Tech at Night: Kill SOPA. Now.

On December 23, 2011, in General, by Neil Stevens
Tech at Night

Nothing in this post shall be construed to impose a belief that Lamar Smith would round up every American into MPAA-run detention centers if Chris Dodd suggested it would be good for big business.

Does that sound like a stupid way to begin a post, and does it suggest that I’m about to say the opposite? Well, that’s how the Manager’s Amendment version of SOPA starts off, claiming that no matter what the bill says, it’s not a prior restraint on free speech.

Of course, restrictions of results provided by Internet Search Engines amount to just that: prior restraint of their free expression of future results. Google and others, under SOPA, are told what they can or can’t publish before they publish it.

Kill. The. Bill.

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Torani Bacon Syrup

On December 23, 2011, in General, by Neil Stevens

I love Torani Syrup, putting their cherry syrup in my cokes on occasion, as well as their chocolate syrup in my coffees. So when I saw Bacon Syrup, I had to buy it.

Torani Bacon Syrup

Not sure what I’ll eat it with, but I had to buy it.

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Tech at Night

It seems like forever ago that Marsha Blackburn challenged Free Press to transparency in the group’s funding. Why should it take eight months to respond if Free Press has nothing to hide?

Keep the Web OPEN. It’s a simple statement, but it’s one I support. The difference between SOPA and OPEN has been made clear to many thanks to Darrell Issa’s leadership. It’s unclear with Christmas coming just when SOPA will be picked back up, but I’m hoping by then OPEN will continue to gain support as the proper alternative.

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Tech at Night

Top story tonight is of course the major win by the triple alliance of George Soros and his front groups like Public Knowledge, Sprint Nextel, and the Obama administration’s dual agency of the FCC and the DoJ. Yes, AT&T has given up on acquiring T-Mobile. I believe they will now have to pay a sizable fee to T-Mobile as compensation.

This is bad news for those who respect property rights and for those who favor competition in the market, as Mike Wendy notes at Media Freedom. AT&T will be short of spectrum, as TechFreedom notes, a key reason competition will be reduced. It’s not just AT&T users hurt; anyone who now would not be interested in switching to AT&T due to inferior 4G LTE rollout now suffers from less leverage in the marketplace. That can only result in sustained high prices for 4G Internet service.

When this news broke I was so mad I could burst. But hours have passed and now I’m just disappointed.

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Super Mario 3D Land

On December 17, 2011, in General, by Neil Stevens

Super Mario 3D Land for the 3DS was such a satisfying game. After having completed New Super Mario Bros. Wii, and gotten terribly, terribly disappointed by its frustrating physics and tedious level design, 3D Land was refreshing.

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Tech at Night

Wednesday night I put off all Tech at Night topics except for SOPA because the critical mark up votes in Committee were coming up. We weren’t supposed to be able to stop SOPA, but we could at least raise awareness, put up a fight, and prepare for the floor votes. And sure enough, the vote to keep the Internet censorship provisions went in favor of censorship 22-11.

Well, it turns out, we managed to slow the process down. After we made our threats to start working on primary challenges over that 22-11 vote, Lamar Smith put off SOPA, halting the current process until next week at the earliest. Stay sharp, but feel good about this delay. The longer we delay, the more we can gain support for the OPEN Act instead of SOPA.

SOPA opponents Darrell Issa, Zoe Lofgren, Jared Polis, and Jason Chaffetz also deserve credit. Why yes, that list does include a Democrat. Just shows how wrong Lamar Smith is to side with disgraced former Senator Chris Dodd and the MPAA on this. Two men who between them have no clue how the Internet works.

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We must defeat SOPA: Tech at Night Special

On December 15, 2011, in General, by Neil Stevens
Tech at Night

Ordinarily I use Tech at Night to cover a variety of topics that come my way, and I have them in my queue for tonight. But with over 30 items to consider and integrate, most of them on SOPA, I’m shelving the rest for Friday, and discussing just one topic tonight: We must defeat SOPA in the House. It is entirely unacceptable, and I believe worthy of primary challenges, for any Republican to back this bill. I’m going to make a list, and I’m going to make noise about this. I hope you do, too.

SOPA is the Stopping Online Piracy Act, the House’s counterpart to the Senate PROTECT IP act. SOPA contains a grab bag of provisions intended to stop copyright, trademark, and patent infringements abroad, but Title I of the bill is intolerable, fails to achieve its goals, and creates a massive power grab online for this man by applying unaccountable censorship and regulation to Americans on the Internet.

That’s right. Eric Holder has been dreaming of censoring the Internet since 1999, and House Republicans are thinking of giving him that power. At the time, the crisis that was the excuse for this censorship attempt was the murder plot at Columbine High School in Colorado. Now the excuse is that kiddies online are downloading Scary Movie 3, and buying fake hand bags. Give me a break.

Copyrights, trademarks, and patents matter. If we have a way to protect them from foreign attacks without overstepping our bounds, we should consider doing it. SOPA is not that way to do it. Watch any Republican who dares vote for this garbage, voting to put Hollywood over us, to give Eric Holder the power to bend over backward for Barack Obama’s Hollywood donors over the interests of everyone with a job created thanks to the Internet.

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No, Ron Paul is not a threat to win the Iowa Caucuses

On December 13, 2011, in General, by Neil Stevens

It doesn’t matter what you think the new Public Policy Polling result says. It doesn’t matter how many gleeful Democrats are writing up news stories claiming it’s true. It’s not.

Ron Paul, King of Earmarks, Full Metal Truther, and Archbishop of the anti-American Gnostic Constitutionalists, is not going to win the Iowa caucuses or even get close for one simple reason.

He wins people who don’t vote, but the Iowa caucuses only admit Republicans.

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Tech at Night

It’s Monday, so it’s time for that weekly self promotion of mine. This week at the Daily Caller I discussed NISO, an information sharing proposal by Dan Lungren that would get government in a role of improving our security online without compromising liberty and innovation.

And now back to SOPA. Now Eric Schmidt realizes we don’t want government to have a huge role online, complaining that SOPA would “criminalize linking and the fundamental structure of the Internet itself.” Yeah, I’d say DNS is part of the fundamental structure of the Internet, and that’s why I support Darrell Issa’s and Ron Wyden’s OPEN Act alternative. They would have us go after infringers abroad rather than attacking the Internet at home.

Jennifer Rubin pointed out that SOPA is overkill, which it is. Effectively undermining the fundamental structures of the Internet just to go after counterfeit handbags and Bittorrent streams of Scary Movie 3? Come on.

Notice how no matter how many people complain about SOPA, it’s always the MPAA with a response? Isn’t that a clue that this bill is being pushed to benefit one specific industry, just a little bit?

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Tech at Night

There’s a new story developing. I’ve touched on it now and then, but the pieces are coming together. The FCC temporarily blocked the AT&T/Qualcomm deal to let AT&T buy spectrum using the excuse that they wanted to evaluate it together with the AT&T/T-Mobile deal. Well, the latter deal has been withdrawn from the FCC, so now what’s the hold up?

It turns out that the Obama FCC under Julius Genachowski is looking to change the rules of the game. Genachowski wants to make it harder to for firms to pick up the spectrum they need to serve an ever-growing demand for wireless Internet. He and the FCC are calling it a change to the “spectrum screen.”

Why the timing? Well, it turns out that Democrat commissioner Michael Copps, despite being an ardent supporter of the radical George Soros-driven Media Reform agenda, has spoken out against changing the rules midstream. but it may not matter, as he’s quitting, and his replacement is going through the confirmation process right now in the Senate. Though that replacement may be delayed as Chuck Grassley fights for transparency in the FCC, there are no other obstacles to confirmation foreseen.

So while Copps has made a due process argument against what Genachowski is doing, Genachowski may be counting on Copps’s departure to prevent that from being an issue. With him gone, the Chairman will apparently be free to do what he wants, declaring what the rules will be anytime he wants, picking one set of rules for one company, and another set of rules for another, with nothing to stop him.

Chuck Grassley is fighting for transparency with respect to the FCC and LightSquared. The House Energy and Commerce committee is looking into FCC’s Spectrum Screen treatment. Even FCC Democrats are having to speak up. The FCC is completely out of control, and it’s taking all we’ve got in the Congress just to try to keep up, and to force the Obama administration to submit to oversight and respect the rule of law.

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