2002, $274 million in 2003, and an astonishing $3.3 billion in 2007.
As Ars noted in its look at the rise and subsequent fall of the company, poor management decisions, including the building of costly fabrication facilities (which were subsequently spun off as GlobalFoundries in 2009), a difficult merger with ATI, and flawed chip designs that fail to match rival Intel on performance all contributed to the company's poor financial results over the years. A stream of CEOs, each with drastically different takes on how to run the company, certainly hasn't helped either.
In recent years, AMD has been largely known as the budget chip company, the "value for money" choice when you can't stretch to an Intel i5 or i7. Even with GPUs, an area where the company has produced some excellent Nvidia-beating products over the years, AMD has recently had to compete on price rather than performance because of a rapidly ageing line-up.
It’s not a surprise move, but Windows Media Center has a passionate and loyal following which will undoubtedly mourn the loss of the feature. Microsoft first introduced Windows Media Center in 2001 as a separate Windows XP version. It was designed to run fullscreen as a media player, and support television channels from TV tuners. A number of PC makers created dedicated Media Center PCs for use in the living room, but it never really made it mainstream enough for Microsoft to continue developing it fully. Windows Media Center was characterized by its use of a green button to access the main interface from a remote control.
Google usually releases a major platform, to which it gives a dessert-themed name, and then iterates on it with bug fixes and a few minor feature additions. In this case, we have "Lollipop," which includes Android 5.0 and the recently released Android 5.1.
There may or may not be an Android 5.2 as well, depending how big of a change Google plans for Android 6.0 and whether it needs to delay it in order to implement those major changes. However, chances are that Google is now trying to keep a major-version-per-year schedule, and it should release a preview of Android 6.0 at the next Google I/O event, while the stable version could arrive late fall this year.
Until then, we have only Android 5.0 and Android 5.1 (Lollipop), which currently represent 9.0 percent and 0.7 percent of the Android market, respectively, for a combined total of 9.7 percent. That's definitely nothing to be proud about, because it could be years by the time the vast majority of users are on the Android 5+ platforms. By then, 10 percent of users could be on Android 8.0.