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    When it comes to Pandora , it always comes down to one of three things, at least for investors. At times there might be a slowdown in advertising revenue or a decline in total listeners. "People are always concerned about all three, and at any single moment there's always one that's not aligning," Amy Yong, media analyst at Macquarie, said in a phone interview.

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    * Main competitor already launched TV service. * Shares down 3.3 percent. * Q1 net profit 25 mln shekels vs 20 mln forecast. Mobile phone group Partner Communications (PTNR), may branch out into television services this year to provide a new source of revenue after "relentless" competition in mobile phones contributed to a 52 percent drop in first-quarter profit.

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    China will spend more than $182 billion to boost Internet speeds by the end of 2017, a top government body said, as Beijing moves towards a more service-driven economy to boost growth. The State Council said the government will invest more than 430 billion yuan this year on network construction, with at least another 700 billion yuan spent over the following two years.

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    Cable tycoon John Malone's plans to consolidate the fragmented U.S. industry could run into competition from an unlikely player: telecommunications group Altice SA. The company controlled by French cable investor Patrick Drahi is in advanced talks to acquire U.S. cable operator Suddenlink Communications in a deal that would be valued at $8 billion to $10 billion including debt and could be announced as soon as this week, according to a person familiar with the matter.

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    - French telecommunications group Altice SA has held talks to buy Time Warner Cable Inc (TWC) , and is close to buying smaller peer Suddenlink, moving into the U.S cable market, according to people familiar with the matter. The negotiations with Suddenlink are more advanced and a transaction could be announced later this week, the people said.

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    French telecom group Altice SA is looking at acquiring Time Warner Cable Inc (TWC) and has held talks with the U.S.-based company about a potential deal, according to a source familiar with the matter. Since its merger with Comcast fell apart last month, Time Warner Cable has also being circled by small rival Charter Communications.

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    French telecommunications group Altice SA is in advanced talks to buy U.S.-based Suddenlink Communications in a deal that could value the cable operator at up to $10 billion, including debt, according to two sources familiar with the matter. The deal, which could be announced in the coming days, has not yet been finalised and could still fall apart.

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    A federal judge said on Tuesday he would not approve a proposed $50 million settlement between the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Sprint Corp (S) over claims the mobile carrier added unauthorized charges to phone bills unless the two sides provide additional details about its fairness.

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    Nomophobia.That's what researchers have been calling that anxious feeling you get when you misplace your cellphone or your phone battery dies. And nomophobia — short for "no mobile phone phobia" — now has a 20-item test so that the frantic WebMDers among us can self-diagnose.Coming from a pair of researchers at Iowa State University, the quiz asks people to respond to statements such as "If I were to run out of credits or hit my monthly data limit, I would panic" and "If I could not check my smartphone for a while, I would feel a desire to check it."After trying out their questionnaire on roughly 300 undergrads, the researchers concluded that they had a reliable indicator for signs of nomophobia. "Four dimensions of nomophobia were identified: not being able to communicate, losing connectedness, not being able to access information and giving up convenience," the report reads.[The rise of the modern smartphone addict, in three charts]What makes nomophobia such a compelling concept is that it sometimes seems as though most of us suffer from it. America is so hardwired to mobile devices that navigating society without one can be a serious challenge. When was the last time you picked up a physical map?We know that too much constant exposure to our devices can disrupt our sleep and influence how we drive. Maybe that means all the research on nomophobia is on to something. For many people, that could be scary (society has a real problem!) or validating (if I have it, at least it's a recognized phenomenon!).But maybe the greatest risk of all may lie in deciding that nomophobia represents an actual medical condition. In fact, critics say, all the research on nomophobia obscures what's ultimately a natural and recurring process: The age-old struggle all societies have had in adapting to new technologies.We've seen this pattern play out before, according to Robert Weiss, a sex addiction specialist and co-author of the book "Closer Together, Further Apart: The Effect of Technology and the Internet on Parenting, Work and Relationships." When unfamiliar technologies take off, people inevitably ask questions about dependency. These questions are natural and legitimate, but real, clinical addictions — to things such as gambling and sex — only affect about 10 percent to 12 percent of the population, said Weiss. And that figure has remained roughly level both before and after the Internet came along."It's insulting to the people who have true addictions and true phobias who need profound help that just because they miss something they're dependent on, that they're then phobic," Weiss said.So, is smartphone "addiction" really what it sounds like? According to the National Institutes of Health, substance addiction is associated with a steep increase in usage and attempts to seek out the substance. Also, "important social, occupational, or recreational activities are given up or reduced because of use of the substance."Perhaps you think this sounds like you. But then take a look at the NIH's definition for physical dependence, which is distinct from addiction:Physical dependence is not equivalent to dependence or addiction, and may occur with the regular (daily or almost daily) use of any substance, legal or illegal, even when taken as prescribed. It occurs because the body naturally adapts to regular exposure to a substance (e.g., caffeine or a prescription drug). When that substance is taken away, symptoms can emerge while the body re-adjusts to the loss of the substance. Physical dependence can lead to craving the drug to relieve the withdrawal symptoms. Drug dependence and addiction refer to substance use disorders, which may include physical dependence but must also meet additional criteria.Our habitual reliance on Facebook (FB) and Google Maps might seem like an addiction. And in casual conversation, the word makes total sense — in the same way that we're "hooked" on "Game of Thrones" or "House of Cards." But it's a step further to posit nomophobia as a disorder.Read more:How long can you go without your phone? Well, what if it’s for a good cause?Nearly half of NYC walkers ignoring ‘Don’t Walk’ signals were distracted, study findsThe revolution will be digitized: Wearable gadgets portend vast health, research and privacy consequences




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    MasterCard (MA)  stock has outpaced rival Visa  this year, but its current valuation makes it riskier for new investors. MasterCard's (MA) price of $93.70 is about 28 times higher than per-share earnings last year. "The company will grow, but I prefer recommending the stock when it's not at the high end of its price range," said Wedbush Securities analyst Gil Luria.

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    There are two stories people are trying to tell right now about the future of the Internet.One is that we need some basic rules to make sure the Web remains open and free so that companies that depend on the Internet can grow. The other is that strict rules will discourage Internet providers from making the investments that will enhance the network for everybody.Whichever narrative wins out will go a long way toward determining what your online experience will look like in the years to come. Although the Federal Communications Commission approved a historic set of net neutrality regulations in February, Internet providers are trying to overturn those rules in court. And if they can convince judges that the rules will cause irreparable damage to their business, the Internet providers will get a major leg up on the FCC.[Internet providers are opening a new front in the net neutrality fight]To bolster that case, some economists are turning to historical data about what the industry spent on infrastructure over the last couple decades. The result is a game of correlation, with one side trying to prove that regulation had little effect on investment and the other side trying to prove that it did.If you boil it down, it's a disagreement over the Internet's basic origin story. And both sides are essentially accusing each other of historical revisionism.To understand why, let's dive into some of the data. A new paper by Progressive Policy Institute economist Hal Singer says the FCC and its defenders have cherry-picked some of the statistics on infrastructure spending in response to the industry's anti-regulatory critique. Consumer advocacy groups have said that when the early Internet was more heavily regulated (because it was an outgrowth of the heavily regulated telephone system at the time), telecom companies spent 55 percent more per year on average than when regulators relaxed their oversight in the mid-2000s.Singer argues that's a stretch. Using data provided by USTelecom, an industry association, he noted that much of the capital expenditure among DSL providers took place during just two years: 1999 and 2000.Why was the spending so high in those years? It had to do with the dot-com bubble more than anything else, according to Singer, so the FCC can't rely on those data points to make its case. In fact, he argued, when the FCC later decided in the mid-2000s to regulate Internet providers more lightly, investment saw another boom. The implication? With Internet pipes now freed from the shackles of traditional telephone regulation, telecom providers decided to pour more money into upgrades.Compared to the spike we saw at the turn of the decade, the more recent jump in capital expenditure is much more closely related to regulation, Singer said. "If you go back 20 years," as opposed to 10, "you're going to include a whole bunch of data that's driven by lots of things unrelated to the change in [regulatory] regime," he said.Singer also noted that the lightly regulated cable industry's spending soared between 1996 and the mid-2000s, right during the years when telecom companies' Internet offerings were being more heavily regulated. During this period, the FCC policed DSL (the big connection technology of the time) using Title II of the Communications Act, which was written to govern phone services and as of February has now been applied to all Internet providers, including cable companies and wireless carriers."The growth rate of cable capex was double that of Title II-regulated telcos over this period (7.5 percent versus 3.2 percent)," Singer writes. "This is hardly consistent with the FCC’s claim that Title II was good for telco investment."Consumer groups say that Singer's own interpretation of economic history is flawed. What the record actually shows, they argue, is that the use of Title II in the past never prevented Internet providers from investing in their networks (which is what this debate is all about).The 1990s were some of the most heavily regulated years for Internet providers. At the time, cable hadn't developed into a big Internet technology, so we're talking mostly about providers of DSL, which were phone companies. During that period, the FCC ruled not only that DSL would be regulated under Title II, but that those companies had to lend their networks to other providers, too.During this period, DSL providers' investment saw a huge jump, one that we didn't see again even after the FCC relaxed its regulations in the mid-2000s.It may not have been as big as the investment that the cable industry made, but that's also because cable was starting from a lower baseline, consumer groups say. When telcos ramped up their spending, cable had little existing Internet service to offer, which led the industry to make substantial investments to catch up."We're not trying to say Title II caused the investment — in fact, we're saying the regulatory regime is not the decisive factor," said Matt Wood, policy director of the advocacy organization Free Press. "The decisive factor is demand for the service," which really exploded during, yes, the dot-com boom.It's arbitrary to claim on the one hand that regulation didn't matter to investment during the dot-com boom but that it mattered a great deal in the years after, said Harold Feld, senior vice president of the advocacy organization Public Knowledge. "The more natural explanation is that the regulatory framework was irrelevant to investment" no matter which time period you're looking at, said Feld.More relevant, consumer advocates say, are factors such as Google Fiber, which have forced Internet providers to step up their rollouts of next-generation infrastructure. AT&T (T) and Comcast (CMCSA) have both announced substantial expansions in their Internet capacity over the past year, including a new service from Comcast (CMCSA) that will enable customers to surf the Web at 200 times the current national average speed.If this debate reveals anything, it's the extent to which the Internet's early history can be massaged and coaxed to reflect differing points of view. One view is that network investment can thrive even amid aggressive regulatory oversight (see the 1990s). Another view is that relaxing regulation is linked with increases in network investment (see the mid-2000s).How aggressively we regulate Internet providers will be shaped by this ideological battle. As more of our media and communications move to the Web, expect these themes to come up again and again.




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    French telecommunications group Altice SA is in talks to buy U.S.-based Suddenlink Communications in a deal that could value the cable operator at $8 billion-$10 billion, including debt, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter. The deal, which could be announced as soon as this week, may fall apart before an agreement is reached, the WSJ said.

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    Technology consulting services provider Computer Sciences Corp (CSC) said it would split into two public companies - one to serve commercial and government clients globally and one to serve U.S. public sector clients. The company also declared a special cash dividend of $10.50 per share as part of the deal.