Today's Top Technology Headlines
- Samsung offers phone upgrade programme for South Korea Note 7 customers
Samsung Electronics Co Ltd said on Monday it is offering an upgrade programme to Galaxy Note 7 customers in South Korea who trade in their recalled device for a Galaxy S7 phone. In a statement, Samsung said customers who trade in their Note 7 phone for either a flat-screen or curved-screen version of the Galaxy S7 can trade up for a Galaxy S8 or Note 8 smartphone launching next year through an upgrade programme. Users in the upgrade programme will have to pay half of the price of a Galaxy S7 device before exchanging to the S8 or the Note 8, Samsung said.
- AT&T-Time Warner deal sparks calls for scrutiny in Washington
By Julia Edwards and Diane Bartz WASHINGTON (Reuters) - AT&T Inc's proposed $85 billion takeover of Time Warner Inc generated skepticism among both Democrats and Republicans on Sunday, making it more likely that regulators will closely scrutinize the effort to create a new telecommunications and media giant. The biggest deal of the year, announced just over two weeks before the Nov. 8 U.S. election, is a gamble on a victory for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and a continuation of the status quo on anti-trust and regulatory enforcement. The Republican candidate Donald Trump, who is trailing Clinton in the polls, has said he would block the takeover.
- Major banks mark first-ever international trade using blockchain tech
By Byron Kaye SYDNEY (Reuters) - The first cross-border transaction between banks using multiple blockchain applications has taken place, Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Wells Fargo & Co said on Monday, resulting in a shipment of cotton to China from the United States. Australian cotton trader Brighann Cotton Marketing bought the shipment bound for the port city Qingdao from U.S. division Brighann Cotton in Texas, the companies and their banks said in a joint statement. The blockchain trade, for 88 bales, totaled $35,000, Commonwealth Bank told Reuters.
- U.S. banks add pieces to new instant payments network
By the end of December some U.S. bank customers may begin to notice features of the new Zelle instant payments network appearing on their mobile phone and online banking apps as the financial industry tries to catch up to technology company rivals, such as Venmo. Paul Finch, chief executive of the bank network operator, Early Warning Services, said during the weekend that buttons on user screens for digital payments at some banks will gradually start to use a uniform procedure for individuals to send and receive money. "This is about creating a wide, and inclusive, alternative to cash and checks for everyone," said Finch, who was at the Money 20/20 payments industry conference in Las Vegas to promote Zelle for its bank owners.
- For AT&T, Time Warner was always on the menu
By Liana B. Baker NEW YORK (Reuters) - When Time Warner Inc's Jeff Bewkes welcomed AT&T Inc's Randall Stephenson for lunch at Time Warner Center in New York in late August, their meeting was supposed to be one of the catch-ups the two chief executives have had over the years. Stephenson and Bewkes discussed how Time Warner could reach more customers through AT&T's mobile network, and how that content could reinforce the loyalty of customers.
- Senate committee on antitrust to 'carefully examine' AT&T-Time Warner deal
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An acquisition of Time Warner Inc by AT&T Inc. could raise significant antitrust issues that the U.S. Senate committee on antitrust would carefully examine, the chairman and ranking member of the committee said Sunday. AT&T announced on Saturday a deal to buy Time Warner for $85.4 billion, the boldest move yet by a telecommunications company to acquire content to stream over its network to attract a growing number of online viewers. (Reporting by Julia Edwards; Editing by Bill Trott)
- Watch Clive Owen play tug of war with a helicopter in Neill Blomkamp’s BMW short
Now, he’s partnered up with BMW to helm The Escape, a new entry in the company’s The Hire series of short action films, which just hit the web today. As the FBI closes in, the security contractors tasked with taking one of the clones away mounts an escape, hiring The Driver to whisk away Five (played by Dakota Fanning). The head of the mercenary group, the Punisher himself, Jon Bernthal, hops in the side passenger seat, and the convoy makes its escape.
- AT&T acquisition of Time Warner may avoid FCC oversight
AT&T Inc may bypass a powerful telecommunications regulator by offloading a Time Warner broadcast station, analysts say, as the telcommunications giant braces for what is expected to be a lengthy and tough antitrust review of its proposed $85.4 billion deal to buy Time Warner Inc . Dallas-based AT&T said late Saturday the deal would need approval of the U.S. Justice Department and the companies were determining which Time Warner U.S. Federal Communications Commission licenses, if any, would transfer to AT&T as part of the deal. Any such transfers would require FCC approval.
- Companies urged to use multiple vendors in wake of cyber attack
Companies can reduce the risk from the type of cyber attack that took out major websites on Friday by using multiple vendors for the critical internet service known as a domain name service, or DNS, companies and security experts said on Sunday. "We have advocated for years for redundancy in your infrastructure," said Kyle York, chief strategy officer for Dyn, the New Hampshire DNS provider that was attacked on Friday. York said clients who used multiple servers "saw less of an impact." Using multiple DNS providers can, however, make managing traffic more complicated and costly, experts said.
- Here’s what we learned from Elon Musk’s SpaceX Reddit AMA
SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk took to Reddit this evening for an Ask Me Anything session, which he noted was “meant to be supplemental to the talk he gave at the International Astronautical Conference in Guadalajara, Mexico on September 27th. After the talk, there were plenty of lingering questions about his Mars colonization plans: what about radiation? During the AMA, he followed up on a several of topics that he didn’t cover at the initial talk.
- Microsoft to increase UK prices of enterprise products, citing falling pound
(Reuters) - Microsoft Corp said it will be increasing pricing for its enterprise software and cloud services in the UK in the wake of the sterling's plunge since Britons voted to leave the EU. The price increase, from Jan. 1 2017, will be 13 percent for its enterprise software and 22 percent for its enterprise cloud services, it said. Pricing changes will not apply to consumer software or consumer cloud services, the company said in a blog post.
- A merged AT&T-Time Warner may not do consumers much good
NEW YORK (AP) — AT&T and Time Warner are playing up how their $85.4 billion merger will lead to innovative new experiences for customers. But analysts, public-interest groups and some politicians are far from convinced.
- AT&T-Time Warner may signal start of new media industry consolidation
WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - The tie-up of AT&T Inc and Time Warner Inc , bringing together one of the country's largest wireless and pay TV providers and cable networks like HBO, CNN and TBS, could kick off a new round of industry consolidation amid massive changes in how people watch TV. Discovery Communications Inc gained 3.6 percent, AMC Networks Inc rose 3.9 percent and Scripps Networks Interactive Inc jumped 5.6 percent. Media content companies are having an increasingly difficult time as standalone entities, creating an opportunity for telecom, satellite and cable providers to make acquisitions, analysts say.
- Samsung’s rush to save the Galaxy Note 7 may have hastened its demise
Samsung continues to deal with the aftermath of its decision to eliminate its Galaxy Note 7 phone. According to an article published today in The Wall Street Journal, the company’s efforts to save the device might have hindered regulators from closely investigating it. Weeks after the initial recall and the elimination of the phone line, "Samsung still doesn’t have a conclusive answer for what’s causing some Note 7s to catch fire," reports The Wall Street Journal.
- Clinton thinks regulators should scrutinize AT&T-Time Warner deal: spokesman
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton thinks U.S. regulators should closely scrutinize AT&T's acquisition of Time Warner, her spokesman said on Sunday. Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon told reporters on Sunday there were "a number of questions and concerns" about the deal "but there's still a lot of information that needs to come out before any conclusions should be reached." "But certainly she thinks regulators should scrutinize it closely," Fallon said. (Reporting by Luciana Lopez; Writing by Julia Edwards; Editing by Sandra Maler)