I am officially a “cord againer.” This is a term my colleagues and I made up after Googling “people who go back to cable after cutting the cord” and coming up with nothing. Indeed, the Pew Foundation has data on so-called “cord cutters” and even “cord nevers” (together, some 24% of the total adult population in the U.S.), but they don’t appear to have any numbers on cord againers—maybe because not that many of us exist?
In case you’re wondering why anyone in their right mind would disconnect cable TV service only to reconnect a few years later, let me explain. No, I didn’t experience amnesia and forget why I broke up with cable in the first place. Comcast, my local provider, just made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. So after about three years of going cord-free—yes, I was still paying them for broadband—I became a cord againer. HBO and Showtime and all the soccer channels I could want included.
Two weeks into rekindling my relationship with cable TV, I realized two things. One: I’m a sucker. Two: Even with all of the soccer channels in the world, sometimes there’s still nothing on TV. (If you don’t get the “57 Channels” reference, please watch this.)
Over the last few years, I’ve not only gotten accustomed to binge-watching my favorite shows but also to not having to scroll through endless channels to find something to watch. (For more on how Netflix has changed content creation and consumption, check out my recent feature on the company.) Of course, the online players offer their own version of content overload: queues with expanding catalogs of original content. But most of my viewing on those “channels” is very selective. I usually open Netflix to watch a specific show that I’ve heard about—my latest binge-worthy pick is the streaming service’s Narcos—and not to aimlessly peruse its mountains of shows I don’t really want to watch. If there isn’t something specific I’m after, Netflix makes targeted suggestions.
Those suggestions don’t always pan out—Netflix’s new French-language show, Marseille, is not so merveilleux. But at least they give me some sense of direction. In contrast, the other night I flipped on the television with no specific destination in mind, something I hadn’t done in quite a while. I flipped through channel after channel but didn’t find anything compelling enough to stop and watch. About 10 minutes into my futile search, I turned off the tube and opened a more manageable format, a magazine.
At some point, I may have to come up with another term: a “cord yo-yo’er”?
BITS AND BYTES
Wall Street is using artificial intelligence to judge applicants. Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, and UBS Group are among the big financial services firms testing whether software can help them gain a better sense of how well applicants may work with others or how aggressive they might be in pursuing new businesses. The technology complements existing hiring methods, including traditional recruiting programs and in-person interviews. (Reuters)
Attention EMC shareholders: Mark your calendars for July 19. That’s the day scheduled for a vote on $67 billion merger with Dell. So far, the deal has passed all the regulatory hurdles in its way, except in China. The transaction is on track to close by October. (Fortune)
Yahoo wants to unload 3,000 software patents. The Internet giant has hired investment bank Black Stone IP to help it find a buyer for some of the most “foundational” intellectual property related to Internet search and advertising, reports The Wall Street Journal. The portfolio could fetch around $1 billion. (The Wall Street Journal)
Amazon will pour $3 billion more into India. The e-commerce and cloud services giant isn’t saying how its new investments will be allocated or the span of time in which they’ll take place. It operates more, smaller warehouses in India than in other markets and sells only third-party merchandise there—both strategies are concessions to local policy. Amazon’s pledge is on top of the $2 billion that it committed in 2014. (Wall Street Journal)
Verizon CFO: Strike won’t hurt profits much. During a presentation Tuesday at an analyst conference, Fran Shammo said the telecommunications company would report second-quarter income that is 5 to 7 cents lower per-share than it anticipated before the now-ended, seven-week-long walkout by 40,000 workers. The consensus estimate among analysts calls for earnings of 98 cents per share. (Fortune)
F5 Networks considers takeover offers. The networking and security equipment company has hired Goldman Sachs to evaluate more than one unsolicited buyout offer, reports Reuters. F5 rattled investors at the end of last year when its new CEO, Manny Rivelo, resigned for “personal conduct matters.” Former CEO John McAdam returned from a retirement to pick up the reins. The company’s market capitalization is around $8.3 billion. (Reuters)
Salesforce will invest in early stage cloud startups. The business software giant is expanding its venture capital activities with a $50 million fund dedicated for entrepreneurs incubating cloud software applications. (Wall Street Journal)
Under Armour’s new app will tell you what to buy. The athletic-apparel maker has invested hundreds of millions of dollars to build up a digital community of 170 million members that log billions of physical activities and meals. Now Under Armour has a new activity in mind for its latest app: shopping.
The Baltimore-based company, which already owns four fitness and health mobile apps, on Tuesday announced the debut of UA Shop, which is Under Armour’s first “mobile app dedicated to elevating the consumer shopping experience.” Essentially, the idea is that by combing through data compiled by the millions of members of Under Armour’s “Connected Fitness” community, it can make more accurate suggestions for shoes and apparel that match the lifestyle of the brand’s most loyal followers. (Fortune)
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Apple shares are underpriced unless iPhone sales collapse
by Aaron Pressman
Is this app the antidote to ‘death by PowerPoint?’ by Heather Clancy
Why even Mark Zuckerberg gets hacked by Jeff John Roberts
How to use machine learning (and people) to make buildings better
by Katie Fehrenbacher
Exclusive: Buildium raises $65 million for landlord software
by Erin Griffith
Salesforce wants to make everyone an app developer by Barb Darrow
Uber makes its car service less inconvenient by Kia Kokalitcheva
E*Trade enters the robo-advisor wars by Matthew Heimer
Airbnb is under fire for a refusal to rent to a transgender woman
by Madeline Farber
ONE MORE THING
Silicon Valley really dislikes Donald Trump. The presumptive Republican presidential candidate has received just 52 donations from employees working at companies based there since he announced his candidacy last year, reports CrowdPAC. That compares with 34,000 for Democrat Bernie Sanders and 2,000 for Democrat Hillary Clinton. (Fortune)
This edition of Data Sheet was curated by Heather Clancy.