Items tagged with Data

In a lot of ways, the public is resigned to the fact that almost nothing is truly "private." We're given identification numbers from birth, nearly everything about us is volunteered online, and even our mobile devices have GPS modules in them. In a lot of ways, those things are worth the hassle, and worth giving up some level of privacy. But secret, unlawful data collection could turn into a larger deal in the future, at least according to Microsoft's general counsel Brad Smith. Per Smith, we could be looking at a "bleak" future if the privacy of citizens isn't elevated in importance. To quote:... Read more...
The numbers from Pinterest’s data request transparency report are either impressive or laughable, depending on your point of view. Although the tech industry is rising up in force in reaction against the NSA’s spying tactics and forceful and shadowy means of “requesting” data from major Internet companies with FISA, it appears that Pinterest users have little to worry about. The total number of user accounts that agencies requested data from? Thirteen. Thirteen user accounts, and those requests consisted of seven warrants and five subpoenas. All of the requests came from... Read more...
DARPA, a wing of the U.S. Department of Defense, has developed quite a few technological innovations for the military that wind up trickling down to us civilians, and now the agency is open sourcing some of its projects with an eye toward fostering even better R&D. The DARPA Open Catalog is a “curated list of DARPA-sponsored software and peer-reviewed publications”, meaning that the agency isn’t just offering up anything and everything its working on, but in any case the first project posted on the site is the XDATA program. The XDATA program pertains to big data, so any fruitful... Read more...
As we mentioned yesterday, mobile service providers are in a dogfight for our business and all of a sudden are offering sweet deals left and right. We feel like the prettiest belle at the ball, and more suitors are lining up. Ting is an MVNO using Sprint’s network and offers simple service options and a range of devices that runs from very inexpensive to “ouch”. You can also bring your own device with you when you sign up for the service. Sampling of available devices on Ting In a blog post, Ting’s Michael Goldstein, in as deadpan a style as you can communicate in the written... Read more...
Suddenly, mobile carriers are falling all over each other to woo customers, promising better and better deals and offering increasingly lucrative incentives to switch carriers. The latest shot in the volley is from AT&T, which is now promising a 10GB family data plan with unlimited talk and text with its AT&T Mobile Share Value Plans. Prices start $130 for two lines; five lines will run you a total of $175, and you can add more lines beyond that for $15 per month per line. The plan also works for small business that have up to 10 lines. For a limited time, both new and existing customers... Read more...
Google has shamed the likes of Dropbox by offering many gigabytes of storage to every user for $0.00, but as cloud storage becomes cheaper, more accessible, and more demanded, new entrants are pushing the envelope. Tencent, a huge company in China, is looking to make a major splash in North America. How? By giving out more free cloud storage space than any other company in the world. A new report suggests that Tencent is planning to offer up 10TB of free cloud storage -- yes, you read that correctly. The new offering is slated to land next year, and it'll no doubt put the squeeze on companies such... Read more...
The years haven't been kind to brick-and-mortar generalist stores. Kmart, Sears, Roses -- just a few of the names that were booming a decade ago, and now, can't seem to lure a customer in regardless of tactic. Rather than just throwing in the towel and cursing Amazon, Sears is thinking outside of the box a bit. A new report suggests that Sears Auto Center locations may re-invent themselves for the digital generation by converting into data centers. With cloud services on the rise, monolithic companies such as Google and Apple have been building data centers all over the place in order to house... Read more...
Earlier this month, T-Mobile drastically shook up the wireless market yet again. In the latest of its almost-too-good-to-be-true moves in a bid to become known as the Uncarrier, the company announced that it would be giving tablet users 200MB of free data per month for life. During the initial start-up process, however, a number of to-be customers were dinged for activations, and questions began to arise. In atypical fashion, T-Mobile has issued a detailed statement that clearly lays out what went wrong, and what you can expect going forward. Bottom line? "Anybody who wants to use a tablet on T-Mobile's... Read more...
A lot of companies in the technology realm make a lot of promises, but few live up to their claims. T-Mobile is not one of those companies. After changing its stance and coming out as the "Uncarrier," T-Mobile has made one groundbreaking move after another. First, by enabling phone swaps every six months in its JUMP program; next, by making international roaming free; and now, it's giving any user who snaps up a T-Mobile tablet free LTE data every single month. Yes, free. For years, tablets sold through carriers have been terrible deals. You usually have to buy an expensive data plan, perhaps even... Read more...
AT&T rolled out Mobile Share plans last year, which allowed multiple users on one account to pay for and use a single “bucket” of data. It’s a nice option for many consumers, as typically one family member may use more data than another, and it’s not a great deal if they’re each paying for the same amount of monthly data. The company is simplifying things a bit with some new Mobile Share options. Plans start at $50 per month, which gets you service for a basic phone with 300MB of data; you can get service for a smartphone with 300MB of data for $70 per month. The... Read more...
Hopefully you've never had to experience "bill shock" before, but if you're curious what it feels like, a trip overseas followed by liberal use of your smartphone's texting, data, and voice will do the trick. International roaming rates are obscenely high, and if you're not careful, you can come home to a bill that's several thousand dollars, if not tens of thousands of dollars. T-Mobile wants to help eliminate those kind of scenarios. The nation's 4th largest wireless carrier is pitching new plans that offer unlimited data and texting at no extra charge in over 100 countries. By doing so, T-Mobile... Read more...
Payback? Perhaps. With the National Security Agency in the wrong kind of spotlight of late, this is probably sweet for many to read. What's being described as "chronic electrical surges" at an NSA data-storage facility have "hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of machinery and delayed the center's opening for a year." Yes, a full year. In what has to be one of the most bizarre stories to come out of this whole NSA saga, there have reportedly been ten meltdowns in just the past 13 months at the Utah center, with arc fault failures causing all sorts of havok for engineers. The actual cause of... Read more...
On Friday, we learned that the mobile industry has developed a short-form notice for mobile apps that tells users if the app is collecting their data and in what areas (i.e., phone call and text logs, location data, and so on) that would appear before app download begins. The program is currently voluntary and being tested, and although on the surface it seems like a step forward for consumer protection, some industry consumer rights groups are opposed to it. Jeffrey Chester of the Center for Digital Democracy (CDD) told us that, with respect to all the work that the industry put into the plan,... Read more...
Well, it's pretty easy to tell which U.S. carriers are doing well, and which aren't. Verizon and AT&T recently extended the length of time required for its customers to get a subsidy on a new phone, while T-Mobile and Sprint are both making some pretty consumer-friendly moves. Clearly, those first two are raking in the cash. Sprint, however, has been slipping for years. The carrier has trumpeted its unlimited data option for some time now, but that's seemingly not enough. This week, it's introducing a wild new unlimited guaranteed plan for those who are ready to tie the knot with an operator.... Read more...
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