Making false claims about a political opponent is nothing new. As far back as 1800, for instance, historians tell us that Thomas Jefferson’s camp falsely claimed that John Adams was going to take our country to war with France. That probably wasn’t the first “fake news” to show up in politics, and it’s definitely not the last as lies and mudslinging have been a mainstay of political campaigns ever since.
Fast forward to today and one thing remains the same: misinformation and manipulation are still popular tools that politicians and their supporters use with gusto. One area that has been under scrutiny especially since the last election is social media and its role in influencing election outcomes.
Kristy CooperHow social media political ads will influence 2020 elections
Most of us have wondered, at one time or another, if smartphone tracking is being done to us. Truth is… it probably is!
The New York Times released an interesting, in-depth investigation about who is tracked in the United States via personal smartphones and how much of that information is out there for public use. The answer? Everyone is tracked, no matter where they are. And all of that information is available to pretty much anyone who knows how to access it.
This all started when an anonymous source gave the Times a massive file showing location tracking data for more then 12 million phones from around the country that accurately showed where, when and for how long individuals visited places ranging from the ordinary to the extraordinary.
From the Times report:
“In the cities that the data file covers, it tracks people from nearly every neighborhood and block, whether they live in mobile homes in Alexandria, Va., or luxury towers in Manhattan. One search turned up more than a dozen people visiting the Playboy Mansion, some overnight. Without much effort we spotted visitors to the estates of Johnny Depp, Tiger Woods and Arnold Schwarzenegger, connecting the devices’ owners to the residences indefinitely.”
What a year! Looking back, we see a year filled with drama, excitement, and accomplishments that made everyone’s life a little bit easier and a whole lot happier. Here’s a round-up of our best of 2019, we hope you feel the same way too!
Education & Entertainment
Connect, learn and grow is the theme for many of the articles and posts we share with our audience online. Educating our readers about technology and how it affects them always gets rave reviews from the community.
Consumer groups and tech companies including Mozilla are continuing the fight to overturn the FCC’s latest ruling and bring about the return of net neutrality. The maker of the popular Firefox web browser joined other influential companies such as Etsy and Vimeo, along with public-interest advocates, to ask a panel of judges to rehear a case that upheld an FCC decision to repeal open-Internet rules.
Let’s stop for a second a review what net neutrality is. In December of 2010, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) passed the Open Internet Order, requiring internet service providers (ISPs) to give everyone equal access to everything they use the internet for. This order also prevented ISPs from creating pay-to-play “fast lanes” for faster delivery of content to those who could afford to pay more.
Kristy CooperMozilla, Etsy and more join the fight for net neutrality
We have some exciting news! We’re happy to introduce the Softcom Smart Router, now available to all Softcom customers. These cutting-edge routers have been developed with the end goal of making our customers’ experience better, faster, stronger, and with an increased ability to control key issues for both home and business users.
If you love the idea of easy device management, robust parental controls, streamlined troubleshooting and advanced customization options, this is what you’re looking for.
Smart Routers are available to Softcom customers for a low monthly rental fee of $10.00. For customers that wish to set up a mesh network, it will be $5.00 per month per device (a minimum of 2 devices).
Kristy CooperElevate Your Internet with Softcom Smart Routers
Looking for more ways to keep your browsing information private? Understanding how DNS (Domain Name Service) requests work, and how they expose the minutia of your internet activity, is a good place to start. Every time you visit a new website, your computer submits a request to the DNS servers system so it can translate the domain name to an IP address.
Let’s put it this way – DNS server information is like a detailed phone record showing all of your Internet use. And because DNS servers are what connect you to your internet service provider (ISP), this means that they can see what websites you are visiting, as well as when and how often you visit them.
Kristy CooperHow Encrypted DNS Servers Can Support Internet Browsing Privacy
A federal appeals court recently ruled that while most of the FCC’s ban on net neutrality can stand, the FCC did not have legal authority to ban states from implementing their own laws. This net neutrality update comes after a nearly year-long lawsuit filed by the Mozilla Corporation vs. the FCC appealing the FCC ban of net neutrality.
A few months ago we shared our thoughts about the Federal Communications Commission’s repeal of net neutrality and what could happen because of it. Net neutrality can be very difficult to understand, that’s why we laid it all out in an article on our blog, along with our official position that can be accessed here:
Cloud computing. You’ve heard of it, but you might be thinking “where is this cloud and how does it work?” We’ve been hearing from customers – both business and residential – who are making the switch to cloud-based systems. If you’d like to learn more about how the cloud works, and how it will change the way you work, we’ve got you covered.
What is cloud computing?
For starters, using cloud-based systems allows you to store and access data, software, and programs via the internet instead of using physical storage drives. The technology is quick, user-friendly, secure, affordable, and flexible. You can access it anywhere, anytime as long as you have internet access.
Kristy CooperHow Cloud Computing is Changing the Way Companies Do Business
Loved Toy Story? There’s something we share in common with Buzz Lightyear… a love of going to infinity and beyond for our customers. But seriously, our commitment to exceptional service often takes us well beyond the norm. In an industry where it’s common to be on hold for over 30 minutes, take weeks to schedule on-sight customer service, get a blank look when asking about customized solutions, or work with the same technician more than once, here’s how we stand out in providing our wireless internet service and more:
THE BEST SET UP – NO MATTER WHAT: Sometimes installing a new wireless network can mean going into some pretty out-of-the-way places for running cabling or places routers. Our fearless technicians boldly shimmy through crawlspaces, tiptoe through attics and install our equipment in the best possible locations, no matter where they are. And if the job calls for more than one person, you get as many as you need to make sure it’s done right.
Kristy CooperWireless Internet Service That Goes Above and Beyond
Wireless networks are at the heart of practically every business these days, no matter how big or small. Every person who walks through your door – employee or customer – will need to use the internet at some point, and if your Wifi setup isn’t reliable enough, fast enough or secure enough, you risk negative repercussions. Lost revenue, damaged reputation, frustrated customers, and missed opportunities are just the tip of the iceberg if your Wifi isn’t doing its job.
Every business needs a WiFi setup that’s reliable, fast, and secure. However, getting there is often easier said than done. Every business is unique, which means every business Wifi must be set up correctly to meet those unique needs. A large vineyard operating across thousands of acres with multiple offices and locations needs an entirely different configuration than a small chain of family-owned restaurants. Other scenarios can include financial organizations with multiple branches and high security requirements versus home-based offices working from remote locations.
Kristy CooperCustom Wifi Setups for Your Unique Business Needs
We believe that everyone deserves fast, reliable internet service no matter where they live or work. Softcom brings the experience, infrastructure, and technology to stand behind our vision. And we’re laser-focused on giving our customers the fast connections, exceptional customer service, and simple, affordable pricing they deserve.