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TITLE: Impending Congressional Comcastrophy? * 982GUEST CO-ANCHOR: Natali Morris

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This is Tech News Today for Wednesday, April 9, 2014!

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This episode is brought to you by:
Squarespace, the all-in-one platform that makes it fast and easy to create your own professional website or online portfolio. For a free 2 week trial and 10% off, go to squarespace.com, and use offer code TNT

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Welcome to Tech News Today, I'm Mike Elgan - I'm Jason Howell.

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Tech News Today explores the big stories of the day in conversation with some of the world's best journalists.

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Our guest co-anchor this week is Natali Morris, a contributor to NBC and cofounder of ReadQuick, a speed reading app for iOS.Natali Morris
Contributor, NBC, CBS, CNBC @natalimorris

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http://bridgeurl.com/tnt982/all

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LATE-BREAKING STORYSHOWLINKS

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CONVERSATION 1aSHOWLINKS

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A backlash is growing in Congress against Comcast’s proposed $45 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable, according to Washington Post writer Brian Fung. And the backlash is now bipartisan. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2014/04/09/the-backlash-to-the-comcast-merger-is-now-bipartisan/http://www.c-span.org/live/?channel=c-span-3

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* Republican groups, including the American Family Association, Tea Party Nation and the U.S. Business and Industry Council worried about consolidation

* Obama administration has close ties with top Comcast execs Brian Roberts and David Cohen

* right-leaning Washington Free Beacon published a 1,200-word column on Friday excoriating Comcast's political contributions to Democratic politicians

* Also columns by Breitbart.com

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CONVERSATION 1bSHOWLINKS

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Comcast’s merger with Time Warner Cable will depend on how persuasive their case is to the department of justice and the federal communications commission. http://www.theverge.com/2014/4/9/5597074/inside-comcasts-shaky-fcc-defense-of-time-warner-cable-takeover

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The Verge’s Adi Robertson took a close look at the company's prospects in a post this morning on The Verge.

Q: Can you summarize why Comcast believes it’s OK for the biggest cable TV company to buy the second biggest?

Q: You called their case “shaky.” What’s so shaky about it?

Q: You wrote that there is no way that Comcast can argue it would have meaningful competition in wired broadband or cable after the merger. Although they would become by far the biggest provider nationwide, isn’t it only local competition that counts? Wouldn’t they still have competition in each city?

Q: Comcast says its got big competition from Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook. How can they make that case when most of these companies don’t deliver broadband, and in fact will be heavily relying on Comcast to deliver their services?

Q: You argue strongly against the merger. But in reality, what horrible catastrophe will strike if they merger goes through?
Adi Robertson
Writer, The Verge @thedextriarchy

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* Consumer Federation of America says: Comcast-Time Warner company would dominate nineteen of the top twenty media markets * about a third of all multi-channel video subscribers * control about half the high-speed Internet access in the country.

* Comcast also cites FCC data saying that 97 percent of households have at least two broadband providers that offer 3Mbps or faster downstream speeds, listing companies like CenturyLink, Cablevision, and Verizon.

* Comcast’s coup de grace, though, is the fact that it doesn’t share any current markets with Time Warner Cable

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Adi * theverge.com * @thedextriarchy

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AD 1 SQUARESPACEhttp://squarespace.com

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CONVERSATION 2SHOWLINKS

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Comcast may become a wireless carrier. An exclusive by Amir Efrati on The Information site says Comcast is considering a plan for offering smartphone voice and data service via WiFi, plus over cellular networks using bandwidth Comcast would lease from a major carrier. https://www.theinformation.com/Comcast-Quietly-Preps-Challenge-to-Wireless-Carriers

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No Interview

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* Comcast already offers Voice 2go = Xfinity Voice customers can call from iOS or Android via WiFi using existing home phone number.

* New service would see Comcast leasing mobile broadband from a major carrier, then offering it to customers

* regulatory issues

* Google considering something similar in Google Fiber areas

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CONVERSATION 3SHOWLINKS

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Watch out, William Shatner. It looks like Google wants to compete with Priceline and move into the hotel booking racket. http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304819004579487931119016044?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702304819004579487931119016044.html

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Rolfe Winkler is a reporter for the Journal.

Q: What’s the evidence for Google moving into the hotel listings business?

Q: Aren’t they competing against their own advertising customers?

Q: Who is Google partnering with here?

Q: What advantages does Google have against the specialist companies?

Q: How big is the US travel market?

Q: Is there an anti-competitive problem with all this?
Rolfe Winkler
Reporter, The Wall Street Journal @RolfeWinkler

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* travel and tourism spending totaled $450 billion last year, and is expected to grow 3.5% this year, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council.

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Rolfe * wsj.com * @RolfeWinkler

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CONVERSATION 4SHOWLINKS

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The U.S. Air Force is testing Google Glass for use in war. http://venturebeat.com/2014/04/08/u-s-air-force-is-testing-google-glass-building-apps-for-battlefield-use-exclusive/

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Richard Byrne Reilly is an award-winning staff writer at VentureBeatRichard Byrne Reilly staff writer, VentureBeat @rbyrnereilly

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* “BATMAN” research team at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio is beta-testing Google Glass

* BATMAN = Battlefield Air Targeting Man-Aided (K)nowledge

* BATMAN = part of Air Force’s 711th Human Performance Wing

* BATMAN = research and development group; both military and civilian behavioral and technology scientists

* Possible uses: air controllers working on the ground helping vector fighter and bomber aircraft to their targets, search and rescue missions, and combat controllers communicating with aircraft flying overhead and ground troops in combat, supply, and rescue operations.

* Google’s Glass Explorer program, no official relationship with Google at that time.

* Prototyping proprietary software to enhance the Android OS platform for Glass

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CONVERSATION 5SHOWLINKS

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Google’s Chromecast may soon do more than play online videos. A Redditor posted his discovery this morning of Chromecast code revealed the ability to show icons on screen that reflect the current local weather. He also found code for displaying personal photos on the device. http://www.reddit.com/r/Chromecast/comments/22ixkj/weather_coming_to_chromecast_homescreen/

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No Interview

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* asjmcguire on Reddit

* local weather in icon form

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CONVERSATION 6SHOWLINKS

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CNN is launching a show exclusively for Twitter. It’s called Your 15 Second Morning. http://blogs.wsj.com/cmo/2014/04/09/why-cnn-is-launching-a-news-show-built-for-twitter/

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No Interview

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* Exclusive by Mike Shields in the Wall Street Journal

* One of first projects by CNN Digital Studios

* Will also come out with other web-related series around celebrity, sports, etc.

* Also web extension to Crossfire called “Crossfire Reloaded”

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CONVERSATION 7SHOWLINKS

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The Wi-Fi Alliance announced today something called "tap-to-connect." http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/09/tx-wi-fi-certified-idUSnPn7J5dhR+91+PRN20140409

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No Interview

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* NFC

* Part of Wi-Fi Protected Setup

* Great for non-phones: cameras, smart home gadgets, gaming peripherals

* Other Wi-Fi Protected Setup methods: push-button on the router, the PIN setup, and now NFC, which remains popular with Android and BlackBerry users as a way of making mobile payments.

* More than 10,000 wireless devices have been certified for Wi-Fi Protected Setup since 2007

* Routers from Broadcom, Marvell, Mediatek, and Qualcomm already support NFC

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CONVERSATION 8SHOWLINKS

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CONVERSATION 9SHOWLINKS

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E-MAILSHOWLINKS

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Social or email feedback

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FOLLOW-UP

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XXX

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IN OTHER NEWSSHOWLINKS

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Land Rover is showing a concept that appears to let you see through the hood of your car. It’s called the Transparent Bonnet Concept, and it works like this. Cameras mounted on the grill capture video of the ground, then use the hood as a video projector screen to display that video.
The effect is to create the illusion that you can see through the hood.
http://youtu.be/1OlqditIsoM&t=10s(start video at 0:10)

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THANK GUEST CO-ANCHOR

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Oculus Rift-controlled AR Dronehttp://prostheticknowledge.tumblr.com/post/82132047144/oculusdrone-hacking-experiment-from-diego-araos

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Q: Liberals and Democrats in Congress were first to oppose the merger. But now you’re saying some conservatives and Republicans are against it as well. Which Republican groups are coming out against the deal and why?

Q: Are they also seeing this as an opportunities to stick it to the president?

Q: Will the bipartisan nature of the opposition scuttle the deal?

Q: As we speak, the Senate Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing on the proposed merger. What comes next?
Brian Fung
Reporter, Washington Post @b_fung
brian.d.fung

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Brian * washingtonpost.com * @b_fung