Google reportedly launching wireless service
Google already has its hands in the software and hardware (via partners) side of the mobile phone business, so why not the actual service, as well? That may be what’s ahead, as The Wall Street Journal and The Information report that Google has worked out deals with major carriers to sell service under its own name.
That means that Google wouldn’t actually control or own the cellular service, but instead lease it out and rebrand it - and potentially offer different and better terms for customers. According to the reports, U.S. carriers Sprint and T-Mobile have agreed to offer their networks for Google to package and resell to customers, although it’s unclear when such plans might unfold.
The Wall Street Journal notes that Sprint executives in particular are concerned that Google will turn around and become a rival in the space in time, but Sprint apparently is able to renegotiate terms if Google brings on a wealth of customers. With Fiber, Google has shown that it wants to give people fantastic Internet service at reasonable prices, but we’ll see if the same holds true for wireless service when it’s on other companies’ networks.
New Battletoads teased by Xbox exec’s shirt
Can we credit a t-shirt for rampant speculation about a classic video game’s return? We certainly can, as yesterday at the big Windows 10 event, Xbox head Phil Spencer wore a shirt bearing a logo from Rare’s beloved Battletoads series - which hasn’t produced a new game in more than 20 years.
Spencer has a knack for wearing shirts for upcoming games at events, and Microsoft owns Rare, but the developer’s been tasked with middling filler like Kinect Sports sequels in recent years. However, a Battletoads trademark was renewed late last year, and Spencer previously expressed interest in seeing the game revived.
Asked by Polygon about the shirt, Spencer replied, "I don't think I've ever worn a t-shirt that's been a complete head fake. I don't think I have ... have I? I wouldn't do that." So, new Battletoads it is, then.
BlackBerry upset about its app selection
Well, this is worth a head-scratch and a chuckle. BlackBerry has posted a portion of an open letter on its blog, the full version of which was sent to United States senators and representatives in support of net neutrality.
However, BlackBerry’s idea of net neutrality includes language that suggests that the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) should force app makers to release their wares for BlackBerry devices. Because many of them aren’t doing so of their own free will!
Citing Apple’s lack of iMessage on other mobile platforms and Netflix’s continued disregard for bringing its app to BlackBerry, CEO John Chen says (emphasis his), “This dynamic has created a two-tiered wireless broadband ecosystem, in which iPhone and Android users are able to access far more content and applications than customers using devices running other operating systems.”
He adds (again, emphasis his), “Therefore, neutrality must be mandated at the application and content layer if we truly want a free, open and non-discriminatory Internet. All wireless broadband customers must have the ability to access any lawful applications and content they choose, and applications/content providers must be prohibited from discriminating based on the customer’s mobile operating system.”
Sounds highly unlikely to us, not to mention extraordinarily whiny. Good luck with that.