In Japan, broadband may not be on the right track; GE ready to sell and buy

> An informal (to say the very least) survey of Japanese commuters revealed that 98 percent would prefer a fast train to a really fast broadband connection. Of course, this shouldn't be an either/or proposition. How about a really fast train with really fast broadband? Now that would be something worthwhile. Story.

> Ever wonder what General Electric (NYSE: GE) is planning to do with all that money it'll get from Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) for its NBC Universal properties? According to some reports it could spend just about all of it on corporate takeovers in the next two to three years. Story.

> Speaking of acquisitions, the dollar figures aren't quite up there with Comcast and GE, but Zoran plans to spend $166 million or so to acquire Microtune, a developer and producer of set-top box silicon tuners for cable, DTV and (guess this fits somehow) automotive entertainment. A news release says that Zoran is "increasing its focus on the STB market as part of its strategy to become a complete provider of solutions for consumer home entertainment."

> Speaking (or writing) of set-tops, Jungo has launched what it describes as an advanced TV set-top box "USB connectivity software solution" that, put simply, connects a standard STB to any home or wireless network via USB. News release.

> Interested parties have until Oct. 4 to submit their comments on the FCC's pole attachment rulemaking proceeding, an extension from the Sept. 13 deadline and an adjustment sought by the electric utilities. Story. (sub. req.)

> Telecom New Zealand, the nation's largest telecommunications provider, is feeling somewhat slighted after being left off a list of three initial investment partners named for prioritized talks on that country's National Broadband Network. As consolation, however, the company did make a list of 14 companies that remain as "important contenders" for future negotiations. Story.

> All you need is a text plan (at extra cost, of course) and you'll be able to check you Comcast accounts and even ask a customer service rep to give you a holler as part of a new COMCAST4U text messaging platform being launched first in the Philadelphia area. News release.

> Apparently they needed a Nielsen study to determine that people don't like 3DTV glasses and consider them a deal breaker when it comes to multidimensional TV. Story.

And finally... Some survey results, are more surprising than others. For instance, Minnesotans were stunned to learn that statistics compiled by Ookla showed Minneapolis and St. Paul to be (respectively) the eighth and first fastest broadband cities in the U.S. Story.

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