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AT&T began data capping its U-Verse broadband customers back in 2011, although it didn't enforce its new rules. That changes this week as May 23 has arrived: the date the company said it would begin enforcing caps.
Whereas the cap was 250GB per month in 2011, that's been increased to 300GB for those with 768 Kbps-6Mbps plans; 12Mbps-75Mbps plans will have a 600GB cap, and 100 Mbps-1Gbps means a 1TB cap. Should you exceed the limit (and you'll receive plenty of e-mail warnings before you do), you'll be charged $10 for each 50GB of extra data. Alternately, you can pay a flat $30 extra per month for unlimited data.
AT&T says about 4% of its customers go over the new limits.
Netflix has launched its speed test site Fast.com. Like Speedtest.net (which it links to for comparison purposes), it tells you your current download speed with a brief data test. In this case, the data is downloaded from Netflix servers.
Unlike with Speedtest.net, the test is extremely quick, the site pretty much only features the test itself, and it elects to nix upload speed and ping results, saying it's aimed at consumers of data who want a quick, straightforward tool (which makes sense given a lot of people will learn about it through Netflix).
Google is set to soon integrate shopping advertisements into its image searches on mobile.
"The most common feedback people have left with Google Images is, 'I like these products - how much do they cost and where can I buy them?'" says Google's VP of shopping Jon Alferness.
When you search for an image on your phone like say, couches, sponsored links with couch prices will show up. If you want more specific links, you can sort by colour, type, location, and store.
Google is banning payday loan ads which require borrowers to pay back money within 60 days, as well as ads for loans with an annual percentage rate (APR) of 36% or more. As of July 13, they won't be seen on sites served by AdSense, or at least they'll be seen less (Google says it will monitor the effectiveness). Advertisements for mortgage loans, car loans, student loans, commercial loans, and credit lines won't be affected.
The company states such services and advertisements are predatory and can result in borrowers ending up in a worse financial situation than before they took out the loan, a sentiment echoed by others.
"This new policy addresses many of the longstanding concerns shared by the entire civil rights community about predatory payday lending," says Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. "These companies have long used slick advertising and aggressive marketing to trap consumers into outrageously high interest loans - often those least able to afford it."
YouTube has had a pretty similar and somewhat chaotic design for a good six years or so, but it looks like that may finally change. A fresh and clean new design based on Google's Material platform has surfaced online, indicating it's likely in testing as you read this.
If you'd like to try it yourself, open Chrome and follow the steps below as outlined by redditor giorgiomarinel:
- 1) go to https:www.youtube.com/?gl=US
- 2) open the developer tools (ctrl + shift + i)
- 3) go to the 'Resources´ tab and delete the VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE cookie for the youtube domain
- 4) go to the console and define the VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE cookie using the following command:
- 5) reload the page
Ladies and gentlemen, Radiohead has left the internet (apparently that's a thing you can do). Its homepage is now a plain white page and inspecting it reveals there's nothing super secret going on: there is just no real code there. As well, its Twitter and Facebook pages are blank.
The band hasn't gone completely dark on its fans, though: they've sent out leaflets in the mail marked with a cryptic message that reads, "Sing the song of sixpence that goes 'Burn the witch'."
Whether this is some kind of poetic publicity stunt for Radiohead's upcoming album or somehow related to frontman Thom Yorke's disdain for music streaming, we can't say for sure.
As internet data cap surcharges have become more and more impactful (some providers are now charging as much $35 per month for you to 'avoid' fees associated with usage caps), more and more customers are starting to notice and even take action.
The Wall Street Journal reports data limit complaints to the Federal Communications Comission (FCC) stood at 863 in the first half of 2015 before soaring to 7,904 in the second half. More than that, some said they were canceling streaming services like Netflix, Sling TV, and Sony PlayStation Vue, which are top sources of data consumption. This year looks similar with 1,463 complaints registered as of mid-April.
Facebook is currently testing a significant change to its news feed that see it take on the form of a news aggregator site in many ways.
The new design features a tabbed categories section at the bottom of the normal feed where you can choose to see all news, World & US news, Sports news, and Food news, among others. By default, all of these categories will show up, but if you like, you can disable any of them.
When relevant, friends' posts will show up in the aforementioned sections. As well, the feed will prompt you to add people related to news you're interested in, much like Twitter.
Wordpress isn't taking any chances and will be automatically enabling HTTPS for all custom domain names that are associated with its website in addition to the subdomains that are already protected by the umbrella of the main domain, which they've been doing since 2014.
The project is a large and very complex matter, not to mention the usual cost of obtaining the appropriate amount of certificates needed for all the separate sites that happen to exist. Automattic, the owner and operator of Wordpress, have elicited the help of Let's Encrypt, a certificate authority that is providing them with free certificates for each domain, as well as managing the installation and any post-installation issues that might crop up. They're doing this in response to the EFF's Encrypt the Web initiative. Barry Abrahamson, a systems engineer at Automattic praised Let's Encrypt and their involvement, saying that "The Let's Encrypt project gave us an efficient and automated way to provide SSL certificates for a large number of domains."
HTTPS is beneficial for keeping the Internet safe as well as adding in a slight bit of weight to SEO scores for websites looking to increase their visibility. It's also nice for visitors to know that at the very least they can authenticate the site they're visiting and ensure that any moderate attempts at surveillance or session hijacking can be foiled. HTTPS should indeed be the standard, not the exception. This is a move that makes it more accessible to more website owners, which it should be.
Amazon Payments is getting beefed up with a new global partner program designed to make the service into an e-commerce competitor to PayPal and Apple Pay; Amazon is using the term 'global' loosely, as the program is available to partners in the US, Germany, UK, and Japan only.
The refreshed service is different than the current 'Login and pay with Amazon' feature -- pictured here -- that some individual merchants already use: it's intended for e-commerce platforms that provide secure payment features to those merchants. Currently on board are Shopify, OpenCart, and PrestaShop, among many others.
For the public, this means you'll no longer have to create a new username and password for different shopping sites: just use your Amazon Payments account for everything, à la PayPal.