Tech News Today 356

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Tech News Today
Episode 356

Tech News Today 356: Netflix Going Less Crazy

Netflix earnings tank, Microsoft pwns Android, Anonymous takes on Child Porn, and more.

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Top Stories

  • The Go-Go Growth Days Screech to a Halt at Netflix
  • UK and Ireland Get the Netflix Love
    • Q3: Revenue of $822 million and earnings $1.16 a share.The Street was expecting around $811 million and about $0.94 a share
    • Breaking up subs into DVD and Streaming ATD reports Netflix ended Q3 with 23.8 million total subscribers a tad under expectations of 24 and down from 24.59 million last quarter
    • Projected slight rise in Q4. No more meteoric rise.
    • "less than half of our streaming subscribers also subscribe to DVD" "Only 7% of new streaming subscribers also sign up for DVD"
    • Because of International expenses, Netflix expects to be in the red in Q1.
    • Netflix announced this morning that it’s ready to share the streaming love with consumers in the UK and Ireland starting in early 2012. Last international expansion until they return to profitability.
  • Microsoft Now Has Patent Deals for 'Majority' of Android Devices
    • agreement with Taiwanese company Compal Electronics, a deal the software giant claims gives it a lock on a majority of Android devices.
  • Microsoft collects license fees on 50% of Android devices, tells Google to "wake up"
  • M-CAM: Microsoft is ‘like a deranged Easter Bunny’ with Android bullying strategy
  • Firm Uses Crowdsourcing to Help Big Company Clients Fight Off Patent Suits
    • MS signed patent deal with Compal: "companies accounting for more than half of all Android devices have now entered into patent license agreements with Microsoft." Horacio Gutierrez, Microsoft deputy general counsel, and Brad Smith Executive Vice President and General Counsel said in a blog post.
    • AT: 55 percent of Android devices by worldwide revenue are subject to patent license agreements between Microsoft and original design manufacturers, such as Compal. Moreover, 53 percent of Android smartphones by unit share in the United States are subject to patent license agreements between Microsoft and original equipment manufacturers
    • ARs points out some patents MS uses as revealed in lawsuits "patents related to “implementing both long and short file names in the same file system,” a monitoring system that determines when to erase memory from flash memory devices, and patents related to managing contact databases and meeting requests."
    • BGR reports intellectual property firm M-Cam suggests that the success of Microsoft’s patent licensing strategy is due at least in part to a lack of licensees’ willingness to to comb through Microsoft’s massive patent portfolio.
    • Article One Partners, a firm that helps companies being targeted for attack by seeking to invalidate the patents being asserted.
    • Article One does this by tapping a global network of contributors that search for similar ideas that predate a patent — so-called “prior art.” Microsoft is a customer"

You probably already read about Microsoft's latest "Android-licensing" press release.

If you're going to cover it, you might consider that all three companies they mention (Compal, Wistron, Quanta) are, or are planning to, manufacture Windows phones. From what I can tell, the same is also true of all previous such licensees.

If your company wants to license Windows Phone, there's only one company you can talk to, and you're at their mercy when it comes to the terms. Remember that Microsoft has a history of secret and anti-competitive licensing terms - PC OEMs for a long time had to pay per machine sold, rather than per Windows copy sold, to be able to sell Windows at all. Perhaps Microsoft are just back to their old tricks, but this time in the Mobile space?

Of course, Microsoft is the only party which gets to make a press release, so they can carefully craft the wording, with copious references to Android and "IP issues", while never actually saying that Android was the primary concern of the deal. The reader is left to jump to that conclusion themselves.

But I suppose "Microsoft has licensed company X to produce Windows devices" doesn't have the same FUDdy ring to it.

Wake me up when a company which *doesn't* produce Windows devices signs up quietly.

- Mel"

  • Google, PE firms mull bid for Yahoo: WSJ
  • Google's poker face: mulling a bid for Yahoo or trying to bait Microsoft?
  • Google's Playing with Antitrust Fire Courting Yahoo
  • Google settles with FTC on privacy breaches
    • WSJ reports Google pondering bid for Yahoo, Google has spoken to two private equity firms
    • Google attracted by 700 million uniques and ability to extend advertising.
    • In 2008 an agreement on search fell through over antitrust concerns.
    • Could be trying to bid up the price (Microsoft particularly)
    • Google Inc. agreed to submit to third-party privacy audits for the next 20 years to settle allegations it misused users' personal information.
    • The settlement with the Federal Trade Commission would resolve the agency's complaint over Google Buzz
    • Under the proposed settlement, Google would prominently disclose when it transfers user information to third parties, identify the kind of third parties receiving the data and explain the purposes of sharing the data. The disclosures would come apart from the company's standard end-user license agreement.

Discussion Stories

  • Anonymous takes down darknet child porn site on Tor network
  • Anonymous doxes Bank of America CEO
    • Lolita City, a child pornography site run on over a concealed “darknet,” has been taken down by Anonymous members, and account details of 1,589 users from the site’s database were posted as evidence.
    • Operation Darknet, an anti-child-pornography effort aimed at thwarting child pornographers operating on on the Tor network. Began October 14th
    • Targeted Freedom Hosting one of the largest hosts of child pornography on Tor
    • Discovered child porn links on Hidden Wiki. Removed links but the links were re-added, Started DDoS of wiki
    • Tracked down Freedom Hosting, demanded takedown of porn links, then attacked with SQL injection to extract database
    • Anonymous' “CabinCr3w” group has upped its information warfare efforts in support of the Occupy Wall Street movement by publishing the personal contact information of Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan, including his personal phone number, on its Tumblr blog.
  • Struggling Wikileaks stops publishing classified files
  • Donation blockade forces WikiLeaks to halt publication
    • Wikileaks suspending publication because of donation issues.
    • Julian Assange called it an "arbitrary and unlawful financial blockade". WikiLeaks fired a complaint to the Directorate-General for Competition of the European Commission stating that Visa and MasterCard have breached antitrust provisions.
    • Since December 2010, Visa, MasterCard, Bank of America, eBay, PayPal, and Western Union have blocked the donations
    • All told, the site needs $3.5 million over the next 12 months in order to maintain its current level of service
    • Mr Assange is in Britain awaiting a decision by the High Court on the appeal against his extradition to Sweden to face sex assault charges.

News Fuse



  • Steve Jobs bio out today to much hoopla
  • On this day in 1929- the stock market crashed and launched the US into the great depression! Happy October 24th everyone, and save those pennies!



"Hey Tom, Sarah, Iyaz and Jason,

National Podcast Post Month, affectionately known as NaPodPoMo, is coming up in November. Every day during the month of November, those currently producing podcasts or are interested in trying it out post a podcast a day for 30 days. It's very similar to National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) except WAAAAY easier and it's a ton of fun.

Podcasters can submit their shows to be included in a combined NaPodPoMo 2011 feed by visiting

We would appreciate a mention in the calendar on or before November 1st.


"Tom and gang,

Love the show! I wanted to send a quick note about the facial recognition on Ice Cream Sandwich. I have used an facial recognition app on my android phone that locks apps only. I have an identical twin, and most of the time he could successfully unlock my apps. While that's only a problem for those of us with even twins, it does work.

Thanks! -John from Utah"



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Production Information

  • Edited by: Jason
  • Notes:
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