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The Lead

Comcast joins 4K club

December 18, 2014 1:05 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Comcast has officially dipped its large toe into the 4K waters with today’s announcement that it’s offering a limited slate of programming in Ultra 4K via an on demand app. Authenticated Comcast subscribers can watch 4K programming from NBC and USA Network for free with today’s launch of the Xfinity in UHD app, which currently works on just 2014 Samsung UHD TVs.

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Broadband Direct

Daily news and top headlines for broadband communications engineering and design professionals

Cox lights up more hotspots in Vegas, Phoenix

December 19, 2014 11:58 am | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

This month Cox Communications has added 1,700 Wi-Fi hotspots for its subscribers to log into in Phoenix and Las Vegas. Cox has launched its Wi-Fi service, CoxWiFi, in six markets to date with more planned for next year, including hundreds of new access points in San Diego after the first of the year.

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AT&T offering ‘Business Fiber’ in ATL

December 19, 2014 11:40 am | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

AT&T is now offering Atlanta area businesses a symmetrical 300 Mbps tier ahead of future plans to ramp the speeds up to 1 gigabit. The AT&T Business Fiber deployment followed on the heels of AT&T’s October announcement that it would launch its residential GigaPower service to the Atlanta area it serves.

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Submit those SCTE Cable-Tec Expo abstracts now

December 19, 2014 11:33 am | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) is actively recruiting abstracts for next year’s Cable-Tec Expo in New Orleans. The deadline for abstract submissions, which will be reviewed by the SCTE Cable-Tec Expo2015 Program Committee that’s chaired by Liberty Global CTO and EVP Balan Nair, is Feb. 17.

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Sony hack adds to security pressure on companies

December 19, 2014 11:26 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Faced with rising cybercrime like the attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment, companies worldwide are under pressure to tighten security but are hampered by cost and, for some, reluctance to believe they are in danger. The Sony attack was unusual because it included threats of violence if the Hollywood studio released its movie "The Interview," a comedy that depicts the assassination of the North's leader. 

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Review: Connecting the Home for the Holidays

December 18, 2014 1:53 pm | by The Associated Press | Articles | Comments

To give you a feel for what that connectivity brings, here's a closer look at a few "smart" products for the home. There are plenty more if you look around. As I tried these out, I kept thinking to myself whether these products really needed that connectivity. You'll need to decide whether the benefits are worth the higher prices.

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Today in Engineering History: World's First Communication Satellite

December 18, 2014 1:41 pm | by Melissa Fassbender, Editor, PD&D | Articles | Comments

On this day in history, 1958, the world’s first communications satellite, SCORE (Signal Communication by Orbiting Relay Equipment) was launched into space. Dubbed “Chatterbox,” the satellite was also part of another first, as its launch marked the first successful use of an Atlas rocket as a launch vehicle.

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BlackBerry pitches Classic in Hail Mary

December 18, 2014 12:49 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

BlackBerry is returning to its roots with a new phone that features a traditional keyboard at a time when rival Apple and Android phones — and most smartphone customers — have embraced touch screens. With the Classic, BlackBerry is courting its core customer, the business user. The physical keyboard is something traditional BlackBerry users prefer because they find it easier than touch screens to type with.

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Today in Engineering History: First Airplane Flies at Kitty Hawk

December 17, 2014 1:18 pm | by Kaylie Duffy, Associate Editor, PD&D | Articles | Comments

On this day in history, 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright successfully made the first flight in history, with a self-propelled, heavier-than-air machine. At 10:35 a.m. near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, Orville ran the aircraft down a monorail track and into the air, staying airborne for 12 seconds and flying 120 feet.

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Dish welcomes Netflix in

December 17, 2014 12:43 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Dish said it is integrating Netflix into its service, available as an app to customers who have a second-generation Hopper DVR. The company plans to also roll out the app out on its Joey, Super Joey and Wireless Joey clients. Dish is still considering integrating Netflix content directly into its search functionality.

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Boingo, Time Warner Cable boot up Passpoint-enabled roaming

December 17, 2014 12:24 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Time Warner Cable and Boingo are laying claim to being the first companies in the world to launch a reciprocal Passpoint-based roaming network for their customers. The two companies announced a bilateral Wi-Fi roaming deal back in June and said then that they would complete a Passpoint-enabled integration later this year. 

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Comcast hires Vega as director of government affairs, Central Valley

December 17, 2014 12:18 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Comcast has hired public affairs veteran Angela Vega as director of government affairs for the Central Valley. Vega, who will be based in Fresno, Calif., will report to Sue Vaccaro, senior director of government Affairs for Comcast California. In her new job, Vega will be responsible for Comcast’s local government affairs and policy issues in Fresno, Madera, Kings, Tulare, and Santa Barbara counties.

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Wi-Fi chipset maker Quantenna scores $22m in investment round

December 17, 2014 12:13 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Wi-Fi chipset vendor Quantenna Communications has raked in $22 million in its latest investment round and added two members to its board of directors in the process. Leading new investors in the latest round were Centerview Capital Technology, Vivint and NTT Group. In tandem with the financing, founding partner of Centerview Capital Ned Hooper and Harold Hughes were appointed to Quantenna’s board.

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NYC premiere of ‘The Interview’ canceled as threats fly

December 17, 2014 12:06 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

The blow that the hacking attack has dealt Sony is spreading beyond the entertainment corporation itself to theater chains and movie goers alike. And the financial toll is adding up too. Threats of violence against movie theaters. The New York premiere of "The Interview" canceled. Leaks of thousands more private emails. Lawsuits by former employees that could cost tens of millions in damages.

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CableLabs conducts D3.1 interop

December 16, 2014 5:34 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

CableLabs said six vendors participated in an interoperability test of some DOCSIS 3.1 equipment. CableLabs declined to identify any of the vendors present. A spokesperson for the organization said that the types of devices present included at least one CMTS, one cable modem, and some test equipment.

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T-Mobile announces data stash rollover program

December 16, 2014 1:39 pm | by Ben Munson, Wireless Week | News | Comments

T-Mobile is going commercial with an idea that undermines one of the fundamental tenets of the broadband industry: data is not a use-it-or-lose-it proposition. From now on, if a T-Mobile customer pays for X amount of a data a month, they get to keep the allotment and roll it over into the next pay period.

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