Tag Archives: digest-golf

Source: Top-end 128GB Samsung Galaxy S6 priced at $1,189, curved model facing supply constraints (Sebastian Anthony/Ars Technica)

AT&T's teaser image for the Samsung Galaxy S6 Samsung According to a source at one of Samsung's mobile carrier partners in Europe who spoke to Ars Technica under the condition of anonymity, Samsung is launching both the curved and normal Galaxy S6 at rather exorbitant price points. Our source, who has seen Samsung's new devices in person, tells us that the mid-level 64GB curved Galaxy S6 will cost carriers €949 ($1,076), with the top-end 128GB model priced at €1,049 ($1,189)—around €50 more expensive than the comparable iPhone 6 Plus. Furthermore, the same source tells us that carriers are struggling to get their hands on enough stock of the curved Galaxy S6, suggesting that Samsung is having yield issues for the curved display. Samsung is expected to announce the Galaxy S6 at Mobile World Congress next week. In line with the rumors that we've heard previously , our source says there will be two versions of the S6—a normal version that will look fairly similar to the S5 and a curved version that will have a curved edge on both the left and right sides of the device. In both cases, the devices are priced at the very high end, above the iPhone. For the non-curved Galaxy S6, European pricing is €749 ($849), €849 ($963), and €949 ($1,076) for the 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB models respectively. For the curved version, add €100 ($124) to each of those figures. These are the prices that will be paid by the carrier before any subsidies. Presumably unlocked, SIM-free devices will be be similarly priced. US pricing is more complex than simply converting euros into dollars, but €849 for the entry-level curved Galaxy S6 is way, way above the launch price of the Galaxy S5, which was around €650 in Europe and $650 in the US. Our source gave us one other interesting tidbit about the Galaxy S6: Stocks of the curved S6 appear to be constrained by supply due to manufacturing issues caused by the curved display. This isn't unusual when it comes to the first commercial outing for a new technology—but in this case it's awkward because Samsung's marketing push will focus almost entirely on the curved version.

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Lenovo CTO Peter Hortensius apologizes for Superfish vulnerability, promises new security policy going forward (Dan Goodin/Ars Technica)

Lenovo's top technical executive apologized once again for preinstalling laptops with software that intercepted customer's encrypted Web traffic and has gone on to outline plans to ensure similar mistakes don't happen again. "This software frustrated some users without adding value to the experience so we were in the process of removing it from our preloads," Lenovo CTO Peter Hortensius wrote in an open letter published Monday afternoon . "Then, we saw published reports about a security vulnerability created by this software and have taken immediate action to remove it. Clearly this issue has caused concern among our customers, partners, and those who care about Lenovo, our industry and technology in general. For this, I would like to again apologize." Hortensius went on to enumerate the ways affected customers can move Superfish software, which installs a dangerous Secure Sockets Layer credential in the root certificate authority folder of affected PCs. In addition to an automated removal tool created and distributed by Lenovo, antivirus software from Microsoft, McAfee, and Symantec will also detect and remove the threat. Hortensius said Lenovo planned to release an updated plan for addressing software vulnerabilities and security threats. Options include creating a "cleaner PC image," working with customers and security professionals to create a better policy for preinstalled software, and "soliciting and assessing the opinions of even our harshest critics" as they relate to product security. Monday's open letter is the latest indication that Lenovo's regret is genuine. It contrasts sharply with the responses of Superfish CEO Adi Pinhas who on Friday asserted his ad-injection software posed no security threat , despite near universal condemnation among researchers. These critics contend Superfish software caused affected Lenovo computers to trust invalid HTTPS certificates that would otherwise be detected as forgeries, a failure that left end users wide open to attacks that impersonated secure sections of Bank of America, Google, or any other website on the Internet. Komodia, a software developer that sold some of the HTTPS-interception code and certificates used by Superfish and other software makers , has so far declined to make any comment on its role. As unsavory as the entire Lenovo/Superfish debacle has been, a silver lining may come if it prompts an open and honest reassessment of the crapware that comes preinstalled on many new PCs. Here's the entire text of Hortensius's letter: Superfish Update - An Open Letter from Lenovo CTO Peter Hortensius RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC – February 23, 2015: Beginning in September 2014, we made a decision to ship some of our consumer notebooks with Superfish.  This software frustrated some users without adding value to the experience so we were in the process of removing it from our preloads.  Then, we saw published reports about a security vulnerability created by this software and have taken immediate action to remove it.  Clearly this issue has caused concern among our customers, partners and those who care about Lenovo, our industry and technology in general.  For this, I would like to again apologize.

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SSL-busting code that threatened Lenovo users found in a dozen more apps (Dan Goodin/Ars Technica)

The list of software known to use the same HTTPS-breaking technology recently found preinstalled on Lenovo laptops has risen dramatically, with the discovery of at least 12 new titles, including one that's categorized as a malicious trojan by a major antivirus provider. Further Reading Trojan.Nurjax, a malicous program Symantec discovered in December , hijacks the Web browsers of compromised computers and may download additional threats. According to a blog post published Friday by a security researcher from Facebook , Nurjax is one such example of newly found software that incorporates HTTPS-defeating code from an Israeli company called Komodia. Combined with the Superfish ad-injecting software preinstalled on some Lenovo computers and three additional applications that came to light shortly after that revelation, there are now 14 known apps that use Komodia technology. "What all these applications have in common is that they make people less secure through their use of an easily obtained root CA certificate authority, they provide little information about the risks of the technology, and in some cases they are difficult to remove," Matt Richard, a threats researcher on the Facebook security team, wrote in Friday's post. "Furthermore, it is likely that these intercepting SSL proxies won't keep up with the HTTPS features in browsers (e.g., certificate pinning and forward secrecy), meaning they could potentially expose private data to network attackers. Some of these deficiencies can be detected by antivirus products as malware or adware, though from our research, detection successes are sporadic." Komodia, a company that brazenly calls one of its software development kits as an "SSL hijacker," is able to bypass secure sockets layer protections by modifying the network stack of computers that run its underlying code. Specifically, Komodia installs a self-signed root CA certificate that allows the library to intercept encrypted connections from any HTTPS-protected website on the Internet. This behavior is by no means unique to Komodia, Superfish, or the other programs that use the SSL-breaking certificates. Antivirus apps and other security-related wares often install similar root certificates. What sets Komodia apart from so many others is its reuse of the same digital certificate across many different computers. Researchers have already documented that the password protecting most or all of the Komodia certificates is none other than "komodia". It took Errata Security CEO and whitehat hacker Rob Graham only three hours to crack this woefully weak password

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Superfish doubles down, says HTTPS-busting adware poses no security risk (Dan Goodin/Ars Technica)

Following security professionals' near-unanimous condemnation of adware that hijacked encrypted Web connections on Lenovo computers, the CEO of the company that developed the finished product is doubling down on his insistence that it poses no threat to end users. Further Reading The statement, e-mailed to Ars by a Superfish spokeswoman and attributed to company CEO Adi Pinhas, is notable for making no reference to secure sockets layer, transport layer security, HTTPS, or any other form of encryption. Those technologies are at the core of security researchers' criticisms. They say the self-signed certificates, registered to Superfish and installed in the root level of every PC's SSL/TLS folder, makes it easy for malicious hackers and even script kiddies to build websites that trick affected browsers into behaving as if they're connected to servers for Bank of America, Google, or any other HTTPS-protected website on the Internet. In fact, there's near-universal agreement about this. Earlier today, the US CERT joined the growing chorus of critics with an advisory headlined " Lenovo Computers Vulnerable to HTTPS Spoofing ." Despite all of this, Pinhas's statement doesn't address the criticism. Instead, it attacks an argument that no one has made—that Superfish somehow shares personal information without users' permission. Here is the statement in full: Superfish Statement from CEO There has been significant misinformation circulating about Superfish software that was pre-installed on certain Lenovo laptops. The software shipped on a limited number of computers in 2014 in an effort to enhance the online shopping experience for Lenovo customers. Superfish's software utilizes visual search technology to help users achieve more relevant search results based on images of products they have browsed.

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Revenge porn site operator Hunter Moore pleads guilty to hacking, ID theft (Megan Geuss/Ars Technica)

The Internet can be a scary place. On Wednesday, Hunter Moore, 28, the notorious founder and operator of revenge porn site IsAnyoneUp.com pleaded guilty  PDF to unauthorized access to a computer, aiding and abetting unauthorized access of a computer, and identity theft. The charges each carry a maximum penalty of two to five years in jail, but Moore will be sentenced at a later date. Further Reading Moore’s IsAnybodyUp.com became hugely popular for posting nude and sexually explicit photos of people without their permission, and it spawned copycat revenge porn sites like Craig Brittain's IsAnybodyDown.com and Kevin Bollaert’s ugotposted.com . (Brittain was banned from posting any more nude photos of people without their explicit permission in a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission in January, and  Bollaert was found guilty earlier this month of identity theft and extortion.) Moore’s site at one point allegedly received over 30 million page views per month and was bringing in about $10,000 in ad revenue. Some of the photos on Moore’s site came from disgruntled lovers handing over their ex’s nude pics (hence the name “revenge porn”) but Moore also pleaded guilty to paying conspirator Charles “Gary” Evens to steal nude photos from victims, often paying Evens up to $200 per week. "To help populate the site with nude photos, defendant aided, abetted, and procured, and willfully caused co-defendant Charles Evens (“Evens”) to intentionally access, without authorization, a computer used in interstate commerce belonging to Google by accessing the victims’ e-mail accounts,” Moore’s plea agreement states. As Ars reported when Moore was arrested in January 2014 , Evens compromised hundreds of e-mail accounts through social engineering. "It was not exploiting, to our knowledge, any vulnerabilities in any of these online accounts,” Assistant US Attorney Wendy Wu told Ars last year. "Basically, he was impersonating these victims' friends and was able to get confidential information that would allow him to access their accounts.” At one point, Rolling Stone deemed Moore the "Most Hated Man on the Internet," writing, "What was really inspired about IsAnybodyUp.com was that alongside the photos, Moore included the ex's full name, profession, social-media profile and city of residence, which ensured that the pictures would pop up on Google, which further ensured that, in short order, the ex's mom and boss and everyone else would be seeing him or her online, sans skivvies." Besides a prison term and years of supervised parole, Moore’s plea agreement specifies that the government may delete all the data on Moore’s seized digital devices. "Moore is currently scheduled to be in court on Wednesday, February 25," a press officer for the Central California US Attorney's Office wrote to Ars. "But there is a strong possibility that his next court appearance will be delayed until March." In the UK and California, authorities have been trying to crack down on revenge porn with legislation.

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Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon chips bring high-end features to midrange SoCs (Andrew Cunningham/Ars Technica)

Qualcomm High-end processors are normally the most interesting ones. They've got all the coolest features, the best performance, and the most "new" stuff. They're the chips you'll find in expensive, premium, flagship products. But the fact of the matter is that midrange and low-end chips do more volume than high-end parts—for most people, those products will be more important. Qualcomm is announcing a total of four new chips today in its mid-tier Snapdragon 600 and 400 lineups, all four of which will begin appearing in consumer devices this year. As part of today's announcement, Qualcomm is also changing the branding on its various LTE modems. The old "Gobi" moniker is out, and "Snapdragon" is in. Standalone modems and modems integrated into Snapdragon SoCs will all be sold under the Snapdragon banner, and Qualcomm has introduced simplified model numbers to make it clearer what speeds you're getting from each modem. Enlarge / The Lumia 830 (left) and 735 (right) phones use Snapdragon 400 SoCs. Qualcomm is giving these lower-end chips a nice boost. Peter Bright Further Reading Something that Qualcomm is stressing with all of today's announcements is that high-end features are trickling down the product stack. For starters, both the new Snapdragon 415 and 425 will be moving to eight-core Cortex A53-based designs, rather than the quad-core designs the 400 and 410 used. Like the 410 , both new 400-series chips are 64-bit and support the ARMv8 instruction set, and they're both built on a 28nm manufacturing process. Other improvements are less about speed and more about extra value-added features, something we're seeing more of as the mobile SoC market matures. The SoCs have dual image signal processors (ISPs), which Qualcomm claims will improve cameras in these midrange and low-end phones. Qualcomm's Quick Charge 2.0 feature from the Snapdragon 410 also returns—we've evaluated Quick Charge 2.0 in previous reviews

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Patent troll claims to own Bluetooth, scores $15.7M verdict against Samsung (Joe Mullin/Ars Technica)

Winter ice rink in Marshall, Texas. The historic county courthouse is in the background. Joe Mullin Gordon Bremer didn't invent Bluetooth 2.0. In fact, as he admitted on the stand last week in an East Texas federal court, he hadn't even read the specification for it until 2007—three years after it was on the market. Despite that, Bremer may be getting paid a hefty royalty by Samsung, after a jury ruled that the Korean electronics company infringed Bremer's patents. He stands to get 2.5 percent of the $15.7 million verdict PDF won by his employer, Rembrandt IP, one of the oldest and most successful "patent trolls." The jury found in Rembrandt's favor on Friday after a week-long trial, finding that Samsung's Bluetooth-enabled products, including its most popular cell phones, tablets, and televisions, infringe Bremer's patents, numbered  8,023,580 and 8,457,228 . The patents relate to compatibility between different types of modems, and connect to a string of applications going back to 1997. The first version of Bluetooth was invented by Swedish cell phone company Ericsson in 1994. Last week's award to Rembrandt is the second jury verdict in two weeks giving money to a "patent troll," a term used for companies, like Rembrandt, that make their money from filing patent lawsuits. While the trial was only against Samsung, the same complaint PDF names Blackberry as an infringer. (Court records show no indication Blackberry settled, so it may have an upcoming trial date.) Meanwhile, Rembrandt's lawyers have made clear they believe the Bremer patents apply to all products using Bluetooth 2.0 and later—a huge swath of products. This win against Samsung may ultimately be one small piece of Rembrandt's plan to collect from Bluetooth

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Microsoft issues patch for 15 year old Windows flaw dubbed Jasbug that could allow remote code execution; Windows Server 2003 unpatched (Dan…

Microsoft Microsoft just patched a 15-year-old bug that in some cases allows attackers to take complete control of PCs running all supported versions of Windows. The critical vulnerability will remain unpatched in Windows Server 2003, leaving that version wide open for the remaining five months Microsoft pledged to continue supporting it. The flaw, which took Microsoft more than 12 months to fix, affects all users who connect to business, corporate, or government networks using the Active Directory service. The database is built into Windows and acts as a combination traffic cop and security guard, granting specific privileges to authorized users and mapping where on a local network various resources are available. The bug—which Microsoft classifies as MS15-011 and the researcher who first reported it calls Jasbug—allows attackers who are in a position to monitor traffic passing between the user and the Active Directory network to launch a man-in-the-middle exploit that executes malicious code on vulnerable machines. "All computers and devices that are members of a corporate Active Directory may be at risk," warned a blog post published Tuesday by JAS Global Advisors, one of the firms that (along with simMachines) reported the bug to Microsoft in January 2014. "The vulnerability is remotely exploitable and may grant the attacker administrator-level privileges on the target machine/device. Roaming machines—Active Directory member devices that connect to corporate networks via the public Internet (possibly over a Virtual Private Network (VPN))—are at heightened risk." In a Web post of its own , Microsoft provided the following example of how Jasbug might be exploited on a machine connected over open Wi-Fi at a coffee shop: In this scenario, the attacker has observed traffic across the switch and found that a specific machine is attempting to download a file located at the UNC path: 10.0.0.100ShareLogin.bat . On the attacker machine, a share is set up that exactly matches the UNC path of the file requested by the victim: *ShareLogin.bat . The attacker will have crafted the contents of Login.bat to execute arbitrary, malicious code on the target system. Depending on the service requesting Login.bat, this could be executed as the local user or as the SYSTEM account on the victim’s machine

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Republicans launch attack on FCC’s net neutrality plan (Jon Brodkin/Ars Technica)

Aurich Lawson / Thinkstock Republicans are launching a multi-pronged assault on the net neutrality plan proposed by Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler. Ajit Pai, one of two Republicans on the five-member commission, held a press conference Tuesday denouncing Wheeler, saying the plan goes further than the Democratic chairman admits. Pai referred to the proposal as “President Obama’s plan” because Wheeler decided to reclassify broadband as a common carrier service after Obama asked him to do so . Further Reading Further Reading Wheeler says the plan does not impose rate regulation  on Internet providers, but Pai said, “the claim that President Obama’s plan to regulate the Internet does not include rate regulation is flat-out false." Although the FCC won’t decide on rates initially, home Internet customers or companies that interconnect with Internet providers would be able to complain to the FCC that rates are unreasonable. “The plan clearly states that the FCC can regulate the rates that Internet service providers charge for broadband Internet access, for interconnection, for transit—in short, for the core aspects of Internet services,” Pai said. “To be sure, the plan says that the FCC will not engage in what it calls ex ante rate regulation. But this only means that the FCC won’t set rates ahead of time. The plan repeatedly states that the FCC will apply sections 201 and 202 of the Communications Act, including their rate regulation provisions, to determine whether the prices charged by broadband providers are ‘unjust or unreasonable.’ The plan also repeatedly invites complaints about section 201 and 202 violations from end-users and edge providers alike. Thus, for the first time, the FCC would claim the power to declare broadband Internet rates and charges unreasonable after the fact. Indeed, the only limit on the FCC’s discretion to regulate rates is its own determination of whether rates are ‘just and reasonable,’ which isn’t much of a restriction at all.” Protestors who support net neutrality interrupted Pai's press conference . Pai also criticized Wheeler for releasing only a description of the plan instead of the entire 332-page document. Pai said he is prohibited from releasing the plan himself unless Wheeler allows it

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VESA publishes eDP 1.4a standard, supporting devices with 8K displays (Sebastian Anthony/Ars Technica)

VESA, the standards body responsible for such luminary technologies as DisplayPort and the omnipresent VESA monitor mount, has published the specification for version 1.4a of Embedded DisplayPort (eDP). The new standard builds upon DisplayPort 1.3, which was published at the end of 2014. In short, eDP 1.4a allows for laptops, smartphones, tablets, and all-in-ones with 8K displays (7680×4320) or high-frequency (120Hz) 4K displays—but it includes a few other neat features, too. eDP 1.4a appears to be almost entirely based on DisplayPort 1.3—which was published in September 2014—with a couple of new features thrown in for good measure. eDP 1.4a specifies four high-speed (HBR3) lanes between the graphics adapter and display, with each lane capable of 8.1Gbps; the lanes can either be used individually, in pairs (more on that later), or all together for a total theoretical bandwidth of 32.4Gbps. That's enough bandwidth to drive a 4K display (3840×2160) at 120Hz with 10-bit color or an 8K display at 60Hz. Beyond higher bandwidth, one of the more interesting features of eDP 1.4a is Direct Stream Compression (DSC), a standard developed by VESA and MIPI that—as the name implies—compresses the output video signal. According to VESA, the compression is "visually lossless" (i.e., it is lossy, but your games won't suddenly look like a hand-me-down JPEG). VESA and MIPI say that DSC can reduce the component cost and power consumption of high-resolution displays—a claim that obviously needs to be confirmed once eDP 1.4a devices start shipping. Gamers will be happy to hear that eDP 1.4a also includes (optional) support for Adaptive Sync, which can reduce screen tearing and graphics stutter—both of which are generally caused by the display and computer falling out of synchronization (which can occur for a variety of reasons). Because Adaptive Sync is an optional feature of eDP 1.4a, it might only be available on more premium devices. The other notable new feature in eDP 1.4a is Multi-SST Operation (MSO), which lets each of the four lanes drive a portion of a segmented display. The eDP 1.4a standard is available to VESA members today, and the first devices that use the standard are expected in 2016. (Devices with the previous standard, eDP 1.4, are only now starting to ship.) While I have no doubt that we'll see plenty of smartphones and laptops with 4K displays by 2016, 8K might be a bit of a stretch

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The FCC isn’t afraid of AT&T’s legal threats over net neutrality (Jon Brodkin/Ars Technica)

Photo illustration by Aurich Lawson AT&T will probably be one of the first companies to file a lawsuit if the Federal Communications Commission follows through on a plan to impose stricter rules on broadband. But FCC officials say they’re on solid legal ground. In a call with reporters to discuss Chairman Tom Wheeler’s net neutrality proposal this week, an FCC official said that AT&T’s threatened lawsuit isn’t a surprise and FCC officials don’t expect it to be successful. AT&T is arguing that broadband has to be considered an information service and not a telecommunications service. This is important because only telecommunications providers can be treated as common carriers under Title II of the Communications Act, a designation that Wheeler will use to impose net neutrality rules. Further Reading Further Reading The FCC official said it’s a simple matter: broadband providers offer, for a fee, a service to the public consisting of the transmission of packets. That makes it telecommunications in Wheeler’s view. Using the common carrier status of telecommunications providers, Wheeler intends to apply net neutrality rules that prevent Internet providers from blocking or slowing down Web content or prioritizing it in exchange for payment. But the very acts of blocking, throttling, or prioritizing Web content can’t be telecommunications under the Communications Act, AT&T argues . Instead, they must be considered information services, leaving them free of common carrier rules. "The capabilities that allow prioritization... involve the use of an ISP’s 'computing functionality' to provide 'the capability of getting, processing, and manipulating information,'" AT&T General Attorney Christopher Heimann wrote to the FCC. The  Communications Act  says an information service is “the offering of a capability for generating, acquiring, storing, transforming, processing, retrieving, utilizing, or making available information via telecommunications, and includes electronic publishing, but does not include any use of any such capability for the management, control, or operation of a telecommunications system or the management of a telecommunications service.” Telecommunications is “the transmission, between or among points specified by the user, of information of the user's choosing, without change in the form or content of the information as sent and received.” A telecommunications service is the offering of telecommunications for a fee directly to the public. Do these definitions lend credence to AT&T's argument? Barbara Cherry , who was once an attorney for AT&T and is now a professor at Indiana University's department of telecommunications, says no. Cherry and Jon Peha, a former FCC Chief Technologist who now is a professor at Carnegie Mellon University, told the FCC in a December filing that the Telecommunications Act of 1996 requires the FCC to classify commercial Internet access as a telecommunications service. In an e-mail to Ars, Cherry summarized the argument: Classification of a service as a Title II "telecommunications service" is based on two types of functionality—technical and commercial. The paper explains why broadband Internet access service—and particularly the function of IP packet transfer—satisfies these two types of functionality.

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FCC’s net neutrality rules will ban throttling but allow "reasonable network management" (Jon Brodkin/Ars Technica)

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. Within a few weeks we’ll have a huge document full of legalese on the Federal Communications Commission’s net neutrality rules, to replace the near-200-page order from 2010 that was mostly overturned by a court ruling last year. Further Reading But there are enough details in the 4-page summary of FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s proposal released today for us to tell you in general terms what it does and doesn’t do. FCC officials also provided further background in a phone call with reporters today. One thing they were clear on: this isn’t “utility-style regulation,” because there will be no rate regulation, Internet service providers (ISPs) won’t have to file tariffs, and there’s no unbundling requirement that would force ISPs to lease network access to competitors. But the order does reclassify ISPs as common carriers, regulating them under Title II of the Communications Act, the same statute that governs telephone companies. ISPs will not be allowed to block or throttle Internet content, nor will they be allowed to prioritize content in exchange for payments. The rules will apply to home Internet service such as cable, DSL, and fiber, and to mobile broadband networks generally accessed with smartphones. Internet providers will be common carriers in their relationships with home Internet and mobile broadband customers; they will also be common carriers in their relationships with companies that deliver content to subscribers over the networks operated by ISPs. That includes online content providers such as Amazon or Netflix.

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AT&T previews lawsuit it plans to file against FCC over net neutrality (Jon Brodkin/Ars Technica)

AT&T seems resigned to the near-certainty that the Federal Communications Commission will reclassify broadband as a common carrier service in order to enforce net neutrality rules. But it isn't going to let the decision stand without a legal challenge, and the company is already telling the world what it's going to argue in court. Further Reading "I have no illusions that any of this will change what happens on February 26," when the FCC is expected to vote, AT&T Federal Regulatory VP Hank Hultquist wrote in a blog post yesterday . "But when the FCC has to defend reclassification before an appellate court, it will have to grapple with these and other arguments. Those who oppose efforts at compromise because they assume Title II rests on bullet proof legal theories are only deceiving themselves." Hultquist's blog post summarized arguments AT&T made in two new filings with the commission. "Given that this decision seems driven by political considerations, I hold out little hope that the FCC will alter its course, but the letters nonetheless try to set out what we see as significant infirmities with reclassification," Hultquist wrote. The first of AT&T's two filings  concerns whether Internet service providers are information service providers, telecommunications service providers, or both. They are currently treated as lightly regulated information service providers, but they would be reclassified as telecommunications providers under the FCC's expected action. This would let the FCC regulate fixed and mobile broadband with the same "Title II" statute it uses to regulate the traditional telephone network, but the FCC could pick and choose which exact rules to apply. Specifically, the FCC would impose bans on throttling or blocking traffic and paid prioritization deals in which a Web service pays for priority access. AT&T argues that the capabilities ISPs would use to throttle, block, or prioritize traffic must be classified as information services because of the way information services are defined under the law. "The capabilities that allow prioritization... involve the use of an ISP’s 'computing functionality' to provide 'the capability of getting, processing, and manipulating information,'" AT&T General Attorney Christopher Heimann wrote in the filing. Thus, they can't be part of a transmission component that would be "understood as a separate telecommunications service subject to Title II." "Te plain meaning of the statutory definition mandates the result that any offering including ISP functionalities—and thus, as discussed above, any offering that includes the ability to prioritize or block content—necessarily is an information service," Heimann wrote. AT&T's second filing  contains a procedural argument, accusing the FCC of making a decision without doing a required analysis.

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PlayStation Now performs remarkably well on a fast connection, proving game streaming can work (Kyle Orland/Ars Technica)

Further Reading When Sony launched its PlayStation Now service as a beta last year, the ridiculous per-game rental pricing structure stopped us from giving it any serious consideration almost immediately. Last week, though, the service graduated from beta with a more feasible all-you-can-play subscription plan . Suddenly this was an opportunity. Has the idea of running games on remote servers advanced at all since OnLive's ahead-of-its-time launch back in 2010 ? We've been kicking the tires on the service for about a week now, and what we've found is a surprisingly compelling addition to the pay-per-game ownership model of retail discs and downloads. If you have the bandwidth and a yearning to sample some PS3 classics among the service's somewhat limited initial selection on your PlayStation 4, PlayStation Now is well worth checking out. Performance Further Reading When initially reviewing OnLive back in 2010 , running a game through the offering's remote servers was a noticeably worse experience than running that same game locally. Even with a 20Mbps FiOS connection, our reviewer "could tell that the game was not running natively" thanks to "framerate bumps, sudden resolution drops, and gameplay blips." Things have changed quite a bit in the intervening time. For one, we tested PlayStation Now on a relatively beefy (but still residential-level) 75 Mbps FiOS connection in the Washington, DC suburbs. At that speed, the streaming experience was practically indistinguishable from loading a disc on a local PS3. After about 30 to 60 seconds of start up (including a required connection test to confirm bandwidth), PlayStation Now games ran at a solid HD resolution. We saw a smooth, rock-steady frame rate and seemingly instantaneous responses to our controller inputs

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