New York Attorney General Leads Filing of Multi-State Lawsuit to Block Rollback of Net Neutrality

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman this afternoon announced that he and 22 other Attorneys General have teamed up to file a lawsuit aiming to stop the Federal Communications Commission’s planned rollback of net neutrality.

The multi-state lawsuit [PDF] asks the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to review the FCC’s repeal order, calling it arbitrary, capricious, and an abuse of discretion that violates federal law.



“An open internet – and the free exchange of ideas it allows – is critical to our democratic process,” Schneiderman said in a statement on his website. “The repeal of net neutrality would turn internet service providers into gatekeepers – allowing them to put profits over consumers while controlling what we see, what we do, and what we say online. This would be a disaster for New York consumers and businesses, and for everyone who cares about a free and open internet.”

The FCC has not filed its new rules with the Federal Register, so the repeal is not yet final, but the lawsuit has been filed out of “an abundance of caution” and to “preserve the right to be included in the judicial lottery procedure.” It’s essentially the states’ way of establishing the first step towards a full challenge of the FCC’s decision.



The lawsuit is backed by Attorneys General of New York, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia.

In related net neutrality news, 50 senators have now endorsed a legislative measure to override the FCC’s net neutrality repeal, reports The Washington Post. With one additional Republican vote, a Senate resolution of disapproval will be able to be passed, but it will still need to make it to the House and be signed by President Trump.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

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Review: Ten One Design’s Mountie+ Turns Your iPad Into a Second Screen Attached to Your Mac

Ten One Design’s new Mountie+ is an update to its existing Mountie, a device that’s designed to allow you to attach an iPad or iPhone to your laptop for use as a second display. The Mountie+, which I’ve been using for the last few weeks, was created for Apple’s larger 10.5 and 12.9-inch iPad models.

With the Mountie+, I can attach an iPad to the left side, right side, or top of my MacBook Pro using a simple double clamp mechanism. Made from plastic, one side of the clamp buckles onto my MacBook Pro, while the other side is meant to hold the iPad. I had to take my iPad Pro’s Smart Cover off to use Mountie+, but it will work with slim cases attached.



The clamp works using soft pieces of grippy rubber to grasp both the display of the MacBook Pro and the iPad Pro, and there are different sized rubber inserts to fit different devices. The grip is super tight and fitted to both devices, so the iPad Pro is going absolutely nowhere while in the Mountie+. There is absolutely no slippage, and even when I pull on my iPad with a good amount of force, it does not budge.



The first Mountie+ I had actually gripped my MacBook Pro too tight and caused visible distortion to the display even with the correct inserts. I was concerned about long term damage, so Ten One Design sent a replacement. The second Mountie+ had no issues with fit and did not cause prolonged screen distortion when I clamped it shut.



For the record, if you have one that fits a little tight like I did, Ten One Design will swap it out for you. To be honest, I’m still mildly concerned about the pressure the mount exerts on my MacBook Pro, but the original Mountie has been around for quite awhile and it’s not an issue that’s been raised, so it appears to be safe.

For my setup, the Mountie+ worked right out of the box, but some people may need to make component swaps. In that situation, I think it’s a little unclear how the Mountie+ works and which components are needed — I felt like Ten One Design needed to include clearer instructions. It’s not immediately clear which side of the clamp goes where, nor how you’re supposed to position it.



Here’s how it works: Open up the buckles on the Mountie+, put the thinner side on the MacBook Pro with the smaller tabs facing the display side, and then put the thicker side on the iPad Pro. Line everything up and then close the buckle to clamp it all down tight.

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Apple’s 500th Store and First in Korea Opening January 27 Ahead of 2018 Winter Olympics

Apple today announced that its first retail store in South Korea opens on Saturday, January 27, at 10:00 a.m. local time, just a few weeks prior to the 2018 Winter Olympics opening ceremony in Pyeongchang on Friday, February 9.



The store is located in the upscale Garosu-gil shopping area in the Gangnam District of Seoul, the capital of South Korea. The location will be open seven days per week and, like other Apple retail stores, it will host Today at Apple sessions and have a Genius Bar for device repairs and troubleshooting.

By the looks of it, this should be Apple’s 500th retail store around the world. That total includes the Apple Park Visitor Center and Infinite Loop locations, which both sell Apple products alongside promotional merchandise, and it also factors in the rare permanent closure of Apple’s Simi Valley store last year.

It’s possible that Apple could announce at least one other new store opening between now and late January, such as its nearly ready Vienna, Austria location, in which case the Korean store would obviously not be exactly 500th. We’ve reached out to Apple for an official store count and we’ll update if we hear back.

Apple is promoting its Garosu-gil store with a colorful, animated greeting in both English and Korean on its website, with a matching mural along the storefront that now reveals the January 27 opening date to those passing by.



Apple confirmed plans to open its first store in South Korea just over a year ago, and both construction and hiring have been underway since. The store was originally reported to open December 30, but the location evidently wasn’t quite ready in time, and it’ll now officially open in less than two weeks.

Apple’s first two stores opened in May 2001 at shopping malls in Tysons Corner, Virginia and Glendale, California. By our count, Apple now has 271 retail stores in the United States, while this Garosu-gil location will be its 229th retail store elsewhere, pushing it to the 500 mark in less than 17 years.

Apple remains in the process of renovating dozens of those stores with a fresher aesthetic. Many of the locations have expanded by adding a floor or taking over adjacent storefronts, while some stores have relocated entirely.

Related Roundup: Apple Stores

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Apple Seeds Fifth Beta of macOS High Sierra 10.13.3 to Developers

Apple today seeded the fifth beta of an upcoming macOS High Sierra 10.13.3 update to developers, one week after seeding the fourth beta and more than a month after releasing macOS High Sierra 10.13.2, the second major update to the macOS High Sierra operating system.

The new macOS High Sierra 10.13.3 beta can be downloaded from the Apple Developer Center or through the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store with the proper profile installed.



It’s not yet clear what improvements the macOS High Sierra 10.13.3 update will bring, but it’s likely to include bug fixes and performance improvements for issues that weren’t addressed in macOS High Sierra 10.13.2. It offers additional fixes for the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities that were discovered and publicized in early January and fixed initially in macOS High Sierra 10.13.2.

The update also fixes a bug that allows the App Store menu in the System Preferences to be unlocked with any password.

The previous macOS High Sierra 10.13.2 update focused solely on security fixes and performance improvements, with no new features introduced, and a supplemental update introduced a fix for the Spectre vulnerability.

Related Roundup: macOS High Sierra

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Western Digital Debuts New Transportable G-Technology G-SPEED Shuttles

Western Digital today announced the launch of two new products in its G-Technology G-SPEED Shuttle lineup, both of which are designed to be ultraportable RAID storage solutions aimed at meeting the needs of professional content creators who need both super fast transfer speeds and portability.

The new 4-bay G-Technology G-SPEED Shuttle with Thunderbolt 3 supports transfer speeds of up to 1000MB/s and can transfer an hour of 30 FPS 4K footage in minutes. It offers up to 48TB of storage space with removable 7200RPM enterprise class drives that can be set to RAID 0, 1, 5 and 10 configurations.



The G-Speed Shuttle with ev Series Bay Adapters offers the same Thunderbolt 3 support but adds integrated ev Series bay adapters to enable cross-functionality with ev Series drives and readers. It offers up to 24TB of storage and transfer rates of up to 500MB/s.

“The value of captured video content is immeasurable as it can’t be easily reshot or recovered if lost. One of the biggest pain points facing film makers is not having the ability to move the massive amounts of footage quickly and reliably to the next stage of the workflow – both physically and virtually. If you’re looking for a fast, high-capacity solution that’s also easily transportable, your options are limited. With the power of Thunderbolt 3, the flexibility to integrate with our ev Series, and a design optimized for mobility, the G-SPEED Shuttle is the perfect solution for any on-the-go project team,” said Scott Vouri, vice president strategy and business development, G-Technology, Western Digital.

The G-Technology G-SPEED Shuttle with Thunderbolt 3 is available in the United States starting today. It’s priced at $1,799.95 for 16TB of storage, $2,299.95 for 24TB of storage, $2,799.95 for 32TB of storage, and $3,799.95 for 48TB of storage.

The G-Technology G-SPEED Shuttle with ev Series Bay Adapters is also available starting today in the United States. It is priced at $1,999.95 for 20TB of storage space and $2,229.95 for 24TB of storage space.

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Facebook VP: Messenger App ‘Too Cluttered’ and Will Be ‘Massively’ Streamlined This Year

Facebook vice president of messaging products, David Marcus, posted an update on Messenger today, outlining the app’s successes in 2017 and hinting at what the team has planned for 2018.

In the post, Marcus mentioned that the Messenger team knows the app has become “too cluttered.” Because of this, they have planned a big update for 2018, which will introduce a simplified and streamlined experience for Facebook Messenger (via The Verge).

Over the last two years, we built a lot of capabilities to find the features that continue to set us apart. A lot of them have found their product market fit; some haven’t. While we raced to build these new features, the app became too cluttered. Expect to see us invest in massively simplifying and streamlining Messenger this year.

In 2017 alone, Facebook Messenger added its 24-hour Snapchat clone “Messenger Day,” introduced location sharing, integrated AI assistant “M” into the app, added Apple Music and Spotify extensions, let users purchase products with a MasterCard chatbot, introduced PayPal P2P payments, and even announced a Messenger spin-off app for kids. The main Messenger app got a redesign in May 2017, with Facebook stating at the time that the changes helped “make Messenger simpler for you.” Now it appears that the company will try again to simplify the chat app in 2018.

Marcus didn’t specify which parts of Facebook Messenger might be removed in the streamlining process, but he did mention a few aspects that the company will continue to focus on in 2018. These include doubling down on “visual messaging” — i.e. gifs, stickers, videos, and images — and evolving customer service into a “Customer Care” experience so that users can easily contact companies to have basic troubleshooting and other questions answered.

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2019 iPhones Could Have Smaller Notch as Apple ‘Looking Into’ Combining Face ID and Front Camera

A new report from South Korea’s ETNews insinuates that iPhones may have a smaller notch in 2019 or beyond.



The report, citing industry sources, claims Apple is “looking into” combining the front-facing camera and Face ID on next year’s iPhones, a move that could certainly reduce the size of the TrueDepth sensor housing.

According to industries, it is heard that Apple is planning to strengthen face sensing function starting from 2019 models. That is why it is planning to increase number of parts that will be used for iPhones and is looking into combination of a face recognition module with a camera module.

The confusing bit is that the report mentions a singular face recognition module, whereas Face ID is powered by an infrared camera, dot projector, and flood illuminator. The report doesn’t specify how Apple would manage to combine these components, so like many very-early-on rumors, this one isn’t entirely clear yet.



The notch is easily the most controversial attribute of the iPhone X’s design. While many early adopters don’t mind the small cutout at the top of the display, others have heavily criticized it, including The Outline‘s Joshua Topolsky.

The “notch” on the new iPhone X is not just strange, interesting, or even odd — it is bad. It is bad design, and as a result, bad for the user experience. The justification for the notch (the new Face ID tech, which lets you unlock the device just by looking at it) could have easily been accomplished with no visual break in the display. Yet here is this awkward blind spot cradled by two blobs of actual screen space.

Unfortunately for those critics, it doesn’t look like the smaller notch will arrive in 2018, as new iPhones and iPads set to launch later this year are expected to have the same TrueDepth sensor housing as the iPhone X.

Back in November, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said Face ID will be featured on a second-generation 5.8-inch iPhone X, a larger 6.5-inch iPhone X Plus, and a new mid-range 6.1-inch iPhone. Apple will also release at least one iPad Pro model with Face ID this year, according to Bloomberg News.

LG Innotek will reportedly supply all or the majority of 3D sensing modules for the next-generation iPhone and iPad models, based on an $821 million investment, which may have been funded at least partially by Apple.

Related Roundup: iPhone X
Buyer’s Guide: iPhone X (Buy Now)

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Airbnb Debuts ‘Pay Less Up Front’ Checkout Option to Lower Initial Cost of Bookings

Vacation and apartment rental service Airbnb this week launched a new way for its customers to cut down the initial cost of expensive bookings for an Airbnb location.

Called “Pay Less Up Front” and available on iOS, Android, and the web, the feature allows guests to choose to pay for part of their trip at the time of booking in the form of a 50 percent deposit “in most cases.” When their check-in date draws closer, the app will send the guest a notification and then they’ll have to pay for the rest of the trip.



The checkout update is Airbnb’s first major overhaul to guest payment options, and prior to the feature Airbnb users had to pay for the entirety of their trip immediately. In testing, the company said that 40 percent of its guests chose Pay Less Up Front and were willing to opt for higher-value bookings due to the payment plan. The update also satisfied hosts, who saw more booking activity on costlier listings and improved lead times to prepare locations for guests.

Pay Less Up Front helps our hosts as well. Given the ability to pay in installments, hosts won’t lose out on bookings from cash flow-sensitive guests who prefer not to pay the entire amount up front. What’s more, we’ve found that Pay Less Up Front encourages bookings further in advance: Compared with ordinary bookings, the Pay Less Up Front payment option led to bookings with nearly double the lead time, helping hosts to secure and manage bookings more easily.

There are two requirements for Pay Less Up Front: the total stay for the listing has to cost $250 or more, and it must be booked at least 14 days ahead of the check-in date. If these requirements are met, guests should start seeing Pay Less Up Front as a checkout option now on Airbnb’s iOS and Android apps, as well as on the desktop and mobile web versions of the site.

Tag: Airbnb

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