Senators ask FCC to investigate their own identity fraud

You might remember that towards the end of 2017, millions of “fake net neutrality” comments were posted on the FCC’s website, with identical messages, that allegedly showed support of the FCC’s decision to overturn the Obama-era laws. Although the comments were pretty obviously made by bots, they used the identities of real people, including Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Pat Toomey (R-PA). Now, according to Engadget, Merkley and Toomey have penned a letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, asking him to investigate the identity fraud. In their letter, Merkley and Toomey said they were “among those whose identities were misused

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Canadians pay the most in the world for telecom services

According to a new study by Rewheel, a specialist in mobile-data and marketing competition, Canadians face “some of the least competitive pricing… for their wireless plans.” Rewheel’s study looked at how much data 30 Euros – or $46.13 CAD – buys in mobile broadband and smartphone plans in over 41 countries. Canada came last for mobile broadband, and 37th for smartphone plans, ahead of Greece, Korea, Hungary, and Malta. This isn’t just a Canadian problem. North America in general is lagging behind Europe in a few ways. The study suggests that “Countries like Bulgaria and Lithuania are outperforming the United

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Do children need their own AI assistant?

Your kids might be delighted by your Amazon Alexa or Google Home, but there is always the danger that your child could interact inappropriately with your smart home assistant. What if they are asking for answers to their homework or even shopping online? Is there a need for a child-friendly home assistant? People are divided, but Amazon says yes. On May 9th, the company is releasing the Echo Dot Kids Edition in the United States – a child-friendly version of its Echo smart speaker. One of the primary concerns is that this kid-friendly Echo Dot could seriously compromise children’s data.

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Amazon creating 3,000 jobs in Vancouver

All Canadians can celebrate the news that Amazon recently announced it would be expanding its Vancouver-based technology hub. This move is promised to create 3,000 new “high-tech” in the city, according to The Financial Post. The growth Vancouver can expect from Amazon is huge. It first opened a software development site in the city in 2011, and as of today there are over 1,000 employees working there. The company’s general manager of web services, Jesse Dougherty, explained that the new corporate positions would focus on e-commerce tech, cloud computing, and machine learning. The jobs will also be housed in a

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Major tech companies sign Cybersecurity Tech Accord

On April 17th, 34 of the world’s biggest names in tech, including Microsoft, Oracle, and Facebook, signed the ‘Cybersecurity Tech Accord,’ which TechNewsWorld describes as “an agreement aimed at defending against cyberattacks, whether coming from rogue hackers or nation-states.” Part of the promise that these companies made when signing the Accord was committing themselves to “stronger defenses, no offensive attacks, capacity building, and collective action.” The Accord aims to protect the trillion connected devices that are anticipated to impact the globe for the next 20 years. These 34 companies will be holding a first round of meetings in San Francisco,

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Canadians are fed up with wireless contracts

Canada’s Commission for Complaints for Telecom-Television Services says wireless service contracts are one of the biggest irritations for consumers today, who complain that the wording of these agreements are “misleading or lacking critical information about the terms.” The agency says it received 1,023 complaints about these contracts from August 2017 to January 2018. The next largest irritant was unacceptable land-line internet service, with 602 complaints over the same time period. Over those six months, the agency received a total of 6,849 complaints against 139 service providers. This suggests that many Canadians are unhappy with their telecom services. The CCTS revealed

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Should we have the right to disconnect from our work?

According to an article in The Ottawa Citizen, North Americans are raising concerns about the lack of a right-to-disconnect law that would free workers from being available on their phones, email, and increasing use of business messaging apps, even after work hours have ended. This issue is gaining more attention following a New York Councilman saying last week that he was proposing a law to make it illegal to force employees to access “work-related electronic communications” from home, save for emergency situations and other important exceptions. Under this proposed law, “companies would have to draft written policies spelling out the

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Millions of Panera Bread customers info exposed in security flaw

According to Ars Technica, 37 million Panera Bread customer records have been exposed due to a security flaw that the company failed to fix until recently, despite having been made aware of the flaw eight months ago. The restaurant chain claimed that under 10,000 customers privacy had been breached when they fixed the flaw early this week. But security researcher Brian Krebs argues that millions of records were “available online and that they remained available at publicly accessible URLs after Panera said the flaw was fixed.” The information that was leaked online included customers’ loyalty card numbers, which Krebs wrote

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Arizona’s autonomous vehicle fatality is making Floridians question their own state laws

Not everywhere has laws regulating autonomous vehicles yet, and in many parts of the world, those laws are still pretty far off. However, for Floridians, driverless cars have been legal on their state’s roads since 2012. Since then, the work of legislators like Senator Jeff Brandes has made it so that vehicles can operate without any human presence inside. Senator Brandes told Government Technology magazine that Florida is “one of the most forward-thinking states in the country as it relates to the future of mobility and transportation.” Some are questioning what kinds of risks come hand-in-hand with this forward-thinking, especially

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Mobile Payments helping bakeries and cafés succeed

You’ve probably heard about mobile ordering and payment at big name businesses like Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts. But you may not know that some smaller, locally-run cafés and bakeries are trying to bridge the digital divide between themselves and larger companies. And it’s going great! Online publication PYMNTS.com recently interviewed Tanya Li, assistant director of operations for Flour Bakery + Café – a Boston area business with seven locations. To stay competitive, Li and her team have begun implementing mobile payment solutions for their customers. In 2016, Flour Bakery + Café  changed its POS software to keep up with its

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