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Telecom Daily

Welcome to Faulkner's Telecom Daily. We publish Monday through Friday, updating top stories as events warrant.

Thursday, May 24...

Comcast Confirms it is Preparing Counter Offer for Twenty-First Century Fox
Comcast has confirmed simmering rumors that it was considering its own bid for Twenty-First Century Fox in a new press release. According to the company's official confirmation, it is "in advanced stages of preparing, an offer for the businesses that Fox has agreed to sell to Disney (which do not include the Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, Fox Broadcasting Company and certain other assets)." Comcast did not disclose any details of its proposal, but did say that any competing offer it makes will be "all-cash and at a premium to the value of the current all-share offer from Disney." It further promised that any post-transaction structure, including the disposition or spinning-off of "New Fox," would be "at least as favorable to Fox shareholders as the Disney offer." Although long-expected, this news may not sit well with some members of the public that were looking forward to a combined Disney/Fox entity once again unifying the complete movie rights of the Marvel Comics Cinematic universe, which are currently divided between the two companies. Disney has yet to respond to the news with a counter offer or any other reaction.

Avast: Hundreds of Android Phone Models Shipping with Pre-Installed Malware
Security company Avast has published a new report which claims that hundreds of models of Android-based smartphones are being shipped to consumers with malware pre-installed on them. According to the company's research, these infected devices were manufactured by ZTE, Archos and myPhone, and were primarily low-cost models that had not been certified in any way by Google. Making matters worse is the fact that the malicious software on these devices is installed at a firmware level, making it extremely difficult to remove. Avast noted that the countries most impacted by the aforementioned devices are Russia, Italy, Germany, the UK and France. The company noted that it has informed Google of its findings, and was told that the OS maker is taking "steps to mitigate the malicious capabilities of many app variants on several device models, using internally developed techniques."

Google Begins Rolling Out AI Camera Updates Previewed at I/O 2018
Google has reportedly begun rolling out the new features of its Google Lens AI-enabled camera software that it debuted at its recent Google I/O Conference. Android-centric blog 9to5Google is reporting that smart text selection, style match, and real-time results have all begun appearing on the devices of users eligible for the upgrade. Smart text selection is a new way for users to quickly turn any photographed text into selectable text which can be copied and pasted in other parts of the Android OS. Meanwhile, style match allows users to point their smartphone cameras at an object and tap it within the viewfinder to open a shopping page with access to similar items for sale. Finally, real-time results make it possible to use both of the aforementioned functions on the camera's live view, rather than actually having to store the captured image for processing. So far, 9to5Google has only confirmed that the needed update is available for the OnePlus 6 smartphone, but others are expected to follow in short order.

... Michael Gariffo, Faulkner Information Services

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