Tech News Today 203
Recorded: March 21, 2011
Published: March 21, 2011
Tech News Today 203: A Lot Of T's And Also A
What the ATT-T-Mobile merger really means, what's causing MacBook Pros to go black, Steal Zynga gold, go to jail, and more.
- Tom Merritt ( )
- Sarah Lane ( )
- Jason Howell
- Darren Kitchen
- AT&T swallows T-Mobile to create US' largest carrier
- $39 billion price includes some stock. Deutsche Telekom will own 8% of ATT. Acquisition will close in 2012. Faces regulatory hurdles. AT&T anticipates regulators will require it to divest wireless spectrum and subscribers as a condition for approval. As part of the deal, AT&T has agreed to pay T-Mobile $3 billion and promised valuable spectrum and a roaming agreement should the deal fail to garner approval. AT&T said that some time after the closing, it plans to rearrange how T-Mobile's cell towers work. The airwaves they use for third-generation services, or 3G, will be repurposed for 4G, which is faster. That would leave current T-Mobile phones without 3G. They would need to be replaced with phones that use AT&T's 3G frequencies.
- Analysis: higher prices, fewer choices if AT&T swallows T-Mobile
- AT&T Has to Fend Off Regulatory Scrutiny to Win Nod for ‘Unthinkable’ Bid
- Sprint: AT&T’s T-Mobile Buy Would “Dramatically Alter” Market
- What AT&T Owes T-Mobile if Deal Doesn’t Go Through
- In AT&T & T-Mobile Merger, Everybody Loses
- T&T: T-Mobile 3G phones will need to be replaced
- Confirmed: AT&T wants to use T-Mobile's AWS spectrum for LTE buildout
- Nexus S 4G confirmed by Sprint's own website, first 'fully integrated' Google Voice smartphone
- Nexus S 4G is a WiMax phone with Google Voice handling the voicemail and allowing web calling. Coming Spring, $200.
- Sprint integrating Google Voice, outs Nexus S 4G with Android 2.3
- Google accuses China of interfering with Gmail email system
- Google and China clash again, this time over Gmail access
- There is no issue on our side. We have checked extensively. This is a government blockage carefully designed to look like the problem is with Gmail.
- Fukushima: Situation improving all the time
- XKCD's radiation dose chart
- Japan’s Quake Cuts Into Supplies of Raw Materials Used in Chips
- Sony to restart battery plant; six others still out
- Leaf deliveries delayed by Japanese quake, but Nissan and Sony already reopening factories
- Latest MacBook Pros suffering from GPU-related freezes
- A smattering of MacBook Pros are having serious problems, causing anger and despair among a significant portion of Apple's customers. A 44-page and growing thread tells of 15-inch and 17-inch MacBooks freezing up when they're under a heavy load. The problem seems to be with the AMD graphics as switching to integrated graphics, while hobbling the laptop, solves the problem. Apple customer support suspects the issue is with the driver.
- You can now use your Kinect with the PS3, sort of. Shantanu Goel made a software mod, which can currently recognize basic gestures like quickly pushing your hand towards the screen twice to activate the X button, as well as the usual waving around for navigation. While the project is still in its infancy, Goel's already working on beefing it up by adding full game profiles and skeletal tracking support.
- Google Chrome users got an early fix for the Adobe Flash vulnerability affecting its Flash Player, Acrobat and Reader software announced by Adobe last week. Other browser users had to wait for the official security patch from Adobe coming any minute today.
- AT&T has a 3D phone capable of using their still-rolling-slowly-out LTE network. The LG Thrill 4G looks like a US version of the LG Optimus 3D announced at Mobile World Congress last month. The Thrill sports a 1GHz dual-core, dual-channel processor. It will also feature 16GB of storage, thanks to 8GB on-board and an 8GB microSD card. AT&T has no price info and release date is only stated as "in the coming months".
- Broadcasters are tired of having spectrum squeezed out of the white spaces between their channels, and asked to give back unused spectrum. The National Association of Broadcasters has had enough and told the FCC that several spectrum holders, including Verizon Communications, AT&T and Time Warner Cable, have not developed the spectrum they already have. I suggest they settle this with a high-stakes spectrum poker game.
- Besides the MacBook Pro and a few forthcoming hard drives, the superfast superflexible Thunderbolt protocl AKA Light Peak, is not readily available. Sony aims to remedy that with a "hybrid" Vaio laptop equipped with Intel's Thunderbolt. The rumoured Vaio sounds similar to the Samsung 9 and MacBook air in size and specs.
- If you live in Seattle, you should get a Verizon phone. Mobile testing company RootMetrics did an extensive study comparing he HTC Thunderbolt running on Verizon's LTE network, the HTC Inspire on AT&T's HSPA+ network, the HTC Evo on Sprint's WiMax network, and the Samsung Galaxy S on T-Mobile's HSPA+21 network. Verizon won, but the study was only conducted in the Seattle area on March 18th.
- IBM agreed to pay $10 million to settle with the SEC over allegations that its employees have spent the last 15 years or so illegally bribing and wooing foreign officials to score themselves bigger contracts. This includes $207,000 in cash bribes paid to South Korean representatives between 1998 and 2003 plus more in the form of gifts and trips to those willing and able to sign over big contracts, even paying for the personal vacations of Chinese officials.
- Facebook is making a big and probably smart play to be the social network of choice on non-smart phones. The Social Network has acquired Snaptu, a developer of apps for feature phones, for a sum believed to be up to $70 million. The acquisition is Facebook’s first outside of the U.S. and enhances the work Facebook has already done to make its services accessible to more than just smartphone users in developed markets.
Kickers and Weird Science
- Happy 5th Birthday Twitter
- Rumours have it tomorrow may be the launch of the Amazon App store for Android. We'll wait and see.
- CTIA kicks off tomorrow (March 22). One of the highlights of the opening ceremonies is the panel of all the top executives of the top carriers in the US (moderated by Jim Cramer). However what was a meeting of the big four is now a meeting of the big three. T-Mobile has notified the convention it won't be participating because of "extenuating work demands".
- Firefox pushed out a second release candidate of Firefox 4 which goes gold tomorrow March 22
- Also tomorrow March 22, Nvidia will release its GeForce GTX 590 graphics chip
- This week is Y Combinator’s Demo Day, followed by those of AngelPad, 500 Startups and Tech Stars New York in the coming weeks. Each will feature rapid-fire presentations from hopeful new startups looking for press attention and funding.
- Boxee 1.5 bringing 'huge browser update' by end of March
- Saturday, March 26 at 2 PM, Lisa Bettany will hold the first Photo Walk for her new show Mostly Photo (co-hosted with Leo) If you're in San Francisco Icome meet Lisa and friends at 2 PM rain or shine. Learn more at MostlyPhotoAdventures.com.
Darren suggested that bits is bits and I understand that argument. However I think this argument is a bit to simplified. AT&T’s costs for normal non-tethered plans takes into account that a phone can process and transmit a certain amount of data. They then plan their infrastructure investments based of this, thus charge more for tethering plans because PC’s don’t have the same performance profile and can process/transmit data at a greater rate. This requires more investment from an AT&T perspective. I’m not justifying them but I think we need to understand this part of the argument.
Russell Johnson in Austin, TX"
I'm a dedicated Twit, and was so excited to have a daily show to enjoy! I keep seeing things here in Tokyo that would be great to send you, but it's been a bit busy of late. when things calm down I'll get you some photos and video.
Thanks so much for your TokyoHackerSpace mention on the New Fuze. Here's an update with the tech projects we're working on: http://www.tokyohackerspace.org/en/blog/thank-you-everyone-we-love-you-and-projects-update
anyway, thanks again, and we'll keep you updated.
Twitter: Terrintokyo www.modernmediajapan.com"
"I am a pilot in the United States Navy who is preparing to be deployed to the USS George Washington and be stationed overseas in Japan for the next three years. While the USO does a wonderful job of providing care packages for troops and sailors deployed throughout the world, what it does not do is keep service members supplied with information. I won't have regular access to your live broadcasts, or enough band width to download the shows while deployed.
I am wondering if there are any of your listeners that would like to help a service member directly and wouldn't mind periodically burning your podcasts to a CD and then mailing them out to me while I am deployed. I am certainly willing to work with that individual to defer any costs.
Thank you for any assistance you may be able to provide and keep up the good work.
Very respectfully, LCDR Adam Klein Strike-Fighter Squadron 102"
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- Edited by: Jason
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