Items tagged with Mer

Now they just have to get this deal past the feds.XM and Sirius' proposed merger received near-unanimous support from shareholders, as the two companies announced they had cleared the next hurdle in becoming a single entity.According to tabulations by XM, 99.8 percent of shareholders voted in favor of the transaction. The merger agreement calls for each XM shareholder to receive 4.6 Sirius shares for each share they own.The news was music to Wall Street's ears. XM skyrocketed nearly 10 percent to close at $15.06, while Sirius rose 6.5 percent to close at $3.63. Both stocks looked poised to add onto those gains come Wednesday.Although they still have some hurdles, both the Justice Dept. and the... Read more...
By now just about everyone has heard of the RIAA and their law suits against people who have allegedly pirated music over the Internet.  The stories of the RIAA suing grandmothers, minors, and the deceased are common place, but it seems that the RIAA's latest step might have taken things too far: they're asking that a new law be passed that will require schools seeking federal funding for their programs and student body to police their own networks and keep them piracy-free.The request isn't unreasonable, and ought to be a goal of any IT staff at an organization where piracy is probable, but the repercussions of failure (not to mention what constitutes failure) could have a major impact... Read more...
Time Warner released its Q3 earnings report Wednesday, and boy does it look sad for AOL. In terms of subcribers, numbers dropped 5.1 million to 10.1 million, over a 33% drop in one year's time.According to Time Warner the firm’s revised strategy to refocus its business from subscribers to advertising is to blame for the subscriber loss. The company also sold off several of its overseas businesses over the past year, including AOL France, Germany and UK, and noted that its subscription service became less attractive as the company decided to offer its email service free of charge.   Time Warner said that AOL revenues declined 38% or $745 million from $1.96 billion to $1.22 billion year... Read more...
I knew it felt crowded here on teh intarnets. They're a series of tubes, you know. According to a new Harris poll, 79% of American adults are currently using the Internet. And they report that they're spending an average of 11 hours a week online. Slackers.The results reflect a steady rise since 2000, when 57 percent of adults polled said they went online. In 2006, the number was 77 percent.When Harris Interactive, a market research firm, first began tracking online use among adults in 1995, the group found that only nine percent of the population -- or 17.5 million -- said they went online.The poll also found that adults are spending more time online at home and at work, up two percent each... Read more...
Consumer advocates, veteran websurfers, and the just plain paranoid love the idea of a "Do Not Track" list that would make it impossible for advertisers to track where you go on the web and tailor advertising to your surfing habits. The problem is, those same users hate paying for content, and like having free, high-quality ad-supported webpages to look at.  The law of unintended consequences could very well rear its ugly head if the tracking of your likes and dislikes is disallowed: an explosion in the amount of advertising needed to be shown to each websurfer to pay for the content they're looking at. The reason for the potential ad increase is related to a key difference between telemarketing... Read more...
How many times have you been annoyed by a cell phone user, practically shouting into his or her phone on a bus or subway?  Or been annoyed by someone's phone ringing in the theatre?  More than you can count, right?  Unless, of course, you are of the offenders.  Ever wish you could rip the phone out of their hands, or just tell them to knock it off?  Some are doing more than that, illegally, however.One afternoon in early September, an architect boarded his commuter train and became a cellphone vigilante. He sat down next to a 20-something woman who he said was “blabbing away” into her phone.“She was using the word ‘like’ all the time. She sounded like a Valley Girl,”... Read more...
In the wake of Comcast's recent decision to start throttling end-user P2P traffic consumer groups have decided to take their complaint straight to the top.  By 'the top' we don't mean the supreme court, but the FCC.  We can't help but wonder why nobody's taken Comcast to the FCC over their disconnecting users who use 'too much' of their unlimited service, but we suspect that we'll probably be reporting on that in the near future.Several consumer rights groups have worked in unison to file law suits of various kinds, but it looks like a couple of them decided to try to hit Comcast beneath the proverbial belt:“Two of the groups are also asking the FCC to fine Comcast $195,000 for every... Read more...
Shell wants customers to give them the finger, at least in terms of paying for their gas.  10 Chicago-area stations are testing biometric payment systems. Ten Shell gas stations in the Windy City are testing biometric systems that let consumers walk up to the pump, scan their fingertips on a device and fill up their vehicles. The systems, also installed at Shell convenience stores, are directly linked to customers' checking or credit-card accounts for payment. "When we talk to customers, they're always looking for ways to make buying gasoline quicker and easier, and always looking for ways to make their transactions faster and more secure," said Chris Susse, Shell's manager of global refueling... Read more...
Monday Verizon unveiled a new new, symmetrical Verizon FiOS Internet service for consumers, featuring an upload and download speed of up to 20Mbps. Yes, you read that right, 20Mbps upload. The service went live in parts of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut on Monday.The 20/20 service is first launching in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, but Verizon says it will come to the company's 13 other markets eventually. The cost will be $64.99 per month for those with a Verizon phone contract, and $69.99 for those without.Our question: when are you coming to our area?  This makes everyone else look like a snail.... Read more...
In a recent Web 2.0 conference, Microsoft CEO Steve Balmer declared that the company wasn't changing their acquisition strategy.  The Redmond Giant will continue making smaller purchases in the $50 million to $1 billion range instead of larger, multi-billion dollar purchases.“The CEO of the world's largest software maker said it is logical for people to speculate that main rivals would join forces to take on an industry leader. In this case, Ballmer was referring to dominant Web search leader Google.Microsoft historically has shunned costly acquisitions, opting to purchase lots of less expensive companies. But company watchers saw this year's $US6 billion acquisition of digital advertising... Read more...
We know that consumers in America aren't exactly enamored with Windows Vista; there's even been a lawsuit filed over the term "Windows-Vista Ready."  Apparently the Dutch Consumers' Union agrees with that opinion.In a recent meeting between the Dutch Consumers’ Union (Consumentenbond) and Microsoft Netherlands, the consumer organization asked for free copies of Windows XP for members who were having problems with Vista. Microsoft, of course, refused. The refusal has led Consumentenbond to call on consumers to explicitly ask for Windows XP when purchasing a new computer and for shops to provide free Windows XP packages to those dissatisfied... Read more...
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer recently made some interesting claims about Microsoft code appearing in various Linux distributions, especially Red Hat.  Now he's made a comment that all Red Hat users 'owe' Microsoft.  He hasn't put a dollar amount on what they owe, or made his claims on exactly why 100% clear.  All we know is that the claim has to do with 'borrowed' code, a term that Microsoft themselves aren't exactly unfamiliar with.This isn't the first time that Microsoft has made such claims about Linux, in fact the Redmond software firm ranks only behind SCO when it comes to organizations who actively pursue legal action against various forms of Linux.You'd think that being in... Read more...
Mona Shaw, of Bristow Virginia, decided that she'd had enough of Comcast's customer service and chose to do something about it: The 75-year-old took a hammer and starting demolishing a Comcast office.  Not bad for someone who lived through World War II and has a heart condition.While this obviously isn't the recommended way to settle disputes and problems, she isn't exactly viewed as a crazed lunatic by everybody in her community.  Apparently the kinds of problems she encountered are far from rare:“The city is negotiating an updated franchise agreement with Comcast, as well as a new cable agreement with Verizon.Customer service is one of the main issues the city examined in its recent... Read more...
There it is, Miss America's browser ... Lauren Nelson made children's Internet security her main issue during the most recent pageant because of a disturbing online encounter she and her friends had as 13-year-olds.  Now a kid-safe browser bearing her name will launch.The Miss America Kid-Safe Web Browser is to debut on Thursday. The free download includes blocking mechanisms that have existed for years. But it also features an animated Nelson who walks kids through their online experience, advising them about Internet safety and spouting random trivia: "There are twice as many kangaroos as people in Australia!"She'll read their e-mail out loud and can be programmed by Mom or Dad to remind... Read more...
Is Microsoft bored with making office software and operating systems? Seems that way. In May of 2007, it purchased online marketing firm aQuantive for $6 billion. Speaking at a media event in Paris yesterday, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer outlined a future for the company over the next decade to realize 25 percent of their revenues from online and in-game advertising. Microsoft, the media company? That's right. As growth slows in Microsoft's core operating systems and desktop applications businesses—and as the threat grows from free software and applications offered over the Internet by the likes of Google -the software giant is scrambling for new sources of revenue and growth. Microsoft aims to... Read more...
The recent news that Ameritrade had been leaking sensitive customer data was enough to drive some investors away from Ameritrade for the time being, and possibly forever.  If you're an investor who is on the fence deciding when you might put your faith and financial security into Ameritrade's hands again, then you might want to know that Ameritrade was aware of some of their security breaches for over a year.The breach was so serious that Ameritrade found 'unauthorized code' in their systems, and have yet to be able to fully account for how it got there.  The breaches allowed for about 6 million customer records to be compromised, but the limits of what data was stolen hasn't been completely... Read more...
It's possible consumers may see such rebates in the future.  Right now, buy an energy efficient dishwasher, furnace, A/C unit, or something similar and you can often get a rebate from your utility company. Will utilities also give rebates for energy-efficient PCs?  It's being discussed.The Climate Savers Computing Initiative, a consortium of tech companies that is trying to get the industry and consumers to adopt energy-efficient components, has started to explore the idea of direct rebates with utilities, said Erik Teeszer, a program manager at Google during a meeting at the Intel Developer Forum taking place in San Francisco. Google and Intel are the driving forces behind Climate Savers.Some... Read more...
Revolutionizing the Way Games Are Meant To Be Played Taipei, Taiwan, 31st August 2007) Shuttle Inc. – leading designer and manufacturer of small form factor (SFF) computers and accessories today announced the launch of its top gamers’ platform XPC Prima series – the Shuttle XPC Prima SP35P2 Pro platform for extreme gamers. The Shuttle XPC Prima series SP35P2 Pro supports the latest Intel® multi-core processors up to 1333MHz FSB, accommodating up to 8GB of DDR2-800 memory in a pair of dual-channel mode, over clock-able to 1066MHz. With Intel® P35 Express Chipset’s optimized system memory capabilities and chipset over-speed removed attain maximized over-clocking... Read more...
A requirement for a new residence has always been, in our opinion, broadband of some type, either DSL or cable modem service.  Rural America is still pretty broadband-less, and may stay that way, because of the forever mighty profit margin. As population density drops outside of metropolitan areas, it's impossible for telecommunications companies or cable service providers to justify the tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars per mile it can cost to bring fiber to every rural community, let alone every home. The result: Today, just 17 percent of rural U.S. households subscribe to broadband service, according to the Government Accountability Office. This may be the opening broadband... Read more...
What's a good investment nowadays? We don't give such advice here at HotHardware, but we can tell you to steer clear of offering jumbo loans on third houses right now. That's a bad investment. What's a good investment? According to Standard and Poor's Clyde Montevirgen, Intel is a five star, strong buy monster. According to market researcher IDC, worldwide PC shipments have recently risen above expectations, rebounding from single-digit growth at the end of 2006 to 11% growth in the first quarter of 2007 and 12% in the second quarter. Growth was supported by strong sales of mobile computers, which advanced 29.5% in the second quarter from the same quarter last year, compared to... Read more...
A few weeks ago, news broke of an upcoming AMD technology co-developed with a couple of their IC partners dubbed G3MX, or the Socket G3 Memory eXtension.  In essence, G3MX is designed to be AMD’s answer to the current FB-DIMM (Fully Buffered) memory used on Intel’s high-end server and workstation platforms.  While DDR2 FB-DIMMs, that are outfitted with an AMB (Advanced Memory Buffer), offer a number of key benefits, including a serial point-to-point memory interface, improved reliability, scalability, signal integrity, increased bandwidth in some configurations, and higher capacity per memory channel, these benefits come at the cost of power consumption. Due to the fact that each FB-DIMM... Read more...
A recent poll shows that more and more Americans are turning to the Internet for information about health and health issues.  In fact, according to the 2007 Consumer Medical and Health Information poll, nearly as many Americans list the Web as their primary source of medical information as do their doctor. The 2007 Consumer Medical and Health Information poll, commissioned by search engine Ask.com and performed by Harris Interactive Inc., revealed that 70% of adults use the Internet as a primary source for health information and that 72% describe their doctor as a primary source. The study also found that 76% of adults older than 55 -- a group sometimes stereotyped as eschewing the Web --... Read more...
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