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We Do, but AT&T Didn't

It's been twenty years since AT&T's "You Will" ad campaign ran, let's see how their predictions did. [more inside]
posted by firechicago on Sep 1, 2014 - 89 comments

Ping City

A tour of the physical internet infrastructure of New York City From r/nyc. Also Previously.
posted by lalochezia on Jul 9, 2014 - 8 comments

Net Neutrality: Cats, Comcast, Cost and Comments

John Oliver and Last Week Tonight do an extended piece on Net Neutrality.
posted by Wordshore on Jun 2, 2014 - 55 comments

#WEEVFREE

"A federal appeals court Friday reversed and vacated the conviction and sentence of hacker and Internet troll Andrew "weev" Auernheimer." weev is free!
posted by zscore on Apr 11, 2014 - 113 comments

Landlines? Who needs them?!?

"(TL;DR summary: AT&T is buying entire legislatures to rewrite the laws to allow them to become a fully unregulated company with no wholesale obligations, creating a de-facto monopoly. They can (and likely will) use it to squash or hurt wireless competitors as well, as they're permitted to favor their own subsidiaries with the network built and created over a hundred plus year monopoly, and Comcast is fully on-board because they'd like to split the market created when all their competitors are dead)" Paul Timmins, the telco nerd behind TelcoData.US (Previously), expounds on how the big players in the telecom business (AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast) are ruining the future of connectivity in the US.
posted by c0nsumer on Dec 11, 2013 - 65 comments

And who shall I say is calling?

Once upon a time, the telephone was a strange, intimidating invention. So in 1974, the fine folks at the phone company made a short film to help children overcome their telephone-related fear and uncertainty. Taking their cues from children's entertainment, they tried to create a fun-filled land of song and dance, not unlike, say, Sesame Street. The end result was not exactly successful along those lines (it turns out that not even a catchy song can make the white pages exciting), but is no less compellingly, weirdly watchable for it. Come with us (and with Telly, a strange, merry man who kind of comes off like one of the Telephone Elves of the Eschaton) to the magical land of Telezonia.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER on Jul 19, 2013 - 40 comments

Is this a new law?

New anti-piracy system will hit U.S. Internet users next week. And here's a primer on the Copyright Alerts System (CAS) or six strikes system, also from the Daily Dot.
posted by subdee on Feb 24, 2013 - 173 comments

The ++ operator is now illegal

What does proper authorization to access a computer system mean? Robert Graham of Errata Security writes about the recent conviction of Andrew Auernheimer (aka weev) for “hacking” AT&T. Two years ago, weev discovered a bug in AT&T's website that exposed the email addresses of customers with iPads. According to weev, the flaw was reported as per responsible disclosure practices by first informing AT&T before bringing it public. However the FBI investigated and arrested him under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). On 20th November 2012, he was found guilty of identity fraud and conspiracy to access a computer without authorization.
posted by destrius on Nov 21, 2012 - 114 comments

"UNIX is very simple, it just needs a genius to understand its simplicity."

The UNIX™ System: Making Computers More Productive. A video from 1982 featuring Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie, Brian Kernighan, Alfred Aho, and Lorinda Cherry discussing key features of UNIX. One of many videos available from the AT&T Archives. Warning: contains beards. Lots of beards.
posted by grouse on Sep 5, 2012 - 56 comments

AT&T Olympics ads

How AT&T integrated Olympic results into its ads so darn fast. Did you catch a clip of Ryan Lochte’s gold-winning swim in an AT&T ad this weekend? You weren’t seeing things. The brand’s new campaign places winning Team USA results into its advertising in near real-time.
posted by schoolgirl report on Aug 2, 2012 - 30 comments

If you've got nothing to hide

"Now we have three former NSA officials confirming the basic facts. Neither the Constitution nor federal law allow the government to collect massive amounts of communications and data of innocent Americans and fish around in it in case it might find something interesting. This kind of power is too easily abused. We're extremely pleased that more whistleblowers have come forward to help end this massive spying program." - the EFF announces that three former employees of the NSA have come forward to testify in their lawsuit against the NSA over the domestic spying program.
posted by crayz on Jul 8, 2012 - 31 comments

Worst Company in America 2012

Just beating Bank of America, Consumerist readers have voted Electronic Arts the worst company in America
posted by Artw on Apr 4, 2012 - 96 comments

Wirele$$tap

These Are The Prices AT&T, Verizon and Sprint Charge For Cellphone Wiretaps. After a flurry of public records requests to over 200 police departments, the ACLU has obtained a trove of documents detailing police tracking of cell phone location, call logs and more, including a price list for subscriber information from every major US carrier. [more inside]
posted by indubitable on Apr 3, 2012 - 35 comments

Is there a mechanic in the house?

"Jim Henson made this film in 1963 for The Bell System. Specifically, it was made for an elite seminar given for business owners, on the then-brand-new topic — Data Communications." - SLYT, from AT&T's Archives YouTube channel.
posted by Slap*Happy on Jan 26, 2012 - 8 comments

Great shot kid, that was one in a million

AT&T drops its bid to acquire T-Mobile. After wrangling with the justice department, AT&T ends it's attempt to take over T-Mobile. [via] [more inside]
posted by cashman on Dec 19, 2011 - 45 comments

All I want is to be left alone in my average home... But why do I always feel I'm in the twilight zone?

In August 2011, 35 ACLU affiliates filed 381 requests in 32 states with local law enforcement agencies seeking to uncover when, why and how they are using cell phone location data to track Americans. So how long do American cell phone carriers retain information about your calls, text messages, and data use? According to data gathered by the US Department of Justice, it can be as little as a few days or up to seven years, depending on your provider. (Via / More)
posted by zarq on Oct 9, 2011 - 27 comments

Oligopolypse Now

Even after the Justice Department announced attempts to block AT&T's acquisition of T-Mobile, many see a heightened chance of it going through if T-Mobile is weakened. AT&T, Deutsche Telekom and T-Mobile have hired a bunch of former U.S. government officials to try to complete the deal, with Verizon's CEO cheering them on. Yesterday, T-Mobile's CMO Cole Broadman seems to have just blogged a major upcoming weakness - no iPhone 5. Sprint opposes the AT&T/T-Mobile merger, and is tying its fate to being the sole iPhone 5 carrier with unlimited data. Today Apple sent invites out for an event this coming Tuesday where the details of the next iPhone are set to be revealed.
posted by cashman on Sep 27, 2011 - 47 comments

AT+T does not add T-Mobile

Justice Department (apparently) blocks the merger of AT+T and T-Mobile. The Associated Press is reporting that Justice will block the deal because "would reduce competition and raise prices." [more inside]
posted by andreaazure on Aug 31, 2011 - 135 comments

Leaked AT&T letter on the T-Mobile merger

Leaked AT&T Letter Demolishes Case For T-Mobile Merger. In trying to gain legal approval for a $39 billion T-Mobile buyout, AT&T has publicly claimed that they need T-Mobile to improve LTE coverage and that the merger would increase network investment. This document tells a different story, of AT&T telling investors that they would actually decrease investment in the network and that the actual cost to improve their LTE network is much less than the $39 billion they are spending on T-Mobile. AT&T has told Wireless Week that the letter contains no new information.
posted by The Devil Tesla on Aug 13, 2011 - 48 comments

The Sierra Network / ImagiNation Network

The Sierra Network - later the ImagiNation Network - was a gaming and chat service for PCs started by Sierra On-Line in 1991 and shut down by AOL in 1998. [more inside]
posted by curious nu on Jul 9, 2011 - 16 comments

Gays and Lesbians for total AT&T World Domination

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation Explains How the AT&T/T-Mobil Merger Promotes Social Justice. [more inside]
posted by fugitivefromchaingang on Jun 3, 2011 - 92 comments

AT&T MOBILITY LLC, PETITIONER v. VINCENT CONCEPCION ET UX.

Third, class arbitration greatly increases risks to defendants. Informal procedures do of course have a cost: The absence of multilayered review makes it more likely that errors will go uncorrected. Defendants are willing to accept the costs of these errors in arbitration, since their impact is limited to the size of individual disputes, and presumably outweighed by savings from avoiding the courts. But when damages allegedly owed to tens of thousands of potential claimants are aggregated and decided at once, the risk of an error will often become unacceptable. Faced with even a small chance of a devastating loss, defendants will be pressured into settling questionable claims.
Justice Scalia delivers the opinion of the Court, and a knife in the back of class-action suits. [more inside]
posted by kipmanley on Apr 27, 2011 - 107 comments

AT & T & T-Mobile

AT&T has announced plans to acquire T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom, creating the largest wireless provider in the United States. [more inside]
posted by ofthestrait on Mar 20, 2011 - 159 comments

Corporations, Don't Take It Personally

Today the Supreme Court in ruled 8-0 in FCC v. ATT that corporations have no "personal privacy" exemption under the Freedom of Information Act. The opinion ended the speculation that the Supreme Court would use this case to take yet another step towards equating corporations with actual people. For links to the various briefs, lower court decisions, and a summary of the underlying facts and opinion, visit the SCOTUSblog. [more inside]
posted by Muddler on Mar 1, 2011 - 93 comments

2010: The Year in Data Breaches

Wikileaks may have been the big news, but there were numerous other data breaches in 2010. [more inside]
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed on Dec 28, 2010 - 26 comments

Pay what they want, or don't play (flash games) at all

Everyone take a moment to enjoy the last night of the open internet
posted by T.D. Strange on Dec 20, 2010 - 139 comments

"The U.S.A. Is Only A Few Minutes Wide"

Wired: "Who 'Ruled the Air' in 1910, and Who Rules It Now?". Also see: Vintage AdBrowser (Previously): Communications Ads of the: 1910's, 20's, 30's, 40's, 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's and 90's.
posted by zarq on Oct 25, 2010 - 9 comments

Apple jailbreaks itself

Apple Inc. is making a version of its iPhone that Verizon Wireless will sell early next year, according to people familiar with the matter, ending an exclusive deal with AT&T and sharpening the competition with Google Inc.-based phones. [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on Oct 7, 2010 - 99 comments

Chuck Schumer, raising the bar. Nevermind that $42,000,000,000 trade deficit thing.

iPhone 4's reception woes, wherein bridging the area where the metal bands meet (affectionately dubbed "the spot") results in a dramatic loss in signal strength, have been widely covered in the media over the past few weeks. Apple acknowledged the concerns publicly with a letter to customers where they concluded that the issue was not with the phone, but rather that they were being too generous in the way the software communicated signal quality as bars. After an update to iOS, the bars are in fact different but the problems persist. Most recently, Consumer Reports stated it was unable to recommend iPhone 4 because of the significant design flaw, despite listing it as the highest rated overall smartphone they've tested to date. The latest wrinkle in the story has been an open letter to Steve Jobs from Chuck Schumer, yes -- United States Senator from New York Chuck Schumer, in which he questions the adequacy and transparency of Apple's response to customer concerns. Apple will be holding a press conference at 10AM tomorrow in San Francisco to address the matter. [more inside]
posted by cgomez on Jul 15, 2010 - 465 comments

Correct !

SLYT - shows old early nineties AT&T ad in accurate future prediction SHOCK !
posted by sgt.serenity on Jun 25, 2010 - 141 comments

Tiery-Eyed

AT&T Just Killed Unlimited Wireless Data (and Screwed Everybody in the Process) AT&T is likely just the first, since carriers rarely do anything alone (like when everybody launched unlimited voice calling in lockstep), and Verizon's CTO has rumbled that plans with "as much data as you can consume is the big issue that has to change." And so it is.
posted by Christ, what an asshole on Jun 3, 2010 - 133 comments

Reach out and touch Streisand

AT&T's recent complaints about its mobile phone customers using too much of its underpowered data service have now expanded this week to open opposition to net neutrality legislation. In response, the satirical blog The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs jokingly "reported" on a fake Apple memo calling for "Operation Chokehold", where customers agree to get together on Friday to overwhelm the company's networks. The joke has gained traction with disgruntled users, enough so that AT&T, in turn, chided the blog for "an irresponsible and pointless scheme", creating a Facebook page to promote "Operation Cuckoo".
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Dec 16, 2009 - 107 comments

AT&T Network Better Than You Think

According to an article in yesterday's NY Times, AT&T's network is much better than our conventional wisdom (or Verizon's marketeers) thought. And, that perhaps the issue with iPhones and coverage is really the fault of the iPhone itself, not AT&T's network.
posted by Taken Outtacontext on Dec 13, 2009 - 119 comments

AT&T redefines summer, releases iPhone feature finally

When it was released, the Apple iPhone 3GS advertised Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS), but also noted "MMS support from AT&T coming in late summer." This has resulted in some legal issues such as a number of lawsuits. But now, AT&T has announced that MMS is coming to the iPhone on September 25, just a little past all defined ends of summer. [more inside]
posted by mephron on Sep 4, 2009 - 44 comments

Want to use Google Voice? There's no app for that.

The internet is atwitter over Apple's decision to block the Google Voice app from their App Store, and remove all existing apps that facilitate its use. Fingers are pointing at AT&T, but the app is blocked globally.
posted by mullingitover on Jul 28, 2009 - 115 comments

Moar liek NSAT&T amirite?

AT&T appears (NSFW, may disappear) to be blocking access to 4chan's /b/ board. [more inside]
posted by Skorgu on Jul 26, 2009 - 148 comments

Room 641A

The Secret Room: EFF Designer's Cartoon on Illegal Spying. [Via] [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Aug 23, 2008 - 11 comments

iPhone 2.0

Those new, cheap iPhones? Read the fine print. Those new features? Might be just industry changing.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Jun 9, 2008 - 246 comments

Improved Billboard Touts AT&T and NSA Collaboration

"The Billboard Liberation Front today announced a major new advertising improvement campaign executed on behalf of clients AT&T and the National Security Agency. Focusing on billboards in the San Francisco area, this improvement action is designed to promote and celebrate the innovative collaboration of these two global communications giants." [Via Threat Level.]
posted by homunculus on Feb 28, 2008 - 67 comments

Hold Please

Joel Johnson of Boing Boing shows up to The Hugh Thompson Show to discuss gadgets but chooses a different topic
Yesterday, I was invited to talk about gadgets onThe Hugh Thompson Show, a television-style talk show sponsored exclusively by AT&T for distribution on the online AT&T Tech Channel. I eventually did talk about gadgets, but in light of AT&T's shocking and baffling announcement of their plans to filter the internet, I thought that a much more interesting and important topic.

posted by device55 on Jan 22, 2008 - 33 comments

The Year of Net Neutrality

We're only two weeks into the year, but net neutrality issues hit the ground running. The FCC already has three different inquiries open. (also) (previously) The 700 Mhz auction threatens to disrupt an already converging telecom industry. AT&T's post-merger commitment to net neutrality ends this year, and they plan to test the filtering waters, despite recently opposing the practice. And today, a leaked memo revealed that Time Warner will test tiered internet services soon. The Internet as we know it, and communications in general, might be headed for some major changes in 2008.
posted by spiderwire on Jan 16, 2008 - 20 comments

How the iPhone Blew Up the Wireless Industry

"(Steve) Jobs, a notorious control freak himself, wasn't about to let a group of suits — whom he would later call "orifices" — tell him how to design his phone."
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Jan 10, 2008 - 203 comments

Surveillance state in progress

In 2006, the Electronic Frontier Foundation filed a class-action lawsuit against AT&T for cooperating with an NSA wiretapping program that created a "black room" in their San Fransisco office, which operated hardware that captured the entire stream of data travelling through AT&T's system (allegedly 2.5 gigabits of data/second). The details of this arrangement were revealed by Mark Klein, a 22-year employee with AT&T who stumbled across documents detailing the program in 2004. The lawsuit, which alleges that AT&T illegally cooperated with the NSA's domestic spying program, is facing a major hurdle in the Senate right now as Senators have reached a tentative agreement to give the company legal immunity from actions relating to their cooperation. This story previously on MeFi. [more inside]
posted by baphomet on Nov 8, 2007 - 57 comments

9/11 changed everything? And the NSA is only looking at overseas and terrorist-related phone and internet records?

to gather information about Americans' phone records --... the NSA had approached the company (Qwest) about participating in a warrantless surveillance program to gather information about Americans' phone records. ...Nacchio's account, which places the NSA proposal at a meeting on Feb. 27, 2001, suggests that the Bush administration was seeking to enlist telecommunications firms in programs without court oversight before the terrorist attacks on New York and the Pentagon. The Sept. 11 attacks have been cited by the government as the main impetus for its warrantless surveillance efforts. ... -- The Administration's crimes and illegal spying on all of us and Quest's punishment for not going along with their plans.
posted by amberglow on Oct 13, 2007 - 76 comments

Have You?

Old enough to remember those AT&T "You Will" ads from 1993? via Barry Ritholz's The Big Picture blog.
posted by Heywood Mogroot on Aug 26, 2007 - 72 comments

SPLed beans

"Finding JTAG on the iPhone": a ten-step hardware unlock of the iPhone, allowing it to function with other carriers
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Aug 23, 2007 - 40 comments

Letter to [AT&T CEO] Ed Whitacre.

Letter to [AT&T CEO] Ed Whitacre. "Perhaps the generous compensation package is in appreciation of all the fine lobbying efforts your team has conducted in Washington to preserve the incumbent footprint and defend yourself against innovation. If that is indeed the rationale for your pay package, then you deserve it. AT&T has shown true excellence in lobbying. Your team knows how to preserve the system.

Here's what I really think of this pay package: It's a farce. It's a symbol that the pure arrogance and imperial management style of incumbent telcos is here to say. It's proof that your company is focused more on maintaining the status quo and maximizing executive pay, than on innovation and the creation of shareholder value."
posted by ZenMasterThis on May 4, 2007 - 49 comments

Your graduate research team in Guatemala - just checking in.

Paleo-Future: A look into the future that never was. More recent predictions include the future according to AT&T, Apple's Knowledge Navigator and Bill Gates on the Future of Police Work.
posted by phaedon on Apr 28, 2007 - 22 comments

AT&T Unity Plan FREE calling to 100 million customers.

AT&T and Verizon obey FBI emergency requests, even if they're of dubious legality, and they get paid for it. But AT&T can't be sued, they say, because that would endanger national security.
posted by homunculus on Mar 20, 2007 - 42 comments

You had to live -- did live, from the habit that became instinct and the assumption that every sound you made was overheard.

For Your Eyes Only? Allegations that the government is reading your e-mails, with the help of AT&T. The latest episode of NOW did a good piece on the NSA's domestic surveillance program (previously discussed here.) It can be viewed on their website. Meanwhile, Canadian human rights attorney Maureen Webb has written a new book on the scope of government surveillance, and found that the use of sophisticated methods to search for terrorists is not identifying the right suspects.
posted by homunculus on Feb 21, 2007 - 72 comments

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