Beantown, Titletown, Bahston or Bawston; whatever you call this strong Massachusetts city or how you pronounce it, we're excited to be heading back there. On Friday August 22nd, we'll head to Royale on Tremont St. at 7PM for our third Engadget Live of the year. But why is this the can't-miss event of the summer? Click through our gallery below to find out.
We've heard quite a bit about Mr. Zuckerberg's plans to bring low-cost internet access to the otherwise disconnected, and today, his social network announced plans to do just that in Zambia. The new Internet.org app allows users to browse weather, health and employment info at no cost. And that's not all Google Search, Facebook, Messenger and Wikipedia are available as well. Right now, the option is available to Airtel subscribers in the country, but it will roll out to other parts of the world in the future. Cellular service blankets much of the globe, however the cost of the mobile web deters many from opting in. This will certainly help.
If you're an iOS or Mac user, your downloads and streams are going to improve in the near future -- if they haven't already. Apple has quietly switched on its own content delivery network (CDN), letting it deliver files directly instead of leaning on services from Akamai and Level 3. The change gives the folks in Cupertino a ton of headroom, according to Frost & Sullivan analyst Dan Rayburn. In addition to offering "multiple terabits per second" of bandwidth, Apple has clearly struck Netflix-like connection deals that link it directly to internet providers. If all goes well, you should get speedy app updates and media streams even when the internet is extra-busy.
Twitter really wants to tell you more about the kind of national security requests it gets from organizations like the Department of Justice and the FBI -- but the government just won't let it. The company's latest transparency report is prefaced with the sad tale of the company's failure to get permission to share more details about requests concerning national security. Twitter wants to be able to disclose how many requests are made each year or, failing that, smaller sets of data that still provide meaningful context to users. Sadly, the company wasn't able to make any significant headway: the existing DOJ restrictions stand.
Have a Windows Phone and crave access to BlackBerry's famed messaging app? Today's your lucky day. Announced in a video posted today, BBM is now exiting beta to become available for download in the Windows Phone store. The company said it spent considerable time tweaking the app's interface to fit with Microsoft's mobile OS, and the result is a clean UI that looks considerably different than the versions you'll see on iOS and Android (not to mention BlackBerry OS 10). BBM for Windows consists of three main screens -- chats, feeds and contacts -- and you'll have the ability to pin a chat right to your phone's start screen. Windows Phone users who are new to BBM can pick up a few tips on getting started via the video (posted below). As of this posting, the app wasn't yet live in the Windows Phone store, but the rollout should begin shortly.
Back in March 2014, two United States senators accused the Central Intelligence Agency of infiltrating Senate computers. Worse, they accused the CIA of hacking Senate computer networks and accessing files while the Senate's Intelligence Committee was actively investigating CIA detention practices. Following an internal investigation by the CIA, it turns out that the senators were right. "Some CIA employees acted in a manner inconsistent with the common understanding reached between SSCI (Senate Select Committee on Intelligence) and the CIA in 2009," a statement issued by the CIA spokesman Dean Boyd says.
Sprint isn't the only company hoping to shell out billions for the privilege of scooping up T-Mobile's US branch; according to the Wall Street Journal, a French company called Iliad wants in on the action as well. Iliad, which owns a mobile operator in France known as Free, recently made a bid to counter the reported $32 billion offer T-Mobile is already entertaining with Sprint's parent company Softbank. The terms of the deal are unknown, and it's unclear how Iliad can pay for such a transaction, since its market value of $16 billion is merely half of what Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son is putting on the table.
The web was supposed to be the great equalizer. But, it turns out, the haves and have-nots exist online too. And they're separated by a mark of distinction: verification.
A month ago, William Shatner got into an unfortunate public spat on Twitter with John Colucci, our social media manager, over why he was verified on Twitter. Shatner argued that recognition should only be given to public figures who are in danger of being impersonated. In Shatner's words, "nobodies should not be verified because it shows a huge flaw in the Twitter system." This spiraled into a big kerfuffle involving several other Twitter users. When our Editor-in-Chief Michael Gorman stepped in to defend Colucci by saying he was verified because he's good at his job, Shatner interpreted that as an abuse of the verification system. Things died down eventually, but Shatner held tight to his belief that verification is a privilege for a select few.
The NBA isn't the only professional sports league in the States getting serious about accurate stats accounting. With some help from Zebra Technologies' location system, 17 NFL stadiums will use receivers and RFID (radio-frequency identification) tags inside player's shoulder pads to track movement. The setup provides real-time position data for each player, offering up precise info on acceleration, speed, routes and distance as part of the "Next Gen Stats" initiative for fans. Referees are getting the tags too, in case you've ever wanted more info on those fellas. "Zebra's tracking technology will help teams to evolve training, scouting and evaluation through increased knowledge of player performance, as well as provide ways for our teams and partners to enhance the fan experience," says NFL VP of Media Strategy Vishal Shah. The 15 venues that are hosting Thursday night games are getting outfitted, with Detroit and New Orleans added in to make sure each team gets tallied.
The movie industry has seen its share of struggles as we transition into a digital future, and likely no one has felt the pinch more than film company Kodak. The struggling outfit is getting a...
Not happy that Verizon is going to throttle unlimited LTE data plans? You're not alone. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has just sent a letter to Verizon Wireless CEO Dan Mead criticizing the carrier for...