NEWS BRIEFING FOR WEDNESDAY, MARCH 19, 2008 Members of the Cable360 newsroom are debating: is God a Republican or a Democrat? Good day.

Sneaky or downright duplicitous? Credit card companies often restrict consumers from viewing agreements until after they’ve signed up for the card. Verizon seems to be doing the same thing with its FiOS bundle, David Lazarus writes in an eye-opener in The LA Times. Some aspects of the FiOS bundle agreement are included in an order form customers fill out before FiOS is installed—like the $199 early termination fee. But without reading the entire bundle service agreement, you wouldn’t know the fee applies even if you cancel just one part of the bundle, say video. You can find the agreement on Verizon’s Web site, but you must enter a password first. And, yes, you are given that password only after signing up for the FiOS bundle. Oh, and that service agreement is a doozy. It restricts your right to sue Verizon, for example, and gives Verizon the right to “to change any of the features, content or applications of the service at any time with or without notice to you." [LAT]

Yahoo execs began meetings with major shareholders, telling them that Microsoft’s $42-billion acquisition bid is too low, The LA Times and The  Hollywood Reporter say. The officials are touting a  three-year plan for life without Microsoft that notes Yahoo’s dominance in display advertising, where it is No. 1, the Times says. “But [the plan] also assumes that Yahoo won’t continue losing search share.”
 [LAT] [THR]

SciFi’s Battlestar Galactica will stay on the small screen, The Hollywood Reporter says. Also at SciFi’s upfront in NY unveils a prequel to BSG’s final season called Caprica, which begins the story 50 years before events in Battlestar. [THR] [THR]

Briefly Noted
Bloggers at consumerist.com claim they are being limited on the number of times they can re-run recorded versions of HBO’s John Adams mini on their TiVos. [CC]

A pair of bills in Congress aim to protect consumers against unfair practices by cell phone companies, including dispute resolution and sneaky billing practices, The LA Times reports. [LAT]

TiVo introduced version 2.6 of its Desktop for Windows, allowing users to download Web-based videos and other content from Windows-based computers and send it to their TiVo, although there are hurdles, podcastingnews.com says. [PCN]

Worried that cable ops, the government and others are collecting info about you from your set-top? There are ways to evade it, The LA Times says. “Browse the Web through an anonymous proxy. Trade in your TiVo for a VCR or a computer with digital video recording software.” [LAT]

Comcast upped Jennifer Khoury to VP of corp comm.

iPhone users certainly seem to be taking advantage of their device’s capabilities. Some 85% of iPhone users access news and information on the mobile Web, and 31% watched mobile TV or video, vs a 4.6 market average M:Metrics said. It might be AT&T’s unlimited data plan, a NY Times blog says. [NYT] [MM]    Got a tip? Contact sarenstein@accessintel.com and sgoldstein@accessintel.com

Today in CableFAX Daily: TiVo’s happy to be in New England with Comcast and Cox.

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