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Archive: April 2009

Clyburn To FCC, But Still Waiting on Genachowski Confirmation

Seats on the Federal Communications Commission are slowly being filled. Yesterday President Obama named Mignon Clyburn, of the South Carolina Public Service Commission, to an empty Democratic slot. That leaves just one Republican position left to be filled in the five-seat agency that has been charged to come up with...

By Cecilia Kang | April 30, 2009; 2:54 PM ET | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Google's Schmidt, Microsoft's Mundie Named Obama Tech Advisers

President Obama today named high-tech heavyweights Eric Schmidt of Google and Craig Mundie of Microsoft as technology advisers. The two will join academic scholars, researchers, and business leaders in the sciences as part of Obama's Science and Technology Advisory Council, the administration announced. "The council represents leaders from many scientific...

By Cecilia Kang | April 27, 2009; 3:23 PM ET | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Apple's App Store Hits One Billion Downloads

Less than a year after opening, Apple's App Store, where owners of the iPhone and iPod Touch can download software for the devices, is hitting the billion download mark this afternoon. The store has been such a success for the company that every rival consumer electronics manufacturer from Nintendo to...

By Mike Musgrove | April 23, 2009; 4:45 PM ET | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

UMD To Introduce "Video 911"

A University of Maryland computer science professor is getting to roll out what he hopes will catch on one day as the next version of 911. Soon, on the University of Maryland campus, students or faculty members will be able to hold up their cell phones and instantly relay video...

By Mike Musgrove | April 23, 2009; 11:35 AM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Rural Broadband Riddle: Feedback and More to Come

The comments are rolling on the Rural Broadband story in today. I'd like to feature one comment that raises the point that the two towns featured are different in many ways -- population, education rates (one is located near an interstate highway.) Of course these factors weigh on the economic...

By Cecilia Kang | April 23, 2009; 11:15 AM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Apple Removes "Baby Shaker" App

Well, that was quick. Just hours after activists started to raise a stink about a potentially offensive iPhone App, Apple seems to have taken it down. In the App, for "Baby Shaker," users are presented with a series of baby images. As the baby begins to cry, players are supposed...

By Mike Musgrove | April 22, 2009; 6:22 PM ET | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

AT&T: 1Q Profits Down, iPhone Customers Up

Phone giant AT&T said today its first quarter profit dropped 9.7 percent due to weakness in its traditional wireline phone business. The earnings were, however, above analysts' expectations. Wireline revenues fell 5.4 percent, as the rate of people cutting traditional phone service fell 12 percent. There was some positive news...

By Cecilia Kang | April 22, 2009; 11:08 AM ET | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Non-profits Leverage Social Networks With Varying Degrees of Success

The Facebook application "Causes" is all the rage among nonprofit organizations, with more than 179,000 groups turning to the site as an inexpensive way to seek donations. Our story today explores why using social networking application may not be the most effective way to raise gobs of money for a...

By Kim Hart | April 22, 2009; 10:33 AM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Cell Phone Cancellation Fees For Laid Off Workers Under Fire

Consumer interest groups today called on major cell phone carriers to waive cancellation penalties for subscribers who have lost their jobs. The fines, called early termination fees, are among the most contentious consumer issues for cell phone customers and are being fought in multi-million dollar court battles by consumers who...

By Cecilia Kang | April 21, 2009; 5:59 PM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

House Committee Sets Sights On LimeWire

Update: LimeWire sent a statement on this matter, which has been added at the end of this posting. While peer-to-peer file-sharing applications have gotten a lot of media attention for carrying pirated versions of the latest movies and albums, a House committee is showing a fresh round of concern over...

By Mike Musgrove | April 21, 2009; 4:00 PM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Time Warner Stops Pay-As-Use Internet Tests

Time Warner Cable said today it will stop testing a new pricing model where customers were being charged for how much Internet bandwidth they used after public uproar against the billing practice. The cable television and Internet service provider was testing the consumption-based service in Beaumont, Texas and planned to...

By Cecilia Kang | April 16, 2009; 4:37 PM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Rosetta Stone Expected To Make Public Debut Today

If all goes as expected, the New York Stock Exchange will have at a new listing today. Shares of the Arlington-based language instruction company Rosetta Stone are scheduled to begin trading under the ticker symbol RST, starting this morning. Rosetta Stone plans to offer 6,250,000 shares of common stock priced...

By Mike Musgrove | April 16, 2009; 8:45 AM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Capitol Hill Gets A Taste of Health Games

When Kaiser Permanente wanted to develop a program to teach kids about the value of proper nutrition and exercise, the health care company tried what an increasing number of companies are doing these days when they hope to get younger generations to pay attention: They turned the topic into a...

By Mike Musgrove | April 15, 2009; 3:04 PM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

LivingSocial Takes Top Spot Among Facebook Apps

LivingSocial, an application developer based in Georgetown, has become the most popular out of the 52,000 applications on Facebook, with more than 20 million active users.

By Kim Hart | April 13, 2009; 3:31 PM ET | Comments (1) | TrackBack (1)

Will Wright Leaves EA

One of the world's most famous game designers is leaving one of the world's largest videogame publishers. Will Wright, lead creator of bestselling computer game titles like The Sims and Spore, is leaving Electronic Arts for his own venture, called Stupid Fun Club (if you can't get this site to...

By Mike Musgrove | April 8, 2009; 6:11 PM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

FCC Starts Broadband Plan with Broad Scope

The Federal Communications Commission has begun the process of mapping out a plan to bring high-speed Internet service to the entire nation, starting with questions on how to increase its availability, improve its quality of service, and make that service more affordable. In a meeting earlier today, acting Chairman Michael...

By Cecilia Kang | April 8, 2009; 5:00 PM ET | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

New AOL Chief Armstrong Urges Company to 'Dream Big'

Former Google executive Tim Armstrong took the reins at AOL yesterday -- and sent out his first company-wide memo. What does Armstrong have in mind for the company? It's not clear just yet; from this memo, it seems that he's starting out on a listening tour that will take him...

By Mike Musgrove | April 8, 2009; 12:00 PM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Dying To Work At The White House

As it turns out Kal Penn is leaving his acting career for a job at the White House. Penn was an active supporter of Obama on the campaign trail and he was offered the position of Associate Director in the White House Office of Public Liaison, according to Entertainment Weekly. Still, why would Fox create social networking pages? To create buzz, of course.

By Kim Hart | April 7, 2009; 2:24 PM ET | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

AOL: Change of Leadership, Change of Debt Structure

Is Time Warner finally gearing up to spin off AOL? As a new chief executive takes the reins at AOL today, the Dulles-based company has turned to debtholders with a request to change the terms of more than $12 billion in loans. The proposed revisions suggest a separation of AOL...

By Mike Musgrove | April 7, 2009; 11:44 AM ET | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

"Flutter: The New Twitter"

Tired of reading all those long, time-consuming Twitter entries? Just a little late for April Fools Day comes this YouTube-posted spoof documentary about a fictional "nanoblogging" site called Flutter. Where Twitter lets users ramble on for an entire 140 characters, Fluttter's site keeps things short and simple, at a tidy...

By Mike Musgrove | April 6, 2009; 2:30 PM ET | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Comcast CEO Looks Forward to Fresh Start With New FCC Chair

It's no secret that Comcast underwent several bruising years of regulatory squabbling with the Federal Communications Commission when it was headed by former Chairman Kevin Martin. Martin pushed to reform cable pricing, which Comcast opposed. And he also sided with public interest groups and high-tech firms who complained that the...

By Cecilia Kang | April 1, 2009; 6:23 PM ET | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)


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