More exclusivity battles are coming out of the telecom compounds, this time, from AT&T and Apple. Six weeks ago, Google developed and submitted a Google Voice application for the iPhone, which was rejected and remove from the iPhone application store recently. The FCC has contacted both AT&T and Apple, informally requesting their motives behind the matter. The issue is coming off of the heels of a new administration's tighter scrutiny on the telecom and manufacturing sectors of this tech industry.
The FCC is on "a mission to foster a competitive wireless marketplace, protect and empower consumers, and promote innovation and investment," Chairman Julius Genachowski said in a statement about the matter at hand. "Recent news reports raise questions about practices in the mobile marketplace."
This is not the first of the letters that have been sent. Advocates and smaller carriers have caused the FCC to also look into the overall competitiveness of cell phone makers and carriers, as well as pricing and exclusivity of certain devices.
If you have been keeping up with the show or any other news source recently, then you are probably aware of the agro AT&T is building with some customers and especially 4chan (www.4chan.org) users due to the recent block their broadband internet services has placed on the site. It is not surprising that angry forum trolls and internet non-censorship activists would try to dish out some retribution.
On July 26th CNN's iReport citizen journalism site had a story posted about Randall Stephenson, the standing CEO of AT&T. The article went on to say that Stephenson was "found dead in his multi-million dollar beach-front mansion after a coke binge with male dancers everywhere." While I find this amusing, the story was reported falsely and was taken down quickly. The real question here is why did AT&T block them in the first place? You can read their explanation below as stated from
Google has sold its 5% stake in AOL back to Time Warner for $283 million. That is a lot of money for 5% of a company that is in the toilet. But now the bad news: they spent $1 billion to acquire the same 5% in 2005. Eep.
Obviously, this could be a huge business fail on Google's part, spending that kind of money on a company we all knew was going to die, but it could have also been a huge strategic move, adding themselves into the software and integrating to a point that AOL search will forever be powered by Google, no matter their financial stake. That extends their visibility to the 8 people who still use AOL for something other that AIM.
Weigh in: epic fail or strategic plan?
You remember a few weeks ago when the Internets were ablaze with rumors about Apple being in talks with Verizon Wireless to bring the iPhone to their network? Do you also remember how we said that it wasn't really an option because of the exclusivity with AT&T? Well, it turns out that they might very well have been in talks with Verizon, but not because of the iPhone, but instead their recently announced iPod Touch platformed tablet device.
On PLuGHiTz Live! Radio a few months ago we speculated that Apple would release an larger iPod Touch in a tablet form to allow larger screen, multi-touch Internet browsing, as well as features like video editing and gaming. That is exactly what they have planned, and they seem to be in talks to bring the device to Verizon. That would allow people to avoid searching for WiFi hotspots, and use one of the three powerful national networks.
Following in the footsteps of the
World of Warcraft film, it turns out that the Halo movie has also died an undignified death. According to Peter Jackson,
Microsoft has a whole strategy with the Halo property, and when the rights expired with the two studios, that sort of ended my involvement with the project. That fell apart because of internal politics at Fox and Universal. It had nothing to do with the budget or anything else. In fact, we hadn't even been greenlit at all at that point.
Bungie has been the face of the
Halo franchise since the beginning, and other that Halo Wars, they have been THE developer of the series. However, Microsoft technically is in charge of the series, and with 343 Industries (their new Halo studio), they have everything in place to take care of the series themselves. It is no surprise, then, that Bungie will be leaving the Halo Universe with the eventual release of Halo: Reach.
Actually, they will only be leaving the 360 realm. Senior Designer Lars Bakken said,