MediaFile

Tech wrap: Myspace sale saga nears end

An investor group involving Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick is in final talks to take a controlling stake in News Corp’s social network site Myspace, according to a source familiar with the matter. Kotick’s involvement is personal and nothing to do with Activision at this stage, the source said.

News Corp, which paid $580 million for Myspace in 2005, had hoped to do a deal valuing Myspace at about $100 million, but sources said it was unlikely to achieve that target.

Major U.S. banks came under growing pressure from banking regulators to improve the security of customer account information after Citigroup became the latest high-profile victim of a large-scale cyber attack. While Citigroup insisted the breach had been limited, experts called it the largest direct attack on a major U.S. financial institution, and forecast it could drive momentum for a systemic overhaul of the banking industry’s data security measures.

Citigroup said that computer hackers breached the bank’s network and accessed the data of about 200,000 bank card holders in North America. Citi waited more than a month before making the full extent of the breach public, drawing criticism from lawmakers and lawyers.

Apple backtracked on demands it planned to impose on media sold through its App Store, handing a big victory to content publishers that had resisted its original terms. Apple is now allowing publishers to set their own pricing for subscriptions outside the App Store. It also no longer requires publishers to sell subscriptions within the App Store. IPad and iPhone users can now read magazines and books, or play music and videos bought outside of Apple’s App Store as long as there is no button or external link in it to purchase the content, the company said.

Is WiMax the Betamax of mobile space?

Is WiMax wireless technology headed for the same fate as Betamax, which lost the battle against VHS as the video cassette standard in 1980s? A senior Verizon executive thinks so.

Recall that WiMax and Long Term Evolution (LTE) are key technologies for operators to cope with surging data traffic from smartphones and laptops with mobile data cards. At the moment, it’s a heated fight to become the industry standard.

“It’s going to be like VHS-Betamax thing,” Stuart Curzon, vice president of Verizon Business unit,¬†told a news conference in Helsinki, Finland. “WiMax has been around for a few years now. If it would’ve taken off, it would’ve done it by now.”

Cable, Sprint up ante on rivals

cellphone-guy.jpgTwo sectors may be getting a new lease on life after the Wall Street Journal reported news that a handful of the top U.S. cable operators are exploring a joint venture with Sprint Nextel and Clearwire to create a national high-speed wireless network to fight off the telcos for subscribers.

Without a big infusion of cash, WiMax technology could be a non-starter in the U.S. So far, Sprint has planned to introduce the service in three markets.

Expanding beyond that may prove a tough sell for Sprint shareholders who had widely criticized its commitment last year to spend $5 billion on WiMax by 2010. Sprint is also struggling to keep its existing customers from leaving.