Finnish telecom Elisa is the first to commercially use a 5G network

We finally have a winner in the race to the first commercial 5G network. It’s not Verizon or AT&T, nor a powerhouse provider from China or South Korea. It’s Elisa! Who’s Elisa you ask? Elisa is a Finnish carrier that has recently partnered with Huawei to make the goal of many operators a reality. Elisa is actually a pretty big player in reaching these land marks. According to Fierce Wireless, “This isn’t the first time Elisa has staked a big first in wireless. The first GSM telephone call in the world was made using Elisa’s network.” Elisa says it just

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Switching wireless plans might mean having your credit checked

There always seems to be strings attached when it comes to your wireless plan. Perhaps one of the most frustrating is having your carrier perform a credit check. Now, some consumers are upset that they are being subjected to this process. Sprint customer Steve McLeod of Clearwater, Florida told WZZM13 and ABC news channel that he was surprised when he tried to sign up for Sprint’s Kickstart Unlimited plan, that the carrier would not allow him to join until he gave them permission “to get a full copy of his credit report.” As WZZM13 explains, this “detailed inquiry, often called

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Payfone and Enstream team up to eliminate passwords for good

Enstream (a Canadian telecom coalition) and Payfone  (the world’s “leading digital identity authentication company”) are partnering to “eliminate passwords, simplify login, and enhance online security and privacy,” according to Canada Newswire. EnStream is a joint venture between Canada’s leading telecom companies, and it will be working with Payfone to create the future of mobile-based authentication services that aims to increase “convenience for consumers without sacrificing security and privacy.” On June 18th, Payfone CEO Rodger Desai said in his announcement of the partnership that, “Consumers have too many passwords, or re-use the ones they have too many times, increasing the risk

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Is the digital divide narrowing in the United States?

The United States government – via the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), a division of the US Department of Commerce – has recently released a report making the claim that the digital divide within the country is narrowing. The NTIA came to this conclusion after surveying users across the United States. The NTIA’s report found some interesting statistics, such as the fact that, of people surveyed, “more had a mobile data plan than wired broadband service in 2017.”  And, “for users living in households with family incomes below $25,000 per year, internet usage increased to 62% from 57% in

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Your Contacts Are Now Safe With Apple

According to a recent report from Bloomberg, Apple has changed the way its app developers gather, use, and share information about a user’s contacts.  If you have ever downloaded an app from the App Store, you might know that some developers will ask you to share your contacts. This information is typically used for information, marketing, or sold without the permission of the contact themselves. According to CNET, “the new App Store Review Guidelines prohibit developers from making databases with information taken from iPhone owners’ contacts, and restrict them from sharing such a database with third parties, or selling it.

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Yahoo! Messenger is officially a thing of the past

As of July 17th, 2018, Yahoo! Messenger – a twenty year-old instant messaging service – will cease to exist. According to SlashGear, the company will be scrapping the service in favour of a new medium that “better fits consumer needs.” If you were on the web in 1998, you might remember Yahoo Messenger as Yahoo! Pager. It offered an instant messaging, file transfer, and chat room platform to its users. But with services like Facebook Messenger, iMessage, Snapchat, Whatsapp, and countless others, Yahoo Messenger has become quite antiquated. This was obvious as early as 2016, when Yahoo dropped desktop support

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Online genealogy researchers may find their data has been exposed

Plenty of social media sites fall prey to data breaches. Recently, another victim has emerged. According to The Seattle Times, leading geneology and DNA-testing company, My Heritage, “disclosed that a researcher had found on a private server the email addresses and hashed passwords of every customer that had signed up for its service.” MyHeritage broke the news on Monday in a blog post, where it stated that the leak included 92 million accounts. The breach occurred on October 26th, 2017 – an entire seven months ago – and all accounts created before then are presumably at risk. “There has been

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Manitobans get exclusively better phone deal than the rest of Canada

A new phone plan that has Manitobans celebrating is also splitting the opinions of other Canadians. While some are angry to be left out of the deal, others are hopeful that changes for Manitoba mean that everyone else will see such opportunities soon. Manitoba, along with Saskatchewan and Quebec, has always been among the provinces with the cheapest mobile phone plans. This trend continued when, last week, Rogers Communications launched a Manitoba-wide “double-data phone deal” in which Rogers offered to quite literally double the data on its regular and family-share phone plans for no extra cost. According to CBC, Manitobans

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FBI warns owners of routers to reboot their devices

You know cyber-security threats are serious when the FBI gets involved. Following Cisco’s recent report that 500,000 infected routers could be destroyed via malware, the FBI has taken action to warn small businesses and households to immediately reboot their devices. ZD Net explains that “the malware, dubbed VPNFilter, was developed by the Russian state-sponsored hacking group Sofacy.” The malware was discovered by Cisco’s Talos Intelligence researchers, and looks to have infected routers made by Linksys, MikroTik, Netgear, and TP-Link. In fact, if you’re an owner of one of these specific devices, the FBI wants you to immediately reboot it: Linksys

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Echo device shares one family’s data without consent

“Unplug your Alexa devices right now. You’re being hacked.” These were the frightening and urgent words a Portland, Oregon family received over the phone two weeks ago, after what the Toronto Star calls an “unlikely string of events” caused their Amazon Echo to record their private conversations and send them to an acquaintance in Seattle, all without consent. The receiver of these recordings was an employee of the husband, and was also the person to alert them of the situation. This person was listed in the device’s contacts. “My husband and I would joke and say, ‘I’d bet these devices

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