Web

FCC didn’t have the right to repeal net neutrality, court case argues

This week a major court case in support of net neutrality began, with a group of consumer advocates and internet trade organizations challenging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)’s overturning of the Open Internet Order (OIO). This order, passed in 2015, is what made it illegal for internet providers to block or throttle internet speeds when accessing particular sites or platforms — i.e. it is the law that protected consumers for having to pay more for “fast lane” services, and that protected companies from having to pay extra cash to internet providers for good speeds to be available on their websites.

Since the OIO was repealed in 2017, consumers and industry insiders have been concerned that internet service providers could start to limit access to certain sites — for example, AT&T could block its customers from accessing Netflix because it wants to promote its rival streaming service, DirectTV Now. This hasn’t happened yet, but companies are starting to test the waters with AT&T offering a “sponsored data” program for prepay wireless customers and AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson trying to discourage states from passing their own net neutrality laws.

The case is being heard by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, and it centers around whether the FCC had the right to overturn the OIO. When the OIO was passed in 2015 it was upheld by the court, and critics point out that nothing has changed since that law was put in place except the people who run the FCC. The FCC therefore may not be justified in changing the law.

“Nothing has changed since the 2015 rulemaking but the leadership of the FCC,” Lisa Hayes, general counsel for the Center of Democracy & Technology, told Gizmodo. “The FCC lacks compelling evidence justifying its 2018 order, and I expect the DC Circuit will find that the FCC’s actions were arbitrary and capricious.”

The case is being brought by a diverse group including technology companies like Mozilla and open internet advocacy groups like the Open Technology Institute and the Center for Democracy & Technology. “Today we fought for an open and free internet that puts consumers first,” Mozilla Chief Operating Officer Denelle Dixon said in a statement, according to Gizmodo. “Mozilla took on this challenge because we believe the FCC needs to follow the rules like everyone else… The fight to save net neutrality is on the right side of history. Consumers deserve an open internet. And we look forward to the decision from the Court.”

Mobile

Hey Google, why did you kill off Allo, your best messaging app in years?

Allo, Google's messaging app, has shut down. I convinced my closest friends and family to switch to the app two-and-a-half years ago when it debuted, and we've been using it since. With its death, I'm feeling pain and sadness.
Computing

Don't take your provider's word for it. Here's how to test your internet speed

If you're worried that you aren't getting the most from your internet package, speed tests are a great way to find out what your real connection is capable of. Here are the best internet speed tests available today.
Social Media

Your Google+ public content will remain viewable on the web, if you want it to

Google's failed social network — Google+ — will soon be wiped from the internet, but there's a team of volunteers working right now to save its public content for the Internet Archive.
Emerging Tech

Mind-bending model shows Venus isn’t our nearest neighbor — it’s Mercury

Every textbook and table on the internet agrees -- the closest planet to Earth is Venus. But a new mathematical model shows that this is wrong. In fact, the planet closest to us on average is Mercury.
Mobile

Pre-orders open for the 5G Moto Mod, making the Moto Z3 fully 5G-compatibile

5G is the future of mobile internet, and you've probably heard about the huge speed increases the new standard will bring. But not every phone will be capable of accessing 5G speeds. Here's every phone that supports 5G.
Social Media

Facebook explains its worst outage as 3 million users head to Telegram

Facebook, if you didn't already know it, suffered a bit of an issue on Wednesday, March 13. An issue that took down not only its social networking site, but also Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger. On Thursday it offered an explanation.
Computing

There’s more space on MySpace after ‘accidental’ wipe of 50 million songs

MySpace is no longer a safe refuge for music and media produced in the 2000s. It said that almost any artistic content uploaded to the site between 2003 and 2015 may have been lost as part of a server migration last year.
Computing

How to easily record your laptop screen with apps you already have

Learning how to record your computer screen shouldn't be a challenge. Lucky for you, our comprehensive guide lays out how to do so using a host of methods, including both free and premium utilities, in both MacOS and Windows 10.
Computing

Here's how to download a YouTube video to watch offline later

Learning how to download YouTube videos is easier than you might think. There are tools you can use both online and offline. This step-by-step guide will instruct you on how to use them.
Computing

Dodge the cryptojackers with the best torrent clients available today

Looking for the best torrent clients to help you share all of that wonderful legal content you own? Here's a list of our favorite torrent clients, all packed with great features while dodging malware and adverts.
Computing

How to change your Gmail password in just a few quick steps

Regularly updating your passwords is a good way to stay secure online, but each site and service has their own way of doing it. Here's a quick guide on how to change your Gmail password in a few short steps.
Computing

Reluctant to give your email address away? Here's how to make a disposable one

Want to sign up for a service without the risk of flooding your inbox with copious amounts of spam and unwanted email? You might want to consider using disposable email addresses via one of these handy services.
Social Media

New Zealand attack shows that as A.I. filters get smarter, so do violators

The shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand were livestreamed to social media, and while stats show networks are improving at removing offending videos, as the system improves, so do the violators' workarounds.
Computing

Edit, sign, append, and save with six of the best PDF editors

Though there are plenty of PDF editors to be had 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.