Weekend tech reading: Concerns over Comcast-TWC merger, good time for XP users to go Linux?

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comcast, linux, windows xp, time warner cable, twc

The Comcast merger isn't about lines on a map; it's about controlling the delivery of information Comcast and proposed merger partner Time Warner Cable claim they don't compete because their service areas don't overlap, and that a combined company would happily divest itself of a few million customers to keeps its pay-TV market share below 30%, allowing other companies that don't currently compete with Comcast to keep not competing with Comcast. This narrow, shortsighted view fails to take into account the full breadth of what's involved in this merger... Consumerist

Behind the scenes with Intel's SSD division In early March, Intel gathered industry analysts and members of the tech press in Folsom, California to talk SSDs. The city is home base for Intel's Non-Volatile Memory Solutions Group, otherwise known as NSG, which is responsible for the development and testing of Intel solid-state drives. The NSG had a story to tell about how its design and validation work produces extremely reliable SSDs. We got hard numbers on failure rates, details about efforts to make SSDs more dependable, and a peek behind the scenes at the Folsom facility. The Tech Report (also, securely erase your SSD via MakeUseOf)

One big reason we lack Internet competition: Starting an ISP is really hard There are probably many reasons that US households have so few choices for Internet service, but not least among them is the fact that starting a new ISP is really difficult, and expensive to boot. Millions of Americans would gladly switch from their DSL or cable Internet service to fiber, which in many cities delivers speeds of 1Gbps. That's 250 times faster than the 4Mbps download bandwidth that qualifies as "broadband" under the Federal Communications Commission definition. Ars Technica

Google, once disdainful of lobbying, now a master of Washington influence In May 2012, the law school at George Mason University hosted a forum billed as a "vibrant discussion" about Internet search competition. Many of the major players in the field were there -- regulators from the Federal Trade Commission, federal and state prosecutors, top congressional staffers. What the guests had not been told was that the day-long academic conference was in large part the work of Google, which maneuvered behind the scenes with GMU’s Law & Economics Center to put on the event. The Washington Post

Font war: inside the design world's $20 million divorce Gotham is one hell of a typeface. Its Os are round, its capital letters sturdy and square, and it has the simplicity of a geometric sans without feeling clinical. The inspiration for Gotham is the lettering on signs at the Port Authority, manly works using "the type of letter that an engineer would make," according to Tobias Frere-Jones, who is widely credited with designing the font for GQ magazine in 2000. Critics have praised Gotham as blue collar, nostalgic yet "exquisitely contemporary," and "simply self evident." Bloomberg

With the death of Windows XP, now is the perfect time to switch to Linux If you're one of the few hundred million people that are still using Windows XP, I have a suggestion for you: It's time to switch to make the switch to Linux. With the official retirement of Windows XP, the release of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, and surprisingly healthy software and gaming ecosystems (yay, Steam!), there has never been a better time to switch to Linux. ExtremeTech (also, the GNOME Foundation is running short on money via Phoronix)

Obama lets N.S.A. exploit some Internet flaws, officials say Stepping into a heated debate within the nation’s intelligence agencies, President Obama has decided that when the National Security Agency discovers major flaws in Internet security, it should -- in most circumstances -- reveal them to assure that they will be fixed, rather than keep mum so that the flaws can be used in espionage or cyberattacks, senior administration officials said Saturday. The NY Times

The ten commandments of video game menus A good video game menu is like a good roadie: It stays out of the way. But still, far too many menus waste far too much of our time. People want to play games, not mess around in menus! We've gone up to the top of Video Game Mountain in search of answers, and have come down with ten rules all video game menus should obey. Ten "commandments," if you will. Kotaku

Corsair's system building and tuning competition PC Domination isn't a single contest, but more than ten separate challenges for system builders and tuners. It doesn't matter if you have a high-end or mid-range system. There's a contest for everyone to participate in! Get your submissions in as the contest ends May 5th, 2014! Corsair

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