phillytechnews bytes 1/31

Sunday Highlights: Inside the FCC's audacious plan to blow up the cable box; Inquirer profiles Universal Display

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Small-Screen Giant (Philadelphia Inquirer)
On Universal Display.

Comcast customer's Raspberry Pi bot tweets when speeds are lousy (Engadget)

Inside the FCC's audacious plan to blow up the cable box (The Verge)

Tech Valuations In 2016: The End Of The Line For Sloppy Growth (TechCrunch)

Philly Tech People News 1/31/16: SevOne adds new CFO; Nutter to teach at Columbia

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SevOne, which the Boston media correctly identifies as Boston-based as Philly Tech News readers first found out, announced this week that it had appointed a new CFO.
Rafe Brown

Rafe Brown, who had previously served as CFO of Pegasystems, a publicly traded Cloud software company, was named to the position. Brown had an earlier stint as a senior vice president of finance for Over the course of his nine years at, Mr. Brown led the treasury and tax functions, real estate, and collections teams. Presumably, his appointment might be seen as another step towards an IPO, or whatever kind of exit or capitalization event SevOne may eventually seek.

CEO Jack Sweeney said in an interview with the Boston Business Journal late last year that the network monitoring company expected to exceed $100 million in revenue for 2015, up from about $65 million in 2014.

The bulk of SevOne's engineering workforce employment remains located in Delaware and Pennsylvania, though top managerial and administrative staff is ensconced in Boston's Prudential Center. SevOne is backed by Bain Capital and other mostly Boston-based investors.

A September round may have valued SevOne at or very close to the $1 billion mark, although the company didn't confirm that.

Chris Satchell's job: Make Comcast products more fun (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Nutter to teach at Columbia (

Frank Quattrone to Step Down as C.E.O. of Qatalyst (New York Times: DealBook)
Controversial South Philly native will be Executive Chairman.

IBM Closes Weather Co. Purchase, Names David Kenny New Head Of Watson Platform

Local lawyer becomes CEO of entertainment company (Philadelphia Business Journal)

TierPoint Appoints Morrison, Morales, Hicks and Markley to Technology and Operations Leadership Positions
(Business Wire)
Bob Hicks, who has been responsible for TierPoint's 6 data centers in Southeastern Pennsylvania, takes on broader geographical responsibilities.

USA Technologies Announces Appointment of Interim CFO (Business Wire)

Michael Connor Joins Alpha Card Services as VP of Finance (Business Wire)

Phillies snag new hire from Google (Philadelphia Business Journal)

SAP UK and Ireland shuffles management cards
(The Register)

Google's long-term plans to disrupt / destroy the cable industry

Tom Paine

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Two pieces of news out concerning Google could threaten to completely decompose the cable industry as we know it, although these things either take a long time to develop or frequently never come to fruition.

The first is Project SkyBender , in which Google is (secretly?) testing the use of solar-powered drones to provide high-speed internet service to the public on the ground. This approach offers theoretical data speeds 40 times faster than today's 4G LTE signals. Though there are challenges to this, as the website Phone Arena points out.

Google recently entered the wireless market with Project Fi , which resells wireless
carriers' capacity as an MVNO while using WiFi when available (an approach Comcast is also working on).

According to Phone Arena, Project SkyBender is being developed by the same Google Access team that is working on a way to deliver wireless internet using high-altitude balloons.

Less is known about the second initiative. But according to Broadcasting & Cable, invites were sent out for a demo scheduled Friday at Google's DC offices, of a video access solution (the function served by the set-top box) potentially bringing to an end the "era of being forced to rent a box from your cable company," according to Google.