Tech at Night

Justice is impeding the Sprint/Softbank merger. Gee, whoever could have predicted that if Sprint funded the left-wing effort to embolden Obama administration action, then Sprint itself could suffer bad consequences? I wonder. It wasn’t me, was it? I didn’t point out that Sprint Nextel itself had a history of mergers, such as the Sprint-Nextel merger, did I? Hmm.

Hey Chuck Grassley: The first amendment is not a suggestion any more than the second amendment is. There is no Video Game exception that I saw. You’d have to be as special as the Vice President to think think citing the words of a crazed murderer as an authority helps you make a point, anyway.

Besides, it is not your job to dictate ‘artistic value’ to others, nor does your own job have ‘artistic value.’ So if you would silence others who do not have ‘artistic value,’ then that do we conclude about your right to speech? Everybody knows you never go full Biden, Senator.

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Tech at Night

Who’s anti-science? We set up a bill to bring in more foreign scientist and engineers through the STEM Act, then pass the bill with virtually no Democrat support, and then get called ‘racist.’ Apparently science degrees are racist now, according to (frankly delusional) Democrats.

And more by the ever-busy Darrell Issa: his Reddit outreach continues as he promotes his two-year legislative and regulatory moratorium in the IAMA act (even the name is a nod to that community). But, based on the linked article, they’re looking for reasons to oppose. Left-‘libertarians’ are too much reflexive fanbois of unchecked state power, when Democrats get to have that power. But, we’ll see.

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Tech at Night

Apologies. I’ve had some technical issues tonight, and after twice nearly losing my list of links to work through… I’ll do my best, but I’m not really feeling it at this point. So sorry if I’m subpar tonight.

Two Google wins going on. Larry Page talked with FTC on antitrust and now the left is shrieking that sanity may prevail on this. Google isn’t a search monopoly. Amazon, eBay, IMDB, sites like these ensure it. Even if Bing and Duck Duck Go are having trouble breaking through, domain-specific search matters, a lot, and Google has to compete with that, or die.

That said, it’s ridiculous that Google was allowed to hack people’s browsers, store information surreptitiously, and instruct the browsers to send that information to their servers at later times. This directly against the expressed wishes and policies of the users involved. All they have to do is pay Obama his 20 pieces of silver, and they even get to keep the data.

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Tech at Night

John McCain. Lisa Murkowski. Kay Bailey Hutchison. Saxby Chambliss. Richard Burr. Dan Coats.

No, I’m not listing the centrist wing of the Senate Republicans. I’m listing some of the co-sponsors of SECURE IT, the bill that Senate Republicans have been forced to bring forth because the extremist Cybersecurity bill by Joe Lieberman and Susan Collins just couldn’t be bargained with. That’s right, John McCain of McCain-Feingold, McCain-Kennedy, and McCain-Lieberman couldn’t find a way to negotiate a compromise on this.

It’s the right bill to pass. It’s since gotten oversight champion Chuck Grassley and TEA Party favorite Ron Johnson on board, among others. It addresses the key security problems we face without giving the proven-incompetent feds any new powers over the Internet. Here’s KBH on the bill.

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Tech at Night

So, the Internet died this week or something. CISPA was amended much, as I gather mostly tightening up some alleged privacy concerns. Then it passed the House. I don’t know if it’ll become law, but it’s a good idea. The comparisons with SOPA are deceptive.

Speaker Boehner cut to the heart of the matter, pointing out that President Obama’s CISPA veto threat was rooted in his desire to control the Internet. The White House was stung enough to reply, but it’s true: CISPA opposition is a ruse to fool feeble minded leftys into thinking Republicans are the threat, rather than the Democrat Cybersecurity bill in the Senate, pushed by Joe Lieberman. It’s Lieberman-Collins that’s the threat to liberty online.

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Tech at Night

In an example of lucky timing, the GSA scandal proved why Darrell Issa’s DATA act was needed. Transparency in government allows for oversight. So the bill passed the House by voice vote.

I first floated a while back the idea that this sudden, strident CISPA opposition was roote d in a desire to distract the public from the much stronger and more dangerous Lieberman-Collins bill in the Senate. It’ll work with the libertarian left because hey, they’ll believe whatever the left says about eeevil Bushitlerian Rethuglicans. But it disappoints me when the right, including FreedomWorks, is tricked and puts effort into CISPA instead of Lieberman-Collins. Did we learn nothing from Net Neutrality?

But yeah, when the usual whiny groups along with Barack Obama and the administration are joining together to talk exclusively about CISPA but not at all about Lieberman-Collins, I’m right.

House Republicans may in fact limit the bill in response to the veto threat, but the fact is we need a flexible legal framework to empower the good guys to have information which is critical when countering bad guys who share information all the time.

International attacks are real though. In fact, everyone may want to check into this account by the FBI about a thwarted attack that may still infect your computer.

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Tech at Night

CISPA is still a harmless bill devoid of new mandates of power grabs, but I’m actually short of new things to say about it this week. Lieberman-Collins is the real threat. Watch the other hand.

Let’s start with some spectrum instead. Verizon is under fire for trying to buy spectrum from Comcast and other cable companies, even as it tries to sell other spectrum. Note though that observers are saying T-Mobile, recently held up as a competitor who must be propped up by government action, stands to benefit in the marketplace by Verizon’s actions. Sprint, however, is put under pressure to to continued mismanagement and lack of funds to invest in its network.

Why would Verizon buy and sell its spectrum is all over the place, and consolidation allows for less demanding hardware requirements for its phones, which benefits Verizon’s customers. That’s good thinking, and that kind of market innovation should be rewarded, not regulated out of existence.

Look: it’s well and good to try to find a treasure trove of unused spectrum as Mark Warner wants, but hope is not a substitute for making more efficient use of what we already know about.

Though while Warner is optimistic, the NAB is insane. I mean, seriously? Did they miss where Verizon is also buying spectrum, so that it’ll have a net gain? Or that Verizon needs to look to the future, unlike various American broadcasters, who are doing the same old thing, and gradually losing out to new technologies? Jealous much of the Internet, NAB?

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Tech at Night

I’m seeing some real panicked shouting online about CISPA, a new bill that some are calling “the new SOPA.” It’s absurd. The bill may not be perfect. It could have flaws. But the argument being hammered against CISPA again and again is that it may be used against copyright infringers who abuse networks. So? The only reason to oppose that is if you wish to destroy copyright property rights entirely, as the radicals do.

I warned about this way back during the SOPA debate. I predicted that the left side of the anti-SOPA coalition would try to hijack the movement into a general one against copyright, as the anarchists over there tend to do, and the shrieking over CISPA is proving me right. CISPA is not a bundle of mandates. It is an avenue to information sharing. Note that everything in CISPA is “totally voluntary,” per The Hill.

If someone and disprove that, and point to one or more mandates in CISPA, I’d like to know. Until then, the burden of proof is on the radicals to prove they’re not really out to protect Anontards and copyright infringers.

For now, it’s looking like CISPA is a solid response to The plans by the President and Democrats to expand government online, by regulating the Internet. Double regulating in fact, as every ‘critical’ industry is already regulated. So this whole “critical infrastructure” thing is more pretext than anything

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Tech at Night

Monday night, as promised, we still have some catch up work to do. So let’s start with those Amazon Taxes, those Internet sales taxes of dubious Constitutionality. Colorado’s got tossed in federal court and Illinois’s didn’t raise any money. Obeying the Constitution counts, folks. Pass a true interstate compact through the Congress first.

Also as promised, there’s the matter of the Next Generation Television Marketplace Act. This is the one where ACU has come out against Jim DeMint, and that caught my attention. I have to side with the bill DeMint is sponsoring. I think ACU simply misunderstood what’s at stake here and had good intentions, but the excessive complexity of the regulations defeated them here.

The bill does not let cable providers become free riders, retransmitting others’ streams for free. It just stops the law from trying to dictate the parameters of the negotiations on retransmissions. I see no harm in that, and potentially much good.

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