iFive: AT&T/ T-Mobile’s FCC Barriers, YouTube’s Non-Camera Content, Senators vs. DUI Apps, E.U. Cyberattack, Gmail Woes in China

It’s the 137th anniversary of Houdini’s birth, and Google has a special Doodle for the event. But there’s also plenty of early news for you to browse:

1. Regarding the proposed deal from AT&T to buy T-Mobile, an FCC official has already spoken up to suggest the purchase is unlikely to go ahead unmodified, if it were to be approved at all. The official was speaking anonymously and off the record, as there’s been no official word from the FCC yet, but is confident that a rubber-stamped green light is very unlikely. 


2. Fresh from moves to boost YouTube’s video skills with automatic image stabilization for shaky amateur camera work, Google is releasing a new system that lets you create clips without needing a camera at all. The site at includes access to a number of effects, animation and speech generators that Google’s linked in from third party suppliers. It’s all aimed at getting new, original content on YouTube to attract more visitors and thus drive ad revenues.  

3. A group of US Senators is pressing Apple, RIM and Google to remove DUI check-point alert apps from their respective smartphone app stores. According to the letters sent to execs 10,000 Americans die in drinking-related accidents every year, and the firms should share the official’s “desires” to “end the scourge.” It’s a carefully targeted effort, ignoring other crowd-sourced apps that warn of red light cameras and speed traps, and ignores the fact these apps probably aren’t illegal, and don’t violate app store policies: These government officials have an axe to grind. 

4. The E.U. has seen a serious cyber attack on the Commission and External Action Service in the hours before an economic summit in Brussels. The E.U. has shut down external Net connections and email at the affected institution, to prevent “disclosure of unauthorized information”–which hints that the attack was a specifically aimed at seeking secret data rather than a DDoS. The affair has echoes of an attack on France’s government in December that came before the G20 economic summit, and which may have come from China.

5. Google recently accused the Chinese government of suppressing Gmail to deflect efforts at a popular revolution, and China quickly denied any such action. But a tracking system that monitors censorship in China has remarked that Gmail is now 45 times slower than the speed of local provider QQ. Google has checked, and there’s no reason for the slowdown inside its servers. 

To read more news like this, follow Fast Company on Twitter: Click here.

About the author

I'm covering the science/tech/generally-exciting-and-innovative beat for Fast Company. Follow me on Twitter, or Google+ and you'll hear tons of interesting stuff, I promise.