David Jones

About the Author David Jones


Tech Law

FCC Votes 3-2 to Upend Net Neutrality

The FCC on Thursday voted 3-2 to repeal Obama-era Net neutrality rules that prevented ISPs from blocking, throttling or otherwise giving preferential treatment to customers. Backers of the repeal characterized it as promoting greater technological innovation and freedom to conduct business. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai spearheaded the reversal of the Title II Net neutrality regulations.

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Software

New Open Source Tools Test for VPN Leaks

ExpressVPN on Tuesday launched a suite of open source tools that let users test for vulnerabilities that can compromise privacy and security in virtual private networks. Released under an open source MIT License, they are the first-ever public tools to allow automated testing for leaks on VPNs, the company said. The tools are written primarily in Python, and available for download on Github.

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Government

Internet Pioneers Urge Cancellation of Net Neutrality Repeal Vote

A group of 21 leading technology pioneers, including Apple Computer cofounder Steve Wozniak and World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee, signed an open letter to key congressional leaders asking them to pressure FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to cancel Thursday’s planned vote to repeal Net neutrality. The process is severely flawed, they argued, and a rules repeal poses an imminent threat to the Internet.

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Home Tech

Google and Amazon Square Off, Ignoring Customers in the Middle

A long-simmering dispute between Google and Amazon has escalated into a front-burner feud, following Google’s decision to block its YouTube video service from Amazon’s Echo Show, effective immediately, and from its Fire TV, effective Jan. 1. Google apparently decided to cut off YouTube as retaliation for Amazon’s refusal to carry its products, including Chromecast and Google Home, on its website.

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Government

Net Neutrality Battle Lines Drawn as FCC Vote Looms

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s long-brewing plan to repeal Net neutrality has the broadband, telecom and entertainment worlds at loggerheads. The commission’s expected Dec. 14 vote could result in a complete rewrite of the script for the Internet’s competitive landscape and consumer protection models. The repeal of Net neutrality would end restrictions imposed by the Obama administration in 2015.

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Cloud Computing

AWS Gives IoT a Boost With New OS, Services

AWS shone a spotlight on IoT and machine learning technologies earlier this week, with the announcement of a new operating system and several new services designed to encourage radical expansion of their deployment and use across multiple industries. The new OS, Amazon FreeRTOS, simplifies development, deployment, security and maintenance of microcontroller-based edge devices, according AWS.

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Social Networks

Snapchat Draws Bright Line Between ‘Social’ and ‘Media’

Snap aims to combat fake news on Snapchat by separating content from professional creators from postings by friends and family. Stories and Chats from friends will appear on the left side of the camera, while Stories from content creators, publishers and other members of the community will appear on the right side. Snapchat aims to disentangle “social” from “media,” noted Snap CEO Evan Spiegel.

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E-Commerce

Cyber Monday Sales Shoot the Moon

Online sales hit a new record of $6.59 billion on Cyber Monday — a 17 percent increase from last year’s sales for the day — making it the largest online shopping day in history, based on Adobe Analytics data. Mobile shopping also broke records, starting with the channel’s first-ever $2 billion sales day. Smartphone shopping accounted for more than 21 percent of e-commerce revenue.

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E-Commerce

Black Friday Shoppers Embrace Mobile, Set New Online Records

U.S. retailers crossed a historic new threshold over Thanksgiving weekend as consumers set new records for e-commerce activity and embraced mobile shopping like never before. The record-breaking $5.03 billion spent online on Black Friday — a 17 percent increase — was in line with expectations. Consumers spent about $43.42 billion on e-commerce holiday shopping from Nov. 1 to Nov. 26.

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Internet of Things

Newly Revealed Flaw Could Subject IoT Devices to Airborne Attacks

Billions of voice-activated IoT devices may be subject to external attack due to BlueBorne vulnerabilities, Armis revealed. Hackers could exploit BlueBorne to mount an airborne attack, using Bluetooth to spread malware and access critical data, including sensitive personal information. More than 20 million Amazon Echo and Google Home smart speakers could have been impacted by the flaws.

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E-Commerce

Retailers, Etailers Brace for Invasion of the Black Friday Shoppers

A total of 164 million Americans, or 69 percent of the U.S. population, plan to shop Thanksgiving weekend, according to a new survey by the National Retail Federation. Upwards of 115 million people, or about 70 percent, plan to shop on Black Friday, the report shows, while 78 million plan to shop on Cyber Monday, 71 million on Small Business Saturday, and 32 million on Thanksgiving Day.

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Entertainment

Amazon Denies Rumored Plans for Ad-Supported Prime Video Service

Amazon has denied a report that it has been working on a free, ad-supported video platform to complement its subscription-based Amazon Prime Video service. Amazon has been in talks with various television networks, movie studios and other media entities about providing content to the site, according to the Monday report. Such a service would place Amazon in direct competition with Apple.

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Customer Service

Real Human Interactions Beat Automation, Survey Says

Customers prefer human interactions to IVR systems or other automated customer service offerings, according to a new report from B2B ratings firm Clutch. Businesses need to move carefully when outsourcing customer service operations, the research also suggested, because there are big differences depending on a number of factors, including how familiar reps are with the local language.

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Home Tech

Amazon Cloud Cam Joins Burgeoning Smart-Home Ecosystem

Amazon has begun shipping its latest smart home product, a security camera that works with its Alexa personal assistant and Echo speakers. The Amazon Cloud Cam allows customers to live-stream activity inside their home 24/7. It features 1080p full HD resolution, two-way audio for communicating with family members or pets, night vision technology, and sophisticated identification algorithms.

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Gaming

High Price Undercuts Microsoft’s Xbox One X Mic Drop

Microsoft has released its long-anticipated and much-hyped Xbox One X console, promising to push the boundaries of modern gaming and video entertainment. It is the most powerful console in the world, with up to 40 percent more power than existing devices on the market, the company claimed. Xbox One X gamers can choose from 1,300 gaming titles — the largest lineup in company history.

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Cloud Computing

IBM Launches Private Cloud to Ease Public Cloud Transition

IBM has announced IBM Cloud Private, a software platform that allows enterprise customers to run applications and store critical data in an on-premises, private cloud environment. The new service employs a Kubernetes-based container architecture that supports both Docker containers and Cloud Foundry. IBM also introduced new container-optimized versions of core enterprise software.

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