Cable companies have shown no signs of concern over cord cutting so far and it’s easy to see why: Even customers who ditch their home video services will keep paying cable companies for broadband access. But TechHive notes that the cord cutting trend might finally be showing up on cable companies’ radars now that it’s growing to a more substantial size. A quick rundown of the numbers: Comcast has added 917,000 broadband subscribers this year but has lost 348,000 pay TV customers; Charter added 86,000 broadband subscribers but lost 27,000 pay TV subscribers; and Time Warner Cable saw its broadband subscriber numbers rise by 1.7% while seeing its pay TV subscriber numbers shrink by 6%. More →
Patent trolls are so widely disliked that they’ve actually inspired Congress to do something to crack down on them. The Washington Post reports that the United States House of Representatives on Thursday passed the Innovation Act by a margin of 325 to 91, a huge win for legislation aimed at reining in purportedly frivolous tech patent lawsuits. More →
Google earmarked around $500 million to market the Moto X and it’s still barely made a dent in the American smartphone market. The latest numbers from comScore show that Motorola’s American smartphone market share ticked up only slightly from 6.9% in July 2013 to 7% in October 2013 even though the company in that time launched several new smartphones including its flagship Moto X. That Google could put so much money into pushing a product and still only nudge the needle forward has to be disappointing, especially since it’s been trying to find a counterweight to keep Samsung’s domination of the Android market in check. More →
BlackBerry CEO John Chen has his work cut out for him. Jackdaw Research chief analyst Jan Dawson has been taking a look at BlackBerry’s recent revenue trends and has concluded that the company will need to shrink itself even further if it plans to stay afloat. The reason, says Dawson, is that its biggest potential revenue streams — from its mobile device management services, its popular BlackBerry Messenger app and its Machine to Machine (M2M) business — won’t make up for the massive revenue losses it will take from its collapsing handset sales. More →
When BGR published the famous open letter from an anonymous BlackBerry executive back in 2011, it was easy for some of the company’s defenders to brush it off as the bitter ramblings of one disgruntled employee. But now Bloomberg Businessweek has gotten a lot of former BlackBerry executives and partners to go on the record about their time with the company and it turns out that realization of the company’s impending collapse was widespread by the time BGR’s letter posted more than two years ago. More →
Stephen Elop might get to become Microsoft’s next CEO after all. Bloomberg reports that Ford company director Edsel Ford II said on Thursday that current CEO Alan Mulally is staying on with the company through at least 2014, which would seemingly put him out of the running the become Microsoft’s next chief executive. Ford said that the company’s board of directors haven’t pushed Mulally to address the matter publicly because he’s already assured them that he’ll remain with the company for at least another year. Mulally was considered a leading choice to take over at Microsoft, which has been searching for a new CEO ever since Steve Ballmer announced his plans to resign in 2014. Other candidates for the job include former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, one-time Skype boss Tony Bates and Microsoft’s cloud and enterprise boss Satya Nadella.
Microsoft is done playing nice with the National Security Agency. ITProPortal reports that Microsoft has now labeled the United States government an “advanced persistent threat” to its customers’ security, a designation that the company normally uses only “for foreign state-sponsored cyber terrorists.” Microsoft’s decision to label its own government a persistent threat comes as the company is working to beef up end-to-end encryption for all of its data center Internet traffic following revelations that the NSA has found a way to hack into major tech companies’ data centers. Both Google and Yahoo similarly moved to encrypt their data center traffic after learning of the NSA’s escapades.
It looks as though hackers have managed to swipe user names and passwords from some of the world’s biggest social networking and email platforms… again. Per CNN, security firm Trustwave claims that hackers have stolen more than 2 million Facebook, Google, Twitter and Yahoo user names and passwords through malicious keylogging software that’s been installed in an unknown number of computers. Facebook users have been the biggest victims of the malware so far, as an estimated 318,000 Facebook accounts have been compromised so far along with 70,000 Google-related accounts, 60,000 Yahoo accounts and 22,000 Twitter accounts. Trustwave says that it’s notified all affected companies about the security breach.
The iPad Air may very well be the hottest gift for holiday shoppers this year. Localytics saw a surge in iPad Air use over Black Friday weekend this year as activations for the device increased by 51%, making it by far the most-activated smartphone or tablet in the early days of holiday shopping. Other Apple devices look like hot items for shoppers this year as well since Localytics found that iPad mini and iPhone 5c activations both increased by 26% over the weekend. Other devices that saw big surges in activations included the 7-inch Amazon Kindle Fire HD (23% increase) and the Samsung Galaxy S4 (20% increase).
Earlier this year, Samsung unveiled its Knox mobile security suite aimed at giving corporate IT buyers peace of mind when deciding to purchase Samsung’s brand of Android devices for their employees. The Wall Street Journal reports that the program has been a bust so far, however, as Knox has been “beset by delays and programming bugs, frustrating clients including the U.S. Defense Department.” The Journal says that Samsung executives are “privately” acknowledging problems with Knox and are vowing fixes. More →
Let’s be clear: I think that Windows 8 is in many ways a good operating system. But it is also a very polarizing one among longtime Windows users and that’s something Microsoft will ignore at its own peril. First, let’s go through Windows 8′s obvious virtues — it runs much more smoothly than earlier versions of Windows, it starts up more quickly and is generally a more stable platform than Windows 7. However, for a sizable chunk of PC users these plusses are outweighed by the giant minus of the big changes Microsoft made to the traditional Windows user interface. More →
If there’s one thing we feel confident in saying about Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S5 smartphone it’s that it will have killer hardware. FoneArena points us to a new benchmark posted at GFXBench showing a mystery Samsung phone that features a 2K display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels and a 2.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor. Given the resolution shown in the benchmark, FoneArena speculates that the mystery device might have “a 5.25-inch display since the pixel density of a 5.25-inch 2560 x 1440 pixels display would be 560 ppi.” While we don’t know for sure which new Samsung phone this is, it’s very likely that the Galaxy S5 will at least match the specs revealed in the benchmark. Earlier leaks have suggested that the Galaxy S5 will feature a 5-inch Super AMOLED display, a 16-megapixel camera, a 4,000 mAh battery, 3GB of RAM and Android 4.4 KitKat.
Ever since Andy Rubin stepped down from his post as Google’s Android boss, questions arose about what would be his next job within the company. And now The New York Times has given us the answer: Rubin is still working with androids, albeit of the “small a” variety. According to the Times, Google has put Rubin in charge of a new “moonshot” initiative “to create a new generation of robots” that will be used for manufacturing and for retail delivery operations. The most realistic scenario, say the Times‘ sources, is that Google will make a fleet of robots for “automating portions of an existing supply chain that stretches from a factory floor to the companies that ship and deliver goods to a consumer’s doorstep.” More →