05:40 AM

Newswatch 7.20.07: GOOG issues spectrum ultimatum

Videographer commits suicide, her boyfriend is missing

[Modern Art Notes] This past Tuesday, a week after Theresa Duncan, digital artist Jeremy Blake's longtime girlfriend, committed suicide, a man called 911 to report that he saw someone swimming out to sea. Blake's clothes and wallet were found nearby on Rockaway Beach. Blake has not been heard from since. Duncan's funeral will be held in Detroit tomorrow. Blake is known for photographs and DVDs that mix visual narrative with abstract forms. He had a 2005 solo show at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, created an abstract sequence for the film Punch Drunk Love, and he worked with Beck on the CD Sea Change.

GOOG puts its billions on the spectrum table

[Mercury News] pledged to bid at least $4.6 billion, the minimum bid the Federal Communications Commission requires entrants in the auction for a slice of the airwave spectrum now used to broadcast UHF channels. But there are strings attached to Google's pledge. In a letter to FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, Google CEO Eric Schmidt said his company will step out of the auction if the commission doesn't require winning bidders to resell broadband access at wholesale rates.

...and AT&T hits back

[GigaOM] AT&T: 'We would repeat that Google should put up or shut up— they can bid and enter the wireless market with any business model they prefer, then let consumers decide which model they like best.'

Don't like search engines holding onto your data? Just Ask

[AP] Ask.com became the first major search engine to promise users it won't store data on their queries, giving the privacy conscious the option of conducting research on the Internet in relative anonymity. "The number of people this is important to is small," said Doug Leeds, Ask's vice president of product management. "But to these people, it's very important."

Munster: AT&T gives APPL a piece of the action

[TopTechNews] Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster raised his target price for Apple stock to $205 on the basis of research that indicates that Apple is getting a healthy share of revenue from AT&T for every iPhone contract. "While we do not know the exact details of the agreement, we conservatively estimate that AT&T gives Apple $3 per month for every iPhone customer already with AT&T and $11 per month for every new subscriber," Munster wrote in a research note released to clients on Thursday.

NASA Earth

[Mashable] The new NASA layer has astronaut photography of Earth, satellite imagery, and earth city lights. Incorporating photos and images that NASA has been collecting for decades, the astronaut photography of Earth really showcases some great stuff. The satellite imagery has some options for downloading images in order to overlay them on the earth’s surface, offering some manipulation options that weren’t available prior to this collaborative project.

FCC considers unlocked phones in spectrum auction

[Computerworld] FCC is considering the question of unlocking cell phones and creating more cell phone portability as it considers a wide range of rules for an auction of the 700 MHz spectrum band likely to be held next January. With locked phones, the customer is limited to using the carrier and services where the phone is purchased. The iPhone, for example, is a locked phone, because it can only be used through AT&T Inc.'s network.

10% of companies have fired bloggers

[Wired] Nearly ten percent of companies have fired an employee for violating corporate blogging or message board policies, and 19 percent have disciplined an employee for the same infractions, according to a new survey.