Author Archives: Mike Beasley

FCC throttles Verizon Wireless over plans to throttle customers

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Following the recent revelation that Verizon Wireless would begin throttling some 4G LTE customers on unlimited data plans, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler has sent a letter to the carrier (full text below) expressing his disdain with the policy and question the necessity of throttling only customers on unlimited plans.

In the letter, Wheeler asks Verizon CEO Daniel Mead why exactly the company feels the need to only throttle customers on certain plans, rather than throttling based on the needs of the technology that powers the network. Wheeler says he is “deeply troubled” by Verizon’s claims that the policy is necessary to “optimize” the network, when in his opinion, it appears to more likely be a ploy to get customers off of unlimited plans.

Wheeler ends the letter with a series of questions that he requests Mead answer before moving forward with this new policy decision. These questions seek reasoning about how throttling only unlimited customers actually serves to improve network quality, why the limitations previously placed on the company’s 3G service are now needed on the 4G network, and how Verizon justifies the new policy in relation to its obligations under FCC rules which state that “Verizon Wireless may not deny, limit, or restrict the ability of end users to download and utilize applications of thefrchoosing on the C Block networks.”

It will certainly be interesting to see how this situation plays out between the FCC and Verizon in the months leading up to October, when the new throttling policy is set to go into effect. The full letter from Wheeler is embedded below:


Filed under: Tech Industry Tagged: FCC, throttling, Verizon

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FCC throttles Verizon Wireless over plans to throttle customers

verizon-4g-lte

Following the recent revelation that Verizon Wireless would begin throttling some 4G LTE customers on unlimited data plans, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler has sent a letter to the carrier (full text below) expressing his disdain with the policy and question the necessity of throttling only customers on unlimited plans.

In the letter, Wheeler asks Verizon CEO Daniel Mead why exactly the company feels the need to only throttle customers on certain plans, rather than throttling based on the needs of the technology that powers the network. Wheeler says he is “deeply troubled” by Verizon’s claims that the policy is necessary to “optimize” the network, when in his opinion, it appears to more likely be a ploy to get customers off of unlimited plans.

Wheeler ends the letter with a series of questions that he requests Mead answer before moving forward with this new policy decision. These questions seek reasoning about how throttling only unlimited customers actually serves to improve network quality, why the limitations previously placed on the company’s 3G service are now needed on the 4G network, and how Verizon justifies the new policy in relation to its obligations under FCC rules which state that “Verizon Wireless may not deny, limit, or restrict the ability of end users to download and utilize applications of thefrchoosing on the C Block networks.”

It will certainly be interesting to see how this situation plays out between the FCC and Verizon in the months leading up to October, when the new throttling policy is set to go into effect. The full letter from Wheeler is embedded below:


Filed under: Tech Industry Tagged: FCC, throttling, Verizon

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Apple refreshes entire Retina MacBook Pro lineup with improved processors and more RAM standard

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As expected, Apple has pushed out an upgrade to the Retina MacBook Pro lineup. Both the 15-inch and 13-inch models were updated, and two models received price drops.

Each 15-inch model received a modest processor speed bump, starting with a new 2.2 GHz chip in the base model, followed by 2.5 GHz in the upgraded version. The Turbo Boost speeds of each model are now up to 3.4 and 3.7 GHz, respectively. Both of the new models include 16 GB of RAM standard. The graphics processor in the upgraded model is still an NVIDIA GeForce 750M with 2 GB of VRAM.

A built-to-order option for a 2.8 GHz processor is also now available for the 15-inch model, which features Turbo Boost speeds of up to 4.0 GHz.

The 13-inch models have all been upgraded as well, featuring 2.6 GHz i5 processors in the two lower-end models, and a 2.8 GHz chip in the third model, with Turbo Boost speeds of 3.1 and 3.3 GHz. The cheapest of the three machines has also been upgraded from 4 GB of RAM to 8 GB standard.

The storage capacity of the 13-inch models remains unchanged, although a 1 TB built-to order option is now available, as is a 3.0 GHz CPU with Turbo Boost speeds of up to 3.5 GHz.

The new MacBook Pros are priced similarly to the previous models, although the non-Retina 13-inch model got a $100 price drop, as did the higher-end 15-inch. Apple is still reportedly working on a new 12-inch model of the computer for release later this year.

Apple Updates MacBook Pro with Retina Display

CUPERTINO, California—July 29, 2014—Apple® today updated MacBook Pro® with Retina® display with faster processors, double the memory in both entry-level configurations, and a new, lower starting price for the top-of-the-line 15-inch notebook. MacBook Pro with Retina display features a stunning high-resolution display, an amazing design just 0.71-inches thin, the latest processors and powerful graphics, and up to nine hours of battery life, delivering unbelievable performance in an incredibly portable design.* Apple today also lowered the starting price of the non-Retina 13-inch MacBook Pro, a very popular system with Windows switchers, by $100 to $1,099.

“People love their MacBook Pro because of the thin and light, aluminum unibody design, beautiful Retina display, all day battery life and deep integration with OS X,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “The MacBook Pro with Retina display gets even better with faster processors, more memory, more affordable configurations and a free upgrade to OS X Yosemite this fall.”

The 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display features dual-core Intel Core i5 processors up to 2.8 GHz with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.3 GHz and 8GB of memory, up from 4GB in the entry-level notebook. The 13-inch model can also be configured with faster dual-core Intel Core i7 processors up to 3.0 GHz with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.5 GHz. The top-of-the-line 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display has a new, lower starting price of $2,499. The 15-inch model features faster quad-core Intel Core i7 processors up to 2.5 GHz with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.7 GHz, 16GB of memory, up from 8GB in the entry-level notebook, and can be configured with quad-core Intel Core i7 processors up to 2.8 GHz with Turbo Boost speeds up to 4.0 GHz.

iLife® and iWork® come free with every new Mac®. iLife lets you edit your favorite videos with iMovie®, create new music or learn to play piano or guitar with GarageBand®, and organize, edit and share your best shots with iPhoto®. iWork productivity apps, Pages®, Numbers® and Keynote®, make it easy to create, edit and share stunning documents, spreadsheets and presentations. iWork for iCloud® beta lets you create a document on iPhone® or iPad®, edit it on your Mac and collaborate with friends, even if they are on a PC.

OS X® Mavericks, the world’s most advanced operating system, also comes free with every new Mac. With more than 200 features, OS X Mavericks is designed for ease of use while taking full advantage of the powerful technologies built into every Mac, including core technologies designed specifically for notebooks to boost performance and improve battery life. This fall, Mac users will be able to download OS X Yosemite, a redesigned and refined version of OS X, with a fresh, modern look, powerful new apps and amazing new continuity features that make working across your Mac and iOS devices more fluid than ever. OS X Yosemite will be available as a free download from the Mac App Store℠.

Pricing & Availability
MacBook Pro with Retina display and MacBook Pro are available today through the Apple Online Store (www.apple.com), Apple’s retail stores and select Apple Authorized Resellers. The 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display is available with a 2.6 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.1 GHz, 8GB of memory, 128GB of flash storage and Intel Iris graphics starting at $1,299 (US); with a 2.6 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.1 GHz, 8GB of memory, 256GB of flash storage and Intel Iris graphics starting at $1,499 (US); and with a 2.8 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.3 GHz, 8GB of memory, 512GB of flash storage and Intel Iris graphics starting at $1,799 (US). Configure-to-order options include faster dual-core Intel Core i7 processors up to 3.0 GHz with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.5 GHz, up to 16GB of memory and flash storage up to 1TB.

The 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display is available with a 2.2 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.4 GHz, 16GB of memory, 256GB of flash storage and Intel Iris Pro graphics starting at $1,999 (US); and with a 2.5 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.7 GHz, 16GB of memory, 512GB of flash storage, and Intel Iris Pro and NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M graphics starting at $2,499 (US). Configure-to-order options include faster quad-core Intel Core i7 processors up to 2.8 GHz with Turbo Boost speeds up to 4.0 GHz and flash storage up to 1TB.

The 13-inch MacBook Pro is available with a 2.5 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.1 GHz, 4GB of memory, Intel HD Graphics 4000 and a 500GB hard drive starting at $1,099 (US).

Additional technical specifications, configure-to-order options and accessories are available online at www.apple.com/macbook-pro.

*The Wireless Web protocol testing was conducted by Apple in July 2014 using preproduction MacBook Pro with Retina display configurations. Battery life and charge cycles vary by use and settings. For more information visit www.apple.com/macbook-pro/features-retina.

Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices with iPad.


Filed under: Mac Tagged: MacBook Pro, refresh

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Apple no longer seeking injunction against some Samsung devices in patent case

Men pose with Samsung Galaxy S3 and iPhone 4 smartphones in photo illustration in Zenica

Apple has filed a motion to drop a cross-appeal in the seemingly eternal patent battle between the Cupertino-based tech giant and rival Samsung, as noted today by FOSS Patents.

As the appeals process drags on, Apple has decided to let go of certain points and accept the court’s rulings. In this case, Apple has decided not to seek an injunction against certain Samsung devices from its first trial in 2012. Apple has already tried to get an injunction against these devices twice in the past, but was denied both times.

Don’t get too excited though: the entire legal process is still far from over. Samsung is still trying to have the original jury verdict overturned, and Apple is still seeking injunctions against some devices from the second trial, which took place earlier this year. It will be quite some time before we finally see an end to the dispute between these two companies.


Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: litigation, patent lawsuit, Samsung

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Yelp for iOS updated with the ability to upload short videos with reviews

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Yelp has updated its iPhone application with the ability to add short videos (3-12 seconds) to reviews. The app has allowed photo uploads alongside reviews, and according to The Next Web users are uploading over 23,000 photos a day.

You can grab the updated Yelp app now from the App Store for free.

What’s New in Version 8.1.0

They say a picture is worth 1,000 words, well now on iPhone you can take 3-12 second videos of your experiences at your favorite local businesses. So that’s worth like… 30 frames per second multiplied by video length… (pulls out calculator)… between 90 and 360 thousand words! Whoa.

Along with this new feature we also also added some polish to our app and fixed a bunch of bugs. Enjoy!


Filed under: Apps Tagged: reviews, video, Yelp

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Facebook to disable messaging in its main iOS app this week, require Messenger for all users

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Facebook has announced today that it will no longer allow messaging in its main mobile application later this week. Instead, any users who wish to take advantage of the company’s messaging platform will have to do so through the standalone Facebook Messenger app.

Earlier this year the comapany started informing some European users of the upcoming move to the separate app, but this is the first time a solid timetable has been set for the transition. For users who already have the Messenger app installed, nothing will change. Once the change goes into effect, the “Messages” tab in the Facebook client will simply link to the Messenger app rather than an inbox view.

Facebook said in a statement:

In the next few days, we’re continuing to notify more people that if they want to send and receive Facebook messages, they’ll need to download the Messenger app. As we’ve said, our goal is to focus development efforts on making Messenger the best mobile messaging experience possible and avoid the confusion of having separate Facebook mobile messaging experiences. Messenger is used by more than 200 million people every month, and we’ll keep working to make it an even more engaging way to connect with people.


Filed under: Apps Tagged: Facebook, Messaging, Messenger

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Apple to acquire Swell talk radio and podcast app for $30 million

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Apple appears to be looking to further improve the iTunes Radio service through the $30 million acquisition of a radio application called Swell, Re/code reported early Monday morning. Unlike the $3 billion Beats Electronics (and Beats Music) buyout, however, this purchase centers more on talk radio than music.

Swell currently carries news from sources such as NPR, ABC, ESPN, the BBC, and more, and uses a user’s listening history to create personalized content playlists. Apple, on the other hand, only recently jumped into the streaming news market through iTunes Radio with ESPN and NPR stations, including over 40 local stations.

It’s also possible that rather the Swell technology will power podcast recommendations. The Swell service will be shut down and likely removed from sale later this week, according to the Re/code report. The team responsible for the app and its backend service will be moved to Apple.

It seems Apple is quite interested in creating more personalized recommendations for its various stores and services. The Cupertino company also purchased BookLamp, an e-book discovery service, last week for somewhere between $10-15 million.


Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: acquisition, iTunes, Podcasts, radio, swell

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