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FCC to look at AT&T's FaceTime limits, says report

The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission made remarks today that indicate the agency may review complaints filed about AT&T's decision to limit the use of FaceTime video chat over its cell network, The Verge reported.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said he couldn't comment on AT&T specifically, but if efforts to resolve any disputes aren't resolved and a complaint is filed, "we will exercise our responsibilities and we will act."

An FCC representative confirmed to CNET that Genachowski made the comment during a question and answer session after a speech at … Read more

Apple applies for another facial unlock patent for iOS devices

Your face is once again the subject of a patent Apple has filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

The technology described in the patent, which was discovered by Patently Apple and AppleInsider, isn't all that different from one that surfaced from the iPhone maker in December, which described a method for users to lock and unlock their handsets with their face. However, the latest technology uses the front-facing camera on a mobile device to determine whether to lock or unlock the product.

According to Patently Apple, the front-facing camera takes rapid snapshots that then translate into … Read more

How to enable FaceTime over 3G with iOS 6

iOS 6 is here and with it is the capability to make FaceTime calls over a 3G (or 4G) connection. Finally! Up until now, iOS users were limited to using FaceTime over a Wi-Fi connection. No more.

FaceTime over 3G does have a couple of limitations. First, you'll need to be running iOS 6 on an iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, or the new iPad (third generation). Second, your carrier has to allow for FaceTime to be used over its network. So far, only AT&T has announced any type of restriction or requirement for FaceTime to work using … Read more

AT&T faces Net neutrality complaint for FaceTime over 3G

A trio public interest groups intend to file a formal complaint against telecom giant AT&T over a decision to require a specific wireless data plan to use Apple's FaceTime video chat over its 3G network.

In a notice today, Free Press, Public Knowledge, and the New America Foundation's Open Technology Institute said they intended to file a complaint against the carrier with the Federal Communications Commission asserting that AT&T has violated Net Neutrality with a policy that requires users to be on a specific data plan in order to use Apple's FaceTime video … Read more

Verizon Wireless to include FaceTime on all data plans

Apple's iOS 6 will allow iPhone users to make FaceTime calls over a cellular network, and Verizon Wireless doesn't want to limit the video-calling feature.

The nation's largest carrier confirmed this evening that will make the data-intensive app available on all its data plans at no additional charge, including those still on unlimited data plans. The move was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

Previously operational only on Wi-Fi networks, the app will work on cellular networks when the update to Apple's operating system is released on September 19.

The offering stands in contrast to … Read more

Google wins patent on face-to-unlock feature

Your face just helped Google win a patent.

The search giant yesterday was awarded a patent, called "Login to a computing device based on facial recognition," that describes a technology for identifying a person's face and delivering to that person full access to personal information on a device.

In order for the technology to work, Google's patent requires a camera that can identify a person's face. If that face matches a "predetermined identity," then the person is logged into the respective device. If multiple people want to access a computer, the next person … Read more

Memo to Jerry Brown: Sign SB 1161 for all Internet users

commentary California lawmakers have taken an encouraging step to keep government from tinkering with the mechanics of the Internet. As first reported by CNET in June, SB 1161, which passed last week, prohibits the state's Public Utilities Commission from imposing new regulations on "Voice over Internet Protocol and Internet Protocol enabled services," except when specifically authorized by the legislature or by federal authorities.

SB 1161, which is only four pages long, was approved in May by an overwhelming bipartisan majority of the state's Senate. On August 22, it cleared the state Assembly by a margin of … Read more

AT&T defends FaceTime restrictions amid sharp criticism

In a blog post Wednesday, AT&T defended its new policy of restricting use of Apple's FaceTime app so that only customers on its Mobile Share plans can take advantage of it. But consumer advocates still say AT&T is violating the Federal Communications Commission's Open Internet rules.

Last week, AT&T confirmed that it has plans to make the popular video chat app FaceTime, which is preloaded on all iPhone 4 devices and newer iPhones, available for use on its 3G and 4G networks. Previously, the preloaded app worked only on Wi-Fi networks, but … Read more

Do AT&T's FaceTime limits break FCC rules?

Tuesday's tech news roundup honors our future robot overlords:

AT&T is being accused of data-plan discrimination and breaking FCC rules regarding new iPhone FaceTime options. AT&T recently announced that iPhone customers could use FaceTime video chat service over a cellular network if they have the new shared data plan. (Previously, FaceTime was limited to Wi-Fi.) But several groups have spoken out about the limit and questioned if it follows FCC guidelines. AT&T responded saying it does not believe this breaks any FCC rules, since FaceTime was offered to all customers over Wi-Fi and … Read more

Game not over yet for OnLive

Any objection to Monday's top tech headlines is overruled:

The Apple vs. Samsung trial is almost at a close. The jury is expected to begin deliberations Tuesday. The two tech giants spent three weeks battling over patents and accusations of copying.

OnLive is facing some rough days ahead. The cloud-based gaming service sold its assets to an investor Friday and laid off employees, but said it will rehire many back as the newly restructured company (which will still be called OnLive). The company says subscribers shouldn't see any problems or interruptions in service during this restructuring.

College students … Read more