With the (maybe not) closing of the roughly $4.8 billion sale of its core business to Verizon Communications Inc., Yahoo says goodbye to Chief Executive Marissa Mayer, co-founder David Filo and others and changes its name to Altaba Inc. More in the small print of Form 8-K. On Flickr: the MetaFilter group, the MetaFilter HQ reception, and other search results for 'MetaFilter'.
Verizon to Pay $4.8 Billion for Yahoo’s Core Business [The New York Times] Yahoo was the front door to the web for an early generation of internet users, and its services still attract a billion visitors a month. But the internet is an unforgiving place for yesterday’s great idea, and on Sunday, Yahoo reached the end of the line as an independent company. The board of the Silicon Valley company agreed to sell Yahoo’s core internet operations and land holdings to Verizon for $4.8 billion, according to people briefed on the matter, who were not authorized to speak about the deal before the planned announcement on Monday morning. [more inside]
During the 1940s, Harvard University's psycho-acoustic laboratory--installed in the boiler room under Memorial Hall--was a center of secret, government-directed wartime research into the effects of sound on the human ear and mind. One obscure product of this work became known as the Harvard Sentences, a set of "phonetically balanced" sentences containing a mix of phonemes typical to conversational English. These sentences are still used today by Verizon's baseline engineers, among others. Gizmodo's Sarah Zhang has more on the history of the Harvard Sentences. Meanwhile, over at Tedium, Ernie Smith offers a T-Mobile test number (858-651-5050) where you can listen to a recording of several Harvard Sentences, calling it "pretty much the most poetic, automated thing I’ve ever heard." A full list of the Harvard Sentences can be viewed here. [more inside]
After 18 years in operation, after a federal law mandating that hospitals work to prevent needle-stick, and after two successful lawsuits resulting in BD paying more than $400 million for violating anti-monopoly statutes, Retractable Technologies made only $34 million in global sales last year. BD, with an inferior, more expensive product, sold $8.4 billion, the payouts to its competitor serving only as the cost of doing business. In 2000, the Centers for Disease Control estimated 380,000 needle-sticks at hospitals every year. Today, they estimate 385,000. “You turn on the TV and watch politicians talk about unleashing the power of the free market, that’s absurd,” Shaw says. “The American public is being denied a free market, being denied competition.”We need a new antitrust for a new predatory era.
Late last year, a number of outlets reported that both AT&T and Verizon Wireless were injecting customer-identifiable, permanent tracking cookies into web requests. After this activity was made public, AT&T ceased injecting the cookies, claiming that they were only testing the practice. Verizon, however, did not. Now, computer scientist and lawyer Jonathan Mayer at Stanford University has reported that Verizon's advertising partner The Turn is using these super cookies to re-instate tracking cookies after a user clears their browser cache. [more inside]
Colin Nederkoorn used the Netflix test video to show Verizon's horrendous throttling versus running his connection through a VPN.
John Oliver and Last Week Tonight do an extended piece on Net Neutrality.
Verizon and Cogent Communications are at odds over how much money needs to change hands to deliver decent Netflix performance. Verizon has developed a rival to Netflix, Redbox and have been accused of tinkering with Netflix and AWS speeds due to the recent FCC Net Neutrality ruling. Things may change again, but then again, maybe not really.
"(TL;DR summary: AT&T is buying entire legislatures to rewrite the laws to allow them to become a fully unregulated company with no wholesale obligations, creating a de-facto monopoly. They can (and likely will) use it to squash or hurt wireless competitors as well, as they're permitted to favor their own subsidiaries with the network built and created over a hundred plus year monopoly, and Comcast is fully on-board because they'd like to split the market created when all their competitors are dead)" Paul Timmins, the telco nerd behind TelcoData.US (Previously), expounds on how the big players in the telecom business (AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast) are ruining the future of connectivity in the US.
Glenn Greenwald has produced a secret court order requiring Verizon to hand over to the NSA "telephony metadata" of all local and international calls either originating or terminating in the United States on an "ongoing, daily basis," and further barring Verizon from disclosing to the public the fulfillment of this request or the existence of the court order itself. The ACLU refers to the practice as "beyond Orwellian." Direct link to the court order available here. [more inside]
New anti-piracy system will hit U.S. Internet users next week. And here's a primer on the Copyright Alerts System (CAS) or six strikes system, also from the Daily Dot.
(BBC) A security check on a US company has reportedly revealed one of its staff was outsourcing his work to China. [more inside]
Verizon draws fire for monitoring app usage, browsing habits: Verizon Wireless has begun selling information about its customers' geographical locations, app usage, and Web browsing activities. The company this month began offering reports to marketers showing what Verizon subscribers are doing on their phones and other mobile devices, including what iOS and Android apps are in use in which locations. Verizon says it may link the data to third-party databases with information about customers' gender, age, and even details such as "sports enthusiast, frequent diner or pet owner." [more inside]
These Are The Prices AT&T, Verizon and Sprint Charge For Cellphone Wiretaps. After a flurry of public records requests to over 200 police departments, the ACLU has obtained a trove of documents detailing police tracking of cell phone location, call logs and more, including a price list for subscriber information from every major US carrier. [more inside]
All I want is to be left alone in my average home... But why do I always feel I'm in the twilight zone?
In August 2011, 35 ACLU affiliates filed 381 requests in 32 states with local law enforcement agencies seeking to uncover when, why and how they are using cell phone location data to track Americans. So how long do American cell phone carriers retain information about your calls, text messages, and data use? According to data gathered by the US Department of Justice, it can be as little as a few days or up to seven years, depending on your provider. (Via / More)
Even after the Justice Department announced attempts to block AT&T's acquisition of T-Mobile, many see a heightened chance of it going through if T-Mobile is weakened. AT&T, Deutsche Telekom and T-Mobile have hired a bunch of former U.S. government officials to try to complete the deal, with Verizon's CEO cheering them on. Yesterday, T-Mobile's CMO Cole Broadman seems to have just blogged a major upcoming weakness - no iPhone 5. Sprint opposes the AT&T/T-Mobile merger, and is tying its fate to being the sole iPhone 5 carrier with unlimited data. Today Apple sent invites out for an event this coming Tuesday where the details of the next iPhone are set to be revealed.
Wired: "Who 'Ruled the Air' in 1910, and Who Rules It Now?". Also see: Vintage AdBrowser (Previously): Communications Ads of the: 1910's, 20's, 30's, 40's, 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's and 90's.
Apple Inc. is making a version of its iPhone that Verizon Wireless will sell early next year, according to people familiar with the matter, ending an exclusive deal with AT&T and sharpening the competition with Google Inc.-based phones. [more inside]
Despite very strong denials last week from Google and Verizon that they were not discussing ways around Net Neutrality, Google and Verizon held a conference today to announce their agreement to the establishment of price-tiered network services, dividing the current Internet into a "neutral public Internet" that remains "open" (and which preserves access to YouTube and other Google properties), and a set of paid, priority channels that Verizon and other telecoms can use to deliver certain other types of content at higher prices, particularly over cell networks and whatever future infrastructure the Internet will be carried over.
AT&T Just Killed Unlimited Wireless Data (and Screwed Everybody in the Process) AT&T is likely just the first, since carriers rarely do anything alone (like when everybody launched unlimited voice calling in lockstep), and Verizon's CTO has rumbled that plans with "as much data as you can consume is the big issue that has to change." And so it is.
According to an article in yesterday's NY Times, AT&T's network is much better than our conventional wisdom (or Verizon's marketeers) thought. And, that perhaps the issue with iPhones and coverage is really the fault of the iPhone itself, not AT&T's network.
Verizon takes iPhone head-on. Will Android finally become something to people outside the nerd set? Will all those people still waiting for the iPhone to come to Verizon actually buy in? Personally, I'm not giving up my iPhone, but I was amused by the commercial.
We're only two weeks into the year, but net neutrality issues hit the ground running. The FCC already has three different inquiries open. (also) (previously) The 700 Mhz auction threatens to disrupt an already converging telecom industry. AT&T's post-merger commitment to net neutrality ends this year, and they plan to test the filtering waters, despite recently opposing the practice. And today, a leaked memo revealed that Time Warner will test tiered internet services soon. The Internet as we know it, and communications in general, might be headed for some major changes in 2008.
Math skills are not Verizon's strong point. A man tries to resolve a simple problem with Verizon for 22 minutes. Listen, and despair.
Internet: Freedom or Privilege? David Isenberg: "Just as Freedom of Speech means that, with very few limitations, nobody has the right to tell somebody else what to say, so should Internet freedom mean that gatekeepers should not control Internet applications or content. This is essential not just as a matter of freedom, but also as a matter of commerce, because the Internet’s success is directly due to its content-blindness. If the United States fails to understand this, U.S. Internet leadership will follow U.S. leadership in agriculture, in steel, in autos, and in consumer electronics to other countries that do."
US ISP Verizon decided late last year to block any email sent from outside the US. I thought the bounces I was getting from my Verizon contacts were glitches until I googled and found this.
The arrogance of Verizon is astonishing: "If it's really important you might want to make a phone call".
The arrogance of Verizon is astonishing: "If it's really important you might want to make a phone call".
Verizon goes Vonage? ATT, announced this week that it's giving up on residential phone service. And here, from the look of it, Verizon is starting to offer what I believe is Internet-based phone service. Is the Internet the future of phone?
Its not your fathers P.O.T.S. Plain Old Telephone Service is undergoing a fundamental shift as companies such as Verizon, AT&T and British Telecom embrace Internet technology to route long-distance and local phone calls to compete with services from the likes of upstarts Vonage and Packet8 and Skype etc. Is this the beginning of the Telepocalypse a race to the bottom of less and less profit and more and more layoffs? Follow the history and future of the woeful crumbling of the hiearchical phone phone company at David Isen's web page Are the guts of the phone companies the class 5 switch go the way of mainframe computer
RIAA: Stop, or we will sue fresh from its victory against Verizon, the RIAA gears up to go head to head with individual users of P2P. Run and hide!
Verizon Must Reveal Internet Song Swapper In a recent discussion of the Supreme Court's decision to protect the rights of the individual from the greed and sloth of the many I warned that the RIAA and MPAA, comically inept though the media paints them, would soon have things their way. This link is to a news report about an important step in their fight for individual rights.
Finally, a Fair Fight with Big Music From a Business Week Online column..."Telecom giant Verizon is battling the industry's bid to make it name a file-sharing subscriber. It's also defending your right to privacy. On July 24, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) made an unprecedented request of Verizon Communications (VZ). The music industry's trade association served the telecom with a subpoena, seeking the identity of a Verizon subscriber who had allegedly illegally traded digital songs by artists including Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez, and "boy band" N'Sync. The RIAA didn't specify why it wanted to know who the user was or what it would do with the information."
Imagine you are moving between apartments. Check out this Verizon "How do I..." page. Over 40 questions are answered, but the 2nd most obvious question one might have is strangely absent. Then try to order a basic cable service from Time Warner Cable. Do you have other examples of corporate sites that are less than helpful when what you want is less than what they would like to sell - or when you want to cancel?
Nice or not. It looks like Verizon manages to get kudos on their service while getting relatively little exposure while they are trying to lock-in their customers. What do you think? Does it make sense to go to 3G with Verizon or should one go with competitive content providers who are willing to let you keep your phone numbers when we leave them? Which is more important?
Verizon sues Covad for creating thousands of false trouble tickets. So that's why my DSL took so long!
verizonREALLYsucks Be good, or I'll sic the AntiCyberSquat on you!
Verizon Wireless is jumping on the copyright lawsuit bandwagon. This time they're picking on 2600. Me thinks they're playing with fire.
Verizon, a true example that there are no good dot com's left no matter how big you are. They had to put a lot of thought into this one to make it make sense.