Weird, Google is using shady tactics to inflate Google+ user numbers. [AllThingsD]
The iPad Air goes on sale today, nerds. [Digital Trends]
Circle Internet Financial has raised $9 million in funding to bring Bitcoins mainstream since we’re still trying to make that a thing. [TechCrunch]
Haha, remember when we got excited that Netflix might soon come to Comcast’s boxes? The cable company is telling everyone to chill because it’s “not a high priority.” [Chicago Tribune]
The Internet is telling Nick Bilton “thanks!” for helping push the FAA’s new gadget rules. [Skift]
Netflix could soon land on your television, without involving a rat’s nest of dongles, boxes and remotes. The streaming service is reportedly in talks with Comcast to make its service directly available on its set-top boxes. The Wall Street Journal cautioned that the talks are early and “no deal is imminent.”
It’s going to become even more difficult to escape Carson Daly: Twitter is teaming up with Comcast to stream and record shows from the cable company’s stable of networks straight on to the social network’s app.
Starting in November, tweets that originate from networks like E!, NBC, USA and, thank god, Bravo, will have a “See It” button at the bottom, allowing Comcast subscribers to watch those shows on their computer and mobile devices. So, those of us stuck with Time Warner or Optimum won’t be able to use those features, but the New York Times reports Twitter is working with other cable distributors.
According to results from a new Pew Research study, 56 percent of adults now own a smartphone, while 10 percent of adults said they don’t own a cell phone at all. [LA Times]
Haha, that’s right Comcast, no one wants super fast Internet speed like Google is offering because our routers can’t support it, or whatever B.S. reason you’re using now to feel good about yourself. [BGR]
Foxconn might lose the “conn,” as it’s considering spinning off the connector side of its business since PC sales are lagging. [CNET]
Apple’s upcoming iRadio service (we’ve collectively decided just to use that name) will be commercial-supported and feature highly targeted ads. [Ad Age]
There’s a new version of Snapchat and it’s beautiful. [TechCrunch]
If you were hoping to get rich off of being one of the first to build apps for Google Glass, think again: Google has prohibited developers from using ads or charging for apps. We’re betting Google wants to keep that potential ad revenue all to itself. [The Verge]
Sources tell Bloomberg Twitter is seeking a deal with Viacom and Comcast that would allow it to host clips (as well as ads alongside those clips) on the site. Can’t you at least verify @Jack’s parents first? [Bloomberg]
Binge-watching shows is about to get a whole lot easier: Netflix is finally ditching Microsoft Silverlight in favor of HTML5 video. [The Verge]
IBM execs are headed to Washington to try to convince politicians to pass CISPA. Paging Alexis Ohanian! [Hillicon Valley]
Cory Booker’s Waywire startup has finally launched in beta. [PandoDaily]
When last we checked in on creepy technologies that wholly encroach on your sense of personal privacy, Microsoft had registered a patent that would allow the Kinect to detect how many people are in a room and stop playback on a movie if it sensed more people than the copyright allowed. But a new patent filed by Verizon takes that concept a step further by allowing a set-top box to observe what’s going on in your house and serve you ads based on what it hears.
Internet Wants to Be Free
When not pissing off the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Time Warner Cable execs apparently take to their evil lair to devise new schemes to wring every last penny out of their hapless customers. The latest pocket gouger? A monthly modem fee.
The New York Times reports that Time Warner is planning to charge a monthly fee of $3.95 to rent a modem from them. If you want to avoid paying the monthly fee, you can purchase a Time Warner-approved modem for $50-$137. Time Warner will then promise to set the modem up during the Harvest Moon but then not show up until the spring thaw.
The New York Times got several anonymous sources to confirm that Apple is building an iPad with a 7.85-inch screen: slightly too big for pants pockets, but just the right size for a woman’s purse. [New York Times]
Meet Neustar, a Delaware-based company to which over 400 telecom companies route law enforcement surveillance requests. Not creepy at all! [Buzzfeed]
A University of Pennsylvania professor did some statistical analysis of Kickstarter’s failed projects. [AppsBlogger]
Soon, the Machines will be making our plane parts for us. [Wall Street Journal]
Comcast has bought out Microsoft’s stake in NBC, and MSNBC’s URL has been changed to NBCNews.com. This is supposed to “end brand confusion,” but we’re still completely puzzled. [New York Times]
Anyone that’s ever had the pleasure of a telephonic interaction with their unfriendly, corporate cable and broadband provider knows just how invested they are in upselling. Calling because your cable box stopped working for no discernable reason? Well, how would you like to add a landline while you wait. And wait. And wait. And wait.
The flip side of that upselling, of course, is hiding cheaper, unbundled options from consumers. Today, the Federal Communications Commission imposed an $800,000 fine on Comcast for failing to market its standalone broadband Internet service, reports PCWorld.
Internet Wants to Be Free
Sometime in the mid-nineties, my dad got an AOL account. Roughly two seconds after that, I fell down the rabbit hole of anonymous chat rooms and never quite got out–that is when I wasn’t getting the deadly, dreaded dial-up busy signal. AOL charged by the hour back then. Until the service switched to a flat monthly rate in October, 1996, the clock was always ticking, forcing you to make the Sophie’s Choice of where to spend your time online.
Now it seems the industry is heading back in that direction. Not by-the-hour, mind you, but a usage-based pricing model that would prompt viewers to consider whether, say, spending the weekend watching Friday Night Lights on Netflix is really worth it. (Answer: Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.)