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Sunday, December 25 2005

Five Major League Baseball stars linked to phone card scam

Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz, Baltimore Orioles shortstop Miguel Tejada, New York Mets starter Pedro Martinez, New York Yankees reliever Octavio Dotel and Tampa Bay Devil Rays shortstop Julio Lugo reportedly were named in suit filed by Salvador Delgado, who is representing convenience store owners who say they unknowingly sold defective phone cards -- known as "Grandes Ligas" -- that were advertised by the players. Full Story

Thursday, December 15 2005

RIM Pressured to Settle BlackBerry Case

This week, a tiny patent holding firm battling the device's creator, Research In Motion Ltd. (RIM), announced a license agreement with RIM rival Visto Corp. With the deal in hand, Visto went straight to court and sued Microsoft Corp. for similar infringement claims. The announcements could put more pressure on RIM to settle with its little challenger, NTP Inc., perhaps for up to $1 billion. Both sides, however, show no signs of letting up, even with the looming threat of a court-ordered shutdown of U.S. BlackBerry service. Full Story

Tuesday, December 13 2005

HP introduces state-of-the-art video conferencing system

In an effort to ease the pains of jet-lagged executives who are burned out on business travel, Hewlett-Packard has unveiled a high-priced video conferencing system that can simulate real-time, face-to-face meetings over long distances. The set-up, however, comes at a steep price. It costs $550,000 per room for the equipment and installation. Customers will also pay an $18,000 monthly service fee per room. Full Story

MTS acquires Bitel, enters the Kyrgyz market

Mobile Telesystems, a mobile phone operator in Russia, has announced the acquisition of a 51 per cent stake in Bitel, a mobile phone operator in the Kyrgyz Republic. Full Story

Microsoft and MCI team to offer PC-to-phone calling

Microsoft and MCI yesterday announced a global partnership to provide software and services that enable customers to place calls from a PC to nearly any fixed-line or mobile telephone. Full Story

Friday, December 09 2005

BellSouth Teams With 8x8, Inc. to Deliver VoIP Phone Service to Residential Customers

BellSouth's agreement with 8x8 calls for the development of BellSouth® Digital Phone Service based on 8x8's internally developed technology. This includes a suite of VoIP service components including a call switching platform, feature servers, customer portals and consumer premise equipment. Full Story

Thursday, December 08 2005

Yahoo to offer Net calls

Internet giant Yahoo plans to offer a service allowing computer users to communicate with regular telephones over the Web, the company said Wednesday. The service will be similar to eBay's Skype, with slightly lower prices. A customer, using a microphone and earphones, will be able to place an inexpensive call from a computer to a telephone or cellular phone. Full Story

Thursday, November 24 2005

Craigslist founder planning Net-based news venture

Newmark, whose free Web site listings have wreaked havoc with the newspaper business model over the past few years, acknowledged Wednesday that he is working with other people on a new media venture involving "technologies that promise to help people find the most trusted versions of the more important stories." Full Story

Wednesday, November 16 2005

Sony offers free Skype competitor

Sony on Wednesday announced a free Internet-based phone service similar to the popular computer-to-computer calling provided by Skype, but with an emphasis on video conferencing. Full Story

Saturday, November 12 2005

Justice Department intervenes in BlackBerry patent dispute

The Justice Department, filing on behalf of various government agencies, requested a stay of 90 days to put together an electronic database of government users whose service should not be cut off in the event Research In Motion loses its final legal battles and does not reach a settlement. Full Story

Saturday, November 05 2005

Head of Corporation for Public Broadcasting ousted amid accusations

Kenneth Tomlinson, the head of the federal agency that oversees most U.S. government broadcasts to foreign countries, including Voice of America and Radio Free Europe, is the subject of an inquiry into accusations of misuse of federal money and the use of phantom or unqualified employees, officials involved in the inquiry said. Tomlinson was ousted from the board of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting on Thursday after its inspector general concluded an investigation that was critical of him. Full Story

Tuesday, November 01 2005

Over-the-air downloads latest Sprint offering

The service, called Sprint Music Store, will allow subscribers to select from a catalog of 250,000 tunes supported by four of the biggest music labels. After paying $2.50, a user can download a song in about 30 seconds to two new handsets, using Sprint's fast data network, called EV-DO, which is available to 130 million people. Full Story

Thursday, September 29 2005

Most Americans using high-speed internet at home

More than 60 percent of Americans who use the Internet at home now do so with a high-speed connection, a new study finds. Full Story

New wireless video ready to beam in to your cell phone

Watching television has long been a pursuit best experienced from the comfort of your living-room couch. But wireless industry leaders are betting that the television is ready to go mobile and that subscribers, who are normally glued to their sets each night, will soon flock to cell phones that give them a similar experience on the move. Full Story

Tuesday, September 27 2005

Palm bets future on Microsoft OS

Palm Inc., a pioneer in handheld devices, took a vital step toward expanding its reach Monday when it announced the release of its latest Treo smart phone with a Microsoft operating system. Full Story

Monday, September 19 2005

EBay's $2.6 billion deal to buy Skype will provide online auction sellers, buyers with another way to communicate

The introduction of Internet telephony is having profound effects on the way people communicate, making it easier and bringing down the cost, in some cases, to nothing. The emerging technology is also creating new opportunities in e-commerce, which has largely evolved into a virtual marketplace where consumers make purchases without ever speaking a word. Full Story

Friday, September 16 2005

Price gap between cable, DSL widening

Cable-modem service was, on average, 75.8 percent more expensive than DSL during the month, up from a 53.3 percent gap in July. While phone carriers cut prices — the average DSL price decreased by 9.2 percent — cable companies raised them. Full Story

Monday, September 12 2005

EBay to buy Skype for $2.6 billion

Online auction leader eBay took a huge step into the Internet telephony business Monday when it announced it was purchasing Skype Technologies SA for $2.6 billion in cash and stock, plus other considerations. Full Story

Monday, August 22 2005

3G allows cell phone users to access internet with DSL speed

The four major U.S. cell phone carriers are in different phases of rolling out wireless broadband that will offer average speeds of 400 to 700 Kbps with bursts up to 2 or 3 Mbps. By contrast, DSL service runs from 380 Kbps to 1,500 Kbps. Full Story

Tuesday, August 09 2005

Cisco rumor sends Nokia stock up

Shares of Nokia, the world's largest wireless phonemaker, jumped more than 3 percent Monday after a news report that said that Cisco Systems Inc. is interested in acquiring some or all of the Finnish company. Full Story

Saturday, July 23 2005

New mobile dating services allow people to browse profiles via cell phone and message potential matches - even on the spot

The technology has advanced to the point where a person can turn a cell phone into a sort of homing device to find a date just a short distance away. SmallPlanet (www.smallplanet .net), a mobile social networking company, has come up with a way for its compatible users to be alerted when they are within range of each other, in most cases about 30 feet for now. Full Story

Monday, July 04 2005

New cell phones to combine music player, internet access, higher-resolution camera, PDA

"This new generation of phones is in a sphere where they do everything at least well and some things potentially very well," said analyst Andy Castonguay of the Yankee Group. "That's a big breakthrough. It's the first generation of phone that will be able to really handle the functions of a general PDA along with imaging and music functions." Full Story

Sunday, June 26 2005

Ring tones make cell phones personalized fashion accessories

A recent study by M:Metrics, an industry analyst with offices in San Francisco, found that more than 24 million U.S. mobile phone subscribers downloaded a ring tone in April. To contrast, fewer than 15 million used their phone to send a photo message to another phone or e-mail. Entner estimates that the ring-tone industry, which didn't exist three years ago, will grow to $1.5 billion by 2007. Full Story

Saturday, May 28 2005

180.6 million cell phones sold worldwide during first quarter of 2005

The industry reported that 180.6 million units were sold in the first quarter of this year, a 17 percent increase from the same period a year ago. That continued a buying boom that began two years ago and really took hold last year, according to market research firm Gartner Inc. The new figures prompted Gartner to revise its mobile-phone sales estimates up to 750 million units from 720 million for 2005. Full Story

Wednesday, May 25 2005

PalmSource sells rights to Palm Inc. for $30 million in saga that began in early '90s

PalmOne Inc., the Milpitas company that makes the popular Treo mobile devices, announced Tuesday it would reassume its old name, Palm Inc., this fall. In order to do so, PalmSource, the Sunnyvale company that makes the software for the Palm devices, said it would sell the rights to the Palm name to its former sister company for $30 million. Full Story

Tuesday, March 15 2005

Ebbers found guilty on all counts

Bernard Ebbers, who built WorldCom from a humble Mississippi long-distance concern into a telecommunications titan, was convicted Tuesday of engineering the colossal accounting fraud that sank the company. A federal jury in Manhattan deliberated eight days before returning guilty verdicts on all counts — one count of conspiracy, one count of securities fraud and seven counts of false regulatory filings. The crimes carry up to 85 years in prison.
Full Story

Monday, March 14 2005

Orb software lets you watch all favorite TV channels while away from home

While everyone was talking about "the digital living room'' at a technology conference in Foster City last week, one interesting new software on display showed how you can stretch your living room around the world. The software, called Orb, lets you watch live the same TV channels you get at home -- even if you're across the country. All you need is a computer with a high-speed Internet connection, a compatible cell phone or handheld digital assistant.
Full Story

Tuesday, March 01 2005

Ebbers pleads ignorance

Bernard Ebbers, the former WorldCom chief executive once hailed as one of the most brilliant telecommunications entrepreneurs ever, told a packed courtroom on Monday, "I don't know about technology, and I don't know about finance and accounting." Full Story

Wednesday, February 23 2005

AT&T slammed over calling card policy

Federal regulators ruled Wednesday that AT&T skirted the law by failing to pay fees on its popular prepaid calling cards, a decision that could cost the long-distance company about $500 million. Full Story

Saturday, February 19 2005

Telephone industry mergers blend services

The acquisitions of AT&T and MCI by larger rivals are the most dramatic evidence of long distance calling's steady decline as a business distinct from "local" phone service. Full Story

Thursday, February 10 2005

Verizon Enters MCI Bidding

Telecom giant Verizon Communications Inc. has reportedly floated an informal buyout offer for MCI Corp., the long distance telephone company that has been awash in takeover speculation in the wake of regional phone company SBC Communications Inc.'s $16 billion deal for AT&T Corp. Full Story

Tuesday, February 08 2005

Ex-WorldCom Finance Chief Says Bernard Ebbers Pressured Him on Earnings to Please Wall Street

Scott Sullivan, the government's star witness at Ebbers' fraud trial, said the former chief frequently talked to him about Wall Street expectations and how WorldCom stock was performing. Full Story

Friday, February 04 2005

MCI and Qwest reported to be in merger talks

Word of the talks is being interpreted in the industry as a thinly veiled attempt by Michael Capellas to generate interest from two other much larger Bell companies - Verizon Communications and BellSouth - so that they might make competing bids for MCI. Full Story

Thursday, February 03 2005

Ex-WorldCom accountant takes the stand

His voice quavering, a former WorldCom accountant described Thursday how his bewilderment turned to defiance when he was repeatedly asked to book bizarre, baseless accounting entries. The accountant, Mark Abide, testifying for the prosecution at the fraud trial of former CEO Bernie Ebbers, appeared close to tears as he recounted being instructed to tally billions in assets he'd never heard of. Full Story

Tuesday, February 01 2005

SBC, AT&T merger to cut 13,000 jobs

SBC Communications CEO Ed Whitacre and AT&T CEO Dave Dorman told analysts Tuesday that they plan to eliminate about 13,000 jobs after their $16 billion merger closes. Full Story

Monday, January 31 2005

SBC votes to approve deal for AT&T

SBC Communications last night was close to concluding a $16 billion deal for its former parent, AT&T, that would lead to the virtual disappearance of one of America's best-known corporate icons, executives close to the negotiations said. Full Story

Friday, January 28 2005

SBC reportedly trying to buy AT&T - again

Telephone giant SBC is reportedly holding talks to buy AT&T in a deal that would create the nation's largest phone company, spell the end of the iconic Ma Bell and, critics fear, saddle consumers with higher bills. Full Story

Thursday, January 27 2005

Backstage battle over cell phone rules

U.S. Cellular, a mobile phone company serving Humboldt County and other rural sections of Northern California, has threatened to pull out of the California market within months unless state utility regulators suspend a new set of consumer protection rules. Full Story

Wednesday, January 26 2005

Ebbers defends himself on tapes

Jurors at the fraud trial of former WorldCom CEO Bernie Ebbers heard his voice for the first time Wednesday, sheepishly saying on a tape, "Remember, I'm a P.E. graduate, not an economist." Full Story

Friday, January 14 2005

Covad tests new phone technology for local service

Covad Communications Group Inc. is testing a technology that could enable non-Bell telephone companies to sell traditional local service – a potential new mode of competition and consumer choice after a series of Bell regulatory victories which prompted AT&T Corp. and others to retreat from the market. Full Story