Web

Congress urged to defund FCC’s net neutrality rules

FCC Tom Wheeler Net Neutrality
Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Lifting strategies out of the Congressional Republican playbook, Commissioner Ajit Pai, one of the party’s representatives in the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), has asked the House to defund the FCC’s effort to enforce Net neutrality.

“Congress should forbid the Commission from using any appropriated funds to implement or enforce the plan the FCC just adopted to regulate the Internet. Not only is this plan bad policy; absent outside intervention, the Commission will expend substantial resources implementing and enforcing regulations that are wasteful, unnecessary, and affirmatively detrimental to the American public,” he said during a budget appropriations hearing.

“In short, the Internet is not broken. And it didn’t need the FCC to fix it.”

Pai’s opposition stems from the FCC’s February 26 vote that classified Internet providers as common carriers. The decision effectively outlawed so-called Internet “fast lanes,” which are essentially paid prioritization schemes that would allow some companies to deliver content faster for a price.

Pai was in the minority during the Net neutrality vote. He was one of two Republicans in the FCC panel, both of whom voted against the proposal. The other three commissioners are Democrats, including FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, and they all voted to approve the measures.

“The truth is this, the Internet is the greatest example of free-market innovation in history. The Internet empowers Americans to speak, to post, to rally, to learn, to listen, to watch, and to connect in ways our forefathers never could have imagined,” Pai said. “In short, the Internet is not broken. And it didn’t need the FCC to fix it.”

Pai also argued that the FCC’s newfound ability to “micromanage” the Internet is harmful to American consumers. He warned that broadband bills would go up, putting out an estimate of new taxes that amount to 11 billion. He also claimed that Internet speeds would be slower, saying that the U.S. risks gaining problems similar to that of broadband deployment in Europe.

He even went as far as embellishing on some of his claims. Pai mentioned that Netflix now opposes Title II of the Communications Act of 1934, the law that the FCC used to reclassify ISPs. As this blog post from Netflix shows, Pai’s claim is not true.

Wheeler, who also testified in the budget hearing, defended his agency’s decision, saying that the FCC followed the correct process in approving new rules. He also pointed out specific cases where Net neutrality was challenged, adding that fighting claims in court would not cost more since the FCC has in-house lawyers. For the 2016 fiscal year, the FCC is requesting $530 million in funding, as well as $51 million on a new office lease.

Photography

Back off, photo thieves: Flickr alerts photographers to image theft with Pixsy

Worried about someone swiping your photo off Flickr? The image sharing platform can now integrate with Pixsy accounts to alert photographers when a photo is used without permission by using artificial intelligence to scour the web.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix right now (April 2019)

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Home Theater

The best TVs you can buy right now, from budget to big screen

Looking for a new television? In an oversaturated market, buying power is at an all-time high, but you'll need to cut through the rough to find a diamond. We're here to help with our picks for the best TVs of 2019.
Home Theater

Banish the buffer screen with these tips for silky smooth streaming video

If you’ve been having troubles with streaming Internet videos from Netflix and other services in HD, the problem may be your network. Here’s how to make sure your streaming video experience goes smoothly.
Mobile

The Department of Justice may prevent the T-Mobile-Sprint merger

T-Mobile and Sprint are getting closer to merging. After a few failed attempts, the two companies announced their merger at the start of 2018. The new T-Mobile could be better positioned to take on the likes of Verizon and AT&T.
Movies & TV

No TV? No problem. Here's how to watch the NCAA championship game online

Whether you want to watch the Big Dance on your phone or on your smart TV, we have the lowdown on all the ways to watch March Madness you can handle. Grab your foam finger and some nachos.
Social Media

Facebook’s tributes section serves as an online memorial for deceased users

Death doesn't stop Facebook users from sharing memories, and now those memorialized posts have a dedicated spot on the network. Facebook Tribute is a section on memorialized profiles for users to write posts and share memories.
Social Media

How to protect yourself from GoFundMe scams before donating

Can you spot a GoFundMe scam? While the fundraising platform says scams make up less than a tenth of one percent of campaigns, some do try to take advantages of others' charity -- like a case last year that made national news.
Computing

House votes to restore net neutrality rules, but effort faces long odds

The U.S. House of Representatives has approved the Save the Internet Act, a measure intended to restore net neutrality rules that were repealed in 2017 by the Federal Communications Commission.
Web

Search all of Craigslist at once with these great tools on web and mobile

Not finding what you need in your local area? Craigslist can be great for finding goods and services from further afield too. All you need do is learn these tips for how to search all of Craigslist at once.
Mobile

The FCC and White House want to bring high-speed internet to rural areas

The FCC and the White House unveiled new initiatives to bring high-speed internet to rural areas, including $20.4 billion in incentives to companies to build infrastructure. The FCC also announced ways to speed up the rollout of 5G.
Computing

Internet Explorer zero-day exploit makes files vulnerable to hacks on Windows PCs

Evidence of an Internet Explorer zero-day exploit capable of letting hackers steal files from Windows PCs was published online by a security researcher who also claims Microsoft knew of the vulnerability and opted not to patch it.
Business

Buying airline tickets too early is no longer a costly mistake, study suggests

When you book can play a big role in the cost of airline tickets -- so when is the best time to book flights? Earlier than you'd think, a new study suggests. Data from CheapAir.com suggests the window of time to buy at the best prices is…
Computing

Report says 20% of all 2018 web traffic came from bad bots

Distil Networks published its annual Bad Bot Report this week and announced that 20% of all web traffic in 2018 came from bad bots. The report had other similarly surprising findings regarding the state of bots as well.