AT&T and Verizon are both eliminating lower-priced Internet service tiers even though they haven’t extended faster speeds to rural customers. The net effect is that rural DSL customers are paying the same rates as urban fiber-optic customers for much slower speeds.
With Apple’s AirPort line of base stations gone to that Wi-Fi network in the sky, the Velop wireless system from Linksys is a solid alternative. Unlike Apple’s base stations, Velop is “mesh” hardware, with multiple units working in unison to bathe a residence in bandwidth. Velop works well but is costly. Luckily, there are less expensive options.
The Xmarks bookmark-syncing service shut down on 1 May 2018—with users receiving little warning. Looks like there never really was a viable business model behind cross-browser and platform bookmark syncing.
Upcoming Twitter API changes will severely cripple third-party client apps. The developers of some of those apps are banding together to pressure Twitter into changing things before the August deadline.
Gmail, Google’s popular email service, has undergone a revamp that includes visual tweaks and a battery of new features, some focused on usability, others on security.
Long a mainstay of wireless networking for Mac users, Apple’s line of Wi-Fi routers — the AirPort Extreme, AirPort Express, and AirPort Time Capsule — have been officially discontinued.
Photo-sharing service SmugMug has purchased the beloved photo service Flickr from Verizon for an undisclosed sum.
The domain name system is largely insecure, leaking information and subject to compromise. New services from Cloudflare and Quad9 could provide greater security and integrity than Google Public DNS, currently the best known public DNS service.
Google has added a feature to its Google Chrome Web browser that the company promises will reduce the annoyance of auto-play videos, but there are exceptions that may make it less useful.
Google has announced that no new users will be able to use the goo.gl URL shortening service after 13 April 2018, and existing users will lose access on 30 March 2019. Shortened links will redirect indefinitely.
Now that the FCC has gutted federal net neutrality regulations, can individual states put up enough of a fight to preserve some sort of net neutrality — and maybe consumer privacy?
In 2010, Google shook the tech world by announcing that it would get into the ISP business with Google Fiber, deploying gigabit fiber-optic Internet connections in what would become nine metro areas around the United States. Now Google has put the ambitious project on an indefinite “pause” and is even pulling out of Boston. You can likely guess the reasons why Google Fiber has struggled: local politics and the difficulty of installing real-world infrastructure. Despite its challenges, Google Fiber has had a positive effect on the Internet market in the United States by generating discussion about broadband competition. Plus, in markets with Google Fiber, broadband prices have dropped and service speeds have improved radically.
Twitter is finally putting its long-stagnant Mac app out of its misery. Now users must find replacements. Sadly, the selection isn’t vast. Julio Ojeda-Zapata tested two native Mac apps, Twitterrific and Tweetbot, along with Twitter’s own cross-platform TweetDeck, which is intended for power users.
The Wi-Fi Alliance has announced WPA3, a replacement for its current local network encryption options. WPA3 both fixes an exploit and increases security for those using open networks, all while reducing the burden on users. But don’t expect it to take over from WPA2 soon.
It should come as no surprise that Ajit Pai’s FCC has voted to eliminate Obama-era net neutrality rules that prevented Internet service providers from blocking, throttling, or prioritizing Internet traffic, among much else. At Ars Technica, Jon Brodkin outlines what happened, how we got here, and what comes next. Given the overwhelming and bipartisan support for net neutrality from most Americans, the FCC’s move will likely draw challenges both in the courts and in Congress.