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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Will AT&T kill T-Mobile's lovely anti-AT&T ads?

by Chris Matyszczyk of CNET

They always tell you in business that you should never burn your bridges. This is actually very difficult, as you will sometimes come across such dreadful people that you will find it very hard to do anything but raise your longest finger in their directions.
However, what must the nice people at T-Mobile USA be feeling, now that news has emerged they will be acquired by AT&T?
You see, T-Mobile seems to have spent quite a bit of time and money telling us all that AT&T's service is, well, worse than a lobotomy in the open air, without anesthetic.
You must have seen the ads. They feature a nice lady in a dress (Presumably someone demanded a slightly younger Catherine Zeta-Jones) who ridicules the allegedly tortoise-like qualities of AT&T.

There was something quite peculiar about these ads.
T-Mobile seemed to believe it was a splendid idea to copy the style of Apple's "Get a Mac" campaign in order to lambaste both AT&T and Apple.
The ads seem to have been running relatively relentlessly since the end of last year. Perhaps they were even persuasive in some way for some people.
But there will be some who might imagine that, should the purchase receive all the required approvals, the first meeting between the two companies' marketing departments might offer a source of comparative humor.
Assuming that there will be a meeting, of course. These days, companies think nothing of relaying bad news by, well, cell phone. Especially in the case of those whom they never really liked in the first place.

AT&T to acquire T-Mobile USA for $39 billion

 by Steven Musil of CNET

In a blockbuster mobile deal, AT&T announced today it had agreed to acquire T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom for $39 billion.
The acquisition would make AT&T the dominant wireless player in the U.S. with the addition of more than 33 million subscribers to its 95.5 million customer user base, giving it a new total of more than 129 million subscribers. The merger would push AT&T past Verizon Wireless, which would become the U.S. second largest wireless carrier with a little more than 102 million subscribers.
"This transaction represents a major commitment to strengthen and expand critical infrastructure for our nation's future," AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson said in a statement announcing the deal. "It will improve network quality, and it will bring advanced LTE capabilities to more than 294 million people."
Under the terms of the deal, AT&T will pay $25 billion in cash and the remainder in stock, giving Deutsche Telekom an 8 percent stake in AT&T and a seat on its board of directors. The deal has been approved by both boards of directors but is still subject to regulatory approval, which is expected to take up to a year to complete.
Winning regulatory approval may be tricky. The Federal Communications Commission warned in a report last May that the wireless industry was becoming more concentrated and indicated that 60 percent of the nation's subscribers and revenue come from the country's two largest wireless providers: AT&T and Verizon Wireless.

In addition to the size of the combined subscriber bases, antitrust regulators are likely to be concerned that the deal will also merge the two largest GSM carriers in the U.S., giving customers only one carrier to choose from if they want to use that wireless standard. GSM is the dominant global wireless technology and the standard in Europe, meaning that U.S. cell phone users who travel frequently will need to carry one of AT&T's phones. The deal will also give T-Mobile users access to a planned 4G wireless network using LTE, or Long Term Evolution technology. T-Mobile has HSPA+, which delivers 4G-like speeds, but it's not a real 4G technology and the company hasn't announced any plans for network expansion beyond HSPA+.
The announcement comes on the heels of rumors that Sprint Nextel was getting ready to make an offer for Bellevue, Wash.-based T-Mobile.
There has been a lot of speculation recently over what the German parent company Deutsche Telekom would do with T-Mobile USA. Deutsche Telekom CEO Rene Obermann said at the company's annual meeting last May that he was not "fully satisfied" with T-Mobile USA's performance, and there were reports that Deutsche Telekom was looking into an initial public offering that could lead to spinning off T-Mobile USA.

CNET's Kent German contributed to this report.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Microsoft and feds bring down spam giant Rustock

by Jay Green (CNET)

Rustock, purveyor of more e-mail spam than any other network in the world, was felled last week by Microsoft and federal law enforcement agents.

A lawsuit by Microsoft that was unsealed at the company's request late today triggered several coordinated raids last Wednesday that took down Rustock, a botnet that infected millions of computers with malicious code in order to turn them into a massive spam-sending network.

"This botnet is estimated to have approximately a million infected computers operating under its control and has been known to be capable of sending billions of spam mails every day," Richard Boscovich, senior attorney in the Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit, wrote in a blog post today.

Read the Entire Article at CNET.com

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Google throws 'kill switch' on Android phones

Automatically deletes more than malware-infected apps downloaded by users

By Gregg Keizer

For only the second time, Google last weekend remotely deleted Android apps from users' phones.
Google made the move to erase malware-infected applications that users had downloaded from the Android Market, the company's official e-store.

Last Wednesday, Google removed more than 50 infected apps published by three different developers from its marketplace, but didn't trigger automatic uninstalls until several days later.

In many cases, the malicious apps were bogus versions of legitimate programs that had been recompiled to include malware, or as a Symantec researcher said last week, "Trojanized."

Read entire article from ComputerWorld.com