Facebook rewrites Terms of Service, clarifying device data collection

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Facebook is spelling out in plain English how it collects and uses your data in rewritten versions of its Terms of Service and Data Use Policy, though it’s not asking for new rights to collect and use your data or changing any of your old privacy settings.The public has seven days to comment on the changes (though Facebook doesn’t promise to adapt or even respond to the feedback) before Facebook will ask all users to consent to the first set of new rules in three years.

Unfortunately, because the changes to the language and structure of the terms are so wide-reaching and the new versions are so much longer, it’s difficult to do a direct comparison of the differences between the old TOS and DUP and the new versions embedded below.

Perhaps the most interesting part of the expanded, plain-language terms are the specifics of how Facebook collects data from your devices. Conspiracy theories about it snooping on people through its microphone, and confusion about it collecting SMS and call log history likely pushed Facebook to give people details about what data it’s slurping up.

Facebook now explains that (emphasis mine):

Information we obtain from these devices includes:

• Device attributes: information such as the operating system, hardware and software versions, battery level, signal strength, available storage space, browser type, app and file names and types, and plugins.

• Device operations: information about operations and behaviors performed on the device, such as whether a window is foregrounded or backgrounded, or mouse movements (which can help distinguish humans from bots).

• Identifiers: unique identifiers, device IDs, and other identifiers, such as from games, apps or accounts you use, and Family Device IDs (or other identifiers unique to associated with the same device or account).

• Device signals: Bluetooth signals, and information about nearby Wi-Fi access points, beacons, and cell towers.

• Data from device settings: information you allow us to receive through device settings you turn on, such as access to your GPS location, camera or photos.

• Network and connections: information such as the name of your mobile operator or ISP, language, time zone, mobile phone number, IP address, connection speed and, in some cases, information about other devices that are nearby or on your network, so we can do things like help you stream a video from your phone to your TV.

• Cookie data: data from cookies stored on your device, including cookie IDs and settings. Learn more about how we use cookies in the Facebook Cookies Policy and Instagram Cookies Policy.

Specifically regarding SMS history and call logs, Facebook writes, “We also collect contact information if you choose to upload, sync or import it (such as an address book or call log or SMS log history), which we use for things like helping you and others find people you may know.” Though Facebook asked users’ permission for this data, nothing about SMS and call logs wasn’t in the terms of service.

Disappointingly, the new explanation of helping you find friends doesn’t necessarily justify it collecting this data. Meanwhile, just today Facebook confirmed to Bloomberg that it does automatically scan all the text and image content of Messenger conversations to prevent violations of its Community Standards and the spread of spam or abuse. While other tech products like Google’s Gmail scan the contents of your messages for advertising and other purposes, the revelation could scare some privacy-focused users away from Messenger.

Facebook has also clarified how new products it’s launched since the last TOS update — like Marketplace, fundraisers, Live, 360 and camera effects — work. It explains how every user’s experience is personalized. A new Music Use Policy has been added as Facebook strikes deals with the major record labels.

Finally, Facebook makes it clear that it, WhatsApp and Oculus (as well as Instagram) are all part of one company that it refers to as “The Facebook Companies.” Instagram is now repeatedly mentioned in the TOS and DUP, whereas before it wasn’t even mentioned. The recent #DeleteFacebook movement that missed Instagram indicated that many users don’t quite realize they’re part of the same corporation.

As Facebook deals with a disgruntled public and awoken regulatory bodies, the rewriting of these policies might be perceived as the company trying to cover itself after neglecting to detail how it pulls and uses people’s data. CEO Mark Zuckerberg might face questions about the changes and why they weren’t in place before when he testifies before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on April 11th regarding protections of users’ data privacy.

But today’s revamp could also give Facebook stronger documents to point to as it tries to prove it doesn’t need heavy-handed government regulation. Switching from a more “legalese” document full of jargon to a more layman’s version could also help it dispel myths or give people more transparency.

If Facebook can give users a better understanding of how it works, it might be able to diffuse privacy scandals and backlashes before they happen.

Facebook updated Terms Of Service – 4/4/18 by Josh TechCrunch on Scribd

Facebook updated Data Use Policy – 4/4/18 by Josh TechCrunch on Scribd

Mobile – TechCrunch

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iPhone Explained: 20 Key Terms by Apple You Need to Know

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For all its focus on user-friendliness, Apple loves its jargon. But it’s not the standard jargon you’ll see in hardware reviews or database tutorials—it’s Apple’s own brand.

You’ll find oddly-placed capital letters and trademarked monikers throughout your iPhone’s software. If you’re wondering what it all means, you’re in the right place.

1. iOS

iPhone Home Screen

iOS is the name for your iPhone’s operating system, like Windows on a PC. It was previously known as iPhone OS when Apple introduced the product in 2007, but it became iOS with the release of the iPhone 3G. You’ll usually see it followed by the version number, like iOS 12 or iOS 11.3.1.

2. iCloud

iCloud Web Home

The name of Apple’s own internet-based data services. iCloud is an umbrella term used for all such technologies provided by Apple, including storage service iCloud Drive, password management system iCloud Keychain, iCloud Backup, and the web interface at iCloud.com (shown above). You’ll probably need to buy some storage space if you want to use iCloud for anything serious.

3. Siri

iPhone Siri Ownership

Your iPhone’s virtual assistant. Press and hold the Home button to talk to Siri. You can ask all sorts of questions and control your smart home gadgets, plus much more. Turn on Siri and adjust the various settings under Settings > Siri and Search.

4. Apple Pay

Apple Pay Uses

A proprietary payment system that uses card credentials stored in the iOS Wallet app. Simply open the app, tap Add Credit or Debit Card, and follow the instructions to add your card. This allows you to pay for items at point of sale terminals using your phone, but you can also use it to pay for items on your Mac too.

Note: Apple Pay availability will differ based on your location and financial institution.

5. Personal Hotspot

iPhone terms - Personal Hotspot

Your iPhone’s personal hotspot allows you to share your internet connection with other devices, either via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or USB. You’ll find the feature under Settings > Personal Hotspot. Check out our guide to setting up and sharing your iPhone’s data connection for more info.

6. Touch ID/Face ID

Two forms of biometric authentication, using either your fingerprint (Touch ID) or facial recognition (Face ID) to unlock your device, purchase items, and more. You can set up these features, disable them entirely, or re-scan your digits and face under Settings > Touch ID/Face ID and Passcode.

7. Control Center

iphone terms - control center

A means of quickly adjusting settings, media playback, and other handy features by swiping up from the bottom of the screen. Customizing Control Center is just one of the many super useful iPhone shortcuts you should learn.

8. AirPlay

iPhone terms - AirPlay Control Center

Apple’s proprietary local streaming technology for displaying video, playing audio, and mirroring your screen on a TV or external speaker. AirPlay receivers include devices like the Apple TV and HomePod, or third party apps like AirServer on a computer. Flick up to show Control Center, then 3D Touch or long-press the Music panel and choose an output.

9. AirDrop

iPhone terms - Share AirDrop

A wireless method of transferring files locally. You’ll see a list of AirDrop recipients appear when you try to Share content (see below). To change your own AirDrop visibility, swipe up to reveal Control Center, then 3D Touch or long-press the Airplane Mode box.

10. FaceTime

iPhone terms - FaceTime Call

Apple’s proprietary VoIP calling protocol that works with other Apple devices. Allows you to make free voice and video calls to other FaceTime users, accessible either via the FaceTime app or by choosing one of your Contacts and tapping the FaceTime Video or Audio button.

11. iMessage

iPhone terms - iMessage

Apple’s proprietary messaging protocol. If you’re chatting with someone and their name or your chat bubbles appear blue, you’re using iMessage. The service only works between Apple devices (including Mac computers), and can be used with iMessage apps to send money, play games and more.

12. CarPlay

iphone terms - Apple CarPlay

A name for the integration of your iPhone into the dashboard of your car. Setup instructions are slightly different depending on what you drive, and can function via USB or Bluetooth. Once CarPlay has been configured, you can use Apple Maps for navigation, talk to Siri, take calls, play music, and more.

13. Handoff

iPhone terms - Handoff from Mac

Allows you to “hand off” iOS apps to their macOS counterparts in real time. Examples include drafting an email on your iPhone then finishing it on your Mac, quickly sharing tabs between devices, and automatically resuming a Pages document in the same place. This feature works both ways; double tap the Home button to show the app switcher and continue what you were doing on your Mac.

14. Animoji

iPhone X Animoji

A portmanteau of animated emoji, Animoji is an emoji onto which you can map a facial expression. It’s currently an iPhone X-exclusive feature since it relies on the True Depth camera used for facial recognition.

15. Night Shift

iPhone Enable Night Shift

Just like f.lux, Night Shift adjusts the hue of your screen at the end of the day to mimic the setting sun and promote better sleep health. You can schedule Night Shift under Settings > Display & Brightness, and toggle it on or off by swiping up to reveal Control Center then 3D Touching or long-pressing the Brightness slider.

16. Do Not Disturb

A feature that mutes incoming calls and notifications between hours of your choosing, with exceptions for favorite contacts or repeat callers. Stops your iPhone lighting up on the nightstand without turning it off completely, while still ensuring you’re contactable in an emergency. Set it up under Settings > Do Not Disturb.

17. Reading List

iPhone Add to Reading List

The Safari browser’s own “read it later” function, which syncs automatically with its Mac counterpart. Hit the Share button and choose Reading List to add a link to your list, where it will be cached offline for later perusal.

18. HomeKit

iPhone terms - Home App

Apple’s smart home API, which allows smart home devices like the HomePod and Philips Hue talk to each other. You can control HomeKit devices using your iPhone’s Home app, which comes pre-installed with iOS.

19. HealthKit

iPhone terms - HealthKit

Apple’s health and exercise APIs, used to store data for use by the Health app. Apps like Strava and RunKeeper use HealthKit to record workout information.

20. ResearchKit

Health-related research APIs, allowing you to take part in scientific studies using little more than your iPhone.

Think Different: iPhone Terms Explained

Apple’s love affair with aesthetics and proprietary technologies has given way to a glossary of Apple speak, and it’s almost certain that we’ll see a few more terms introduced when the next version of iOS and a flurry of new iPhones arrive in the fall. If we haven’t covered a particular term you’d like to see listed, leave a comment below and we’ll add it to the list.

iPhone and iPad – MakeUseOf

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China censors social media responses to proposal to abolish presidential terms

Negative social media reactions in China toward the government’s interest in abolishing presidential term limits have sparked a crackdown on memes since Sunday evening. China’s constitution currently restricts the president and vice-president to 10 years of leadership, meaning that President Xi Jinping would have been out of power by 2023.

The Party’s Central Committee proposed removing a phrase in the constitution that stated the two leaders would “serve no more than two consecutive terms,” according to the state-run Xinhua News Agency. Authorities will vote on the proposal in March.

Many took to social media platforms like WeChat and Weibo with Winnie the Pooh memes, as the animated bear resembles President Xi Jinping to some degree….

Continue reading…

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You’re Not Crazy if You Believe in UFOs. Let’s Discuss in Scientific Terms.

On December 16, the New York Times published two stories that read almost like science fiction. For at least five years, the Defense Department housed a $ 22-million, clandestine program to investigate UFOs. Military pilots had sent in reports of objects they observed that moved in unfamiliar ways; the mission of the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, as it was called, was to investigate those claims to see if there was truly something otherworldly behind those sightings.

It’s unclear just how many reports pilots had filed to the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, but people who have come forward about the program have made it clear that there would have been a lot more reports filed if it hadn’t been for one thing: stigma. “The sightings were not often reported up the military’s chain of command, [former senator Harry Reid] said, because service members were afraid they would be laughed at or stigmatized,” one Times piece reads.

American culture is steeped in depictions of what would happen if sophisticated aliens visited Earth, from E.T. to Arrival to Independence Day. Some are more hackneyed than others; some are downright terrifying. But outside the clear genres of fiction, most conversations about UFOs happen online, and with varying degrees of vehemence.

Let’s face it — believing in the paranormal has become shorthand for crazy.

“60 years of folklorization and Hollywood production have, in the minds of the general public, definitely trivialized the subject. It has become a ‘standard’ consumer product,” Jean-Christophe Doré, the technical manager for UFO-SCIENCE, the French association that aims to scientifically evaluate aspects of UFO phenomena, tells Futurism.

But to some, that association might be changing. Luis Elizondo, the military official formerly in charge of the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, told The New York Times’ Daily podcast:

I think we’re entering an era of actual evidence. We’ve reached a moment of critical mass of credible witnesses, and these are witnesses that are in charge of multi-million-dollar weapon platforms with, in some cases, the highest level of security clearances and in some cases they’re trained observers. When these individuals are trying to report something, ‘Hey I saw this when I was flying,’ that can be turned around and people say ‘hey look if you’re crazy, there goes your flight status.’ Or all of a sudden commander so-and-so in charge of this very elite fighter wing will no longer be taken seriously. In fact, people are going to start to judge whether or not maybe our friend here might not be a little crazy, or maybe some loose screws. That’s always a threat to these people’s career. And let’s face it, these people have to pay their taxes, they have to pay their mortgages, they have families, they’re putting their kids through school. And frankly, they’re just really good patriots and they want to do the right thing. And that stigma is pretty powerful. It stops a lot of people from reporting something maybe they would normally report.

Government officials are no longer hiding their belief that extraterrestrials might be out there. Could this be a turning point for once-fringe communities and open doors for those looking to bring scientific rigor to the quest to understand UFOs?

Logical Fallacy

Most phenomena thought to be the doings of extraterrestrials are eventually explained. Take Project Blue Book, for example, the U.S. government’s program to investigate unidentified flying objects that ran from 1947 until 1969. Of the more than 12,000 reported sightings, investigators found out the real (not paranormal) story for all but 700 or so. That’s a pretty good percentage, says Joe Nickell, senior research fellow at the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry and paranormal investigator — about as much as you’d expect from any other scientific discipline. “A lot of these cases are never going to be solved because I don’t know what you think you saw 10 years ago. They’re not investigatable,” Nickell tells Futurism.

Why Haven’t We Found Aliens? An Analysis of the Problem [INFOGRAPHIC]
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In other disciplines, a certain amount of uncertainty will mean that more studies are needed to definitely prove a link. But that’s not what happens with UFOs. “We spend all these years, virtually our entire lives (it’s what I’m doing with mine), and we’re solving most cases. We’re down to, say, 5 percent [that we can’t explain], and we’re arguing over the 5 percent,” Nickell says. You give someone a level-headed, thorough, earthly explanation for a particular report, and they’ll just respond, “But what about this other one?” This is, as Nickell points out, an argument from ignorance — in essence, X must be true because you can’t prove that X is false. “Why don’t we assume that, if we can explain 95 percent, that if we knew the answer, it would fall into the same category as the others?” Nickell says.

Belief in extraterrestrials is fueled by a lack of evidence, not its presence. For some people, that’s enough.

The Psychology Of Believers

More than half of Americans believe that aliens exist, according to a 2015 poll. Scientists have evaluated what distinguishes believers and non-believers and didn’t find much, the Conversation notes. But people that believe they had an abduction experience, perhaps a more extreme form of belief, are more likely to have fantasy-prone personalities, have experienced childhood trauma, or be prone to hypnosis that can make them suggestible to false memories, studies have shown. That doesn’t mean they’re lying about their experiences — they often genuinely believe they happened — but those experiences were often not quite what the individuals thought they were.

What distinguishes people who believe in Big Foot, for example, from those who believe in UFOs? It’s the suspicion of government involvement, Nickell says. More people believe in conspiracies than ever; if someone were looking to find a black-ops government program and a conspiracy to keep it secret, they’d find the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program.

“I think, for most people who believe in these UFO claims, it’s tied up with conspiracy. If you want to believe that UFOs are visiting the planet, there kind of has to be a cover up,” Rob Brotherton, a psychology professor at Barnard College and the author of Suspicious Minds: Why We Believe Conspiracy Theories, tells Futurism. And because they’re built on secrecy, it’s really hard to disprove a conspiracy theory, Brotherton points out.

Conspiracy theories about UFOs, in particular, are pretty widespread, and they have a psychological appeal that goes against the stereotype of weirdos wearing tinfoil hats. Conspiracy theories rely on the same pattern-recognition techniques we use in our daily lives, and in science as well. “Conspiracy theories make for great stories, they’re tantalizing, mysteries not yet fully solved. Your brain is like, ‘What’s up with that?’ it’s not satisfied until it knows if these things are related.”

Most of the time, people who believe in them are psychologically normal. But the belief that the government or aliens are specifically pursuing you as an individual — a me and not an us focus might indicate a psychiatric disorder like schizophrenia, though that would be one of a number of symptoms.

“It’s not impossible [that extraterrestrials are visiting Earth],” Brotherton says. “Maybe they’re technologically advanced, maybe they are able to make it here. That’s not beyond the realms of possibility; it doesn’t defy the laws of physics necessarily. It’s worth keeping an eye out for this stuff.”

Worthy of Pursuit

Science hinges on discovery and the pursuit to understand the unknown. It’s not out of the realm of possibility, then, that some of these UFO reports are worthy of rigorous investigation. They could reveal something new about atmospheric phenomena, or physics, or, yes, possibly even extraterrestrials.

It’s not easy to separate the mysterious sightings, the ones that could yield something scientifically interesting, from the sightings that can quickly be resolved. “These are, almost by definition, unusual things to start with, something in the sky that we don’t know what it is. We don’t see them every night. So we have no idea [at the beginning of an investigation] if they’re going to be productive or not,” Nickell says.

Despite these difficulties, some investigators are already bringing the rigor of science to examine UFO reports. Some, like Nickell, are hunting down witnesses and testing theories; others, like Chase Kloetzke, the deputy director of investigations at MUFON, the world’s oldest and largest UFO investigation group, are retrieving physical evidence and testing alloys of unknown metals with cutting-edge microscopes and trained metallurgists. A number of organizations receive private funding, which sometimes means they have fewer resources than they would if they received governments grants. And the work is often thankless. “I’m trying, in the name of science, to do what most scientists don’t have time to do, what they consider frivolous nonsense,” Nickell says. “UFOs have been looked into now by the tens of thousands, even by official government studies. And what do we have to show? Not a lot. How many more will we have to look into? I would say we will never be done. I’m in it for the long haul.”

To do these sorts of investigations, it’s irrelevant whether or not they believe that extraterrestrials have really visited Earth. All people need is a rigorous scientific mind, perseverance to investigate doggedly, and a sensitive nose for falsehoods.

Now that information about the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program has spilled out, it buoys those who hope that the government might have evidence that could more clearly indicate the presence of extraterrestrials, something that stands up to the rigor of scientific evaluation. “Do we have a smoking gun? We do, it’s just locked up,” Kloetzke, of MUFON, says referring to the “physical material [the government] has been holding and analyzing.” “We’re pushing down the doors. We’re trying to breach this information,” she says.

Still, opinions vary on how much evidence is enough to prove the existence of extraterrestrials. “I think most people are going to need a craft to land in Central Park [to believe UFOs are real],” Kloetzke says.

“There is absolutely no solid evidence that meets any standards of scientific ‘proof’ that UFOs exist. That’s why people can’t take it seriously,” Sara Seager, an astrophysicist at MIT who studies exoplanets and was quoted in the New York Times article, tells Futurism. To some, in the end, evidence doesn’t matter. “I am not a UFO supporter in any way. It’s just like why do people believe in God? There’s no way to scientifically prove the existence of any God or gods. People just want to believe.”

The post You’re Not Crazy if You Believe in UFOs. Let’s Discuss in Scientific Terms. appeared first on Futurism.

Futurism

Networking Terms Explained: Bandwidth, Latency, Jitter, and Flapping

It’s 2017 and Internet in America still isn’t as good as it could be. A large contributor to this may be that consumers don’t really understand networking or what to expect. Even the “tier one” support representatives at major ISPs (Internet service providers) don’t fully know what to look for when you’re having an issue.

If you’ve ever called your ISP because things don’t seem to be working as expected, odds are they’ve had you run a speed test; and if the results are within a few megabits per second of what you’re paying for, they’ve sent you on your merry way, had you reset your modem/router combo unit, or offered to have someone come and “take a look.” Problem is, a speed test isn’t conclusive and there’s a good chance the problem may be something within your control.

This article will attempt to explain some basic networking terms and concepts to help you know what to do the next time your streaming-movie or online multiplayer game doesn’t function the way you expect.

Bandwidth

What is bandwidth? Let’s start with the basics. Many people refer to bandwidth as speed. This isn’t really right or wrong. A better way to describe bandwidth is capacity.

Think of having two large soft drinks in front of you, one has a big wide straw and the other has a smaller skinny straw. Because the larger straw can transport more liquid at a time, the drink will likely be consumed quicker.

A lot of bandwidth means more data can be transported simultaneously. Most devices support up to 1 Gbps (gigabit per second) although some are less (10/100 Mbps). If you have a 10 Mbps connection and try to stream three HD videos on Netflix at about 5 Mbps each you will fail since you don’t have enough bandwidth for the data to be transported simultaneously.

In this case it has nothing to do with speed and everything to do with capacity.

Latency

So what terminology do we use to refer to speed? In networking we use the term latency to refer to how long it takes data to travel from on location to the next. These locations are physical routers that make up the Internet referred to as “hops.” The standard set by ISPs is less than 100 ms. The closer to zero the better, especially when it comes to realtime traffic such as VoIP (voice over Internet protocol) calls, video calls (like Skype or FaceTime), or online gaming.

Bandwidth vs. Latency

When thinking in terms of bandwidth and latency it helps to imagine driving down a highway. There are many factors that will determine how fast you drive and how many cars can be on the highway at once. The amount of lanes can be seen as how much bandwidth is available. The amount of cars will affect congestion. The distance you go will affect latency. And all of these things, including speed limits (some servers are slower than others) will affect your overall speed.

In other words, latency and bandwidth both contribute to your connection speed.

Jitter and Flapping

When a network isn’t working as expected it’s easy to blame your bandwidth and in some cases this may be the cause. But what do you do when you have plenty of bandwidth for what you are trying to do but still experiencing issues? Well it depends, if sites simply aren’t loading you may want to check your browser settings, your computer’s connection, or your router’s configuration. But if you’re experiencing choppy call quality on your video call or your VoIP phone, or your character is jumping around in your online game, you may be experiencing an unstable connection.

Network stability often utilizes the terms jitter and flapping. These refer to issues with your network latency. It may be happening on your local network or it may be happening along one of the hops along the route your connection takes.

Jitter refers to variations in latency. When sending and receiving data to and from a specific location the amount of time should be pretty consistent. If it’s not it can cause data packets to arrive late or out of order.

Flapping refers to large spikes in latency that can cause packet loss (when data times out and doesn’t make it) or issues with data arriving heavily delayed.

If you notice choppy quality with your realtime data it may indicate poor network stability likely caused by jitter or flapping.

Troubleshoot Your Network

Troubleshooting network issues can be difficult, but here are some helpful steps that can help you avoid a call to the ISP or help you better isolate the cause of the issue:

  • Check what devices on your network are consuming data and make sure they’re not using more than what your network is capable of. Again, if you pay for 20 Mbps and a device on your network is trying to stream a 4K Netflix movie, it’s probably not going to work. Netflix recommends a minimum of 25 Mbps for UHD (ultra high definition) streaming. Even if you have 25 Mbps, remember it needs to be shared with all the devices on your network.
  • Try unplugging your modem and router for about two minutes or more. Some SOHO (small home/home office) and ISP provided equipment build up static electricity overtime, leaving them unplugged for a few minutes can help with this and also serves as a reboot.
  • If you’re not using more data than you have capacity or available bandwidth for, now is the time to run a speed test. net is a great choice for this. If you’re showing significantly less than what you pay for, it might be a good time to call your ISP.
  • If you’re experiencing choppy real time data (such as a video call or gaming), run some ping tests to Google’s primary DNS server (8.8.8.8) to test latency. This can be done by typing “ping 8.8.8.8” in a Terminal window on your Mac or Linux machine and pressing enter. Alternatively you can run a ping test in Windows’ Command Prompt by typing “ping 8.8.8.8 -t”. This will send a series of pings, they should for the most part be less than 100 ms and shouldn’t vary by more than 10 or 15 ms for optimal stability. The closer to zero the better. Ideally, you shouldn’t see any packet loss.
  • If your ping tests are high or show a lot of jitter (variations in latency) you may want to run a ping test to your router’s IP address to see if the issue is internal or not. Internal pings are usually less than 1 or 2 ms. Ideally you shouldn’t see any packet loss. If you see packet loss or high pings this could indicate faulty cabling or equipment (router, modem, wireless access point (WAP), port, or switch). Before replacing things you may want to try rebooting your device(s) and networking equipment. It’s also a good idea to make sure you’re running the latest firmware on all your devices and equipment.
  • Also, wireless networks are not as stable as wired networks. For gaming and other realtime streaming a wired connection is advised as wired connections tend to provide the most stable connection. In areas with a lot of magnetic interference you may want to try STP (shielded twisted pair) Ethernet cabling.

While this article may prove useful for better understanding basic network issues and terms it isn’t meant to be a replacement for trained network professionals and may not apply to every instance. It’s intended to help you get the most out of your network and better communicate issues to your ISP. No network is perfect, but the more you understand about networking the better your home network will function as a result.

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YouTube pulls autocomplete results that showed child abuse terms

YouTube has been working hard lately to fix issues around child exploitation and abuse. The Google-owned video service revamped its policies and their enforcement around videos featuring minors or family-friendly characters in disturbing situations….
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T-Mobile and Sprint Agree on Tentative Terms for Merger

T-Mobile and Sprint are nearing a potential merger. Reportedly, the two carriers are close to agreeing on “tentative terms” for such a deal, Reuters described on Friday.

Sprint’s stock price rose Friday in the wake of initial reports suggesting that it could merge with rival T-Mobile, CBS News reported. Although the terms are preliminary at this point, the two companies could finalize an agreement by October, according to sources familiar with the matter cited by Reuters. News of the deal comes as the entire telecom industry explores how it spur investment in 5G wireless technology and infrastructure.

T-Mobile’s parent company, Deutsche Telekom, would retain a majority stake in the merger, while Sprint’s owner SoftBank would own between 40 and 50 percent. Allegedly, T-Mobile CEO John Legere would lead the combined company. If the deal pans out, it would represent a significant consolidation of the current U.S. telecom market.

If the deal pans out, it would represent a significant consolidation of the current U.S. telecom market. Sprint and T-Mobile are currently the third and fourth largest carriers in the country. But even with a combined subscriber base of about 133 million customers, the merged company would still be slightly smaller than the two largest U.S. carriers, Verizon and AT&T — who have around 147 million and 136 million subscribers, respectively.

Verizon Wireless 147.2 million (Q2 2017)
AT&T Mobility 136.5 million (Q2 2017)
T-Mobile US 73.9 million (Q2 2017)
Sprint Corporation 59.7 million (Q1 2017)

The two carriers had previously discussed a merger back in 2014, with Sprint seeking the majority stake. The deal fell apart, however, due to FCC and Justice Department concerns that it could hurt competition in the marketplace and raise wireless costs for customers.

The new deal could still be struck down by regulatory agencies, although the resumed talks hint that the companies believe the U.S. antitrust environment will be more receptive to the merger. Earlier this year, Legere noted that the deal could face a “potential future outcome” under the Trump administration.

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[Update: Frank team responds] Indiegogo suspends campaign for “frank.” phone after Terms of Use violation

Earlier this month, two entrepreneurs from Ottawa, Canada launched a crowdfunding campaign for the “frank.” phone. The main premise was that smartphone are too expensive, and there needs to be a phone priced competitively that does everything you need it to.

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[Update: Frank team responds] Indiegogo suspends campaign for “frank.” phone after Terms of Use violation was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Indiegogo suspends campaign for “frank.” phone after Terms of Use violation

Earlier this month, two entrepreneurs from Ottowa, Canada launched a crowdfunding campaign for the “frank.” phone. The main premise was that smartphone are too expensive, and there needs to be a phone priced competitively that does everything you need it to. The project had a very edgy tone, using phrases like ”It’s just another fucking phone but it’ll only cost you $ 180.” and ”It’s about time to disrupt the shit out of the North American smartphone industry.”

Unfortunately for the Frank team (and anyone who wanted the phone), Indiegogo has now suspended the project’s crowdfunding campaign and automatically refunded all contributions.

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Indiegogo suspends campaign for “frank.” phone after Terms of Use violation was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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