Here is your recap of cable and Internet service industry news from around the US this week:
Millions Support Net Neutrality on Day of Action
The online “Net Neutrality Day of Action,” was held last week. It was a protest day in which thousands of websites, people and services called attention to the FCCs impending revocation of net neutrality rules. And the turnout, it turns out, was quite impressive. The protest was reported to have over 5 million emails to Congress, 2 million comments to the FCC, over 100,000 calls to representatives and many people visiting their congressional representative in person.
Despite this, President Trump has reiterated his plan to have the FCC do away with the Net Neutrality rules passed a few years ago.
Google to Launch Millions of Mosquitoes In California
Google is releasing 20 million bacteria infested male mosquitoes in Fresno California with the hope that when they mate with females, they will transfer the bacteria to the females and create infertile eggs. The targeted mosquitoes, Aedes aegypti, are known to transmit diseases such as the Zika virus, dengue, and chikungunya. What could go wrong? Well, at least they are starting small. Is it just me or does it seem like Google is trying to get its fingers in every pie?
Google Glass 2.0 - Glass Enterprise Edition
As mentioned in the Rewind a few weeks ago, Google Glass is not dead. Google has been quietly working on a new Glass for businesses. It is called Glass Enterprise Edition. Instead of being designed around checking social media it is built for the workplace. Google has been testing (in stealth mode) the new business edition in the factories and warehouses of companies like DHL, GE, Boeing, and Volkswagen. Google Glass EE is even available with OSHA-certified safety shields.
Google Introduces a Facebook-like "Smart" News Feed
Google just announced a new feed experience for Android and iOS. The new feed, is designed to make it "easier than ever to discover, explore and stay connected to what matters to you—even when you don’t have a query in mind." You will be able to have some choice in what appears in the feed by saying you want to follow a topic or are "done with" it. Google will also use your activities on their products to program the information that ends up in your specific feed based on what they have learned about what you are interested in.
Google Unveils New Hiring Assistant for Small Businesses
As part of Google For Jobs program, Google has a new G-Suite app called Hire. It integrates Google tools like Google Calendar, Gmail and Sheets to make hiring at small businesses go a bit easier. The new feature “helps people look for jobs across experience and wage levels—including jobs that have traditionally been much harder to search for and classify.”
Amazon launches Amazon Spark - a Shoppable Feed
All feeds lead to shopping with Amazon’s new feed called Spark, a shoppable, scrollable stream of images and stories that's designed to help users buy things. Who would have thought? Once you set it up, your social media style feed with your likes and interests it lets you scroll through images, product reviews, and stories. Any Amazon customer can browse the feed but only Amazon Prime members can post anything.
Amazon Breaks Internet Sales Record
Amazon also had its third annual Amazon Prime Sales Event last week, up 60% from last year’s event. Amazon says they averaged over 6000 purchases per minute, just in the United States. That equals almost 11 million purchases over the 30-hour event. The biggest seller was Amazon’s Dot, a voice controlled device that can be used to control other smart devices and connect with Amazons personal assistant.
Game of Thrones Season Premiere Overtaxes Some Delivery Systems
The demand for the New Episode of Game Of Thrones hit a few snags on some of the delivery streams. Viewers who were watching on HBO's website, HBO.com reported difficulty watching as well as viewers trying to watch on HBO Now and HBO Go, the network’s streaming service. As expected some fans took to Twitter and other social media to vent frustrations saying HBO should have been prepared. A similar glitch happened before with the GOT season premiere in 2014 and 2016.
No Go For Pokemon Go Fest
Many problems beset the first annual Pokemon Go Fest Scheduled for Chicago’s Grant Park over the weekend. Within minutes of the event starting mobile reception for most players became virtually nonexistent. Even if you could manage to get online most likely you would only get an error screen.
Niantic, the creator of Pokemon Go said they will refund tickets to all of the 15,000 to 20,000 attendees and give them a $100 credit in the game. Pokemon Go fans from all over the country had come for the highly anticipated event which sold out in 10 minutes.
Pokemon Can Go in Milwaukee Parks Without Permit
When the Pokemon Go craze took off last year Milwaukee County in Wisconsin passed a law that said that any Augmented Reality games must get a special permit before it can be played in Milwaukee County parks. The permits, which could cost as much as a thousand dollars, required that game developers estimate crowd size, days and times when the AR game would be played as well as plan for garbage collection, bathroom use, security, and medical services. The law was temporarily struck down by US District Judge on First Amendment grounds.
YouTube TV Adds 10 More Markets
YouTube’s live streaming service is now available in Washington, D.C.; Charlotte, North Carolina; Atlanta, Georgia; Phoenix, Arizona; Detroit, Michigan; Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota; Houston and Dallas/Fort Worth in Texas; Miami/Fort Lauderdale and Orlando/Daytona Beach/Melbourne in Florida. That is triple the markets it was in. Most of the markets have all four major broadcasters with only Dallas/Fort Worth missing ABC. YouTube TV hopes to compete against multi channel live streamers DirecTV Now, Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, and Hulu’s Live TV as well as some cable companies who are rolling out streaming services.