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Comcast extends 'Internet Essentials' program indefinitely

Cable giant Comcast announced Tuesday that it is voluntarily extending its Internet Essentials program, which provides subsidized broadband Internet service to low-income families in its service area, beyond its three-year commitment.

The company also announced that it's making more than $1 million in grants to 15 communities that have done the most to help close the digital divide. Comcast is also recognizing another five communities for being most improved. In these 20 recognized communities, eligible families that have not yet signed up for Internet Essentials, but qualify for the program, will be able to do so before March 18 … Read more

Disney deal blazes trail for a Dish without the dish

Dish Network just took the lead in turning Internet TV into reality.

Long have the biggest names in technology -- Apple, Google, Sony -- aspired to elevate tech's courtship of television to full-blown marriage: a multichannel television service, giving you the most popular networks of your cable provider but delivering them over the Internet.

And long has it been a story of unrequited love. No company has yet to make major, public, legitimate strides toward that goal, relegating them instead to grand proclamations of intent or sidelong glances at their hearts' desire.

That changed late Monday, as Charlie Ergen'… Read more

Opera for Mac review

With its long history, Opera for Mac stands as one of the most popular Web browsers in the world. Despite its age, this free product has been constantly updated and optimized to run smoothly and keep feature parity with the rest of the competition. What set the app apart from other browsers are the handy mouse gestures, the Off Road mode that uses less traffic, and the handy news aggregator.

When opened, Opera for Mac presents you with its Speed Dial interface where you can pin your most used sites, set the number of columns, and group sites in folders. … Read more

Author Danah Boyd on why teens and social media are 'complicated' (podcast)

When it comes to understanding how teens use social media, there's perhaps no one more clued in than Danah Boyd, except maybe teens themselves. An ethnographer with a Ph.D. in information from the University of California at Berkeley, she has spent the last eight years speaking with and observing teens from all walks of life.

Boyd's new book, "It's Complicated: The social lives of networked teens," is the culmination of this work where, as she writes, she attempts to "describe and explain the networked lives of teens to the people who worry about … Read more

Internet now used by 87% of American adults, says poll

Almost 90 percent of American adults surveyed use the Internet, and almost all say that the Internet has been a good thing for them personally.

Among the 1,000 American adults surveyed by Pew Research in January, 87 percent now use the Internet. That number is even higher for certain groups. Internet use was claimed by 99 percent of people in households that earn $75,000 or more, 97 percent of adults ages 18-29, and 97 percent of those with college degrees.

A full 68 percent of those polled connect to the Internet via mobile devices. On a related note, … Read more

The 404 1,433: Where we take baby steps with Dr. Josh King (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- If you're in the area and are dealing with either substance use or compulsive behaviors, check out the Center for Motivation and Change.

- For loved ones dealing with addiction, Josh King recommends "Beyond Addiction: How Science and Kindness Help People Change."

- Follow the Center for Motivation & Change on Twitter.… Read more

How much is the Internet of everything worth? Cisco says $19 trillion

BARCELONA, Spain -- Are you curious why everyone is talking about the Internet of everything? Cisco CEO John Chambers gives 19 trillion really good reasons.

Chambers believes the Internet of everything, also known as the Internet of things, will create $19 trillion (yes, that's with a "t") in economic benefit and value over the next decade.

The Internet of things is the concept that any device that could use an Internet connection should get one, allowing it to talk with other devices on the network. It's widely believed to be the next catalyst for innovation in … Read more

Freescale's Internet-of-things controller chip cut down to size

BARCELONA, Spain -- Freescale Semiconductor, a maker of small processors called microcontrollers, has a tinier new one it hopes will help companies jump aboard the "Internet of things" bandwagon.

The microchips used in computers cost tens, hundreds, and sometimes thousands of dollars. But the Kinetis KL03 is an entirely different class for devices that aren't nearly so big and brawny: it measures just 1.6x2.0mm and costs 75 cents -- for customers buying them 100,000 at a time.

The 48MHz chip is 15 percent smaller than the earlier KL02, the company said. It's just … Read more

Is Venezuela blocking the Internet amid violence?

In Venezuela, the government controls most of the television stations, so many residents turn to the Internet and social media for news. But, what happens when those get censored?

As the South American country has become engulfed in lethal protests and government crackdowns, it is said that the authorities have now started blocking the Internet -- especially in those states that have seen the most bloodshed.

Widespread student-led protests against President Nicolas Maduro's administration erupted last week. While the government is working to maintain its control of the country, the protesters are calling for Maduro's resignation due to … Read more

Adobe issues emergency patch -- again

Adobe Systems and Microsoft on Thursday issued patches with emergency measures for critical vulnerabilities in Flash and Internet Explorer.

Microsoft, which usually fixes security problems once a month on Tuesdays, distributed the off-calendar repair for Internet Explorer 9 and 10 because of the severity of the exploit. The fix is highly recommended for people who use those versions of IE since Microsoft described the previously unknown vulnerability in its security bulletin as actively being used in "limited, targeted attacks."

However, people who use those browsers must apply the fix manually with the FixIt shim tool. A permanent fix … Read more