T-Mobile Launching Data, Text Only Plans

We know that landline service is dying, but is talking to people on the phone on its way out completely? T-Mobile thinks so, at least. Reports suggest the company is rolling out new plan options that would include data, texting, but no minutes for voice calls. Many young users simply use their smartphones for texting and Internet browsing, making voice calls obsolete in the era of FaceTime and Skype. T-Mobile’s “Simple Choice” offers these users an option more akin to their needs. Simple Choice also allows users to build their plan based on how much data they use. It starts

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Snapchat Scoops Up Bitstrips

Snapchat is expanding its social media empire with its recent $100 million purchase of Bitstrips, a move experts say could make the messaging app more appealing to advertisers. Toronto-based Bitstrips features personalized emojis that appeal to users and the advertisers targeting them. Senior strategist Andy Walker of Cyberwalker.com told CTV that he believes Bitstrips is popular because it allows users to “create a little icon of yourself with your hair type and your nose… and then share that with your friends.” “If you talk to perhaps 100 teenagers, I think you’ll probably find the majority are aware of it and

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Schooley Mitchell Lawsuit Watch: A Big Verizon Rip-Off?

In this edition of the Schooley Mitchell lawsuit watch, a consumer advocacy group is squaring off against Verizon, accusing the telecom giant of scamming customers and diverting the funds to expand its wireless and fiber optic networks. The New Networks Institute alleges Verizon has overcharged New York landline subscribers to the tune of $1,000 to $1,500 each, spending the money on infrastructure improvements and corporate expenses.  New Networks executive director Bruce Kushnick says Verizon is overcharging for its copper-based landline service and that its other services are a rip-off. For example, call forwarding and call waiting costs $7.95 per month,

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U.S. Employees Would Sell Their Work Passwords

Nearly 30 percent of American office workers at large companies would sell their work passwords to an outsider, a recent study has showed. In total, 27 percent said they would happily exchange their passwords for cash, which is higher than the global average of 20 percent. The study, which was conducted by research firm Vanson Bourne, is a follow-up to the same survey done two years ago. At that point, only one-in-seven office workers were willing to share their passwords. It’s alarming to think the number of people willing to compromise their employer’s network – and give access to proprietary

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Nintendo’s First Mobile App Sends Stocks Soaring

Japanese gaming company Nintendo has received a lot of criticism for not adapting to the ever-growing mobile world. On March 17, however, Nintendo released its first smartphone app, Miitomo. In the first three days it was downloaded over 1 million times by Japanese users. This week stock shares of Nintendo have risen 8.2 percent and messaging-based Miitomo is Japan’s No. 1 free-app for iOS devices. The app is scheduled to be released by the end of the month in 15 more countries, including the United States. Nintendo also promises to bring traditional characters like the Super Mario Bros and Donkey

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Facebook Dumps BlackBerry

BlackBerry has slipped to the point that not even Facebook is taking it too seriously – the social media giant is removing its support from the BlackBerry version of its app. This comes after the announcement made earlier this month by Facebook subsidiary WhatsApp, which also plans to withdraw from the BlackBerry OS. Both applications will still be available on the Android powered BlackBerry Priv device. BlackBerry has stated that it is “extremely disappointed” in Facebook’s decision to pull the apps. It is urging its users to log onto Facebook via the web browser on their handsets. This will be

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Galaxy TabPro S Rises from Collaboration

Samsung, Intel and Microsoft recently announced the launch of a new two-in-one computer that is the product of their combined efforts. Called the Galaxy TabPro S, it has all the benefits of a tablet and all the power of a laptop. Although it isn’t a revolutionary device by any means, it could be the best functioning. “I think there’s never been a better time to buy a new computer,” Navin Shenoy, corporate VP for Intel, was quoted as saying in an Observer article. The Galaxy TabPro S shows “what we can do when we come together and collaborate,” he added.

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Schooley Mitchell complaints

Canadian Commissioner to Hear Television Service Complaints

Canadian consumers with television service complaints will soon be able to turn to the Commission for Complaints for Telecommunication Services (CCTS) for help. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) announced last week that television service providers would have until Sept. 1, 2017 to become members of the CCTS. This means the CCTS is now the single point of contact for complaints about all major services, including television, Internet, wireless and landline telephone. Consumers concerned with things such as billing and service delivery are asked to first contact their provider for attempted resolution before filing to the CCTS. “Since 2007,

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Instagram To Choose What Posts You See

People love that Instagram lists photos in reverse-chronological order, putting no more priority on one user or another. However, this could all soon be changing. Instead of showing the most recent post first, Instagram says it will be using an algorithm to determine what each user is most likely to care about and displaying that first. Parent company Facebook’s News Feed works the same way, showing each user what it believes to be most relevant content. It uses factors such as close friends and similar “likes” in the past to determine which posts get priority. Twitter has also shifted to

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Amazon Developing Selfie Payment

Amazon has filed a patent application for a technology that would allow shoppers to pay with a selfie. The company believes this method is more secure and less “awkward” than using a traditional password. Amazon’s facial recognition system would allow users to take a picture or short video of themselves to authenticate payments. This ensures the actual customer – not hackers, thieves, or kids on their parents’ device – is the one making the purchase. And in order to confirm it is a real selfie, not a previously taken photo, the system asks users to blink, smile or tilt their

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