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Data Sheet—Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Good morning, Data Sheet readers. It’s official: Sprint now has fewer wireless subscribers than T-Mobile. Plus, a little-known federal agency could hold enormous sway over digital business strategies. This newsletter is officially one year old this week. Celebrate its birthday. Encourage a colleague to subscribe. Have a productive Tuesday!


Sprint cedes Top 3 spot to T-Mobile. The wireless carrier managed to add 675,000 subscribers during its most recent quarter, but that wasn’t enough to hold onto its share position. Its total is now slightly less than 57 million, compared with the 58.9 million boasted last week by rival T-Mobile. On a more positive note, Sprint increased its revenue guidance for the year. Plus, it just named a new CFO and several other senior technology executives to focus on its turnaround. Watch for more analysis at after this morning’s analyst call.







Is EMC contemplating a VMware “spin-in”? Instead of selling off its stake as activist investor Elliott Management wants, the company could just buy the rest of the virtualization software company. The idea, floated by Re/code, makes sense in light of CEO Joe Tucci’s comments last month suggesting a closer alignment could save $1 billion.

Buy wireless service directly from Apple? It’s not as strange as it sounds.

The high price of fashion. Yahoo paid approximately $230 million to buy social commerce company Polyvore, a relatively large transaction for CEO Marissa Mayer, reports Bloomberg.

Twitter’s slide continues. Its stock closed under $30 on Monday, the lowest level in more than a year.

Some Uber drivers didn’t understand the job description. At least a half-dozen of the 400 hand-selected individuals taking its side in a class-action lawsuit have second thoughts about testifying, reports Re/code.

Facebook wants to broadcast live events. Its first big test involved the Lollapalooza music festival. Meanwhile, it needs to spend more time clarifying its digital copyright policies, after a flood of unofficial Ronda Rousey fight videos slipped into newsfeeds.


Agency’s power grab for digital goods goes to court, tech industry on edge

If a little known agency prevails in court next week, its judges could soon wield sweeping power over a wide range of internet activity and digital commerce. That’s why the tech, publishing and entertainment industries are all weighing in on what could be the sleeper tech case of the year.

The case in question, which will be heard next week by the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, is about dental devices but its real significance is in determining the International Trade Commission’s control over the digital economy.

The ITC, which is obscure even by the standards of federal agencies, has the nominal job of promoting U.S. trade interests, in part by preventing knock-off goods from landing on American shores. But in recent years, this mission has led the ITC to wade into complicated patent law issues with controversial results. In 2013, for instance, the ITC earned a brief moment of notoriety when it issued an import ban on Apple’s iPhone, which resulted in a presidential veto and a scathing Wall Street Journal editorial that blasted the decision as an “absurdity” by busy-body bureaucrats.

So how is this all tied to the orthodontic devices, which are the subject of next week’s court case? Read Fortune writer Jeff John Roberts’ entire analysis.


Lessons of Google Glass loom large. The first people to get their hands on Microsoft’s holographic headset will be developers who can figure out meaningful business applications for the technology.

Intel’s big bonuses. It will pay an additional finder’s fee for “diverse qualified individuals.”

Tablets, the middle child of tech. Lighter, long-lasting notebook computers and larger, brighter smartphones are cannibalizing the format’s market share.

This theoretical Apple malware is so bad that you would have to reprogram chips to get rid of it. Fortunately, it’s just a “proof of concept” for now.

Net neutrality on trial. A federal appeals court will consider early challenges by the telecommunications industry in December.

Need a network in a hurry? This Cisco team specializes in connecting disaster zones and other forsaken places to the Internet.


Is Apple doomed in China or what? by Phillip Elmer-DeWitt

Uber consultant emerges with a new stock swap offer for tech startups by Dan Primack

Former bitcoin cop won’t help bitcoin companies get licensed by Daniel Roberts

Looking for products made by woman-friendly companies? Try this app by Susan Price

Can the car insurance business survive driverless cars? by Michal Addady

Here’s what Google’s secret car company is called by Kia Kokalitcheva


What makes a video go viral? This company defines the genre.


LinuxCon North America: All about open source. (Aug. 17 – 19; Seattle)

SuccessConnect: Simplify the way the world works. (Aug. 10 – 12; Las Vegas)

VMworld: The virtualization ecosystem. (Aug. 30 – Sept. 3, 2015; San Francisco)

Gartner Customer 360 Summit: Strategies for digital engagement. (Sept. 9 – 11; San Diego)

Dreamforce: The Salesforce community. (Sept. 15 – 18; San Francisco)

.conf2015: “Get your data on” with Splunk. (Sept. 21 – 24; Las Vegas)

Cassandra Summit: Largest gathering of Cassandra database developers. (Sept. 22 – 24; San Francisco)

AppSec USA: Application security principles. (Sept. 22 – 25; San Francisco)

BoxWorks: Cloud collaboration solutions. (Sept. 28 – 30; San Francisco)

Workday Rising: Meet and share. (Sept. 28 – Oct. 1; Las Vegas)

Minds+Machines: GE’s annual industrial Internet event. (Sept. 29 – Oct. 1; San Francisco)

HP Engage: Big data, big engagement. (Oct. 4 – 6; San Diego)

Gartner Symposium ITxpo: CIOs and senior IT executives. (Oct. 4 – 8; Orlando, Florida)

AWS re:Invent: The global Amazon Web services community. (Oct. 6 – 9; Las Vegas)

I Love APIs: Apigee’s annual conference. (Oct. 12 – 14; San Jose, California)

Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing: World’s largest gather of women technologists. (Oct. 14 – 16; Houston)

DevOps Enterprise Summit: Lean principles meet technology management. (Oct. 19 – 21; San Francisco)

Dell World: Global conference for customers and partners. (Oct. 20 – 22; Austin, Texas)

CX San Francisco: Forrester’s forum for customer experience professionals. (Oct. 22 – 23)

Oracle OpenWorld: Customer and partner conference. (Oct. 25 – 29; San Francisco)

TBM Conference: Manage IT like a business. (Oct. 26 – 29; Chicago)

eBusiness Chicago: eBusiness and channel strategy. (Oct. 29 – 30)

QuickBooks Connect: SMBs, entrepreneurs, accountants and developers. (Nov. 2 – 4; San Jose, California)

CMO+CIO: Forrester’s summit on strategy collaboration. (Nov. 2 – 4; Sarasota, Florida)

Oktane: Identity management trends. (Nov. 2 – 4; Las Vegas)

FutureStack: Define your future with New Relic. (Nov. 11 – 13; San Francisco)