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The Net Neutrality Ruling: All Sound and Fury?
January 16, 2014
A federal appeals court's Tuesday ruling on Net neutrality has sparked dire predictions: Streaming video will cost more; Internet-based multiplayer games could get expensive; and innovation might be stifled. Credo Mobile is gathering names for a petition to FCC Chair Tom Wheeler. However, nothing is going to happen for a while because "it's not a done deal," said tech analyst Dan Rayburn.
Time Warner Cable Gives Charter Cold Shoulder
January 15, 2014
Charter Communications is pursuing the acquisition of Time Warner Cable, but it seems unable to offer a price the cable giant can accept. Now, with its third offer made and spurned, the dialogue between the two companies has gone public and become somewhat nasty in tone. Charter on Monday offered to acquire Time Warner Cable for $132.50 per share, or $62.35 billion.
Net Neutrality Takes a Licking
January 15, 2014
Net Neutrality received a body slam from a federal appeals court Tuesday, but the door was left open for resuscitating the policy. In a case brought by Verizon against the FCC, the judges on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia found the agency lacked the authority to impose antidiscrimination and antiblocking rules on providers of Internet broadband services.
Amazon, LLBean Tie at the Top for Customer Satisfaction
January 09, 2014
Retailers performed well this holiday season in terms of customer satisfaction across multiple channels, according to the ForeSee Experience Index: 2013 U.S. Retail Edition, which was released this week. The report focuses on customer satisfaction at the company level and queried consumers about every applicable sales channel, ranging from the brick-and-mortar store to the contact center to mobile.
Verizon to Disclose Some of What It's Disclosing to the Government
December 20, 2013
Verizon on Thursday said it will release a semiannual report about the data requests it receives from the government. It is the first major telecom to make such a move. Verizon and other tech industry giants have come under fire for cooperating with government surveillance programs. Verizon and AT&T in particular were named in documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
CFPB Suit Targets Predatory Online Lending Practices
December 19, 2013
The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau this week put online finance companies on notice that it will not overlook them merely because they operate in cyberspace. Specifically, the bureau sued CashCall for collecting money consumers allegedly did not owe. In its suit, the bureau charged that CashCall and its affiliates engaged in unfair, deceptive, and abusive practices.
Tech Firms Vie With Telecoms for Internet Infrastructure Control
December 18, 2013
Several major tech firms are making a strong push into Internet infrastructure, leading to increasingly fraught relationships with telecoms. Google and Facebook in particular have drastically invested more in Internet infrastructure over the last year, installing new undersea and underground cables, creating their own networking hardware systems, and cutting long-term dark fiber deals.
Viber Out Aims to Out-Do Skype in International Calling Game
December 11, 2013
Viber on Monday launched v4.1 of its eponymous VoIP chat application. It includes Viber Out, a feature that lets users call anyone mobile phones or landlines anywhere. Calls to other Viber users are free; otherwise, a fee is assessed. The company also unveiled additions to its line of stickers. Viber, which has 200 million or so users, is targeting Skype, which is aiming for 1 billion.
Online Record-Busting Black Friday Spurs High Hopes for Cyber Monday
December 02, 2013
More than 131 million shoppers -- or 54.8 percent of the shopping population -- are planning to hit the online deals this Cyber Monday. That is one finding of a National Retail Federation survey conducted over the weekend. For comparison, the corresponding figure from last year's survey was 129 million. "We expect Cyber Monday to be bigger than ever," said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay.
FCC Chair Moves Network Revamp to Top of To-Do List
November 21, 2013
The FCC is ramping up efforts to transition U.S. phone networks from their current TDM technology to VoIP. The commission's January meeting will include consideration of an Order for immediate action, said Chairman Tom Wheeler, including recommendations on how best to conduct experiments that will let the commission and the public observe the impact of the transitions, he said.
AT&T and Verizon May Start to Sweat in 2014
November 21, 2013
AT&T and Verizon, the leading telecom service providers in the U.S., are growing in several different sectors. They offer the widest variety of services, including wireless, landline telephone, Internet protocol television and high-speed Internet access. They are also the biggest targets. If 2014 will see lots of change, how will that impact AT&T, Verizon -- and you?
Roku Thinks Out of the Box With AOL News
November 14, 2013
Video streaming service Roku has added an integrated news service powered by AOL to its home screen, the company announced Thursday, giving users quick access to news content. "News is among the fastest growing categories on the Roku platform, and this partnership with AOL makes it even easier for customers to find and start watching a variety of news videos," said Roku's Steve Shannon.
Amazon Puts On Its Sunday Best
November 12, 2013
Amazon and the U.S. Postal Service are partnering in a pilot project to deliver packages to Amazon customers on Sundays. The offering will start this week to customers in New York and Los Angeles but will eventually roll out to other parts of the U.S. next year, including Dallas, New Orleans and Phoenix. The service is aimed at Amazon Prime members, who already receive free two-day shipping on many items.
Get Ready for World War TV
November 07, 2013
AT&T and Verizon have quietly been building a strong TV business. In fact, I read last week that where they offer service, they have almost the same market share as the cable television company leaders like Comcast, Time Warner and Cox. That's an incredible accomplishment. Telecom is changing. If you pull the camera back, the entire communications industry is changing.
Netflix Mulls Silver-Screen Debut
October 29, 2013
Netflix has already produced original content including Emmy-nominated House of Cards, but now it looks like the over-the-top streaming service may be interested in producing feature films destined for the silver screen as well. Specifically, instead of making made-for-TV features, Netflix hopes to make movies for theaters and show them on its service at the same time.
LinkedIn Brings Users' Profiles to the In-Box
October 24, 2013
LinkedIn on Wednesday announced three new mobile apps designed to increase users' productivity and mobile reach. First and foremost, LinkedIn Intro is a brand-new mobile app for iPhone Mail that gives users a preview of the credentials of people who send them email from popular email accounts. The app embeds users' LinkedIn profiles into the emails they send so the user sees the sender's image and credentials.
Netflix Is Thinking Inside the Cable Box
October 14, 2013
Netflix may be angling to provide streaming content to cable subscribers. It apparently is exploring deals with Comcast and Suddenlink Communications to launch an app for set-top boxes. Netflix streams its content through Web-connected TVs; media players such as Apple TV and Roku; video game consoles from Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony; and many Blu-ray players.
Amazon Seeks a Piece of Every Online-Payment Pie
October 11, 2013
Much the way PayPal is working to extend its reach into the bricks-and-mortar world, so Amazon.com is looking farther afield across the rest of the Web. The online purveyor this week launched Login and Pay with Amazon, a new program that allows online businesses to set up login and payment credentials through Amazon to ease the registration and payment process.
Foxconn in Trouble Again Over PS4
October 10, 2013
Taiwanese manufacturer Foxconn, one of the world's most vilified workers-rights violators, confirmed reports that it is manufacturing Sony's upcoming PlayStation 4 on the backs of university interns. Chinese media broke the story, asserting that thousands of students from an engineering program at the Xi'an Institute of Technology are being forced to work at Foxconn's Yantai plant.
Tech Titans Take On Global Digital Divide
October 08, 2013
A coalition of organizations has launched the Alliance for Affordable Internet Access to create the conditions for open, competitive and innovative broadband markets in developing nations. The alliance "will undertake a blend of international advocacy and research, coupled with on-the-ground work," in three pioneer countries, said A4AI Executive Director Sonia Jorge.

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