In a strict party-line vote, the FCC voted 3-2 to kill Net Neutrality rules, in spite of overwhelming support to protect it. Leo says that while the rules were in place in 2015, we've really had it since the beginning. Leo says he believes the smaller ISPs will probably still keep the spirit of Net Neutrality, but he believes the bigger companies like Time Warner, Comcast and others will probably charge Google, Facebook, and others for access to their customers. He doesn't believe at this point that customers will see a direct impact, though.
Though Monday is known as "Cyber Monday," the day people take to the internet to find great online deals for Christmas, Black Friday sales figures show a rise in online shopping, including a double-digit increase in using mobile devices to buy goods. The average order was $135, up from last year.
Phone sales were also big this year, with deals on the iPhone X that offered gift cards if you bought one. Walmart gave a $300 gift card.
Cyber Monday is expected to be even bigger, by 10-20%.
Leo says that the FCC has decided to completely ignore the comments of the public, which amounted to nearly 50 million, and apparently will toss out existing Net Neutrality rules. Most people just don't care that much about it. We have fought this back time and time again, but Leo says we're probably going to lose this round, and heaven only knows what will happen next.
We survived another Black Friday. Braving fist fights for deals on last year's models, Leo says that traffic was terrible for Black Friday, and there were plenty of deals to be had. Cyber Monday is coming, where people shop for special deals online. Leo wonders if after Net Neutrality rules are tossed next month if ISPs will charge a toll for visiting sites like Amazon next year.
Leo says that phone manufacturers like Apple and Google are taking advantage of the hyper-competitive nature of the tech blogging world by only giving out limited quantities of smartphones, and at the very last minute for only 24 hours. This strategy was pretty interesting because it gave bloggers limited hands-on time with their latest phones before they had to publish a review. As such, Leo says they didn't really have time to focus on bread and butter features like battery life or issues like screen burn-in. Instead, they're focusing on the newest features.
As the first president and CEO of Facebook, Sean Parker had the experience to make the social media network a success. Now, in an interview, Parker is essentially apologizing for letting the genie out of the bottle. Parker says that Facebook has literally changed our relationship with society, our families, and our children. He also says it's a tremendous time suck that impacts productivity.
Leo says that the iPhone X pre-order was a total mess, as it usually is. The iPhone 8 pre-order, on the other hand, was easy and Leo says that's because most people didn't want it. They waited for the iPhone X. It was also very difficult to get one on November 3rd because they are in limited supplies. Leo is getting his the week after. Leo says he's rather tired of the whole upgrade rat race, too, and he's embarrassed by the whole process. If he didn't have to review these things, he'd likely just get off the train altogether.
The iPhone X is about to be available for preorder on October 27th, and Leo says that most users have been waiting for it, choosing not to upgrade to the iPhone 8. But Leo says that users who have the iPhone 6S or 7 may choose to merely not upgrade at all, since the performance boost really isn't that significant. The $1,000 price tag could also be giving users pause. Those who will be buying it are likely doing it as a status symbol, not for any measurable improvement. Meanwhile, analysts are speculating that sales of the iPhone may be hampered by available supply.
The website that Equifax set up to allow people to see if their personal data had been compromised by hackers has been found to be filled with more malware. Even worse, your salary history has also been compromised. Learn more about it at krebsonsecurity.com.
A new bill being proposed would allow computer users to hack back any hackers that strike them. This will give them the ability to destroy any data stolen from them, as well as giving a little digital pay back. Leo says that it's hard to know where the attack is coming from and you could make matters worse for some innocent person who was also hacked, with their computers and email addresses used as an alias for the real hacker. He also says this is asking for trouble because hackers are far more sophisticated than their victims.