Category Archives: Tech News

End Times for Net Neutrality?

Ajit Pai - FCC ChairmanBack in December we began wondering about what a Donald Trump presidency would mean for Net Neutrality. Well, after the inauguration it took just a couple of days for the rubber to begin accosting the proverbial road. Last week President Trump announced the appointment of Ajit Pai as our new Federal Communications Commission Chairman, and he nestles in snugly with the anti-regulation/roll-it-back swagger of the new administration. Also, as a currently seated Republican FCC commissioner, he does not even need Senate approval to ascend to the Chairman’s role. (BUT: Due to the time left in his current commissioner term, Pai will have to be renominated and reconfirmed sometime this year.)

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The Return of Lavabit

Lavabit logoThis past Friday, when most of the world was watching (or actively not-watching) the events in Washington, D.C., the formerly shuttered, Snowden-affiliated webmail service Lavabit announced it was re-launching with a new generation of email privacy and security.

If you’re unfamiliar with the history, here’s the gist: Lavabit formed in 2004, in part because of privacy concerns around email. They launched as an email service with significant protection and encryption capabilities and served a relatively small group of folk for almost a decade.

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Hi-res audio. Again. But streaming!

LP spinesI started buying records 40 years ago. (It hurt to type that.) I am an unrepentant music fan and so have bought (and re-bought) music over the decades as the music industry has come up with new formats that promised “ease of use” and improved sound: High fidelity vinyl! Compact Discs! SACD! etc. I still have a massive library of LPs and CDs though my cassette collection drops out and mopes in boxes in my basement. It’s only in the past year that I finally broke down and got a Spotify subscription; it’s what all “the kids” are doing and my kids wanted it too.

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BE READY: Trump & Net Neutrality

Net Neutrality design from http://www.savetheinternet.comIf you’ve followed this blog, you know that we are avid proponents of Net neutrality. While the Obama administration has been generally friendly to keeping Net traffic free and open – all those moving bits and bytes being treated equally by carriers – the winds of change may be blowing colder with the incoming Trump administration. It’s time for interested parties – and that is all of us who use the Internet, every day – to begin watching the positions and policies of the President-elect and his team. Below are links to a few recent pieces of solid journalism to help bring you up to speed on the potential fight(s) ahead:

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Day of Reckoning for the IoT?

IoT Dangers illustrationIn the wake of the October 21st cyberattack on Dyn – an event that caused websites including Amazon and Netflix to go offline for hours – there has been a real rise in fear as to the ramifications of the Internet of Things. The Dyn attack was accomplished with malicious code that got into innumerable “smart” devices, from webcams to baby monitors, bombarding Dyn with requests and bringing its services to a halt – thereby crashing popular websites and services. But what if the goal had been to shutdown a power plant? Or to sever vital emergency communication lines? Or to bring down an airplane?

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