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AT&T, Verizon face DOJ investigation for allegedly trying to lock eSIMs

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Enlarge / Apple Watch Series 3, with eSIM technology for connecting to cellular networks. (credit: Apple)

AT&T and Verizon are being investigated by the Department of Justice (DOJ) over whether they colluded in order to prevent customers from easily switching carriers.

The antitrust investigation, reported by The New York Times yesterday, relates to the eSIM (embedded SIM) technology that is used instead of regular SIM cards in cellular-capable Apple Watches and other devices such as the Google Pixel 2. eSIMs are supposed to let customers switch carriers without changing to a different SIM card or device, but AT&T and Verizon are accused of “try[ing] to establish standards that would allow them to lock a device to their network even if it had eSIM technology,” the Times report said.

The DOJ began investigating about five months ago after complaints from Apple and an unidentified wireless carrier, the article said.

Read 17 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Source: https://arstechnica.com/?p=1297331

Geek Trivia: Coca Cola Almost Created A Vending Machine That Would Adjust Its Prices Based On?

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Think you know the answer? Click through to see if you’re right!

Source: https://www.howtogeek.com/trivia/coca-cola-almost-created-a-vending-machine-that-would-adjust-its-prices-based-on/

Flickr bought by SmugMug photo hosting service

While it pales in popularity compared to the big social networks, photo-sharing site Flickr is still around. Founded in 2004 and purchased by Yahoo in 2005 for over $20 million, Flickr grew to roughly 75 million accounts, but has long been overtaken by social media giants like Facebook and Instagram. But now Flickr has a new owner, the professional photo … Continue reading

Source: https://www.slashgear.com/flickr-bought-by-smugmug-photo-hosting-service-21528123/

4 things to consider before making your home smart

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4 things to consider before making your home smart  CNETCan digital home assistants top smartphones for control of the smart home?  Digital Trends4 clever ways to prevent spying and 1 way to spy  Fox NewsFull coverage

Source: https://www.cnet.com/news/things-to-consider-before-making-your-home-smart/

Fujifilm XH-1 review: Beautiful photos, but lacking X-series allure

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Fujifilm has an impressively loyal fan base for good reason. Its X-Series mirrorless APS-C cameras are compact, feature-packed, easy to use, produce excellent images, come with top-flight lenses and look great — all at a reasonable price. So,…

Source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/04/21/fujifilm-s-xh-1-review/

Twitter banned Russian security firm Kaspersky Lab from buying ads

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The U.S. government isn’t the only one feeling skittish about Kaspersky Lab. On Friday, the Russian security firm’s founder Eugene Kaspersky confronted Twitter’s apparent ban on advertising from the company, a decision it quietly issued in January.

No matter how this situation develops, we won’t be doing any more advertising on Twitter this year.

The whole of the planned Twitter advertising budget for 2018 will instead be donated to the @EFF. They do a lot to fight censorship online.

Eugene Kaspersky (@e_kaspersky) April 20, 2018

“In a short letter from an unnamed Twitter employee, we were told that our company ‘operates using a business model that inherently conflicts with acceptable Twitter Ads business practices,’” Kaspersky wrote.

“One thing I can say for sure is this: we haven’t violated any written – or unwritten – rules, and our business model is quite simply the same template business model that’s used throughout the whole cybersecurity industry: We provide users with products and services, and they pay us for them.”

He noted that the company has spent around than €75,000 ($93,000 USD) to promote its content on Twitter in 2017.

Kaspersky called for Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to specify the motivation behind the ban after failing to respond to an official February 6 letter from his company.

“More than two months have passed since then, and the only reply we received from Twitter was the copy of the same boilerplate text. Accordingly, I’m forced to rely on another (less subtle but nevertheless oft and loudly declared) principle of Twitter’s – speaking truth to power – to share details of the matter with interested users and to publicly ask that you, dear Twitter executives, kindly be specific as to the reasoning behind this ban; fully explain the decision to switch off our advertising capability, and to reveal what other cybersecurity companies need to do in order to avoid similar situations.”

In a statement about the incident, Twitter reiterated that Kaspersky Lab’s business model “inherently conflicts with acceptable Twitter Ads business practices.” In a statement to CyberScoop, Twitter pointed to the late 2017 Department of Homeland Security directive to eliminate Kaspersky software from Executive Branch systems due to the company’s relationship with Russian intelligence.

“The Department is concerned about the ties between certain Kaspersky officials and Russian intelligence and other government agencies, and requirements under Russian law that allow Russian intelligence agencies to request or compel assistance from Kaspersky and to intercept communications transiting Russian networks,” DHS asserted in the directive at the time.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Techcrunch/~3/eORrVC7Un0I/

10 stylish ways to remove single-use plastic from your life

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The UK government has announced plans to ban the sale of many single-use plastic items, including plastic straws, drink stirrers, and plastic-stemmed cotton buds. Get ready for it now with this list of great eco-friendly alternatives that are already on the market.

According to the UK government,”There are over 150 million tonnes of plastic in the world’s oceans and every year one million birds and over 100,000 sea mammals die from eating and getting tangled in plastic waste”. We all know that this level of waste is unsustainable and with the ban looking like it could apply as early as next year, it’s a good time to start thinking about ways in which you can minimise your plastic waste.  Read more…

More about Environment, Plastic Waste, Mashable Shopping, Shopping List, and Single Use Plastic

Source: https://mashable.com/2018/04/20/single-use-plastic-alternatives/?utm_campaign=Mash-Prod-RSS-Feedburner-All-Partial&utm_cid=Mash-Prod-RSS-Feedburner-All-Partial

Acer and Dell gaming laptops drop to ludicrously low prices to clear way for Intel 8th-gen CPUs

Intel’s new 8th-gen mobile gaming processors are here, and you know what that means: A fresh generation of gaming laptops! But that’s not all. As we’ve been preaching on PCWorld’s Full Nerd podcast, new hardware means deep discounts on existing stock, and it’s a stellar time to buy a 7th-gen laptop at prices previously considered ludicrous.

Case in point: Newegg is selling the Acer Nitro 5 for just $699.99. And Dell’s still offering a GTX 1060-equipped laptop at a borderline unheard-of price.

To read this article in full, please click here

Source: https://www.pcworld.com/article/3269063/computers/acer-and-dell-gaming-laptops-drop-to-ludicrously-low-prices-to-clear-way-for-intel-8th-gen-cpus.html#tk.rss_all

Startup ecosystem report: China is rising while the U.S. is waning

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Startups are a gamble, but it’s possible to better understand why some thrive and many more die by looking at the ecosystems in which they operate. Such is the mission of eight-year-old Startup Genome, comprised of a group of researchers and entrepreneurs who, every year, interview thousands of founders and investors around the world to get a better handle on what’s changing in the regions where they operate, and what remains stubbornly the same.

The larger objective is to figure out how to help more startups succeed, and the outfit — which this year surveyed 10,000 founders with the help of partners like Crunchbase and Dealroom — produced some data that should perhaps concern those in the U.S. To wit, China looks positioned to overtake U.S. dominance when it comes to numerous tech sectors. Consider: In 2014, just 14 percent of so-called unicorns were based in China. Between the start of last year through today, that percentage has shot up to 35 percent, while in the U.S., the number of homegrown unicorns has fallen from 61 percent to 41 percent of the overall global number.

You could argue that investors are simply assigning China-based startups overly lofty valuations, as happened here in the U.S., and we partly believe that to be true. But China is also clearly “in it to win it,” based on a look at patents, with four times as many AI-related applications and three times as many crypto- and blockchain-related patents registered in China last year. With so much of the tech industry now focused on deep tech, it’s worth noting. In fact, as much as we loathed the January Financial Times column penned by famed VC Michael Moritz, who suggested that U.S. companies follow China’s lead, his underlying call to arms was probably, gulp, prescient in its own way.

What else should startups know? According to Startup Genome’s findings, in addition to the rise of AI, blockchain and robotics manufacturing, there are clearly declining sub sectors, too, including, least surprisingly, ad tech, which has seen a roughly 35 percent drop in funding over the last five years. No doubt that ties directly to the growing dominance of Facebook and Google, which accounted for 73 percent of all U.S. digital advertising last year, according to the equity research firm Pivotal.

That doesn’t mean ad tech startups are cooked, notes the study’s authors. Rather, declining sub-sectors are often “mature” but can be revived by new technologies. In this case, while funding for adtech has dropped, virtual reality and augmented reality could well inject some new growth into the industry at some point. Maybe.

Either way, to us, the most interesting facets of this report — and it really is worth poring over — are the connections it’s able to make by talking with so many people around the world. It addresses, for example, how Stockholm, a relatively small startup ecosystem, is able to produce sizable startups at a meaningful rate, versus Chicago, whose ecosystem is ostensibly three times bigger. (The answer: Stockholm’s startup founders are apparently better connected to the world’s top seven ecosystems.)

Also quite interesting is the report’s findings about women founders, who build more relationships with regional founders and are more locally connected than their male counterparts — except with investors. That’s bad news for both women founders and investors, as local connectedness is associated with better startup performance.

To read the report in full, click over here. You have to fork over your email address, but with 240 pages filled with fascinating nuggets and other useful information, you’ll likely find it well worth it.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Techcrunch/~3/FgrAilbBsFI/

Which Synology NAS Should I Buy?

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Synology offers a plethora of NAS models to choose from, but the selection can be a bit dizzying if you’re not sure what all the differences are. Here are some things you should know to help you narrow down your ideal choice.

Source: https://www.howtogeek.com/348700/which-synology-nas-should-i-buy/

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