April 22, 2016 |
Comcast customers annoyed at monthly charges for cable-box rentals may have gotten some good news from an unexpected source Wednesday: Comcast itself. Later this year, Comcast's Xfinity TV programming will be directly tunable on Roku streaming devices (selling for less than $100), as well as Roku software-enabled television sets and 2016 model Samsung Smart TVs, the company said. And that's just the start, suggested Comcast senior vice president Mark Hess. The Xfinity TV Partner Program will "expand the range of retail devices our customers can use to access TV cable service without the need to lease a set-top box," he said.
February 28, 2016 |
Washington, D.C., utility regulators on Friday rejected Exelon Corp.'s $6.8 billion bid to take over Pepco Holdings Inc., but they proposed an alternative plan to combine the companies and gave the parties 14 days to approve. The District of Columbia's Public Service Commission voted, 2-1, to reject a settlement that was approved by the two companies and the city's mayor. In August, the commission voted down the merger plan, and Exelon responded by boosting its financial commitment to District ratepayers from $14 million to $78 million.
February 25, 2016 |
New Jersey gambling regulators on Tuesday published temporary rules for skill-based gaming in Atlantic City casinos. The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement defined the genre as any "approved casino game where game outcome is dependent in whole or in part upon the player's physical dexterity and/or mental ability. " Think Angry Birds, X-Box type games, or even old-time Asteroids, a casino executive said last year. Blowing up more asteroids than others would give the player a better chance of winning a jackpot, for example.
February 21, 2016
Innovation, Privatization, and the Birth of a New Network By Shane Greenstein Princeton University Press. 474 pp. $35. Reviewed by Glenn C. Altschuler In 1994, Charles Ferguson, a founder of Vermeer, a company aspiring to develop software tools and Internet applications for the newly emerging World Wide Web, had a difficult time attracting investors. In about a year, however, Vermeer auctioned itself off in a bidding war between Microsoft and Netscape, making Ferguson - and the company's investors - immensely wealthy.
February 19, 2016 |
California's Division of Occupational Safety and Health was scheduled to vote on new regulations affecting the porn industry following a hearing last night in Oakland. The issue of course is safer sex, but porn industry officials say the proposed restrictions go too far and could result in actors having to wear not only condoms but also dental dams when engaging in oral sex and safety goggles when engaging in . . . ? Huh? When the sex is explosive it can cause retinal damage or when the sex is performed near a power saw?
February 14, 2016 |
GlaxoSmithKline, with major U.S. operations in the Philadelphia area, was fined $54.5 million, or 37.6 million pounds, Friday by a British competition authority for allegedly preventing less-expensive generic versions of its anti-depressant drug Seroxat from entering the market. GlaxoSmithKline has commercial operations primarily for vaccines and pharmaceuticals at the Navy Yard in South Philadelphia, and research and development sites in Upper Merion and Upper Providence, Montgomery County.
February 8, 2016
The source of this information is IHS Global Insight, and it's reliable enough for me to repeat it here: Sales of previously owned homes fell in November, but the reason was not weakness in the housing market. Rather, it was the advent of regulations designed to protect the borrower in home-purchase transactions. As I have reported several times, November was the first month that sales agreements were closed under the new Truth in Lending Act and Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act integrated-disclosure rules.
January 30, 2016 |
After outrage from First Amendment advocates, the music community, and what seemed like half of Twitter users, Councilman Mark Squilla said he would dial back a bill to revamp the city's music venue licensing rules. The bill, as drafted, would require venue operators to provide names and addresses of performers to the police at their request. The police would have final say on which venues get special assembly occupancy licenses - which are required to host shows attended by more than 50 people, according to the bill.
December 28, 2015 |
Over the last weeks, we have learned that major companies that make products we trust, like Volkswagen's diesel engines and Takata's air bags, have devised ways to rig test results so they look cleaner and safer than they really are. Yet far more widespread manipulation of test results is being done by pharmaceutical companies to get drugs approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that turn out not to be as safe as promised. In the pharmaceutical industry, virtually every company has been rigging tests for years to make the drugs we take look safer than they really are. Some of the techniques for rigging clinical trials are described in a recent assessment published by BMJ (formerly known as the British Medical Journal)
December 24, 2015
I WRITE to set the record straight on comments made by the Taxi Workers Alliance of Pennsylvania regarding Senate Bill 984, my bill authorizing Transportation Network Companies such as Uber and Lyft to operate statewide. The Senate's recent bipartisan passage of my bill does not reward illicit behavior. To the contrary, SB 984 is intended to ensure TNCs are held to the same or a higher standard above that which is currently required of the traditional taxi cab industry under the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.