Best Android Wear watch in India

Best Android Wear watch in India

After an immature start, Google’s OS for wearables – Android Wear is now more refined, courtesy to the version 2.0 of the Android Wear OS. 

The latest update now looks more logical, has a much easier usability features like replying to messages, handwriting recognition, Google Assistant integration and dependency on the smartphone is no more a compulsion. 

If it would have been 2016, it would’ve been a task to list good Android Wear watches but with the new OS, there’s no better time to invest in an Android Wear watch. We have listed a definitive list of best Android Wear smartwatches available in India right now. 

Each wearable has been extensively tested by either Indian or global TechRadar experts throughout our review process. The ranking is based on our in-depth testing and feedback and we’ve then ranked each watch in the list below, kicking off with the best you can grab right now.

LG Watch Style

1. LG Watch Style

The slimmest and best Android Wear till date

Compatibility: Android 4.3+, iOS 9+ | Display: 1.2″ 360 x 360 P-OLED | Processor: Snapdragon Wear 2100 | Onboard storage: 4GB | Battery duration: Up to 24h | Charging method: Conductive USB charger | IP rating: IP67 | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth

Very stylish
Value for money
Battery life isn’t great
Lacks NFC and broader connectivity

LG Watch Style, just like its name, is one of the most stylish smartwatch existing right now. Its slim profile and round dial with a sandblasted stainless steel chassis compliments the overall look of the watch. It is one of thinnest Android Wear watches at just 10.8mm. 

As the form factor is on the sleeker side, the watch can fit on any wrist irrespective of the size of the hand. While a lot of smartwatches come with a chunky profile, this one just minimizes extra real estate.

The LG Watch Style comes with a rotatable crown, which comes very handy to navigate through the interface without prodding its tiny screen. 

It’s a good screen though, being a 1.2-inch P-OLED one and fully circular – there’s no flat tire here.

Internals are barely something more than basics but they usually come at a higher price in comparison. However, to keep the cost low and watch slim LG has kept it void of GPS or a heart rate monitor. 

Read the LG Watch Style review

2. Huawei Watch 2

A well-equipped feature-rich smartwatch

Compatibility: Android 4.3+, iOS 9+ | Display: 1.2″ 390 x 390 | Processor: Snapdragon Wear 2100 | Onboard storage: 4GB | Battery duration: Up to 48h | Charging method: Conductive USB-C charger | IP rating: IP68 | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 3G + 4G LTE

Built-in GPS and NFC
Optional 4G model
Screen too small
Performance can be sluggish

The Huawei Watch 2 is an attempt by the Chinese company to widen the use of Android Wear watches. Huawei has tried to include a variety of new features in its latest smartwatch and it’s not entirely clear if it has succeeded with the Watch 2.

We like the built-in GPS and NFC on the watch as well as the option to have a 4G model, but the Watch 2 can be sluggish and the screen is a little too small for some. 

This may suit you though with an attractive design and a plethora of features, so it’s placed in fourth position in our best Android Wear watches roundup.

Read the full Huawei Watch 2 review

Moto 360

3. Moto 360 2nd Gen

The former king

Compatibility: Android 4.3+, iOS 9+ | Display: 1.56″ 360 x 330 IPS LCD | Processor: Quad-core 1.2 GHz | Band sizes: 20mm-22mm | Onboard storage: 4GB | Battery duration: Up to 48h | Charging method: Wireless | IP rating: IP67 | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth

Beautiful design
Improved performance
Battery life remains subpar
Flat tire bezel is back

The original Moto 360, released in 2014 quickly earned the praises of users, for packaging up Google’s fledgling OS in some super attractive packaging. And the 2015 edition of the watch builds on this.

The watch comes in two different sizes: 42mm and 46mm, and is runs slightly more slickly than its predecessor thanks to the improved processor. The circular screen makes it feel slightly more natural than bolting a square display on to your wrist. The only thing that really feels lacking is GPS support – meaning that it is unable to natively track your journeys.

And one other criticism that has been leveled at the 360 is the battery life – that tends to only go for 48 hours at best.

Read the Moto 360 (2015) review

Huawei Watch

4. Huawei Watch

One of the better all-around watches

Compatibility: Android 4.3+, iOS 9+ | Display: 1.4″ 400 x 400 AMOLED | Processor: Quad-core 1.2 GHz | Onboard storage: 4GB | Battery duration: Up to 24h | Charging method: Conductive USB | IP rating: IP67 | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth

Premium build and materials
Android Wear 2.0 compatible
Rather expensive
So-so battery life

With the Huawei Watch, the Chinese behemoth was very definitely aiming at the top end of the market, although the price has dropped substantially since launch.

The main strength is the screen – which is a 1.4-inch AMOLED display, running at 400 x 400 – one of the highest resolution watches available, ensuring PPI on par with the Apple Watch. Helpfully too, the screen is always on – it will dim after a few seconds of inactivity, but the time will still remain visible.

Spec-wise, the watch is slightly less remarkable – with a 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 CPU, 512MB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage and a 300mAh battery it is roughly on a par with its top-end rivals.

Sadly, despite the premium price the watch doesn’t include GPS, but it does include a heart rate sensor. So if you want a polished Android Wear watch this is still a good choice.

Read the Huawei Watch review

Fossil Q Founder

5. Fossil Q Founder

A slick debut from Fossil

Compatibility: Android 4.3+, iOS 9+ | Display: 1.63″ 360 x 360 LTPS LCD | Processor: Intel Atom | Onboard storage: 4GB | Battery duration: Up to 24h | Charging method: Conductive USB | IP rating: IP67 | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth

Handsome design
Additional RAM
Quite large and heavy
Flat tire display

Fossil is a traditional watchmaker that has been trying to solve the problem of becoming a tech company, before tech companies can fully become watchmakers. So it has come up with the Fossil Q Founder Android Wear watch.

Vaguely reminiscent of other high-end round watches like the Moto 360 and Huawei Watch, the Q features a combination brushed and polished metal face – and a plastic back, so that can it can charge wirelessly.

While the screen is lower resolution than some competitors, it is barely noticeable. Perhaps the only annoyance on-screen is the so-called “flat tire” at the bottom, which means the screen isn’t a perfect circle. This is to leave room for the ambient light sensor.

Unlike most other rivals too, it has 1GB of RAM instead of 512MB, which should boost performance.

So it certainly has the looks – and the innards look promising too. But at the end of the day, this watch isn’t anything too special.

Read the Fossil Q Founder review


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10 best Android phones in Australia: which should you buy in 2017

10 best Android phones in Australia: which should you buy in 2017


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Leaked renders show what could be the Samsung Galaxy S9’s final design

Leaked renders show what could be the Samsung Galaxy S9’s final design

Earlier this week, we got a look at what appeared to be some schematics for the Samsung Galaxy S9, revealing what could be the upcoming handset’s design and dimensions. 

Now, the trusted leaker @OnLeaks has teamed up with 91mobiles to reveal a full 360-degree render of the Galaxy S9, giving us our best idea yet of what to expect from Samsung’s next flagship device.

Looking like a sleeker, more distinguished version of its predecessor, the Galaxy S9 featured in these CAD-based renders appears quite close to what was shown in the previously-leaked schematics, right down to the device’s repositioned fingerprint scanner, which now sits below the camera lens rather than next to it. 

Speaking of the S9’s camera, the render shows only one sensor on the back of the device, suggesting that Samsung might be keeping the dual camera setup it introduced with the Galaxy Note 8 exclusive to the Note series for the time being. According to render, the S9 will also feature a 5.65-inch display.

Meanwhile, you’ll be happy to learn that the 3.5mm headphone jack is still present at the bottom of the Galaxy S9, at least in this render. A dedicated Bixby button can also be found on the left edge of the handset, reaffirming Samsung’s commitment to its polarizing virtual assistant. You can get a look at the render for yourself in the video below.


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The best Samsung Galaxy Note 8 plans and prices in Australia compared

The best Samsung Galaxy Note 8 plans and prices in Australia compared

If the Samsung Galaxy S8 feels a little too small, and even the S8 Plus won’t cut it for you, perhaps this dazzling mammoth of a device can satiate your desire for a handheld monolith. The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is here.

The Note 8 is the successor to the ill-fated Galaxy Note 7, which launched in 2016 and was recalled (for the first time) within only a month due to its battery catching fire. Many of the Note 7’s desirable traits have carried over to this release — the phablet form factor with a larger screen (6.3-inch), some beefier internal specs, the inclusion of an S-Pen stylus — but here’s hoping Samsung have left the battery issues behind. You can check out our Note 8 review here.

If this sounds like your dream handset, then you’ve come to the right page. Here, we’ve collected all the best plans and deals on the Note 8 from all the major carriers. Whether you’re after big data or budget options, or the best overall value, we’ve sniffed them out.

See also: Galaxy S8 Plus deals | iPhone 8 Plus deals 

The best Samsung Galaxy Note 8 plans (December 2017) 


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The Biggest Whoppers From the FCC’s Net Neutrality Meeting

The Biggest Whoppers From the FCC’s Net Neutrality Meeting

It took less than two hours of debate for the Federal Communications Commission to repeal net neutrality protections, a decision that could send ripple effects across the internet for years. Over the objections of the commission’s two Democrats, the three Republican members, including Chair Ajit Pai, voted to overturn protections put in place in 2015—but not before fudging a few facts.

In their remarks, Chairman Pai, Commissioner Brendan Carr, and Commissioner Mike O’Rielly framed their votes as an attempt to restore the internet to a time not so long ago when it was free of heavy-handed government regulation. But that characterization of Thursday’s decision rests on a selective and misleading reading of recent history and how the internet has been regulated.

Here are some of the most spurious claims we heard from the commissioners:

1: “Prior to the FCC’s 2015 decision, consumers and innovators alike benefitted from a free and open internet. This is not because the government imposed utility style regulation. It didn’t. This is not because the FCC had a rule regulating internet conduct. It had none. Instead through Republican and Democratic administrations alike, including the first six years of the Obama administration, the FCC abided by a 20-year bipartisan consensus that the government should not control or heavily regulate internet access.”—Commissioner Carr

One of the most commonly cited reasons for overturning the 2015 regulations is that internet service providers abided by neutrality principles before the rules were adopted. As we’ve written before, that’s not entirely accurate. When Americans first began dialing up in the 1990s, it was via phone lines that were regulated under Title II of the Communications Act, meaning they could not discriminate based on the content. When the phone companies began switching to DSL broadband for internet access, that too was regulated under Title II. That’s why the FCC intervened in an oft-cited case in which Madison River Communications, a small DSL provider, blocked access to Vonage, an internet phone service. DSL was regulated under Title II at the time, allowing the FCC to step in and compel Madison River to restore access to Vonage. Rules regulating internet conduct weren’t new in 2015, either. The FCC first outlined protections for internet users in a 2005 policy statement, and then created a more robust set of rules in 2010. Rolling back Title II protections for broadband doesn’t restore the internet to some glorious past in which broadband providers operated unfettered. It ushers the internet into a brave new world in which the FCC is hopeless to stop future attempts to prioritize or suppress certain kinds of traffic.

2: “I sincerely doubt that legitimate businesses are willing to subject themselves to a PR nightmare for attempting to engage in blocking, throttling, or improper discrimination. It is simply not worth the reputational cost and potential loss of business.”—Commissioner O’Rielly

Perhaps O’Rielly has never paid a surge price to hail an Uber in New York City at rush hour or stood in a hellish airport security line, while TSA Pre fliers, who paid extra for the luxury, speed blissfully through the metal detectors. We’re here to tell him: Businesses try to maximize profits whenever they sniff demand. It’s true that sometimes it ends in embarrassment, as when Uber instituted surge pricing during airport protests over President Trump’s restrictions on immigration from predominantly Muslim countries earlier this year. But often, the “PR nightmare” is temporary, and consumers either adjust to the new pricing arrangement or defer the service altogether. That creates a two-tiered system with some commuters speeding down Broadway in an overly expensive Uber and others stuck taking the bus. O’Rielly doubts internet service providers would take advantage of those same market forces. Ah, innocence.

Consumers can only resist when they have choices. But the FCC itself says that only slightly more than one-third of Americans have access to more than one internet provider offering service that it considers broadband. In rural areas, only 39 percent of people have access to even one broadband provider.

3: “I, for one, see great value in the prioritization of telemedicine and autonomous car technology over cat videos…Consider that each autonomous vehicle is predicted to generate an additional four terabytes of data a day, much of which will be carried by wireless networks. It’s hard to imagine that some prioritization of traffic won’t be necessary, further undermining attempts to ban such practices.”—Commissioner O’Rielly”

You know who else believed telemedicine services should be prioritized over cat videos? The 2015 FCC that passed the net neutrality order. In that order, the commission created a category of services called “non-BIAS data services,” which include heart monitors and internet phone services, which are entitled to greater speeds. As Ars Technica recently pointed out, the 2015 rules specifically noted that “telemedicine services might alternatively be structured as ‘non-BIAS data services,’ which are beyond the reach of the open Internet rules.”

4: “After a two year detour, one that has seen investment, decline, broadband deployments put on hold and innovative new offerings shelved, it’s great to see the FCC returning to this proven regulatory approach.”—Commissioner Carr

This is the central justification for the FCC’s decision. But it doesn’t hold up to scrutiny, as we’ve detailed before. Many internet service providers increased their investments after the 2015 rules passed. Some, such as AT&T, cut investment, but those decreases were planned years in advance. In fact, executives at major broadband companies assured shareholders that the net neutrality rules didn’t affect their plans.

Many small internet service providers did object to the rules, saying that the rules made it harder for them to attract investment. But as Ars Technica reports, the advocacy group Free Press found that some of those companies actually increased their footprints in both rural and urban areas after the rules passed, so the effects of net neutrality on small providers are, at best, unclear.

5: “Moreover, we empower the Federal Trade Commission to ensure that consumers and competition are protected.”—Chairman Pai

As Democratic FTC Commissioner Terrell McSweeny has told WIRED, the FTC only has the authority to pursue individual businesses for unfair or anticompetitive actions. It can’t issue industry-wide rules, such as a ban on blocking lawful content. In many cases, she says, the agency might be unable to use antitrust law against broadband providers that give preferential treatment to their own content or to that of partners.

FCC CTO Eric Burger, who was appointed by Pai earlier this year, apparently came to the same conclusion. “If the ISP is transparent about blocking legal content, there is nothing the [Federal Trade Commission] can do about it unless the FTC determines it was done for anti-competitive reasons,” Burger wrote in an email to FCC staff, according to Politico. “Allowing such blocking is not in the public interest.” The FCC reportedly made a change to its order that satisfied Burger, but the agency has not responded to our request for clarification.

6: “How does a company decide to restrict someone’s accounts or block their tweets because it thinks their views are inflammatory or wrong? How does a company decide to demonetize videos from political advocates without any notice?…You don’t have any insight into any of these decisions, and neither do I, but these are very real actual threats to an open internet.”—Chairman Pai

This isn’t so much a fib as a clever bit of misdirection. Here, Pai is suggesting that companies such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are really to blame for the internet’s decline, because they determine what people see online and have no obligation to tell people why they’re seeing it. There’s truth in that. Platforms are far from perfect and and far less open than they like to pretend. And yet, there’s a key difference between the platforms that run on the internet and access to the internet itself. In a world of true net neutrality, people who think Twitter is skewing what they see online can seek alternatives, where they can expect the same speed and reliability. In a world without net neutrality—where we’ll be in late February, after Thursday’s rules take effect—internet service providers will decide whether it’ll cost you.


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The best 2-in-1 laptop 2017: the best convertible laptops ranked

The best 2-in-1 laptop 2017: the best convertible laptops ranked

For those uninitiated, a 2-in-1 laptop is a notebook that can serve as both a tablet and a laptop. Think Microsoft’s Surface Pro, but usually in 13- or 15-inch sizes. Oftentimes, they double as Ultrabooks, or thin, light and mobile clamshell computers that boast long-lasting battery life. In other instances, the best 2-in-1 laptops are composed of screens that detach from their keyboard bases.

An example of the former would be the HP Spectre x360 15, a notebook whose hinge allows it to flip 360 degrees inside out and one of the best 2-in-1 laptops overall. As for the latter, a 2-in-1 you can remove from the keyboard completely would be the Surface Book 2. These are few and far between and are considerably pricier than the spin-hinged convertibles, so chances are you’ll wind up with something along the lines of the Lenovo Yoga 920.

Whatever piques your interest about the best 2-in-1 laptops around, you can bet that we’ve fully tested and reviewed one that suits your needs. Be it the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro, which beats out its Apple-made rival in terms of specs and versatility, or the Google Pixelbook (a.k.a. the best Chromebook ever made), we’ve tested all of the following entries comprehensively before including them in our recommendations.

1. Samsung Notebook 9 Pro

Hands down, the best 2-in-1 laptop there is

CPU: Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620 – AMD Radeon 540 Graphics (2GB GDDR5) | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch – 15.6-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) LED display with Touch Screen Panel | Storage: 256GB SSD

Uses S-Pen to great effect
Excellent look and feel
Inconsistent battery life
Downward-firing speakers

The Samsung Notebook 9 Pro can go head-to-head with the 15-inch MacBook Pro, and for a substantially lower cost. Though it’s limited to only one configuration, albeit across two different sizes, the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro is as powerful as it is pragmatic. Defined in part by its inclusion of the S-Pen, this heavy-hitting hybrid is every bit as capable as Microsoft’s Surface Book and without the need to recharge its stylus.

Read the full review: Samsung Notebook 9 Pro

2. Google Pixelbook

Making good on its Android promises

CPU: Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 615 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 12.3 inch QHD (2,400 x 1,600) LCD touchscreen | Storage: 128GB – 512GB SSD

Gorgeous design
Vibrant, responsive display
Android app support
Pixelbook Pen sold separately
No biometric login

Google’s new Pixelbook does something that we couldn’t have seen coming. It takes the Chromebook platform and shoots it straight into the stratosphere, competing with premium products from Apple and Microsoft. It’s able to accomplish this herculean task by beefing up the internals and, more importantly, by including full Android app support. This means that this device tears down the barriers that would prevent macOS or Windows users from jumping on the Chromebook bandwagon. It might cost a lot more than other Chromebooks on the market, but the Pixelbook is truly the future of the platform.

Read the full review: Google Pixelbook

3. Asus Chromebook Flip

A 2-in-1 Chromebook Android users won’t refuse

CPU: Intel Pentium – Core m7 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 510 – 515 | RAM: 4GB – 8GB | Screen: 12.5-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) LED backlit anti-glare display | Storage: 32GB – 128GB eMMC

Elegant tablet mode
Gorgeous, vivid screen
No out-of-box Android support
Middling speakers

We get it, the Pixelbook is enticing, but it’s also out of your price range. In that case, the Asus Chromebook Flip C302 is a choice alternative. Having introduced a touchscreen and convertible design to Google’s cloud-based Chrome OS, the Asus Chromebook Flip is made better by its compatibility with Android apps. That’s right, just like the Pixelbook, you can use the Asus Chromebook Flip for Google Play apps, albeit after installing an out-of-the-box update.

Read the full review: Asus Chromebook Flip

4. Lenovo Yoga 920

Multi-faceted dexterity that stomps the competition

CPU: Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8 – 16GB | Screen: 13.9-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) – UHD (3,840 x 2,160) multitouch IPS with integrated camera | Storage: 256GB – 1TB PCIe SSD

Lovely design
Lacks graphical power
Keyboard still annoys in tablet form

Gamers ought to look elsewhere, but for everyone else, the Lenovo Yoga 920 is a passable alternative to the ludicrously expensive Surface Book 2. For those who value, well… value over a screen that can be detached completely from its keyboard, the Lenovo Yoga 920 has a lot of good to offer. The design, for instance, is less pronounced and has the subtlety of a more traditional Ultrabook. Meanwhile, it’s thin and powerful all the same.

Read the full review: Lenovo Yoga 920

5. Microsoft Surface Book 2

Microsoft’s first laptop, modernized

CPU: Intel Core Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620 – Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 (6GB GDDR5) | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.5-inch, 3,000 x 2,000 – 15-inch, 3,240 x 2,160 PixelSense display | Storage: 256GB – 1TB PCIe SSD

Crazy long battery life
Massively powerful
No up-firing base speakers
Small trackpad

The original Surface Book blew us away when it came out in 2015. As Microsoft’s first laptop, though, it was hard to tell whether it was a one-time novelty we were appreciating or a sneak preview of what was to come. As it turns out, it was kind of both. Every bit as impressive as the first, the Surface Book 2 retains many of the same qualities of its predecessor, the main difference being its more contemporary choice of 8th-gen Intel processors and the option of Nvidia 10-series graphics. Otherwise, there’s also a powerful 15-inch version in the mix now.

Read the full review: Microsoft Surface Book 2

Best 2 in 1 laptop

6. HP Spectre x360

Thin, light and handsome

CPU: Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620 | RAM: 4GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch, FHD (1,920 x 1,080) – UHD (3,840 x 2,160) IPS UWVA-backlit multi-touch | Storage: 256GB – 1TB SSD

Ultra thin and light styling
Snappy keyboard
Lacks SD card reader
Especially thick bottom bezel

With Kaby Lake now ruling the roost in terms of CPUs, HP decided it’s high time to flip the switch on its Spectre 2-in-1. With an overhauled keyboard and suave new logo, the HP Spectre x360 holds its own against anything Apple can show. At the same time, none of this stifles the battery life, which exceeds 8 hours of straight use. What’s more, the HP Spectre x360 can now be configured with a 4K screen and 1TB of SSD storage, too.

Read the full review: HP Spectre x360

Best 2 in 1 laptop

7. Samsung Notebook 7 Spin

Capable, versatile and affordable to boot

CPU: 2.5GHz Intel Core i7-6500U | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce 940MX; Intel HD Graphics 520 | RAM: 12GB – 16GB | Screen: 15.6-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) LED with touch panel | Storage: 1 TB HDD – 1TB HDD + 128GB SSD

Excellent value
HDR display
Hefty weight
Graphic narrowly miss the mark

Equipped with a Skylake i7 CPU and discrete Nvidia graphics, the Samsung Notebook 7 Spin is nearly as fashionable and powerful as a 2016 MacBook Pro, but for roughly half the cost. With all the trackpad real estate in the world paired with a snazzy, full-size keyboard, the Samsung Notebook 7 is a real treat even without accounting for the fact that it’s a 2-in-1. You’ll flip once you realize that your laptop does too – and with an HDR-capable screen at that.

Read the full review: Samsung Notebook 7 Spin 

  • This product is only available in the US and UK as of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Asus ZenBook Flip UX360.  

8. Lenovo Yoga 720 (15-inch)

MacBook Pro hydraulics in a Windows 10 hybrid

CPU: Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 630 – Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 15.6-inch, Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) – Ultra HD (3,840 x 2,160) IPS LED multitouch | Storage: 256GB – 1TB PCIe SSD

Unparalleled 2-in-1 performance
Competitive battery life
No HDMI or SD card slot
Down-firing speakers

If the 13-inch Lenovo Yoga 720 is a caterpillar, the 15-inch model is a majestic butterfly, freshly hatched from its snug cocoon. Outfitted with the choice between only the best HQ series Core i5 and i7 processors, this 2-in-1 is competitive spec-wise with the 15-inch MacBook Pro while remaining but a fraction of the cost of Apple’s flagship machine. What’s more, it even has the ports you know and love in addition to the still-blossoming USB Type-C interface.

Read the full review: Lenovo Yoga 720 (15-inch)

Best 2 in 1 laptop

9. HP Spectre x360 15

This 15-inch hybrid is more portable than you think

CPU: Intel Core i7 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce 940MX; Intel HD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 15.6-inch, Ultra HD (3,840 x 2,160) UWVA eDP BrightView | Storage: 256GB – 1TB PCIe SSD

Flawless keyboard
Spectacular design
Less than stellar battery life
Trackpad gets in the way of typing

More than just a basic hardware refresh, the HP Spectre x360 is as easy on the eyes as it is to use. Because the keyboard feels natural to the touch, there’s no debate as to whether this 2-in-1 is better as a laptop or as a tablet; it comes equally recommended as both. If it made a peep, what with its silent fans and subdued chiclet keys, the HP Spectre x360 15 may even garner a few jealous stares.

Read the full review: HP Spectre x360 15

Best 2 in 1 laptop

10. Lenovo Yoga 910

A svelte spin on a working 2-in-1 design

CPU: Intel Core i7-7500U | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch FHD 1,920 x 1,080 – UHD 3,840 | Storage: 256GB – 1TB SSD

Substantially larger screen
Rocking speakers
Heats up (and gets loud) fast
Disappointing battery life

If the 13-inch Yoga 720 is too small and the 15 incher is too big, the Lenovo Yoga 910 brings a happy medium to the table. Miraculously fitting a 14-inch frame into a 13-inch body, this notebook boasts a ritzy, all-aluminum finish with a watchband hinge that’s impossible to ignore. Add a 4K screen and stunning built-in audio to the mix and it’s no wonder we’re in love with Lenovo’s flagship 2-in-1.

Read the full review: Lenovo Yoga 910

Gabe Carey has also contributed to this article


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Samsung’s Bixby smart speaker release date could be early 2018

Samsung’s Bixby smart speaker release date could be early 2018

2018 could be the year that Samsung enthusiasts – particularly those who bought into Samsung’s SmartThings ecosystem – will finally get their comeuppance. 

In a report from Bloomberg, sources told the publication that 2018 will be the year Samsung’s smart speaker should be announced and be available to buy – pointing to a release date in the first half of the new year. 

While the sources couldn’t provide too many details on the shape, size or feature-set of the speaker, they did corroborate earlier reports that it would utilize Bixby, Samsung’s proprietary smart assistant that works like Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa. 

The most interesting detail revealed in the new report was that Samsung plans on actually undercutting Apple’s smart home speaker, the Apple HomePod, by around $150 (about £100/AU$200). The Apple HomePod, which was delayed earlier this month, is targeting a price point of around $349 while Samsung’s Bixby-equipped challenger could be looking at a price tag of just $200. 

That $200 price point would make it a bit more expensive than the Amazon Echo, which currently sits at $79, but that price could be justified by its feature set … when that information finally becomes available to the public.

Shedding some light on Project Ambience

If this all sounds somewhat familiar, remember that back at Samsung’s Developer Conference the company showed off a Google Home Mini competitor that went by the name Project Ambience

The speaker referenced by the Bloomberg story sounds different than the one we saw on stage in San Francisco, but the inclusion of Bixby as the speaker’s smart assistant is consistent in both cases. 

If Samsung does target early 2018 as the release date for the speaker just like Bloomberg’s sources suggest, our money’s good that the speaker will make its debut at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2018) that takes place in Las Vegas, Nevada in early January. 


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New LG gram laptops put the webcam back where it belongs

New LG gram laptops put the webcam back where it belongs

The newest LG Gram will fix a major offense of many modern Ultrabooks, webcams positioned below the screen. The firm known better for its TVs and phones revealed its new line of three LG gram laptops well ahead of CES 2018.

The three new LG gram laptops – 13.3-, 14- and 15.6-inch models – will continue to live up to their name with impressively thin and light chassis, but this time around will make key improvements to performance and longevity in addition to the much-needed design change.

These aforementioned boosts will be made possible by stronger, more efficient 8th-generation Intel Core i5 and i7 processors as well as larger, 72Wh batteries throughout. To wit, LG promises that the 13.3-, 14- and 15.6-inch models will last up to 22.5, 21.5 and 19 hours, respectively, based on its own MobileMark 2014 benchmark data.

The 13.3- and 14-inch models weigh just 2.12 pounds (961g) and 2.19 pounds (993g), respectively, while the largest model hits the scale at only 2.41 pounds (1,095g). Despite this, LG has managed to include a second solid-state drive slot in each model for expanded storage.

Furthermore, the LG gram frames have passed seven MIL-STD 810G durability tests for impact, temperature and pressure resistance. LG claims this was made possible by a new nano-carbon magnesium shell.

If folks want to upgrade these laptops even further, touchscreens, fingerprint readers and Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports are available optional upgrades. The touchscreen upgrades won’t impact the laptop’s thinness, either, thanks to new IPS In-cell Touch technology by LG that also offers haptic control without distorting colors while touching the panel.

Like most CES 2018 announcements, LG has yet to discuss pricing and availability details for its new gram laptops, but has certainly shared enough to lure us into its booth on the show floor for a closer look. So, stay tuned for a hopeful hands-on review in the coming weeks.

  • How long before these gorgeous devices make the best laptops list?


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New Kepler Exoplanet Discovery Fueled by AI

New Kepler Exoplanet Discovery Fueled by AI

Saturn’s rings sure are pretty, and Matt Damon’s been to Mars, but our eight-planet solar system may not be that special after all. Today, scientists using data from NASA’s Kepler spacecraft announced they’d discovered an eighth planet orbiting a star 2,500 light years away. They’ve named the planet Kepler-90i after the star it orbits, Kepler-90, which is slightly hotter and more massive than our sun. “This discovery of an eighth planet ties Kepler-90 with our own solar system for having the most known planets,” said NASA astrophysicist Paul Hertz during a press conference about the discovery.

Researchers found the exoplanet by re-sifting through four years of data from a Kepler instrument called a photometer, a machine that measures the brightness of stars. Between 2009 and 2013, Kepler took pictures of 200,000 stars every half hour, about 10 pixels per picture. If a star dims and brightens in a repeating cycle, that could mean a planet is orbiting it. And depending on how gradually it dims and how quickly it brightens, you can infer information about the length of its orbit and the size of the planet.

But the signs of Kepler-90i didn’t just jump out at them. The secret to their success: a neural network trained to identify exoplanets, developed by University of Texas at Austin astronomer Andrew Vanderburg and Google software engineer Christopher Shallue.

Shallue came up with the idea. A mathematician by training, he had never worked in astronomy—but he’d read Human Universe by Brian Cox. “One thing the book mentioned was that in astronomy, our ability to collect data is growing much more rapidly than our ability to manually examine the data,” says Shallue.

In fact, just a few years ago, exoplanet-hunting astronomers would still sort through Kepler’s data by hand. Kepler did have a partially automated process that could filter out egregiously exoplanet-less pictures, but eventually, astronomers would have to pull up the remaining data on their computer and decide whether they could see anything interesting. The automated process couldn’t even distinguish an exoplanet from two orbiting stars—an “eclipsing binary.”

“It probably took half an hour to thoroughly vet one of those signals,” says astronomer Susan Mullally of the Space Telescope Science Institute, who helped develop sorting algorithms for Kepler that predate Shallue and Vanderburg’s neural network. When Mullally worked on Kepler data, the automated program gave her 32,000 potential exoplanets—of which 4,000 were eventually confirmed using Mullally’s algorithms.. “No one astronomer wants to look through 32,000 signals,” she says.

Shallue thought machine learning could help. He cold e-mailed Vanderburg with his idea. “I found his name by just doing Google search of people who had been discovering exoplanets,” says Shallue.

They developed a neural network, not unlike the kind that can auto-tag your dog in a photograph, and trained it with 15,000 astronomer-confirmed exoplanet signals. It actually took Shallue two weeks to download all the training data from NASA’s website. “The dataset was too large to fit onto my desktop computer at work, so I had to periodically download parts of the dataset, upload it to the cloud, and delete the part that I downloaded,” he says. Then, they gave the neural network a binary task: to tell them which files in Kepler’s terabytes of data contained exoplanets.

Then they decided to take a closer look at 670 stars with known exoplanets other researchers had already studied, searching for weaker signals others might have missed. And that’s how they found Kepler-90i.

The new exoplanet is the smallest in its solar system, and—just like Earth—the third-closest to its star. While the surface of the exoplanet is rocky, it’s also a scorching 800 degrees Fahrenheit on the surface, comparable to Mercury. Kepler scientists found the other seven exoplanets in the Kepler-90 system back in 2013. The eight planets orbit more tightly around their star than in our solar system, but they could have started off further away and migrated closer, Vandenburg said during the press conference.

Vanderburg and Shallue will continue polishing the neural network to look for more exoplanets. Vanderburg thinks that as they sift through more of Kepler’s data, they’ll find more solar systems of a comparable size. “When I think about this, I start to wonder, is an eight-planet system like our own solar system really that extraordinary?” he said during the press conference. With 200,000 stars’ worth of data to study, we can look forward to more significant confirmation of our insignificance.


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The FCC’s Two Dissenting Voices Defend Net Neutrality To the End

The FCC’s Two Dissenting Voices Defend Net Neutrality To the End

Today the Federal Communications Commission voted to overturn its rules banning internet service providers like Comcast and Verizon from blocking or discriminating against lawful content. In doing so, it effectively killed net neutrality. But not every FCC commissioner was on board.

The agencies’s two Democratic commissioners, Mignon Clyburn and Jessica Rosenworcel, lashed out against the order during the FCC’s open meeting today.

“I dissent because I am among the millions outraged,” said Clyburn, who served as the agency’s sole Democratic commissioner for much of the year. “Outraged because the FCC pulls its own teeth abdicating responsibility to protect the nation’s broadband consumers.”

Clyburn, first appointed to the commission in 2009, has been a vocal opponent of Republican FCC chair Ajit Pai’s agenda, including his moves to dismiss an investigation into whether AT&T and Verizon had engaged in anticompetitive behavior, loosen media ownership rules that limit the number of broadcasting stations a single company can own, and rollback a federal program that subsidizes phone and internet service for low income people.

Rosenworcel, who was first appointed to the FCC in 2012, but temporarily lost her seat early this year because Congress refused to vote on her renomination in 2016, was no less scathing. “I dissent from the corrupt process that has brought us to this point and I dissent from the contempt this agency has shown our citizens in pursuing this path today,” she said during the hearing.

Since returning to the commission in August, Rosenworcel has been an fierce critic of the new administration’s media and communications decisions. For example, she was quick to respond to President Donald Trump’s tweet asking if NBC’s broadcasting licenses could be pulled for running stories the president doesn’t like, even as Pai remained silent on the issue for days, and wrote an op-ed for WIRED calling for a delay in the FCC’s net neutrality vote until the agency, and New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman, investigated fraudulent comments submitted by bots.

You can read Clyburn and Rosenworcel’s full statements below. Together, they provide as stirring a defense of net neutrality as you’re likely to find.

Mignon Clyburn

I dissent. I dissent from this fiercely-spun, legally-lightweight, consumer-harming, corporateenabling Destroying Internet Freedom Order.

I dissent, because I am among the millions who is outraged. Outraged, because the FCC pulls its own teeth, abdicating responsibility to protect the nation’s broadband consumers. Why are we witnessing such an unprecedented groundswell of public support, for keeping the 2015 net neutrality protections in place? Because the public can plainly see, that a soon-to-be-toothless FCC, is handing the keys to the Internet – the Internet, one of the most remarkable, empowering, enabling inventions of our lifetime – over to a handful of multi-billion dollar corporations. And if past is prologue, those very same broadband internet service providers, that the majority says you should trust to do right by you, will put profits and shareholder returns above, what is best for you.

Each of us raised our right hands when we were sworn in as FCC Commissioners, took an oath and promised to uphold our duties and responsibilities ‘to make available, so far as possible, to all the people of the United States, without discrimination… a rapid, efficient, Nation-wide, and world-wide wire and radio communication service with adequate facilities at reasonable charges.’ Today the FCC majority officially abandons that pledge and millions have taken note.

I do not believe that there are any FCC or Congressional offices immune to the deluge of consumer outcry. We are even hearing about state and local offices fielding calls and what is always newsworthy is that at last count, five Republican Members of Congress went on the record in calling for a halt of today’s vote. Why such a bipartisan outcry? Because the large majority of Americans are in favor of keeping strong net neutrality rules in place. The sad thing about this commentary, it pains me to say, is what I can only describe as the new norm at the FCC: A majority that is ignoring the will of the people. A majority that will stand idly by while the people they serve lose.

We have heard story after story of what net neutrality means to consumers and small businesses from places as diverse as Los Angeles’ Skid Row and Marietta, Ohio. I hold in my hand letters that plead with the FCC to keep our net neutrality rules in place but what is striking and in keeping with the new norm, despite the millions of comments, letters, and calls received, this Order cites, not even one. That speaks volumes about the direction the FCC is heading. That speaks volumes about just who is being heard.

Sole proprietors, whose entire business model, depends on an open internet, are worried that the absence of clear and enforceable net neutrality protections will result in higher costs and fewer benefits because you see: they are not able to pay tolls for premium access. Even large online businesses have weighed in, expressing concern about being subject to added charges as they simply try to reach their own customers. Engineers have submitted comments including many of the internet’s pioneers, sharing with the FCC majority, the fundamentals of how the internet works because from where they sit, there is no way that an item like this would ever see the light of day, if the majority understood the platform some of them helped to create.

I have heard from innovators, worried that we are standing up a mother-may-I regime, where the broadband provider becomes arbiter of acceptable online business models. And yes, I have heard from consumers, who are worried given that their broadband provider has already shown that they will charge inscrutable below-the-line fees, raise prices unexpectedly, and put consumers on hold for hours at a time. Who will have their best interests at heart in a world without clear and enforceable rules overseen by an agency with clear enforcement authority? A toothless FCC?

There has been a darker side to all of this over the past few weeks. Threats and intimidation. Personal attacks. Nazis cheering. Russian influence. Fake comments. Those are unacceptable. Some are illegal. They all are to be rejected. But what is also not acceptable, is the FCC’s refusal to cooperate with state attorney general investigations, or allow evidence in the record that would undercut a preordained outcome.

Many have asked, what happens next? How will all of this – Net Neutrality, my internet experience, look after today? My answer is simple. When the current protections are abandoned, and the rules that have been officially in place since 2015 are repealed, we will have a Cheshire cat version of net neutrality. We will be in a world where regulatory substance fades to black, and all that is left is a broadband provider’s toothy grin and those oh so comforting words: we have every incentive to do the right thing. What they will soon have, is every incentive to do their own thing.

Now the results of throwing out your Net Neutrality protections, may not be felt right away. Most of us will get up tomorrow morning and over the next week, wade through hundreds of headlines, turn away from those endless prognosticators, and submerge ourselves in a sea of holiday bliss. But what we have wrought will one day be apparent and by then, when you really see what has changed, I fear, it may not only be too late to do anything about it, because there will be no agency empowered to address your concerns. This item insidiously ensures the FCC will never be able to fully grasp the harm it may have unleashed on the internet ecosystem. And that inability might lead decisionmakers to conclude, that the next internet startup that failed to flourish and attempted to seek relief, simply had a bad business plan, when in fact what was missing was a level playing field online.

Particularly damning is what today’s repeal will mean for marginalized groups, like communities of color, that rely on platforms like the internet to communicate, because traditional outlets do not consider their issues or concerns, worthy of any coverage. It was through social media that the world first heard about Ferguson, Missouri, because legacy news outlets did not consider it important until the hashtag started trending. It has been through online video services, that targeted entertainment has thrived, where stories are finally being told because those same programming were repeatedly rejected by mainstream distribution and media outlets. And it has been through secure messaging platforms, where activists have communicated and organized for justice without gatekeepers with differing opinions blocking them. Where will the next significant attack on internet freedom come from? Maybe from a broadband provider allowing its network to congest, making a high-traffic video provider ask what more can it pay to make the pain stop. That will never happen you say? Well it already has. The difference now, is the open question of what is stopping them? The difference after today’s vote, is that no one will be able to stop them.

Maybe several providers will quietly roll out paid prioritization packages that enable deeppocketed players to cut the queue. Maybe a vertically-integrated broadband provider decides that it will favor its own apps and services. Or some high-value internet-of-things traffic will be subject to an additional fee. Maybe some of these actions will be cloaked under nondisclosure agreements and wrapped up in mandatory arbitration clauses so that it will be a breach of contract to disclose these publicly or take the provider to court over any wrongdoing. Some may say ‘Of Course this will never happen?” After today’s vote, what will be in place to stop them?

What we do know, is that broadband providers did not even wait for the ink to dry on this Order before making their moves. One broadband provider, who had in the past promised to not engage in paid prioritization, has now quietly dropped that promise from its list of commitments on its website. What’s next? Blocking or throttling? That will never happen? After today’s vote, exactly who is the cop of the beat that can or will stop them?

And just who will be impacted the most? Consumers and small businesses, that’s who. The internet continues to evolve and has become ever more critical for every participant in our 21st century ecosystem: government services have migrated online, as have educational opportunities and job notices and applications, but at the same time, broadband providers have continued to consolidate, becoming bigger. They own their own content, they own media companies, and they own or have an interest in other types of services.

Why are millions so alarmed? Because they understand the risks this all poses and even those who may not know what Title II authority is, know that they will be at risk without it. I have been asking myself repeatedly, why the majority is so singularly-focused on overturning these wildly-popular rules? Is it simply because they felt that the 2015 Net Neutrality order, which threw out over 700 rules and dispensed with more than 25 provisions, was too heavy-handed? Is this a ploy to create a “need” for legislation where there was none before? Or is it to establish uncertainty where little previously existed?

Is it a tactic to undermine the net neutrality protections adopted in 2015 that are currently parked at the Supreme Court? You know, the same rules that were resoundingly upheld by the D.C. Circuit last year? No doubt, we will see a rush to the courthouse, asking the Supreme Court to vacate and remand the substantive rules we fought so hard for over the past few years, because today, the FCC uses legallysuspect means to clear the decks of substantive protections for consumers and competition.

It is abundantly clear why we see so much bad process with this item: because the fix was already in. There is no real mention of the thousands of net neutrality complaints filed by consumers. Why? The majority has refused to put them in the record while maintaining the rhetoric that there have been no real violations. Record evidence of the massive incentives and abilities of broadband providers to act in anti-competitive ways are missing from the docket? Why? Because they have refused to use the data and knowledge the agency does have, and has relied upon in the past to inform our merger reviews. As the majority has shown again and again, the views of individuals do not matter, including the views of those who care deeply about the substance, but are not Washington insiders.

There is a basic fallacy underlying the majority’s actions and rhetoric today: the assumption of what is best for broadband providers, is best for America. Breathless claims about unshackling broadband services from unnecessary regulation, are only about ensuring that broadband providers, have the keys to the internet. Assertions that this is merely a return to some imaginary status quo ante, cannot hide the fact, that this is the very first time, that the FCC, has disavowed substantive protections for consumers online.

And when the current, 2015 Net Neutrality rules are laid to waste, we may be left with no single authority with the power to protect consumers. Now this Order loudly crows about handing over authority of broadband to the FTC, but what is absent from the Order and glossed over in that haphazardly issued afterthought of a Memorandum of Understanding or MOU, is that the FTC is an agency, with no technical expertise in telecommunications; the FTC is an agency that may not even have authority over broadband providers in the first instance; the FTC is an agency that if you can even reach that high bar of proving unfair or deceptive practices and that there is substantial consumer injury, it will take years upon years to remedy. But don’t just take my word for it: even one of the FTC’s own Commissioners has articulated these very concerns. And if you’re wondering why the FCC is preempting state consumer protection laws in this item without notice, let me help you with a simple jingle that you can easily commit to memory: If it benefits industry, preemption is good; if it benefits consumers, preemption is bad.

Reclassification of broadband will do more than wreak havoc on net neutrality. It will also undermine our universal service construct for years to come, something which the Order implicitly acknowledges. It will undermine the Lifeline program. It will weaken our ability to support robust broadband infrastructure deployment. And what we will soon find out, is what a broadband market unencumbered by robust consumer protections will look like. I suspect the result will not be pretty. I know there are many questions on the mind of Americans right now, including what the repeal of net neutrality will mean for them. To help answer outstanding questions I will host a town hall through Twitter next Tuesday at 2pm EST. What saddens me is that the agency that is supposed to protect you is abandoning you, but what I am pleased to be able to say is the fight to save net neutrality does not end today. This agency does not have, the final word. Thank goodness.

As I close my eulogy of our 2015 net neutrality rules, carefully crafted rules that struck an appropriate balance in providing consumer protections and enabling opportunities and investment, I take ironic comfort in the words of then Commissioner Pai from 2015, because I believe this will ring true about this Destroying Internet Freedom Order:

I am optimistic, that we will look back on today’s vote as an aberration, a temporary deviation from the bipartisan path, that has served us so well. I don’t know whether this plan will be vacated by a court, reversed by Congress, or overturned by a future Commission. But I do believe that its days are numbered.

Amen to that, Mr. Chairman. Amen to that.

Jessica Rosenworcel

Net neutrality is internet freedom. I support that freedom. I dissent from this rash decision to roll back net neutrality rules. I dissent from the corrupt process that has brought us to this point. And I dissent from the contempt this agency has shown our citizens in pursuing this path today. This decision puts the Federal Communications Commission on the wrong side of history, the wrong side of the law, and the wrong side of the American public.

The future of the internet is the future of everything. That is because there is nothing in our commercial, social, and civic lives that has been untouched by its influence or unmoved by its power. And here in the United States our internet economy is the envy of the world. This is because it rests on a foundation of openness.

That openness is revolutionary. It means you can go where you want and do what you want online without your broadband provider getting in the way or making choices for you. It means every one of us can create without permission, build community beyond geography, organize without physical constraints, consume content we want when and where we want it, and share ideas not just around the corner but across the globe. I believe it is essential that we sustain this foundation of openness—and that is why I support net neutrality.

Net neutrality has deep origins in communications law and history. In the era when communications meant telephony, every call went through, and your phone company could not cut off your call or edit the content of your conversations. This guiding principle of nondiscrimination meant you were in control of the connections you made.

This principle continued as time advanced, technology changed, and Internet access became the dial tone of the digital age. So it was twelve years ago—when President George W. Bush was in the White House—that this agency put its first net neutrality policies on paper. In the decade that followed, the FCC revamped and revised its net neutrality rules, seeking to keep them current and find them a stable home in the law. In its 2015 order the FCC succeeded— because in the following year, in a 184-page opinion the agency’s net neutrality rules were fully and completely upheld.

So our existing net neutrality policies have passed court muster. They are wildly popular. But today we wipe away this work, destroy this progress, and burn down time-tested values that have made our Internet economy the envy of the world.

As a result of today’s misguided action, our broadband providers will get extraordinary new power from this agency. They will have the power to block websites, throttle services, and censor online content. They will have the right to discriminate and favor the internet traffic of those companies with whom they have pay-for-play arrangements and the right to consign all others to a slow and bumpy road.

Now our broadband providers will tell you they will never do these things. They say just trust us. But know this: they have the technical ability and business incentive to discriminate and manipulate your internet traffic. And now this agency gives them the legal green light to go ahead and do so.

This is not good. Not good for consumers. Not good for businesses. Not good for anyone who connects and creates online. Not good for the democratizing force that depends on openness to thrive. Moreover, it is not good for American leadership on the global stage of our new and complex digital world.

I’m not alone with these concerns. Everyone from the creator of the world wide web to religious leaders to governors and mayors of big cities and small towns to musicians to actors and actresses to entrepreneurs and academics and activists has registered their upset and anger. They are reeling at how this agency could make this kind of mistake. They are wondering how it could be so tone deaf. And they are justifiably concerned that just a few unelected officials could make such vast and far-reaching decisions about the future of the internet.

So after erasing our net neutrality rules what is left? What recourse do consumers have? We’re told don’t worry, competition will save us. But the FCC’s own data show that our broadband markets are not competitive. Half of the households in this country have no choice of broadband provider. So if your broadband provider is blocking websites, you have no recourse. You have nowhere to go.

We’re told don’t worry, the Federal Trade Commission will save us. But the FTC is not the expert agency for communications. It has authority over unfair and deceptive practices. But to evade FTC review, all any broadband provider will need to do is add new provisions to the fine print in its terms of service. In addition, it is both costly and impractical to report difficulties to the FTC. By the time the FTC gets around to addressing them in court proceedings or enforcement actions, it’s fair to assume that the start-ups and small entities wrestling with discriminatory treatment could be long gone. Moreover, what little authority the FTC has is now under question in the courts.

We’re told don’t worry, the state authorities will save us. But at the same time, the FCC all but clears the field with sweeping preemption of anything that resembles state or local consumer protection.

If the substance that got us to this point is bad, the process is even worse. Let’s talk about the public record.

The public has been making noise, speaking up, and raising a ruckus. We see it in the protests across the country and outside here today. We see it in how they lit up our phone lines, clogged our e-mail in-boxes, and jammed our online comment system. It might be messy, but whatever our disagreements are on this dais I hope we can agree this is democracy in action— and something we can all support.

To date, nearly 24 million comments have been filed in this proceeding. There is no record in the history of this agency that has attracted so many filings. But there’s something foul in this record:

Two million comments feature stolen identities.

Half a million comments are from Russian addresses.

Fifty thousand consumer complaints are inexplicably missing from the record. I think that’s a problem. I think our record has been corrupted and our process for public participation lacks integrity. Nineteen state attorneys general agree. They have written us demanding we halt our vote until we investigate and get to the bottom of this mess. Identity theft is a crime under state and federal law—and while it is taking place this agency has turned a blind eye to its victims and callously told our fellow law enforcement officials it will not help. This is not acceptable. It is a stain on the FCC and this proceeding. This issue is not going away. It needs to be addressed.

Finally, I worry that this decision and the process that brought us to this point is ugly. It’s ugly in the cavalier disregard this agency has demonstrated to the public, the contempt it has shown for citizens who speak up, and the disdain it has for popular opinion. Unlike its predecessors this FCC has not held a single public hearing on net neutrality. There is no shortage of people who believe Washington is not listening to their concerns, their fears, and their desires. Add this agency to the list.

I, too, am frustrated. But here’s a twist: I hear you. I listen to what callers are saying. I read the countless, individually written e-mails in my in-box, the posts online, and the very short and sometimes very long letters. And I’m not going to give up—and neither should you. If the arc of history is long, we are going to bend this toward a more just outcome. In the courts. In Congress. Wherever we need to go to ensure that net neutrality stays the law of the land. Because if you are conservative or progressive, you benefit from internet openness. If you come from a small town or big city, you benefit from internet openness. If you are a company or nonprofit, you benefit from internet openness. If you are a start-up or an established business, you benefit from internet openness. If you are a consumer or a creator, you benefit from internet openness. If you believe in democracy, you benefit from internet openness.

So let’s persist. Let’s fight. Let’s not stop here or now. It’s too important. The future depends on it.


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