Amid court battle, Yosemite park plans to change some iconic names

Bid farewell to some of Yosemite National Park’s most iconic names.In an extraordinary move, the National Park Service announced Thursday that it was changing the names of The Ahwahnee hotel, Curry Village and other beloved park sites. The move, officials say, was forced on them by an intellectual property dispute with the park’s departing concessions company.

Source: Amid court battle, Yosemite park plans to change some iconic names | The Sacramento Bee

Brazil court orders WhatsApp messaging to be suspended

The move against WhatsApp comes as Brazilian phone companies have urged the government to restrict the use of free voice-over-internet services offered through WhatsApp.

The phone companies argue that the rise of WhatsApp has damaged their businesses.

Source: Brazil court orders WhatsApp messaging to be suspended – BBC News

Philips Hue Excludes 3rd Party Bulbs With Firmware Update

Philips just released firmware for the Philips Hue bridge that may permanently sever access to any “non-approved” ZigBee bulbs. We previously covered third party support in January 2015, when Philips indicated it was not blocked – and have since benefited.

Source: Philips Hue Excludes 3rd Party Bulbs With Firmware Update

Sometimes it’s better never to upgrade firmware.  Don’t fix what isn’t broke.  As a general rule firmware should never need upgrading.

Confidential USTR Emails Show Close Industry Involvement In TPP Negotiations

In another email in 2011, McCoy told GE lobbyists, “In case your CEO will be at the patent reform bill signing, I wanted to let you know that NZ Trade Minister Tim Groser is planning to attend. It would be a lovely opportunity for a CEO to turn to him and, for example, encourage NZ to support a strong IP chapter in the TPP…”

At another point, Jim DeLisi of Fanwood Chemical said he had just seen the text on rules of origin, and remarked, “Someone owes USTR a royalty payment. These are our rules. … This is a very pleasant surprise.”

Source: Confidential USTR Emails Show Close Industry Involvement In TPP Negotiations

The FTC’s internal memo on Google teaches companies a terrible lesson

FTC staffers spent enormous time pouring through Google’s business practices and documents as well as interviewing executives and rivals. They came to the conclusion that Google was acting in anti-competitive ways, such as restricting advertisers’ from working with rival search engines. But commissioners balked at the prospect of a lengthy and protracted legal fight, former FTC officials said.

via The FTC’s internal memo on Google teaches companies a terrible lesson – The Washington Post.

Windows 10 to make the Secure Boot alt-OS lock out a reality

At its WinHEC hardware conference in Shenzhen, China, Microsoft talked about the hardware requirements for Windows 10. The precise final specs are not available yet, so all this is somewhat subject to change, but right now, Microsoft says that the switch to allow Secure Boot to be turned off is now optional. Hardware can be Designed for Windows 10 and can offer no way to opt out of the Secure Boot lock down.

via Windows 10 to make the Secure Boot alt-OS lock out a reality | Ars Technica.

New High-Tech Farm Equipment Is a Nightmare for Farmers

Manufacturers have every legal right to put a password or an encryption over the tECU. Owners, on the other hand, don’t have the legal right to break the digital lock over their own equipment. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act—a 1998 copyright law designed to prevent digital piracy—classifies breaking a technological protection measure over a device’s programming as a breach of copyright. So, it’s entirely possible that changing the engine timing on his own tractor makes a farmer a criminal.

via New High-Tech Farm Equipment Is a Nightmare for Farmers | WIRED.

Large Telecoms Strangle Municipal Broadband, But FCC Intervention May Provide Relief

Greenlight provides Internet-only service ranging from 40 Mbps for $39.95 per month to 1 Gbps for $104.95 per month. There are also package bundles available that add TV and phone service.

And wouldn’t you know it; that finally got the big telecoms to respond. However, the response wasn’t to build out infrastructure in Wilson or compete on price; it was to kill municipal broadband efforts altogether in NC, citing unfair competition. In early 2011, House Bill 129 was introduced, which seriously hampered the ability of cities to create brand new broadband Internet networks, and put in place new restrictions to limit the pricing competitiveness of existing services versus private alternatives.

via Large Telecoms Strangle Municipal Broadband, But FCC Intervention May Provide Relief.

Inside Obama’s ambitious plan to make your Internet suck less

“The impact of these laws is that a community that moves forward opens itself up to years of litigation as courts will have to figure out what such poorly conceived laws mean,” Mitchell added. “So the danger isn’t so much the cost of additional dollars but the exposure to years of court room wrangling.”

Here is a map showing all the states with anti-municipal broadband laws Obama wants the FCC to go after, along with brief descriptions of the restrictions in place in each state.

via Inside Obama’s ambitious plan to make your Internet suck less.

Hotel group asks FCC for permission to block some outside Wi-Fi

However, the FCC did act in October, slapping Marriott with the fine after customers complained about the practice. In their complaint, customers alleged that employees of Marriott’s Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center in Nashville used signal-blocking features of a Wi-Fi monitoring system to prevent customers from connecting to the Internet through their personal Wi-Fi hotspots. The hotel charged customers and exhibitors $250 to $1,000 per device to access Marriott’s Wi-Fi network.

via Hotel group asks FCC for permission to block some outside Wi-Fi | Network World.