by Greg Mach - posted 12:01 am, January 15, 2015
Welcome to The Zip, a compressed rundown of the past week’s interesting technology headlines:
• FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, in his annual address at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), decisively endorsed net neutrality and indicated that the FCC is planning to re-classify Internet service providers (ISPs) as “common carriers” under Title II of the 1934 Communications Act. [read more at eetimes.com]
• Rightscorp and BMG have been sending Canadian internet users copyright infringement notices threatening civil penalties up to $150,000 and suspension of internet service. The catch? Not only is there no Canadian law that allows for such penalties, but Rightscorp and BMG do not even have the personal information of the users it has been contacting. [read more and see full notice at michaelgeist.ca]
• Hacktivist group Anonymous issued video and tweet condemning the Charlie Hebdo attacks that killed twelve people, eight of which were journalists, and declared war on all terrorists. According to the video, “freedom of expression has suffered an inhuman assault.” [more at The Telegraph]
• The new USB 3.1 and Type-C connector was announced at CES. It will be capable of delivering 10Gbit/s (USB 3.0 gives us 5) of throughput and also supplying 100W of power to external devices. The current standard only gives us 10W.
• SpaceX attempted to land its Falcon 9 rocket on a drone barge, but came in a little hot and crashed on the deck. SpaceX says it is like “trying to balance a rubber broomstick on your hand in the middle of a windstorm.” SpaceX founder Elon Musk tweeted, “Rocket made it to drone spaceport ship, but landed hard. Close, but no cigar this time. Bodes well for the future tho.” For a guy that smart, he could stand to check his spelling.
• Sources leak to the press that Chevrolet intends to release an electric car with a 200-mile range and a price tag of about $30,000. General Motors CEO Mary Barra officially unvelied the Bolt the next day at the North American International Auto Show. [read more at Techinformer]
• Hackers take over Crayola’s Facebook account and post some really amusing pics. [more at Adweek]
• A hacker group affiliated with ISIS known as Cyber Caliphate took control of the U.S. Central Military Command’s Twitter (@CENTCOM) and YouTube accounts. They then tweeted the following Pastebin message that has since been removed, “Pentagon networks hacked. AMERICAN SOLDIERS WE ARE COMING, WATCH YOUR BACK. ISIS. #CyberCaliphate”
• Michael Balzer, an independent 3D graphics designer, created a 3D printed copy of his wife’s skull which enabled her doctors to treat a tumor that could have left her blind. It looks really cool too. [full article at Makezine.com]
• President Obama posted a YouTube video pledging to increase competition in the broadband internet market. According to the video, communities “be able to make the investments they need to speed up broadband, bring in more competition [and] give consumers more choice.” Echoing the reality of internet service here in Buffalo, a White House fact sheet notes that “three out of four Americans have no competition or no service at speeds increasingly required for many online services”. [more on Whitehouse.gov]