Web

911 went out in Colorado, and the FCC ain’t happy about it

FCC
The Federal Communications Commission has penalized two companies that were involved in a 911 emergency call outage that affected 11 million people.

The agency fined CenturyLink $16 million for its role in the incident, which happened in April of last year. The penalty is the biggest the FCC has ever issued for a 911-related violation. The agency also fined Intrado Communications, a Boulder, Colorado-based provider, a total of $1.4 million. The amount was determined by the number of emergency call centers that the company operated in the areas that were affected.

The incident knocked out 911 services for a total of six hours, severing people in seven states from critical services. CenturyLink operates call centers in Washington, North Carolina and Minnesota. Intrado Communications has facilities in South Carolina, Pennsylvania and Florida. According to the FCC, about 6,600 911 calls went unanswered, including calls for motor vehicle accidents, domestic violence, an overdose, and a home invasion.

“Americans need to be confident that the service they use to reach first responders is reliable and accessible in their time of need,” Tom Wheeler, the chairman of the FCC, said in a statement.

“Providers have a responsibility to ensure that Americans can use 911 to call for help any time. When a company fails to live up to its obligations, it will be held accountable.”

The fine comes a month after the FCC issued a $3.4 million penalty to Verizon for its role in the incident. The FCC defined the outage as a “sunny day” failure that was not due to bad weather or a natural disaster. The service interruption was instead caused by a software coding error. According to the agency, the outage exposed vulnerabilities in the transition of 911 services to IP-supported technologies. In its investigation, the FCC found that the incident could have been prevented if the carriers had put basic safeguards in place.

Mobile

Verizon’s 5G is blazing fast on the Galaxy S10 5G, if you’re on the right block

The Samsung Galaxy S10 5G is finally here, and we went to Chicago to test its 5G connectivity capabilities on Verizon's 5G network. Like with the Moto Z3 and Moto Mod, service is still limited, but it's super fast.
Emerging Tech

Las Vegas officials bet big on Elon Musk’s Boring Company

Elon Musk’s Boring Company has just been awarded a $48.6 million contract by Las Vegas to build a high-speed transportation system beneath the city’s enormous convention center, and it could be ready by early 2020.
Cars

With Tesla bleeding money, Elon Musk initiates hardcore spending review

After posting a sizable $700 million loss in the first quarter of 2019, Tesla announced it will review every expense, no matter the size, to keep spending in check. Company CEO Elon Musk will personally approve every 10th expense page.
Social Media

Millions of Instagram influencers reportedly had private data exposed online

As many as 49 million Instagram influencers have reportedly had their private data exposed in an online database that had no password protection. The database was apparently created by a marketing firm and has been taken offline.
Gaming

Minecraft may be best-selling video game in history with 176 million copies sold

Minecraft has sold more than 176 million copies since it was launched 10 years ago, across all platforms where it is available. The milestone may make it the best-selling video game in history.
Mobile

5G your old phone: HTC’s 5G Hub is now available for pre-order from Sprint

HTC almost made a phone. The HTC 5G Hub runs Android 9 Pie, has a Qualcomm 855 processor with the X50 modem, 4GB of RAM, and an HD touchscreen -- but it's a hot spot designed to connect to 5G networks.
Business

The 15 best tech jobs boast top salaries, high satisfaction, lots of openings

Late spring weather isn’t the only thing heating up. The technology sector offers some of the hottest jobs in the country, and talent and experience are in high demand. May is blooming with thousands of high-paying positions all over the…
Social Media

Be the master of your own Insta-verse with multiple Instagram accounts

Whether you own a small business or have separate Instagram accounts for your five cats, we'll walk you through the process of switching between your multiple accounts on your Apple or Android devices.
Movies & TV

Tired of Netflix? Here's where to find free movies online, legally

We've spent countless hours digging around the web to find the best sites for streaming free movies online. Not only are all of these sites completely free to use, they're also completely legal and trustworthy.
Social Media

A fond farewell to Grumpy Cat, the internet’s most famous feline

We say farewell and fondly remember Grumpy Cat, the internet's famous frowning feline and a genuine sweetheart, who died at the age of seven. Even tempered and tolerant, Grumpy Cat was in real life the opposite of her online persona.
Web

Gmail logs your purchase history, undermining Google’s commitment to privacy

Google has tried to portray itself as privacy-focused. But a new report shows Google tracks many of your online purchases, even if they are bought from a non-Google affiliated store like Amazon.
Computing

Whether you want to edit, sign, or append, PDFs, these are the best PDF editors

While there are plenty of PDF editor options online, finding a solution with the tools you need can be tough. Here are the best PDF editors for your editing needs, no matter your budget or operating system.
Web

Creators of WhatsApp attack software face lawsuit from Amnesty International

This week a spyware attack was launched on WhatsApp. Now the Israeli firm linked to that attack is facing a lawsuit from human rights NGO Amnesty International, alleging their software has been used to surveil human rights defenders.