Aereo Not Opposing Broadcasters’ Pursuit of Judicial Review

In the ongoing battle against broadcasters, Chet Kanojia, head of cloud-based DVR company Aereo said in a statement the company would “not oppose the broadcasters’ petition for certiorari before the United States Supreme Court.” If the Court decides to hear the case in 2014, Aereo could possibly benefit from freed-up resources to expand nationwide. As is, broadcasters’ stand on cloud-based services by Google, Amazon and Apple could threaten those services’ very existence. Continue reading Aereo Not Opposing Broadcasters’ Pursuit of Judicial Review

Wireless Telcos Adhere to FCC’s Request to Unlock Phones

Wireless telcos Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and U.S. Cellular have agreed to the FCC’s demands to unlock subscribers’ phones. The Commission’s chairman Tom Wheeler gave the providers the ultimatum to unlock phones or face regulation, and now they — along with CTIA – The Wireless Association — have complied, agreeing to meet requirements within a year. They’re recommending the policies be incorporated in the association’s Consumer Code for Wireless Service. Continue reading Wireless Telcos Adhere to FCC’s Request to Unlock Phones

Tech Firms Step Up Efforts on Digital Counter Surveillance

The “Snowden Effect” has caused a ripple among major tech companies trying to assure consumers that their personal information is secure and protected in data centers. Following the surveillance revelations by Edward Snowden, the question on everyone’s mind is whether their private and confidential data has been secured from prying eyes online. A number of companies, concerned by the National Security Agency’s actions, are working to protect their customers’ data.

Continue reading Tech Firms Step Up Efforts on Digital Counter Surveillance

House Passes Innovation Act: Enough to Save Patent System?

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Innovation Act yesterday, a bill that intends to help reform the troubled American patent system. The bill, which passed by a vote of 325-91 with bipartisan support, will now go to the Senate (where it expects to pass), and then to the White House. Supporters hope the bill will save the current patent system plagued by low-quality patents and trolls, while others suggest it is merely a small solution for a much bigger problem. Continue reading House Passes Innovation Act: Enough to Save Patent System?

Time Warner Cable Offers $29.99 Bundle: HBO and 20 Channels

Time Warner Cable is marketing a stripped-down, low-cost bundle ($29.99 per month) that includes HBO and a limited number of broadcast TV channels. The new package is targeting viewers who are not interested in paying for a traditional tier of cable channels. The “Starter TV with HBO” package features about 20 channels including local broadcast networks. The special pricing is available for the first 12 months, but does not include set-top box fees or other charges. Continue reading Time Warner Cable Offers $29.99 Bundle: HBO and 20 Channels

Settlement: Hotfile to Pay $80 Million and Cease Operations

Prominent file-sharing cyberlocker Hotfile has agreed to shut down and pay $80 million in a settlement with the Motion Picture Association of America. The move follows an August decision by a federal judge in Florida who agreed with the MPAA that Hotfile did not qualify for safe harbor protection under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act. The settlement was initiated in order to avoid a jury trial that was scheduled to begin this week. Continue reading Settlement: Hotfile to Pay $80 Million and Cease Operations

FCC Chair: “When Competition is High, Regulation Can Be Low”

The FCC’s new chairman, Tom Wheeler, spoke on Monday about usage-based pricing for Internet bandwidth, which has been strongly debated among public interest groups. Wheeler expressed his support for remaining steady with current Net neutrality rules. During a Q&A session at Ohio State University, he also suggested the marketplace should be allowed to “evolve” before coming to an ultimatum about whether providers should charge consumers based on bandwidth usage. Continue reading FCC Chair: “When Competition is High, Regulation Can Be Low”

Patent Battle: Samsung to Pay Apple $930 Million in Damages

A 15-month smartphone patent dispute between Apple and Samsung came to an end when a federal jury in California ordered Samsung to pay Apple $290 million in damages for infringing on five of Apple’s patents with 13 of its own devices. The ruling was part of a retrial of the patent dispute. In addition to the $640 million already owed by Samsung to Apple from the original award, the company now owes a total of $930 million. Continue reading Patent Battle: Samsung to Pay Apple $930 Million in Damages

Schmidt: Solution to Government Surveillance is Encryption

According to Eric Schmidt, executive chairman and former CEO of Google, we may be close to a new “network age” in which Internet traffic will be protected with code, allowing users to communicate and organize socially without the fear of government censorship. Schmidt believes that Internet users will communicate via private channels that are shielded by encryption, scrambling data that can be decoded with a special digital key. Continue reading Schmidt: Solution to Government Surveillance is Encryption

Barry Diller Predicts Increase in Number of Aereo Subscribers

Aereo-backer Barry Diller has stated that the online service may grow to the point that 35 percent of U.S. households subscribe. However, this is largely contingent upon the service’s ability to overcome the legal challenges it currently faces from broadcasters. Individuals in their mid- to late-twenties aren’t highly inclined to pay $100 per month for TV cable packages, rendering Aereo’s $8 package highly attractive, according to Diller. Continue reading Barry Diller Predicts Increase in Number of Aereo Subscribers

Vint Cerf at FTC Event: “Privacy May Actually Be an Anomaly”

Vint Cerf, chief Internet evangelist for Google and co-creator of the Internet’s key networking technology, delivered the keynote address at the Federal Trade Commission’s Internet of Things workshop this week in Washington, DC. Cerf suggested that privacy is a relatively new development that may not be sustainable. “Privacy may actually be an anomaly,” he said while taking questions, noting that privacy was not even guaranteed just a few decades ago. Continue reading Vint Cerf at FTC Event: “Privacy May Actually Be an Anomaly”

Senate Confirms Lobbyist Tom Wheeler as New FCC Chairman

Tom Wheeler, a former cable and wireless phone lobbyist, was unanimously confirmed as the new chairman of the FCC late yesterday. Senate aide Mike O’Rielly was also confirmed for the vacant Republican seat on the commission. The confirmations came after Senator Ted Cruz released his hold on Wheeler’s confirmation vote. Wheeler will succeed fellow Democrat Mignon Clyburn, who has been serving as acting chair since earlier this year when Julius Genachowski stepped down. Continue reading Senate Confirms Lobbyist Tom Wheeler as New FCC Chairman

Broadcasters Want Supreme Court To Review Aereo Ruling

Television broadcasters intend to petition the U.S. Supreme Court to review the ruling from a lower court involving Aereo’s continued streaming of digital broadcast signals in the New York area, according to sources with knowledge of the case. October 15th is the deadline to file the petition. Broadcasters have achieved some court victories against another startup, FilmOnX, which provides a similar service. Meanwhile, Aereo announced its service will be available for Android devices later this month. Continue reading Broadcasters Want Supreme Court To Review Aereo Ruling

Twitter Reveals its Financials and Plans for $1 Billion IPO

Twitter has revealed its plans to raise up to $1 billion in its long-anticipated public offering. Potential buyers finally got a glimpse at Twitter’s financials yesterday, which indicate the social platform’s revenue more than doubled to $254 million during the first half of 2013. However, while the popular messaging service continues to transform electronic communication and public conversation, the company is still losing money while facing hurdles drawing new users and advertisers. Continue reading Twitter Reveals its Financials and Plans for $1 Billion IPO

Federal Court Rules Pandora Can License Music for Streaming

Pandora Media, provider of streaming online music, won a legal victory on Tuesday in its ongoing battle with the music industry involving licensing and royalties. A federal court ruled that the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers cannot stop Pandora from licensing all the music in their catalog. The service’s attempts to reduce its costs have made it a target in the music industry, but the larger effect of the ruling remains unclear. Continue reading Federal Court Rules Pandora Can License Music for Streaming

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