Saturday, April 9, 2011

Verizon Removing 1-Year Contract

Verizon Wireless confirmed that as of April 17th, they will no longer give the option to sign up for 1-year contracts. They are doing this to help simplify choices, and because most customers choose the 2-year contract anyway.

The 1-year contract was mostly for users who wanted to get a subsidized new phone every year and only pay a little more for it than the 2-year contracts. But on April 17, new customers and those who are renewing will be expected to go for the 2-year subsidy or pay full price.

Month-to-Month, prepaid, and 2-year contracts are going unchanged.

What do you guys think of this? Personally i didn't even know a 1-year contract was an option, too late now though i guess.

Friday, April 8, 2011

U.S. Border Agents are Allowed to Seize and Conduct Offsite Searches of Computers

Fair warning for anyone who plans to travel outside the country. Upon re-entry into the U.S., border agents have full authority to seize your laptop, netbook, tablet PC, and other electronic components without a warrant, but that's not all. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that border agents also have the power to send your confiscated electronics to an offsite location for forensic inspection.

This is the second such ruling in less than a year empowering the U.S. government to conduct offsite searches of digital devices without a warrant. The first ruling came in a court in Michigan last May.

As you might imagine, none of this sits well with privacy advocates. The American Civil Liberties Union (ALCU) says that according to government documents, U.S. customs officials searched electronic devices belonging to some 6,600 travelers between October 2008 and June 2010, and confiscated more than 220 devices between October 2008 and June 2009.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Coming Soon! Firefox 5...

Firefox 4 may be only a few weeks old, but  believe it or not, Firefox 5 may released by the end of June. Users who want to gain access to the latest preview build can download a copy directly from Mozilla.

A list of features that may be expected include:

1.) Multi Tab Select. This will allow you to close a small group of tabs, or move a select few off the tab bar to create a new window.

2.) A Brand New Tab Page Layout.

3.) Add-ons will get standardized toolbar support.

4.) File Upload Indicator.

5.) The removal of a home button, in favor of a home tab.

6.) Built in PDF Viewer / MP3 Playback decoder.

7.) Taskbar Web apps. This will allow developers to include a drop down menu from the browser tab to allow for easier site navigation.

8.) Integrated Identity Management for easy website sign in.

9.) Social Sharing from the URL bar to Facebook, Twitter, and possibly others such as Reddit, and Digg.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Verizon is Planning 100-Gigabit Network Upgrade

Verizon is planning on upgrading certain areas to 100 Gigabit Ethernet by the end of the second quarter. It will take place in six different cities, broken up into three parts, two cities at a time. Chicago to New York, Sacramento to Los Angeles, and Minneapolis to Kansas City.

Verizon says the upgrade is primarily intended to benefit businesses which rely on video streaming, cloud-based apps, and other high-bandwidth services. Verizon also just recently deployed a 100 Gigabit network in Europe between routers on a 555-mile stretch from Paris to Frankfurt.

More info at: Cnet

Monday, March 28, 2011

"World's Fastest Video Card"

AMD is calling Nvidia out on their claim to have "The World's Fastest Video Card".

Both companies have recently released dual GPU cards that they believe to be the best, AMD's Radeon HD 6990, and Nvidia's GTX 590. AMD's Public Relations Manager, Dave Erskine, says the Radeon HD 6990 was created to be "a game changer", and Nvidia has "no substantiation based on industry-standard benchmarks, similar to what AMD did with industry benchmark 3DMark 11, the latest DirectX 11 benchmark from FutureMark.”

 Dave Erskine's Post at:

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Free gun with Dish Network

Hamilton, Montana Radio Shack owner, Steve Strand; is offering either a Hi Point 380 pistol or a 20-gauge shotgun with a sign up for Dish Network. Strand sates that it has increased his business threefold since the promotions launch in October.

Although he does admit that Dish Network wasn't too keen on the promotion, you can't really argue with the results. And for those of you that aren't fans of Dish Network, Strand has said that they will be offering a similar deal soon for Direct TV.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

*Update* Google Music

Google's attempt of a cloud-based digital locker service for music seems to have been delayed due to Google's demand for cloud music rights for songs purchased through their service.

However, it looks as though Google isn't the only one interested in this type of music service. According to Cnet, Amazon is having discussions with content owners for rights to movies and music ; while other reports state that Apple is trying also having similar discussions.

Let me know what you guys think of this. Would you like to have all your music out in the cloud?  Or would you rather have it actually in your possession?

I  have no interest in cloud-based storage for anything other than storing documents and (maybe when we catch up to everyone else in internet speed) for backups. I like having everything here with me, without having to rely/trust in any company to let me have access to my data.

More info at: Cnet