Tech at Night

If you want an explanation of the ‘Heartbleed’ bug in the news, Francis Cianfrocca gives a good explanation in Coffee and Markets. But more important is his point about NSA. He always speaks carefully about that organization, but in his roundabout way he made an excellent point: NSA has a dual mandate. NSA’s job is both to break into enemy communications, and to protect our communications. The Heartbleed bug is so devastating that if they knew about it, they’d have to work to protect us from it, before someone else could use it against us. That’s how bad it is. There’s no way they knew about it a year.

If you don’t like that businesses hire lobbyists, shrink government and quit picking winners and losers so they don’t have to.

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Tech at Night

Imagine you have a neighbor, let’s call him Chet Glix. He comes over and offers a deal to you: When he’s out of town, you water his plants, feed his pet, mow his lawn, and get his mail. When you’re out of town, he’ll do the same for you. Sound fair? Not quite. He travels once a week, you travel once everyfew months. Yeah, that’s exactly the kind of unbalanced “peering” deal Netflix wants to force ISPs to make under the name of “Net Neutrality.” And that’s why we should reject Netflix calling fairness and paying for what you use a “tax”

What if we called Netflix’s fees an unfair tax and demanded they give us free movie peering in the name of Movie Neturality?

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Tech at Night

Gotta love it when the left uncritically regurgitates Sprint’s misleading talking points when they’d be having a hysterical screaming fit in the event I did the same to support my views.

Sadly I was right in my predictions about Obama back when hef irst took office, and Marco Rubio was right. The Obama administration is handing over the Internet to the UN, a blow to liberty and a victory for dictators around the world. I’m sure Rand Paul’s on board, since he wouldn’t want to tweak any dictators or anything.

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Tech at Night

ACU and other normally small-government types have bafflingly come out against the satellite TV bill STELA, and Steve Scalise’s efforts to enact Retransmission Consent reform, a cable idea first proposed jointly with Jim DeMint. This is wrong, and this is a strange supporting of laws that pick winners and losers.

You see, back in the 70s when Cable TV started to take off, broadcasters and socialists alike freaked out. Broadcasters because they were faced with competition for eyeballs where they previously had a monopoly, and socialists because it offended that someone might actually pay for TV. So they teamed up to rig the system, passing laws and regulations that prevented an open market for many broadcasts, instead creating territorial monopolies for broadcasters. These regulations have let the broadcasters get fat and happy (see also Aereo).

Pass retransmission consent reform. Supporters say without reform we “simulate” a free market, and to reform would harm “content producers.” This turns the truth on its head. Broadcasters are overpaid, underworked middlemen with government-manufactured monopolies. They produce nothing but just happen to hold a government license to spectrum. Make ‘em compete. And certainly never make satellite providers buy from a propagandist like The Weather Channel.

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Tech at Night

Remember during the height of the Edward Snowden media frenzy, how his defenders would dutifully parrot every word RT said about him? Here’s your great Snowden defender now. RT and Snowden are the enemies of liberty, peace, and the United States of America.

Bitcoin is the fantasy tool of ideologues, the 21st century version of Goldbuggery, but there turns out to be a group even more ridiculous than the Bitcoin zealots: TSA agents.

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Tech at Night

Started a new job officially this week, which means I personally have a new day to day schedule. This is going to be an adjustment. I’ll hopefully have a minimal disruption of Tech, but we’ll see at first.

Remember how Edward Snowden kept claiming that he was just protecting American privacy and exposing NSA overreach? That’s a lie. The fact is, Snowden is not reliable and it’s a shame NSA mistakenly trusted him.

Yet another Bitcoin site has shut down due to the rampant theft in the Bitcoin community.

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Tech at Night

Have you heard about The Weather Channel trying to force Dish Network to buy its programming? Yes, they actually want the Obama administration to force that to happen. They claim it’s a public service, except ratings are falling and they don’t even do exclusively weather anymore. Guys, it’s 2014: People get the weather on the Internet and on their phones. Nobody needs to watch cable TV for weather anymore. We must not use government to subsidize this buggy whip manufacturer.

Bitcoin continues to be used for crime, and leading Bitcoin groups are clouded by scams, so it’s no wonder Joe Manchin wants to ban the whole thing.

I can’t really blame him. I can’t support it – we already have money laundering laws – but I understand it.

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Tech at Night

Anarchy update: The black marketeers at Silk Road 2 got robbed for a Bitcoin amount worth over $2 million at current exchange rates. Iran shut down another black market ring, Germany and the Netherlands have joined the global hunt to shut down Silk Road and spinoffs. Keep in mind these online black markets are used for drugs, hired killings, child pornography, human sex trafficking, and anything else you can think of that’s a problem in society. They try to say “Oh it’s just pot,” but it’s not. It never is.

In another bad sign for digital currencies. another prominent digital currency, Dogecoin, is experiencing a major glitch that threatens to disrupt commerce or even take people’s money away from them. Why do people tolerate all the volatility and instability of digital currencies? Easy: it lets them evade the law. That’s it. That’s why these things are going anywhere at all, because they’re a magnet for the scum of the earth.

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Tech at Night

Here we go again. The last couple of times, they wanted to use “statistical sampling” to replace the Constitutionally-mandated direct enumeration in the Census. Now they want to use online polls to do the Census.

Let’s be clear: The Obama FCC is terrible, and generally threatens innovation, but I absolutely oppose efforts to do a comprehensive Communications Act bill. It’s nothing against Fred Upton and Greg Walden on this, as they’ve generally been pretty good on these matters. But any huge bill like this is going to get set up by every lobbyist in DC, and it will invariably grow a grab bag of special interest giveaways. A comprehensive Communications Act would become a ‘we have to pass it to find out what’s in it’ moment. Don’t do it. Pass one reform at a time. Find incremental reforms.

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Tech at Night

As I mentioned Friday night, I had so much to cover I was breaking up Tech at Night into two parts. This is part two.

Remember when I called out Wikileaks for abandoning their ally Edward Snowden in Russia? They claimed he had settled there and their job was done, but I knew better. Well, here’s the proof that they’ve used him up and thrown him away: he’s still trying to get out of Russia, this time to Brazil. Spying for Wikileaks doesn’t even pay.

Remember when Snowden was supposed to be all about defending American civil liberties? Now he’s sticking up for Russia against Norway. Huh. Almost like we’d expect a traitor that fled ultimately to Russia to do, eh?

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