This column brings you the most interesting and useful business and financial commentary on technology from around the Web every day. What fun!
Link: Liberty Buys Virgin, Creating Largest Broadband Company Outside China
"The cable giant Liberty Global
(NASDAQ:LBTYA) has bought UK-based Virgin Media
(NASDAQ:VMED) in a cash-and-stock deal worth $23.3 billion, creating what they claim is “the world’s leading broadband communications company” with 25 million customers across 14 countries."
"That 'world’s leading' tag is debatable, as China Telecom
(NYSE:CHA) claims more than 90 million broadband subscribers, but this is nonetheless a big deal, taking the combined operation way past the likes of Comcast
(NASDAQ:CMCSA) (18.7 million subscribers). The operation will focus on 'the strongest and most strategic markets in Europe,' delivering the triple-play hit of broadband, telephony and digital TV while also pushing mobility and B2B products."
Link: Apple Will Reportedly Lose the iPhone Trademark in Brazail
(NASDAQ:AAPL) is set to lose its iPhone trademark in Brazil, according to a report from Reuters which cites a source familiar with a forthcoming decision from that country’s copyright regulator. The trademark was challenged by Brazilian electronics firm IGB Electronics SA, which launched a new line of Android phones bearing the name late last year."
"The decision will be announced officially on February 13, Reuters reports, at which time Apple is open to challenging it. The Brazilian company has had the trademark since 2000, giving it a lengthy head start over Apple’s own use of the term, but the Android line with the name 'iphone' was only launched in December 2012, which could indicate it was an explicit attempt to give its copyright claims more force."
Link: Anger Rises as Fed Confirms Anonymous Hack, Downplays US Bank Emergency System Breach
"After Anonymous posted sensitive credentials of over 4,600 banking executives to a government Web site on Super Bowl Sunday, the Federal Reserve acknowledged the attack in a Tuesday morning statement to affected individuals and press."
"However, while a spokesperson from the Federal Reserve told the Huffington Post
that Anonymous' claim to the hack's importance was 'overstated,' information security professionals that serve financial institutions are saying the exact opposite—and are not best pleased with the Federal Reserve."
"ZDNet has now learned that the compromised and exposed database belongs to The St. Louis Fed Emergency Communications System."
Link: Microsoft Surface Pro Gets Tough Early Reviews
"US tech writers have given Microsoft Corp's
(NASDAQ:MSFT) new Surface tablet-laptop hybrid largely negative reviews, casting a shadow over the software group's hopes to take a bite out of sales of Apple Inc's iPad and MacBook Air.
"The latest Surface runs on an Intel Corp
(NASDAQ:INTC) chip and features the full Windows 8 Pro operating system, which Microsoft hopes will make the device attractive to people who want to produce as well as consume material.
"It also hopes to appeal to businesses who want to give employees lightweight, mobile machines that fit easily into their technology and security infrastructure.
"The 'Surface with Windows 8 Pro,' as it is officially called, is available from Saturday. Windows co-chief Tami Reller said earlier this week it is a key part of revving up interest in Windows 8, launched last October but which has not gripped consumers' imaginations."
Link: Dyson Tap: Vacuum Company Unveils Faucet and Hand Dryer In One, New Airblades
"Few things have so successfully revolutionized the American toilet experience; but now the British company Dyson, perhaps best known for its gee-whiz vacuum cleaners, appears to be looking to add its name to this vaunted roster, with a new product called the Dyson Airblade Tap. Its game-changing pitch: the Tap combines a working faucet and a hand dryer into a single fixture that sits above the sink, so that you do all of your washing and drying above a single drain, no floor drippage necessary.
"Unveiled at an event in New York City Tuesday night, the Airblade Tap can dry a pair of hands in about 12 seconds by 'scraping' the moisture from the skin, according to Dyson. The system uses a new, smaller motor that the company says has a much smaller carbon footprint than larger hand-dryers or paper towels. It's also loaded with a 'Helmholtz silencer' and a HEPA filter, installed to make the drying as clean and quiet, respectively, as possible."
No positions in stocks mentioned.