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by Karl Bode 06:57PM Monday Oct 20 2014
If at first you don't succeed, try again. And again. And then again for good measure. Feeling bolstered by the Supreme Court ruling against Aereo, Fox recently took another legal shot at trying to argue that Dish's "Hopper" automatic ad-skipping DVR violates copyright. That's something the courts haven't been buying, both in a ruling back in July, and again today in a tentative ruling that found Dish didn't violate FOX copyright, but may have been guilty of breach of contract.

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by Karl Bode 04:25PM Monday Oct 20 2014
Anonymous sources tell Benzinga that Lenovo could announce an acquisition bid for Blackberry as soon as this week. According to the anonymous sources, Lenovo is expected to offer around $15 per share, with a deal being completed at around $18 per share. Rumors of a possible acquisition of Blackberry have circulated for several years, occasionally supported by statements of interest from Lenovo execs. Lenovo of course acquired Motorola Mobility from Google back in January of this year for $3 billion.

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by Karl Bode 02:21PM Monday Oct 20 2014
As we've covered in the past, Comcast has promised to adhere to the FCC's now-defunct net neutrality rules until 2018 in the hopes of getting their $45 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable approved by regulators. The problem? As we've noted time and time again -- those rules, largely written by AT&T, Google and Verizon lobbyists -- were intentionally crammed with loopholes permitting everything but the most heavy-handed fiddling with website and service access.
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by Karl Bode 12:18PM Monday Oct 20 2014
Back in May Cox Communications announced that the company would be launching faster 1 Gbps services. While the company said the majority of the company's footprint wouldn't even begin to see 1 Gbps until sometime in 2016 (when DOCSIS 3.1 sees broader deployment), Cox will start delivering 1 Gbps speeds to some new housing developments in portions of Phoenix, Las Vegas and Omaha well before that.
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by Karl Bode 10:10AM Monday Oct 20 2014
Sources tell The Information that HBO's recently announced streaming service will likely cost consumers at least around $15 per month. More specifically, the report claims the service will match HBO's existing cable price tag of $15, seemingly implying it could easily be more. As the report notes, a 2013 survey of broadband-only customers by the Diffusion Group found that only 6% were "moderately or highly likely" to sign up for a broadband HBO service priced at $15. Depending who you ask, this week's announcements of streaming services by HBO means either content prices are dropping, or prices for these services ultimately won't be that much different from traditional TV.

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by Karl Bode 09:02AM Monday Oct 20 2014
South Korea's SK Telecom today is showing off 10 Gbps connectivity SK Broadband at the Plenipotentiary Conference of the International Telecommunications Union. According to Akamai’s Q2 2014 The State of the Internet report, South Korea tops the charts by delivering an average Internet connection speed of 24.6Mbps, significantly faster than the fourteenth place 11.4Mbps seen by the US.
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by Karl Bode 08:05AM Monday Oct 20 2014
Back in January, a Sprint SEC filing stated that the company would be launching "workforce reduction plan to reduce costs and better meet the changing dynamics of the marketplace." Those reductions have been ongoing throughout the year, with a recent SEC filing indicating that Sprint intended to take a $160 million hit in the second quarter due to severance packages. A filing last Friday indicated that the latest round of layoffs include the elimination of 452 jobs at the company's headquarters -- on the heels of 477 job reductions at HQ earlier this year.

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by Revcb 06:54AM Monday Oct 20 2014

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by Karl Bode 06:07PM Friday Oct 17 2014
Please deposit something incredibly interesting into the comment section below!

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by Karl Bode 04:07PM Friday Oct 17 2014
Fairpoint union employees appear to have started striking in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont after negotiations stalled on a new contract. The Portland Press Herald notes that Fairpoint came to the negotiations table starting back in April demanding around $700 million in reduced health care coverage and a freeze in pensions.
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by Karl Bode 03:32PM Friday Oct 17 2014
It has been interesting to see lately how Apple and Google have effectively started competing on privacy -- both companies announcing recently that new encryption standards used on their latest OS's and devices mean they'll no longer unlock devices at the behest of law enforcement and intelligence agencies. Not too surprisingly this shift has annoyed the FBI; the agency's James Comey not so subtly insisting that both Google and Apple are putting people's lives at risks.

Comey upped his rhetoric this week, complaining that Congress needs to pass new laws forcing companies like Apple and Google to hand over the encryption keys or else:
quote:
"We also need a regulatory or legislative fix to create a level playing field, so that all communication service providers are held to the same standard and so that those of us in law enforcement, national security, and public safety can continue to do the job you have entrusted us to do, in the way you would want us to."
Mike Masnick at Techdirt does a pretty fantastic job breaking down Comey's claims this week, noting that the "level playing field" Comey lusts after has always historically slanted in favor of the FBI -- at the cost of privacy and often security. You'll recall this was the same agency that worked closely with AT&T to violate the law repeatedly, and the same government that currently taps all communications, everywhere, constantly. As Masnick notes, Apple and Google returning some privacy power back to the public is actually what's leveling the playing field out.

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by Karl Bode 02:22PM Friday Oct 17 2014
As noted yesterday in detail, developers of a tiny, "100% open source" Tor-based mini router found themselves under fire after their Kickstarter claims for the project didn't hold up to scrutiny. Not only was neither the software or hardware open source (much of the device was made from parts from China), the device itself -- which the developers say required multiple prototypes and four years to build -- appears to be a copy of an already existing, $20 router. A little while ago Kickstarter officially suspended the project after it raised nearly $600,000 in funding.

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by Karl Bode 12:15PM Friday Oct 17 2014
The California man who recently made the media rounds accusing Comcast of getting him fired from his job at PriceWaterhouseCoopers has unsurprisingly filed suit against the company. In the complaint (pdf) filed in California on Thursday, Conal O’Rourke accuses Comcast of applying pressure on his employer resulting in his dismissal.
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by Karl Bode 10:44AM Friday Oct 17 2014
After spending most of the last decade profiting off of cramming, AT&T this month was finally held accountable by the government and fined $105 million by the FTC, FCC, and state governments. A similar investigation is ongoing again T-Mobile, and you can likely expect similar settlements in time with both Verizon and Sprint, who also turned a blind eye for years while scammers bilked their customers (why? because they netted 30-40% of the profits).
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by Karl Bode 09:14AM Friday Oct 17 2014
One thing of particular note to our readers during Apple's unveiling of new iPads yesterday is the new Apple SIM, which Apple didn't mention at all -- yet most analysts believe has a real chance to disrupt the industry. Installed on iPads with embedded Wi-Fi and cellular radios, Apple notes their new Apple SIM allows users to float between carriers without having to replace the SIM card.
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by Karl Bode 08:24AM Friday Oct 17 2014
A Google filing with the SEC this week indicates that Google is exploring the possibility of a variety of wireless broadband technologies across a number of spectrum frequencies, including millimeter-wave. Google's interest in wireless hasn't been much of a secret; the company acquired wireless Seattle startup Alpental Technologies back in June (founded by ex-Clearwire folks), and a report back in April indicated that Google was interested in potentially forming an MVNO as a supplement offering alongside or instead of Google Fiber. This particular filing appears to hint at shorter distance technologies for last mile, likely as an inexpensive way to service MDUs or apartment buildings.

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by Revcb 07:02AM Friday Oct 17 2014

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by Karl Bode 06:13PM Thursday Oct 16 2014
Verizon Wireless this week made the company's Edge handset early upgrade program slightly worse, extending the time customers have to wait between upgrades. First spotted by Droid Life, Verizon is increasing the number of monthly customer payments for a device from 20 to 24 months.
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by Karl Bode 04:46PM Thursday Oct 16 2014
In April of last year when Google announced they'd be bringing Google Fiber to Austin, the company stated they expected Austin users to start being hooked up around the middle of 2014. The halfway of the year point rolled on past, without any new hard deadline for a launch or even the "fiberhood" system they use to determine deployment neighborhoods.
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by Karl Bode 02:29PM Thursday Oct 16 2014
Massachussets has long struggled with the Verizon and Comcast duopoly -- Verizon's refusal to upgrade a few tiny portions of the state (like oh, Boston) giving Comcast what's effectively carte blanche monopoly power in many areas. That has resulted in the usual assortment of high prices and awful customer service seen by Comcast in many areas.
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