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In Brief

Hey, Ma Bell! Your peering policies are so lame, your fiber network is slower than DSL! That’s essentially the insult that Netflix is flinging at AT&T in a shareholder letter accompanying the streaming video service’s first quarter financials. The gist of the accusation is that by refusing to sign an interconnection deal with Netflix, AT&T’s customers are getting a streaming experience that sucks. It’s the same tactic Netflix employed with Comcast, putting the customer in the middle of an esoteric fight about internet interconnection agreements. Absent FCC intervention, we’ll see if the Netflix strategy works a second time around.

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In Brief

Home builders are getting hip to the smart home, with Lennar signing a deal to put Savant’s smart home control software in one of its developments and KB Homes apparently installing an energy management system that will lay the groundwork for later home control upgrades in all new homes it builds. An article in the Silicon Valley Business Journal has an interview with a KB Homes VP about how the homebuilder has so far implemented technology into its homes, and the user reaction. I wish there was indication on how open KB’s systems are, but it’s still worth a read.

In Brief

U.S. Sen. Al Franken has written to Netflix asking its opinion on Comcast’s efforts to buy Time Warner Cable, implying that Netflix is a good indicator of the potential consumer and content harms of the deal. In his letter, Franken touches on peering challenge, noting that Comcast implied that it was no big thing in its hearing before the Senate Judiciary committee. Since Netflix wasn’t at the hearing, perhaps Sen. Franken just wants to get Netflix’s comments on the record. And while, we aren’t Netflix, if Sen. Franken is interested, here’s how we think regulators should view the deal.

In Brief

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Woohoo! SmartThings has added support for TCP Lighting, Quirky Pivot Power Genius, and my personal favorite, the ecobee thermostat. This will allow people who currently use apps to control these devices to control them through the SmartThings app, cutting down the number of places you have to go to control your home and giving users a way to set automation plans that incorporate the newly supported gadgets. I’m excited because I’ll now be able to program an away mode that will lower my thermostats, cut my lights off, lock my doors and shut my blinds.

In Brief

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The conditional rule setting service, If This Then That (IFTTT) is on a roll with some new channels for internet of things lovers. The site has new options for the connected Quirky products that use the Wink app. So now your connected egg tray, piggy bank, A/C unit or even your power supply can tie into your email or other web services. I haven’t shelled out (heehee) for the Egg minder yet, but if I did I’d set up a recipe connecting it to Evernote so when I’m close to empty I could add eggs to my grocery list.

In Brief

Like many of its chipmaking competitors, Texas Instruments is really stoked about the promise of connected devices. It all boils down to more chips sold. So TI has built out a partner program for the internet of things to help manufacturers link together devices and services from different companies. Participants in TI’s ecosystem include 2lemetry, ARM, Arrayent, Exosite, IBM, LogMeIn (Xively), Spark, and Thingsquare. Basically if a company buys TI chips they’ll work with software, hardware or cloud offerings from the above vendors.

On The Web

“[The internet of things] is not necessarily about the Internet, or connectivity. Instead, it’s about recognizing that you can’t replace everything in your life with a mobile app, and embracing that dedicated physical objects and interfaces are usually better tools than touch screens. Everything has a brain, now, and everything is speaking relatively understandable languages.” Some great thoughts here. Go read it.

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