The Daily Show’s Stepchildren Now Include Escapist News Network and Newsish

[show=unskippable]Every icon has his or her imitators, and while The Daily Show‘s Jon Stewart didn’t invent the concept of snarking at the news in a quasi-reporting format, his influence has had a profound impact not just on the television world, but on web video. And shows that draw inspiration from the format continue to find fresh approaches to the idea.

Of course, the easiest way to put a new spin on an old idea is to tailor it for a specific audience — which the the guys and gals from sketch comedy team Loading Ready Run nail with the Escapist News Network by focusing exclusively on video game news and culture. Hosted by Graham Stark and Kathleen DeVere, ENN‘s one-liners and punchlines can be a little dense for those outside the video game world, but even a casual gamer can appreciate a story on the gaming site Popcap that references the “enslavement of the human race via the highly addictive drug Bejeweled [Popcap’s insanely popular puzzle game].” Read More about The Daily Show’s Stepchildren Now Include Escapist News Network and Newsish

Qualcomm Must Look Beyond CDMA as Regulators Lurk

Qualcomm COO Len Lauer talks to Stacey Higginbotham on stage at Mobilize 2009 in San Francisco.

Qualcomm COO Len Lauer talks to Stacey Higginbotham on stage at Mobilize 2009 in San Francisco.

Qualcomm (S qcom)  may have to change its licensing agreements related to its chips in Japan after the country’s Fair Trade Commission today ordered it to change the terms of those agreements that give it free access to patents held by manufacturers that use its chips. Qualcomm has 60 days to dispute the order, which it said in a statement that it plans to do in the form of an appeal — and possibly through the Japanese courts. Several Japanese phone makers have licensing agreements with Qualcomm, including Panasonic, Sharp and NEC. Read More about Qualcomm Must Look Beyond CDMA as Regulators Lurk

Qualcomm Tries to Reposition FLO Network As a Mobile CDN

[qi:_newteevee] Qualcomm’s (s qcom) MediaFLO mobile television network hasn’t met the chipmaker’s expectations, according to COO Len Lauer, whom I spoke with at the Mobilize 09 event last week in San Francisco. I interviewed Lauer about Qualcomm’s FLO network for broadcasting mobile television, about which he said, “We’re not where we need to be. We’re not meeting our expectations.”
But if mobile TV isn’t the right use for the separate network that Qualcomm has built at a cost of more than $800 million, Lauer thinks it might be used by carriers to help offload demand for video on the 3G and 4G networks — kind of like a mobile content delivery network. For more on that and a competing mobile broadcast technology from the GSM Association for network offload, see our report over at NewTeeVee.

With MediaFLO Disappointing, Qualcomm Wants to Become a Mobile CDN

Qualcomm’s (s qcom) MediaFLO mobile television network hasn’t met the chipmaker’s expectations, according to COO Len Lauer, who spoke with me at the Mobilize 09 event last week in San Francisco. He said of Qualcomm’s FLO network for broadcasting mobile television, “We’re not where we need to be. We’re not meeting our expectations.”
He blamed the lack of success so far on the few  FLO-enabled devices available and the long wait for a nationwide network. While he was optimistic that FLO would be on more devices and noted that as of the DTV transition, Qualcomm had a nationwide network, he was also quick to portray the FLO network as more than a television delivery network. Yes, boys and girls, it’s a platform.
Read More about With MediaFLO Disappointing, Qualcomm Wants to Become a Mobile CDN

Analyst Finds 150 Million “Missing” Handsets

[qi:gigaom_icon_mobile] The Linley Group released a report last night in which it claims that about 150 million handsets are missing from the official calculations of phones sold in 2008. The research firm notes that while some 1.2 billion cell phones shipped last year, 1.43 billion cellular baseband chips shipped, too, almost all destined for handsets. After accounting for waste and non-handset devices such as modems, analyst Bob Linley Gwennap guesses that 1.36 billion handsets were actually sold, while the missing chips were put into some 150 million unlicensed phones produced in China. From the report: Read More about Analyst Finds 150 Million “Missing” Handsets

Verizon, Qualcomm Call M2M Venture nPhase

[qi:gigaom_icon_iphone] Verizon (s vz) and Qualcomm (s qcom) said today that their new joint venture, which will provide access to Verizon’s network for machines and other embedded wireless applications, will be called nPhase. The name comes from the original M2M company that Qualcomm acquired in 2006, and the service provided by the joint venture could rock the way gadgets are designed and even make it easier to implement the smart grid, fleet tracking and other industrial services that require access to a web connection. It’s also going to let Qualcomm sell a lot more chips. Read More about Verizon, Qualcomm Call M2M Venture nPhase

As TI Dumps Wireless, Mind the Gap

[qi:gigaom_icon_chip] Texas Instruments (s txn) last year said it would exit the wireless baseband business (it will still make custom radios for clients, but will dump its catalog of wireless baseband chips), and today the Wall Street Journal notes the effect this is likely to have on TI’s earnings. The consensus is that with TI dumping radios and betting on applications processors and analog semiconductors, baseband revenue will fall faster than its new core lines of business can grow — leading to a potential gap in revenue and profits. Wireless baseband chips currently make up about a fifth of TI’s 2008 revenue.

These chips are rapidly becoming a commodity, and so it makes sense to cede the market to larger players like Qualcomm (s qcom) and MediaTek, but TI is still placing a huge bet that it can make up the lost revenue on sales of its applications processors, analog chips and digital signal processors. Read More about As TI Dumps Wireless, Mind the Gap

Intel and Qualcomm Are Dueling With Dollars

Wireless dealmaking has remained a fairly bright spot during the recession, according to an overview of venture investment and M&A in the industry released today by Rutberg & Co. The boutique investment bank focuses on digital media and wireless deals, and says it’s seen the dollar amount of deals in the wireless industry fall to $1.2 billion, a 43 percent drop from the first half of 2008. The number of deals, meanwhile, fell 31 percent, to 121. The most active investors in the space?  Qualcomm (s qcom) and Intel (s intc).

Qualcomm is defending its mobile turf against Intel’s encroachment, and strategic investments appear to be a weapon both are deploying in an attempt to get an edge. Read More about Intel and Qualcomm Are Dueling With Dollars

Google Chrome OS & What It Means For Future of Computing

Google’s Chrome OS may or may not make it, but the attempt shows how far the computer industry has come from a bulky PC chained to a desk by its power cord and Ethernet cable. The computer is evolving from those dinosaurs to a smaller, mobile model that is always connected to the web. The iPhone brought us apps that are lightweight so users don’t get bogged down by smaller processors and slower wireless web connections on mobile devices. Google’s Chrome OS attempts to keep that speed, while preserving a platform for Google to make money through advertising.

Europe Gets Handset Makers to Agree to Universal Charger

666px-Micro_USB_and_USBNokia (s NOK), Motorola (s MOT), Research in Motion (s RIM), Apple (s aapl) (yes, even Apple) and six other cell phone makers have agreed to a European Commission request to develop a universal charger. The agreement was announced today by the the EC. The new handsets will use Micro-USB connectors, and will be available in Europe beginning next year. The GSM Association had been working on a similar effort to deliver a universal charger by 2012.

Importantly, only data-enabled phones will be able to accept the universal charger, since those are the phones that currently contain Micro-USB ports. While the Micro-USB standard may be replaced by a different one someday, for now having a universal charger will make it easier to replenish phones while on the road. As for reducing waste, I’m less certain that will happen unless cell phone providers stop including a charger with each phone. The EC hopes that the universal charger will spread beyond its borders, which is likely to happen given that the powerful GSM Association is also in favor of such a standard, but perhaps not by 2010.

Our friends at jkOnTheRun are wondering if this standard will make its way to the US? I certainly hope so. 

Micro-USB and USB image courtesy of George Shuklin