Tech News 9/17/12

Good morning folks,

Hope you all had a great weekend.  Here are the top stories you might have missed.


– Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos stated at a conference “It’s almost a human rights violation what they’re charging for internet access in Canada,” referring to the low broadband caps in place with Canada’s ISPs, which force customers to pay more if they exceed monthly caps that can start at just 15 GB.  Netflix has made adjustments in Canada, such as defaulting away from HD streaming to SD streaming.  Finally, on Friday, Sarandos admitted that the caps are having an impact on subscriber growth saying that business could be better if the caps weren’t there. (link)

– Sony reopened it’s Sony DADC disc distribution center in London just one year after it was destroyed in the London riots.  Roughly 25% of Britain’s stock of CDs, DVDs, and Blu-ray discs were destroyed by the fire.  The new facility is bigger, offering the ability to ship 55,000 titles per day.  (link)

– Comcast may be considering a 500GB broadband data cap for households with faster speeds, which increases it’s current cap of 300GB.  The move follows some smaller ISP’s such as CableOne and SuddenLink which have implemented similar caps. (link)

– In another Samsung vs Apple case, Apple was recently found not guilty in an initial ruling for infringing four Samsung patents with the iPhone and iPad, which include technology connected with CDMA and UMTS mobile devices as well as a method for dialing a smartphone.  The ruling states that Samsung has not shown any domestic industry for any of the four patents which would be necessary for Apple to have done anything wrong legally.  (link)

– Well if you didn’t get up early on Friday to pre-order your new iPhone 5, you will have to wait in line on September 21st if you want one right away as the company sold out of it’s available pre-order stock within one hour of being available online, and then shipping estimates started slipping to two weeks out from the launch date.  Apple has released no hard numbers about the success of the device yet, but did say “Preorders for iPhone 5 have been incredible.  We’ve been completely blown away by the customer response.” (link)

– While we’re still waiting for pricing on the upcoming Microsoft Surface tablets which are expected in the next couple of months, CEO Steve Ballmer did talk about the “sweet spot” for the tablets, pointing to a spread from $300 to about $700 or $800.  Further, Ballmer stated that the reasoning is based on what the tablets can do, suggesting that students aren’t likely to turn to their Kindle Fire to do their homework, but yet it’s a good way to read a book. Ballmer’s words pretty much end the debate on whether Microsoft is delivering another $199 device. (link)

– HP CEO Meg Whitman told Fox Business News that the company is “working on” a smartphone because they are a computing company and in many countries of the world, a smartphone could be your first computing device.  When digging deeper into the phone’s future platform, Whitman immediately dismissed RIM’s BlackBerry platform, suggesting that the natural course might be to reconnect with Microsoft and use Windows Phone 8 for future smartphones. (link)

– Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is giving employees the choice of a free smartphone, as long as it’s not a BlackBerry.  The decision was based on smartphone penetration rates around the world and Apple iOS and Google’s Android OS top the markets, but with Windows Phone overtaking RIM in 8 key countries, the new Nokia Lumia 920 is on the list of eligible devices.  Mayer wants employees to be using devices similar to users so they can think and work as the majority of their users do. (link)

– Microsoft filed for a new patent which allows users to smack their phone to silence it.  I’m still trying to decide if this is a good feature or a move that might result in a number of broken and battered phones… (link)

– Akamai announced the acquisition of FastSoft, a content acceleration software maker, which is set to boost the quality of service and performance of Akamai’s cloud-based system.  (link)

– Kobo has partnered with Brazilian bookstore chain Livraria Cultura to sell e-readers and ebooks later this fall.  Livaria Cultura has 14 stores in Brazil and already sells 330,000 ebooks through it’s website, but with it’s partnership with Kobo hopes to expand to sell 3 million ebooks.  (link)

– Second screen TV app Zeebox, which has become popular in the U.K., is expected to launch later this month in the US and it’s been reported that Comcast is likely it’s first partner.  (link)

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