Here’s Where to Find Verizon and AT&T Broadband Facts

By April 10, the FCC asked all broadband providers in the US to list broadband facts or labels on their sites that provide easy-to-digest information about their wired and wireless plans. These labels would be used like the nutrition labels on food are, in a way that lets you know the straight-forward details without having to go digging.

T-Mobile made a big announcement last week to let customers know that their “broadband facts” were presented on plan pages and should be easy for everyone to find. I can confirm that their broadband labels are indeed on plan pages and are easy to spot. After opening their unlimited data plans page, a simple click on each plan’s dedicated “Broadband Facts” box expands into a lengthy list of plan pricing, features, data speeds, etc. They are super handy.

For Verizon and AT&T, I’ve been looking off and on for the past week to see if their broadband facts would land on plan pages, which I’d imagine is where the FCC would like them to be placed. As far as I can (still) tell, they are not there. Looking through the overview from the FCC on the new labels (here),  they don’t specify that they want providers to list them on plan pages, only that each plan has a broadband label somewhere online or at point of sale. So of course, I struggled to find them.

Verizon’s Broadband Facts for both consumer and business plans can be found here.

Verizon Broadband Facts

AT&T’s Broadband Facts for wireless and wireline plans can be found here.

ATT Broadband Facts

Each of those sites will ask you to enter an address to get the plans and facts that are available to you. Like T-Mobile’s labels, they provide price for a single line, the charges and fees that will be added to your bill, discounts if you add multiple lines, and speeds depending on network type.

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via Droid Life: A Droid Community Blog

April 16, 2024 at 05:58PM

Fake Footage of Iran’s Attack on Israel Is Going Viral

In the hours after Iran announced its drone and missile attack on Israel on April 13, fake and misleading posts went viral almost immediately on X. The Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), a nonprofit think-tank, found a number of posts that claimed to reveal the strikes and their impact, but instead used AI-generated videos, photos, and repurposed footage from other conflicts that showed rockets launching into the night, explosions, and even President Joe Biden in military fatigues.

Just 34 of these misleading posts received over 37 million views, according to ISD. Many of the accounts posting the misinformation were also verified, meaning they have paid X $8 per month for the ‘blue tick’ and their content is amplified by the platform’s algorithm. ISD also found that several of the accounts claimed to be open source intelligence (OSINT) experts, which has, in recent years, become another way of giving legitimacy to their posts.

One X post claimed that “WW3 has officially started,” and included a video seeming to show rockets being shot into the night—except the video was actually from a YouTube video posted in 2021. Another post claimed to show the use of the Iron Dome, Israel’s missile defense system, during the attack, but the video was actually from October 2023. Both these posts garnered hundreds of thousands of views in the hours after the strike was announced, and both originated from verified accounts. Iranian media also shared a video of the wildfires in Chile earlier this year, claiming it showed the aftermath of the attacks. This, too, began to circulate on X.

“The fact that so much mis- and disinformation is being spread by accounts looking for clout or financial benefit is giving cover to even more nefarious actors, including Iranian state media outlets who are passing off footage from the Chilean wildfires as damage from Iranian strikes on Israel to claim the operation as a military success,” says Isabelle Frances-Wright, director of technology and society at ISD. “The corrosion of the information landscape is undermining the ability of audiences to distinguish truth from falsehood on a terrible scale.”

X did not respond to a request for comment by time of publication.

Though misinformation around conflict and crises has long found a home on social media, X is often also used for vital real-time information. But under Elon Musk’s leadership, the company cut back on content moderation and disinformation has thrived. In the days following the October 7 Hamas attack, X was flooded with disinformation, making it difficult for legitimate OSINT researchers to surface information. Under Musk, X has promoted a crowd-sourced community notes function as a way to combat misinformation on the platform to varying results. Some of the content identified by ISD has since received community notes, though only two posts had by the time the organization published its findings.

“During times of crisis it seems to be a repeating pattern on platforms such as X where premium accounts are inherently tainting the information ecosystem with half truths as well as falsehoods either through misidentified media, or blatantly false imagery suggesting that an event has been caused by a certain actor or state,” says Moustafa Ayad, ISD executive director for Asia, the Middle East and Africa. “This continues to happen and will continue to happen in the future, making it even more difficult to know what is real and what is not.”

And for those that are part of X’s subscription model and ad revenue sharing model, going viral could potentially mean making money.

Though it’s not clear that any of the users spreading fake or misleading information identified by ISD were monetizing their content, a separate report released by the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) earlier this month found that between October 7 and February 7, ten influencers, including far-right influencer Jackson Hinkle, were able to grow their followings by posting antisemitic and Islmaphobic content about the conflict. Six of the accounts CCDH examined were part of X’s subscription program, and all ten were verified users. The high-profile influencers part of X’s ad revenue sharing program receive a cut of advertising revenue based on ”organic impressions of ads displayed in replies” to their content, according to the company.

via Wired Top Stories

April 15, 2024 at 12:36PM

Netflix true crime documentary may have used AI-generated images of a real person

Netflix has been accused of using AI-manipulated imagery in the true crime documentary What Jennifer Did, Futurism has reported. Several photos show typical signs of AI trickery, including mangled hands, strange artifacts and more. If accurate, the report raises serious questions about the use of such images in documentaries, particularly since the person depicted is currently in prison awaiting retrial

In one egregious image, the left hand of the documentary’s subject Jennifer Pan is particularly mangled, while another image shows a strange gap in her cheek. Netflix has yet to acknowledge the report, but the images show clear signs of manipulation and were never labeled as AI-generated.

Netflix true crime documentary may have used AI-generated images of a real person

The AI may be generating the imagery based on real photos of Pan, as PetaPixel suggested. However, the resulting output may be interpreted as being prejudicial instead of presenting the facts of the case without bias. 

A Canadian court of appeal ordered Pan’s retrial because the trial judge didn’t present the jury with enough options, the CBC reported. 

One critic, journalist Karen K. HO, said that the Netflix documentary is an example of the "true crime industrial complex" catering to an "all-consuming and endless" appetite for violent content. Netflix’s potential use of AI manipulated imagery as a storytelling tool may reinforce that argument.

Regulators in the US, Europe and elsewhere have enacted laws on the use of AI, but so far there appears to be no specific laws governing the use of AI images or video in documentaries or other content. 

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

via Engadget

April 16, 2024 at 04:09AM

Superfast drone fitted with new ‘rotating detonation rocket engine’ approaches the speed of sound

Venus Aerospace has completed the inaugural test flight of a drone fitted with its "rotating detonation rocket engine" (RDRE) — accelerating it to just under the speed of sound. The company wants to one day build superfast commercial jets using this new type of engine. 

In the test flight, conducted Feb. 24, the company flew the drone, which is 8 feet (2.4 meters) long and weighs 300 pounds (136 kilograms) to an altitude of 12,000 ft (3658 m) by an Aero L-29 Delfín plane, before it was deployed and the RDRE was activated, company representatives said in a statement. 

The drone flew 10 miles (16 km) at Mach 0.9 — over 680 miles per hour — using 80% of the RDRE’s available thrust. The successful flight proved the viability of RDRE and the associated onboard flight systems. Three weeks earlier, Venus Aerospace demonstrated the viability of its RDRE technology with a long-duration test burn — during which engineers showed their engine worked for the duration of this test flight.

Related: Wild new NASA plasma tech reduces drag during hypersonic flight

Rather than using a continuous burn like most rocket engines, RDRE operates by a detonation wave continuously rotating around an annulus, or ring-shaped, chamber. The fuel, hydrogen peroxide, is injected into the annulus and the repeated detonations become self-sustaining after the initial ignition. In the RDRE test flight, the annulus was approximately 12 inches  (25.4 centimeters) in diameter and produced 1,200 pounds (544 kg) of thrust.

The RDRE technology is 15% more efficient than conventional rocket engines, Venus Aerospace representatives said in a statement. As a result, an RDRE-propelled craft could theoretically travel farther on the same amount of fuel as conventional engines that combust fuel at constant pressure. Some have also theorized it could be as much as  25% more efficient than current technologies.

The successful test flight raises the odds of commercially viable supersonic flight. One of the long-term goals for Venus Aerospace is to develop a commercial supersonic aircraft that could travel at Mach 9 (over 6,800 mph) (11,000 km/h)

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For comparison, the Concorde aircraft could fly at just over Mach 2 (just under 1,550 mph, or 2,500 km/h), while the forthcoming Lockheed SR-72 prototype is expected to fly at speeds greater than Mach 6 (approximately 4,600 mph, or 7,400 km/h). To put this into context, a vehicle flying at Mach 9 could travel from London to San Francisco in an hour. 

Just as Concorde was noisy at take-off, the RDREs’ constant detonations will make any craft fitted with them incredibly loud. And unlike conventional jet engines, which offer much smoother accelerations, the rapid, repeated cycles of acceleration from the continuous detonations may also cause increased stress and fatigue of the engines and associated support structures.

Because RDRE could have military applications, Venus Aerospace is also collaborating with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

For now, Venus plans further test flights using drones One test flight engineers are considering involves fitting the current RDRE on a larger drone capable of achieving hypersonic flight — five times faster than the speed of sound (approximately 3,900 mph, or 6,200 km/h). 

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April 15, 2024 at 08:09AM

Toyota seeks patent for chameleon color-changing paint

No one knows better than the folks who manufacture and market automobiles how crucial the choice of color is. Now, hoping to chase the concept of some of BMW’s technologies, Toyota is developing a method to modify their vehicles’ colors, chameleon-like, by using heat and light.

As initially spotted by USA Today, the technique has been in development for two years and Toyota last month filed for a patent with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

The patent describes all cars with the paint leaving the factory with a single color, the color-changing material, in whatever default hue is chosen. Once at a dealer or other Toyota facility with the correct equipment, the color can be changed as desired. The method of which would include either large panels or even a movable panel that would heat the paint first, followed by applications of specific wavelengths of light. This whole process would allow the molecules in the paint to be shifted to reflect different wavelengths of light, creating different visible colors (similar to how "Structural Blue" on Lexus models achieves its color). Temperature sensors on the car would be employed in the process to help ensure the correct parameters are achieved for the right color.

Because these very specific conditions must be met for color changing, owners need not worry that if they drive their Camrys into Death Valley, they might shift from grey to hot pink.

At the Consumer Electronics Show in 2022, BMW showed a color-change concept known as E Ink on its iX electric SUV that was based on the electrophoretic technology used in e-readers. In that technology, the vehicle is wrapped, and an electric current causes pigments to pass through microcapsules, changing the exterior from white to gray to black, controlled by using an app on a mobile phone. Up to 32 colors could be displayed on 240 E Ink segments, each segment individually controlled.

Certainly, both these developments are conceptual now and not yet ready for prime time in a dealer’s showroom. But perhaps a hot pink Camry might not be bad.

Related Video:

via Autoblog

April 13, 2024 at 07:12AM

Google, a $1.97 trillion company, is protesting California’s plan to pay journalists

Google, the search giant that brought in more than $73 billion in profit last year, is protesting a California bill that would require it and other platforms to pay media outlets. The company announced that it was beginning a “short-term test” that will block links to local California news sources for a “small percentage” of users in the state.

The move is in response to the California Journalism Preservation Act, a bill that would require Google, Meta and other platforms to pay California publishers fees in exchange for links. The proposed law, which passed the state Assembly last year, amounts to a “link tax,” according to Google VP of News Partnerships Jaffer Zaidi.

“If passed, CJPA may result in significant changes to the services we can offer Californians and the traffic we can provide to California publishers,” Zaidi writes. But though the bill has yet to become law, Google is opting to give publishers and users in California a taste of what those changes could look like.

The company says it will temporarily test blocking links to California news sources that would be covered under the law in order “to measure the impact of the legislation on our product experience.” Zaidi didn’t say how large the test would be or how long it would last. Google is also halting new spending on California newsrooms, including “new partnerships through Google News Showcase, our product and licensing program for news organizations, and planned expansions of the Google News Initiative.”

Google isn’t the first company to use hardball tactics in the face of new laws that aim to force tech companies to pay for journalism. Meta pulled news from Facebook and Instagram in Canada after a similar law passed and has threatened to do the same in California. (Meta did eventually cut deals to pay publishers in Australia after a 2021 law went into effect, but said last month it would end those partnerships.)

Google has a mixed track record on the issue, It pulled its News service out of Spain for seven years in protest of local copyright laws that would have required licensing fees. But the company signed deals worth about $150 million to pay Australian publishers. It also eventually backed off threats to pull news from search results in Canada, and forked over about $74 million. That may sound like a lot, but those amounts are still just a tiny fraction of the $10 – $12 billion that researchers estimate Google should be paying publishers.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

via Engadget

April 12, 2024 at 01:03PM

Europe Rules That Insufficient Climate Change Action Is a Human Rights Violation

Climate law experts are already calling it one of the most impactful rulings on human rights and climate change ever made. Today’s judgement, from the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), was read out in front of an eclectic gathering of concerned plaintiffs from around the continent.

A group of older women from Switzerland, young people from Portugal, and a former French mayor —they had all brought cases to the court alleging that their governments were not doing enough to battle the climate crisis now regularly ravaging Europe with heat waves, droughts, and other extreme weather.

While the ECHR, based in Strasbourg, France, chose not to admit two of the cases in question, it ruled that the Swiss women were right—their government had failed to do enough to meet the country’s responsibilities over climate change. What’s more, the women plaintiffs had also been denied their right to a fair trial in their country, the court found.

“It’s really a landmark judgement that was issued today, and it’s going to shape how all future climate change judgements are decided,” says human rights law researcher Corina Heri from the University of Zurich, who was present to hear the court’s decision for herself. “I was really relieved and very happy,” she adds, describing the moment when she heard the results of the judges’ deliberations.

Climate activist Greta Thunberg, who also attended the ruling, told reporters afterwards that the world could expect more climate-change-related litigation.

The ECHR judges ruled by 16 to 1 that the Swiss women—known as the KlimaSeniorinnen, or Senior Women for Climate Protection—had been subject to a violation of their human rights under the terms of the European Convention on Human Rights. The women had argued, for instance, that they were particularly vulnerable to the effects of heat waves.

Essentially, the ECHR has said it deems the Swiss government’s efforts on climate change mitigation to be insufficient. In the immediate aftermath of the ruling, Swiss president Viola Amherd told reporters that she would have to read the court’s judgement before commenting in detail.

“What Switzerland failed to do in the eyes of the court is, firstly, they don’t have a sufficient regulatory framework [for tackling climate change],” says Catherine Higham at the London School of Economics, who coordinates the Climate Change Laws of the World project. “They also felt there was evidence that Switzerland had inadequate 2020 targets and it failed to comply with those.” By 2020, the country had aimed to cut emissions by 20 percent from 1990 levels—however, emissions only fell by 14 percent.

The case brought by a former French mayor who said his town was at risk from rising sea levels was not admitted by the court because the man no longer lives in France. And the case by six Portuguese young people, penned in response to devastating wildfires in 2017, was also not admitted—partly because the plaintiffs did not bring their case in their own country before approaching the ECHR.

via Wired Top Stories

April 9, 2024 at 01:54PM