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AT&T Buys T-Mobile: Good for AT&T, Bad for Customers

AT&T T-Mobile Merger

AT&T just announced it will buy T-Mobile USA for $39 billion. If the transaction gets approved by the government and closes in a year as planned, it will create the nation's largest wireless carrier by far.

While this is great news for both companies, it's an awful idea for consumers - and I desperately hope the US antitrust authorities rake this merger over the coals.

An AT&T/T-Mobile merger at least makes more sense than the silly T-Mobile/Sprint idea which was being bandied about. Both carriers use the same technologies: GSM, HSPA+ and LTE. While they're on different frequency bands, radios which use all of the relevant bands are becoming easier to build.

The merger neatly solves T-Mobile's long-term problem of not having enough spectrum for LTE, the 4G technology which will soon be a global standard. It gives T-Mobile's struggling parent, Deutsche Telekom, a gigantic cash infusion. And it lets AT&T once again position itself as the number-one carrier against Verizon Wireless, which leapfrogged AT&T technologically this year with Verizon's 4G LTE launch.

AT&T is ahead of T-Mobile on building LTE. T-Mobile is far ahead of AT&T on building HSPA+, a intermediate 4G technology that fits right between the carriers' existing 3G networks and LTE. Together, they could have a smooth and powerful nationwide network.

AT&T's press release for the merger backs this up. The combined carrier will be able to build out much more LTE Than AT&T could alone, by combining AT&T's 700 Mhz spectrum with T-Mobile's AWS spectrum.

For stockholders, this all sounds great. With reduced competition and the efficiencies of a combined network, the new company will probably be quite profitable.

For phone owners, tech lovers, and American consumers, this is a total disaster.

Click to continue reading AT&T Buys T-Mobile: Good for AT&T, Bad for Customers


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Aerosmith: New Album on the Way

AerosmithThe feud between Steven Tyler and Joe Perry is over. Along with the other members of Aerosmith, the rockers will get to work on a new album this summer.

According to Tyler, he and Perry smoked a “peace pipe” to at last bury the hatchet. Reportedly, the rift began when Tyler accepted his current American Idol judging gig.

But Aerosmith isn’t going to question a good thing anymore. Since Steven Tyler started appearing on the new season of the reality gorilla, sales of the band’s greatest hits have increased 250%.

Read More | Entertainment Weekly

Nintendo Wii sales plummet by 31.5 percent from January 2010

 

wii sales

January has just not been a pleasant month for video game sales. At least, that's according to new numbers released by NPD. Total January 2011 sales for gaming accessories, portable systems, and games for PCs and consoles fell to $1.16 billion from last year's total of $1.22 billion. And the $1.22 billion figure for January 2010 is itself a decrease from January 2009 figures, or $1.33 billion in total sales.

Breaking that number out a bit, hardware sales took the biggest year-to-year hit, dropping 8 percent from $353.7 million in January 2010 to $324 million in January 2011. NPD no longer splits this number out into publicly available data for the various console manufacturers; however, Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter said that Microsoft was the only big player to experience year-to-year growth on hardware sales.

According to Pachter, Microsoft sold approximately 332,800 Xbox 360 units, representing a year-to-year growth of 14.4 percent for the company. More than half of the systems sold were also bundled with Microsoft's Kinect accessory.

Nintendo, on the other hand, found its sales down 31.5 percent compared to the same period of time last year. That's a drop from 465,800 Wii consoles sold in January 2010 to 319,000 sold in January 2011. The company still leads the current console market with 34.5 million Wii units sold in the U.S., in total, with Microsoft's Xbox 360 coming in second place at 25.8 million, followed by Sony's PlayStation 3 at 15.7 million.

Click to continue reading Nintendo Wii sales plummet by 31.5 percent from January 2010


MySpace is for sale

myspace sale

During an earnings call, News Corp. COO Chase Carey indicated that "now is the right time" to place MySpace "under a new owner". The news is not a big surprise, as things have been going downhill for the social network. Its owner, News Corp., has attempted to revive the property last Autumn with a site redesign, and while the site is still popular with some niche crowds, there's no question that Facebook took its place long ago. Still, Carey stays positive on the outlook of MySpace, saying “the new MySpace has been very well received by the market and we have some very encouraging metrics, but the plan to allow MySpace to reach its full potential may be best achieved under a new owner.” Of course, it's still unknown whether anyone would be interested in buying it.


Graphic Novels Outsell Snooki

Chew Vol 1It appears that nobody wants the read a book that Snooki claims to have written. The tanned and tiny "star" of MTV's Jersey Shore had her first novel, A Shore Thing published about a month ago. Since then, it's sold less than 9000 copies.

This despite a massive pr push that's seen the little orange pumpkin rolling from TV appearance to TV appearance.

9000 copies.

How does that compare to graphic novel sales? John Jackson Miller at The Comics Chronicles has the scoop.

In 2010, Image's Walking Dead Vol 1: Days Gone Bye sold 43,900 copies, DC's Blackest Night hardcover (19,200), Image's Chew Vol. 1 (13,600), and Dynamite's Boys Vol. 6 Self-Preservation Society (11,100). And that's just a sampling.

In all, some 38 graphic novels outsold Snooki's book and that's just using GN sales figures from the direct market.

Click to continue reading Graphic Novels Outsell Snooki


Today I Die Again for iPhone available free today only

Posted by Drea Avellan Categories: Games, App Updates, iPad Apps, Sales, Free Apps,

today i die again app

In conjunction with Free App A Day (FAAD), Atakamalabs has released the popular IndieCade Jury Award winning title rewrite, Today I Die Again by Daniel Benmergui, completely free. Today I Die Again  is a thought provoking adventure using words as means to action.

The scene opens underwater with the body of a dead woman floating lifeless in the dark. The rock tied around her waist suggests that her demise was no accident. A poem floats above her: “hopeless world / full of shadows / today I die”

Players must use the floating glowing words or reveal hidden ones to help you transform the ever-present poem in order to progress through the game. All along the way you battle the dark creatures from the depths in effort to break through to the surface. The oddly creative music score sets the mood perfectly as you are immersed deeper into this pixelated world. Today I Die Again is truly a unique game unlike any other, exploring new ways to express emotions through a video game experience.

Today I Die Again is available free on the iTunes store for iPhone and iPod Touch.


Comic Book Jobs: Tokyopop Intern

Posted by Tom Mason Categories: Editorials, TokyoPop,

Lady Kanoko

The Los Angeles-based manga empire of Tokyopop is looking for “a well-rounded intern” for their Foreign Sales department. You’ll work directly with their International Rights Manager assisting in “research, marketing, editorial, administrative and design work.”
 
You’ll have to be “fluent in written Japanese, have excellent written and oral communication skills and some technical aptitude, as well as a general interest in manga and graphic novels.” 
 
You’ll be using both a Mac and a PC, with all the usual office-based programs. And if you know Japanese slang, and have a familiarity with American and Japanese/Asian culture, it’s bonus points for you.
 
The internship doesn’t pay, you have to be in L.A. for the duration, and while the schedule of work is flexible, your hours have to be regular.
 
Good luck, interns!
 
[Artwork: The Secret Notes of Lady Kanoko from Tokyopop]

Items Du Jour: Anja Rubik Gets Engaged, Lady Gaga Makes Unicorns Sexy

Anja Rubik for Fendi-- Victoria Beckham covers February's issue of Vogue UK looking rather bare-faced and less glamorous than usual. Marking her sixth solo Vogue cover, the singer-turned-fashion designer talks about her style's evolution and -- more importantly -- what it's like to wake up next to David Beckham.

-- Hilary Swank is one Oscar-winning actress who actually is down-to-earth: the woman loves a good bargain, and isn't ashamed of -- gasp -- clipping coupons. If only she had shopping secrets to scoring designer labels...

-- Anja Rubik stars in her third consecutive Fendi campaign, shot (of course) by Karl Lagerfeld.

-- Speaking of Anja, the model's agency recently announced her Christmas engagement to fellow model Sasha Knezevic. As if there aren't enough super hot couples to be jealous of.

-- Lady Gaga treated her monsters to a nice holiday surprise with details of her upcoming album. More importantly, she posted a preview of the album art, which features her rocking a unicorn-blazoned jean jacket that reads, "Born This Way." Oh, and she has completely ditched pants -- literally.

Click to continue reading Items Du Jour: Anja Rubik Gets Engaged, Lady Gaga Makes Unicorns Sexy


Jennifer Aniston’s Perfume (Sales) Fading

Posted by Veronica Santiago Categories: Celebrities,

Jennifer Aniston perfume

Women may want to look like Jennifer Aniston, but they might not want to smell like her.

Sales of the actress' first perfume -- Jennifer Aniston (formerly named Lolavie) -- have reportedly dropped off since debuting earlier this year. Some claim Aniston's lack of promotion is to blame.

"It's absolutely not true," Jennifer's rep said in response to the finger-pointing. "The fragrance was launched specifically for Harrods [in London] and Jennifer went there personally to launch it and to do press."

Click to continue reading Jennifer Aniston’s Perfume (Sales) Fading

Read More | E! Online

Kindle 3 best selling Amazon product of all time

Posted by Patrick Lambert Categories: Corporate News, Handhelds,

kindle 3 best selling amazon product

Amazon released some facts about their Christmas Holidays, and among them we find out that the Kindle 3 is their best selling product ever, eclipsing Harry Potter which held the spot with the Deathly Hallows. Other facts include Christmas day itself having seen more people download more Kindle Buy Once and Read Everywhere apps ever, and the most popular book on Kindle was The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Some other Holidays best sellers were The Confession: A Novel by John Grisham, Decision Points by George Bush and Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. On the site's peak day, November 29, 13.7 million items were ordered worldwide. Another interesting tidbit is the fact that Amazon is seeing many people who buy Kindles also have another tablet such as the iPad. It seems the e-ink display of the Kindle, and it's low price point, may be enough incentive for readers, even if they already own another device.

You can buy the Kindle 3 Wi-Fi and Kindle 3 Wi-Fi + 3G now.

Read More | Corporate-IR

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