Geek Trivia: The Deadliest Natural Disaster In U.S. History Was A?

Think you know the answer? Click through to see if you’re right! Jason Fitzpatrick #pch3lp #tech #TheNewz #technology #TechNews


The FCC is voting to repeal net neutrality on Thursday. Here’s how to watch live.

The fun begins on Thursday, December 14 at 10:30 am ET / 7:30 am PT. The Trump administration is set to repeal the rules that require internet service providers to treat all web traffic equally. After months of debate, the Federal Communications Commission — led by Republican Chairman Ajit Pai — will officially vote on Thursday, December 14 to eliminate net neutrality protections implemented under former President Barack Obama. The meeting begins at 10:30 am ET / 7:30 am PT. Live video of the debate will be available here. To ardent open-internet supporters, Pai’s efforts will open the door for telecom giants to block or slow down access to web pages and other services. It will also create so-called “fast lanes,” where ISPs can charge web companies for faster delivery of their content. To telecom giants like AT&T, Charter, Comcast* and Verizon, however, Pai’s repeal is another major victory that spares them from government regulation. And Pai contends that his approach — greater transparency, with another agency taking the lead in overseeing the web — is just enough to protect the internet from interference. The vote today — which isn’t in doubt at the Republican-led FCC — follows months of public protest led by consumer groups like Free Press and tech giants like Amazon, Facebook and Google. More than 21 million comments flooded the telecom agency, many urging Pai to reverse course. The FCC’s five commissioners will convene their meeting at 10:30 am ET. There are multiple items on the agenda, including a major overhaul of the country’s media ownership laws. * Comcast, through its NBCU arm, is an investor in Vox Media, which owns this website. Tony Romm #pch3lp #tech #TheNewz #technology #TechNews

Starbucks store’s WiFi hijacked laptops to mine cryptocurrency

A Starbucks store located in Buenos Aires was recently caught mining cryptocurrency using visitors’ laptops that were connected to its public WiFi network. The mining was the result of malware, which Starbucks has since taken care of. The issue was made known by Noah Dinkin, who alerted Starbucks and the public to the mining via a tweet. According to Dinkin … Continue reading Brittany A. Roston #pch3lp #tech #TheNewz #technology #TechNews

The best gaming monitors can fall under $900, and we list five just for you

What are the best gaming monitors you can buy right now? We select five that are all priced under $900 packing premium technologies like G-SYNC and FreeSync, high resolutions, and fast refresh rates. The post The best gaming monitors you can buy appeared first on Digital Trends. Kevin Parrish #pch3lp #tech #TheNewz #technology #TechNews

Comcast reiterates a shifting promise of ‘no paid prioritization’

Comcast has promised before that it does not and will not engage in paid prioritization, and today the company has reiterated that stance — after being called out for having apparently weakened it over the last year. Over the last few years, Comcast’s Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer David Cohen has written several times on the topic of net neutrality. In 2014, when the current rules were pending, he wrote pretty unambiguously: No paid prioritization – We agree, and that is our practice… We don’t prioritize Internet traffic or have paid fast lanes, and have no plans to do so. Shortly afterwards, in response to feedback, he doubled down on that statement: To be clear, Comcast has never offered paid prioritization, we are not offering it today, and we’re not considering entering into any paid prioritization creating fast lane deals with content owners. In 2015, when the new rules were voted in, he wrote again: We fully embrace the open Internet principles that have been laid out by President Obama and Chairman Wheeler and that now have been adopted by the FCC… we have no issue with the principles of transparency and the no blocking, no throttling, and no fast lanes rules incorporated in today’s FCC Order. At some point, however, and this is just a guess but I’m thinking in November of 2016, Comcast apparently decided that this particular promise may have been a little overboard. In April of 2017 the company posted three items to its blog. Promises were again made, but slightly different ones. Dave Watson, President and CEO of Comcast Cable, wrote: Here is what we stand for when we say we believe in an Open Internet. We do not block, slow down, or discriminate against lawful content. And we believe in full transparency…you’ll know what our customer policies are. And Brian Roberts, Chairman and CEO of Comcast Corporation, echoed him: We don’t block, throttle, or discriminate against lawful content delivered over the Internet, and we are committed to continuing to manage our business and network with the goal of providing the best possible consumer experience. Lastly, our friend David Cohen made a puzzling statement: Consistent with our longstanding practices, Comcast will continue to give our broadband customers the net neutrality protections they have come to expect. Nothing less. Puzzling because according to the company’s own promises, we should expect nothing less than “no paid prioritization” whatsoever. That is, after all, what he wrote not long before. Yet the promise does not appear in any of the three pieces published in April. Since Watson promised full transparency, we ought to know why that is the case. Perhaps they were just waiting to explain. The explanation didn’t come in May, when Cohen wrote: We do not and will not block, slow down, or discriminate against lawful content. Or on the net neutrality day of action, on which he reassured everyone: We want the public, our customers, and other consumers across the web to know we’ll continue to protect them, to not block, throttle, or discriminate, no matter what the FCC does. But then, just days later, paid prioritization returns! Kind of. In describing what the “Restoring Internet Freedom” proposal would do, Cohen writes (emphasis mine): In addition to reclassifying broadband Internet access service as an information service, these FCC efforts can include the adoption of clearly defined net neutrality principles – no blocking, no throttling, no anticompetitive paid prioritization, and full transparency. Note that here Comcast is not actually stating its own policy, merely explaining what the new proposal would do. It’s not entirely accurate, though: blocking and throttling are not banned under Restoring Internet Freedom. In paragraph 259, the FCC writes: “We find the no-blocking and no-throttling rules are unnecessary to prevent the harms that they were intended to thwart.” In fact the new rules require ISPs to be transparent about what they throttle or block, and someone thinks there’s a problem, they can take it up with the FTC and antitrust authorities; it’s not the FCC’s business. That’s a whole other discussion, but worth mentioning here. Don’t worry, though. As David Cohen and Comcast repeatedly promised, the company ” has never offered paid prioritization” and never will, “no matter what the FCC does.” It’s just a funny coincidence that as soon as the FCC suggested that paid prioritization isn’t, strictly speaking, forbidden, Comcast dropped it from the list of things it won’t do. Now it just won’t do anticompetitive paid prioritization. What constitutes “anticompetitive,” you ask? That will be hashed out over years of court cases and federal lawsuits, just as with every important definition in this industry. And you can bet your bottom dollar that Comcast will be spending a lot of time and money making sure that definition is to its liking! After a few recent articles pointed out this vacillation on Comcast’s part, I asked the company for comment. It told me at the time that “Comcast hasn’t entered into any paid prioritization agreements. Period. And we have no plans to do so.” When I mentioned that it would be helpful to consumers to see this posted publicly as it was before, a Comcast representative told me I was “splitting hairs.” All the same, the company did decide to post it publicly today, saying: Is Comcast creating Internet fast lanes? No, we’ve said consistently we’ve not entered into paid prioritization agreements and have no plans to do so. I unironically applaud Comcast for saying so, and I hope it keeps its word, although I reserve the right to remain skeptical. The promise did fade away briefly, and I can’t help but think that had no one made a fuss about it, it would have continued fading. Cohen said: “Comcast will continue to give our broadband customers the net neutrality protections they have come to expect.” And that’s what I’ve learned to expect. Featured Image: Mike Mozart/Flickr UNDER A CC BY 2.0 LICENSE Let’s block ads! (Why?) Devin Coldewey #pch3lp #tech #TheNewz #technology #TechNews

Snag an R2-D2 charging station for 50% off today

Just to let you know, if you buy something featured here, Mashable might earn an affiliate commission. R2-D2 is decked out with a lot of handy gadgets, so it would stand to reason that he should probably have a few outlets and USB ports on him. Enter: the R2-D2 charging station. The Star Wars inspired charging station features two USB ports and four regular sockets so you can increase your outlet options. It’s a great and geeky way to refill your batteries and display your love of Star Wars at the same time. It’s normally $30, but you can get your own for only $15 — a 50% savings. Image: ThinkGeek Get the R2-D2 Power Station for 50% off See Details Read more… More about Gifts, Star Wars, Star Wars The Force Awakens, R2 D2, and Usb C Port Carlos Cadorniga #pch3lp #tech #TheNewz #technology #TechNews

Aiming to be the LinkedIn for creatives, The Dots raises £4m

Professional social networks like LinkedIn have long been a mainstay of business, but what if you are more of a creative bent where LinkedIn looks pretty stuffy? In the US, Behance, a network for creatives raised $6.5m in the past and now the general idea has moved across the pond in the shape of The Dots. Aimed at the so-called ‘No Collar’ professionals (creatives in T-shirts, if… Read More Mike Butcher #pch3lp #tech #TheNewz #technology #TechNews

Data suggests there are only 50,000 Essential Phone users

The Essential phone has only been available for a couple of months now. It wasn’t exactly easy to get the Essential phone at launch, but it’s not as difficult to find these days. The phone has also seen a few really nice discounts as of late. All of this begs the question “how many devices have they actually sold?” The phone seems to get a lot of hype on tech sites, but has that translated to sales? We don’t have any official sales numbers, but we can make some educated guesses based on app downloads. The camera app on the Essential phone is in the Play Store and it has been updated a bunch of times. There’s a very good chance that every Essential owner has updated the app at least once. Downloads for the app just recently passed 50,000, which is probably close to the number of users. The actual number of users is likely higher than 50,000, but that’s a good estimate. It makes sense for startup’s first phone that was a little pricey and hard to buy at launch. Essential will be able to use this start as a jumping off point for the next device. Joe Fedewa #pch3lp #tech #TheNewz #technology #TechNews

MSI’s GS63VR Is a Perfectly Balanced Gaming Laptop

A couple months ago I reviewed MSI’s GT75VR, and even though I respect how hard it is to cram desktop-level components, ridiculously loud speakers, and a custom mechanical keyboard in a laptop body, gigantic 17-inch systems like that don’t really do it for me. That’s because weighing in at almost 10 pounds and… Read more… Sam Rutherford #pch3lp #tech #TheNewz #technology #TechNews