Appiness.io blog

23 Nov 2017
by Admin
Comments are closed

Justin Trudeau, Other World Leaders Praise Net Neutrality Ahead Of FCC’s Planned Repeal

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is among the world leaders who have spoken up in support of net neutrality this week in the wake of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission’s announcement that it plans to throw out regulations that require internet providers to treat all online content equally.

Trudeau told Motherboard on Wednesday that the Trump administration’s plan to repeal net neutrality “does not make sense.” 

“I am very concerned about the attacks on net neutrality,” Trudeau said. “Net neutrality is something that is essential for small businesses, for consumers, and it is essential to keep the freedom associated with the internet alive.”

He added that he’ll look into ways to defend net neutrality for the internet as a whole.

Speaking at the Global Conference on Cyberspace held in New Delhi on Thursday, India’s minister of law and justice, Ravi Shankar Prasad, said that “right of access” to the internet should be “non-negotiable.”

“Internet is supposed to be democratic. It is a big global platform, but must be linked the local ideas and concepts,” Prasad said, according to The Indian Express. 

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who also attended the event, similarly expressed his support for net neutrality, saying that the protection “lowers the barriers of entry by preserving the internet as a fair and level playing field and helps businesses and entrepreneurs to thrive online.”

“Open internet facilitates the marginalized and oppressed segments that are not adequately represented in the mainstream media, to tell their stories and to mobilize justice, as we have seen in recent times,” he added.

In the U.S., tech giants including Facebook, Google, Reddit and Netflix have expressed their disappointment and opposition to the FCC’s plan.  

Opponents of net neutrality, including Comcast, AT&T and Verizon ― which owns HuffPost’s parent company, Oath ― have also been vocal, arguing that services such as Netflix that use more bandwidth should have to pay more.

On Wednesday, a top FCC official urged the American public to “stop us from killing net neutrality.” 

Reach out to the rest of the FCC now,” FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel wrote in a Los Angeles Times op-ed. “Tell them they can’t take away internet openness without a fight.” 

21 Nov 2017
by Admin
Comments are closed

Amazon Launches ‘Secret’ Cloud Service For Intelligence Agencies

Amazon is launching a “secret” cloud service for U.S. intelligence agencies, developed three years ago with the CIA. 

Amazon Web Services Secret Region “can operate workloads up to the Secret U.S. security classification level,” Amazon said in a statement Monday. “AWS becomes the first and only commercial cloud provider to offer regions to serve government workloads across the full range of data classifications, including Unclassified, Sensitive, Secret and Top Secret.”

Other personnel from government departments and contractors with security clearance also can access the “secret region,” the company said. 

The service debuts after the exposure of vulnerabilities in Amazon cloud services. Last week, information collected by the Pentagon in AWS cloud databases was exposed online for anyone to see. The databases contained at least 1.8 billion internet posts collected over eight years by intelligence agencies from news sites, comment sections, web forums and social media. In May, an engineer at defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton left some 60,000 files linked to a Pentagon program on an Amazon server accessible to the public, Gizmodo reported.

Six years ago Amazon launched AWS GovCloud, its first data-center region for the public sector. 

Amazon inked a $600 million so-called spook cloud contract with the CIA in 2013 to help the agency build its own private cloud system. The massive classified data storage was up and running by 2014. Rolling out the service to other agencies is part of that contract.

“This had never been done before,” said CIA chief information officer John Edwards. “We put an entire Amazon cloud region on our space, in our premises. It was risky; neither side new how it was going to turn out.”

To operate a platform guarding the nation’s secret data, Amazon must comply with security standards monitored by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

The new service is immediately available to intelligence agencies, reports ZD Net.

20 Nov 2017
by Admin
Comments are closed

Apple Black Friday Deals That Are Actually Worth Your Time And Money

If you were waiting for a time to score some heavily discounted Apple gear, the time is Black Friday 2017

While Apple doesn’t really *do* Black Friday, resellers and refurbished sites like Newegg and OWC are probably offering the best deals on the new iPhone X and iPhone 8, and we’re seeing some deep price cuts on MacBooks, Apple watches, Beats, and more.

See below for our ultimate round-up of the best Black Friday Apple deals:

HuffPost may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page.

17 Nov 2017
by Admin
Comments are closed

With Net Neutrality On The Chopping Block, Communities Are Taking Matters Into their Own Hands—And Scaring The Hell Out Of Comcast

Here we go again.

Word is Trump’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman, Republican Ajit Pai, will hold a vote next month on reversing the landmark 2015 net neutrality order that bars corporations like Comcast, Verizon, and Time Warner Cable from blocking or slowing internet content.

We should be loud and clear in the coming weeks like we’ve been before: net neutrality is crucial to helping everyone, regardless of where they live or how much money they make, get online.

But there’s another way we can fight for an open internet.

Last week, 19 towns across Colorado voted to allow the exploration of creating a local, public alternative to expensive private providers.

Fort Collins voters went the furthest, passing a measure to finance an assessment of starting a city-owned broadband utility, which would aim to provide faster service at a cheaper price. That means residents could have a say in whether a new public network maintains the principle of net neutrality, whatever the FCC decides in the future.

“People who don’t normally get excited or vote actually turned out this time and actually got energized,” said one resident who had campaigned for the measure.

Not everyone was excited. Industry groups spent more than $450,000 campaigning against the measure. In fact, the very reason Colorado towns had to vote “yes” before even exploring public broadband is because of an industry-backed state law requiring municipalities to jump through hoops to take control of their internet infrastructure. (The industry has successfully pushed similar legislation in over 20 states.)

Comcast and the like are quaking in their boots about a public option, and they should be. Cities like Chattanooga, Tennessee, which became the first U.S. city to offer gigabit internet speed after going public, are outperforming private providers and even forcing them to innovate to play catch up.

Why shouldn’t internet access be a public good? The web should be like the Postal Service, which, because it’s public, provides affordable mail service to everyone, rich or poor, in all areas of the country.

And why should a handful of corporate executives and investors get rich while providing expensive, slow access and unbearable customer service? Comcast’s CEO, billionaire Brian Roberts, pocketed $33 million last year alone while running America’s most hated corporation.

People need the internet for life in the 21st century, to communicate, apply for jobs, and access crucial resources. Everyone should have affordable access.

16 Nov 2017
by Admin
Comments are closed

Here’s How To Get Free 2-Day Shipping On Your Black Friday Purchases

Wondering where else you can snag good deals and free two-day shipping on Black Friday other than Amazon? You’re in luck.

That’s why we’ve rounded up some of Jet’s best Black Friday deals. Note that these deals will go live at 12:01 a.m. EST on Nov. 23, Thanksgiving Day, and last through Nov. 27, Cyber Monday: 

HuffPost may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page.

16 Nov 2017
by Admin
Comments are closed

Here’s Where To Get The Best Black Friday Deal On An XBox One

The hunt for the best Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals is on, with more than 164 million shoppers planning to whip out their wallets across the weekend on wish-list purchases. 

Among 2017′s hottest holiday gifts are big-ticket items like laptops, FitBits, KitchenAid stand mixers and, unsurprisingly, gaming consoles like the Nintendo Switch and the just-released versions of the Xbox One X and Xbox One S.

Unfortunately, we’re not seeing any deals on the brand-new Xbox One X (so far). Check out Xbox’s website for the nitty-gritty differences between the two consoles if you’re new to shopping Xbox consoles.

Otherwise, if you’re simply looking for the best game console for your buck, the Xbox One S is the more wallet-friendly choice for families and hobbyist gamers.

Below, we’ve rounded up what we believe are the best Black Friday deals on the Xbox One S. We’ll be sure to update this list as more deals are announced. 

Best Black Friday Deals On Xbox One S

1. Best Deal: Kohl’s

Get $45 Kohl’s Cash when you purchase an Xbox One S 500GB from Kohl’s on Black Friday. On sale for $190 (normally $280). 

2. Second-Best Deal: Target

Get a free $25 Target gift card when you purchase an Xbox One S 500GB from Target on Black Friday. On sale for $190 (normally $280). 

3. Other Deals:

Jet.com: Get an Xbox One S 500GB from Jet on Black Friday for $190 (normally $280). (Bonus: snag free two-day shipping when you check out!)

Sam’s Club: Get an Xbox One S 500GB from Sam’s Club on Black Friday for $190 (normally $250).

Walmart: Get an Xbox One S 500GB from Walmart on Black Friday for $190 (normally $250).

Newegg: Get an Xbox One S 500GB from Newegg on Black Friday for $190 (normally $280).

Best Buy: Get an Xbox One S 500GB from Best Buy on Black Friday for $190 (normally $280).

 

HuffPost may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page.

15 Nov 2017
by Admin
Comments are closed

15 Black Friday Laptop Deals Actually Worth Your Time And Money

On Black Friday shoppers will be hitting the streets (and the web) in search of the best deals on the year’s big-ticket holiday items, like MacBooks, FitBits, Xbox Ones, KitchenAid stand mixers and, you guessed it, laptops.

Whether you’re looking for a gaming laptop, a new MacBook Pro or a convertible laptop with a touch screen, there’s something on sale for every type of user. We’ve combed through the deals clutter to find our favorites. 

Below are 15 Black Friday laptop deals worth whipping out your wallet for: 

HuffPost may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page.

15 Nov 2017
by Admin
Comments are closed

Amazon Just Released A Sneak Peek At Its Black Friday Deals

Amazon is an obvious destination for holiday shopping, and it’s no surprise given the e-retailer’s ability to offer insanely good deals on big-ticket purchases like Amazon Echoes, electronics, toys, kitchen tools, fashion accessories and more. 

Earlier this week the commerce giant low-key released a sneak peek at its upcoming Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. The below deals will be available on various dates and times between Nov. 17 and Black Friday, Nov. 24. 

Black Friday itself will feature more than 30 “Deals Of the Day” and thousands of “Lightning Deals” across over two-dozen categories ―with full details that have yet to be announced. Shoppers can be the first to know about Amazon’s Black Friday deals by setting up alerts, downloading the app, checking their Black Friday countdown, and asking even Alexa for deals as early as Wednesday, Nov. 22. 

For those eager to get a head start on their holiday shopping list, we’ve highlighted the best of Amazon’s sneak peek deals below. Check them out, and remember: These deals are available on various dates and times between Nov. 17 and Black Friday, so shop fast.

HuffPost may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page.

14 Nov 2017
by Admin
Comments are closed

Lack Of Diversity In Tech Makes It Difficult To Override Russian Fake News

The outrage over Russian manipulation of social media platforms like Facebook, Google and Twitter during the 2016 election has been appropriate and long overdue. And these companies’ response to it thus far has been deeply inadequate.

But lost among the outrage is the damage that has been done to the communities targeted by the false and bigoted content. In short, the Russian social media content took an already toxic election campaign and made it far worse.

It is no coincidence that Russians used anti-immigrant, anti-Semitic, anti-Latino, anti-LGBT, anti-Muslim, and anti-black messages to stoke divisions, since candidates were already stoking them.

This is not just a crisis for marginalized communities. It is a crisis for our democracy.

According to Facebook’s testimony earlier this month before the Senate Committee on Intelligence, at least 126 million Americans—or more than one-third of the country—were exposed to this Russian content. That means millions more people than we realized were exposed to the falsehoods and hyperbole that are being used as the rationale for the immigration polices the Trump administration pursued.

And the Russians joined the many homegrown actors online already peddling this corrosive content. In other words, communities of color have been fighting a tidal wave of misinformation with a bucket.

This is not just a crisis for marginalized communities, it is a crisis for our democracy. And it is far past time for the tech companies involved to treat it as such.

That is why it is so dismaying to us that for months these companies dismissed these concerns as overblown, even though they have been aware of the dangerous use of their platforms for a long time. While they have pledged to “do better,” they have been woefully short on specifics. And we are most concerned that they have yet to fully acknowledge their role in giving bigots both credibility and a platform beyond their wildest dreams.

These companies have to address this crisis with concrete specifics. We know that companies are wary of solutions that could restrict free speech, but there is nothing against creating more speech.

Social media companies must work with organizations representing affected communities on how to most effectively counter hate speech on their platforms. The companies should provide the opportunity, the resources and the training to help these organizations create and disseminate this content.

There is something to be said for fighting hate speech with better speech and falsehoods with facts. We want to see tech companies adhere to the kind of accountability and transparency that is the hallmark of companies that practice sound corporate responsibility.

But ultimately, the failure to fully see or acknowledge the impact on Latinos and other communities of color points to another longstanding issue—the profound lack of diversity in Silicon Valley.

The Russian crisis underscores why diversity matters. A more diverse workforce could have helped these companies understand the deep impact of what was happening online. And that includes taking demonstrable and quantifiable steps to not only diversify the pipeline of potential new employees, but also their current workforce, leadership and boards of directors.

The issue of diversity in tech has been raised for years, by us and a host of other organizations, elected officials, and leaders. And while the companies have been very open to dialogue and most have made steps in the right direction, the results are dismal.

In 2014, 4 percent of Facebook employees were Latino; today it is just 5 percent. For Twitter and Google, it was 3 percent in 2014, and is only 4 percent currently. At the highest and decision-making levels for all companies, those percentages plummet even further.

Polls show that the vast majority of Americans believe diversity is one of America’s greatest strengths. These companies need to decide whether they will be a party to the erosion of that cherished value, or if they will do what it takes to both prevent the use of their platforms to destroy the ties that bind us as Americans.

These companies and their platforms must reflect the customers they serve. We stand ready to help if they make the right choice.

13 Nov 2017
by Admin
Comments are closed

Buying A PC? Here’s What You Need To Know Now

If you’re in the market for a new computer, there are things you need to know. Things your PC manufacturer or retailer won’t necessarily share with you.

And with the frenzied days of buying just ahead, now is the time to inform yourself. Otherwise you could end up overpaying ― I mean really overpaying ― for your next laptop or desktop.

Turns out there’s a time for everything, when it comes to a new PC.

Wait for the new chips

Don’t pay attention to the new models, but instead the new chipsets ― the things that power the PCs. “My advice is to buy a new PC right after a new motherboard chipsets come out,” says David Cox, the CEO of an internet company in Cheyenne, Wyoming. “You will get the most longevity out of your system that way.” AMD and Intel have released new chips recently. Competition between the two have driven down prices and introduced a lot of cool, new features, according to Cox. “Last time consumers had this much buying power was before 2005,” he adds.

Tune in to “special” days

Antony Vitillo, an artificial reality developer, says certain days are best to buy a PC, beyond Black Friday and Cyber Monday. “Some of them are celebrated by one particular website, like Amazon Prime Day,” he says. Wait for these days to see what deals are being offered. But also, know that there will be other windows that open later. In other words, if you miss Black Friday, don’t worry; Cyber Monday is just a few hours away.

Hang on for PC buying season

Yes, there’s a season, says Yanatha Desouvre, an information systems professional who has watched the ebb and flow of computer prices for the last two decades. Fall is the best time for a PC purchase. “Manufacturers have back-to-school sales, including printer bundles and other accessories,” says Desouvre. The holiday season is also a good time, with retailers trying to meet or exceed their fourth-quarter sales goals. But perhaps the lowest prices come to those who wait a little longer, a few days after the holidays, when the discounting can reach a frenzy. The worst time? Summer, since prices are high and it’s near the end of the product life cycle. Never buy a PC during the summer.

Purchasing data backs up that assertion. For laptop computers, for example, prices typically drop an extra 8 percent to 25 percent in August and early September, according to DealNews.com. In fact, August had 24 percent more computer deals last year than September did. The PC deals pick up again in November with Black Friday sales, according to the site.

Find out if the coast is clear

PCs rely on components, and the cost of those parts can fluctuate based on demand and other factors. “For example, an earthquake or hurricane can affect pricing of hard drives and memory by creating a temporary shortage of supply to the current demand,” explains Tim Lynch, publisher of Psychsoftpc.com, a computer site. For example, that happened to computer monitors when the production of quality glass was effected by a natural disaster, he says. Always check to make sure your computer’s prices are not artificially inflated by an outside event

Missed it? March madness awaits

Yet another buying window opens up in March, at the end of the first quarter, according to Todd Millecam, the CEO of SWYM Systems. “They’re getting rid of the stock they couldn’t move for Christmas,” he says. “This is also the best time to buy components to build your own PC.” In other words, manufacturers and retailers are often under immense pressure to move inventory and meet sales goals, and those can favor the buyer at the end of the fourth and first quarters of the calendar year. So watch for aggressive prices in the final days of March.

There’s a bigger question if you’re in the market for a new PC. Should you wait for the newest computer or buy one that’s been available for a while? That’s worth addressing in a story about seasonality, since the most important season is yours. PC expert Itai Danan says consumer typically find the best value in the middle range of the new family of processors.

“Even getting a PC with the lowest speed processor of the newest platform, rather than a faster one of the previous platform, is advantageous. Not only will it last longer but it will also stay upgradable for longer since memory and other compatible components will be available longer.”

Finally, when you have an opportunity to buy a discounted PC, seize it. Sale quantities are limited, notes Eric Rintell, president of Rintell Technologies. “You have to be swift,” he says. “In the past, I have woken up in the middle of the night to ensure that I can purchase the sale PC.”

To improve your odds, subscribe to sites or newsletters that preview the sales weeks in advance so you can plan ahead. Otherwise, you’ll pay too much for your next PC.

Christopher Elliott specializes in solving unsolvable consumer problems. Contact him with your questions on his advocacy website. You can also follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Google or sign up for his newsletter.

© 2017