February 26, 2016 Last Updated 2:16 pm

Apple rumors are so lame that now the only juicy one involves the name of the next gen iPad

Morning Brief: Google to bring its Google Fiber gigabit Internet service to San Francisco by using the existing infrastructure, which limit availability to select apartments and condos

The latest rumors concerning Apple’s March event are that rather than calling the next edition of the standard sized iPad an “iPad Air” the company will call it an iPad Pro. Big deal, right?

iPad Pro AppleWhatever Apple decides to call it, the new iPad will still be a 9.7 inch display tablet, but with upgraded specs from the previous model. If the older model had sold better, and was actually sold out, Apple could simply call it an “iPad”, but with sales slow there will be a need to differentiate it from the older model so that model can be discounted.

In fact, price is the key, will Apple raise the price just because they have slapped the word “Pro” on to the name? I doubt it, These rumors are almost always about how the price will go up, then the CEO gets to unveil the price and everyone is cheered that it is, in fact, just the same as before.

The real issue might be storage, which Apple keeps at 16 GB for the entry level model. My guess is that Apple keeps it at this level just out of pure stubbornness. The company which seems to think that consumers care about thinness, also seems to think that complaints about the lack of storage and ports is just so much talk is unlikely to change its ways just because sales are declined eight quarters in a row.

The Apple event is March 15, the same day as another round of primaries including here in Illinois (blatant Chicago plug).

3185064Newspaper and magazine M&A activity is generally only “news” when it occurs in the US or UK, so it is worth mentioning that Independent News & Media (INM) has just acquired four magazines from Belfast-based Greer Publications. The four magazines are Ulster Business, Ulster Grocer, Northern Woman, and Hospitality Review NI, a mix of consumer and B2B titles.

“They are clearly established magazines with a loyal following and an impressive readership across the business, food retailing, hospitality, consumer lifestyle sectors,” said INM chief executive Robert Pitt. “We look forward to their continued success under Richard McClean, INM’s NI Managing Director, and his team. An important factor in acquiring these titles is the fact that they each have a robust online presence, and this very much fits in with the forward strategy across all of INM’s titles,” he said.

INM is the publisher of the Irish Independent, the Sunday Independent and Sunday World.

When Google has chosen which cities it would install its Google Fiber six years ago the cities usually ended up being places like Kansas City or Austin rather than a major metro area like NYC, Chicago or LA. That is about to change a bit.

Google announced that San Francisco will get its Google Fiber service, but with a catch.

“To date, we’ve focused mostly on building fiber-optic networks from scratch,” said Michael Slinger, Director of Business Operations, Google Fiber. “Now, as Google Fiber grows, we’re looking for more ways to serve cities of different shapes and sizes. That’s why we’re working with Huntsville, AL to tap into the city’s planned municipal fiber network. And that’s why we’re trying something different in our latest Fiber city—San Francisco—where we’ll bring service to some apartments, condos, and affordable housing properties, using existing fiber.”

Using the existing fiber networks means that Google will only be able to serve certain apartments and condos with the company’s gigabit Internet service.

In case you missed it, I know I did, Blackberry was in the news this week – quite a rarity. The Waterloo, Ontario based cellphone maker has bought the UK-based Encription Limited, a cyber security firm.

The acquisition actually was completely last week, but this week Blackberry announced the launch its new Professional Cybersecurity Services practice.

“We recognize that security vulnerabilities are a top risk concern for public and private sector organizations alike, said John Chen, Executive Chairman and CEO, BlackBerry. “The creation of our Professional Cybersecurity Services practice and acquisition of Encription reinforces our commitment to providing customers the industry’s most secure mobility solutions and helping them to assess and mitigate risks.”

The new unit will concentrate on four areas:

  • Strategic Security: best practices in IT operation ranging across enterprise mobility management and cloud services.
  • Technical Security: technical assistance for infrastructure and product development lifecycle.
  • Automotive and IoT Security: security consulting services as the rapid commercialization of IoT solutions makes security and privacy a top priority.
  • Detection, Testing and Analysis: threat detection and mitigation penetration testing, vulnerability assessment and incident response analysis. This includes forensic services, business security status via IT health checks, training, regulatory compliance and security breach management through incident response.

Asian and European markets rallied today, and Dow futures are pointing to a higher opening on Wall Street.

The struggling Daily News has been looking to boost readership by sharpening its attacks on Donald Trump, the surprise leading candidate for the Republican nomination for President.

Donald Trump Daily News KKKYesterday the NYC tabloid featured another in its series of Trump front pages. This one features a figure that one assumes is either former KKK leader David Duke or the Donald himself in KKK robes.

This attack front page comes as the Duke came out yesterday for Trump for President.

“Voting for these people, voting against Donald Trump at this point, is really treason to your heritage,” Duke said on his radio program.

I’m not saying I endorse everything about Trump. In fact, I haven’t formally endorsed him. But I do support his candidacy, and I support voting for him as a strategic action. I hope he does everything we hope he will do.”

For once Trump was silent.

He wasn’t so silent concerning Mitt Romney, who said Trump’s tax returns could hold surprises that could damage The Donald’s campaign. Trump, of course, responded via Twitter:

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