Via one of two modems -- a Photon mobile hotspot or a Bolt USB dongle -- customers can use up to 500MB of data per month without billing. That's not much, but it could be adequate for email and careful browsing.
The hardware is technically free, according to the company. However, to get your hands on the free data allocation, you need to put down a "fully refundable" deposit … Read more
I worry that Google's doodlers have been given a little time off, just at the time when something supremely animated was needed to lift America's dreariness on July 4.
Today, instead of some glorious and uplifting doodle, Google offers a very simple affair, the logo spelling out the words: "This Land Was Made For You And Me."
The only unusual accompaniment is that of an acoustic guitar, a homage to Woody Guthrie, whose "This Land Is My Land" includes the doodle's line.
Guthrie was very keen to offer of his guitar that "… Read more
Do you believe the Internet needs protection against censorship and other threats? If so, then you may want to join in on the new Declaration of Internet Freedom.
Launched by a large coalition of privacy groups, Web sites, and individuals, the Declaration of Internet Freedom is the start of a process striving to keep the Internet free and open. The organizations and people who kicked off this process are looking for other Internet users to discuss the ideas, share their own thoughts, and sign the declaration.
Just a couple of weeks after Chinese censors lambasted the social network Sina Weibo for "rumor" mongering, the Twitter-like service announced plans to establish a "user contract" by the end of this month. This comes shortly after the uberpopular site also promised to fight against rumors on the Internet.
According to tech news site The Next Web, which got its hands on the contract and translated it, there are several points that look like they could impede the free flow of information.
It seems as if, for Sina Weibo, the point of the contract is to … Read more
After vocal outrage from authors, e-publishers, and free speech activists, PayPal has shifted its "acceptable use" policy on e-books containing certain erotica content. The online payment company announced today that mostly books with images will be under scrutiny.
"First and foremost, we are going to focus this policy only on e-books that contain potentially illegal images, not e-books that are limited to just text," PayPal spokesman Anuj Nayar said in a statement today. "The policy will prohibit use of PayPal for the sale of e-books that contain child pornography, or e-books with text and obscene … Read more
AUSTIN, Texas--Representatives from opposite sides in the "big data" privacy debate tangled Sunday over whether a proposed White House "privacy bill of rights" is necessary to keep Americans safe online.
During a "big data" panel sponsored by CNET at South by Southwest, Berin Szoka, president of the non-partisan, non-profit, tech policy think tank TechFreedom, argued that states and the federal government might have better results providing privacy protections for Americans by enforcing existing laws than they would if they adopted new regulations.
"We have a difference of opinion of when government should get … Read more
In a message it posted today, Wikipedia said it has hidden the Italian-language portion of the site due to a new law proposed by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's administration. According to the message, the site section will remain hidden while the law is being debated in Italian parliament and could face permanent deletion, if the law is passed. The Italian front page of the open encyclopedia is currently being redirected to the same message in Italian.
The law, called "DDL intercettazioni" (Wiretapping Act), provides "a requirement to all Web sites to publish, within 48 hours of … Read more
Editors' note: This is a guest column. See Berin Szoka's bio below.
Is there a better way forward on online privacy that straddles the divide between heavy-handed regulation and complete laissez-faire? Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) has sketched out a potential "third way" to break the logjam.
Blackburn is kicking off a series of privacy roundtables to develop details of this approach, starting with one today in New York City. It's being hosted by the Interactive Advertising Bureau at their "Ad Lab" and brings together industry leaders to learn more about the state of technology … Read more