Pandora and Sony/ATV No Longer Opponents in Streaming Wars

Pandora Media and Sony/ATV announced a multiyear licensing deal yesterday that brings the companies together to provide better rates for artists while allowing Pandora to “benefit from greater rate certainty” that could also help “add new flexibility to the company’s product offering over time.” The direct licensing deal arrives as the music industry prepares for potential changes regarding federal regulation of songwriting rights. Sony/ATV is the world’s biggest music publisher with songwriting rights to thousands of artists, including the Beatles and Taylor Swift. Continue reading Pandora and Sony/ATV No Longer Opponents in Streaming Wars

BlackBerry’s First Android Device Retains Security Technology

BlackBerry has finally done something it said it would never do: ditch its own operating system. Expected to ship by the end of November, Priv is based on the Android operating system but also incorporates BlackBerry’s encryption technology, still considered superior by the government and industry entities that have been central to the company’s success. Whereas BlackBerry phones once dominated usage among bank, law and other professional employment, the Canadian company lost market share to Apple and Android smartphones. Continue reading BlackBerry’s First Android Device Retains Security Technology

Governor Brown Vetoes Legislation Restricting Use of Drones

California Governor Jerry Brown has vetoed California Senate Bill 142, proposed legislation that would require drone users to obtain permission to fly their unmanned aerial systems less than 350 feet over private property. “Drone technology certainly raises novel issues that merit careful examination,” wrote Brown. “This bill, however, while well-intentioned, could expose the occasional hobbyist and the FAA-approved commercial user alike to burdensome litigation and new causes of action.” Tech groups opposed the bill and the CEA applauded the Governor’s decision. Continue reading Governor Brown Vetoes Legislation Restricting Use of Drones

FTC Has Authority Over Corporate Hacks, says Appeals Court

The Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Federal Trade Commission can advance its lawsuit against Wyndham Worldwide, which the FTC holds partially culpable for theft of online data three times between 2008 and 2010, for a total of over 619,000 credit- and debit-card numbers. Since Congress has yet to pass sweeping legislation on data security, the FTC has stepped in, so far instigating 50 additional data-security cases based on its mandate to act against unfair and deceptive business practices. Continue reading FTC Has Authority Over Corporate Hacks, says Appeals Court

Companies Share Cyberthreat Info on New Facebook Platform

When Facebook launched ThreatExchange in February, the idea was to create a platform where companies could share information on potential cyberattacks, malware and other malicious hazards. Now, the Silicon Valley company says that the number of companies on the platform has reached 90, after 23 joined last week when the application process became easier. Facebook, which isn’t alone in offering a platform for centralized cyberthreats, is continuing its work to integrate these other information-sharing platforms. Continue reading Companies Share Cyberthreat Info on New Facebook Platform

Pew Research: Facebook, Twitter Are Preferred News Sources

While social networks such as Facebook and Twitter prefer to describe themselves as content distribution platforms rather than content publishing platforms, denying any involvement in the editorial reshaping of what users see (despite their editorial ability to remove content from their sites), a recent study conducted by the Pew Research Center reveals that Facebook and Twitter users across multiple demographics in the United States are increasingly turning to the two services to access external news. Continue reading Pew Research: Facebook, Twitter Are Preferred News Sources

Tech Groups Express Their Support for the USA FREEDOM Act

Technology trade groups — including TechNet, the Internet Association, the Information Technology Industry Council, and the Computer and Communications Industry Association — have joined the Reform Government Surveillance group in support of the USA FREEDOM Act. The bill intends to limit federal government bulk surveillance programs in an effort to protect privacy while still addressing national security. The consortium supports more transparency and a change to the collection of bulk data. Continue reading Tech Groups Express Their Support for the USA FREEDOM Act

President Obama Approves Order Against Foreign Cyberattacks

A new executive order signed by President Obama earlier this week aims to warn off foreign online hackers from targeting the United States. The order authorizes severe consequences to the individual or foreign party determined to be involved with any attack that may compromise the security, foreign policy, economic health, and financial stability of the U.S. Any violations of the policy could result in both financial and travel sanctions as regulated by the federal government. Continue reading President Obama Approves Order Against Foreign Cyberattacks

Security: Government Urges Removing Superfish from Laptops

Some Lenovo laptops that have shipped since August include a pre-installed adware program known as Visual Discovery by Superfish. While Superfish is designed to serve ads, it reportedly does so in a dangerous way that leaves users vulnerable to hackers. While Lenovo claims that it has investigated the tech and does “not find any evidence to substantiate security concerns,” Internet security analysts suggest a major problem still exists. The Department of Homeland Security warns that Superfish makes users vulnerable to SSL spoofing. Continue reading Security: Government Urges Removing Superfish from Laptops

President Obama Calls for New Improvements to Cybersecurity

President Barack Obama proposed a series of new regulations that intend to help protect the country from cyberattacks. In the wake of a series of significant hacks last year, Obama is asking Congress to increase prosecution and toughen the penalties of people committing cybercrimes. He also wants companies to be able to share their information about hacks. In other news, President Obama wants to increase broadband competition by ending the laws in 19 states that limit municipal broadband. Continue reading President Obama Calls for New Improvements to Cybersecurity

FCC Chair Hints That Broadband is Likely To Be Reclassified

Speaking at CES, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler hinted that the agency could reclassify broadband as a public utility (telecommunications service). Those in opposition of such a move, fearing increased federal regulation, include the broadband industry as well as some Republican lawmakers and conservative groups. Wheeler also accused broadcasters of slowing plans for spectrum auctions. While he remains optimistic that auctions would still begin next year, he expressed disappointment “that the broadcasters have slowed things down by filing suit.” Continue reading FCC Chair Hints That Broadband is Likely To Be Reclassified

New Apple-IBM Partnership Unveils First Apps for Enterprise

Apple and IBM released 10 apps this week designed for businesses and governments. The apps are the first to come out of the tech companies’ new partnership and target sectors such as air travel, banking and retail. Apple is looking to put new life into its lagging iPad sales by drawing business users, while IBM hopes to catch up in the mobile space. The two companies are working with 50 corporations to create apps for Apple mobile devices; the next round is slated for release early next year. Continue reading New Apple-IBM Partnership Unveils First Apps for Enterprise

OpenSensors.io Lets Anyone Share Data from Smart Devices

As the Internet of Things grows, the creators of OpenSensors.io believe that the public could benefit from sharing data from the many sensors that collect information around the world. OpenSensors is like a social network, where people can publish their data and subscribe to other people’s data. The software brings all of the info together, making it easier to route it to the appropriate locations. The open source nature of the data means anyone could use it for their own research or app. Continue reading OpenSensors.io Lets Anyone Share Data from Smart Devices

Data Caps May Result in Higher Prices for Internet Customers

The U.S. Government Accountability Office warns that data caps may drive the prices of Internet service up for everyone, instead of keeping costs low for the people who only use a small amount of data. Internet service providers do not have enough competition in some places, which would make it easier for ISPs to abuse a usage-based pricing system. The GAO recommends that the Federal Communications Commission develop a voluntary code of conduct for ISPs. Continue reading Data Caps May Result in Higher Prices for Internet Customers

Verizon Could Sue the Government Over Net Neutrality Rules

The Federal Communications Commission may reverse its rules about net neutrality after consumer advocates argued that the “fast lane” deals between various companies and Internet service providers were characterized as unfair. Verizon reportedly plans to sue the government if the FCC adopts stronger net neutrality rules. Under the FCC’s plans, ISPs would be treated as a utility in their dealings with content providers, but their Internet service to consumers would be only lightly regulated. Continue reading Verizon Could Sue the Government Over Net Neutrality Rules

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