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The Ily phone lets kids make video calls without using the scary internet

The internet is great because it makes it easy to stay in touch with friends and family, but it can also be a scary place, especially for kids. They can surf to smutty websites or end up chatting with strangers. Not good. The people behind a new product, Ily, think they have a way for kids to use all the good of the internet without all the bad. Ily works similarly to FaceTime, Skype, and WhatsApp, which is basically to say that it allows for video calling. Insensi, the company behind the device, says the difference between its product and an app is how users are segmented off from the internet, which it thinks makes it ideal for kids. The "family phone" relies on Ily's app to make calls over Wi-Fi, and users can only call people who have already been added to their contacts. Amazon's Alexa also allows for voice controls, and it can load Spotify separately.

Parents learn latest about smartphone and Internet dangers

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Many middle school students and pretty much every high schooler has a cell phone these days. When plans change, practice ends early or you’re running late, a cell phone can be a parent’s best friend.

But, do you really know what your child is doing with their smartphone when they’re not making calls? Smartphone technology is ever-changing, and with those changes come dangers for children.

“Smartphones are tremendously powerful with what it brings to the table in reference to what we have to protect our kids from,” says Wichita Police Detective Jennifer Wright.

Wright is with the Wichita Police/Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce, or ICAC. She’s working hard to educate parents about smartphone features in order to help them keep their children safe from online predators.

“It’s something that comes so natural to them, and to me it’s a foreign thing that I have to learn,” said parent Liz Brunscheen-Carthena.

60 Minutes Shows How Network Flaw Makes Any Smartphone Easy Prey

international team of cybersecurity experts hacked into an iPhone loaned to a U.S. congressman who sits on a key technology committee, in a 60 Minutes demonstration of how easy it is for a criminal to spy on callers by exploiting an international mobile phone network vulnerability. The segment aired Sunday.

The hackers were able to listen in on a call by Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., who sits on the House Oversight and Reform Subcommittee, just by getting the actual phone number he was using, according to the program.

The team, led by German security researcher Karsten Nohl, easily penetrated the Signalling System No. 7 network, which it then could use for everything from listening in on calls to tracking the caller's movements and intercepting text messages.

Lieu, who volunteered to participate in the hacking demonstration, characterized the ease with which the researchers were able to access the phone data as "creepy," and said demonstration left him feeling angry.

Comcast’s new “Stream TV” app has no caps – Colorado Springs Tech Week

Comcast’s new video app, Stream TV, comes with a big questions: If you have access to the service and you are one of the growing number of customers who has to abide by Comcast’s 300 GB monthly data cap, Stream TV won’t count against it. In essence, you’ll be able to watch as much Stream TV as you want and never hit your limit.I like to watch live on the big screen in my living room. My kids, on the other hand, prefer to catch up with their favorite shows on their laptops, on demand.

Stream TV is an in-home IP-cable service delivered over Comcast’s cable network, not over the public Internet

Comcast said in a statement, “IP-cable is not an ‘over-the-top’ streaming video service. Stream enables customers to enjoy their cable TV service on mobile devices in the home delivered over the managed cable network, without the need for additional equipment, like a traditional set-top-box.”

 

As this diversity in preferences continues to grow, we’ve added new features and offerings to try and meet the needs of everyone who loves TV. We’ve created skinny bundles like Internet Plus and developed services that cater to students, like Xfinity on Campus. And today, we’re announcing a beta test of a new streaming cable service that furthers our goal to provide TV choices for everyone. It’s unlike anything we’ve ever offered: no extra device or additional equipment required…or even a TV. And it’s called Stream.

With Stream, Xfinity Internet customers can watch live TV from about a dozen networks – including all the major broadcast nets and HBO – on laptops, tablets and phones in their home.
It includes thousands of on demand movies and shows to watch home or away and even comes with access to TV Everywhere and a cloud DVR so you can record all your favorites and watch them later.

Stream will be available to our Xfinity Internet customers for only $15 per month and will first launch in Boston at the end of the summer. We’ll take it to Chicago and Seattle next, with plans to make it available everywhere in our footprint by early 2016.

It’s unclear whether Comcast’s move to zero-rate its Stream TV traffic will draw the ire of the FCC, which instituted new net neutrality guidelines partly to prohibit ISPs from prioritizing their own services. So far the FCC hasn’t acted against other zero-rating offerings, like T-Mobile’s move to offer wireless music and video streams outside of customers’ monthly data allotment.

Getting started is easy and doesn’t even require a phone call or a visit from a technician. Xfinity Internet customers can just sign-up online, download our Xfinity TV app and start watching. It’s that simple.

China's latest move to strengthen its grip on the Internet

New draft regulations say that websites with access to China would have to register their domain names with service providers that are under Chinese control.

That requirement appears to be aimed at creating "a white list" of approved domain names and cutting off access to others, said Lokman Tsui, an assistant professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong who specializes in technology and new media.

"This practice is not consistent with international practice and not consistent with the way the Internet works," Tsui said. "The Internet doesn't care where you register your domain name."

China has long worked to keep a tight grip on its citizens' Internet use, building up a huge censorship apparatus known as the Great Firewall to block out information the government deems undesirable. It has the world's biggest population of Internet users -- 688 million at the last count -- but popular sites like Facebook are inaccessible.

Related: Mark Zuckerberg met with China's propaganda chief

Experts say that if the new draft rules going into effect unchanged, they would give Chinese authorities even greater ability to monitor web users' activities and censor sensitive content.

The recent publication of the draft regulations raised concerns that if Beijing applied them strictly, it could fence China off altogether from the broader global Internet by cutting access to any website whose domain name didn't have Chinese approval.

Reports by state media this week cited authorities as saying that the new rules wouldn't affect foreign companies' businesses in China, suggesting they may focus on web content hosted inside China. But experts are still wary.

VoIP for Business: Why It Makes Sense

VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) phone systems make good sense for small businesses. In fact, recent research finds that more than one-third of all businesses are now using a VoIP phone system, with the vast majority of those being businesses with fewer than 50 employees.

"With VoIP, voice data is sent [via an Internet connection] in digital form rather than plugging into a traditional phone jack like you would over the public switched telephone network (PSTN)," Tina Liu, senior product marketing manager for 8x8, told Business News Daily.

First introduced commercially in the 1990s, VoIP technology has improved significantly since then, and so has its popularity. In the early days, users complained that the sound quality wasn't as good on VoIP as it was on a landline, but those issues aren't a concern today.

VoIP systems now take advantage of advanced high-definition codecs that have vastly improved the voice quality, making modern VoIP networks sound even better than landline networks, said Matt McGinnis, associate vice president of product marketing for VoIP provider RingCentral. In addition to better sound quality, the cloud is also making VoIP a more viable option for small businesses. Rather than having to run special wiring and install special equipment, companies that choose a cloud-hosted VoIP phone solution don't need to purchase any equipment or employ an IT staff to install and maintain it. - See more at: http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/8924-voip-for-business.html#sthash.togDcVwU.dpuf

Google Fiber is adding landline-like phone option to home Internet bundle

Google Fiber missed out on some customers when its high-speed Internet and cable-style TV subscription services debuted without a “triple play” that included phone hookups routinely offered by its competitors.

On Tuesday, the company announced it is adding Fiber Phone — phone service over Internet channels with some of the features that come with the firm’s free Google Voice service. For example, the $10-a-month phone offers relatively low rates for international calls and transcribed voice messages delivered by text and email.

Also like Google Voice, calls could be forwarded from that home phone to a cellphone. The same number could be used to place calls from a computer.

Google’s announcement said that the service includes “a Fiber Phone box” but that customers will have to supply their own handsets. Conventional phones and cellphones will work with the box.



You Can Now Get Comcast TV and Internet Service Through Amazon

With the promise of better customer service.

Comcast has struck a big online retail partnership.

The media conglomerate has begun selling its Xfinity TV, phone, and Internet services through Amazon AMZN -0.45% . Comcast’s CMCSA 0.77% service bundles are available through Amazon.com’s recently debuted Amazon Cable Store, a web page whose existence was first reported on Sunday by the television news outletsTV Predictions.

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Comcast customers have long complained about the company’s shoddy customer service. “We’re improving dramatically, but we can always do better,” said Brian Roberts, CEO of Comcast, at Fortune’s Global Forum conference this year. Now the company is tapping Amazon’s expertise to make its online sales and support interactions smoother.

“They helped us in our thinking about how to simplify the experience and just make it clean,” said Neil Smit, president of Comcast’s cable division, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal—for instance, by minimizing the number of clicks per transaction. “We’re partnering with a company that’s so good at the customer experience—I think that’s really what excites me.”