adminSeptember 24, 2018
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9min2030

Although iOS is arguably the world’s first smartphone operating system, Google’s Android is without a doubt the most popular among consumers. Android has come a long way since its release back in 2008. Looking at it in retrospect, it has already been 10 years since then and a lot of significant updates have come to pass.

Seeing that this year is Android’s 10th year anniversary, let’s look back on the brief history of the OS and its various updates since then.

A Brief History

Android was first introduced to be used on an HTC-made T-Mobile device in 2008. However, the origin of Android dates back before it was even made available on smartphones. As a matter of fact, Android was first developed and released for digital cameras in 2003 by Andy Rubin.

He soon realized, however, that digital camera operating systems aren’t all that profitable, and so he shifted his attention toward smartphones. By 2005, Google purchased Android and used it to enter into the mobile device business. The company promoted Android to other manufacturers, specifically catching the eye of HTC, who used the platform to produce the first Android phone, which is the HTC Dream.

The Different Android Versions

Android mobile operating system had its origin with the release of the Android beta on November 2007. A year later, the first commercial version, which was named Android 1.0, was released to the public. From there on, there had been a number of minor and major updates to the mobile OS. Here is the complete list of the Android updates to date:

  • Android 1.0
  • Android 1.1 – Petit Four
  • Android 1.5 – Cupcake
  • Android 1.6 – Donut
  • Android 2.0 – Éclair
  • Android 2.2 – Froyo
  • Android 2.3 – Gingerbread
  • Android 3.0 – Honeycomb
  • Android 4.0 – Ice Cream Sandwich
  • Android 4.1 – Jelly Bean
  • Android 4.4 – KitKat
  • Android 5.0 – Lollipop
  • Android 6.0 – Marshmallow
  • Android 7.0 – Nougat
  • Android 8.0 – Oreo
  • Android 9.0 – Pie

Various Updates on the Android OS

Following the production of the first Android phone, Google released Android version 1.0, which was obviously far less developed compared to the operating system that we have today. It featured the Google Play Store, which was called the Market at the time. Moreover, it also featured the use of home screen widgets, which the iOS didn’t have at the time.

A year later, Google made its first two updates to the operating system: Android 1.1 and Android 1.5. Not only did the OS get a new version number; it was also the first update to use Google’s unique naming scheme as well. Android 1.1, which was called Petit Four, was released on February 9 and featured a few minor changes, including longer in-call screen timeout and the ability to save attachment in messages; whereas Android 1.5, which was also known as Cupcake, was significant for a lot of reason. The most important one would be that it was the first version to have an on-screen keyboard. The new update also allowed users to capture photos, which they were not able to do with the previous version.

The next big update on Android came in the form of Android 1.6, which is also called Android Donut, in 2009. The much recent update offered support to CDMA networks like Verizon, Sprint, and other big networks in Asia. Donut was primarily aimed to making Android more user-friendly, for example, by enabling it to support different screen sizes. By doing this, manufacturers could create devices with varying display sizes and Android could still run in them.

In the same year, Google made another update on Android, which has now become Android 2.0 Éclair. Éclair perhaps is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, update on Android to date. Most of the changes it brought are still prevalent today, including Google Maps navigation, HTML5 support, and the lock screen.

The following year, Android 2.2 Froyo was introduced, which served as a means to refine the Android experience for users. Froyo also brought mobile hot spot support to the table, as well as the PIN lock screen.

In the same year, Android 2.3 Gingerbread was released and offered a redesign of Android’s widgets and home screen. The update also came with an enhanced keyboard, which lets users to press on multiple keys in order to get access to a second set of keyboard, and the front-facing camera. Would anyone care for a selfie?

In 2011, Google made two other updates to the Android OS, namely the Android 3.0 Honeycomb and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. These updates were made to refine most of what is seen on the home screen as well as the widgets. Other features that were added were face unlock, data usage, analysis, and apps for the calendar and mail.

Another big update on Android came in 2012 with the release of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. There are a number of significant changes made by this update, but I would say the most important would be Google Now and Project Butter, which aimed to notably improve the touch performance of the OS by tripling the buffering graphics.

After Android Jelly Bean, Android 4.4 KitKat was launched and brought with it a number of amazing features, mostly focusing on aesthetic changes to the OS at the time. KitKat also brought changes like the “OK, Google” command prompt, a new phone dialer, and the Hangouts app, among many others.

Android 5.0 Lollipop was then released a year later after Andoid KitKat was released. Lollipop featured the company’s “Material Design” philosophy; however, the changes were not all about aesthetics alone. Google also made some major changes under the hood.

After Android Lollipop, along comes Android 6.0 Marshmallow, which brought some design changes as well as changes under the hood. The most significant change would probably be the app menu. In the new update, the background is white rather than the typical black background from the previous OS versions.

The 14th Android version would be the Android 7.0 Nougat, and it is arguably one of the biggest updates to Android since its first release. Google Now got replaced with the much better Google Assistant. Other notable changes are the split-screen mode, an improved multitasking capability, and an enhanced notifications system.

A year after Android Nougat was released, another update was made and was subsequently called Android 8.0 Oreo. This new update brought about a lot of amazing features, such as picture-in-picture, notification dots, and native split-screen.

The most recent Android update, which was released just recently, is named Android 9.0 Pie. Android Pie offered a lot of visual changes; as a matter of fact, looking at a visual standpoint, it is arguably the biggest update to Android in the last few years.

All these complete the evolution of Android, from its simple beginnings to how impressive it is now. With that, I do believe that we will be seeing a lot more impressive things from Android in the coming years.


adminJune 8, 2018
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7min340

There are a lot of things that we consider trending these days, such as taking selfies, GIFs, hashtags, and memes, to mention a few. People do tend to focus on things that are currently trending, but there is one thing that people universally love since the beginning of time that is food.

Admit it, we really do enjoy eating. I should say that it has become somewhat of a habit for us to eat, whatever we may be feeling. Whether we are feeling sad, heartbroken, confused, angry, elated, or stressed, we usually turn to food as a form of comfort and or reward.

Food Trucks

And in response to our insatiable mutual love and appetite for food, food trucks and food parks slowly earned their fame and brand awareness.

A food truck is a large vehicle equipped to cook and sell food. Some food trucks, including ice cream trucks, sell frozen and pre-packaged foods, while others have on-board kitchens and prepares food from scratch.

A Rich History of Food

The history of food trucks date back many years as mobile dining and street food in America in the late 17th century have been part of American’s dining habits. Since then, food trucks have taken a front seat in the world of American street food and are part of an on-going food revolution.

A Rich History of Food

There is a lot of history in this business, so I will share some of the most noteworthy ones.

  • In the 1850s, dining cars begin feeding cross-country train passengers.
  • In 1872, the first diner is set up in a horse-drawn freight wagon.
  • In the 1950s, ice cream trucks begin selling their frozen treats.
  • In 1974, Raul Martinez converted an old ice cream truck into the nation’s first taco truck and parked it outside of an East Los Angeles bar.
  • While in the 1980s, grease trucks begin parking on Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ, selling “Fat Sandwiches” to college students.
  • On July 2006, Wikipedia adds “food truck” to their list of entries including the history of food trucks around the world.
  • And most importantly, in February 2012, food trucks serve NFL Superbowl fans in Indianapolis.

Street food has been available to Americans for centuries, and food trucks have always been serving tasty treats for over two decades. So, the basic concept is nothing new. Yet, as you can probably see, the food truck has taken on a new meaning as the mobile food industry continues to develop and morph.

Food Trucks Around the World

Food trucks and food parks, offering gourmet cuisine and a variety of specialized dishes and ethnic menus, have become particularly popular, not only in the United States but all over the world.

In Asia, the foods they offer require simple skills, basic equipment, and a relatively small amount of capital. They are ubiquitous, with a huge potential for profits and they offer a relatively huge chance for employment. Street foods primarily reflect local culture and flavor.

In Australia, food trucks are available and can be found everywhere. They are usually covered as a popular trend in the media.

Food Trucks Around the World

In Belgium, food trucks have long been a staple of the Belgian countryside. Belgium also holds the Brussels Food Truck Festival, which is the largest of its kind across Europe, every year in May.

In Canada, food trucks, or commonly known as cantines (which is the French word for cafeteria), are available across the country. They serve a wide range of cuisines, including grilled cheese sandwiches and Mexican food.

In the UK, food trucks, or commonly known today as snack vans, can be found on almost all major trunk roads at the side of the road or in locations where there is a large pedestrian count, such as village festivals and town centers.

In a general point of view, I think food trucks appeal to the customers because they offer a comparatively inexpensive means of procuring a quick meal. But, of course, there could be various reasons for this growing trend. Now, when will be your next trip to a food truck, whether it be for a tasty treat or to gain a profit from this two billion dollar a year industry, a food truck is an all-around great bet.


adminJune 3, 2018
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5min720

About ninety-five percent of teens today have access to a smartphone and about forty-five percent of teens are almost constantly online. But did you know that younger internet users do not connect on Facebook as much as their seniors or older peers do? Although Facebook dominated social media across all age groups over the past years, today it has taken the back seat to YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat among the teens.

Of course, Facebook is still being used by over half of all teens. But compared to YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat, Facebook has clearly taken a back seat because most teens prefer to use the three aforementioned social media platforms. Facebook did manage to outpace Twitter, Tumblr, and Reddit.

Overall, Facebook is still, by a very wide margin, the biggest social network worldwide. As of the first quarter of last year, Facebook had almost 2 billion global monthly active users, of which 1.74 billion are mobile monthly active users. But it could not be denied that Facebook’s popularity has definitely plummeted among teenagers since they are ditching Facebook and picking YouTube, Snapchat, and Instagram.

A Change in Norm Among Teens

The social media habits of teenagers nowadays have, in some ways, changed. In 2015, a measly twenty-four percent of teens went constantly online, which is essentially half of the number that does so today.

Three years ago, Facebook was still the dominant social media platform on the Internet. A whopping seventy-one percent of teens said that they used Facebook, while forty-one percent said that they used it often. Instagram came in second with fifty-two percent of teens saying that they use it, and almost twenty percent said that they used it often. At the time, YouTube wasn’t even named among the most popular online platform choices of teens.

Today, teens are picking YouTube and ditching Facebook. I guess I should say that it isn’t that surprising because trends are always changing. What may be famous or popular now may be forgotten three to five years from now. Of course, that might not be the case in some things.

A Reason for the Sudden Change

The young teens of today have constant changing tastes in social media. They seldom stick with that their older peers liked in different aspects and trends. Although with regard to social media, there could be other factors that explain what it is that is chasing away young teens nowadays.

The organization did not bother to speculate on a reason for this, although in general, teens often turn away from services or things that become mainstream or when it is used by their parents.

One possible reason could be that they don’t want all of the services and features being provided by Facebook. One other possible reason could be that they mainly want a platform to connect with their friends while also staying relevant; they don’t want to see motivational memes, political nonsense, fake news, spam, or any kind of advertising. Young teens of today might prefer to connect in a private and protected environment.

A Concern for Teens’ Safety on Social Media

Although there are a lot of reminders and precautions being taken, some experts express their concerns about young users on social media. As a matter of fact, the young teens themselves have a divided opinion about the subject matter. They have, in fact, reckoned whether social media is good for them; almost a quarter thinks that it has a negative effect, while a third says that it’s a good thing, and nearly half think that it is neutral.


adminJune 2, 2018
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7min750

With the ever-growing and rapidly-evolving technology we have today, a lot of revolutionary inventions have emerged and one of them is artificial intelligence. We can basically see it in most of our modern gadgets such as mobile phones, smart watches, drones, self-driving cars, speakers, SIRI, and many others. But what happens if something, however remotely trivial or small, goes wrong?

The researchers at MIT Media Lab sounded a little bit scared of their latest invention: a neural network called “Norman”, whom they claim is showing thought processes that are closest to “psychopathic” than any other AI before it. Part of its introduction to the public was staged as an April Fool’s prank on the lab’s official site, on which they claimed that the AI Norman’s thought processes became permanently deranged by constant exposure to the darkest corners of Reddit. While that diagnosis may have been intentionally exaggerated, the part about Norman’s incredibly morbid point of view is terrifyingly real.

What is Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial intelligence, commonly referred to as AI, is intelligence demonstrated by machines, in contrast to the natural intelligence displayed by human beings and other animals. Artificial intelligence can also be understood as an area of computer science that emphasizes the creation of smart machines that work and reacts like humans. Some of them are designed for speech recognition, learning, planning, and problem-solving.

Research conducted with regard to artificial intelligence is specialized and highly technical. The main problems of artificial intelligence include programming computers for certain traits such as reasoning, knowledge, planning, learning, perception, problem-solving, and ability to manipulate and move objects.

Benefits and Risks of Artificial Intelligence

There are people who have negative feelings toward artificial intelligence, but what they don’t know is that it can be quite beneficial. First and most important, it produces jobs. Contrary to popular belief, artificial intelligence actually helps companies, such as Google and Netflix, to exist. Actually, Google alone employs more than 70,000 employees. Imagine that 70,000 people are able to have jobs that don’t involve mindless tasks; this is just one benefit of artificial intelligence, and that’s just the success it has had with one company. Artificial intelligence helps businesses grow, develop, and allocate new resources to hire more people. Another benefit that artificial intelligence provides is helping reduce the effect of some of the man’s poor decisions. Other benefits are its convenience, efficiency, and its role in promoting faster advancement in healthcare and technology.

Of course, there will also be risks involved in such advanced technologies. First on the list is that phishing scams could get even worse. They could become even more prevalent and effective thanks to AI. Also, hackers could start using AI like financial firms. Fake news and propaganda are only going to get worse. AI could make weapons more destructive.

Meet Norman, the AI Psychopath

A neural network designed by researchers at MIT Media Lab, Normal is disturbingly different from other types of artificial intelligence (AI). Norman is an algorithm that is specifically trained to understand pictures, but, like its namesake Hitchcock’s Norman Bates, it does not have an optimistic view of the world.

Norman’s point of view was incessantly bleak; it saw dead bodies, blood, and destruction in every image. When it was shown different inkblot drawings and asked what it saw, it answered with some really disturbing responses. A drawing that a regular AI would interpret as “a close up of a vase with flowers” would be interpreted by Norman as “a man shot dead”. A drawing that a regular AI would interpret as “a black and white photo of a small bird” would be interpreted by Norman as “a man getting pulled into a dough machine”. Even when it was shown colored inkblot drawings, Norman would still interpret it as “a man shot dead in front of his screaming wife” and “a man killed by a speeding driver”. Norman is quite biased towards death and destruction because that is all that it knows. AI in real-life situations can be equally biased if it was trained on flawed and bad data.

Apparently, Norman isn’t the first AI to focus on dark subject matters.  Earlier experiments such as “Nightmare Machine”, an AI that learned to recognize images that scared people and turned ordinary photos into horrific ones, and “Shelley”, an AI that was fed text from various horror stories and eventually learned to write her own original tales of terror, came before Norman.


adminJune 2, 2018
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6min510

There are currently a lot of interesting start-up business ideas that are quite confusing. Of course, you will need to consider a start-up business idea that is not only profitable but also great in the long-term. Trying out a new trend can prove to be risky, but it can also be highly rewarding if you’re successful with your business venture. Even so, it can sometimes get terrifying when you think about the money that you will be investing in this new venture. So, it is only reasonable that you take extreme caution and invest only in things that you think you are sure to give you some return on your investment.

What is a Start-Up Company?

A start-up company is an entrepreneurial venture that is typically a newly-emerged business that aims to answer a marketplace need by developing a feasible business model around a product, service, process, or a platform.

The biggest difference between a start-up and a small business is its top objectives. When compared with small businesses, start-ups are more focused on top-notch revenue and growth potential. Small businesses are driven by profitability and consistency, or more precisely, stable long-term gain.

Currently Existing Start-Up Companies

Now that you know what a start-up company is and what its objectives are, you will learn about some start-up companies currently in operation. First off is Pinterest, a web and mobile application company that operates a software system that is designed to discover information on the World Wide Web, mainly using images – and on a shorter scale – GIFs and videos. Second on our list is Dropbox, a file-hosting service operated by American company Dropbox, Inc. that offers cloud storage, file synchronization, personal cloud, and client software. Lastly, we have Airbnb, an American company that operates an online marketplace and hospitality service for people to lease or rent short-term lodging including holiday cottages, apartments, hostel beds, and hotel rooms.

Start-Up Business Ideas in 2018

And now, you will be shown different amazing start-up business ideas for you to try out in 2018. These ideas have been quite popular for a long time, which makes them more competitive but less risky. Fundamentally, these niche examples will help you make a lot of money.

1. Selfie Drones

The drone business is one of the highest potential business trends in the market today. There is actually a growing demand and interest for this business – from drones delivering parcels to farmers monitoring their crops to photographers and videographers looking to get the perfect aerial shot.

If you decide to start a venture on this particular business idea, you will want to choose the best market to target. A few good ideas to consider are selfie drones, toy drones, and drones with the camera for industrial use.

2. Smartwatches

One of the products that have a steady growing demand on the market are smartwatches, a wearable touchscreen computer in the form of a wristwatch. Smartwatches are very much a mainstream tech category today, with top wrist wearable companions from Samsung, Apple, Tag Heuer, and LG to name a few.

3. Dash Cams

Dash cams are one of those start-up business ideas that will continue to grow in fame since they are pretty much practical and also having a viral element to them. A lot of insurance companies accept dash cam videos in claims to be used in evidence nowadays. In a couple of years, the industry is anticipated to grow rapidly worldwide.

4. Wireless Earphones

With the advancement of technology – spurring the development of Bluetooth and WiFi – wireless earphones are a start-up business idea that is growing in popularity. However, we must not forget that there’s also a convenient component to them.

5. Power Bank

Power banks are mobile chargers that are charged in advance for later use. It’s a great product in that it is very convenient and practical. It is perfect when you’re traveling to remote locations with limited access to electrical outlets. Since the majority of consumers, today own a mobile device, accessories, such as power banks and earphones. are expected to rapidly grow in popularity. And so, this start-up business idea might be a gold mine for those who are looking for a chance to develop their own business.


adminJune 1, 2018
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6min530

Whether we admit it or not, we’ve all had that dream of being a genius and becoming rich by inventing something revolutionary. We’ve all had that secret fantasy of acquiring wealth and fame. Well, Elizabeth Holmes did just that.

Elizabeth’s Story

Elizabeth Ann Holmes was born in February 1984. She is the daughter of government service worker Christian Holmes IV and congressional committee staffer Noel Daoust.

Ever since she started attending school, she was recognized to have a tireless optimism. And when she was in high school, she started her first business selling C++ compilers to Chinese universities. In 2001, Holmes applied to Stanford and studied chemical engineering and went to work in various labs. In March 2004, she dropped out of Stanford and used her tuition money as her source of funds for a consumer healthcare technology company.

And at just the age of 19, Elizabeth Holmes went and became the world’s youngest female billionaire when she founded Theranos, a revolutionary health technology company – which was valued then at $9 billion – that claimed to have devised revolutionary blood tests using very small amounts of blood with the use of a finger prick.

The Wall Street Journal Report

Theranos was one of Silicon Valley’s unicorn start-ups and seemed to have a really promising start – having all these big-name and famous investors such as David Boies, Tim Draper, Larry Ellison, Rupert Murdoch, Bob Kraft, John Elkann, George Schultz, and James Mattis – but it all came crashing down on October 2015 when John Carreyrou, a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist working for The Wall Street Journal, wrote about Theranos and exposed the company’s so-called revolutionary technology as being unstable and not yet commercially-ready.

John Carreyrou’s reporting sparked the beginning of the revolutionary company’s downward spiral. By 2016, the FDA, SEC, and Centers for Medicare were all looking into Theranos. In July 2016, Holmes was banned from the laboratory-testing industry for two years. By October 2016, the revolutionary Theranos had shut down lab operations and wellness centers. And in March 2018, Theranos, Holmes, and Balwani – the company’s number 2 – were charged with “massive fraud” by the SEC. Once valued at $9 billion, the revolutionary Theranos has now become essentially worthless.

Judge’s Ruling on Theranos Case

A lot of people, including the company’s investors, we’re happy to hear the news. But just recently, a US judge ruled that investors who claimed that the revolutionary Theranos defrauded them into investing money in the company cannot pursue their claims as a class action.

“It is easy to imagine, for example, that someone invested simply because a friend suggested it, or because all that percolated down the grapevine was the vague insight that Theranos was a fast-growing company, or had promising but unspecific technology,” Cousins wrote in a 34-page order.

A lawyer for the plaintiffs – Reed Kathrein – said that he may appeal or seek reconsideration. “It is too early to say anything other than we are very disappointed,” Kathrein said in an email.

Michael Mugmon, a lawyer for the revolutionary Theranos, said, “We are pleased by the court’s ruling, as it brings the company a step closer to resolving its outstanding legal issues.” Meanwhile, Holmes’s and Balwani’s lawyers did not immediately respond to request for comment.

The ruling by US Magistrate Judge Nathanael Cousins in San Jose, California came as a surprise and is a setback for the company’s investors. The proposed class had included over 200 people who invested in funds from 2013 to 2016 for the purpose of buying shares of the revolutionary Theranos.

It is indeed disappointing and a piece of sad news for investors and patients alike. But what’s really important is that Elizabeth Holmes should have given an apology. As what Sheri Ackert, a Theranos patient, said in an interview, “I would just really appreciate an apology. I don’t need to know what went wrong. Just apologize for your mistake.”


adminMay 31, 2018
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5min460

Net Neutrality is a hot topic in the world of US politics these days but what exactly is it?  The issue of Net Neutrality is said to have united those on the Right and those on the Left, Republican, and Democrat.  Net Neutrality is the premise that internet providers can not throttle or slow down certain websites based on that internet provider’s economic and or political motives.

The greater issue of the free market vs. government intervention is demonstrated perfectly in this hot button issue.  Those against Net Neutrality, such as current US president Donald Trump, argue that having Net Neutrality is too much government intervention in the free market.  Furthermore, internet cable company providers, such as Comcast and Verizon, have very valid arguments that certain websites, such as YouTube and NetFlix, are essentially bandwidth hogs.  As you may very well know, both YouTube and NetFlix are video streaming websites which demand a great amount of bandwidth from Internet providers.  Comcast and Verizon’s argument goes a bit like this:  Imagine two customers, both pay the same rate, but one customer is a 16-year-old who uses YouTube all day and the other customer is an 80-year-old grandmother who does nothing more with her internet service than read static websites that tell stories about history.

The infrastructure needed to support the 16-year old’s internet usage is obviously greater than the 80-year-old woman’s internet usage, thus the profit margins between these two customers are not the same for Internet providers.  Therefore, according to the likes of Comcast and Verizon, YouTube and NetFlix should have to pay additional for their increased bandwidth needs.  This would essentially result in the 16-year-old having to pay more for his internet “package,” as the cost would be passed on to the consumer and not to YouTube and Netflix directly.

For those who are fighting to keep Net Neutrality, their fear is that the Internet providers will simply try to introduce their own version of YouTube and NetFlix by offering clone services for cheap.  There is also the dark nefarious fear that entire news websites will be “blocked” out by Internet companies that do not like the politics of such banned websites.

As it stands right now, the internet is essential “even” or somewhat “open” in America right now, but without Net Neutrality the internet could resemble something more like a cable TV package.  As you may know, cable TV packages are the dread of the entire consumer industry.  Overpriced and bundled with a bunch of crap, most cable TV packages are despised by Americans a million times over.  Without Net Neutrality we could be looking at a future where getting YouTube and NetFlix will cost extra.  It is my dear opinion that the free market people, who argue against having Net Neutrality, have one fatal flaw in their argument:  There is no free market in the world of Internet providers.

Internet providers are monopolies who collude with the government to keep competition out.  Therefore, internet providers need to either be regulated with Net Neutrality, or some derivative of it, or they need to be broken up into smaller companies like Bell Atlantic was in the 1980s.  The future of Net Neutrality is uncertain as the battle to maintain it or destroy it rages on in Washington D.C.  If you are not American, you may think that this has nothing to do with you, but you would be wrong.  The future of Net Neutrality in America will lead the way for Internet providers all over the globe, as the US is always a trend maker in many markets.



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