Wheeler: Inside Track for FCC Boss?

President Barack Obama is expected to soon nominate a former top lobbyist for the cable and wireless industries to lead the Federal Communications Commission, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Tom Wheeler, a venture capitalist and longtime industry operative, will be tapped to lead the agency that governs the nation’s scarce wireless airwaves and regulates telephone networks and indecency on television.

From 1976 to 1984, Mr. Wheeler was associated with the National Cable Television Association (NCTA), where he was president from 1979 to 1984.

As the former CEO of the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association, Wheeler is credited with evolving CTIA into the multi-million dollar trade organization.

According to the WSJ, President Obama is expected to make the announcement as soon as Wednesday, an industry official and a person familiar with Mr. Wheeler’s situation said.

Wavii in Gravey (with Google)

Wavii confirmed today that it’s being sold to Google, a deal that was first reported Wednesday by TechCrunch. That report said Google paid more than $30 million and Wavii’s 25-person team will relocate to the San Francisco area.

Wavii’s service, according to CrunchBase, uses natural language processing to generate status updates on news topics. The service reads articles and blogs across the web, de-duplicates each story, and figures out what’s happening with these topics.

With the Google purchase, Wavii will stop operating, but the technology will surface in Google products reaching a wider audience, according to Wavii founder Adrian Aount.

WildPackets Moves to 802.11ac

WildPackets, a leading provider of network and application performance analysis solutions, today announced a wireless network analysis solution to operate on the most current 802.11 standards, including 802.11ac.

Wildpackets says its Omni Distributed Analysis Platform 7.5, a packet analyzer, is the first to add support for 802.11ac access points. 802.11ac provides high-throughput WiFi on the 5 GHz band. It is the first WLAN specification to break the gigabit barrier.

WildPackets is working with a broad group of WLAN equipment vendors, including Aerohive, Ruckus and Ubiquiti,to ensure that WLAN traffic can be reliably captured for detailed analysis.

“802.11ac is the most complex wireless standard to date, so the need for a solution that can monitor, analyze and troubleshoot equipment and networks is imperative,” said Tim McCreery, President and CEO of WildPackets. “Our new product ensures that problems like incompatibilities with legacy WLAN technology, oversubscription, and poorly configured devices can quickly and effectively be addressed.”

In addition to 802.11ac support, Omni Distributed Analysis Platform 7.5 provides enterprises detailed information on WLAN roaming, voice over Wi-Fi (VoFi), and application performance over wireless networks, reducing problem identification from days to hours or even minutes.

In related news, Cisco is rolling out today the 802.11ac Wave 1 Module for the 3600 Series AP, which will give businesses that have the AP the option to migrate to 802.11ac wireless standard without having to invest in an entirely new appliance.

In addition, Cisco also announced plans to develop an 802.11ac Wave 2 module for the Aironet 3600 Series AP. The Wave 2 module will offer faster speeds—up to 6.9G bps—as well as MU-MIMO (multi-user multiple input multiple output) capabilities that will enable the AP to transmit to multiple clients at the same time.

Jawbone Buys BodyMedia

Jawbone is acquiring BodyMedia to further its leadership in wearable health technology. Jawbone has a line of Bluetooth mobile phone headsets while their $130 Jawbone Up wristband tracks activity levels and sleep patterns.

The devices work with a compatible mobile app for Android and iOS. Jawbone can log food consumption — but it lacks some of the high-tech sensors that BodyMedia’s products have.

“Together, BodyMedia and Jawbone have nearly 300 issued and pending patents around wearable technology. We look forward to pushing new boundaries,” said Hosain Rahman, Jawbone CEO and founder.

BodyMedia says they are the only platform of its kind that is registered with the FDA as a Class II medical device and that is clinically proven to enhance users’ weight loss.

According to All Things Digital, the deal is valued at $100 million. Neither Jawbone nor BodyMedia disclosed the acquisition price.

Jawbone also announced Tuesday that it has updated its iOS application for the Up bracelet, allowing users to integrate the information it collects with 10 fitness-related applications, including LoseIt, MyFitnessPal, and Notch. The platform enables other services to connect directly with UP’s braclet.

The Nike+ Accelerator hosts 10 companies in a three-month, immersive, mentor-driven startup accelerator. The focus is to allow companies to leverage the Nike+ platform, and NikeFuel, to build offerings that inspire and assist people to live more active, healthy lifestyles.

The Nike+ FuelBand is in direct competition with Jawbone UP ($130), Basis Watch ($200), and the Fitbit Flex ($99). The FuelBand is also being compared to other fitness trackers that are not wrist based, including the rest of the Fitbit Tracker family.

The Nike+ Accelerator (FAQ) is powered by TechStars which provides seed funding from over 75 top venture capital firms and angel investors.

Hundreds of companies applied to participate in Nike+ Accelerator and thousands of requests were received to build on the Nike+ ecosystem. The 10 companies selected to participate in the Nike+ Accelerator program are:

  • FitDeck: Digital decks of exercise playing cards that deliver ever-changing workouts for fitness and sports.
  • GoRecess: Helps users find, book and review fitness activities.
  • Chroma Games: An indie game studio that creates virtual worlds tied to real-world activity.
  • CoachBase: Provides a digital sports coaching platform.
  • GoFitCause: Leverages fitness data as a means of raising money for charities.
  • HighFive: Ad network for health and fitness apps that helps people achieve their goals by rewarding them along their journey.
  • Sprout At Work: Provider of corporate wellness solutions leveraging social and gamification tools to inspire employees and empower employers.
  • GeoPalz: An interactive gaming and rewards platform for kids and families.
  • Incomparable Things: Creates activity-driven fantasy sports leagues.
  • RecBob: Offers a platform that makes recreational sports easy by organizing play.

There were dozens of health and fitness watches and devices announced at CES 2013 this January.

In it’s new report, IC Insights says Bluetooth unit shipments will grow 29% per year over the 2010-2015 time period.

Juniper Research predicts by the year 2014, there will be a total of 2.7 million annual mobile health monitoring events globally, generating some $1.9 billion at the end of 2014.

The mHealth field has emerged as a sub-segment of eHealth, using computers, mobile phones, patient monitors, etc., for health services and information.

Related Dailywireless articles include; FCC Okays Medical Body Networks, Wireless Health Initiatives, Medical Devices Mobilize, Apps Enter the Twilight Zone, Mobile Health: Fast Growth , Open Source Tricorder, Mobile Health: Alive and Well, Bluetooth LE: Running for Certification, Real-time Running and Biking Apps, Bluetooth Bike and Fitness Sensors Get Smart , Polar Ships Bluetooth 4 Heart Monitor, HTC One S: Android 4 & Bluetooth Low Energy and FCC Okays Medical Body Networks, Wireless Control Expands Reach, Texting Clogs Cycling GPS Trackers at Olympics, Wireless Health Initiatives, Medical Devices Mobilize, Apps Enter the Twilight Zone, Mobile Health: Fast Growth , Open Source Tricorder and Mobile Health: Alive and Well.

Softbank CEO: No Need to Raise Sprint Offer

SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son said at a press conference in Tokyo (pdf presentation), that Softbank does not see a need to raise its $20 million offer, and it is a better option than Dish’s $25 million offer.

Son said that when Sprint shareholders consider regulatory delays, breakup fees, transaction costs and synergy effects, SoftBank’s offer would end up worth 21 percent more than Dish’s. Son calculated the value of his offer at $7.65 per share vs. a $6.31 per share offer from Dish.

Son said the Dish bid is “misleading,” and that their numbers are not only “totally wrong,” but also “incomplete and illusory.”

Comparing the figures in the conference, Son says that Dish’s offer is not $7 a share, but actually $6.31, while Softbank offers a “superior” bid at $7.65 a share, providing a 21 percent premium.

In addition, the SoftBank CEO said that Dish has “no understanding whatsoever about the real situation of Sprint,” and while SoftBank has a “proven track record” in growth, Dish has no expertise in mobile networks and a history full of uncommitted financing and litigation.

Meanwhile, Intel Chief Executive Paul Otellini has sent a letter to the FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, stating that SoftBank Chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son’s “vision to build a high-speed, competitive third national network is very compelling,” and “we need this competition in the wireless space as the ATT/Verizon model is not giving that to consumers at this time.”

Intel’s existing business relationship with SoftBank could have something to do with their position, of course.

John Paulson, whose hedge fund is Sprint’s fourth-largest shareholder, has said that Dish’s bid was compelling and offered more value to shareholders.

June 12 is the tentative date for a meeting for Sprint shareholders to vote on its deal with SoftBank.

Can eBooks Compete with Apps?

Laura Hazard Owen in Paid Content says she started keeping a diary 15 years ago, before Twitter and Facebook.

In a digital era, personal journal-keeping has changed — but those who privately chronicle their lives still find the practice useful.

On July 8, 1997, a few days after my thirteenth birthday, I sat down at the big old desktop PC in my family’s basement, opened a new Word document and started my first diary. 15 years later, I am still writing in the diary I began back in 1997…

That article was notable for me because my 95 year-old mother and I teamed up on a project called 95 Years in 95 Pages, where she summarized each year of her life in a few paragraphs.

I used WordPress.com rather than Facebook’s Timeline and SoundCloud to record her comments.

It was a lot of fun for both of us.

In May, the IDPF Digital Book Conference will likely be abuzz with new ePub3 tools. Epub-3 can embed audio and video, among other things.

Perhaps ePub3, utilizing HTML-5, CSS and Javascript, will enable app-like resources that can be easily built and downloaded. Could ePub3 compete with Apps?

DIY apps builders allow almost anyone to build simple apps by adding text, images and other features into a ready-made template. I’ve been told that PhoneGap is the way to go since it can use my plain vanilla HTML-5 and CSS skills, but can detect your location with GPS and can utilize a camera for reading QR codes.

Webapps or epubs can’t do that.

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A GPS driven virtual tour might detect your location and automatically trigger page loads and narration. Choose different themes (Entertainment, Green, Business, People, Weird, or Random), and it would play automatically. Alternatively, an ePub-3 download might include sound and video without requiring a constant broadband connection.