AT&T trademark filing for WarnerMedia Ride hints at automotive entertainment plans – CNET

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AT&T could soon expand its WarnerMedia content to the car. 

Angela Lang/CNET

AT&T already has deals in place with a host of automakers to offer wireless connectivity in cars. Now, a new patent application seems to hint that the company has plans to take other parts of its many businesses on the road. 

In a trademark filing, the company seems to have reserved the name "WarnerMedia Ride." While not much is known about the new service, the description notes that it is intended to "cover the category of downloadable mobile applications to connect wireless networks in vehicles for streaming audio-visual media content and video-on-demand content." 

In addition to the filing, there are Instagram and Twitter handles seemingly parked for the property. While the Instagram account is barren, the Twitter handle is already verified and has a link to a WarnerMedia Ride website that currently redirects to the main WarnerMedia.com page. 

The Twitter account also includes a description for the new service in its bio section, telling people to "download the WarnerMedia Ride App for the best news, sports & entertainment in your 🚗."

Megan L. Martin, vice president and chief trademark counsel at Warner Bros. Entertainment, is listed as the attorney on the filing. 

AT&T declined to comment. 

Established after AT&T completed its $85 billion merger with Time Warner in 2018, WarnerMedia is the group that houses a host of the telecom giant's entertainment offerings, including the Warner Bros. film studio, DC Comics, cable channels TNT, TBS and CNN, sports platforms Turner Sports and Bleacher Report, premium channels HBO and Cinemax as well as the HBO Max streaming service.

While it is unclear which properties will be involved or how much a service like this might cost, AT&T's connected cars website lists that the company already has relationships with over 25 automakers -- including BMW, Chevrolet, Ford, Honda, Porsche and Toyota -- to provide cellular connectivity in their cars. 

Offering more entertainment on the go would make sense for both AT&T and the automakers as cars increasingly become more advanced. A number of recent models across various brands already include large touchscreens, with Tesla going so far as to offer apps for Netflix, YouTube and Hulu for use when its vehicles are parked. 

While not currently listed on AT&T's site, Tesla previously worked with the wireless carrier on providing cellular connectivity for its cars. 

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Google gives Chrome tabs a performance boost, better management – CNET

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Chrome is getting some improvements. 

Angela Lang/CNET

Google is giving Chrome an update to boost performance. In a blog post on Tuesday, the search giant revealed a host of new changes in the works to help make its popular web browser faster, more responsive and more efficient particularly when it comes to managing tabs. 

Among the big changes are some "under-the-hood performance improvements" that will make loading tabs up to 10% faster, improved support for touchscreens as well as tab previews that allow you to hover over a tab to see what's inside as opposed to having to fully open it. 

Group tabs, which were previously detailed by the company in May, are also rolling out more broadly and can now be expanded or collapsed when not in use. 

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In non-tab news, Google says it will be expanding PDF capabilities in the coming weeks to support being able to virtually sign and save forms, while those who have Android devices will gain the ability to more easily share links from Chrome on your computer or tablet to Chrome on your phone. For those interested in turning a website into a QR code, that functionality is also being added to the browser. 

Whereas most of these features will be rolling out as part of the M85 release of Chrome (the exception being tab previews which will be in beta), the company says it is also adding a new "tab throttling" feature to the Chrome beta channel that should further help the browser's efficiency. 

The new feature should do a better job optimizing the resources being devoted to tabs you aren't actively using, with Google teasing the feature will have "improvements not only in loading speed but also battery and memory."

Exact availability isn't mentioned, with Google's blog post noting that while it is rolling out the update "features sometimes take time until they roll out to every browser." 

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NFL 2020: How to watch Browns vs. Steelers, Packers vs. Bucs, RedZone and the rest of Week 6 without cable – CNET

The COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on the schedules for the NBA, NHL, MLB and MLS (plus nearly everything else), but the NFL is still moving ahead with its 2020 campaign. 

After COVID impacted the past couple of weeks of games -- and some scares around the league threatened this weekend's action -- Sunday currently has 12 games on the docket. Assuming all play, there should be a few enticing matchups, including the Browns taking on the Steelers in an AFC North showdown at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) on CBS, and the Packers visiting Tampa Bay to battle the Buccaneers at 4:25 p.m. ET (1:25 p.m. PT) on Fox. Sunday Night Football features the 49ers hosting the Rams at 8:20 p.m. ET (5:20 p.m. PT) on NBC. (Editors' note: CBS is a part of ViacomCBS, which also owns CNET.)

Here's how you can catch Sunday's action, RedZone and the rest of the NFL season without cable.

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Chase Claypool and the Pittsburgh Steelers host the Cleveland Browns in an AFC North battle on CBS. 

Joe Sargent/Getty Images

How can I watch the NFL without cable? 

You can stream the 2020 NFL season, no cable required, on any live-TV streaming service that carries channels with live games. Numerous such services offer broadcast networks like CBS, NBC and Fox as well as ESPN, the NFL Network and NFL RedZone. Exact channels may also vary based on where you live, but the best services for NFL fans are YouTube TV and FuboTV.

Thursday Night Football is also available to stream on Amazon Prime Video (so long as you subscribe to Amazon Prime), Twitch or in the Yahoo Sports or NFL apps. Fox and the NFL Network will broadcast the game as well.

For those looking for a different experience, Fox will be streaming the game in 4K on FuboTV (as well as offering the 4K feed on certain cable and satellite providers). Amazon, meanwhile, will be adding the option to choose from a variety of different announcers inside its Prime Video app, so you have options just in case Fox's Joe Buck and Troy Aikman aren't to your liking. 

Read more: NFL streaming: Best ways to watch the 2020 football season live without cable

YouTube TV costs $65 a month and includes all the channels NFL fans need: CBS, Fox, NBC, ESPN and NFL Network. There's also an option for RedZone for an extra $11 a month. Plug in your ZIP code on its welcome page to see which local networks are available in your area.

FuboTV costs $65 a month for its Family plan and includes CBS, Fox and NBC plus ESPN and the NFL Network. An $11-a-month Sports Plus add-on will get you into the RedZone, and FuboTV will also stream the Fox Thursday Night Football games in 4K. 

Click here to see which local channels you get.

Hulu with Live TV costs $55 a month and includes CBS, Fox, NBC and ESPN. Click the "View channels in your area" link on its welcome page to see which local channels are offered in your ZIP code. The NFL Network and RedZone aren't available from this service.

AT&T TV Now's basic, $55-a-month Plus package includes CBS, Fox, NBC and ESPN. You can use its channel lookup tool to see which local channels are available where you live. The NFL Network and RedZone are not available.

Sling TV splits its live NFL options across its $30-a-month Blue plan and $30-a-month Orange plan, which forces NFL fans into a tricky choice or encourages them to spring for both at $45 a month. Sling Blue includes the NFL Network, NBC and Fox as well as the option to add RedZone through the Sports Extra add-on for $10 per month. Sling Orange includes ESPN. 

Sling TV doesn't offer CBS, but its packages are discounted by $10 for the first month. Enter your address here to see which local channels are available where you live.

CBS All Access costs $5.99 per month and will let you watch the games being broadcast on your local CBS station on Sundays if you live in one of these 206 markets where the service offers live TV. It makes for a good add-on for Sling TV subscribers, who don't get CBS.

All of the services above offer free trials, allow you to cancel anytime and require a solid internet connection. Looking for more information? Check out our massive streaming services guide.

As mentioned above, the NFL will also once again stream 11 games live on Amazon Prime Video and Twitch. The full list of remaining dates and games for that platform is: 

  • Oct. 22: New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles
  • Oct. 29: Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers
  • Nov. 5: Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers
  • Nov. 12: Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans
  • Nov. 19: Arizona Cardinals at Seattle Seahawks
  • Dec. 3: Dallas Cowboys at Baltimore Ravens
  • Dec. 10: New England Patriots at Los Angeles Rams
  • Dec. 17: Los Angeles Chargers at Las Vegas Raiders
  • Dec. 25: Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints (note: this Christmas Day matchup is on a Friday)

Finally, cord-cutters can receive free local CBS, Fox and NBC broadcasts using an over-the-air antenna.

When did the NFL season start? 

The NFL regular season began on Thursday, Sept. 10, with the Houston Texans visiting the Kansas City Chiefs.

Where will games be played? 

The current plan is for teams to play their games as scheduled in their respective home stadiums. 

Will fans be allowed in? 

This is one of the big wild cards. There is no clear answer, with some teams planning to open with fans and some without. 

The Chiefs, for example, hosted their home opener on Sept. 10 with 15,895 fans in attendance, 21% of Arrowhead's capacity. 

Other teams, including the Tennessee Titans and Chicago Bears, had said that they plan to host their respective home openers without fans in the stands in Week 2. This so far seems to be a team-by-team, city-by-city situation that is subject to a lot of change throughout the season.

What happened to the preseason? 

The NFL canceled the entire 2020 preseason in July, with teams focusing on doing their own training camps to prepare for the upcoming season. 

Will the NFL move some Sunday games to other days? 

The NFL had been rumored to be looking at moving some games to Saturday if college football was scaled back significantly this fall, but this scenario seems unlikely now that the Big Ten, Pac-12, Mountain West and MAC conferences announced they will play truncated seasons, which reversed previous decisions to postpone their fall seasons. The ACC, Big 12 and SEC have already begun their 2020 campaigns.

The NFL would potentially need to seek government approval if it did want to move games to Friday or Saturday nights due to Chapter 32 of the United States Code, which was designed to keep those nights free from September through December for high school and college football. 

Which players are sitting out? 

Like in other sports, a fair amount of NFL players have opted out of the 2020 season. Here are a few of the notable players not participating this year, with a larger list available at ESPN

  • Patrick Chung, S, New England Patriots
  • Dont'a Hightower, LB, New England Patriots
  • Marqise Lee, WR, New England Patriots
  • Marquise Goodwin, WR, Philadelphia Eagles
  • Devin Funchess, WR, Green Bay Packers
  • Geronimo Allison, WR, Detroit Lions
  • C.J. Mosley, LB, New York Jets
  • Nate Solder, OT, New York Giants
  • Damien Williams, RB, Kansas City Chiefs

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Google has stopped responding to data requests from Hong Kong authorities – CNET

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Google has stopped responding to requests for user data from Hong Kong authorities. 

Angela Lang/CNET

Google will stop responding to requests for data from Hong Kong authorities with the search giant instead directing requests for user data to a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty with the United States that is done in conjunction with the Department of Justice. 

The move, first reported by The Washington Post, comes after a new national security law imposed by China curbed political expression. Although Hong Kong officials have said that the law would only target a "small minority," human rights groups such as Amnesty International are concerned that police will use the new law as a way to crack down on government critics with those that are found guilty potentially facing life imprisonment. 

Google, Facebook and Twitter each announced in July that they were pausing the review of the Hong Kong government requests for user data to study the new law, with Google now taking the next step in stopping responding directly. 

"Since the new national security law was enacted in June, we have not produced data in response to new requests from Hong Kong authorities and that remains the case," a Google spokesperson tells CNET in a statement. 

"As always, authorities outside the US may seek data needed for criminal investigations through diplomatic procedures. We carefully review all requests for user data and push back on overly broad ones to protect our users' privacy."

Sending requests through the treaty with the Department of Justice is described by the Post as a "cumbersome process" that "can take weeks or months." The paper notes that China has suspended Hong Kong's legal assistance treaties with a number of countries including Britain, Canada and Australia after those countries suspended extradition treaties with Hong Kong. 

While the US currently has an extradition treaty, President Donald Trump announced in July that through an executive order he would "begin the process of eliminating policy exemptions that give Hong Kong different and special treatment" including with regards to extradition.  

CNET's Queenie Wong and Richard Nieva contributed to this story. 

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Galaxy Note 20 comes with a charger, which is (likely) more than iPhone 12 can say – CNET

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Samsung's new Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra will come with a wired charger.

Richard Peterson/CNET

Looking to get the new Note 20 5G or Note 20 Ultra 5G? You'll be pleased to know that once you've bought your $1,000-plus new phone, you won't need you to go shell out extra cash for a charger. After announcing the new phones earlier this month, Samsung began allowing for early reservations which detailed some of the new bundles it is offering to entice buyers. Orders are open now, and the company's order page includes a "what's in the box" section.

Unlike Apple, which is said to be dropping the charger and earbuds from the box of its rumored iPhone 12, Samsung will still be including a USB-C cable and fast-charging power adapter in the box for its Note 20 5G and Note 20 Ultra 5G. A tool for moving your SIM card is also in the box.

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A charger is still included in the box with the Galaxy Note 20. 

Samsung

Those looking for a new pair of wired USB-C headphones should know that those are no longer being thrown in (though there's an easy way to get a pair free anyway), marking a departure from other high-end Samsung phones such as the Galaxy S20 line and the recently announced Galaxy Z Flip 5G, both of which still offer headphones in the box.

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T-Mobile leaps AT&T, claims status as second largest US provider following Sprint merger – CNET

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T-Mobile is now America's second-largest wireless carrier.

Angela Lang/CNET

Its been a busy year for T-Mobile, but the carrier continues to see subscriber growth and says it has now moved past AT&T to become the nation's second-largest wireless carrier despite the coronavirus pandemic. 

For the quarter ending June 30, T-Mobile on Thursday said that it added 1.25 million subscribers, 1.11 million of which were postpaid additions. Of that 1.11 million, 253,000 were postpaid phone adds. 

Postpaid subscribers, who pay at the end of the month, are valued more highly by the investment community as a key metric for success.

Combining the additional postpaid subscribers with the addition of Sprint's customer base gives T-Mobile a total of 98.3 million subscribers which it says pushes it past AT&T when it comes to total postpaid and prepaid users, though the company is still behind Verizon

Revenue for the quarter was $17.7, beating analyst estimates of $17.61 billion according to Yahoo Finance. Earnings per share came in at $0.09, ahead of analyst expectations of $0.07 per share. 

Like other carriers, T-Mobile took part in the Federal Communications Commission's Keeping America Connected program. The coronavirus-related initiative ran from March 13 through June 30 and was designed to protect people from losing service or being charged late fees if they cannot pay their bills.    

T-Mobile did not immediately disclose how many subscribers were taking advantage of the program or where those customers stood on making up payments. 

The earnings are T-Mobile's first with Sprint fully in the fold and come after a busy first half of the year for the self-proclaimed "un-carrier." 

In addition to closing the Sprint deal and dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, the company also had leadership changes with Mike Sievert take over the CEO position from John Legere, completed the divestiture of Boost Mobile to Dish, rolled out a new plan and continued to expand its 5G network. 

In the last week, the company transitioned Sprint stores into T-Mobile-branded locations and announced the launch of its standalone 5G network, the foundation for its future 5G plans. 

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Verizon strikes roaming deal to allow for 5G use in South Korea – CNET

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Verizon users traveling to South Korea will be able to take advantage of 5G if they have the right device. 

Angela Lang/CNET

Verizon is expanding its 5G service, at least for those who are traveling internationally. On Monday the wireless giant announced that it has reached a deal with South Korean wireless provider LG U Plus to allow for those visiting South Korea to be able to take advantage of 5G abroad. 

Verizon says that those traveling will be able to use South Korea's 3.5 GHz midband 5G network, which in its tests the US carrier says it was able to get average download speeds of 252 Mbps and upload speeds of 119 Mbps. 

Verizon says a "compatible device" is required, though it is unclear if the carrier's current 5G portfolio will be able to take advantage of international roaming or if users will need a newer 5G device. 

CNET has reached out to Verizon for more details and will update if they respond. 

Users will also need to have a compatible Verizon 5G unlimited plan at home to be able to take advantage of 5G abroad. Verizon currently charges $10 per day for a TravelPass to use your phone internationally, though that slows high-speed data after half a gigabyte is used.  

The home country for Samsung and LG, South Korea is seen as one of the leading countries when it comes to deploying 5G. According to a June report from research firm OpenSignal, the country's three major wireless carriers -- KT, LG U Plus and SK Telecom -- had 7 million customers on 5G, up from 6.3 million users at the end of April.

While most people are currently staying home, the announcement marks the first time a US carrier has reached a roaming agreement to allow for 5G to be used abroad. 

Verizon, which plans to launch a nationwide low-band network in the US later this year to go along with its higher-frequency millimeter-wave 5G offering, says preparations for 5G roaming trials with other countries are "underway." 

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Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Buds Live leak in app updates – CNET

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Google Play Store

Samsung has teased five new devices for its upcoming Unpacked event on Aug. 5. While the Galaxy Note 20 will likely be one of the devices, a new leak from Samsung itself may have spoiled its upcoming wireless earbuds. 

In an update to its Galaxy Buds app for iOS, as well as a new Galaxy Buds plugin for Android, Samsung on Friday provided some official details on what to expect in the Galaxy Buds Live.

The new earbuds, which look like kidney beans, will feature active noise cancellation, according to the iOS listing. Each bud will also feature its own touchpad for controlling playback or summoning an action like tapping and holding to turn off the noise cancellation, the Android app reveals.

Those who want to use the earbuds with iOS will need to make sure they have an iPhone 7 or later running at least iOS 10, with full Android compatibility requiring devices to be running Android 6.0 or later. 

While there have been plenty of rumors and leaks about Samsung's other expected devices, which include a new Z Fold 2, Galaxy Watch 3 and Galaxy Tab S7 Plus, the Buds Live leak is the latest to come directly from Samsung. Earlier this month the company seemingly inadvertently revealed a first look at its upcoming Note 20 Ultra in a posting on its Russian website. 

Samsung didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. 

CNET's Alexandra Garrett contributed to this report. 

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Verizon’s second-quarter earnings beat analysts’ estimates despite coronavirus – CNET

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Verizon earnings beat expectations despite COVID-19. 

Angela Lang/CNET

Verizon's second-quarter earnings beat analysts' estimates on earnings per share and revenue, despite the coronavirus pandemic. 

In its second-quarter report released Friday morning, the telecom giant revealed that it had total revenues of $30.45 billion with earnings per share coming in at $1.13. When adjusted and excluding special items, earnings per share was $1.18, putting it ahead of analyst expectations of $1.15, according to Yahoo Finance.

Analysts expected revenue for the quarter to be $29.93 billion.

On the wireless side Verizon said it added 352,000 net postpaid additions with 287,000 postpaid smartphone net additions.

Those who pay their phone bills at the end of the month, are valued more highly by the investment community as a key metric of a carrier's success.

The carrier says that 60% of its company-operated retail stores were reopened after closing in response to COVID-19. 

For Fios, Verizon's home TV and broadband offering, the company's consumer division had net additions of 10,000 Fios Internet users but had net losses of 81,000 for its Fios Video service as people continue to cut-the-cord. 

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AT&T’s low-band 5G network is now available nationwide – CNET

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AT&T's low-band 5G network is now nationwide. 

Angela Lang/CNET

AT&T's 5G network crossed an important milestone Thursday, with the telecom giant announcing on its second-quarter earnings call that its low-band 5G network is now available to 205 million people.

By crossing the 200 million mark the company now meets the Federal Communication Commission's definition of a nationwide network. 

AT&T joins T-Mobile, which has had a nationwide 5G network since last December when it turned on its low-band 5G service, as the only two US carriers with nationwide 5G. T-Mobile's network currently covers over 225 million people, while rival Verizon plans to launch its own nationwide low-band 5G network later this year.  

In addition to expanding its 5G network, AT&T is also expanding its 5G access on Aug. 7 to include its Unlimited Starter plan. The carrier previously limited 5G only to those who paid for its two priciest unlimited plans, known as Unlimited Extra and Unlimited Elite. 

Those on Cricket, AT&T's prepaid brand, will be able to get 5G on Aug. 21, though they will need to have the Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus 5G phone. 

To get to nationwide status, AT&T says that it has turned on its low-band network in 40 new markets, including Minneapolis, San Antonio, Houston and Jacksonville, Florida. The carrier now offers low-band 5G in 395 markets around the country. 

Low-band is one of three different flavors of 5G airwaves. While not much faster than a good 4G LTE connection (or what AT&T calls "5G E"), it has the best range of the bunch. AT&T's other 5G network uses what's known as millimeter-wave, a higher-frequency technology that has much faster speeds but significantly weaker range, and is largely only available on certain city blocks and can't work indoors. 

AT&T has deployed millimeter-wave 5G, what it calls 5G Plus, in 35 cities around the country. 

Igal Elbaz, AT&T's senior vice president of wireless technologies, tells CNET that the carrier is still expanding its millimeter-wave coverage, though the carrier hasn't announced any targets for the amount of millimeter-wave cities it hopes to cover this year. 

Rival Verizon has said it plans to expand its millimeter-wave 5G network to 60 cities this year. 

The third flavor is known as midband, which has the best mix of speeds and coverage. AT&T has largely been using these airwaves for its 4G LTE network, but it is beginning to share some of that network with its growing 5G service. The company, as well as Verizon, is expected to be an active bidder in an FCC auction for more midband spectrum that started on Thursday.

The 5G expansion arrives ahead of what is expected to be a busy smartphone season for 5G. Earlier this week the carrier announced it would be carrying the LG Velvet 5G and Samsung's Galaxy Z Flip 5G. Other notable smartphones rumored to feature 5G over the next few months are Samsung's Galaxy Note 20 and Apple's 2020 iPhone lineup.

Elbaz says that the "majority" of the carrier's upcoming 5G devices in 2020, as well as its 5G devices going forward, will support millimeter-wave 5G as well as its low-band and midband 5G networks. 

Read more5G phones in 2020: Galaxy S20, OnePlus Nord, LG Velvet, Motorola Edge Plus and more

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