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Tech News 2Night 83
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Tonight, Is Apple in talks to buy Beats?, VC's tell the FCC they want net neutrality, and Uber under attack- again
Tech News 2Night is Next!
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This is Tech News 2Night Episode 83, for Thursday May 8, 2014
I'm Sarah Lane, Let's get right to the Tech Feed!
Breaking news- The Financial Times is reporting that Apple is said to be close to completing an acquisition of the headphone company Beats Electronics. Since then Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times have confirmed that Apple is in fact in talks with Beats over a possible acquisition. Sources tell the Financial Times that Apple will acquire Beats' streaming music service, which launched this year, and its audio equipment business, which includes both headphones and audio equipment. Apple is said to be paying $3.2 billion dollars for the service, and the Beats management team will report to CEO Tim Cook. Apple and Beats both declined to comment.
Yesterday we told you a group of major tech companies filed a protest with the FCC in opposition to proposed net neutrality rules the commission is set to publish on May 15th. Today a group of venture capitalists who invest in the tech sector also published an open letter to the FCC warning that the end of net neutrality would be a blow to startups. The letter argues "If established companies are able to pay for better access speeds or lower latency, the internet will no longer be a level playing field." and "Startups with applications that are advantaged by speed (such as games, video, or payment systems) will be unlikely to overcome that deficit no matter how innovative their service."
Now, May 15th is a week from today, but two commissioners at the FCC itself, Republican Commissioner Ajit Pai and Democrat Jessica Rosen-worcel, are calling on the agency to delay its plans to implement new network neutrality rules amidst the backlash. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has said that the new rules won't lead to internet "fast lanes", but if he's pressured to delay, it remains to be seen if the rules change substantially, either by reclassifing broadband or another route altogether.
In a House Judiciary Commitee meeting today, lawmakers grilled executives from Comcast and Time Warner Cable on how the companies’ proposed $45 billion merger deal would help consumers. Comcast has said previously that consumers shouldn’t expect price cuts if the deal is approved by federal regulators. Comcast Executive Vice President David Cohen said higher costs of programming, particularly sporting events, are mostly the reason for higher monthly cable bills, but also said a combined company would offer “a significantly improved customer experience” for Time Warner subscribers with faster Internet speeds and more programming choices. Several lawmakers also raised concerns about how a deal would impact the Hispanic television market, since the combined company would operate in areas serving more than 90% of Hispanic households. Cohen pointed out the company currently airs 58 channels of Spanish-language programming, including eight channels from Univision.
Amazon is bringing Sunday delivery to 15 more cities in seven states, such as Columbus Ohio, Dallas, Texas, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, which expands an arrangement with the U.S. Postal Service to deliver Amazon packages on Sundays that launched last year in L.A. and New York. Mike Roth, Amazon’s vice president of North America operations said in a press release that "the most common items delivered on Sunday include baby supplies such as newborn apparel, books and toys — Sunday delivery is clearly crossing errands off the weekend to-do list." Amazon has been working to reduce the amount of time between a customer’s order and product delivery, also by expanding its same-day delivery program, and reportedly testing its own “last mile” shipping service.
Samsung announced today that its head of its mobile design team, Chang Dong-hoon, offered to resign last week and will be replaced by Lee Min-hyouk, vice president for mobile design, amid criticism of the latest Galaxy S smartphone. The S5 debuted globally last month, but received criticism from some consumers due to its lack of hardware innovations and plastic case design. Chang will stay with the company and continue to lead Samsung's design center which oversees its overall design strategy.
In San Francisco, 67% of robberies in the first few months of 2014 have involved mobile devices. if you're not familiar with SB962, it's a California bill to mandate that smartphones sold in the state come preloaded with antitheft software, and asks that device makers like Apple and Samsung put "kill-switch" technology on every smartphone, which lets users lock the phone if it is stolen. The bill applies only to smartphones manufactured after July 1, 2015, not other devices like tablets. In 2013, 3.1 million Americans were the victims of smartphone theft -- nearly twice as many as the year before, according to Consumer Reports. A similar federal bill, the Smartphone Theft Prevention Act, was introduced in the US Congress in February, and is still in committee, and making its way through the legislative process. The bill had stalled in the past because of pushback from the wireless carrier industry over kill-switch software leaving phones vulnerable to hacking, and the question of who's to blame if a phone is sold without kill-switch software, a penalty ranging from $500 to $2,500.
"Coming up... if you had to guess which social media platform was getting its own TV show would you say Pinterest?
But first..I am joined by"
"Harrison Weber, News Editor at VentureBeat
Today's article: ""As Uber battles 13 lawsuits, cabbies & state agencies are out for blood""
-is this an effort to bring down Uber from the Taxi and Limousine industry?
-Insurance coverage - big issue the Taxi Lobby is focusing on. making the case to the public that Uber drivers don’t have the right kind insurance, puts ppl at risk.
-Uber has two insurance related lawsuits they are fighting.
-Regulation. With Uber explanding to more cities, is it a matter of time before Uber and Lyft and Sidecar are regulated like the taxi industry?
-communication from the Uber camp has been limited since their head of corporate communications left. What do you think is going on there?
-Lyft is now moving in on Uber’s Black Car service with customized SUV’s.
-what'ss going on in London where taxi drivers there are planning a protest?
Ad Age is reporting that Pinterest is getting its own TV series! Or at least, it'll be the main inspiration for a new series on FYI Network called "We're Moving In" (FYI is a subsidiary network of A&E), The show will follow new housemates who will use Pinterest to give them ideas for how to design their new place. In each episode, a couple or a family will create a shared Pinterest board to get their decorating process started. FYI has reportedly ordered six half-hour episodes of the series, and it's the first show to ever explicitly integrate "creative direction" from Pinterest. "By tapping into the highly engaged Pinterest community, we're able to bring that same unique creativity to the series," FYI's president said in a statement to Ad Age.
[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.