Booting Up: Google Only Paid $1 for Fiber in Provo, Utah

Look at all that spring-fed fiber in Provo. (Source: Flickr)

All it took for Google to buy Provo, Utah’s fiber-optic network was a dollar. If only you had four quarters! [AP]

Yesterday, a federal judge ruled that YouTube did not violate Viacom’s copyright–despite the fact that several of the company’s shows were being illicitly uploaded onto the site. That’s because the Google-owned service is protected by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s “safe-harbor provision.” [Los Angeles Times]

Time‘s very important “100 Most Influential People List” is packed with techies with fake-sounding titles, like “Internet talent discoverer” Scooter Braun. [AllThingsD]

Twitter announced it has teamed up with BBC America to offer “in-tweet branded video synced to entertainment TV series.” What does that mean? Your guess is as good as ours. [CNet]

Amazon, looking to expand its international operations, has opened an office in Russia. [TechCrunch]


Booting Up: Netflix Is Finally Going to Ditch Microsoft Silverlight

Bye bye. (Photo: Netflix)

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]

Think of the Children

McDonald’s Accused of Shadily Marketing to Kids via Online Games

Just hanging out, maybe collecting some emails. (Photo:

Ronald McDonald probably isn’t the first person who comes to mind when parents think “internet dangers,” but you probably don’t want your kids getting unsolicited emails about the glories of french fries, either.

Well, bad news: The New York Times reports that several advocacy organizations have filed a complaint with the FTC, alleging that Micky D’s and four other companies–Viacom, General Mills, Subway and Turner–are exploiting a legal loophole in their online marketing to kids.

In true corporate fashion, however, these companies aren’t doing anything so straightforward as simply asking for 9-year-olds’ email addresses. The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act in fact requires sites to get parents’ “verifiable consent”  before they can collect the personal info of kids younger than 13. Read More


Booting Up: The Rich Get Richer Edition

(Photo: Glamour)

Freshly-minted Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is set to make $60 million in overall compensation, including a multi-million dollar bonus for staying on for more than five years. The money will reportedly reek of desperation. [AllThingsD]

Speaking of Ms. Mayer, here is her first memo to the Yahoo team. It’s marked “privileged and confidential”–oops. [AllThingsD]

Google earned $12.1B in Q2. Suddenly Ms. Mayer’s $60 million is starting to look quite paltry. [VentureBeat]

The Daily Show is making its way back to the TVs of DirecTV customers, as the provider finally reached a deal with Viacom. [Engadget]

Reddit has composed a comprehensive timeline of the gut-wrenching fatal shooting that took place in Colorado last night. [Reddit]


Time Warner Cable Subsidizes Slingbox. TV Programmers Beware.


To both cable TV distributors and cable TV programmers, the possibility that consumers will finally cut that cord probably sounds like a slashing sound somewhere near their their bottom line.  But at least one big distributor is choosing to adapt.

The New York Times reports that Time Warner Cable, one of the top cable and internet providers in the country, announced yesterday that it would soon be subsidizing the cost of Slingbox, a set-top device that untethers viewers from their home television screen and lets them watch programming from anywhere, including computers, mobile phones, or second homes.

Based on Time Warner’s recent legal battles with Viacom, which owns channels such as MTV and Nickelodeon, Viacom isn’t going to be very happy about getting shot in the foot. Read More