Maximum PC - All Articles http://www.maximumpc.com/articles/all/feed en Google to Change Privacy Policy Following Investigation by UK Data Watchdogs http://www.maximumpc.com/google_change_privacy_policy_following_investigation_uk_data_watchdogs_2015 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u166440/google_logo_0.jpg" alt="Google Logo" title="Google Logo" width="200" height="124" style="float: right;" />UK regulator will not fine Google</h3> <p>Google has been dealing with government regulators from 28 different countries since the company changed its <a title="Google explains policy change" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/article/news/google_tries_setting_record_straight_privacy_policy_changes" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">privacy policy</span></a> back in 2012. In the wake of being fined by Spain and France, <strong>Google has agreed to change its privacy policy</strong> after Britain’s data protection regulator stated that the privacy policy was too vague.</p> <p>On Friday, the Information Commissioner’s Office said in a statement that Google would be required to sign a “formal undertaking” that it would make changes to its policy by June 30 while taking further steps within the next two years. As a result of this agreement, the UK will not fine Google, unlike France and Spain where regulators fined the company in addition to asking for changes.&nbsp;</p> <p>“We’re pleased that the ICO has decided to close its investigation,” a spokesman from Google said.</p> <p>Back in 2012, Google had consolidated over 60 of its existing privacy policies into one and began to pool the data it collected on individual users across its various services such as YouTube, Google+, and Gmail without providing users a way to opt out. Shortly after implementing these changes, data protection regulators from 28 European countries gave Google a deadline, after asking the company to <a title="Regulators ask Google to delay" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/article/news/european_regulators_ask_google_delay_privacy_policy_changes" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">delay the changes</span></a> to its policies, after discovering that the new approach didn’t comply with EU rules.&nbsp;</p> <p>Prior to the UK’s agreement with Google, Spain fined the company 900,000 euros ($1.02 million) while France leveled a 150,000 euros fine at the company. The fines may be a drop in the bucket for Google, which reported an annual revenue of <a title="Google banks millions" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/google_banks_billions_search_so_why_are_investors_concerned_2014" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">$66 billion</span></a> in 2014, but other countries are still considering their approach to the situation.&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Follow Sean on&nbsp;<a title="SeanDKnight Google+" href="https://plus.google.com/+SeanKnightD?rel=author" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Google+</span></a>, <a title="SeanDKnight's Twitter" href="https://twitter.com/SeanDKnight" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Twitter</span></a>, and <a title="SeanDKnight Facebook" href="https://www.facebook.com/seandknight" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Facebook</span></a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/google_change_privacy_policy_following_investigation_uk_data_watchdogs_2015#comments Google Google privacy policy Ico Information Commissioner’s Office privacy policy uk News Fri, 30 Jan 2015 21:25:29 +0000 Sean D Knight 29345 at http://www.maximumpc.com Adobe Files Lawsuit Against Forever 21 for Pirating Software http://www.maximumpc.com/adobe_files_lawsuit_against_forever_21_pirating_software_2015 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u166440/adobe_logo.jpg" alt="Adobe logo" title="Adobe logo" width="200" height="199" style="float: right;" />Autodesk and Corel join lawsuit</h3> <p>It comes as no surprise that businesses will cut corners to reduce costs by any means necessary. Such measures might result in removing free items or services for consumers, but for fashion retail chain Forever 21, cutting corners also includes pirating software. A decision that has resulted in <strong>Adobe, along with Autodesk and Corel, filing a lawsuit against Forever 21</strong> that claims the retail chain pirated their software.</p> <p>According to the <a title="Adobe complaint PDF" href="https://cdn3.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/3357050/adobevsforever21.0.pdf" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">complaint</span></a>, Forever 21 pirated 63 different instances of Adobe software that includes copies of Illustrator, Acrobat, and Photoshop while Autodesk and Corel included copyright infringement claims concerning AutoCAD, WinZip, PaintShop Pro, and other programs. The complaint goes on to say that the retail chain “continued their infringing activities even after being contacted by Adobe regarding the infringement.”&nbsp;</p> <p>As a result of Forever 21’s “willful, intentional, and malicious copyright infringement” the companies are asking that the court issue an injunction and be compensated an unspecified amount for the lost revenue, court costs, and additional damages.&nbsp;</p> <p>What means Adobe used to discover that Forever 21 was pirating and using its software was not disclosed though Adobe, on its <a title="Adobe FAQs page" href="http://www.adobe.com/antipiracy/faq.html" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">website</span></a>, encourages employees to turn in their employers stating, “If your employer is not responsive or you choose not to inform your employer of the violation, you should report the violation to the Software &amp; Information Industry Association (SIIA) or the Business Software Alliance (BSA).”&nbsp;</p> <p>However, Adobe is no stranger to people pirating its software. But back in 2013, the company moved to a <a title="Adobe cloud-based software" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/article/news/adobe_says_goodbye_creative_suite_hello_creative_cloud2013" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">cloud-based subscription model</span></a> for Photoshop and other software. The move was met with some resistance and resulted in many people searching for pirated versions of the software.</p> <p>So now we have to ask, will this lawsuit cause Forever 21 to lose its shirt? Sound off in the comments below!</p> <p><em>Follow Sean on&nbsp;<a title="SeanDKnight Google+" href="https://plus.google.com/+SeanKnightD?rel=author" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Google+</span></a>, <a title="SeanDKnight's Twitter" href="https://twitter.com/SeanDKnight" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Twitter</span></a>, and <a title="SeanDKnight Facebook" href="https://www.facebook.com/seandknight" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Facebook</span></a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/adobe_files_lawsuit_against_forever_21_pirating_software_2015#comments Adobe autodesk Corel Forever 21 lawsuit piracy software piracy News Fri, 30 Jan 2015 19:31:50 +0000 Sean D Knight 29343 at http://www.maximumpc.com Graphics Porn (January 2015): Other Places http://www.maximumpc.com/graphics_porn_january_2015_other_places <!--paging_filter--><h3 style="margin: 0px 0px 5px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 21px; vertical-align: baseline; letter-spacing: -0.05em; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-weight: normal; color: #990000; background-image: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-size: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; background-position: initial; background-repeat: initial;"><span style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; background: transparent;"><img src="/files/u162579/graphics_porn.png" alt="Other Places" title="Other Places" width="250" height="223" style="float: right;" />Showcasing the sexiest, most photogenic game screenshots this side of the Internet</span></h3> <p><span style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; background: transparent;">Andy Kelly's <a href="http://www.otherplaces.co.uk/" target="_blank">Other Places</a> is an homage to the beauty of video games. In fact, the PC Gamer writer calls the project: "A series celebrating beautiful video game worlds." We're inclined to agree and we've decided to showcase some of his greatest works in this month's <strong><a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/tags/graphics_porn" target="_blank">Graphics Porn</a></strong>. They're not exactly screenshots, but Andy's videos capture these places in a way that photographs cannot. The videos range from compilations to well-edited footage of specific locations like Far Cry 4's Kyrat.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><em><span style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; background: transparent;">Whether you've been using&nbsp;</span><a style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #cc0000; text-decoration: none; background-image: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-color: transparent; background-size: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; background-position: initial; background-repeat: initial;" href="http://store.steampowered.com/news/5047/" target="_blank">Steam's nifty screenshots feature</a><span style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; background: transparent;">&nbsp;or simply print screening some beautiful wallpaper-worthy game moments, we want to be able to share your captured works of art with the world. If you think you can do as well as (or better than) the pictures submitted below, please email your screenshots to&nbsp; </span><a style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #cc0000; text-decoration: none; background-image: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-color: transparent; background-size: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; background-position: initial; background-repeat: initial;" href="mailto:mpcgraphicsporn@gmail.com" target="_blank">mpcgraphicsporn@gmail.com</a><span style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; background: transparent;">&nbsp;so we can show them off. Make sure to include the name of the game, a title for the screenshot, and a description of what's happening on-screen.</span></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/graphics_porn_january_2015_other_places#comments Andy Kelly Bioshock dayz Dishonored Graphics Porn Other Places Skyrim Features Fri, 30 Jan 2015 19:12:35 +0000 Ben Kim 29138 at http://www.maximumpc.com Cyanogen Wants to Take Google Away From Android, Microsoft Could Help http://www.maximumpc.com/cyanogen_wants_take_google_away_android_microsoft_could_help_2015 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/cyanogenmod.jpg" alt="CyanogenMod" title="CyanogenMod" width="228" height="198" style="float: right;" />An unusual plot in mobile</h3> <p><strong>Famed Android modder Cyanogen and his self-titled startup could end up with an ally in Microsoft</strong>. How so? Word around the web is that Microsoft is a minority investor in a $70 million round of equity financing, which would value the company at around $500 million. However, that's only part of the story. The other part of the emerging storyline has to do with a bold statement recently made by Cyanogen CEO Kirt McMaster.</p> <p>"I'm the CEO of Cyanogen. We're attempting to take Android away from Google," McMaster said while introducing himself and his company at a "Next Phase of Android" event.</p> <p>According to <a href="http://gizmodo.com/cyanogen-wants-to-take-android-from-google-and-microso-1682656573" target="_blank"><em>Gizmodo</em></a>, his comment drew some laughs from the crowd, though a day later <a href="http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2015/01/29/microsoft-to-invest-in-rogue-android-startup-cyanogen/" target="_blank"><em>The Wall Street Journal</em></a> reported that Microsoft was investing in Cyanogen. Suddenly McMaster's statement seems a little less funny and a lot less wild, especially if you're Google.</p> <p>Here's the thing about Android -- it's an open-source operating system that doesn't cost hardware makers a dime, though there are certain strings attached. If a device maker wants to access Google's search engine, YouTube, or even the Play Store, then the device must include other Google apps and make Google search the default.</p> <p>According to <a href="http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2015/01/microsoft-to-invest-in-cyanogen-hopes-to-take-android-away-from-google/" target="_blank"><em>Ars Technica</em></a>, there's also an "anti-fragmentation clause" that prohibits OEMs from selling Android devices without Google Play. Cyanogen's ROMs don't come with any such clauses or restrictions.</p> <p>Where does Microsoft fit into all this? We're not sure, though it would be interesting if it managed to get Bing featured as the default search in future Cyanogen ROMs. And depending on how much skin Microsoft wants to have in the game, it could help Cyanogen negotiate deals with hardware makers -- as it stands, Cyanogen recently inked a deal with Micromax, a smartphone maker in India, to ship handsets with Cyanogen installed.</p> <p>It's an odd arrangement given that Microsoft wants to grow its own Windows platform on mobile. At the same time, it also makes sense to gamble on Cyanogen, considering how large the market is for Android devices.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/cyanogen_wants_take_google_away_android_microsoft_could_help_2015#comments android cyanogen cyanogenmod Google microsoft News Fri, 30 Jan 2015 18:45:14 +0000 Paul Lilly 29342 at http://www.maximumpc.com AMD Takes a Chip Shot at Nvidia's GTX 970 Controversy, Cuts Radeon R9 290X Pricing http://www.maximumpc.com/amd_takes_chip_shot_nvidias_gtx_970_controversy_cuts_radeon_r9_290x_pricing <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/amd_4gb.jpg" alt="AMD 4GB" title="AMD 4GB" width="228" height="171" style="float: right;" />Did anybody <em>not</em> see this coming?</h3> <p>What do you do when you see your enemy <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/gamers_petition_geforce_gtx_970_refund_over_error_specs_2015">twisting in the wind</a>? You strike, of course, and that's exactly what AMD predictably decided to do as rival Nvidia goes into damage control concerning the memory controversy on its GeForce GTX 970 graphics card. <strong>AMD and its partners have lowered the price of their Radeon R9 290X graphics cards to as low as $280 after rebate, or $300 without</strong>.</p> <p>Credit AMD for waiting until precisely the right time to drop pricing. Had AMD done this when news first broke that there were performance issues on the GTX 970 when accessing onboard memory above 3.5GB, it would have been jumping the gun. From a strategic standpoint, it's brilliant to roll out the price cuts immediately after an Nvidia employee said he would help GTX 970 customers <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/nvidia_will_help_disgruntled_gtx_970_owners_get_refund_says_driver_update_coming_2015">obtain a refund</a> on their card, if they in fact decide to return it and are unable to get a refund on their own.</p> <p>AMD's price cut could end up being the deciding factor for anyone who was on the fence about keeping their GTX 970 card. In reality, Nvidia's card is still a fantastic GPU for the money, at least for most users, and Nvidia originally said it's working on a driver update that should improve memory performance. That bit has since been edited out of the original post, though we suspect Nvidia will still try to fine tune things.</p> <p>Nevertheless, picking up a competitive card for as much as $50 less than the GTX 970 will be tough for some gamers to ignore, especially those who have yet to upgrade. And to make sure the point is driven home, AMD's technical communications lead, Robert Hallock, took a jab at Nvidia on Twitter by <a href="https://twitter.com/Thracks/status/560511204951855104" target="_blank">posting a picture</a> of the Radeon R9 290 with the caption, "4GB means 4GB."</p> <p>Speaking of which, the Radeon R9 290 can be found on Newegg for as little as $250 after rebate, or $270 without.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/amd_takes_chip_shot_nvidias_gtx_970_controversy_cuts_radeon_r9_290x_pricing#comments amd Build a PC Gaming geforce gtx 970 graphics card Hardware nvidia price cut radeon R9 290x Video Card News Fri, 30 Jan 2015 16:49:04 +0000 Paul Lilly 29341 at http://www.maximumpc.com Google Banks Billions on Search, So Why are Investors Concerned? http://www.maximumpc.com/google_banks_billions_search_so_why_are_investors_concerned_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/google_search.jpg" alt="Google Search" title="Google Search" width="228" height="160" style="float: right;" />Search is still Google's primary cash cow</h3> <p>Let's get one thing straight -- most businesses would happily switch places with Google based on the financial figures alone. The sultan of search pulled in $66 billion in revenue for all of 2014, up 19 percent year-on-year. That's thanks in part to a strong finish, with Google reporting consolidated revenues of $18.10 billion for the quarter ended December 31, 2014, a jump of 15 percent compared to the same quarter a year prior. <strong>Google's profit in the fourth quarter alone came to $4.76 billion, up from $3.38 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013</strong>, so why are some investors nervous?</p> <p>There are a few reasons. As <em>The New York Times</em> <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/30/technology/google-earnings-revenue-squeezed-profit-misses-estimate.html?_r=0" target="_blank">points out</a>, Google's net revenue growth in the last three months of 2014 slowed to 10 percent when compared to the same quarter a year ago. That's still not bad from a purely numbers perspective, though behind the curve when compared to recently reported results by two other tech giants, Facebook and Apple.</p> <p>If continuing to nitpick, there are some other red flags, one of them being that the cost-per-click dropped 3 percent sequentially. This is the amount Google can charge advertisers for placing ads on its network, and according to a <a href="http://www.bbc.com/news/business-31047843" target="_blank"><em>BBC</em> report</a>, the takeaway for investors is that Google is having a tough time raising the price it charges for mobile ads. That's concerning, since consumers are increasingly turning to mobile to access the Internet.</p> <p>The other cause for some concern (from investors) is the lack of a safety net if Google's search business should take a turn for the worse for whatever reason. Revenue from Google's own sites makes up more than two-thirds of its overall business. And though Google has its hands in multiple different areas, like self-driving cars, none of them are big money makers.</p> <p>Google's stock has taken a hit as a result -- it's lost 8.1 percent in the past three months, now trading at around $531. And if you go back to February of last year, it was trending around $609.</p> <p>Much ado about nothing? That might be going too far in the other extreme, though as is often the case when it comes to investors, it might be much ado about little. I've seen these same complaints for years when it comes to dissecting Google (as well as other large tech firms). But the bottom line is Google is still coming out ahead each quarter, and by billions of dollars.</p> <p>You can catch the rest of Google's <a href="https://investor.google.com/earnings/2014/Q4_google_earnings.html" target="_blank">financial report here</a>.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/google_banks_billions_search_so_why_are_investors_concerned_2014#comments financial report Google revenue search News Fri, 30 Jan 2015 16:23:22 +0000 Paul Lilly 29340 at http://www.maximumpc.com Newegg Daily Deals: Microsoft Windows 8.1 64-Bit, MSI Radeon R9 270 Gaming, and More! http://www.maximumpc.com/newegg_daily_deals_microsoft_windows_81_64-bit_msi_radeon_r9_270_gaming_and_more <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/files/u69/win_81.jpg" alt="Windows 8.1" title="Windows 8.1" width="300" height="225" style="float: right;" /><img src="/files/u154082/newegg_logo_small.png" alt="newegg logo" title="newegg logo" width="200" height="80" /></p> <p><strong>Top Deal:</strong></p> <p>So you've made the decision to replace that pirated copy of Windows XP with a legitimate OS, is that it? Or perhaps you're building a new system. Either way, take a moment or three to check out today's top deal for <a href="http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832416776&amp;cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-Other-N82E16832416776-_-0202&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">Microsoft Windows 8.1 64-bit</a> for <strong>$80</strong> with free shipping (normally $100 - use coupon code: [<strong>EMCAKNX36</strong>]). In case you missed it, here's the thing -- Windows 10 is coming, which would normally make buying an OS at this stage a silly thing. However, Windows 10 will be a <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_offer_windows_10_free_upgrade_windows_7_and_windows_81_users">free upgrade</a> for Windows 7 and 8.1 customers! So, if you need a new copy of Windows today, you can buy now without kicking yourself later.</p> <p><strong>Other Deals:</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824025041&amp;cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-DISPLAY-N82E16824025041-_-0202&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">LG 27-inch 5ms HDMI Widescreen LED Backlight LCD Monitor IPS 200</a> for <strong>$180</strong> (normally $200 - use coupon code: [<strong>EMCAKNX34</strong>])</p> <p><a href="http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231468&amp;cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-MEMORY-N82E16820231468-_-0202&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 2133 (PC3 17000) Desktop Memory</a> for <strong>$66</strong> with free shipping (normally $76 - use coupon code: [<strong>EMCAKNX28</strong>])</p> <p><a href="http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127769&amp;cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-GPU-N82E16814127769-_-0202&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">MSI R9 270 Gaming 2GB 256-Bit GDDR5 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card</a> for <strong>$130</strong> with free shipping (additional $20 Mail-in rebate)</p> <p><a href="http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148910&amp;cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-INT-HDD-N82E16822148910-_-0202&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">Seagate Barracuda 2TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5-inch Internal Hard Drive</a> for <strong>$83</strong> with free shipping (normally $90 - use coupon code: [<strong>ESCAKNX79</strong>])</p> http://www.maximumpc.com/newegg_daily_deals_microsoft_windows_81_64-bit_msi_radeon_r9_270_gaming_and_more#comments daily deals Newegg News Fri, 30 Jan 2015 13:32:09 +0000 Paul Lilly 29339 at http://www.maximumpc.com Your Broadband Speeds Are About to Quadruple, But Not If Carriers Can Help It http://www.maximumpc.com/your_broadband_speeds_are_about_quadruple_not_if_carriers_can_help_it <!--paging_filter--><h3>The FCC has a dream, but it needs to dream bigger.</h3> <p>In the February issue of Maximum PC magazine, I wrote about the lack of true broadband speeds in Silicon Valley. This didn't even come close to addressing the entire U.S. It was literally a rant about Silicon Valley, of all places, that lacked broadband speeds competitive with the rest of the world. Well, it looks like this situation is going to change for the better <a href="http://www.theverge.com/2015/1/29/7932653/fcc-changed-definition-broadband-25mbps">according to a report on <em>The Verge</em></a>.</p> <p>According to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, "we are never satisfied with the status quo. We want better. We continue to push the limit, and that is notable when it comes to technology."</p> <p style="text-align: right;"><img src="/files/u191083/fcc_tom_wheeler.jpg" alt="FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler" title="FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler" width="700" height="394" style="vertical-align: middle;" /><br /><em>FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. (Andrew Harrer / Bloomberg)</em></p> <p>In the 2015 Broadband Progress Report, the FCC passed a vote that <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/fcc_changes_definition_broadband_increases_download_speed_25mbps_2015">changes the minimum download speeds on broadband</a> connections from 4Mbps to 25Mbps, and uploads from 1Mbps to 3Mbps. While this doesn't seem like a lot--and it isn't--it's still a huge improvement for a large percentage of the population. In fact, if the upgrade seems too paltry to you still, FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel says 100Mbps should be the bare minimum.</p> <p>100Mbps!</p> <p>"We invented the internet. We can do audacious things if we set big goals, and I think our new threshold, frankly, should be 100Mbps. I think anything short of that shortchanges our children, our future, and our new digital economy," Commissioner Rosenworcel said.</p> <p>But things aren't all rosy. The National Cable &amp; Telecommunications Association (NCTA) sent its objections to the FCC indicating that the FCC "dramatically exaggerate the amount of bandwidth needed by the typical broadband user."</p> <p><strong>I'm going to say it right now: this is shit.</strong></p> <p>For the country that played the leading role in developing the infrastructure of our modern internet, these political and lobbying bodies don't really give two-cents about your requirements as a user. What's important to them are the interests of the broadband providers. Naturally, Verizon was unhappy with the FCC's changes.</p> <p>A Verizon spokesperson who spoke to <em><a href="http://arstechnica.com/business/2015/01/tons-of-att-and-verizon-customers-may-no-longer-have-broadband-tomorrow/">Ars Technica</a></em>, said "we currently do not have any plans to enhance that." Meanwhile, the NCTA told the FCC that 25Mbps isn't required for good 4K streaming--something Netflix is pushing for.</p> <p>The issue around broadband runs deep. Local municipalities are often sectioned out, dominated by only one or two major providers. Living communities are even worse. The community where I live only provides Verizon services. Then there are the government and political wrangling that goes on. Last but not least, infrastructure is a problem too. Companies deter from investing heavily in infrastructure improvements because they're costly. The cost often comes from very old legacy infrastructure that requires tearing up.</p> <p>Alan Frisbie, who subscribes to the magazine, wrote in to let me know that the area he resides in, is already fortunate to get 768Kbps downstram and an abysmal 385Kbps upstream--for $50 per month. And because AT&amp;T has an iron hold on Alan's area, he's unable to get other services. For users like Alan, who are essentially jailed to their providers, the FCC's vote couldn't come sooner.</p> <p>"The fastest U-verse service they offer in my area is 768K downstream and 384K up, for $50 a month. The only alternative is a T-1 (1.5 megabits) line for $432 a month. DSL is not offered here," said Alan.</p> <p>The only way this kind of situation changes for the better of everyone, is to stand up, and speak out. The gorilla in the room are the very providers that bring broadband to you, and they are against delivering improvements. Lining shareholder pockets seem more like the priority.</p> <p>If we reviewed U.S. broadband speeds at Maximum PC, we would give it a score of -10 and an ass-kicking.</p> http://www.maximumpc.com/your_broadband_speeds_are_about_quadruple_not_if_carriers_can_help_it#comments broadband cable internet dsl fcc ISP verizon fios News Fri, 30 Jan 2015 02:51:38 +0000 Tuan Nguyen 29336 at http://www.maximumpc.com FCC Changes Definition of Broadband, Increases Download Speed to 25Mbps http://www.maximumpc.com/fcc_changes_definition_broadband_increases_download_speed_25mbps_2015 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u166440/fccseal.jpg" alt="FCC Seal" title="FCC Seal" width="200" height="200" style="float: right;" />New benchmark means 55 million people do not have access to broadband</h3> <p>Back in 2010, the Federal Communications Commission ruled that broadband would be defined by having a download speed of 4Mbps and an upload speed of 1Mbps minimum. However, the internet has experienced an exponential growth and an increase in media consumption. As a result, <strong>the FCC has voted to change the definition of broadband by increasing the minimum download speed to 25Mbps and the minimum upload speed to 3Mbps</strong>.</p> <p>The change in definition was announced alongside the publishing of the FCC’s 2015 Broadband Progress Report which reveals, under the new benchmark, that 17 percent (55 million people) of all Americans do not have access to 25Mbps/3Mbps speeds. In addition, the report states that around 35 percent of schools lack access to fiber and, in turn, would likely lack access to broadband speeds of 100Mbps per 1,000 users.&nbsp;</p> <p>“While significant progress in broadband deployment has been made, due in part to the Commission’s action to support broadband through its Universal Service programs, these advances are not occurring broadly enough or quickly enough, the report finds,” reads a statement on the <a title="FCC website" href="http://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-finds-us-broadband-deployment-not-keeping-pace" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">FCC’s website</span></a>. “The report concludes that more work needs to be done by the private and public sectors to expand robust broadband to all Americans in a timely way, and the accompanying Notice of Inquiry seeks comment on what additional steps the FCC can take to accelerate broadband deployment.”</p> <p>Do you think the new 25Mbps/3Mbps minimum is adequate for today’s internet consumption or should it be higher? Sound off in the comments below!</p> <p><em>Follow Sean on&nbsp;<a title="SeanDKnight Google+" href="https://plus.google.com/+SeanKnightD?rel=author" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Google+</span></a>, <a title="SeanDKnight's Twitter" href="https://twitter.com/SeanDKnight" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Twitter</span></a>, and <a title="SeanDKnight Facebook" href="https://www.facebook.com/seandknight" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Facebook</span></a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/fcc_changes_definition_broadband_increases_download_speed_25mbps_2015#comments 25Mbps broadband definition broadband fcc Federal Communications Commission Internet News Fri, 30 Jan 2015 02:25:47 +0000 Sean D Knight 29337 at http://www.maximumpc.com Rig of the Month: Parvum Warfare http://www.maximumpc.com/rig_month_parvum_warfare_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><span style="font-weight: normal;"><img src="/files/u162579/bc6f145e_f1a1f2t_1.jpeg" alt="Parvum Warfare" title="Parvum Warfare" width="250" height="167" style="float: right;" />It's battle-ready and beautiful at the same time</span></h3> <p><a href="https://m.facebook.com/jameswalt1computerart?ref=bookmark" target="_blank">James Walter</a> is back with yet another stellar PC for this month's <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/rig_month_roundup_2014" target="_blank"><strong>Rig of the Month</strong></a>. It's a lot like his last build, <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/rig_month_parvum_titanfall_2014" target="_blank">Parvum Titanfall</a>, but that's not a bad thing. James's obvious attention to detail makes a triumphant return in a case that's based on the design of the offical Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Xbox One controller.&nbsp;</p> <p>Just like last time, James worked with <a href="http://www.parvumsystems.com/" target="_blank">Parvum Systems</a> to create a one-off rig that's both professional and exceptional. <a href="http://www.overclock.net/t/1508863/sponsored-parvum-warfare" target="_blank">Parvum Warfare</a> combines a custom, acrylic case with an absolutely faithful application of design elements common to the Xbox One and the Advanced Warfare-themed controller.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/hVLOeqbwEew?rel=0" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>James admires and assembles the custom-made case.</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;">Inside the glorious mITX exterior is an Intel 4790k, an EVGA Z97 Stinger motherboard, 16GB of GSkill memory, an Nvidia Titan Black, a 500GB Samsung EVO SSD, and a Corsair RM650 power supply. Throw in the watercooling components from Swiftech, Darkside, and Bitspower, and Parvum Warfare is ready for battle.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/l2uB53AQk5M?rel=0" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>James's reveal videos always ooze quality.</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><em>Have a case mod of your own that you would like to submit to our monthly feature? Make sure to read the rules/tips&nbsp;<a style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #cc0000; text-decoration: none; background: transparent;" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/rig_month_roundup_2014" target="_blank">here</a>&nbsp;and email us at&nbsp;<a style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #cc0000; text-decoration: none; background: transparent;" href="mailto:mpcrigofthemonth@gmail.com" target="_blank">mpcrigofthemonth@gmail.com</a>&nbsp;with your submissions.</em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/rig_month_parvum_warfare_2014#comments call of duty: advanced warfare James Walter Parvum Warfare Rig of the Month rig of the month From the Magazine Features Thu, 29 Jan 2015 19:27:37 +0000 Ben Kim 29137 at http://www.maximumpc.com