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No Comcast + Time Warner Cable Merger

The $45 Billion dollar Comcast and Time Warner Cable merger is officially dead. Comcast and TWC are the two biggest cable and broadband companies in the United States and there were major concerns about what losing that compeition would do to the industry. This is probably good news for consumers and so far I haven't seen too many tears shed over the failed merger. The Verge has more on this story.

Comcast has officially abandoned its $45 billion merger with Time Warner Cable, after encountering resistance from regulators. "Today, we move on. Of course, we would have liked to bring our great products to new cities, but we structured this deal so that if the government didn't agree, we could walk away," said Comcast Chairman and CEO Brian Roberts in a statement. "Comcast NBC Universal is a unique company with strong momentum. Throughout this entire process, our employees have kept their eye on the ball and we have had fantastic operating results. I want to thank them and the employees of Time Warner Cable for their tireless efforts. I couldn't be more proud of this company and I am truly excited for what's next."

I've Seen That Before

In the vast world of streaming video there are a lot of players, but one in the Asian market is standing out. This service is know as iFlix and is much like Netflix. They have landed $30 million before their launch from Catcha Group, the company that first announced their launch in March. If you're Asian, this is very good news. Enjoy!

The money will go towards bringing the service to more countries in Southeast Asia, increasing its catalog - which iFlix pegs at a vague “over 10,000 hours of content” - and financing a marketing push. Interestingly, iFlix said also that it will use the funds to “produce original programming.” That’s something that Netflix has done with great success, and with industry accolades to boot.

Source: TechCrunch

A Rare Fruit

There is a misconception out there that the new Apple Watch will be almost impossible to get anywhere else but online. As it turns out, there are several fashion stores that show it as being available on the 24th. This is not a close guarded secret by any means, Apple did have a list of the dealers that would carry them on their website in March.

In further evidence of the smartwatch’s positioning as a fashion accessory, as opposed to a tech gadget, while the product may not be in Apple stores to purchase on its official release day of Friday, select destination fashion boutiques around the world have their own stock, and will be offering the watch for sale at the end of the week.

Source: NYTimes

$28.65 - That's what you're worth according to Facebook

Facebook released their numbers this week and unfortunately for investors, they were a bit lower than hoped for. Even though Facebook didn't meet investor expectations, their numbers are still impressive.

  • Each users in Canada and USA generated $28.65 in revenue in 2014 for Facebook
  • Q4 in 2014 saw each user in Canada and USA generate $9 as compared to $8.34 in Q1 of 2015
  • The worldwide average for Facebook users was $9.45 in 2014
  • Facebook has 1.441 Billion monthly active users
  • Facebook has 936 Million daily active users

If you want more details head on over to TechCrunch.

Facebook failed to beat earnings estimates in Q1 2015, coming in with mixed results after 10 straight quarters of beating them. Its revenue of $3.54 billion fell short of its $3.56 billion estimate, though it exceeded the 40 cents EPS estimate with 42 cents.

In the release, Facebook blames fluctuating foreign exchange figures, including the weakening euro versus the dollar, for the missed revenue, saying it would have made $188 million more in revenue this quarter and and beat estimates if not for this issue. That would have let it easily beat on revenue with $3.728 billion. Several other public companies have made similar claims blaming the euro.

Google launches Project Fi

It's finally official, Google has launched their very own cell phone service and are calling it Project Fi. Project Fi is only available for Nexus 6 owners in the United States but I think it would be safe to assume more people will be eligible in the future. Right now you have to apply to be part of the early access program, but chances are good that Google will be opening this program up to more users in the near future.

Here is the deal:

Our plan starts with the Fi Basics for $20 per month. This includes:

  • Unlimited domestic talk and text

  • Unlimited international texts

  • Low-cost international calls

  • Wi-Fi tethering

  • Coverage in 120+ countries

Then it's $10 per GB for data. $10 for 1GB, $20 for 2GB, $30 for 3GB and so on. That's it. With no annual contract required.

The one interesting thing about Google's plan is that if you pay for 3GB of data and only use 1GB you will receive a credit for unused data. Issuing a refund for unused data could put some pressure on the competition who either make you lose unused data or if they are generous let you carry it over to the next month (up to a certain limit).

Overall I'd say the prices are pretty competitive, especially if you aren't using a ton of data. You can find out more over at Google's Project Fi website.

WTU Episode #309 - Netflix is Bigger than CBS

We have just posted up Episode #309 of Weekly Tech Update. In this episode we discuss that Netflix is now bigger than CBS, OnePlus says goodbye to invites and ASUS sells 500 Million Motherboards (enough to go around the world three times). We have those stories and more so check it out!


Download Episode #309
Show Notes
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Apple's Definition of 'Fixed' is Different Than Security Researcher

Sometimes computer repair is a lot like taking your car to a mechanic. While the mechanic says that the problem is fixed, you know very well that your brakes still don't work. The same is true with Apple this week as they claimed that they fixed a major OSX security issue, but research shows that it's still as broken as it was a few weeks ago. If you have an Apple product, for the love of all that's holy, get some security software. The days are past when Apple was secure.

According to a recent finding by an independent researcher, the company from Cupertino failed to fix the problem. Objective-See, a website that provides tools to prevent OS X malware, reports that the backdoor security flaw, known as "RootPipe," can still be exploited.

Source: Engadget

Samsung to Build Qualcomm's Snapdragon 820

Samsung is pretty big. I mean really big. They have been contracted to build processors for Apple devices and in fact make their own processors for TVs, mobile phones, tablets and Chromebooks. After some issues with the Snapdragon 810 and over-heating (at the very least running really, really hot) issues, Qualcomm has opted to go with Samsung as the semiconductor manufacturer for the Snapdragon 820. It's interesting that they had to talk to the competition to build a chip for them. I'm sure Samsung is making a fair bit of money by agreeing to make the competitor's product.

The giant processor company has traditionally employed Taiwan Semiconductor (TSMC) to manufacture its chips, which power a large number of our smartphones and tablets. However, according to a report from Re/code, Qualcomm will be switching suppliers and partnering with Samsung for its next batch of high-end SOCs.

Source: Neowin

World's Largest USB Drive

The video below shows off the world's largest USB drive. We're not talking Gigabytes or Terabytes here. We're talking Megabytes. The thing is huge though and is basically an over-sized mechanical hard disk drive that can now be run over a USB interface. It's much larger than the computer it sits beside and holds an amazing 10MB.


Google To Launch Wireless Service Soon

Google has been rumored to be getting their own wireless service ready for a while and according to sources, it could launch as early as today. This service will actually be running on top of the Sprint and T-Mobile networks and only work with the Nexus 6 at first. The idea is that the phone can switch between Google and the parent carrier's network seemlessly and give you the best performance and bang for your buck. It will be interesting to see how this shakes down.

Like Google Fiber, Mountain View's foray into high-speed broadband, the wireless service won't be a mainstream offering - at least at first.  "We don't intend to be a carrier at scale," Google senior VP Sundar Pichai said at Mobile World Congress last month. "I think we're at the stage where we need to think of hardware, software, and connectivity together. We want to break down the barriers on how connectivity works."

Source: TheVerge

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