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May 18, 2014

AT&T learns an important lesson about massive mergers

  • then In an effort to expand its mobile base, AT&T attempted to buy T-Mobile for $39 billion a couple years back, only to be rebuffed by federal regulators due to antitrust concerns. The situation was very costly for AT&T, which had to pay a $4 billion break-up fee over the failure of the deal.
  • now Clearly finding that a mobile merger is not in the cards, AT&T announced a $48.5 billion buyout attempt of satellite giant DirecTV. Unlike the T-Mobile deal, no break-up fee is tied to the purchase—on AT&T’s end. If another suitor is found by DirecTV, however, the TV company will have to pay the phone company $1.4 billion in fees. source
23:07 // 3 months ago
March 29, 2014

Signs Blackberry is getting desperate: They’re suing people

  • victory A while back, you may have heard of this device, funded by Ryan Seacrest, that puts a keyboard on your iPhone. The Typo earned a little press early on, but then Blackberry sued. The mobile also-ran won its lawsuit this week, proving that they don’t like Ryan Seacrest or something.
  • threats The victory came on the heels of an announcement by the company’s CEO earlier this week that it would take action against people leaking early details about its products. “[W]hen curiosity turns to criminality, we must take strong action,” CEO John Chen wrote. “We will always take appropriate actions to prevent leaks from happening and in some cases this means prosecuting individuals — internally or externally — who leak confidential information.” So in other words, Blackberry doesn’t understand the tech industry runs on leaks.
13:48 // 5 months ago
March 21, 2014

Sick kid given experimental drug after social media campaign, and guess what? It worked.

  • cause Josh Hardy, 7, was suffering from a severe battle with adenovirus due to a weakened immune system. However, the maker of brincidofovir, an experimental drug which would have allowed him to fight the disease, refused to give him the treatment. (By the way, we should note that Hardy has beaten cancer FOUR times.)
  • effect His family launched a media campaign to convince the company, Chimerix, to give him the drug. Eventually, the campaign proved successful enough that the company worked out a deal with the FDA to give him the drug.
  • result After Hardy was given just three doses of the drug, his condition improved dramatically—from 250,000 copies of the disease per milliliter to 367 copies per milliliter. He’s expected to adenovirus-free by early next week. source
22:00 // 5 months ago
March 5, 2014

Major changes are just around the corner for the SAT exam

  • 2005 Major alterations to the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) saw the College Board removed portions of the verbal section that had traditionally proven difficult for some students. The Board also added an 800-point essay segment to the exam, giving it a new total point value of 2400.
  • 2016 A new round of changes will see the maximum score on the SAT exam return to 1600, along with a host of other changes that the College Board once again hopes will make college more-accessible to graduating high school students. In addition to dropping the top score, the College Board will also offer free SAT preparation materials and give four college application fee waivers to anyone who takes the test. source
17:17 // 6 months ago
March 1, 2014

What the heck is happening with Crimea right now?

  • cause In the wake of the deteriorating Ukrainian political situation, a number of military units invaded the autonomous region of Crimea on Friday—something Ukraine’s newly installed government blamed on Russia. Airports were closed, and borders were blocked off. The takeover wouldn’t be a complete surprise, considering that Russia ordered military exercises just a few days before.
  • reaction President Obama, in the kind of hard-line diplomatic stance we haven’t heard from him in a while, told Russia to knock it off—or else. “The United States will stand with the international community in affirming that there will be costs for any military intervention in Ukraine,” the president said.
  • rebuttal Hours after Obama’s statements, the Russian government approved the use of military force in Ukraine and recommended that Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. return home in protest of what the president said.
11:27 // 6 months ago
February 27, 2014

More on the situation in Ukraine

  • Asylum Russia has confirmed it will offer asylum to former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, who fled the country after months of anti-government demonstrations followed his decision to accept a financial bailout from Russia instead of the European Union.
  • Arrest Ukraine is still calling for Yanukovych’s arrest, and has called for prosecution from the International Criminal Court  but far more pressing matters now face the interim government in Kiev. Gunmen stormed the regional parliament building in Crimea on Thursday, demanding a vote on secession from Ukraine. A vote on a referendum to “expand” Crimea’s autonomy has since been scheduled for May 25. source
15:14 // 6 months ago
February 21, 2014

Colorado is going to make bank for all that legal pot they’re selling

  • yeah! According to new statistics, the state of Colorado is likely to make major bank from the sale of marijuana. Based on the first budget report on the issue, the state will likely make $184 million in tax revenue from pot alone over the next 18 months, and the industry itself is projected to earn $610 million in revenue in that period.
  • but … Don’t get too excited, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper said on Friday during a meeting with governors from other states. “When governors have asked me, and several have, I say that we don’t have the facts,” Hickenlooper explained. “We don’t know what the unintended consequences are going to be and we’re going to regulate it every way we can. What I do is urge caution.”
22:27 // 6 months ago
February 19, 2014

Things aren’t looking any better in Ukraine after a night of violence

  • Yesterday Clashes between Ukrainian security forces and anti-government protesters left at least 25 people dead, while reports of new uprisings and weapon thefts outside Kiev began to emerge, and demonstrations continued as fires consumed the capital city’s Trade Unions Building.
  • Today US and European leaders confirmed they are weighing the possibility of levying new sanctions against Ukraine, while Russia has threatened to stabilize the region itself. Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych replaced his top general on Wednesday; however, the move is unlikely to calm anyone’s nerves in Kiev.
15:49 // 6 months ago
February 12, 2014

Trial of alleged Boston Marathon bomber to begin later this year

  • November 3 Alleged Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will officially go on trial just before the end of 2014, much earlier than the September 2015 timeline proposed by his defense team, more than 18 months after the attacks he stands accused of carrying out with his brother, Tamerlan. Tsarnaev’s attorneys argued that they needed more time to prepare for trial, as a result of “sluggish” responses from government organizations, but Judge George O’Toole Jr denied the request. source
14:12 // 6 months ago
January 28, 2014

Ongoing Ukrainian protests lead prime minister to step down

  • Last Week Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov was more than a little dismissive of the protesters who’d spent two-plus months gathered in Kiev, saying demonstrations only continued because the government allowed them to, even as government officials met with opposition leaders to try and bring an end to the unrest.
  • Tuesday Azarov and his entire cabinet stepped down from their posts, the latest in a series of concessions meant to build goodwill between demonstrators and the government. President Viktor Yanukovich also instructed two deputies to roll back harsh anti-protest legislation that was rammed through parliament less than two weeks ago. Opposition leaders celebrated the news, but say protests will continue until the country further restricts recent expansions of presidential power. source
14:12 // 7 months ago