Tech at Night

So I took Christmas off, but don’t forget: even as Democrats play blame the Victim, you should get your debit card or credit card replaced if you used it at Target recently. The attackers got your PIN even.

The traitor Edward Snowden very interestingly says he won, which seems to mean he thinks it’s himself against we the people. He’s sure not on the side of liberty, when he’s on the side of the child pornography den Tor. And yet, He’s still desperately trying to feel his Russian paymasters. Not even loyal to them.

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Tech at Night

I’d have signed a letter against IRFA, the Pandora-backed regulatory bailout.

Government is trying to give advice on security online, including advice on how to deal with breakins. Information exchange is truly a proper cybersecurity role for government. Also important is prosecuting private offenders, and dealing with state offenders.

Though it gets tricky when state offenders include firms selling goods while pretending to be private firms, such as Chinese firms like Lenovo or Huawei.

ECPA reform is being held in the Senate. Leaky Leahy says it’s a Republican doing it. I wonder who? Lindsey Graham? John McCain? I’m not entirely convinced that the bill is necessary, but I don’t think it’s a particularly idea as long as we preserve something along the lines of FISA.

If you really want your email to be private, don’t have it all run through Google.

Turns out Snowden’s final decision to pledge allegiance to United Russia has encouraged a child pornographer in Ireland to follow suit.

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OK so I’m sticking with AT&T after all

On September 13, 2012, in General, by Neil Stevens

AT&T has expanded its coverage in the last month since I decided I needed to go with Verizon. I’ve zoomed in enough on this map to show coverage for the whole area around the Loudoun County Government Center (where I spent 45 minutes every time I’m out there).

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Tech at Night: Beware, hackers and pirates!

On September 4, 2012, in General, by Neil Stevens
Tech at Night

Hackers and pirates! Kim Dotcom says he’ll be back and revive his copyright infringement empire, while infringement haven Pirate Bay’s co-founder Gottfrid Svartholm has been arrested in Cambodia and faces deportation, related to his conviction in Sweden.

Also, Anonymous’s Antisec claims to have broken into FBI servers and gotten data about iPhones. FBI says pics or it didn’t happen. Theory: they installed a trojan app in the App Store and are blaming the FBI as cover.

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I have to go Verizon for the new iPhone

On August 17, 2012, in General, by Neil Stevens

I’ve been agonizing over whether to stay with AT&T or hop to Verizon when the new iPhone comes out. With AT&T I have a grandfathered-in unlimited plan, though AT&T is actively seeking to gut that, contract or no. So there’s genuine value in hopping to Verizon to take a subsidized iPhone.

I’m letting coverage make the decision. It turns out it’s an easy call. Verizon wins.

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Time to defend Google: It’s unfair to attack them for excluding Youtube from its “anti-piracy” penalties, when they’re also excluding every other popular site driven by user-generated content. Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and Youtube are four sites that, whether Google-owned or not, need to be indexed and valued to a degree. The point of the penalty is to punish illegitimate sites, not legitimate sites with some illegitimate users. So, yeah, lay off this time.

However I see I’m not the only one who thought Google got off easy over the Safari privacy hack perpetrated at Google, that led to the paltry $22 million fine of Google by the FTC. I still wonder if somebody should have gone to jail over it. Who was responsible? Where was the oversight that leads up to Larry Page and Eric Schmidt? Google should have named names.

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I meant to talk about the cybersecurity bill on Monday as it’s a big story. But, it’s gotten even bigger since. You see, a broad spectrum of Republicans is coming out against it. Names like Kay Bailey Hutchison, John McCain, Mike Enzi, Saxby Chambliss, Jeff Sessions, and even Lisa Murkowski are against the crazy Rush Harry Reid and the Democrats are putting on the bill pushed by Joe Lieberman, Jay Rockefeller, and Susan Collins.

And they’re right to oppose it. The case is overblown, and even if they claim the Internet Kill Switch is gone, it’s still a power grab. We’re at the point where Dianne Feinstein is a voice of reason, as she promotes voluntary data sharing, a plan Tech at Night has previously supported when also proposed by Dan Lungren in the House. Yeah, seriously. If you know California political history you know how funny it is that Republican Lungren and Democrat Feinstein now have another thing in common. But I think they’re both right on this. The way we’ll get more secure is to share more data and to prosecute the offenders.

In other major news, the FCC has rejected LightSquared’s proposal to build a terrestrial wireless LTE network.

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Tech at Night

Remember: One of the victims of the joint Sprint/Justice/FCC Triple Alliance against AT&T is T-Mobile itself. T-Mobile has no 4G, no iPhone, and no clear plan for what to do if their right to sell off to AT&T is taken away by the big government wonder team.

Nobody benefits when big government tramples the little guy. Even if FCC is clearly wrong, and it is, the committee’s meddling is a problem at this point. I do hope alternatives can be found that government’s boot can’t crush. The Government in going after these firms is simply trapping the public in the middle. We’re the ones who lose out with lesser competition thanks to this deal potentially being blocked.

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Tech at Night

Wireless competition continues to grow, as Cricket edges closer to 4G LTE. I’m losing track of how many 4G providers we’re starting to rack up. So yes, the people who tell you smaller and regional carriers are not an acceptable substitute for national carriers? They’re selling you something.

That something is an attack on federalism via the Sprint/Soros/Obama/Holder attack on AT&T and the rights of T-Mobile shareholders.

Which is why it’s bad news that these coordinated lawsuits are continuing. It’s ridiculous: both C Spire and Sprint are in better shape than iPhone-less T-Mobile.

At least there’s good news in new and continuing Republican efforts against previous power grabs.

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Tech at Night

Top story is easy to pick tonight. The legislation that’s been known in the Senate as PROTECT IP, the Internet censorship blacklist bill that promises to make a huge power grab online, Communist China-style, has come to the House. They’re calling it by two different names: E-PARASITES and Stopping Online Privacy Act, but by either name it’s just as bad.

Even as the current laws do work, this bill expands government, and puts the government’s thumb firmly on one side of the scales balanced by the DMCA. Current law attempts to provide a balance between the rights of all of us online, and the rights of copyright holders accusing others of infringement. PROTECT IP/E-PARASITES/SOPA would give copyright holders private nuclear options to knock sites offline, and government would enforce it.

No, really, how bad is it? It threatens, Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube, three critical tools used by conservatives and Republicans against this administration, and this House bill would arm this administration against them. It’s insane. It’s just so poorly thought out. PROTECT IP also removes safe harbor concepts critical to the DMCA that gave ISPs reason to be fair to the little guy when pounded on by the big guy. No more, should this pass.

PROTECT IP. SOFA. E-PARASITES. I don’t care what you call it, creating national censorship blacklists to be enforced by law by all ISPs is just a terrible idea. Censorship by its very nature hinders public oversight of that censorship. In fact, some of the first things they censored in Australia’s version were lists of things censored, which meant when the censorship expanded to other topics, any discussion of that was threatened with legal action.

Kill this bill.

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