The FAA Will Let Amazon Drones Fly After All—But Only for Testing

Just one short month ago, it looks like Amazon's drone delivery dreams were dashed. But today, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) granted the company an "experimental airworthiness certificate." Does this mean your Amazon Prime will come from the sky now? Not even close. » 3/19/15 5:40pm 3/19/15 5:40pm

Did the Internet Win Yet? No. But Here's What We Got.

It's a good day for the internet: Wired just published an op-ed by FCC chairman Tom Wheeler detailing his new proposal for strict net neutrality rules, rules that largely resemble the terrific plan President Obama outlined a few months ago. Great! But let's be real: An opinion piece is not a new policy. » 2/04/15 3:09pm 2/04/15 3:09pm

The Government Admits Drone Rules Won't Be Ready Until at Least 2017

It looks like we'll have to wait a few more years before order can be restored to a sky increasingly full of drones. Despite having set a deadline for September 2015, the Federal Aviation Administration admitted it's going to take even longer than expected to finish its rules for commercial drones. The Government… » 12/10/14 12:55pm 12/10/14 12:55pm

Why the FAA Isn't Worried About Drones Invading Your Privacy Right Now

Drones have a privacy problem. As more and more domestic drones take flight in the United States, more and more people are worried that these airborne cameras will be peeking in their windows and watching them drive around town—and rightfully so. Yet the federal agency overseeing the growing industry apparently… » 12/02/14 4:20pm 12/02/14 4:20pm

Your Future Gadgets Won't Have Those Strange Logos on the Back

Ever looked at your phone and thought it would be a whole lot prettier without all those FCC logos and regulatory compliance numbers printed on the back? Well, from now on, they'll be a thing of the past. Here's why. » 11/27/14 4:07am 11/27/14 4:07am

How Private Donors Dodge Regulations and Supply Spy Gear to Cops

In 2007, as it pushed to build a state-of-the-art surveillance facility, the Los Angeles Police Department cast an acquisitive eye on software being developed by Palantir, a startup funded in part by the Central Intelligence Agency's venture capital arm.
» 10/13/14 10:40am 10/13/14 10:40am

FAA's New $5 Billion Air Traffic Control System Forgot About Drones

Designers of the Federal Aviation Administration's futuristic, new air traffic control system did a whoops. Despite explicit instructions from Congress to take drones into account, they failed to include them in the plans for the $5 billion NextGen system. And it's definitely too late to start over. » 9/26/14 10:11am 9/26/14 10:11am

Trying to Control a Future We Never Get Right

"Technology is the villain," Wilbur H. Ferry wrote in the March 2, 1968 edition of the Saturday Review. "I do not say that technology will be regulated, only that it should be." » 7/18/14 2:00pm 7/18/14 2:00pm

How the FCC Makes Its Rules

It's been hard to go a day without hearing news about the Chairman of the FCC, Tom Wheeler, and his highly contested plan for the future of network neutrality. Google and Netflix signed a letter with nearly 150 other Internet companies calling on the FCC to reconsider its plan, which would purportedly bless the… » 5/13/14 3:30am 5/13/14 3:30am

What Tobacco's Past Means for Vaping's Future

The Food and Drug Administration announced today that it wants to regulate electronic cigarettes. This isn't surprising. But there's considerable debate about what those regulations should look like. If history is any guide, the life of your average vaper (vapist? vapethusiast?) is about to get a whole lot harder. » 4/24/14 5:50pm 4/24/14 5:50pm

Why the Future of Bitcoin Depends on the Silk Road Trial

Over the weekend, Ross Ulbricht's lawyer, Joshua Dratel, filed a motion asking the court to dismiss all charges against the Silk Road kingpin. It's largely what you'd expect from a bullish defense attorney. But here's the twist: Dratel throws bitcoin under the bus. » 4/01/14 6:14pm 4/01/14 6:14pm

Get Your Whole Neighborhood Together with Block Party in a Box

Every city street is actually a block party waiting to happen, a coiled spring of neighborly hangouts and community come-together yearning for a release. Kevin Van Lierop decided to make that process a little less daunting with his "Block Party in a Box." Now your neighborhood has no excuse not to get down. » 3/13/14 4:20pm 3/13/14 4:20pm

New Ruling Means Commercial Drones Are Finally Legal… Sort Of

An Earth-shaking piece of news hit the drone community on Thursday night. A National Transportation Safety Board judge dismissed a fine that the Federal Aviation Administration had levied against the pilot of a commercial drone. The FAA has no legal authority over small aircraft, the judge said. » 3/07/14 12:20pm 3/07/14 12:20pm

The Government's War on E-Cigarettes

It's here, folks. The battle royale between the regulators and the people over e-cigarettes is upon us. It started a few years ago, calmly, but with New York City banning vaping in public places, the knives are about to come out. » 12/20/13 5:40pm 12/20/13 5:40pm

FCC Is Trying To Get Rid of Hidden Phone Fees

The FCC is starting an effort to prevent telcos from charging their customers for unauthorized or hidden fees. The new rules are meant to address consumer complaints about cramming, or misleading charges for things like long distance service. » 6/21/11 11:36am 6/21/11 11:36am

FCC Net Neutrality Rules Slammed From All Sides

The federal government's new internet fairness policy-designed to prevent the nation's cable and DSL internet service providers from meddling with the open nature of the internet-was met with boisterous criticism Monday night from all sides of the political spectrum. » 12/21/10 11:40am 12/21/10 11:40am

What Won't Apple Allow in the New Mac App Store?

In news that will surprise absolutely no one at all, Apple has posted a lengthy list of qualities that will keep your software out their new app store. Check below for the most interesting (and the strangest) prohibitions. » 10/20/10 6:59pm 10/20/10 6:59pm