By now you've probably seen one of Verizon's ads taking shots at AT&T's comparatively dismal 3G network coverage. Even if you didn't, AT&T has, and the wireless carrier has accused Verizon of not telling the whole story and misleading the public.
AT&T contends it's unfair to show 3G coverage maps from the two carriers side by side because it makes it look like AT&T doesn't have service in most areas. The maps only depict 3G zones, ignoring AT&T's existing 2.5G network, which is sufficient for email and other tasks portrayed in the commercials. The bottom line is, the ads are accurate in terms of 3G, but neglect to tell the whole story. Is that misleading?
AT&T thinks so, and as we previously reported, the wireless carrier has dropped a lawsuit on Verizon's lap. How that plays out will be for the courts to decide. In the meantime, expect the ads to keep rolling, especially with Verizon's Droid attracting so much attention.
The recent announcement of Skype turning quote-unquote open source has me twirling a finger with delicious glee. It's not that I dislike Skype. And it's not that I'm about to get into one of my 1,500-word debates on the differences between the definition of "free" and "open-source," I promise. This is nevertheless an important premise of Skype's entire move, as some Internet commenters are crying foul that Skype is only half-opening its popular application to the crowd. The GUI code will be yours to play with as you please. The underlying Skype protocol... nope!
To them I say: Duh.
I don't want to put words where they don't exist, but I'm willing to bet that Skype's sudden shift toward open-source waters has more to do with applying a giant, universal band-aid to staggered Linux development. It's not quite an altruistic gift to the community so much as it is a package and a bow with the phrase, "you fix it" written on the label. And that's fine. Let the community create the functional GUIs for Skype. It would be suicide for the company to release its heavily encrypted voice protocols for common use.
This certainly isn’t the kind of publicity the fourth place cell carrier in the US wants. As of now, the entire nationwide T-Mobile network is down. Complaints began flooding twitter and forums this afternoon from all over the country. Users are reporting that their phones show the expected signal, but no calls or data are available. Curiously, calls routed through Google Voice are working as expected.
When the complaints reached a fever pitch shortly ago, T-Mobile released a statement. “T-Mobile customers may be experiencing service disruptions impacting voice and data. Our rapid response teams have been mobilized to restore service as quickly as possible. We will provide updates as more information is available,” said a T-Mobile representative.
We at MaximumPC have confirmed for ourselves by ringing a few associates on T-Mobile. Sure enough, the angelic voices of our friends and neighbors were replaced by a busy signal every time. This matches reports from elsewhere. Hopefully details will emerge later on the exact cause. If you’re a T-Mobile user, can you confirm you have no service?
iPhone owners and anyone else using AT&T's cellular network can look forward to faster WiFi, as the telco on Wednesday announced plans to rollout High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) 7.2 technology to boost its 3G network.
"Our deployment of HSPA 7.2 and supporting backhaul connectivity will enable our customers to continue to ride the leading edge of emerging devices and thousands of mobile applications," said John Stankey, president and CEO, AT&T Operations.
AT&T says it will begin deployment of HSPA 7.2 in six major cities, including Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, and Miami, all of which should see upgraded service by the end of the year. By the end of 2010, AT&T expects that list to include 25 of the nation's 30 largest markets (sorry Booger Hollow, Arkansas).
Coinciding with the rollout of HSPA 7.2 will be multiple compatible handsets and devices, including at least six new smartphones and two new LaptopConnect cards.
Good news today for Terry Childs, a former network administrator accused of hijacking San Francisco's computer network he designed and maintained. A judge has dropped three tampering charges against Childs, leaving just the sole charge of denying city authorities access to the network.
Childs, who has been in custody since July 2008, was working at San Francisco's Department of Telecommunication Information Services for five years before allegedly being disciplined for poor performance. Superiors also accused him of electronically spying on his supervisors and their attempt to fire him. Among the allegations, Childs is said to have refused to surrender secret codes that would allow access to the system, but ultimately coughed them up to San Francisco Mayer Gavin Newsom in a secret meeting after spending a week in jail.
According to Child's attorney, his client was only trying to protect the network from incompetent city officials who were trying to force him out of a job and that there was no malice involved. Childs is currently being held on $5 million bail.
According to a recent interview with Sony’s Senior Vice President of Information Technology Products Mike Abary, there has been a recent push towards bringing touchscreen Vaios to consumers, as well as integrating them with a plethora of goodies.
The touchscreen Vaio, which will be known as the Vaio W, is reported to integrate the PlayStation Network to deliver movies and TV shows (possibly games) and come with eBook functionality. They’ll also be based off of Windows 7.
No official word yet on pricing, but you can expect them in time for the holidays.
Forget about sophisticated attacks and increasingly complex malware schemes, the biggest threat to a company's security might be social networks and the employees who use them.
So says security firm Sophos, who reports that 63 percent of sysadmins worry about employees sharing too much information on Facebook, MySpace, and other social networking portals, ultimately putting their corporate infrastructure -- and the sensitive date on it -- at risk.
"Evidence shows that their worry is justified," Sophos wrote in the July 2009 update to its Security Threat Report. "In June 2009, the personal information belonging to the incoming head of MI6 was exposed to the entire Facebook network, when his spouse allowed members of the 'London' network to view her profile."
Sophos listed several other examples to back the claim, including a MySpace user losing over $210,000 in an email scam after his "Nigerian cyber-pal started asking for money to help her ailing mother."
But Sophos was quick to warn that completely denying access to social networking sites isn't the answer. Doing so runs the risk of driving employees to find a way around the ban, creating an even bigger risk and less oversight by the IT staff.
When's the last time you surfed on over to your Pligg and updated what you were doing for the entire Internet to see? What about Elgg? Have you changed your favorite movies to reflect that big blockbuster hit you saw this weekend? You probably don't have to, because all of your friends using the Tweetero client on their iPhones could just log on and see exactly what you were up to. Or not. Because you aren't on Twitter -- you're on Identi.ca, the open-source equivalent of the popular messaging program.
Unlike the open-source software world, where even the smallest gems of programs can find a meaningful existence, the open-source social networking world depends on people. Masses of people. You can't just launch a new social networking platform and expect it to flourish if it doesn't have a decently sized audience. And you're never going to pull away the users that are already comfortable on their existing Web 2.0 platforms if you just imitate the best practices of the current litany of sites. But that's what's happening in the open-source social networking world right now. There's a healthy mix of innovation and duplication, giving some segments of the online world new and interesting applications... and others with their 25th version of Twitter.
Which areas of social networking are dead zones for open-source development? Click the jump to find out!
Sure, you wanted to add some extra network storage with a NAS, but you just weren’t able to find anything stylish enough. Well, if a basic aluminum exterior with a single blue light is your definition of fashionable, look no further.
LaCie’s Big Disk and d2 network storage systems pack 1.5TB of storage (with an eSATA port for expansion) and 3TB of storage (by slapping two drives together using RAID 0) respectively. Both of them support a multitude of backup software, and play nice with DLNA-compliant devices.
The d2 Network and Big Disk Network are currently available for $190 and $380 respectively.
You’ve got USB devices, and you’ve got a network. Sure, you can plug those printers, scanners and hard drives into a computer and let that machine share them, or you can use IOGEAR’s new ShareStation and allow anyone using your network access to them!
IOGEAR’s ShareStation comes in two flavors – first up is the four port Net ShareStation that allows anyone with a local connection to the hub access to anything that’s plugged into its ports.
The smaller version of the ShareStation is a two port USB Printer Auto Sharing Switch that’s being described as the “only automatic printer switch compatible with Macs and PCs.”
The four port version will run you $99.95, while the smaller cousin will cost $39.95. Both will be available later this month.