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16 Nov 22:12

Comcast Stops Offering Gigabit Internet For $70/Month In Cities Near Chicago

by Chris Morran

Earlier this summer, Comcast began offering a new internet service in the greater Chicago area that offers fiberoptic-like speeds but over existing cable lines. Right away, there were questions about the price: In other markets where Comcast sold this service, the rate was only $70/month for people willing to sign a three-year contract, but Chicagoans weren’t initially being offered this discount. Then the company appeared to change its mind, offering that lower rate, though even then there was confusion. Now it looks like that discounted rate is off the table for the handful of Chicago-area cities where it had been an option.

This is according to Ars Technica, which reports that the Chicago-area cities where the $70 rate had been available — including Arlington Heights, Naperville, Plainfield, Waukegan, Tinley Park, Batavia, and Bloomington, plus South Bend across the border in Indiana — now only have the option of paying $140/month for the service.

Customers in these cities who were able to get the lower rate are still locked into it, but new subscribers are not.

Ars notes that the $70 rate is, at least for now, still currently available in certain Chicago neighborhoods.

We’ve asked Comcast to explain the change of heart but have yet to hear back. Comcast’s explanation to Ars Technica — that this was merely a test promotion that has come to an end — meshes with the company told us back in August, when we first why the full Chicago area was not getting the $70 option. At the time, a rep for Comcast would only say that this was a new technology and the company was testing different pricing models as it rolled the new service out to different markets.

We were not the only ones to point out that in Atlanta and Nashville, the two markets that received the upgrade before Chicago, there is (or soon will be) reasonably affordable competition for high-speed data from AT&T and Google Fiber, and that the going rate for that fiberoptic service in those markets is $70.

Chicago is still only listed as a “Potential” market for Google, and now that the internet giant has paused many of its Fiber expansion plans, it seems less likely that the Chicago area will join the Fiber family in the near future.

The new service being rolled out in Chicago and these other markets uses the DOCSIS 3.1 standard, which allows cable internet providers like Comcast to send data at speeds comparable — in some cases faster — than current fiberoptic networks, but without having to build out an entirely new network. For the consumer, the only change needed is usually a new modem that is compatible with DOCSIS 3.1.

This is why, even at $140/month, the Comcast gigabit cable internet is less expensive than the company’s relatively new Gigabit Pro fiberoptic offering. While that service can provide speeds that are up to twice as fast as the DOCSIS 3.1 connections, it comes at more than twice the cost: $300/month plus potentially $1,000 for installation and activation.

15 Nov 22:47

Trump victory could imperil Roe v. Wade abortion ruling

FILE - In this Jan. 22, 2016, file photo, marchers carry a banner during the March for Life 2016, in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, during the annual rally on the anniversary of 1973 'Roe v. Wade' U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion. Roe v. Wade could be in jeopardy under Donald Trump's presidency. If a reconfigured high court did overturn it, the likely outcome would be a patchwork: some states protecting abortion access, others enacting tough bans, and many struggling over what new limits they might impose. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)NEW YORK (AP) — Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion nationwide, could be in jeopardy under Donald Trump's presidency. If a reconfigured high court did overturn it, the likely outcome would be a patchwork map. Some states would protect abortion access, others would enact tough bans, and many states would likely struggle over what new limits they might impose.


15 Nov 22:17

Egyptian court overturns ex-president Mursi's death sentence

Egypt's deposed president Mohamed Mursi greets his lawyers and people from behind bars at a court wearing the red uniform of a prisoner sentenced to death, during his court appearance with Muslim Brotherhood members on the outskirts of CairoEgypt's Court of Cassation on Tuesday overturned a death sentence against deposed president Mohammed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood and ordered a retrial. Mursi was sentenced to death in June 2015 in connection with a mass jail break during Egypt's 2011 uprising. Mursi, democratically elected after the revolution, was overthrown in mid-2013 by then-general Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, now the president, following mass protests against his rule, and immediately arrested.


15 Nov 21:55

Putin fires economy minister over bribe charges: media

Russia's Economy Minister Alexei Ulyukayev, charged by the Investigative Committee with bribe-taking, is escorted before a hearing at the Basmanny district court in Moscow on November 15, 2016Moscow (AFP) - Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday fired Economy Minister Alexei Ulyukayev, who had been charged with taking a massive bribe, news agencies quoted Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying.


15 Nov 21:54

Snowden: We rely too much on Facebook for news

by Nicole Lee

Facebook has been under fire this past week for supposedly influencing the election by not doing enough to stop the rise of fake news. In an interview at the Real Future Fair conference, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden said that while this is certainly an issue, the real problem here is that Facebook is where most people get their news. "This gets into a bigger challenge, which is lack of competition," he said. "This is a danger of a single point of failure."

Snowden, who is currently exile in Russia and appeared at the conference via a telepresence robot, did say that he wasn't sure if Facebook really did influence the election. If it did, he said it was a "sad indictment of our democracy that our voters could be so easily misled." Still, this whole affair does point out how dangerous it is to rely on a single company or service for news. "If one company makes a bad decision, we all suffer," he said.

Instead, Snowden called for a more "federated system," which consists of something like 10,000 Facebooks connected together. So if one particular network has a point of failure, it doesn't destroy the whole system. He didn't specify how this would work, but he did say that Silicon Valley's desire to implement "world-eating services" is asking us to accept a status quo in which we set aside competition in favor of scale. "I think we should be cautious in embracing this," he said. "When we look at monopolies throughout the past, they've grown very quietly." And as soon as they achieve a platform of prominence, according to him, no one can stop them.

"They get less careful. They get more muscular. They end up trampling not only their customers but paradigms in ways that we need to be very cautious about," he said. "One company shouldn't have the power to reshape the way we think."

15 Nov 21:38

BofAs Montag Sees Trump Win Boosting Revenue, Cutting Costs

by Laura J Keller,Jennifer Surane

Bank of America Corp., the lender whose stock surged 17 percent since Donald Trump was elected president, said it can increase revenue and cut costs amid optimism that the next administration will boost economic growth and curb financial regulations.

The firm hopes that expenses drop as regulatory burdens ease, though it’s a “little too early to know” what Trump’s policies will portend for the industry, Chief Operating Officer Tom Montag said Tuesday to kick off an investor conference sponsored by Bank of America in New York. He said there are ways to change U.S. regulations to make them better and more efficient.

There’s a “sense of optimism" that “the government will work better together to supply the foundation of growth that we as a bank can optimize,” said Montag, 59. “This might provide the opportunity to have that debate.”

Trump’s transition team signaled last week that it wants to dismantle key parts of the Dodd-Frank Act, the sweeping overhaul of U.S. financial regulation aimed at preventing future crises. In addition to repealing Dodd-Frank, the president-elect’s transition website outlines policies to restrain regulation, including calls for a moratorium on new rules so existing measures can be reviewed.

“We have a lot of regulations, so it’s probably healthy to take a breath,” said Montag, who runs the Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank’s trading and investment-banking units.

‘Inert Liquidity’

While some of those rules have helped U.S. banks appear strong compared with competitors in other countries, they also have resulted in billions of dollars of “inert liquidity” as derivatives trades have become more costly to execute because of margin requirements, Montag said. His wish list under a new regulatory regime would include more flexibility on rules governing bank lending, he said in response to a question from an investor.

The bank’s trading business improved by a double-digit percentage during the fourth quarter compared with a year earlier, Montag said. Revenue in the period has been “pretty good,” though not as robust as the third quarter.

“The market moves around Election Day we handled well," Montag said. “I think it was our No. 1 volume day in the New York Stock Exchange ever, and our No. 1 volume day in Japan."

An area of growth the firm is focusing on is middle-market investment banking, Montag said. The company is seeking to boost its share of that fee pool by 1 percent to 2 percent, and has hired bankers in Seattle, Atlanta and Denver to help achieve that goal, he said. It’s also seeking to expand revenue from municipal bonds, a business where the bank is already a market leader, he said.

Bank of America has made its biggest overall share gains in Europe and Asia, where it has taken longer to integrate the lender’s operations with those of Merrill Lynch, which it purchased in 2009. The bank’s largest trading increases have come in rates and foreign exchange, Montag said. 

Bank of America shares slid 0.9 percent to $19.90 at 11:27 a.m. in New York.

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15 Nov 21:31

After Trump chat, Putin's airstrikes pound Syria

The Russian said it has launched a large-scale operation to deliver strikes against terrorists in Syria.

     
 
 
15 Nov 21:23

Sneak Peek Inside New Graton Resort & Casino Luxury Hotel [PHOTOSHOW]

by Susan C. Schena
The $175 million, six-story property officially opens today in Sonoma County. Staycation, anyone?
15 Nov 21:21

You No Longer Need A Skype Account To Use Skype

by Mary Beth Quirk

Want to call someone on Skype but don’t feel like downloading it or even signing up for a new account? Neither action is necessary now that Skype has opened up chats, voice, and video calls to guests.

Anyone who wants to can go to Skype.com to start a conversation, simply by entering your name. You’ll then receive a shareable link you can send to friends, either individually or as a group in an email or on social media, that will allow them to join your conversation immediately, the company says.

You can include up to 300 people at one time in a group chat, or up to 25 people on a voice or video call. But if you’re using it as a guest, you’ll only have 24 hours for the conversation.

The service is free, though if you want to call a landline, mobile phone, or translate a conversation with Skype Translator, you’ll have to sign up for a Skype account, which is also free.

15 Nov 19:17

Donald Trump Was Born in Pakistan

by dan@snopes.com (Dan Evon)
A spoof conspiracy theory holds that Donald Trump was born in the country of Pakistan and not in the United States.
15 Nov 19:17

Soviet Star Turned Into SpongeBob SquarePants Character by Vandals

by bethania@snopes.com (Bethania Palma)
Russian news outlets are reporting that someone painted a Soviet-era star on top of a building to resemble the cartoon starfish Patrick.
15 Nov 19:16

Untitled

what

MildlyAmused

Submitted by: Unknown

Tagged: what
15 Nov 19:14

She Must Have Read "Cupcakes"

bad hair,cupcakes,food hair

Submitted by: Unknown

15 Nov 19:12

The Rare "Zebro"

centaurs,costume,Subway,poorly dressed,g rated

Submitted by: Unknown

15 Nov 19:12

Everyone Laughs Until the Air Becomes Unbreathable

oxygen,recycle,air,plant

Submitted by: Unknown

Tagged: oxygen , recycle , air , plant
15 Nov 19:11

Self Aware Shirts

angry birds,epic fail,gangnam style

Submitted by: Unknown

15 Nov 19:07

Smart Dog Waits for His Turn to Cross the Road While a Human Jaywalks

Submitted by: (via Mikhail Samoylov)

Tagged: russia , dogs , smart , crosswalk , Video
15 Nov 19:02

But Why?: A Burger Bun That Explodes With Cheese When You Cut Or Bite It

vthomas

horrific

exploding-cheeseburger.jpg This is a video of the cheese filled burger buns made by restaurant Raw Material NYC. The bun can explode with cheese when cut or bitten. That sounds fun to eat in a brand new shirt. But that sounds even more fun to order for an unsuspecting friend in a brand new shirt. That way when they bite in and ruin their outfit you can yell, "Haha, I knew that was going to happen!" and officially end your friendship before dessert. Keep going for the video.
15 Nov 18:59

Set Phasers to STUNNING: Her Universe and Thinkgeek Release Star Trek Collection

by Geeks are Sexy
vthomas

Most of these are super ugly

collection1

Her Universe, in partnership with Thinkgeek, has just released an absolutely beautiful Star Trek-themed fashion collection that will are appropriate for all occasions and will fit ladies of all sizes, from sizes small to 5X.

collection2a

I especially like the Star Trek Bardot party dress paired with the tribble faux fur coat (pictured above.) I think the two look fabulous together and will be perfect to wear during an upcoming holiday party.

collection3

collection4

Be sure to check out the whole collection right here! There are planty of amazing outfits which we haven’t featured in this post.

[Her Universe and Thinkgeek Star Trek Collection]

The post Set Phasers to STUNNING: Her Universe and Thinkgeek Release Star Trek Collection appeared first on Geeks are Sexy Technology News.

15 Nov 18:22

You could get both Zika and chikungunya from one stupid mosquito bite

by Rachel Feltman

North American mosquitoes can carry a lot of viral baggage

As mosquito-born viruses become more common across North America, scientists have shown that the insects can infect a host with two illnesses in one chomp.
15 Nov 18:18

Shazam For Mac Is Always Listening For Tunes, Which Means Your Microphone Is Always On

by Laura Northrup

Are you comfortable having your computer’s microphone on constantly? Shazam, a program that identifies the sound in songs, commercials, and TV shows for you, is always listening through your computer’s microphone in the program’s version for Mac computers. Is that a good or bad thing? It doesn’t necessarily mean that the app is listening in on you 24/7, but the idea may make you kind of uneasy.

The same functionality is part of Shazam’s apps for iOS and for Android, but users need to take action to turn it on first. That isn’t the case for the desktop version, which is simply always listening. Should that be okay with you? It depends.

Patrick Wardle, a former NSA hacker, developed a Mac program that tells users when their webcam and microphone are in use, and it told him that Shazam was using his microphone. He confirmed this with the company, and learned that they think it’s no big deal.

Your microphone is always listening and always activated when this mode is on, the company explained in a statement, but doesn’t process or record that audio until it’s needed. That’s the same way that the Android app has worked for a ew months now, and the iOS app has worked for about three years. The key difference is that mobile users have to activate the always-listening mode, while desktop users’ microphones are always in use, even when the customer toggles the listening mode “off.”

statusmenuon

While the company behind Shazam insists this isn’t a security risk or a big deal, it could be. “‘OFF’ should mean off,” he wrote in a blog post about the discovery (via Motherboard)” due to their actions, we could get creative [and] easily design a piece of malware that steals this [recording] without having to initiate a recording itself (which would likely generate an alert).” A common program like that would be a handy place to hide some malware, and you wouldn’t be able to turn it off.

Forget the NSA, it’s Shazam that’s always listening! [Objective See]

15 Nov 18:18

Some Android Phones Might Be Sending All Your Texts To China

by Kate Cox

Smartphones are ubiquitous. Everyone has one, and they come with all kinds of features. Some Android phones, though, apparently have an unwanted extra: a secret backdoor that sends all of your text messages to China.

Security contractors recently discovered the malware on some Android phone models, the New York Times reports.

The software comes preinstalled on the phone — this isn’t something users are accidentally downloading through misleading ads or the Google Play store. It’s written by the Shanghai Adups Technology Company, based in China.

Shanghai Adups says it runs the code on more than 700 million connected devices; one U.S.-based phone company, BLU Products, said it had found the code on 120,000 of its phones.

Folks who buy high-end, premium phones aren’t the ones at risk here; your current-generation Samsung Galaxy or Google Pixel device is not the problem. Customers who buy lower-cost, lower-end Android smartphones — primarily lower-income consumers — are the ones being hit.

The Adups software sends the full contents of text messages, contact lists, call logs, location information, and other data to servers in China, the NYT reports, and the existence of the software is not disclosed to users.

This glaring security hole is also unusual because it’s not a bug: the Adups software is working as intended. It’s meant to spy on users and phone home — it’s just that it’s meant to do so in China, and not in the U.S. In theory.

The CEO of BLU Products told the NYT, “It was obviously something that we were not aware of. We moved very quickly to correct it,” and added that Adups told him all the data from BLU customers had been destroyed.

The analytics firm that discovered the Adups firmware on American phones has taken its findings to the federal government and plans to release a full report this week.

Secret Backdoor in Some U.S. Phones Sent Data to China, Analysts Say [New York Times]

15 Nov 18:17

Obama says U.S. stands 'shoulder to shoulder' with Greece

President Barack Obama said on Tuesday the U.S. stood 'shoulder to shoulder' with Greece, acknowledging the crisis-hit country had made progress on economic adjustment, but had challenges ahead. It has been the policy of my administration to do everything we can to work with the Greek government and the Greek people to restore growth, optimism, to alleviate hardship," Obama told Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos in Athens. Obama arrived in the Greek capital earlier Tuesday.
15 Nov 18:17

US retail sales jump 0.8 pct. in sign of consumer health

FILE - In this Friday, Oct. 21, 2016, file photograph, Sara Judge, left, manager of the Dam Store, located at the mouth of the Big Thompson Canyon, helps customer Jessica Wiechman, right, from West Point, Neb., with a purchase, in Loveland, Colo. On Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016, the Commerce Department reports on retail sales for October. (Michael Brian/Loveland Reporter-Herald via AP, File)WASHINGTON (AP) — American consumers ramped up their spending last month in a sign of robust health heading into the crucial holiday shopping season.


15 Nov 18:16

Rampaging sheep kills 94-year-old Frenchman

The sheep knocked the pensioner over before trampling him to deathThe elderly man "was charged at" by the ram which launched a frenzied attack on him on a farm in the town of Cestas, south of Bordeaux, on Monday, police said. The man was found dead, with a swollen and badly bruised face.


15 Nov 18:16

Syria, backed by ally Russia, renews assault on rebels

More than 250,000 people are living in besieged eastern AleppoSyria's government and its ally Russia launched Tuesday a wide-ranging assault on rebel strongholds with renewed strikes on the besieged eastern neighbourhoods of battered second city Aleppo. The operation was the first of its kind since Donald Trump won the US presidential election last week. Moscow said it had begun a "major operation" which saw the first missions carried out by warplanes taking off from the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier that arrived off Syria last week.


15 Nov 18:14

Five Things You Need to Know to Start Your Day

by Lorcan Roche Kelly

Get caught up on what's moving markets.

Want to receive this post in your inbox every morning? Sign up here.

Bond-market rout eases, euro-area growth is mixed, and there's a commodity reversal. Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about today.

Bonds find a bid

The bond-market selloff that had seen a decline of $1.4 trillion in the amount of negative-yielding debt since Nov. 4 is easing this morning. U.S. Treasuries rallied, with the yield on the 10-year falling 7 basis points to 2.2 percent by 4:51 a.m. ET after a technical indicator implied they were at their the most oversold since 2007. In Japan, the yield on the 10-year bond rose above zero for the first time since September. 

Mixed euro-area growth

Growth in Germany, Europe's largest economy, fell short of analysts expectations and slowed to 0.2 percent in the third quarter, down from 0.4 percent in the previous period. There was better news in Italy for embattled Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. GDP grew 0.3 percent, beating expectations. Dutch growth also came in ahead of forecasts

Commodity reversal

Base metals which had staged a huge rally following the election of Donald Trump in the U.S. are in full blown retreat this morning. Iron ore in Asia, which had jumped as much as 27 percent last week dropped as much as 11 percent this morning, while copper is down more than 2.5 percent. Crude, which had fallen to an eight-week low yesterday is also seeing a change in fortunes, with a barrel of West Texas Intermediate for December delivery rising 2.5 percent to $44.41 by 5:08 a.m. ET. 

Markets mixed

Overnight, the MSCI Asia Pacific Index increased 0.2 percent, with Japan's Topix index also rising 0.2 percent, extending the rally to a fourth session. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 was unchanged at 5:10 a.m. ET as a rally in energy shares was offset by a slump in bank and mining shares. S&P 500 futures added 0.3 percent

U.K. inflation, Carney testimony

Inflation in the U.K. unexpectedly slowed in October to 0.9 percent, below expectations from economists who had factored in a larger hit from the weakening pound. Sterling briefly slipped below $1.24 after the data was released, before trading 0.6 percent lower at $1.2426 by 5:35 a.m. ET. Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney is giving testimony to the U.K. Parliament this morning. Coming up this morning in the U.S., retail sales data for October is due at 8:30 a.m. ET, while there are four regional Federal Reserve presidents due to speak today.

What we've been reading 

This is what's caught our eye over the last 24 hours.

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15 Nov 18:11

FLORIDA DEPUTY SAVED Passerby shoots, kills motorist assaulting officer

by foxnewsonline@foxnews.com (Fox News Online)

A driver who attacked a Florida sheriff's deputy Monday morning was shot and killed by a bystander who warned him to stop beating the officer, according to a report. 

The incident began at around 9:30 a.m. when the Lee County deputy tried to make a traffic stop on Interstate 75 in Estero. Instead of complying, witnesses said the driver took off, reaching speeds of more than 100 miles per hour. 

The deputy chased the suspect onto an exit ramp, where a witness said the suspect got out of his car and assaulted his pursuer. 

'SUICIDE BY COP' SURVIVOR THANKS POLICE

Shanta Holditch told WZVN that the suspect pulled the deputy out of his car and "just kept beating him and beating him ... throwing him to the ground and punching him in all different directions."

At that point, WINK reported, another driver got out of his car and ran to the scene. He told the suspect that he'd shoot him if he didn't stop beating the deputy.

"[He] refused to get off the officer and the officer kept yelling, 'shoot him, shoot him, shoot him,' Holditch said. 

When the suspect didn't stop his attack, the third man shot him three times. The deputy was not hit. The suspect later died. 

"I heard like three shots. He fell down on top of the police officer," said a witness who would only give his last name, Smith.  "After a moment, the police officer rolled him back over, got on his mic, then rolled over back on the ground besides the guy."

Authorities have not identified the suspect or the person who shot him and it was unclear if charges would be sought. WINK reported that the suspect was armed and the bystander who shot him possessed a concealed weapons license. 

WINK identified the deputy as Dean Bardes, a 12-year veteran of the Lee County Sheriff's Office. He was briefly hospitalized with minor injuries, but later released

The southbound off-ramp at Exit 123 was reopened Monday evening after being closed for several hours while investigators worked the scene.

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15 Nov 18:11

Trump didn't request top secret clearance for his kids: official

The official told the pool of reporters Monday that it wasn't something he was expecting right now.

     
 
 
15 Nov 18:10

Exclusive: Fox anchor Megyn Kelly describes scary, bullying 'Year of Trump'

Kelly talks with USA TODAY about the president-elect, Roger Ailes and her tumultuous year.