Tech at Night

A big bill is in the air. Politicians are starting to talk about passing a new Communications Act. Lobbyists are drooling at the prospect of a new Communications act. Small government activists want a new Communications act, and they give good reasons for it.

I don’t want a new Communications Act. Here’s why.

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Tech at Night

Conservatives often talk about how government picks winners and losers, but sometimes it’s important to discuss just how that is done. It’s easy to see in cases like Solyndra where government picks winners, but sometimes it’s harder to see when government is making one industry win at the expense of another.

Laws related to technology are full of examples like that, and tonight I’m going to illustrate two important ways government makes broadcasters winners at the expense of cable companies and content producers.

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Ask the Redskins: Fighting for your values works.

On June 18, 2014, in General, by Neil Stevens
Washington Redskins Training Camp August 4,  2011

Conservatives are often painted as the out-of-touch meddlers in culture today. We boycott, we ban, we scold, we stand athwart history. We get laughed at by the left, but we fight anyway.

Hip, moderate, urbane folks tell us this is all wrong. Instead of criticizing culture, standing apart from it, and trying to reject its influences, we’re told we need to be in it, engage with it, and stand up for what we believe in from within.

Today’s politicized action by the US Patent and Trademark Office, canceling the trademark of the Washington Redskins, shows that actually, that restraint is what is all wrong. No matter how popular something is, no matter how much the general public at large is fine with it, concerted political activism can and will work.

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Tech at Night

Email technology has changed over the years, and some people hope you don’t understand why, and how that matters for the issues of the day. So tonight I’m going to discuss how the technologies have changed, and why that influences the debates over both the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) and the IRS missing emails scandal.

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Join the AOSHQ Decision Desk project

On June 15, 2014, in General, by Neil Stevens
AOSHQDD Cantor Brat

Over at Ace of Spades HQ, a site a lot of us at RedState like, they have a project called the AOSHQ Decision Desk. The plan is to come up with better and faster election night projections than the big media networks are coming up with. And while they haven’t been perfect, since the project is new and the models are still in development, the AOSHQDD is showing a lot of promise.

But they need help, and that’s where you come in.

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Tech at Night

Bitcoin is an electronic “currency” based on math similar to what it used by cryptography. It has little in the way of central authority, just some software developers who push through software changes on a whim, however this limited authority has no means of moving money around.

As a result, Bitcoin is dangerous, useful to criminals but lacking in the basic property rights that ordinary people need in order to operate in an economy.

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Tech at Night

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.

That’s what the Constitution says on patents (and copyrights, but we’re not going there tonight). However today the situation involving patents is messy, and takes some effort to sort through. I’ll do my best here to give the rundown of the challenges we face today, and what we should do about them.

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Tech at Night: The Online Gambling Debate

On June 9, 2014, in General, by Neil Stevens
Tech at Night

So, online gambling. Right now there are two major pushes going on to get new legislation related to online gambling. Neither is a small government position, and I oppose them both. The current law as it stands isn’t bad. It could be better, but either plan out there right now would make things worse.

To summarize, the two plans out there are both masquerading as right-wing positions, however one turns out to be a classic big government picking of winners and losers, and the other is big regulatory government masquerading as libertarianism. We must pass neither.

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Tech at Night

I’ve been grinding out Tech at Night here at RedState for four years as of this week. But I think it may be time for a change of format. It’s always been a link-centered post, where I accumulate links to interesting news and commentary, and then try to string it together with a narrative. It turns out that’s a lot of work for the amount of traffic I get.

So we’re going to try a new format. Instead of covering all the links equally, I’m going to pick one topic to write about more in depth, just trying to cover what the issue is, why it matters, and what I think is the right position. Then I’ll just throw in a bunch of interesting links at the end with little to no commentary at all.

Please, submit in the comments ideas for future topics. Doesn’t even have to be tech policy, it can be electronics news, video games, whatever you want. Please, ask me about Zelda 2 speedrunning if you like.

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Tech at Night

The Global Warming fraudsters have to cheat their data in order to ‘hide the decline’ of temperatures. Likewise, it’s turning out that the left is going to have to cheat in order to make it look like American Internet competition is terrible. they’re going to do this by cheating the definitions by changing them mid-stream, in order to create a decline. Liars all, the Net Neturality/Universal Broadband left.

Uf you want to see the truth though, it’s Net Neutrality that actually harms Internet access, as seen in Chile.

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