Items tagged with NTIA

Ownership of the Internet is about to undergo a massive change, as the U.S. is planning to cede sole control of Internet governance to the global private sector. The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced that it will fulfill the mandate outlined back in the late 1990s that the agency would eventually phase out its administrative role over the DNS (Domain Name Server) and its interest in ICANN and place it in the hands of “global stakeholders”. “The timing is right to start the transition process,”... Read more...
When new FCC chairman Tom Wheeler stepped into his new job, he had some big shoes to fill after predecessor Julius Genachowski left an impressive track record behind, but Mr. Wheeler seems to be hitting the ground running. This week, he wrote a letter to the CTIA urging the group to amend its Consumer Code to change consumers’ right to unlock their mobile devices. Wheeler noted, in a not-so-subtle way, that the FCC prefers when industries promote competition voluntarily, and he said that after eight months of work between the FCC and CTIA enough is enough. “Let’s set a goal of... Read more...
Carrier lock-in has long been the bane (well, a bane) of the mobile user’s life. Being unable to switch between carriers at will because of lengthy contracts and the need to buy a new phone and throw the old, now-useless one in a ditch somewhere* even though it’s a perfectly fine piece of hardware when you opt for a different provider is frustrating and expensive. The Obama administration is pushing for change in this regard. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has filed a petition with the FCC that would require any wireless service provider to unlock... 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...
A few weeks ago, in early August, FCC chairman Julius Genachowski declared that the FCC viewed the creation of a national broadband policy as integral to the future of of the nation. Broadband, according to Genachowski, is "our generation’s infrastructure challenge...It is as important as electricity and highways were for past generations." Now that the first round of requests for broadband stimulus funding have been tallied, Genachowski will have to prove if he actually meant what he said. According to a recent announcement posted at Recovery.gov, the National Telecommunications and Information... Read more...
Researchers at MIT have developed chip architecture that runs on 70 percent less voltage than a conventional processor. The savings in power consumption would have profound effects on the battery life you could expect from portable devices. They may even require only movement and body heat to power chip-enabled sensors and communication devices. "It will extend the battery lifetime of portable devices in areas like medical electronics," said Anantha Chandrakasan, a professor of electrical engineering at MIT. "When you look at the digital processor, the fact is that we may be able to reduce the... Read more...
Don't ask us why Apple would even offer this information, but they did.   It was, however, in response to a question regarding the effect of the $200 drop in price on sales.Apple’s earnings calls are notoriously devoid of information, but Apple’s chief operating officer, Timothy Cook, did drop one interesting figure. Of the 1.4 million iPhones sold so far (of which 1,119,000 were sold in the quarter ending Sept. 30), Mr. Cook estimated that 250,000 were sold to people who wanted to unlock them from the AT&T network and use them with another carrier. He said that the bulk of those... Read more...
What is the one item that you cannot live without? It probably comes as a shock to most of us, since our main world is probably the computer screen, but the most popular item is not the computer (with Internet of course), for now. A recent study done by Edison Media Research Inc. has shown that more and more Americans are relying on the Internet for information and entertainment. While the percentage is growing, it has not yet surpassed the old and trusted television set. "When consumers were asked to choose the ‘most essential’ medium in their lives, 33 percent selected the Internet, just behind... Read more...
The US 6th Circuit Court  of Appeals in Cincinnati, Ohio has ruled that law enforcement must obtain a search warrant to look through your e-mail accounts without your permission.  The ruling gives e-mail communications the same privacy protections that letters and telephone conversations have. “The content of e-mail is something that the user seeks to preserve as private and therefore may be constitutionally protected,” wrote Judge Boyce Martin, who was joined by judges Martha Craig Daughtrey and William Schwarzer in the decision.The court’s ruling requires prosecutors to either get a warrant... Read more...
SLI antialiasing debuts @ The Tech Report: "When ATI first announced its CrossFire multi-card graphics platform to the world in late May, the clever folks on the red team had a few interesting new twists to offer in their answer to NVIDIA's SLI. One of the more appealing features of the CrossFire platform was to be a "super antialiasing" mode, allowing two graphics cards to team up in order to produce higher quality antialiasing than available on a single card alone. We liked the idea, noting that "CrossFire rigs may provide image quality benefits even in games where fill rate... Read more...