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Tech News 2Night 70
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Tonight! Netflix stands up to Comcast, AT&T takes on Google Fiber, and the FAA opens a drone testing site,
Tech News 2Night is Next!
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This is Tech News 2Night Episode 70, for Monday April 21, 2014
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I'm Sarah Lane, Let's get right to the Tech Feed!
Today Netflix officially took a stance against the proposed $45 billion merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable. In a letter to shareholders, the company said that a combined Comcast and Time Warner would “possess even more anticompetitive leverage to charge arbitrary interconnection tolls for access to their customers.” Netflix notes that cable Internet is the default broadband technology for most Americans, and says if the merger is approved, then many American households would have “Comcast as the only option for truly high-speed broadband” that offers service of 10Mbps or higher.
In other Netflix news, the company's latest earnings report shows strong growth - 86 cents a share on $1.27 billion in revenue. Netfix also surpassed 35 million streaming subscribers. CEO Reed Hastings pointed to healthy international growth, with 1.75 million new international subscribers during the quarter, and said the company is on a path to achieve profitability this year from its international ventures, though European expansion, and new content and marketing investments will keep the unit at a net loss. The company also said it will raise prices for new members by $1 or $2 this quarter. But that "existing members would stay at current pricing (e.g. $7.99 in the U.S.) for a generous time period."
AT&T has announced a proposal to add 21 more cities to its fiber-optic Internet service, Gigapower, after launching in Austin, Texas, last December. If approved by local officials, markets like San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Atlanta could receive speeds up to 1 gigabit per second, 100 times faster than standard Internet services, including At&t's own U-verse service. This will put AT&T in direct competition with Google's fiber internet service, already in Kansas City, Mo., Provo, Utah, and Austin, Tex. Google also announced 34 new cities up for consideration for the lineup this past February.
Google's messaging app will now merge SMS and Hangouts conversations. Users can pick between Hangouts and SMS when sending a given message, but there isn't an option to use Hangouts with SMS as a backup, like Apple does with iMessage. However, the company says different message types will be easy to tell apart in the conversation. Users that don't like the merged view can revert back to the old style to keep things separate.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting sources that say Apple and Google are competing for exclusivity for top-tier game titles by offering premium placement on their app stores' home pages and features lists. For example last August, for the launch of "Plants Vs. Zombies 2," Electronic Arts reportedly struck a deal with Apple, which promoted the game prominently in its App Store, and In exchange, EA reportedly agreed to give Apple about a two-month window of exclusivity for the title. Reportedly.
Coming up, browser extensions that can detect Heartbleed on websites you visit.
And next I'll chat with TechCrunch's Alex Wilhelm about the FAA's new drone testing facilities.
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Alex Wilhelm Tech Reporter at TechCrunch
The FAA’s First Drone Test Site Is Live
-The FAA announced this morning that the first test site is open on North Dakota, how many and where will the other test sites be?
-What will the FAA do at these test sites?
-The FAA says these sites are important for safety. How will they be testing these drones?
-Any insight on how the FAA plans to regulate drones?
Worried about Heartbleed? The OpenSSL bug can't exactly be stopped, but can be monitored with Chromebleed, a browser extension that tells you whether any website you’re view is susceptible to the vulnerability. If you don't use Chrome, Netcraft, a UK-based Internet security firm, has created its own self-titled extension, and if there's a threat present, the Netcraft icon will have a “warning triangle” over it in your browser tray. Netcraft will also protect you from other dangers as well, like phishing attacks.
[good bye] That's it for this edition of Tech News 2Night.
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Don't miss our morning news program, Tech News Today, tomorrow and every weekday at 10am Pacific, 1 pm Eastern. I'm Sarah Lane, thanks for watching.
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