Showing posts with label Communications. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Communications. Show all posts

December 23, 2014

Time Warner Held over 7000Docs Sooooo Merger Put on Hold by FCC

The FCC said Time Warner Cable improperly withheld more than 7,000 documents ‘based on an inappropriate claim of attorney-client privilege.ENLARGE
The FCC said Time Warner Cable improperly withheld more than 7,000 documents ‘based on an inappropriate claim of attorney-client privilege. MIKE BLAKE/REUTERS
Comcast Corp. ’s proposed $45 billion merger with Time Warner Cable Inc. has run into another delay, this time due to the failure of Time Warner Cable to produce necessary documents to the Federal Communications Commission in a timely manner.
In a Monday letter to the merging parties, FCC Media Bureau Chief William Lake said Time Warner Cable improperly withheld more than 7,000 documents “based on an inappropriate claim of attorney-client privilege,” something that came to the FCC’s attention this month. And last week, the FCC learned that TWC failed to send more than 31,000 documents to the commission due to a “vendor error.” 
Mr. Lake said Time Warner Cable had initially advised the FCC it would produce the documents by Dec. 30, but after the FCC expressed concern about the delays, the cable operator said it would produce all the items by Dec. 22. 
The result of the late disclosures is that the FCC’s review of the Comcast-TWC merger, and Comcast’s side deal with Charter Communications Inc., has been delayed, Mr. Lake said. Parts of the review that were complete now “must be reopened” to weigh the evidence in the additional documents. “The magnitude of errors, with respect to both the document production and the privilege log, is material and the delays in rectifying them were substantial,” Mr. Lake said.  “We already have provided the FCC more than five million pages of documents and we will continue to provide the FCC everything that they need to review this transaction,” Time Warner Cable said. 
The FCC said it is stopping its informal, 180-day shot clock for reviewing the deal until Jan. 12 to verify that the requested items have all arrived. The delay sets the merger review process back another three weeks. Already, the process was delayed by two months due to an unrelated standoff between the FCC and major TV channel owners over the confidentiality of their contracts with the cable operators. That matter is being litigated in a federal appellate court in D.C. 
In a statement, Comcast said it is “confident” that any outstanding items from Time Warner Cable will be sent to the FCC “in an expedited manner.” The cable company said it still expects for the transaction review to be concluded in early 2015. Reply comments from the merging parties and other public commenters are due Dec. 23. 
It isn’t uncommon for the FCC to pause its shot clock during a big merger review. During its review of Comcast’s deal to acquire control of NBCUniversal in 2010, the FCC also paused its review timeline due to deficiencies in the companies’ responses to information requests. 

October 30, 2014

FTC Sues ATT “ Unlimited means= Unlimited, Verizon Hiding behind the Grandfather who cheats


The Federal Trade Commission says AT&T's practice of slowing down the connection speeds of unlimited-data customers who tap excessive amounts of data is a failure to deliver on the promise of "unlimited."

logo de AT&T
The Federal Trade Commission says AT&T violated the FTC Act by changing the terms of its unlimited-data plan while customers were under contract, and failing to alert them. The carrier denies this.AT&T

As a result, the FTC on Tuesday filed a federal court complaint against AT&T, charging the wireless provider with misleading customers who signed up for an unlimited-data plan only to see their connection slowed in an industry process called "throttling."
"AT&T promised its customers 'unlimited' data, and in many instances, it has failed to deliver on that promise," FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez said in a statement. "The issue here is simple: 'unlimited' means unlimited."
AT&T denies the claims.
"The FTC's allegations are baseless and have nothing to do with the substance of our network management program," the company said in a statement. "It's baffling as to why the FTC would choose to take this action against a company that, like all major wireless providers, manages its network resources to provide the best possible service to all customers, and does it in a way that is fully transparent and consistent with the law and our contracts."
AT&T, like Verizon Wireless, has long claimed that its wireless network can't handle the small percentage of users with unlimited plans who consume excessive data, either by streaming video or music, or by gaming. In July 2011, AT&T took the unpopular step of placing speed limits on those unlimited plans, slowing them down from a high-speed LTE connection to a 2G connection, the speed of which is akin to that of a dial-up modem. At the time, it said it would limit only the top 5 percent of its heaviest users, but it later clarified that to say those who access 5 gigabytes of data in a billing period.
There are far fewer unlimited-data customers still on AT&T, the second-largest wireless provider in the US after Verizon, though there's no real way of telling the number. AT&T stopped offering unlimited-data plans in 2010, instead pushing consumers into various tiered plans with set amounts, or buckets, of data. The move was the result of the immense growth in data consumption from smartphones such as Apple's iPhone, which caused network quality issues for the carrier. Shortly after, Verizon followed suit with its own tiered plans. 
The FTC complaint claims AT&T emphasized "unlimited" in its marketing materials but then failed to inform customers of the throttling program. The FTC said the throttling results in an 80 percent to 90 percent reduction in network speeds. The commission believes AT&T violated the FTC Act by changing the terms of the plan while customers were under contract, and failing to alert them of the change. 
AT&T has throttled at least 3.5 million unique customers a total of more than 25 million times, according to the FTC.
 AT&T argues that it sent customers bill notices and that it also sent out a national press release alerting consumers of the changes.
"We have been completely transparent with customers since the very beginning," the company said. 
There's been a lot of controversy over wireless unlimited plans recently. In August, Verizon and the Federal Communications Commission traded barbs over Verizon's plans to slow down the connection speed of select heavy LTE data users, with the FCC firmly against the move. At the beginning of this month, Verizon backed off of its plans.
As with AT&T, there are few unlimited-data customers left on Verizon, all of them grandfathered in from older plans. Sprint and T-Mobile, which are far smaller than AT&T and Verizon, have attempted to set themselves apart by offering the option of unlimited data with no throttling. 
"The FCC has been actively investigating throttling practices since this summer, when Chairman [Tom] Wheeler sent letters to major nationwide wireless carriers about these practices," said an FCC spokesman. “We continue to work on this important issue, including with our partners at the FTC, and we encourage customers to contact the FCC if they are being throttled by AT&T or other cellular providers."

October 29, 2014

Time Warner is Doing Bad and HBO will Pay by firing 2400 Employees, more…


I am going to give you the reason of why TW is getting rid of 7% of their work force. Are they that bad off?  NO they are not that bad off. The reason for this is purely a down on the profit loss ledger.

They want to show profit, so instead of improving services, they have cut services, and up subscriber’s rates. They are also taking out a mass number of individuals from their payrolls, 2400 to start with.

I just received a letter from Time Warner and on the latter it said, ‘Take this and enjoy it We know you can use it’. It looked like a check. I only get Fast Internet connection from this company and only because of lack of choices where I live. I thought it was a check to get me to come back to TV cable.

On the letter it said I was enjoying a special rate (never heard of it before, I thought I was overpaying). Since the year is coming to a close for that ‘special’ they will bring it to the normal the normal rate 73.98 from 55.98. 

On the body of the letter they kept me guessing what are they going to do for me since so far they have taken away. “Because Im a good customer” they will slide me to another special for 65.98 so I can enjoy their discount. Can you imagine if I was a bad customer?

Incredible! I wonder what focus group they have used that told TW that their customers are all dumb and will see a raise as a discount. I thought those days of plain misrepresentations went out with Crazy Eddie.  Not for TW they believe in the past. 

They could have told me that the price of doing business is gone up so they are raising my rate $10.00 (which is not true for them paying more but the people that use them are paying more) but still it will be more human and more honest. Right there they have the main reason why they don’t show an increase big enough on the profit margin. “Non Existent Customer Satisfaction” Maybe they believe their own actors on the commercial they play.



(Warner Bros. will cut overhead by $200 million annually, the studio's chairman and CEO Kevin Tsujihara said during a presentation to Time Warner investors on Wednesday.)

Weeks after the conglom went public with job cuts at its Warner Bros. and Turner Broadcasting divisions, the HBO unit is expected to trim its own staff as well, according to sources. Approximately 7% of its 2,400 employees face pink slips as early as this week.
A rep for HBO declined comment.
An internal email from HBO CEO Richard Plepler that was leaked to Variety made clear his division would not emerge unscathed. The message, which was circulated last week to HBO employees the day of the Time Warner presentation, discloses that a small layoff was in the offing before the start of November.
“We reviewed 2015 budgets and staffing plans with this in mind and reduced cost and redundancy wherever possible to preserve our ability to invest in our future,” Plepler wrote (full memo below). “This will unfortunately include the elimination of some positions.”
While Time Warner made clear at a presentation to investors last week that its studio and basic cable units would lose as much as 10% of their ranks this year as a cost-cutting measure, no mention was made of HBO staff on the chopping block.
It’s unclear what areas of operation within HBO will be impacted by the layoff but the reductions will be contained entirely to the company’s domestic personnel.
HBO made headlines that day by announcing a long-anticipated standalone streaming servicewould launch sometime next year. Plepler also laid out plans to glean more in affiliate fees from subscribers who weren’t yielding revenue for the company.
Time Warner had indicated that “cost reduction programs” were going to affect every part of the company. But what’s unclear is whether conglom management deferred to the CEOs at each division as to whether they could decide how to achieve their respective cost cuts. Sources dispute whether HBO, for instance, could have conceivably opted to reduce its expenses in lieu of losing jobs, or whether Time Warner specifically ordered layoffs that HBO chiefs didn’t want to make.
The premium cabler has long been regarded the crown jewel of Time Warner, bringing in nearly $5 billion in revenue last year, as well as $1.7 billion in operating profit. With 127 million subscribers around the world, HBO was said to be a big part of why Rupert Murdoch made a bold play earlier this year to acquire Time Warner for 21st Century Fox. The bid was ultimately rejected, which in turn has put the company’s CEO, Jeff Bewkes, under pressure to boost earnings.
HBO in particular has come under scrutiny as being undervalued, which has kicked up speculation that Time Warner could move to spin off the division or convert it to a tracking stock. While the HBO channel itself added a record 2 million subscribers in the first half of 2014 according to SNL Kagan, an over-the-top digital extension was greeted with excitement by investors because of the prospect the company could open a new revenue stream.
Given the success of HBO over the lifetime of the organization, job cuts have been a rarity in its 42-year history. Last recorded reductions came just over a decade ago in its affiliate sales division, which shed about 20 employees in a restructuring of its operations.
Warner Bros. already indicated its intent to make $200 million worth of cuts to its annual overhead, which could amount to as many as 1,000 jobs, as Variety first reported.
Turner is expected to make even steeper cuts, removing 1,475 of the 14,000 positions across its organization worldwide.
Here’s Plepler’s memo in its entirety:
Given the recent press coverage regarding cost containment efforts across Time Warner, I wanted to let you know how this affects HBO.
We have a long history of tightly managing our overhead so that we’re able to maximize investment in the creation, distribution and marketing of content. We also shift resources when necessary toward areas with the greatest potential to drive revenue growth and to enhance our brand.  We reviewed 2015 budgets and staffing plans with this in mind and reduced cost and redundancy wherever possible to preserve our ability to invest in our future. This will unfortunately include the elimination of some positions.  Where relevant, your department head will share details with you in the weeks ahead.
I understand that the news of staff reductions is unsettling.  Rest assured that we will manage this difficult process with the fairness and respect you would expect from our company.
A hallmark of our long-sustained success has been the commitment to making very difficult decisions even during times of growth and optimism.  As I said at today’s event, this is the most exciting inflection point, domestically and internationally, in the modern history of HBO. It’s fair to say that by any metric: subscriber growth, content deals, the ever-extending reach of our brand or industry buzz; we are at the top of our game – and as I also made clear, we are just getting started.   All of this is possible for one simple reason, the talented people that make up this company.
All best,                                                  


August 14, 2014

Man Kills his roommate then interacts with SIRI on how to dispose of body


Pedro Bravo, 20, is accused of kidnapping and strangling his friend Christian Aguilar in September 2012 after an argument started over Aguilar dating Bravo’s ex-girlfriend.
Bravo was charged with murder on Friday September 28, 2012, though his friend’s body was not found until weeks later when hunters stumbled across Aguilar in a shallow grave in a nearby forest.
Evidence collected from Bravo’s iPhone includes records of him using the phone’s flashlight function nine times from 11.31pm to 12:01am on the day that Bravo disappeared and asking the phone: “I need to hide my roommate”.
According to evidence reproduced from the trial by local news stations and picked up by Buzzfeed, Siri responded “What kind of place are you looking for?” before offering four options: “Swamps, reservoirs, metal foundries, dumps”.
A screenshot of Bravo's phone and the query to Siri. Image: WXPI News
Police say that Bravo was using the phone’s flashlight function to hide the body in the woods, and say that location data gathered from the smartphone doesn’t fit with Bravo’s account of his movements that evening.
The pair had gone to Best Buy to buy a Kanye West CD when they had a fight in the car. Bravo claimed that he had only beaten Aguilar but prosecutors at the trial, which began last week, say he strangled him and dumped his body in the woods.
Aguilar, Bravo and Bravo's ex-girlfriend were all students together at a local Miami high school. The case continues.

April 20, 2013

Tattoo Etiquette and What it Says About You Regardless of Intended Message

Tattoos are reverse time machines: with time travel you can send a warning back to your younger self, with tattoos you send a mistake forward to your older self.


Just The Facts

  1. Tattoos theoretically could be thoughtful additions to your appearance. Unfortunately there are thousands of tattoo parlors (many open 24 hours) and people just don't have that many thoughts. So most are stupid.
  2. Tattoos are permanent. Your motivation/blood-alcohol level is not.
  3. Tattoos are now as edgy as a padded watermelon.

Who gets tattoos?

Tattoos are an excellent way to turn a single drunken decision into a lifetime of disfigurement and regret, which normally requires a car.  Tattoos are associated with criminal gangs, the armed forces, and whiny white teenagers desperate for attention.  Attempts to get all three to attend a common "Tattoo Conference" have unfortunately failed.

What Your Tattoo Says About You

Before you get a tattoo

There are some important questions to ask before getting a tattoo:
  • Have I wanted this for more than five minutes?
  • Am I, at this particular instant in sidereal time, drunk off my face?
  • Do the tattoo artist's past works resemble an art class for crash-helmet testers?
  • I meet the love of my life.  I romance them for months, reaching a point where we can communicate our very deepest emotions and feel that we almost share souls (awwww).  At this point, can I see myself naked and explaining this tattoo?

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