By Peter Bernstein, Senior Editor
04/23/2014

For those of you who like myself are avid followers of all things related to online security you know it is report season. And, while all of the reports from various security vendors provide valuable information on various aspects of cyber security and risk mitigation recommendations, to my mind the gold standard for really getting a fix on what is going in regards to data breaches, comes from Verizon.

By Gary Kim, Contributing Editor
04/23/2014

The deal is an example of the potential and limitations of online video entertainment, including both television and movie fare. HBO is licensing more content to Amazon Prime's Instant Video service without undermining HBOs revenue from deals with its video distributor partners.

By Peter Bernstein, Senior Editor
04/22/2014

As you can probably imagine, being someone who is attempting to keep an eye and ear on the continuing Heartbleed bug (aka CVE-2014-0160), bug phenomena has become almost a full-time occupation. Let’s just say that my inbox is inundated almost hourly, and I feel an obligation to read each one. By the way, I can assure all of you who are sending me stuff I do read everything you send.

The good news is that remediation of almost all of the potentially exposed servers on public websites using the vulnerable OpenSSL for encryption has been implemented. Plus, there are lots of tools out there to help even the average user be more careful. This means, it is safe to surf and safe to change your passwords on all those public places you go.

By Steve Anderson, Contributing TechZone360 Writer
04/22/2014

While the question of just how far Google Glass will go as a consumer item is still, somewhat, up in the air, the idea of Google Glass as a business tool is much more concrete. Though there are still some doubts in this sector, there are several companies looking to move into the field as app providers for the business users of Google Glass. APX Labs is just one such company, and has raised a substantial sum in a new funding round in order to get such apps around.

By Gary Kim, Contributing Editor
04/22/2014

AT&T has partnered with The Chernin Group, which manages and invests in media businesses around the world, and invested in over the top streaming video services. The partnership plans to acquire, invest in and launch over-the-top (OTT) video services.

The Chernin Group and AT&T have committed over $500 million in funding to the venture.

At one level, the move might be viewed as simply a search for revenue growth in a related applications business with proven customer demand and arguably huge revenue growth potential.

By Steve Anderson, Contributing TechZone360 Writer
04/22/2014

I've been a Netflix member for a long time now, and in that time, I've seen a lot of movies. The joy of being able to walk out to the mailbox and pull out a new DVD is a joy that a lot of people feel, and have enjoyed for some time now. But for those who haven't already signed up, it may be a good idea to do so soon as new price hikes may be arriving for new members.

By Doug Mohney, Contributing Editor
04/21/2014

Birch Communication announced it is purchasing Cbeyond today, April21, 2014, for $323 million in cash. It's an interesting deal, but you haven't heard the last of Birch or Voice over IP (VoIP) mergers and acquisitions.

Frankly, Birch hadn't been on my radar. Paying $323 million in cash for Cbeyond just set off the alarm bells. It's hard for stockholders of any stripe to turn down cash, especially when it comes as a premium of nearly 41 percent over the closing price of Cbeyond's stock on April 17, 2014. The deal also indicates Birch has the ability to work out a financing deal with Wall Street to get the cash.

By Gary Kim, Contributing Editor
04/21/2014

AT&T says it now is looking at building gigabit networks in up to 100 cities and towns nationwide, including 21 new major metropolitan areas.

The list of 21 candidate metropolitan areas includes Atlanta, Augusta, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Fort Worth, Fort Lauderdale, Greensboro, Houston, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, Oakland, Orlando, San Antonio, San Diego, St. Louis, San Francisco, and San Jose.

By Steve Anderson, Contributing TechZone360 Writer
04/21/2014

Google, makers of the Android operating system, and Apple have been locked in some kind of odd deathmatch for some time now, each side vying for dominance in the field. While the balance of power has been known to shift based on just what metric is used at the time, one thing's for certain: these two aren't backing down any time soon. The ongoing battle, meanwhile, is taking on a whole new dimension in an area that may be unexpected, yet makes quite a bit of sense: video games.

By Gary Kim, Contributing Editor
04/21/2014

Aereo, along with the broadcast TV networks and their local affiliates, will have a key U.S. Supreme Court hearing on April 23, when broadcasters challenge the legality of Aereo's “subscription broadcast TV online” service.

But some might argue that no matter what is decided, or not decided, the outlook for most local broadcast affiliates has structural similarities to the position many independent and rural telcos find themselves facing.

By TMCnet Special Guest,
04/17/2014

One year after the FTC gave the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) regulatory teeth, many companies remain myopically focused on the law—at the expense of genuinely robust privacy protections for children. Real privacy protection occurs when a company genuinely cares about children’s rights and bases important decisions on privacy considerations as it architects its products and conducts its business.

It’s easy to say you care about privacy, but it’s much harder to walk the walk.

By Tara Seals, TechZone360 Contributor
04/17/2014

Online video streaming startup Aereo is gearing up for its trip to the Supreme Court next week to defend its right to exist after facing lawsuits from nearly every major content company and broadcaster for copyright infringement. The Barry Diller-backed startup has launched ProtectMyAntenna.org, an educational and advocacy site that aims to provide basic information about Aereo and the legal claims before the Supreme Court. The site also features court briefs, amicus briefs and court decisions.

By Tara Seals, TechZone360 Contributor
04/17/2014

The business of broadcast is like any other enterprise vertical, in that the rise of mobility, social enablement and all-digital, all-IP transactions are creating a level of complexity hitherto unknown. And like other enterprises, content and media companies and their distribution partners are looking to boost productivity, optimize resources and cut costs, by embracing the cloud. But the challenges include the rapid growth in the amount of multiscreen video content and a dizzying proliferation of options at each stage of the video processing workflow.

By Bob Wallace, Founder, Fast Forward Thinking LLC
04/17/2014

The continually pondered future of TV will be determined largely by a sea of teenage “cord-nevers” who are taking hands-on training classes in video production, broadcasting & digital media in high school and in organizations like the Girl Scouts - not by their parents, grandparents and media conglomerate CEOs.

Immersed in hands-on courses well before high school graduation, this generation, which grew up viewing video through almost every outlet on most every device (and perhaps traditional pay TV) will take on the roles of creators and consumers that know how to make what they want to watch.

By Gary Kim, Contributing Editor
04/17/2014

Make no mistake, linear (scheduled) TV is still overwhelmingly the preferred method for watching television, with 84 percent of U.S. adults who watch TV watching live, in real time, according to BroadStream Solutions.

But there are signs of change. A separate study by Experian Marketing Services confirms that watching streaming or downloaded video on any device is connected to higher rates of cord-cutting, the abandonment of linear TV.

By Joe Rizzo, TechZone360 Contributing Writer
04/17/2014

Fon Wireless Ltd. is a company that operates a system of dual access wireless networks, with one of the largest Wi-Fi networks in the world. In July 2013, Fon had over eight million hotspots; today, that number has risen to almost 13 million around the world.

Members, whom the company calls Foneros, agree to share a part of their bandwidth as a Wi-Fi signal, so that they can connect to other members' hotspots. Consumers that choose not to share their Internet connection can buy Wi-Fi access passes or credit from Fon. Fon members whose hotspots are used to access Wi-Fi by a paying customer can receive part of the revenue.

By Peter Bernstein, Senior Editor
04/16/2014

In case you were not aware, although it appears many if not most IT security professionals know this up close and personal, SQL injections are a vector of vulnerability those with malicious intent unfortunately love to exploit. A new first-of-its-kind study by security research firm Ponemon Institute, done in conjunction with DB Networks, a provider of behavioral analysis database security solutions, is out and deserves to be on your “must read” list.

By Gary Kim, Contributing Editor
04/16/2014

One might argue that will happen. The traditional argument--for at least a decade--is that neither AT&T nor Verizon can grow the video portion of their triple-play services much more than incrementally without acquiring more video share now held by the satellite providers.

No matter how effective the telcos are at marketing video services, they are hampered for a couple of reasons.

By Rob Enderle, President and Principal Analyst, Enderle Group
04/16/2014

You would think that a company being pounded for privacy issues and facing a competitive marketing effort that made fun of those issues (Scroogled) would pull back and circle the wagons at least with regard to privacy. But Google isn’t built that way. They sat back and figured the way to get people to stop accusing them of a crime was to implicate their fan base and making those fans pay $1,500 for the privilege of buying a product that makes Google’s past spying seem trivial by comparison. It seems folks aren’t all that upset if Google is spying as long as they are doing the spying, go figure?

By Peter Bernstein, Senior Editor
04/15/2014

The headlines always like to focus on the sensational when it comes to data breaches. The Target breach (an estimated 70 million accounts affected) and Nieman Marcus (1.1 million credit and debit cards hacked) are big news. And in just the past few days, the Heartbleed Bug, which has the potential to compromise almost one-third of active sites on the Internet and according to recent reports successfully exploited the Canada Revenue Agency, has cast a pall across the trustworthiness of virtually every place we like to visit online.

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