Category Archives: News and Analysis

Latest news and analysis of information on everything Internet and cyber related.

Apple Drops New iPhones and iOS

Apple, being the trillion dollar company that it is, has just dropped yet the latest version of its iPhone. The new devices, the iPhone XR iPhone XS and XS Max,  are the new flagships of the Apple product line.  The XR is replacing the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus  and bringing updates like Face ID and an edge-to-edge design.

But lets get one thing straight; these phone won’t come cheap. The iPhone XS will come with  64GB, 256GB or 512GB of storage for $999, $1,149 or $1,349 respectively. Throw another $100 on top of that for the iPhone XS Max with the bigger display ($1,099, $1,249 or $1,449). But even with the new features you can only choose from three colors, silver, gold and space gray.

The iPhone XR will start at $749 for 64GB, with 128GB and 256GB also available for $799 and $899. But you do get a better color selection. Apple offers white, black, blue, yellow, coral and red for this model.

In case you’re trying to decide which is best for you the  XR is the entry-level iPhone for this year. In case your money ain’t ready for the new top of the line XS and XS Max. The XS and XS Max are the exact same phone with the difference being two different screen sizes. These are the top of the line models with a better display, better cameras and made with rugged stainless steel.

But aside from the price and pretty pictures these phones will come with some new features that may interest you. These include dual SIM capability allowing you to use the phone with two different numbers. One for work, one for personal calls. Or for people who use prepaid phone cards. If you travel a lot the dual SIM comes in handy to load up SIMs from regional carriers.

Another new feature of the phone is the camera. Look, Apple is getting closer and closer to making taking pictures, professional quality pictures, as simple as ramen noodles.  These new phones offer new photo features like HDR or “high dynamic range” that allows you to blend several pictures together to get a wider range of shadows and highlights. You can’t do this with a normal camera.

The camera also eliminates the split second or two between the time you hit the button and when the picture is actually taken. Known as shutter lag, Apple solved this problem by allowing the phone to take pictures constantly when the camera app is open. These pictures are sent to a buffer then deleted once you do snap the picture saving the image.

Another feature of the camera is called the Bokeh control that allows you to bring the background into focus on your pictures. Pretty cool huh? 

Being worth $1 trillion means you ain’t no one trick pony. Apple is just as good at software as hardware. The company also announced the release of its new iOS operating systems.

If you’re using an Apple desktop computer the new MacOS Mojave is the next major update to the Apple’s operating system. It drops on September 24.  Mojave features a new dark mode for better visibility and legibility, stacks for keeping your desktop nice and neat and an updated Finder that lets you do more without launching another app, a new screenshot app and support for FaceTime calls with up to 32 people.

Last, but not least. Apple updated its HomePod device. Apple is bit behind the only other trillion dollar company in the world, Amazon, when it comes to smart speakers. But Apple did offer a few upgrades for the HomePod including searching for songs by asking Siri about specific lyrics. You can also make and take phone calls from the device and ping that new iPhone (or the old one) in the event you lost it somewhere in the house.  Apple’s HomePod now offers a feature that Alexa already had; multiple timers. This feature lets you keep the HomePod in the kitchen playing music and while timing that cake in the oven. If you can’t decide between the Alexa and the HomePod you should read this article.

 

Terrarium TV Will Die Soon

Last night the developer of television streaming app Terrarium TV announced the service will officially shut down at the end of this month. Terrarium TV was an extremely  popular television streaming app that was free for users of Android devices especially the Amazon Fire Stick. And best of all, it was free.

This is very bad news for cord cutters. Terrarium TV was beautifully simple to use because it avoided the use of torrents as a supply protocol. Instead Terrarium TV collected content from file-hosting sites much like Kodi add ons. The app was super easy to master making not so tech savvy cord cutters very happy.

Terrarium TV was the brainchild of a developer who went by the handle NitroXenon. His real name is Peter Chan and he lives in Hong Kong. Chan’s app became insanely popular in just a few short years.  Only a few other apps even came close to the number of users Terrarium TV entertained.

Terrarium TV became the first choice app for cord cutters looking for a television fix that offered literally thousands of shows and movies that many other services charged for. This made Terrarium TV a provider of stolen copyrighted content and basically illegal. But few users of the app cared.

But alas, the game is up.  Last night visitors to Terrarium TV saw a surprising notification from NitroXenon himself explaining that he has decided to shut the app down.  “It has always been a great pleasure to work on this project. However, it is time to say goodbye. I am going to shut down Terrarium TV, forever,” he wrote. “I know this day will come eventually. I know it would be hard to let go. But it is really time for me to move on to other projects.”

Terrarium TV you will be missed.

 

 

Netflix Names Verna Myers to VP of Inclusion

Verna Myers

Streaming television service Netflix has named Verna Myers to its newly created post of Vice President, Inclusion Strategy.

Although the post is new the relationship between Myers and Netflix is not. Netflix stated in the announcement that  Myers has worked with the company as a consultant. In her new role she will “devise and implement strategies that integrate cultural diversity, inclusion and equity into all aspects of Netflix’s operations worldwide.”

Myers has been the name and face of The Vernā Myers Company,  a consulting group that focused on issues of diversity and inclusion. Myers has written and spoken on this topic extensively.

Netflix has made incredible efforts at bringing in diverse talent and content into its entertainment offerings. The streaming giant has signed some of Hollywoods biggest African-American producers to produce content including Kenya Barris and Shonda Rhimes.

In a statement Meyers said; “I have been a longtime fan of the inclusive and diverse programming and talent at Netflix, and then I got a chance to meet the people behind the screen. I was so impressed by their mission, their excellence, and decision to take their inclusion and diversity efforts to a higher level. I am so excited and look forward to collaborating all across Netflix to establish bold innovative frameworks and practices that will attract, fully develop, and sustain high performing diverse teams.”

 

 

 

 

Facebook Shuts Down DC Anti-Racist Rally Pages

Facebook announced that it had uncovered websites that may have been intended to disrupt the coming mid-term elections. According to the Washington Post Facebook deleted 32 false pages and profiles that were created between March 2017 and May of this year.  The misinformation websites lured nearly 300,000 people with ads, events and regular posts focused on race, fascism and feminism with the intent to spark backlash against Donald Trump. Facebook notified law enforcement officials before deleting the profiles Tuesday morning. The company also notified members of congress of the activity and will notify the real Facebook users who were swept up in the operation.

But it seems that some legitimate organizations have been caught up in the Facebook cleanup operation. Organizers in Washington D.C are angry with Facebook for taking down their legitimate page that was organizing a counter protest against a “Unite the Right  2.0” rally scheduled to take place in D.C on August 12th.

DCist, one one of organizers of the counter protest, say their counter-rally is legitimate and backed by a number of real organizations.

Dylan Petrohilos of “Resist This” said, “This was a legitimate Facebook event that was being organized by Washington, D.C. locals.”  Petrohilos was a defendant in a rioting case during the Inauguration of Donald Trump. 

Petrohilos said “Shut It Down DC” is the group organizing the counter protest. The group formed after known white supremacist Jason Kessle, organizer of the Charlottesville rally, announced plans for the D.C. rally. The counter protest will involve numerous local groups, including the D.C. Antifascist Collective, Black Lives Matter D.C., Hoods4Justice, and Smash Racism D.C.

Facebook issued a press release saying that the original creator of the “No Unite the Right 2 — DC” page was created in part with a fake “Resisters” account. Facebook did not explicitly connect the pages to the Russia’s Internet Research Agency (IRA). According to U.S. intelligence officials the IRA is a source Russian misinformation and propaganda efforts. Facebook did however say it had “found evidence of some connections” between the IRA and whoever was behind the pages.

Facebook wrote; The Event – “No Unite the Right 2 – DC” – was scheduled to protest an August “Unite the Right” event in Washington. Inauthentic admins of the “Resisters” Page connected with admins from five legitimate pages to co-host the event. These legitimate pages unwittingly helped build interest in “No Unite Right 2 – DC” and posted information about transportation, materials, and locations so people could get to the protests.

Organizers say that the counter-protest will still take place.  A legitimate replacement event page has been created. Organizers however are still angry with Facebook for removing the original page because it had numerous RSVPs and was the hub for discussion and planning.

 

Microsoft Invests in STEM for Young Black Girls

Kimberly Bryant

Microsoft, the world’s biggest maker of computer software, announced a partnership with Black Girls Code and the Technology Access Foundation to bring STEM education to students of color. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced the $500,000 partnership.  (STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math.)

Black Girls Code provides programming and technology education to young and pre-teen girls of color. The curriculum is provided through clubs  and taught by women engineers of color. BGC can be found in 13 cities across the U.S. and, with the funding from Microsoft, will launch their 14th chapter in Seattle.

Founder of Black Girls Code, Kimberly Bryant, explains her mission;  “By launching Black Girls Code, I hope to provide young and pre-teen girls of color opportunities to learn in-demand skills in technology and computer programming at a time when they are naturally thinking about what they want to be when they grow up.”

Trish Millines Dziko

  Technology Access Foundation provides STEMbyTAF. Former Microsoft executive Trish Millines Dziko founded STEMbyTAF in 1997. The program is an out-of-school program that teaches technology skills, provides internships and college prep to students of color in the Seattle area.

Since its launch TAF has opened its own school and become a model for creating learning environments that erase racial disparity in academic achievement. STEMbyTAF is focused on duplicating their successful formula in other schools. TAF has partnerships with Amazon, Comcast, Expedia, Google and Boeing.

Black Girls Code also has partnerships with several of Silicon Valley’s top technology companies including Google, Oracle, Adobe, Verizon and AT&T.

 

Celebrity Cyber Report – What’s Up with R.Kelly and Spotify?

R-kelly.com

 Spotify, the most popular music streaming service, recently stopped promoting R. Kelly’s music along with rapper XXXTentacion from its playlists as part of its new policy on hateful content and conduct.  Now it seems that Spotify is admitting it may have been wrong.

According to a Spotify spokesperson the R&B balladeer’s music will remain on Spotify but the service will not actively promote it.  The objective of the policy is to remove anything that “expressly and principally promotes, advocates, or incites hatred or violence against a group or individual based on characteristics, including, race, religion, gender identity, sex, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, veteran status, or disability.”

According to Spotify bad behavior by an artist can impact the decisions they make.  Jonathan Prince, Vice-President of Content and Marketplace Policy will head a committee that will decide what behavior is considered bad enough to exclude an artists from promotion. 

The committee focused on R.Kelly because of child pornography charges from 2008, multiple allegations of sexual abuse and accusations of coercion and holding women in a so-called sex “cult.” Already this year the singer has been hit with sexual abuse allegations from four additional women. While the popular singer has not been charged with a crime media coverage of the allegations against him have not gone away. Last month the #MuteRKelly campaign began an effort to hold the singer accountable and became a part of the larger #TimesUp effort to fight sexual harassment across several industries. Kelly has blamed the accusations on the media saying it is an attempt to “distort my character” and has denied holding women in a “cult.”

In addition to Spotify Pandora has also downgraded R.Kelly’s music. The streaming service said in a statement that, “Pandora’s policy is to not actively promote artists with certain demonstrable behavioral, ethical or criminal issues. We approach each of these scenarios on a case-by-case basis to ensure we address components true to Pandora’s principles while not overreaching and avoiding censorship.”  Apple Music has also been pulling R. Kelly’s material from its own featured playlists.

Spotify has now began to re-think it’s actions. Spotify’s CEO, Daniel Ek said Wednesday that the music-streaming service “screwed up” and could have done a better job informing the world about its playlist ban.

Ek spoke during an onstage interview at Recode’s Code Conference in Ranch Palos Verdes, CA. “I think we rolled this out wrong and could have done a better job communicating it. The goal for this was to make sure we didn’t have hate speech on the service. It was never about punishing one individual.” Ek went on to say, “What we wanted to be was just transparent. If you are talking about being KKK and doing that kind of stuff, I think it’s pretty obvious that we don’t want you on the service.”

Spotify’s action did not go unnoticed. Backlash came not only from Pulitzer Prize-winning rapper Kendrick Lamar but reportedly sparked criticism among some of Spotify’s own employees.

R.Kelly was not the only artists affected by the new policy. Spotify also blocked the promotion of music by rapper XXXTentacion who was charged with aggravated battery of a pregnant woman. Lamar, a vocal supporter of XXXTentacion, threatened to pull his music from Spotify in response to the policy. 

Critics say that Spotify’s new policy is nearly impossible to enforce fairly. The conduct policy has proved to be especially onerous to hip-hop artists and executives, the best-selling genre in the U.S. music industry. Executives are questioning why the two acts singled out are black, while plenty of white men with histories of violence were not equally punished.

Spotify has been pushed by various groups to remove other artists from its playlists over accusations of abuse. The list includes popular rock group the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Chris Brown and Eminem

Breaking It Down

I, for one, applaud the action by Spotify. We have to ask ourselves a question as a society; what are our children learning and from who? We need to hold these people, popular artists and athletes, accountable for their behavior. We cannot on one hand applaud their music or athletic prowess and then allow them to behave in ways that give people the idea they are above the law or norms of acceptable behavior. You child will see this behavior and eventually mimic it. We already see it everyday. We need to send the message that if you act like an asshole then we will treat you like one. If we can cancel ‘Roseanne” we should be able to block the works of rappers and artists who are charged with crimes. Yeah, I know, innocent until proven guilty. right. But the bottom line is these people need to know our children are watching and following their style and actions. And if the artist or athlete is using drugs or beating up women what are children likely to think? We need to stop playing this game where we entertain the right to free expression as a license to make money and act like a jerk. No. Spotify and other streaming services and record labels should warn these artists that their behavior must meet certain standards or they can go back to peddling their CD’s on street corners. This isn’t censorship by any means. Spotify did not ban R.Kelly or XXXTentacion. The just stopped promoting their work. Its nothing new here. Professional sports franchises suspend, or cut players all the time for bad behavior off the field. Ask Ray Rice! Why can’t we do the same for the stage?

Tidal Suspected of Falsifying Streaming Numbers

It seems Tidal music streaming service continues to have problems. The company has been called out for suspect financials and false claims about the number of subscribers, among other issues. Now it seems that Tidal may be falsifying the number of downloads for two of its biggest stars.

According to the Swedish newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) Tidal has misrepresented the amount of plays Beyoncé’s Lemonade and Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo had by “several hundred million” false plays. More plays means more money for the two artists one of which is married to Tidal’s owner JayZ.  

DN reported receiving a hard drive filled with play data from Tidal that included play times, song titles, user IDs and country codes. DN asked the Norwegian University of Science and Technology for a data analysis. In the published executive summary, the school claims “there had in fact been a manipulation of the data at particular times due to the large presence of similar duplicate records occurring for a large percentage of the user base that was active at any given time.”

Three Tidal subscribers were contacted by DN about data that said they played the albums. The records showed that one subscriber played The Life of Pablo 96 times in a single day, 54 plays occurred in the middle of the night. According to the subscriber that would’ve been “physically impossible.”

Another Tidal subscriber was shown to have streamed Beyoncé’s 46-minute album 180 times in 24 hours. That claim was also denied. Just doing the math reveals that would add up to nearly 8,280 minutes. There are only 1,440 minutes in 24 hours.

Tidal has challenged the validity of the data on the hard drive. But according to DN, the data matches exactly with information Tidal sent to record labels.

According to the university, given the nature of the manipulation, its not likely this was an outside attack or a bug in the software code but rather internal meddling. Tidal is accused of accessing subscriber accounts to play tracks of The Life of Pablo over 150 million times. According to the report the plays occurred at exactly the same times; 2am and 5am. Beyonce’s Lemonade was also streamed at the same second and millisecond.

The result of this alleged manipulation comes down to money. Payouts to Sony added up to $4 million between April and May 2016. Lemonade, released in April of 2016, accounted for $2.5 million of that. Tidal reportedly paid Universal nearly $3 million between February and March 2016. The Life of Pablo accounted for $2.4 million. But, again, more play equals more money for the artists.

In response Tidal denies any wrongdoing. A Tidal spokesperson said DN’s article was a “smear campaign,” adding that, “We expect nothing less from them than this ridiculous story, lies and falsehoods. The information was stolen and manipulated and we will fight these claims vigorously.”

 

 

Tech Diversity Still a Struggle

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) payed another visit to Silicon Valley last week with the intent of holding tech companies feet to the fire for more diversity. Apple, PayPal, Twitter, Square, and Airbnb were on the schedule. The CBC has made this trip twice before but this time they expanded the number of members on the trip to include Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-NC), Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), and Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA).

Waters said during a panel discussion at Lyft,  “I’m not urging, I’m not encouraging. I’m about to hit some people across the head with a hammer.” Waters, referred by some CBC members as the “The Enforcer”  said, “I’m talking about some regulation. I’m talking about using the power that our voters have given us to produce legislation and to talk about regulation in these industries that have not been talked about before.”  Waters threat can only be considered valid if the Democrats regain control of the House and Senate in November.

Diversity numbers for tech companies are stagnant at best. But some companies have shown improvement. Uber showed that its corporate workforce (excluding drivers and support contractors) consisted of 2.6 percent black employees in 2018, up from just 1 percent in 2017. Twitter reported having 3.4 percent black employees in 2017, compared to 3 percent in 2016.

But Uber’s Chief Brand Officer, Bozoma Saint John, believes the key to diversity in the tech sector is held by white men. Saint John believes it is up to “white men to look around in their office and say, ‘Oh look, there’s a lot of white men here. Let’s change this.'”

According to CNN Saint John asked; “Why do I, as the black woman, have to fix that?There’s 50 of you, there’s one of me…I want white men to make the noise.” Saint John labeled the idea that diversity problems are rooted in a lack of suitable female and minority job candidates as “bullshit.” She believes the problem lies with hiring practices that favors what is comfortable to those doing the hiring.  In January Uber hired its first Chief Diversity Officer, Bo Young Lee.

The CBC also made other requests of Silicon Valley companies during the visit. In addition to the demand for more diversity the CBC asked that tech companies help fund more affordable housing for communities in need and combat the impact of gentrification. Other legislation the group is also considering includes the Community Reinvestment Act requiring financial institutions to meet the needs of the low-income communities. CBC members are also raising money to assist girls, people of color, and the poor receive STEM educations. 

Breaking It Down

Although I applaud the efforts of the CBC to improve diversity I don’t believe this is the right way to do it. Threats are not going to change a lot in this situation. Especially threats that are toothless unless the Democrats flip Congress.

If blacks and people of color are to make gains in tech employment we need to focus on creating a rich pipeline of candidates. Yes, there are plenty of talented black software engineers and project managers in the job market. But we need to incorporate Silicon Valley companies into the education process. I would urge Rep. Waters to introduce legislation that would benefit tech companies who invest in black campuses as teachers. Encourage them to create programs that move a talented student of color progressively from the classroom to an internship and eventually full time employment. Find a way to gently conjole these companies into recruiting and training capable candidates for jobs that may not have considered.

My anger with this issue, and I have said this before, is that major sports companies can go into the worst schools in the nation and select the next great linebacker or point guard. But tech companies ignore this business model. Its right before their eyes and yet they remain blind. Rep. Waters, if you read this, that is where you need to be. Don’t threaten them but show them the way.

 

 

 

E-Commerce Delivers

E-commerce war is raging! E-commerce players are going all out to get your money doing whatever it takes to get you shopping on their website. The war has changed they we shop, probably forever.

Electronic or e-commerce, the act of shopping online and having the goods delivered directly to your home, is exploding. More and more online stores and regular brick and mortar stores are offering to deliver your purchases to you anywhere.

Amazon Prime customers can get their purchases delivered on the same day with Amazon Prime NowCustomers need only check the item description to see if it is available for same day delivery in their zip code. Amazon claims it has over 1 million items available for same day delivery in 8,000 cites.

Now Amazon has stepped up its game by announcing a new service that gives its couriers access to your vehicle for the purpose of placing your purchases inside.  Amazon is planning to use the Internet connected capabilities in many modern vehicles.  In cooperation with GM and Volvo Amazon will be launching the new service in 37 cities in the U.S.

In order to use the service the car owner must add their car to the Amazon Key app with a description of the vehicle allowing Amazon’s couriers to locate it. The vehicle must be parked within a certain radius of an address used for Amazon deliveries, mostly likely home or work. Driveways, parking lots, parking garages, and street parking are all eligible locations.

Amazon has also asked its customers for permission to enter their home when they are not home to drop off packages. The program, known as Amazon Key, relies on Amazon’s new Cloud Cam and compatible smart lock connected to the Internet using your home Wi-Fi. The camera talks to the lock over Zigbee, a wireless protocol used by many smart home devices.

When a delivery person arrives with a package for in-home delivery, they scan the package barcode that sends a request to Amazon’s cloud. If everything checks out, the cloud then triggers the camera to start recording the entry and delivery. The courier then swipes the screen unlocking the door. They enter, drop off the package and re-lock the door with another swipe. The customer is then notified of the delivery accompanied by a short video showing the drop-off to confirm everything was done properly. Amazon also owns Whole Foods which also offers grocery deliveries in an hour.

Amazon is deadly serious about perfecting the art of delivery. The company is planning to create its own delivery service that will go into direct competition with FedEx and UPS. Its also planning to use drones for delivery a program it has already launched in the U.K.

But brick and mortar retailers are not standing still while Amazon perfects the art of delivery. Walmart, America’s largest retail chain store, is teaming up with with DoorDash for its online grocery delivery service. The program is set to kick off in Atlanta and eventually expand across the United States.

The service builds upon a previous Walmart delivery program. If the customer is within one of the new delivery areas they will be able to request delivery and set up a time for the delivery.  A Walmart employee will pull all your items together and handoff the groceries to DoorDash for delivery. In a challenge to Amazon Walmart is also offering two day delivery for selected online purchases but, unlike Amazon, no membership is required.

Target stores are also getting into the delivery game as well. Target is planning delivery  to nearly 60 locations across five major cities, Boston, Chicago, New York City, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. As part of the checkout process the retailer will offer customers the choice of having their purchases delivered to their homes. The key factor to the city selection for the delivery program is that these cities have a high concentration of car-less consumers who routinely use public transportation.  The delivery service will cost the $7.

Groceries delivery is slowly becoming the most in demand service for e-commerce shoppers. More and and more retail grocers, in addition to Whole Foods, are fighting for your dollars with on demand grocery deliveries. Walmart expects to be delivering groceries in over 100 markets by the end of the year. This includes a new meal kit service from Walmart’s Culinary and Innovation Center. If you are Sam’s Club customer you can also take advantage of its delivery service.

But keep in mind that its not just groceries that can be purchased online and delivered to your home. Used car buyers can use Carvana to shop, select, finance and have the car of their choice delivered right to heir driveway.

Breaking It Down

Customer convenience is the new standard. E-commerce, like retail, must compete. And we live in a service based economy. So delivery is the new frontier of customer service. Fast and when and where the customer demands it. This is the evolution of service and customer satisfaction. I am not surprised. The Internet is changing everything.

But is all this online shopping and on demand delivery hurting retail businesses?  Not exactly. Many consumers, and experts, believe that retail stores are dying but that is not true. What has actually happened is that brick and mortar retailers have modified their operations to actually become part of the e-commerce experience. Many retailers, like Walmart, are offering customer the option to buy the product online and pick it up in the store. In addition, retailers will encourage shoppers to go online if they can’t find the item they are looking for in the store and will sweeten the deal with free delivery. Some stores will even go online for you to locate your product and you can complete the purchase in the store. The brick and mortar retailer seems to be safe for now. Of course e-commerce explodes during the holiday season and that can be attributed to the crowds and ugliness of Black Friday sales.

According to Forbes there are five signs that retail is still king of the shopping hill.

  1. All but one of the top ten U.S. retailers are brick and mortar chains.
  2. Brick and mortar stores are more profitable that e-commerce.
  3. Amazon purchased Whole Foods.
  4. Millennials And generation Z prefer real-life stores.
  5. Online retailers are being eaten by legacy retailers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mignon Clyburn Resigning from FCC Post

FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn

After eight years Mignon Clyburn, the only African-American on the FCC board of commissioners is stepping down. Clyburn, the daughter of James Clyburn, member of the U.S. House of Representatives  for South Carolina’s 6th Congressional District was appointed by President Barack Obama. Recently Clyburn fought valiantly against the repeal of net neutrality put in place during the Obama administration. Current commissioner, Ajit Pai, successfully killed net neutrality by repealing the Open Internet Order that reclassified telecoms as utilities under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934.

Clyburn briefly served as the FCC’s first female chairperson in 2013 before Obama appointee Tom Wheeler stepped in as chairman. With Wheeler, Clyburn pushed the FCC to pass the strictest net neutrality rules to date.

During her time on the commission Clyburn worked to secure the middle ground of both pro-competition and pro-consumer regulation. She fought for and achieved the unlocking of smartphones, Internet access for low-income and minority communities, and per-minute rate caps on long-distance phone calls for prison inmates. In addition she advocated for diversity in media ownership and emphasized diversity and inclusion in STEM opportunities.  

Before joining the FCC Clyburn spent 11 years as a member of the Public Service Commission (PSC) of South Carolina. Prior to that she was the publisher and general manager of the Coastal Times a family-founded newspaper that focused on issues affecting the African-American community. Clyburn is a graduate of the University of South Carolina.