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

Visual search to shop: gimmick or game changing?

August 28, 2014 1:50 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Imagine using your phone to snap a photo of the cool pair of sunglasses your friend is wearing and instantly receiving a slew of information about the shades along with a link to order them. It's a great idea — but it doesn't quite work. Though many companies are trying to make "visual search" a reality, this seemingly simple notion remains elusive.

Telefonica ups bid to create Brazil's top operator

August 28, 2014 10:31 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Spain's telecommunications company Telefonica has raised its offer to buy Brazilian operator Global Village Telecom, or GVT, from French media conglomerate Vivendi to 7.45 billion euros ($9.82 billion) from 6.7 billion euros previously. Telefonica S.A. said in a statement Thursday the offer includes 4.66 billion in cash and 12 percent of the share capital in the new company.  

Former CEO Frankel resigns from Synacor’s board

August 27, 2014 5:08 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Former CEO Ron Frankel resigned from Synacor’s board of directors effective Aug. 25. Frankel had served on the board since 2001, which was also the same year he was named CEO. Frankel said in March that would be leaving his position as CEO, but would remain on the board and as an advisor. 

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Liberty Global reported to get EU approval for Ziggo takeover

August 27, 2014 1:11 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Liberty Global is likely to secure the EU’s approval of its $6.5 billion takeover of Ziggo in the Netherlands if it agrees to sell of a specific TV channel, Bloomberg reported. Officially, the two companies would acknowledge only that merger discussions are ongoing.

WOW! Business doubles up service delivery team to serve commercial customers

August 27, 2014 12:31 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

WOW! Business announced this morning that it had streamlined and expanded its business service delivery team to better serve small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), enterprise and wholesale communications customers across its 19 markets. WOW Business’ 60-member service delivery team has doubled since the same time frame a year ago, and recently moved into a national service delivery center in Huntsville, Ala. 

Cox doubles down on speeds at Las Vegas Convention Center

August 26, 2014 12:43 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Cox Communications has doubled the speeds for three of its wired data tiers at the Las Vegas Convention Center at no additional cost to exhibitors, show management and other users. The faster speeds from the cable operator’s Cox Business/Hospitality Network division went into effect immediately at the convention center.

Senate video promotes broadcaster a la carte

August 26, 2014 12:34 pm | by Brian Santo | Blogs | Comments

VIDEO: Senate Republicans are promoting the notion of making local stations a la carte on cable networks with a new YouTube video. The idea has the potential for gaining bipartisan support, even in this bitterly divided Congress, as a consumer-friendly and nearly pure free-market solution.

Amazon could be ESPN of video games in Twitch deal

August 26, 2014 12:26 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

The e-commerce giant is buying streaming platform Twitch Interactive for $970 million in cash as it seeks to take part in video gaming's growth as an online spectator sport. Twitch is a multi-channel online network built for a generation of people who not only enjoy playing video games, but find it entertaining to watch others who might impart tricks and tips for excelling at their favorite games.

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Comcast Business pulls fiber into 10 New York communities

August 22, 2014 12:09 pm | News | Comments

Comcast Business has extended its fiber network to provisioin its Ethernet portfolio across 10 New York towns and villages in Putnam, Dutchess and Westchester counties. Comcast Business’ four types of Ethernet services are now available in the communities of Beekman, Brewster, Carmel, Kent, Patterson, Pawling (town and village), Putnam Valley, Somers and Southeast.

Aereo loses in court again; still not necessarily dead

August 22, 2014 11:56 am | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

The saga continues. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals has declined to hear Aereo’s argument that if it is, as the Supreme Court deemed, essentially a cable company, it must be treated like one. But Aereo still has the option to argue its case.

Cox not interested in buying T-Mobile

August 21, 2014 1:11 pm | by Brian Santo | Blogs | Comments

Speculators on Wall Street, eager for deals to move the market and frustrated by the collapse of talks between Sprint and T-Mobile, have been toying with the names of other companies who might step in and buy T-Mobile. Who's in a position to do it, though?

Movin’ on up: Comcast ranks 6th on latest Ethernet Leaderboard

August 21, 2014 12:27 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Comcast Business marched from eighth to sixth place on Vertical System Group’s most recent Mid-2014 U.S. Carrier Ethernet Leaderboard. Comcast is the second-ranked cable operator on the Leaderboard one spot behind Time Warner Cable, which it’s in the process of acquiring.

Cable One teams up with Arbor Day Foundation for paperless billing

August 21, 2014 12:23 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Cable One is encouraging its subscribers to go green with paperless billing via a partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation. The Arbor Day Foundation will plant a tree on behalf of each Cable One customer that elects to go with paperless billing. The initiative started earlier this month and runs through April 24.

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Apple's stock bounces back to hit a new high

August 20, 2014 12:16 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Apple's stock touched a new high Wednesday, reflecting investors' renewed faith in CEO Tim Cook's ability to outwit the competition and expand the technological hit factory built by the late Steve Jobs. The milestone represents a dramatic turnaround in sentiment since Apple's shares reached its previous split-adjusted peak of $100.72 in September 2012.

Ballmer steps down from Microsoft board

August 20, 2014 12:10 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is stepping down from the company's board, closing a chapter on 34 years with the software giant. Ballmer says he plans to devote more time to his ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers, civic contributions, study and teaching business at Stanford in the fall and USC next spring.

Google's pivotal IPO launched a decade of big bets

August 19, 2014 11:55 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Google's IPO, a decade ago this week, launched the company on a trajectory that continues to reshape its business and much of the world in its orbit. And CEO Larry Page is determined to push even further. Although Page has been taking risks since he co-founded Google with Sergey Brin 1998, the stakes probably wouldn't be as high if not for the company's pivotal IPO on Aug. 19, 2004.

Canby Telecom establishes gigabit service

August 18, 2014 1:22 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Canby Telecom is deploying Adtran’s fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) portfolio, including the vendor’s multiservice access node, the Total Access 5004. Versions of that system can be used to converge POTS, ADSL2+, VDSL2, GPON and other networking technologies.

Gore sues Al Jazeera America for unpaid millions

August 18, 2014 12:09 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Former Vice President Al Gore is suing Al Jazeera America, saying the news network is withholding tens of millions of dollars that it owes for buying Current TV from him and other shareholders for $500 million last year. David Boies, Gore's attorney, said in a statement that Al Jazeera America "wants to give itself a discount on the purchase price that was agreed to nearly two years ago." 

Report: Internet content providers boost optical spending in North America

August 18, 2014 12:06 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Thanks to a surge in spending by Internet content providers in North America, optical spending surged an estimated $40 million in the second quarter of this year. According to a recent report by Infonetics Research, Internet content providers, such as Google, helped generate a wave of spending that benefited Adva, BTI and Infinera.

Samsung snaps up smart home startup

August 15, 2014 12:17 pm | by Brian Santo | News | Comments

Samsung Electronics has purchased SmartThings, a start-up that makes a residential hub for connecting smart home appliances, along with small line of such products. Neither company revealed a purchase price. Several media outlets put the tag at about $200 million.

Buffett's firm invests in Charter Communications

August 15, 2014 11:36 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Billionaire Warren Buffett's company has revealed a new stake in Charter Communications Inc. and made several other tweaks to its $108 billion U.S. stock portfolio. Berkshire said it owned 2.3 million shares of cable television provider Charter, which is based in Stamford, Connecticut, at the end of June.

Former Charter exec leads SmartHome Ventures into home automation market

August 14, 2014 12:15 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Led by former Charter Communications executive Ted Schremp, SmartHome Ventures has tossed its hat into the home automation arena. SmartHome Ventures, which was founded last year, is seeking to standout from the rest of the crowded home automation field by offering a low-cost platform that customers can purchase in retail outlets prior to doing self-installs.

Cisco to lay off up to 6,000 workers

August 14, 2014 11:59 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Cisco said Wednesday that it will lay off up to 6,000 workers, or 8 percent of its workforce, as part of a restructuring. The company, which makes routers, switches and software, said the layoffs will affect workers in operations around the world. 

Comcast, NBCUniversal hire 3,000 veterans

August 13, 2014 12:19 pm | by Mike Robuck | News | Comments

Comcast and NBCUniversal have hired 3,000 veterans since January of 2012 as part their ongoing partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s “Hiring Our Heroes” initiative. NBCUniversal and Comcast’s goal was to hire 2,000 veterans through the program by 2015. 

Apple's tech jobs held mostly by white, Asian men

August 13, 2014 12:10 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Apple primarily relies on white and Asian men for its top-paying technology jobs, feeding the perception that Silicon Valley's economic boom is largely excluding women, blacks and Hispanics. A breakdown released Tuesday by Apple Inc. showed 54 percent of the company's technology jobs in the U.S. are filled by whites and another 23 percent by Asians.

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