LightSquared says it's not yet giving up its fight to build a nationwide 4G LTE network.
The company, which is backed by Philip Falcone's Harbinger Capital, has invested more than $4 billion into the network, which it hoped would be a wholesale alternative to wireless broadband networks run by AT&T and Verizon wireless. For the past year, the company has been fighting an uphill battle in Washington, D.C., where the GPS industry has rallied political support around its claims that LightSquared's network interferes with its receivers and therefore cannot be built.
So far, the … Read more
Consumer advocates say the Obama administration's blueprint for protecting consumers' privacy online is a good first step, but they will be watching closely to see how it's implemented.
The White House and the Federal Trade Communications today unveiled the "Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights," which will serve as a policy outline for future legislation and public policy that will work to protect consumers' privacy while online from a computer or mobile phone.
The administration also worked with online advertising associations, such as the Digital Advertising Alliance and others, to revive "Do Not Track" technology … Read more
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski wants Internet service providers to work with government and security experts to adopt voluntary standards to protect consumers from cyber attacks.
On Wednesday, the chairman gave a speech in Washington, D.C., in which he discussed voluntary measures that ISPs and other technology companies could take to help protect the public from three major cyber threats: botnets, domain name fraud, and IP hijacking.
"Cyber attacks pose a critical threat to our economic future and national security," he said in his speech. "If you shut down the Internet, you'd shut down … Read more
Things are not looking good for LightSquared, the wireless startup that had planned to build a nationwide wireless broadband network.
Today, Reuters reported that the company said it plans to cut 45 percent of its workforce to conserve cash.
"This and other cost savings measures will allow LightSquared to continue to navigate the regulatory process as it works with the appropriate government agencies to find solutions to the GPS interference issue and bring its $14 billion privately funded wireless broadband network to more than 260 million Americans," according to the statement.
And yesterday, several news outlets reported that … Read more
Intuit's TaxCaster app can quickly estimate your federal tax refund based on just a few bits of personal information. Even for the most inexperienced taxpayer, it's incredibly simple to understand and use.
At the top of the screen is a meter that displays your estimated tax refund. As you make your way through the app, it considers your answers and recalculates its estimate accordingly. And of course, the more answers you provide, the more accurate its estimate gets.
Three main tabs sit just below the meter, each housing a different category of questions: About You; Total Income; and … Read more
It looks like Congress will finally authorize incentive spectrum auctions.
Today, Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate agreed on legislation that will authorize the extension of the payroll tax cuts and the unemployment benefits. And they also authorized the Federal Communications Commission to auction off wireless spectrum as part of the package. Revenue from the incentive auctions will be used to help pay for the tax cuts and unemployment benefits.
The spectrum auction was proposed as part of the 2010 National Broadband Plan. It calls for TV broadcasters who have wireless spectrum they aren'… Read more
In a report released today, the FTC said that when it comes to mobile applications aimed at kids there is "little, if any, information in the app marketplaces about the data collection and sharing practices of these apps."
The Federal Trade Commission said that its staff searched the Apple and Android app stores for apps using the word "kids," and "encountered a diverse pool of apps for kids created by hundreds of different developers," but that privacy disclosure was lacking.
The report, titled Mobile Apps for Kids: Current Privacy Disclosures are Disappointing (PDF), focused … Read more
Two years into a decade-long plan to free up wireless spectrum to handle an explosion in mobile data traffic growth, Washington politics are crippling the Federal Communications Commission's ability to reach any of its goals.
In March 2010, the FCC identified in its National Broadband Plan a dire need for more spectrum in the U.S. It outlined a timeline for getting 300 megahertz of spectrum in the pipeline by 2015 with an additional 200MHz opened up for auction by 2020. In total the plan would create 500MHz of new wireless spectrum that could be auctioned off, or nearly … Read more
Swiss scientists believe they have a solution to help tidy up the junkyard of satellites over our heads.
It's called CleanSpace One and it's designed to tackle the 17,000-mph mess we've made around our planet.
The $11 million "janitor satellite" is under development at the Swiss Space Center in the Swiss Federal Institute for Technology (EPFL). Its target: derelict satellites 430 miles up that threaten our communications and information networks.
There are some 16,000 bits of debris in the near heavens that are larger than 4 inches across. They're mostly satellite and rocket components hurtling around like hornets in a bag, and they can also endanger the lives of astronauts. The International Space Station has to adjust its orbit to get out of the traffic. … Read more