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With a site redesign freshly under its belt, the FCC’s setting its recently honed eye for modernization on other, more pertinent areas of its jurisdiction — like Lifeline. The universal program, a means of guaranteeing affordable phone service to low-income families, hadn’t exactly kept pace with changes in the telecom industry, overlooking consumers’ preference for wireless and the growing need for pervasive broadband access. That’s all set to change with new measures adopted by the Commission today designed to curb carrier abuse of the antiquated system and automate the enrollment process by eliminating unnecessary duplicate accounts and subsidies. A pilot program to offer and potentially bundle discounted, high-speed internet to eligible participants is also underway, with potential ISP partners currently being solicited for inclusion. All told, the moves could wind up saving the federal agency over $2 billion in misdirected funds over a three-year span, leaving more money on the table to help your average Joe and Jane America step firmly into the 21st century.

FCC revamps Lifeline phone service, cuts the fat from carriers’ bottomlines originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 31 Jan 2012 22:06:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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That salacious onyx number up there? Per CrackBerry, it’s a rendering of RIM’s upcoming BlackBerry codenamed London. Found lurking in a leaked Waterloo slidedeck, the svelte render now sports a more curvaceous and onyx exterior — a departure from the angular metallic P’9981-esque dummy-unit first spied back in November. Those tweaks validate another rumor, which foretold the redo, as-well as the killing of its Milan and Colt siblings. Looks like RIM might be putting all of its eggs into this redesigned London-basket, which per this leaked roadmap could be yours come Q3. All or nothing, Thorsten Heins? We like your gusto — bring on the black unicorn.

BlackBerry London resurfaces in leak, sports matte black exterior, nonexistent OS originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 31 Jan 2012 20:35:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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It was never intended as such, but The Rolling Stones’ song Under My Thumb could easily pass as the anthem of overbearing parents across the globe. Now, T-Mobile is tossing its paranoid constituents a bone with an updated version of its FamilyWhere lineup. First onto the platform is FamilyWhere Check In, a free app that lets kids manually send their location to family members, which is delivered as a web link within a text message. The carrier’s more robust application, known as FamilyWhere Locate, is a $10/mo subscription service that automatically provides location tracking for up to ten devices. Here, doting parents (and untrusting spouses) can keep tabs on their family via a web browser or the FamilyWhere app, and may choose to have regular location updates delivered via SMS or email. Now all you have to do is slap DriveSmart onto your kids’ phones, and they’re certain to resent you forever.

Continue reading T-Mobile updates FamilyWhere location tracking service for worrisome parents

T-Mobile updates FamilyWhere location tracking service for worrisome parents originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 31 Jan 2012 20:02:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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