Lawmakers want to crack down on hidden fees in your phone internet

By on September 10, 2019

first_imgLawmakers want to crack down on surprise phone, internet bills.  Getty Images Have you been surprised by the charges on your monthly phone or internet bills? Lawmakers want to get rid of those hidden fees.Sen. Edward Markey, a Democrat from Massachusetts, and Rep. Anna Eshoo, a Democrat from California, last week introduced the Truth-in-Billing, Remedies and User Empowerment over Fees (‘TRUE Fees’) Act. If passed, the bill will require phone, cable and internet companies to include all charges in the prices they advertise for services as well as provide consumers solutions when they’re wrongfully charged.”For too long customers have been surprised each month to find that their cable, phone and internet bills are much higher than the advertised price. The TRUE Fees Act would put an end to these advertising practices that only confuse consumers about the true costs,” Markey said in a release. “If phone, cable and internet companies won’t be fully transparent with consumers, then Congress should act.”Hidden phone and internet fees aren’t rare experiences for consumers. AT&T in June quietly doubled its administrative fee from 76 cents to $1.99, which could help the company rake in $800 million more in revenue. These “below the line” charges aren’t considered to be part of the regular service fee customers pay each month. Instead, they’re generally listed with local and state taxes at the bottom of a bill, though the fees aren’t required by the government.This bill would also allow customers to end their contract early without a penalty if the provider increases prices, prevent providers from increasing equipment fees unless the equipment is improved, and prohibit forced arbitration clauses for wrongful billing errors. Lawmakers who backed the bill include House Reps. Mark Takano, Eleanor Norton, Tim Ryan, Earl Blumenauer, Jamie Raskin, Joe Courtney, Donald Beyer, Janice Schakowsky and Mike Thompson, along with Sens. Richard Blumenthal, Amy Klobuchar, Ben Cardin, Elizabeth Warren, Ron Wyden and Tina Smith.  Share your voice Tags Politics Mobilecenter_img 2 Commentslast_img read more

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Game of Thrones AI predicts who lives and dies

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first_img DJI’s answer to GoPro’s action cameras is rugged little model that’s shockproof, dustproof and waterproof down to 11 meters. It normally runs $350, but this deal drops it to $261 when you apply promo code 19LABOR10 at checkout. Sarah Tew/CNET See It Chris Monroe/CNET The students’ algorithm analyzed data of over 2,000 characters, using information from Game of Thrones Wiki and The Wiki of Fire and Ice. (Yes, Game of Thrones has two major Wikipedia sites of its own, not including several Wikipedia pages.) House, marriage history, gender and character significance are among the deciding factors. Lenovo Smart Clock: $59.99 (save $20) $999 $60 at Best Buy Apple iPhone XS $999 I thought this might be a mistake, but, no, the weirdly named HP Laptop 15t Value is indeed quite the value at this price. Specs include an Intel Core i7 processor, 12GB of RAM, a 256GB solid-state drive and a 15.6-inch display. However, I strongly recommend paying an extra $50 to upgrade that display to FHD (1,920×1,080), because you’re not likely to be happy with the native 1,366×768 resolution. See It Mentioned Above Apple iPhone XS (64GB, space gray) Post a comment See It Google Nest Hub: $59 (save $70) Game of Thrones,I’m shocked — shocked! — to learn that stores are turning Labor Day into an excuse to sell stuff. Wait — no, I’m not. As much as I respect the original intent of the holiday (which became official back in 1894), to most of us, it’s just a bonus day off — one that’s blissfully tacked onto a weekend. So, yeah, stores; go ahead, run your sales. I’m listening. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Labor Day doesn’t bring out bargains to compete with the likes of Black Friday (which will be here before you know it), but there are definitely some sales worth your time.For example:We’ve rounded up the best Labor Day mattress deals.We’ve also gathered the best Labor Day laptop deals at Best Buy.The 2019 Vizio P Series Quantum is back under $999.Be sure to check out Amazon’s roughly three dozen Labor Day deals on TVs and audio. Google Express is having a big sale as well, one that includes deals on game consoles, AirPods, iPhones, laptops and more.Below I’ve rounded up a handful of individual items I consider to be the cream of the crop, followed by a handy reference guide to other Labor Day sales. Keep in mind, of course, that products may sell out at any time, even if the sale itself is still running. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. $999 Though not technically a Labor Day sale, it’s happening during Labor Day sale season — and it’s too good not to share. Nationwide Distributors, via Google Express, has just about the best AirPods deal we’ve seen (when you apply promo code ZBEDWZ at checkout). This is for the second-gen AirPods with the wireless charging case. Can’t imagine these will last long at this price, so if you’re interested, act fast. Use promo code 19LABOR10 to get an unusually good deal on JBL’s interesting hybrid product — not quite headphones, and not quite a traditional speaker, but something you wear like neckphones to listen to music on the go. See at Amazon DJI Osmo Action camera: $261 (save $89) $6 at Tidal Read DJI Osmo Action preview See it Recently updated to include digital-photo-frame capabilities, the Lenovo Smart Clock brings Google Assistant goodness to your nightstand. It’s a little smaller than the Amazon Echo Show 5, but also a full $30 less (and tied with Prime Day pricing) during this Best Buy Labor Day sale. Apple AirPods with Wireless Charging Case: $155 (save $45) Share your voice TVs Speakers Mobile Accessories Cameras Laptops Automobiles Smart Speakers & Displays Turo Angela Lang/CNET $90 at Daily Steals via Google Express What’s cooler: A snapshot of a firework exploding in front of you, or full 360-degree video of all the fireworks and all the reactions to seeing them? Oooh, ahhh, indeed. At $250, the compact Rylo dual-lens camera is selling for its lowest price yet. And for an extra $50, you can get the bundle that includes the waterproof housing.This deal runs through Sept. 3; it usually costs $500. JBL Soundgear wearable speaker: $90 (save $160) The best Game of Thrones cosplay in all the seven kingdoms Formerly known as the Google Home Hub, Google’s Nest Hub packs a wealth of Google Assistant goodness into a 7-inch screen. At $59, this is within a buck of the best price we’ve seen. It lists for $129 and sells elsewhere in the $89-to-$99 range.This is one item of many available as part of eBay’s Labor Day Sale (which, at this writing, doesn’t specifically mention Labor Day, but that’s how it was pitched to us). $261 at Daily Steals via Google Express Boost Mobile HBO In 2016, before the sixth season of Game of Thrones aired, an artificial intelligence (AI) application created by students from the Technical University of Munich predicted Jon Snow should live and Tommen Baratheon would die.Now, as the world prepares for the final season’s premiere on Sunday, the team is back at it. The students created an algorithm to crunch mass Game of Thrones data to predict who will live and die in the final season. You’ll find all of their predictions here. Daenerys Targaryen, Tyrion Lannister, Varys, Samwell Tarly and Jaimie Lannister are dubbed the most likely to survive. Bronn, with a 93% likelihood, has been deemed most probable to die, followed by Gregor Clegane (The Mountain), Sansa Stark, Bran Stark and Sandor Clegane (The Hound).  Game of Thrones Season 8: All your questions answered… 8:25 $299 at Amazon Back in 2016, before the sixth season began, a similar application by students from the same university predicted Tommen Baratheon, Stannis Baratheon, Daenerys, Davos Seaworth and Petyr Baelish would all perish. Three out of five (so far) isn’t bad. It also cast a suspicious eye on Jon Snow’s death at the end of season five, reasoning that such an event was statistically improbable. We all know how that turned out.The games begin again, for the last time, this Sunday as the final season of Game of Thrones airs on HBO. Tidal 3-month family subscription: $5.99 (save $54) Sarah Tew/CNETcenter_img 45 Photos Tags Turo: Save $30 on any car rental Comments CNET may get a commission from retail offers. Spotify and most other streaming services rely on compressed audio, which robs the listener of full fidelity. Enter Tidal, the only “major” service that delivers lossless audio — meaning at least on par with CD quality, if not better. Want to see (er, hear) the difference for yourself? Grab this excellent extended trial while you can. It’s just $6 for three months, and it’s good for up to six listeners. Review • iPhone XS review, updated: A few luxury upgrades over the XR $520 at HP Sprint $210 at Best Buy Share your voice Tags 0 Read the Rylo camera preview Rylo How Game of Thrones language High Valyrian comes to life Other Labor Day sales you should check out Best Buy: In addition to some pretty solid MacBook deals that have been running for about a week already, Best Buy is offering up to 40% off major appliances like washers, dryers and stoves. There are also gift cards available with the purchase of select appliances. See it at Best BuyDell: Through Aug. 28, Dell is offering an extra 12% off various laptops, desktops and electronics. And check back starting Aug. 29 for a big batch of Labor Day doorbusters. See it at DellGlassesUSA: Aug. 29 – Sept. 3 only, you can save 65% on all frames with promo code labor65. See it at GlassesUSALenovo: The tech company is offering a large assortment of deals and doorbusters through Labor Day, with the promise of up to 56% off certain items — including, at this writing, the IdeaPad 730S laptop for $700 (save $300).See it at LenovoLensabl: Want to keep the frames you already love and paid for? Lensabl lets you mail them in for new lenses, based on your prescription. From now through Sept. 2 only, you can save 20% on the blue light-blocking lens option with promo code BLOCKBLUE. See it at LensablSears: Between now and Sept. 7, you can save up to 40% on appliances (plus an additional 10% if you shop online), up to 60% on mattresses, up to 50% on Craftsman products and more. The store is also offering some fairly hefty cashback bonuses. See it at SearsNote: This post was published previously and is continuously updated with new information.CNET’s Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on tech products and much more. For the latest deals and updates, follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page, and find more great buys on the CNET Deals page. The Cheapskate Read Google Home Hub review Sarah Tew/CNET HP Laptop 15t Value: $520 (save $780) Read Lenovo Smart Clock review Free Echo Dot with an Insignia or Toshiba TV (save $50) Now playing: Watch this: Turo is kind of like Uber meets Airbnb: You borrow someone’s car, but you do all the driving. I’ve used it many times and found it a great alternative to traditional car-rental services — in part because you get to choose exactly the vehicle you want (not just, say, “midsize”) and in part because you can often do pickup and dropoff right outside baggage claim.Between now and Sept. 1, the first 300 people to check out can get $30 off any Turo rental with promo code LDW30. 7 The problem with most entry-level laptops: They come with mechanical hard drives. That makes for a mighty slow Windows experience. This Lenovo model features a 128GB solid-state drive, so it should be pretty quick to boot and load software, even with its basic processor. Plus, it has a DVD-burner! That’s not something you see in many modern laptops, especially at this price. An Echo Dot makes a fine match for any Fire edition TV, because you can use the latter to say things like, “Alexa, turn on the TV.” Right now, the 24-inch Insignia Fire TV Edition starts at just $100, while the 32-inch Toshiba Fire TV Editions is on sale for $130. Just add any Fire TV Edition to your cart, then add a third-gen Echo Dot, and presto: The latter is free. $59 at eBay Now playing: Watch this: Preview • iPhone XS is the new $1,000 iPhone X Read the AirPods review Best Buy 5:50 Rylo 5.8K 360 Video Camera: $250 (save $250) TV and Movies See at Turo Lenovo 130-15AST 15.6-inch laptop: $210 (save $90) $999 Best laptops for college students: We’ve got an affordable laptop for every student. Best live TV streaming services: Ditch your cable company but keep the live channels and DVR. Sarah Tew/CNET $155 at Google Express Amazonlast_img read more

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For Many Young Texans Getting An ID Is One Of The Biggest

By on September 2, 2019

first_img Share Salvador Castro/KUTVoters line up to cast ballots on the UT campus last week.Ana Flores can vote for the first time this year. The 18-year-old lives in Houston with her mom. Like many young people who just got the right to vote, she was curious about what it would be like.“I just wanted to try it out,” she said, “see how it would feel for the first time.”Flores was registered to vote and aware of some of the races on the ballot; she said she was particularly excited about voting in the U.S. Senate race. But there was a big thing standing in the way of her actually voting: the Texas voter ID law requiring her to show a state-issued identification at the polls.Flores said she had had trouble getting an ID from the Texas Department of Public Safety before.“I went up there just one time when I was about, I think, 16 or 17,” she said. “But we’d go back like three times – back home, go back, back home, go back. So, I just didn’t try again.”Flores didn’t have the proper documents to prove she was a resident of Texas.She knew she’d have to try again if she wanted to vote this year. Luckily for her, a group called Spread the Vote started reaching out to students at her school.“Our focus is to make sure they have the ID so that they can actually vote,” said Christina Sanders, state director for Spread the Vote.Spread the Vote has been in Texas since May. Sanders said the group is helping populations who have the hardest time getting IDs, including the homeless population and students.“It is extremely challenging if you are 17 and eight months eligible to vote, or 18, and you don’t have a light bill in your name,” she said, “and you don’t have a bank account in your name, or lease in your name to be able to establish yourself as a Texas resident.”Sanders said this is also really hard for college students – particularly out-of-state college students.The list of IDs allowed at the polls is limited. While a handgun license, military ID or U.S. passport are allowed, for example, a student ID is not.People who face obstacles getting an ID can still vote in Texas, though. Federal courts forced the state to let people sign a legal document saying they had problems getting an ID in order to cast a ballot.But for low-income people who want to make sure they have the required state-issued election ID, state ID or driver’s license, it can be expensive.“A lot of people have hurdles with the cost,” Sanders said. “On average it costs $40 to get an ID in Texas – and that’s if you were born in Texas. But sometimes it’s more – up to $200 – if you are born in other states.”Sanders said her group helps cover those costs – and it helps people get supporting documents, including Social Security cards and birth certificates. She said many students don’t have those documents handy, for a whole range of reasons.“Every child doesn’t live with their parents,” Sanders said. “Their parents don’t keep up with the documents. One child that we recently helped to get an ID, he recently lost everything in Harvey – all his documents in Harvey. And he was just like, ‘We don’t have a car. We just didn’t go back and get them. So, I need to get them.’”Sanders said there’s also a short window for students to get these documents, because government offices close roughly around the same time students are let out of school.“Going to get your ID to vote is not an excused absence,” Sanders said.Because of Spread the Vote, Flores was able to get an ID in time to vote early. She said voting – with her ID in hand – was easier than she expected.“I thought it was going to be difficult,” she said. “I didn’t think it would be that easy.”And Flores said she would probably vote again in the future.Unfortunately, Sanders said, some students don’t get this all worked out in time.“We even had a student in Houston cry because of the documents not matching up,” she said.Originally published on KUT.orglast_img read more

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