For example, the elimination of Verizon would result in significantly less competition for Comcast in the Northeast United States. Currently, the Northeast is becoming one of the last places in the country Comcast hasn’t deployed usage caps, thanks in large part to Verizon’s FiOS domination of the coast. The end result of most of Hodulik’s scenarios would be higher rates and worse service for most consumers as Comcast gained a total monopoly in many east coast markets. Then again, Trump telecom advisor and former Sprint lobbyist Mark Jamison doesn’t believe telecom monopolies are real.
It isn’t really as if the operating system ceases to exist. More to the point, it ceases to be a separate entity from the compiled application. A unikernel, therefore, is an indivisible unit of computing logic. As a microservice, it carries the promise of unlimited scalability. And as a virtual machine, it is designed to run under the Xen Type 1 (hardware-level) hypervisor.
The combined company is expected to become the world’s second-largest telecom equipment manufacturer, behind Ericsson of Sweden, with global revenues totaling $27 billion and operations spread across Asia, Europe and North America.
Microsoft this morning announced a deal to buy Revolution Analytics, the top commercial provider of software and services for the open-source R programming language for statistical computing and predictive analytics.
As many of you may know, Cyanogen is built from Android source code, with layers upon layers of custom code placed on top. These changes allow for users to highly customize the look and feel of the OS. For example, users running Cyanogen can place custom skins on the OS and also increase a device’s security thanks to additional settings. There are countless developers that contribute their code to make Cyanogen a better alternative to vanilla Android, which is provided straight from Google as open source.
Cyanogen has told potential investors that it has a deal in place to bring its custom version of the Android OS to India through a manufacturer called Micromax. Alongside Samsung, Micromax currently holds almost as much share of the smartphone market in India, making this deal a very large step to get Cyanogen into the hands of millions of more people.
The joy of being a vertically integrated company is being able to exercise something called vertical leverage. Basically, the bigger Comcast gets, the more extraordinary financial power they wield. The terms they can negotiate upstream and downstream are more likely to be favorable to them, and not to anyone else.
A report [PDF] from the Consumer Federation of America calls these “bottleneck points.” And the bigger Comcast gets, the more of them they have — as in their recent peering dispute with Netflix.
In the end, making Comcast bigger only gives it more leverage — a company that would control the lion’s share of to-the-home information for this country. Until such a time when (and if) wireless and fiber providers begin offering a service that competes with cable Internet on speed, availability and cost, consumers are only going to see the walls around Comcast’s sandbox grow taller, while bottlenecked Internet businesses face higher and higher tolls for access to a huge portion of American homes and offices.
But if Oculus is so great, then why do people seem so surprised that Facebook has acquired it?
Partly it’s that Oculus, despite its popularity among gamers and its buy-in from the tech community, is still a small start-up. (It got its start on Kickstarter, where, in a 2012 campaign that sought $250,000 in funding, it raised more than $2 million. It remains one of Kickstarter’s most successful campaigns.) And, furthermore, Oculus has been focused on what many have seen as a niche technology for a niche demographic—hard-core gamers
The eye-popping price tag—about one-tenth the entire value of Facebook—is the shocker that’s drawn much media notice. But there’s another element to the story that is astounding: Koum and Acton have published a manifesto that radically critiques the foundation of modern capitalism—advertising—and denounces materialism. Facebook’s business model, of course, depends upon both.
Will Koum and Acton become part of the Borg they so eloquently decried? The first rule of Fight Club was “You do not talk about fight club.” The second rule was “You do not talk about fight club.” Now that Koum and Acton are billionaires and über-players on the tech scene, will they continue to spread their anti-consumerism, tech-is-for-the-people gospel? Will they change Facebook, or will Facebook change them?
The reason this deal is scary is that for the vast majority of businesses in 19 of the 20 largest metropolitan areas in the country, their only choice for a high-capacity wired connection will be Comcast. Comcast, in turn, has its own built-in conflicts of interest: It will be serving the interests of its shareholders by keeping investments in its network as low as possible — in particular, making no move to provide the world-class fiber-optic connections that are now standard and cheap in other countries — and extracting as much rent as it can, in all kinds of ways. Comcast, for purposes of today’s public , is calling itself a “cable company.” It no longer is. Comcast sells infrastructure subject to neither competition nor a cop on the beat.
This is in large part an artificial intelligence talent acquisition, and Google CEO Larry Page led the deal himself, sources said. According to online bios, Hassabis in particular is quite a talent, a child prodigy in chess who was later called “probably the best games player in history” by the Mind Sports Olympiad.