Don't Miss A Thing

Follow Engadget

Marlins vs. Mets

You may like Verizon's more flexible FiOS TV packages, but ESPN sure doesn't. The Disney-owned sports network claims that these offerings break contracts which prevent carriers from putting ESPN and ESPN2 into a separate sports package -- typically, they have to be included with other Disney channels. The company isn't directly accusing Verizon of going rogue, but a Recode source claims that the telecom didn't ask for permission. While Verizon tells the Wall Street Journal that it crafted the packages to avoid trouble, the insider says that the provider believed its existing deals would let it test these smaller bundles without a conflict. Clearly, ESPN would beg to differ.

Read the Full Story 0 Comments

WESTMINSTER, COLORADO/U.S.A. - MARCH 20, 2013: Xfinity Comcast service van parked on the street in front of a customers home. Th

Comcast is bringing its twice-as-fast-as-Google-Fiber internet service to northern California. Potential customers will need installation of professional-grade equipment to access it and, you'll have to be near its fiber network -- Fresno, Monterey, Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay Area are among the places on the list -- to qualify. That's not all, either. Statewide, it's rolling out a 250 Mbps "Extreme 250" speed tier for cable internet customers. The telecom giant's also boosting speeds on its existing tiers as well, with lower priced-plans getting jumps from 25 to 45 Mbps depending on the package at no added cost. Perhaps the best news about all this is that you won't have to wait too much longer for it all to take effect. Comcast says it'll start the cable internet upgrades in May with continued rollouts taking place the rest of the year, while the 2Gbps fiber service starts rolling out in June. And just like that, there's another gigabit competitor in Google HQ's vicinity with Fiber nowhere in sight.

[Image credit: Shutterstock]

0 Comments

Maps on Windows 10 for phones

To put it mildly, Windows Phone's official mapping options are... basic. However, Microsoft is promising a better experience with the mobile Maps app in Windows 10. Get a recent preview version of Windows 10 and you'll see a map interface that is not only decidedly more modern-looking, but ties in more closely with Bing and rolls in some Here Maps features. You'll get the usual photos, reviews and directions (including Here's in-car navigation), but you'll also have an easier time finding things to do. You can specify that you're looking for something to eat near your hotel, for instance, and book the table reservation on the spot. This upgrade probably won't get you to switch phone platforms, but it's a big deal if you're a Windows phone fan who'd like to get Microsoft's best mapping services in a single app.

0 Comments

In case you wanted another behind-the-scenes look at how Google's internet-by-balloon service is doing, now is your chance. The Project Loon team posted a new video showing everything from how it manages its balloon fleet, the balloon creation process, their partnership with local LTE network providers abroad and a few other aspects of the initiative as well. For example, the team is keeping the airborne-internet vessels afloat for up to 100 days at a time now, can build balloons in hours instead of days, and can launch many dozens of balloon every day instead of just a single one. Nearly two years after the project's launch, it's gone from "will it work?" to being presented as something that will work. With thousands of balloons aloft, it can push signal into areas that can't easily get internet service in other ways. As is typical with these status updates, it's slickly produced and has a handful of whimsical animations and music to boot -- check it out after the break.

Read the Full Story 0 Comments

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler

Don't look now, but you may soon have more options for mobile internet access beyond the usual wireless carriers. The FCC has voted in favor of rules that not only make a wide 100MHz slice of 3.5GHz spectrum available for mobile data, but makes that data more accessible. Rather than simply parcel out the airwaves to the highest bidders (which are usually telecoms), the FCC has a "General Authorized Access" tier that lets any device use these frequencies, similar to WiFi's license-free scheme. The move would still let conventional carriers bolster their networks, but it also paves the way for cheap or free over-the-air broadband. Companies ranging from Google to Verizon are interested, so you should expect an eclectic mix of services once the devices are ready.

Read the Full Story 0 Comments

As curious creatures, we attempt to understand the world around us in many ways and nowadays that usually boils down to big data visualization. Whether we're creating models of large-scale systems or breaking down reality into wireframes and exposing the digital bones beneath, the data-rich internet and open-source tools are helping people map and explore the world in new ways. People are leveraging technology to make their voices heard in political realms and using digital expression to bypass physical conflict. Indeed, in this digital age, the lines between life and art are becoming blurred. Don't believe us? Then explore the gallery below for just a few examples.

0 Comments

Recommended Reading highlights the best long-form writing on technology and more in print and on the web. Some weeks, you'll also find short reviews of books that we think are worth your time. We hope you enjoy the read.

BRITAIN-MUSIC-VINYL

Record Store Day and the Ambivalent Branding of Independence
by Eric Harvey
Pitchfork

Record Store Day celebrates the culture of independent record shops each spring. Today marks the eighth annual holiday for vinyl collectors and music lovers, but the event is becoming packed with more big names each year. Whether it's Jack White's world record or releases from Metallica or Foo Fighters, celebrities are now just as much a part of the festivities, and distributors seem to be favoring bigger shops over smaller, local spots.

Read the Full Story 0 Comments

Several companies are working on eye-tracking tech as a way to navigate devices. A team of MIT researchers, however, have their eyes set on another body part: the thumbnail. Graduate students Cindy Hsin-Liu Kao and Artem Dementyev are developing a tiny trackpad that fits over your thumbnail. They're calling it NailO, and it was inspired by colorful nail stickers popular in Kao's native Taiwan and many other Asian countries. The duo envisions NailO to be used in situations where both your hands are occupied -- for instance, you can use it to scroll down a website page to check recipes while cooking. They also think it could be used to control other wearables, such as smart jewelry.

Read the Full Story 0 Comments

Earlier this week Valve introduced Steam Guard Mobile Authenticator as a means to keep its users safe from phishing attempts, and now it's taken another step in that direction. From here on out, until you spend a minimum $5 with your account certain features are blocked. What're you going to miss out on? Friend invites, opening group chat, the Steam discussion boards and voting on Greenlight games among other things. But, considering that most people use the service for, you know, buying and playing games, this really should only affect those who're actively using the service for nefarious purposes.

Read the Full Story 0 Comments

It's been more than a year since Comcast announced its plan to buy fellow cable giant Time Warner Cable in a $45 billion deal, but it still hasn't received the blessings of various regulators. Now, word is leaking out from unnamed sources to Bloomberg and the New York Times that suggests Justice Department lawyers will recommend blocking the merger. Many consumer groups, politicians and executives from other companies have raised concerns over the last year that the combination would put too many customers, and too much of the nation's internet under one banner, despite a promise by Comcast to divest itself of some 3 million customers. Facing so much negative attention, Comcast is trying to improve customer service and reassure skeptics that it will be a friendly giant telecommunications company, but hasn't had much success convincing anyone that its plan will make cable TV better.

Read the Full Story 0 Comments

Must Reads