In today’s Bulldog blog wrapup of technology news:

  • AT&T goes to Congress to pitch DirecTV deal
  • Triangle firm Bell and Howell spins off a software operation
  • IBM analyzes Wimbledon
  • Facebook switch a threat to Cisco?
  • San Francisco says “no” to parking space app.

The details:

  • AT&T to tout rural phone service in DirecTV pitch

Randall Stephenson, CEO of AT&T, plans to testify before Congress today that the proposed $49 billion buyout of DirecTV will boost rural phone service.

“This represents a multi-billion dollar commitment of capital that AT&T simply could not make without the ability to pair DirecTV’s video products and scale with our newly-expanded broadband services,” Stephenson will say, based on prepared remarks posted on the House of Representatives web site.

The Wall Street Journal has more.

  • Durham-based firm spins off software company

In Durham, Bell and Howell said Monday it has spun off its software group, BCC Software, as a separate company.

Both firms remain owned by Versa Capital Management and other shareholders.

BCC will remain based in Rochester, N.Y.

As part of the deal, Bell and Howell also was able to erase debt. 

“We’re excited about Bell and Howell’s opportunity set, and the team and I remain committed to realizing them through the continued execution of our own growth strategy,” he said. “This transaction has retired 100 percent of Bell and Howell’s outstanding debt under its secured credit facility with PNC Business Credit and Crystal Financial, further advancing our progress,” said Bell and Howell CEO Ramesh Ratan.

  • IBM analytics tackle Wimbledon social media

IBM is working with Wimbledon to provide detailed analysis of social media, reports ComputerWorld UK.

“In-depth analysis of social media will provide the club with understanding of who, what and where fans and players are talking around the tournament. Crucially, the analytics will identify key influencers around Wimbledon conversations through algorithms from IBM’s customer experience laboratory, part of IBM’s $6 billion annual research and development investment,” the news site says.

More details are available online.

  • Is Facebook switch a threat to Cisco?

Facebook plans a switch as part of its Open Compute Project, which also includes servers.

Is the Wedge switch, designed for software defined networking or SDN, a threat to Cisco?

“Wedge isn’t so much a switch as it is a reference design. Everything in the switch is open source – software, processors, etc. – so anyone can build their own switch from the design. Now, for customers that are interested in this product, there’s no “Facebook Store” to buy this from. Nor can organizations pick up the phone and call the friendly, neighborhood VAR. Instead, businesses would need to order it from a custom manufacturer,” NetworkWorld reports.

See more details online.

  • City tells app to stop auctions of parking spaces

San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera has issued a cease-and-desist demand to a mobile app called Monkey Parking, which allows people to auction off public parking spaces that they’re using to other nearby drivers.

Herrera issued a letter to Paolo Dobrowolny, the CEO of the Rome, Italy-based tech startup on Monday. The letter also asks tech giant Apple to immediately remove the application from its app store. The startup began operating in San Francisco in April.

Herera cites a provision in San Francisco’s police code that prohibits people and companies from buying, selling or leasing public on-street parking.

The city attorney is giving the company until July 11 to shut down its operations in San Francisco or possibly face a lawsuit under California’s Unfair Competition Law.