Dish Network announced today that it has submitted a $25.5 billion bid for Sprint Nextel in an effort to circumvent an offer from Japanese telecom company SoftBank. Charlie Ergen, the chairman of Dish, related the company’s purchasing strategy to the plot of Seinfeld: “You initially didn’t know exactly where things were going, but it seemed to all come together in the end.” [New York Times]
Facebook Home has only been out for three days, but that’s totally enough time to call it a failure. Out of 4,000 reviews, roughly 47 percent of users gave it a 1-star rating. [Daily Dot]
Foxconn is adding 10,000 new employees to its ranks as it prepares for the launch of the next
Ping Home iPhone. [CNet]
Cornell’s planned high-tech campus on Roosevelt Island is still years away, but some of the classes are getting started in a nondescript, third-floor loft in Chelsea. [New York Times]
Baidu, a.k.a “Chinese Google,” has opened an artificial intelligence lab in Silicon Valley to look for top talent to join the growing company. [ZDNet]
Web TV Wars
This morning, The Verge published a damning report on an apparent conflict of interest in CNET’s “Best of CES” awards.
The post claimed that CNET’s editorial staff, which votes on the award, crowned Dish Network’s Hopper set-top box device the winner. But before the staff could reveal its decision, CBS–CNET’s parent company–interceded because of litigation filed by CBS and other networks over the Hopper’s ability to skip past commercials.
Reed Hastings has a surprise blog post up this morning announcing that, after all the sturm und drang, Netflix won’t be splitting its business in two after all.
The announcement comes just as all the major players have submitted their bids to purchase Hulu, the web TV platform created by the big TV networks, which no longer appeals to them as a business.
Taking a look at two of the biggest names in the web TV space, it’s becoming clear that the internal battle between analog and digital television is creating real problems for companies hoping to straddle both worlds.