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Posts Tagged ‘Internet’

Lawsuit filed against Comcast over residential WiFi hotspots

This ought to be interesting. Two San Francisco-area residents are suing Comcast for plugging their home’s wireless router into what they call a power-wasting, Internet-clogging, privacy threatening network of public WiFi hot spots. The class-action lawsuit, filed last week in U.S. District Court on behalf of Toyer Grear and her daughter Joycelyn Harris, claims Comcast […]

Comcast wants to use your routers

For a massive WiFi network. Comcast is expected to flip a switch Tuesday in Houston that will turn 50,000 of its customers’ home Wi-Fi routers into a massive network of public Wi-Fi hotspots. Comcast residential Internet subscribers with one of the newer cable modem/wireless router combos will show a public network called “xfinitywifi.” Other Comcast […]

Yik Yak

News flash: A new app that enables the posting of anonymous unfiltered thoughts can cause headaches for school administrators. Film at 11. A recent bomb threat alerted many Memorial High School parents and administrators to something that many Houston-area students already knew about: Yik Yak, a smartphone app that functions as a kind of cyber-bathroom […]

Annise Parker is in your Internets

She’s in mine, anyway. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but an awful lot of the websites I surf to now feature a familiar face looking back at me: Here’s another: Clearly, she’s seeking to dominate the liberal nerd humor vote. Of course, there are Facebook ads: Facebook is the one place I’ve seen other […]

The buried lede on sexism in the Legislature

PDiddie thinks that the real shocker in that Observer story on sexism in the Texas Legislature wasn’t given the prominence it deserved. Even the most powerful women in the Legislature experience it. When I started interviewing women lawmakers, they all—Republican and Democrat, House and Senate, rural and urban—said that being a woman in the statehouse […]

Amazon fulfills its end of the deal with Texas

Good to see. Nine months after it struck a deal with the state to bring thousands of jobs and invest millions of dollars in Texas, online retail giant Amazon.com on Wednesday unveiled the first steps toward keeping its end of the bargain. Amazon said Wednesday it will build three fulfillment centers in Texas, creating about […]

When will we have truly electronic voting?

When will there be an app to cast a vote in a US election? So at a time when we can see video shot by a robot on Mars, when there are cars that can drive themselves, and when we can deposit checks on our smartphones without going to a bank, why do most people […]

Alan Rosen: A Call To Protect Our Children

The following is from a series of guest posts that I will be presenting over the next few weeks. Every day, the internet opens up new doors for communication, commerce, and the betterment of all our lives. But, with great advances in technology come huge risks and the responsibility rests with each of us to […]

Will SOPA sink Smith?

Probably not, but I sure don’t mind seeing his opponents use it against him. Republican long-shot candidates are citing high-tech discontent over Rep. Lamar Smith’s proposed government regulation of the Internet in an attempt to knock off the 13-term incumbent in the primary election. Even two Democrats, seeking to win their party’s nomination, have cited […]

Amazon settles up with Texas

Good. Amazon.com will start collecting sales taxes from Texas customers this summer and agreed to make capital investments of $200 million and create 2,500 jobs in the state over the next four years, Comptroller Susan Combs announced this morning. In return, the state will drop its efforts to collect back sales taxes from the company. […]

Our long Amazonian nightmare may finally be over

Negotiations are in progress to get Amazon to pay something like its fair share. Amazon.com is negotiating with the state to start paying Texas sales taxes on online sales and to create some jobs in the state, reviving talks that fell apart at the end of last year’s legislative session, sources involved in the conversations […]

A step forward for online gambling

Interesting. The Justice Department has reversed its long-held opposition to many forms of Internet gambling, removing a big legal obstacle for states that want to sanction online gambling to help fix their budget deficits. The legal opinion, issued by the department’s office of legal counsel in September but made public on Friday, came in response […]

From the “More things you need to be slightly paranoid about” department

Nothing like a new domain suffix to remind you of the potential for creative malfeasance. The University of Kansas is buying up website names such as www.KUgirls.xxx and www.KUnurses.xxx. But not because it’s planning a Hot Babes of Kansas site or an X-rated gallery of the Nude Girls of the Land of Aaahs. Instead, the […]

The check will be in the mail a little longer

The hard times keep coming for the Postal Service. The U.S. Postal Service said a plan to save $2.1 billion a year and fend off possible bankruptcy would effectively put an end to almost all overnight delivery of first-class letters and postcards. Delivery would take at least two to three business days. The postal service’s […]

Put that wine bottle down and slowly back away

Don’t buy wine over the Internet, kids. The State of Texas says so. State officials have teamed up with FedEx, UPS and other shippers to ferret out wines being sent to Texas by websites that don’t have proper permits. That has prompted Wine.com and several other resellers to restrict sales to consumers in the Lone […]

States looking at online gambling

Until the economy returns to the point where states aren’t completely strapped for revenue, I expect them to look at all possible sources of new money. It’s an idea gaining currency around the country: virtual gambling as part of the antidote to local budget woes. The District of Columbia is the first to legalize it, […]

Perry vetos Amazon sales tax bill

Of course he did. Gov. Rick Perry has vetoed legislation that was aimed at tightening the state’s rules on when online retailers must collect sales taxes on Texas transactions, the bill’s author said this morning. Perry had earlier criticized Comptroller Susan Combs for moving to collect $269 million from Amazon.com for uncollected sales taxes. State […]

Lege approves separate online sales tax bills

It’s a start. Taking a stand against Internet retailers like Amazon.com, the Texas House moved Tuesday to tighten the state’s rules on when online businesses must collect sales tax. By voting 122-23 to pass House Bill 2403 by Rep. John Otto, R-Dayton, lawmakers made their clearest statement to date that they are siding with state […]

Amazon not gone yet

In case you were wondering. Amid its fight with the state over collecting tax on online sales, Amazon.com had said it would close its distribution center in Irving this week, resulting in the loss of 119 jobs. As of Wednesday, however, Amazon was still operating the Irving facility. Also, a hiring firm is interviewing to […]

Taking sides on Amazon

The Lege weighs in on Amazon, with opposing bills. House Bill 2719, filed [Wednesday] afternoon by state Rep. Linda Harper-Brown, R-Irving, would favor Amazon’s efforts to avoid collecting tax for online sales by amending the state tax code to say that a company or individual can’t be classified as a retailer if if they — […]

Teaching safe social networking skills

This seems like a good idea. The all-boys San Antonio Academy has long used an internal e-mail system provided by a company called Gaggle. So when Gaggle launched the Social Learning Wall application this year, the private academy’s administrators jumped at the opportunity to train their students on safe and respectful social networking techniques. The […]

Driver records available online

You know how you need to mail a request to get a copy of your driver’s record when you request to take a defensive driving course to get a ticket dismissed? Now you can save yourself a stamp and order it online. “We are pleased to offer this new service, which is available 24/7 to […]

No, I can’t hear you now

I haven’t attended that many events at Reliant Stadium – a couple of Rice football games, including the 2008 Texas Bowl, and a U2 concert – but that’s enough for me to confirm the lack of wireless coverage in the stadium from my experience. The main thing that I’m curious about regarding this is not […]

More on Latino turnout

Greg adds in his opinion on the Latino turnout question, and as usual it’s worth your time to read in full. Two things for me to comment on. First: If there is a one point that I’ve been reluctant to air publicly, it’s this: The two worst classes of people to talk to about Hispanic […]

More on Amazon and the sales tax

From Slate: Amazon has aggressively fought state efforts to impose sales tax on its operations. In 2008, New York passed a law that required online companies to collect taxes if they had deals with marketing affiliates based in the state. The law was designed specifically to target Amazon and other large online retailers—many called it […]

Cutting the cord on cable

I have no plans to change the way I watch TV any time soon, but a lot of other people are at least thinking about it. The Convergence Consulting Group of Toronto predicts that about 1.6 million U.S. households will “cut the cord,” or cancel monthly cable subscriptions, by the end of 2011, as more […]

Amazon was just the beginning

I agree with this. By telling retail giant Amazon.com that it owes $269 million in uncollected sales taxes, the State of Texas has waded into the national debate over taxing Internet sales. The state comptroller’s office said it has sent similar demands for payment to other online retailers. Allen Spelce, a spokesman for the comptroller’s […]

Texas tells Amazon to pay up

Well, that’s one way to attack the budget deficit. Texas has sent Amazon.com Inc. a $269 million bill for uncollected sales taxes on purchases made by state residents from the Seattle-based Internet superstore over a four-year period. […] R.J. DeSilva, spokesman for the Texas comptroller of public accounts, said the bill was sent to Amazon.com […]

Casinos look to the Internet

Interesting. Many of the country’s largest casinos, long opposed to gambling games like poker on the Internet, are now having second thoughts. Although online gambling is popular with millions of Americans, it is illegal in the United States, and the casino industry has considered it a threat. But a trade group that represents major casinos […]

Collecting sales tax on Internet purchases

Tax revenues are down in nearly every state. Most states rely on sales taxes for a significant portion of their revenues. Purchases made over the Internet are generally exempt from sales taxes. You do the math. In recent weeks, legislators in Maryland and Connecticut held hearings on whether to force Internet stores to collect local […]

West U and Bellaire on the Google Fiber bandwagon

The deadline for submitting an application for a city to be a part of Google’s experimental fiber network was last Friday, the 26th. The cities of West University Place and Bellaire got theirs in before the deadline. Cindy Siegel and Bob Kelly won’t be making any photo-op leaps to promote their respective cities’ cases for […]

The university printing business

Interesting. An experiment at Rice University to make scholarly research available to anyone with an Internet connection is trying to change the world of academic publishing. […] “The costs of publishing are reduced by digital dissemination, but they are hardly eliminated,” said Charles Backus, director of the Texas A&M University Press, which produces as many […]

HISD Radio

This, from the inbox, sounds very cool: K12RADIOHOUSTON: HISD’s NEW SCHOOL OF THOUGHT The nation’s first custom radio station created for a major school district (Houston, Texas) No radio tower or transmitter necessary! The Houston Independent School District (HISD) begins live Internet streaming of K12RadioHouston in July of 2010 in preparation for students returning to […]

Sugar Land wants Google Fiber for Communities

Sugar Land joins Austin in making a concerted pitch to bring Google Fiber For Communities to their town. “This project is suited to Sugar Land. Our population is highly educated. We have high standards,” said Sharlett Chowning, director of information technology in her presentation to City Council on Tuesday. The proposed Internet speeds would be […]