COMCAST boosts broadband lead with TWC -- iTV! YouTV! (Maybe) -- VERIZON data caps up, prices down -- Android noses under MICROSOFT tent -- $25M Gary V fund


February 13, 2014 06:00 PST | 09:00 EST | 14:00 UTC

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>> DRIVING THE DAY: Comcast agrees to buy Time Warner Cable for $45.2 billion, by Alex Sherman and Jeffrey McCracken: "Comcast agreed to acquire Time Warner Cable for about $44 billion, combining the largest two U.S. cable companies in an all-stock deal... Comcast Chief Executive Officer Brian Roberts will extend his lead in the U.S. cable-TV market after trouncing John Malone-backed Charter Communications Inc., which had courted Time Warner Cable since June. Holding out for a better offer than Charter's $132.50-a-share bid allowed Time Warner Cable to deliver an almost 70 percent gain for shareholders since the end of May."Bloomberg

> Here's why the biggest cable company in the country thinks it can get bigger Re/code

> Comcast and Time Warner Cable: Forget TV, it is all about broadband GigaOM

> ISP lobby has already won limits on public broadband in 20 states Ars Technica

> Grande Communications makes big headlines with gigabit Internet service in Austin, ahead of Google, AT&T NetworkWorld >> GROUNDHOG'S DAY: Apple said to plan TV box amid Time Warner Cable talks, by Adam Satariano, Edmund Lee: "Apple is planning to introduce a new Apple TV set-top box and is negotiating with Time Warner Cable and other potential partners to add video content... Apple is aiming to unveil the device by April and have it available for sale by the Christmas holidays, though the release date could change because the company is still in the process of securing new agreements with programming and distribution partners... The new device, which plugs into a television set, will have a faster processor than the previous version and an upgraded interface to make it easier for customers to navigate between TV shows, movies and other online content… Apple's talks with Time Warner Cable have been going on since at least the middle of last year. The lag time between when Apple may announce the new set-top box and its release is because of ongoing negotiations with content providers." Bloomberg

> Here's what the new Apple TV could look like (hint: check your iPad) Re/code

> Could Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger put the kibash on new Apple TV? TUAW

> New iPhone -- now upsized -- set for release in September South China Morning Post

>> NOT TO BE OUTDONE: Verizon 'more everything' -- increased data caps, lower prices for Edge subscribers, faster network speeds, and more, by Ryan Whitwam: "The big US carriers are currently falling all over themselves to tweak their plan offerings to be more competitive with each other. After changing the upgrade window of its Edge plans last month, Verizon is now preparing to offer more data on some plans, reduced prices for Edge customers (which lets you pay to own a phone), and more... The 500MB, 1GB, and 2GB Share Everything plans are getting boosted to 1GB, 2GB and 3GB caps. Edge customers are also seeing a price break of $10 for plans on 8GB or less of data, and $20 for 10GB or more." Android Police

> Verizon wireless readies price cuts, plans to close call centers amid rising competition Re/code

>> 100% PURE, MOSTLY: Android's 'open' system has limits, by Rolfe Winkler: "Newly discovered documents reveal that… Google has imposed strict restrictions on device makers that want access to its search engine, YouTube or the more than one million apps in its Play Store. In return, the device makers must feature other Google apps and set Google search as the default for users... European antitrust authorities are examining those conditions, among others, as they consider whether Google has abused Android's position as the leading smartphone operating system." Wall Street Journal

> Secret ties in Google's 'open' Android Ben Edelman

> Android is Open, Google's certified Android isn't but didn't we know that already? Android Beat

> Google Mobile Services restrictions for OEMs once again coming under scrutiny 9to5Google

>> FEEDING THE TROJAN HORSE: Strange bedfellows: Microsoft could bring Android apps to Windows, by Tom Warren: "[Microsoft] is seriously considering allowing Android apps to run on both Windows and Windows Phone. While planning is ongoing and it's still early, we're told that some inside Microsoft favor the idea of simply enabling Android apps inside its Windows and Windows Phone Stores, while others believe it could lead to the death of the Windows platform altogether. The mixed (and strong) feelings internally highlight that Microsoft will need to be careful with any radical move… The company wants to enable Android apps on Windows and control the store that consumers download them from, but it's unlikely that it will want to handle the complex job of supporting an additional platform. Instead, if such a plan goes ahead, it will likely involve a third-party 'enabler.'" The Verge

> Would (and should) Microsoft enable Android apps on Windows? ZDNet

>> RISING SURFACE: Tablet hourly usage study: iPad dominates, Surface users more active during working hours: "Based on North American usage data... Surface users generate a slightly greater share of their total Web traffic during working hours as compared to iPad or Android tablet users. However, in terms of raw traffic volume, iPad and Android tablet users lead the pack at all hours of the day, and usage patterns among all tablets remain relatively similar overall… Microsoft Surface RT and 2 users generate a slightly greater share of their collective daily traffic between the hours of 12-5 p.m. ET as compared to iPad and Android tablet users." Chitika

>> STAT DU JOUR: Android and iOS accounted for 95.7% of global smartphone shipments in Q4 2013, and 93.8% for the year, by Emil Protalinski: "Google's mobile operating system remained the clear leader in 2013, with Samsung leading all Android vendors by commanding a 39.5 percent share of shipments. In 2014, assuming Lenovo's bid to acquire Motorola Mobility is completed, the new company will leap ahead of Huawei, which was the second biggest Android vendor in 2013... Windows Phone posted the largest increase for both the quarter (46.7 percent) and the year (90.9 percent), largely thanks to Nokia. BlackBerry's operating system meanwhile was the only one to realize negative year-over-year change both for the quarter (-77.0 percent) and for the year (-40.9 percent)... the era of double-digit annual growth has only a few years remaining. The question is, how long will the Android and iOS duopoly last?" TNW

> Apple maintains enterprise dominance; Windows Phone lags ZDNet

> Windows Phone's Q4 share stumbles as Nokia's sales slump Computerworld >> HARD TIMES: Cisco off 4%: FYQ2 beats, Q3 rev view better than feared; reiterates year EPS view, by Tiernan Ray: "Revenue in the three months ended in January declined 8%, year over year, to $11.2 billion, yielding EPS of 47 cents... the company projected revenue to decline 6% to 8% this quarter, which is a little better than the 7.8% decline the Street has been modeling." Barrons

> Cisco continues to be tech's canary in a coal mine Re/code

> The number Cisco left out New York Times/Bits

>> GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR: Email attack on vendor set up breach at Target, by Brian Krebs: "The breach at Target Corp. that exposed credit card and personal data on more than 110 million consumers appears to have begun with a malware-laced email phishing attack sent to employees at [Fazio Mechanical] an HVAC firm that did business with the nationwide retailer... The company's primary method of detecting malicious software on its internal systems was the free version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware... there are two problems with an organization relying solely on the free version of MBAM for anti-malware protection: Firstly, the free version is an on-demand scanner that does not offer real-time protection against threats (the Pro version of MBAM does include a real-time protection component). Secondly, the free version is made explicitly for individual users and its license prohibits corporate use." Krebs on Security

>> Exclusive: Snowden swiped password from NSA coworker NBC News

>> Google and VMware advance plans for the death of the desktop InfoWorld

>> Denial-of-service vulnerability puts Apache Tomcat servers at risk InfoWorld

>> Beware SDN security risks, experts warn Network Computing

>> Microsoft unveils six-monthly updates to Microsoft Dynamics GP Computerworld UK

>> Google Glass evangelist: It's not worth the headache Cnet

>> White House pushes cybersecurity framework for critical infrastructure PCWorld

>> After $300K kickstarter, Fuel3D bags further $2.6M for its high-res 3D scanner & talks early IPO TechCrunch

>> Gary Vaynerchuk launches new $25M seed fund Re/code

>> Disney is launching its own startup accelerator, with help from Techstars TechCrunch

>> Marc Andreessen: Tech is still recovering from a depression TechCrunch

>> A look at Apple's R&D expenditures from 1995-2013 TUAW

>> Inside Endgame: A second act for the Blackwater of hacking Forbes

>> Nvidia's Tegra will focus on 'superphones,' CEO says PCWorld

>> Snapchat is hacked for the third time this year, this time by fruit smoothie VatorNews

>> Foreign regimes use spyware against journalists, even in U.S. WaPo

>> We're building a better PhoneGap InfoWorld

>> U.S. Army considers replacing thousands of soldiers with robots IEEE Spectrum

>> The rise and fall of bitcoin mining The Kernel

>> Mt. Gox's original creator is at work on a secret bitcoin project TechCrunch

>> BITCOIN: $495 Mt.Gox

>> TWEET O' THE DAY: "I thought Larry Page was ambitious. Google should have bought TWC." @jyarow

FEED ME, SEYMOUR: Comments? Questions? Tips? Shoot mail to Trent or Woody. Follow @gegax or @woodyleonhard.

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