Tech at Night: Netflix does the right thing.

On February 24, 2014, in General, by Neil Stevens
Tech at Night

It’s very interesting how effective Edward Snowden’s pro-Russian propaganda has been in some countries. In some countries WhatsApp is being fled in favor of a Russian app. I guess the world is more worried about NSA than “gay rights” or political prisoners, eh? That’s an effective scam, right there.

Netflix uses a lot of bandwidth, and if they start broadcasting 4k movies, then that amount is going to go up. It’s a lot of one-way bandwidth, too. There’s no interchange of data going to and from users. It’s all being piped out. So the traditional concept of ‘peering’ where two Internet companies connect for free to send data both ways, really doesn’t make sense. Thus, Netflix is owning up and making deals to cover that bandwidth. More deals are likely coming. This is good news, as it means realistic investments in Internet infrastructure to make sure we all have enough room for the data we download. The fact that the Net Neuties are shrieking hysterically about this just proves what I was saying all along: Net Neutrality was all about trying to socialize the Internet.

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Tech at Night: FCC overreach begins to get noticed.

On February 21, 2014, in General, by Neil Stevens
Tech at Night

I’ve been talking about FCC overreach in this space for a long time, but now the Obama FCC is trying so hard to go so far, everyone’s noticing now. Yes, the FCC’s plan to attack free speech got so much unkind attention that it’s been pulled, for now. Don’t count on it being gone forever, though.

Because they still haven’t given up on Net Neutrality. Commissioner Michael O’Rielly points out that Chairman Tom Wheeler’s plans are wrong and an overreach, however just as importantly, Commissioner Ajit Pai calls it “Groundhog Day” because this will make at least the third attempt to grab this power.

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Tech at Night

Sometimes you just know somebody needs primaried. Wednesday I learned of a member of Congress who’s clearly only in the House because daddy was in the House before him, and he’s using the influence he has out a personal sense of entitlement. That’s clearly why Bill Shuster wants to ban phones on planes, despite both the OBama FCC and FAA thinking it’s a good idea to let the market decide this. Shuster was first elected in 2001. He needs a refresher on what happened in 2001, that would make us consider why passengers on planes may want that option, and why we should let Mister Market figure it out, instead of a blanket ban.

Look we get it, he’s big important man and he flies on planes often, and so he wants to order the airlines to do what he wants, because that’s what he thinks the perk of being the son of a Congressman is. But that’s why we need to defeat his bill, and defeat him in the primary.

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Tech at Night

How about some FCC? Some bad Net Neutrality laws are being proposed, attempting to save the terrible idea. Meanwhile Dean Heller is trying some targeted FCC process reform in the Senate. That’s great.

So, Retransmission Consent. You know what happens when you rig the system to limit competition, as the Congress and the FCC did in the early days of Cable? Broadcasters raking in the bucks. Never would I say that copyright should be attacked, but that price to license these broadcasts should be dictated by the open market. Let broadcasters compete.

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Tech at Night

Barack Obama admitted what we’ve been saying all along: Net Neutrality was an attempt to regulate the Internet. Told you so.

More FCC: Data use continues to go up, and it probably makes sense to remove barriers to investment on expanding our wireless capacity in this country. We still need spectrum, but the build out matters after that spectrum is acquired, as well.

Of course, instead of being sensible the radicals just want to spend more money stupidly.

All this is perfectly good reason to want to gut the FCC by reforming the Communications Act, but again, I just don’t trust the current legislative process to succeed at this in one big bill. When was the last time we had one big bill that worked well? Not in many years. I’d love to be proven wrong, but I’m not optimistic.

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Tech at Night

How do we know that the NSA stuff is being driven by anti-Americanism? So much outrage about NSA and American allies, but so little about Russia, China, and American rivals. Heck, I’m not even seeing a peep about a Chicom firm Lenovo buying Google Motorola.

Now here’s a major reform idea I could get behind: merging FCC and FTC. By removing one entity, we reduce the added burden on business when two different regulators come after them for the same stuff. Getting rid of DoJ’s antitrust division would help, too. Because now even SEC is grabbing new tech powers.

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Tech at Night: They want to try again on Net Neutrality.

On January 29, 2014, in General, by Neil Stevens
Tech at Night

So the FCC is meeting soon, and that’s probably going to produce some news. Some of us are hoping for the best under the new FCC Chairman, but he may yet be a radical extremist who will try yet again on Net Neutrality, after the FCC has lost twice in court when attempting that power grab.

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Tech at Night

It’s happening: the feds have arrested Bitcoin Foundation vice-chairman Charlie Shrem for money laundering. The key point seems to be that his service BitInstant was tied to Silk Road.

Good news: Microsoft and Google won and are getting some declassifications of aggregate data on FISA demands for data. Aggregate data from large providers won’t help the bad guys, but it will inform the voters, and that’s all that matters here.

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Tech at Night

It’s neat how the New York Times is dredging up an old NSA website as news. I guess it beats writing about Obamacare breakins or Benghazi.

And it’s interesting how Democrats don’t seem to want to dig into the Healthcare.gov or Benghazi failures but seem ready to blame Target for crimes against them.

So the Obama administration wants us to believe that taking gun databases from the states is legal, Healthcare.gov is legal, but NSA is illegal. Sure, buddy.

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Tech at Night

Why is Amazon winning? It’s not Sales Tax. It’s because Amazon is doing everything they can to combine their great selection with getting your purchases to you as fast as possible. That patent going around for predictive shipping is being reported so terribly. People keep focusing on getting something at your house you didn’t order. That’s not the real point of the patent. Figures 4A-4C of Patent No. 8,615,473 B2 demonstrate the real goal. They want to get items that are likely to be ordered into the networks of their package carriers, down to the local hub or first three digits of ZIP code, then slap on the address of a specific person who did order it, and get the item to the person insanely fast.

I know I’ve harped on this a lot, but it really is a shame that people in favor of sales tax changes have made this all about sticking it to Amazon, because there are legitimate tax reasons to favor taxing interstate purchases. Preserving sales tax revenue that used to be there means not having to raise or implement income taxes in order to get the same revenue per capita.

By the way, Healthcare.gov is horribly, horribly insecure.