By timothy from Slashdot's faster-is-better department
As reported by the (variably paywalled) Wall Street Journal, Cox Communications is joining AT&T (and, of course, Google) in building out more gigabit connections to U.S. households
. The company "became the biggest U.S. cable operator to commit to rolling out a gigabit-speed broadband offering to all its residential customers, starting this year, the latest sign that the push for ultrafast broadband speeds sparked by Google Inc. is gaining traction throughout the industry. ... [Cox president Pat Esser] said Cox's plan isn't contingent on whether towns and cities offer any sweeteners to Cox to make the rollout easier. Two years ago, Google's ability to get discounted and free services from Kansas City as it constructed its fiber service raised the hackles of local incumbent operators, including Time Warner Cable and AT&T. AT&T has indicated it is interested in getting similar concessions from towns as it rolls out its gigabit speeds." After the three Western and Mid-Western initial cities (Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Omaha) next year, other cities served by Cox should start getting the speed upgrades in 2016. (Similar but briefer story at Light Reading
.)Read Replies (0)
By timothy from Slashdot's what's-your-value-proposition department
New submitter perplexing.reader (2241844)
writes "Microsoft is paying Brazilian users US$2 in Skype vouchers to set Bing as their default search engine and MSN as their default home page. Translated from the site: 'Make MSN your homepage and Bing your default search engine and earn up to 60 minutes of calls to mobiles and landlines in Skype.' ... The Rules: 'After receiving the voucher, this should be used until July 31, 2014. Once on Skype, the credits do not expire. The minutes are based on a rate of $ 0.023 per minute, but the number of minutes may vary depending on the destination of the call and the number of calls you make. The current value of the voucher is $2.00. [One claimed], the voucher will appear in your Skype account."
(For those outside Brazil, the page brings up a message that translates to "Sorry, this promotion is not
available for your country.")Read Replies (0)
By timothy from Slashdot's left-as-an-excercise-for-the-reader department
An anonymous reader writes "Has anyone else noticed the trend towards 'community forums' where customers are basically being recruited to solve the issues of other customers while the companies selling the products causing the issues sit back and take a passive role in the process? Granted, sometimes the companies' employees play an active part in the forums and provide some value-add by contributing crucial, and often undocumented, knowledge that solves the problem in a timely fashion. Unfortunately, that isn't always the case, and this leaves customers with no visibility into whether or not their problems are being addressed, and, if they are, when they might expect to receive assistance. This is bad enough when dealing with consumer electronics that cost up to a couple of hundred of dollars, but it's completely unacceptable when dealing with proprietary design tool vendors that are charging several thousand dollars for software licenses for tools that are the only option if a customer doesn't want to drop an order of magnitude more money to go with 3rd party tools (e.g., Synopsys). Who do you think are the worst offenders of this downloading of support onto the backs of the customers themselves, and what can be done about it?"Read Replies (0)
By timothy from Slashdot's how-much-is-that-doggie-in-the-window-volumetrically department
According to The Wall Street Journal, Google may be planning to commoditze 3-D scanning by building the tech of its Project Tango
project (essentially, thus far, a phone-sized handheld with 3-D sensing capabilities) into tablets
. The Register speculates: "Given that Google has already announced the Project Tango smartphone, it seems likely that it would extend the technology to tablets, and the seven-inch form factor would tie in nicely with the existing Nexus 7 design. ...Google is hoping that developers can build applications to use the scanning capabilities of the Tango hardware
. Suggested topics include providing guides for visually impaired people, building gaming maps based on actual rooms, and possibly augmenting Google Maps with interior details – Street View becoming Home View perhaps?" Setting aside what brand it might bear, how would you employ a portable 3-D scanner?Read Replies (0)
By timothy from Slashdot's leaner-yet department
writes "Good news for HP: Profits are up by 18% over the previous year! Bad news for HP: A lot of those profits are from post-Windows XP PC upgrades, and company revenue actually dipped 1%. The solution, according to CEO Meg Whitman, is "continuous improvement in our cost structure," which means firing thousands of people. At the end of the next round of layoffs, the company will have shed 50,000 employees since 2012."
New submitter Deveauxes (3664417)
links to a similar story from CNN's news service, according to which "HP said the latest layoffs would come across all its business units and geographic locations, and would generate $1 billion in annual savings beyond the $3.5 to $4 billion projected from the previously announced cuts. 'No company likes to decrease the work force, and we recognize that this is difficult for employees,' CEO Meg Whitman said in a conference call with analysts. 'I think everyone understands the turnaround we're in.'"Read Replies (0)
By timothy from Slashdot's collector's-item-in-advance department
writes "The CEO of Fiat Chrysler said he hopes that people don't buy his company's electric car, the Fiat 500e, which he is forced to sell at a loss because of state and federal mandates. 'I hope you don't buy it because every time I sell one it costs me $14,000,' Sergio Marchionne told the audience at the Brookings Institute during a discussion of the auto bailout. 'I'm honest enough to tell you that I will make the car, I'll make it available which is my requirement but I will sell the limit of what I need to sell and not one more,' said Marchionne. Fiat Chrysler produces two Fiat 500s. The gas-powered Fiat 500 has a base price of $17,300. The electric Fiat 500e runs $32,650. In his candid remarks, Marchionne blamed regulations set in place in California and by President Obama."
(Also at USA Today
.) If they find they're selling too many for comfort, couldn't they raise the price?Read Replies (0)