Tech at Night

Hello again. Having been traveling from Wednesday to Friday for my employer, I did my best to get this out Friday night, but I crashed about a third of the way into my backlog of links. Then over the weekend my email server died. So, we catch up with Tech at Night on Monday!

We’ll start with the International Telecommunications Union. Reports came out that ITU anti-liberty proposals were backing off, but the effort is going in the wrong direction. A big chunk of the Anglosphere is against it, including the Obama administration.

The President is getting credit for this position from industry and House Republicans, but consider this: if the ITU’s secretary general didn’t see the Obama opposition coming then just how muted were Obama’s efforts to fix the treaty to begin with? This is a failure of the President to lead internationally.

Continue reading »

Tech at Night

Google is a target now. The EU is threatening to do its people a disservice by trying to fight Google innovation as hard as they fight Microsoft innovation. Because here’s the thing: people who voluntarily use Google software are not at all the same as people who were snooped on by Google Street View vans. They’re not victims. They’re people choosing to sign their privacy away. The EU, in attacking Google, is restricting choice for Europeans.

Meanwhile, in the US, I have to disagree with Scott Cleland on Google’s FTC issues. Regular readers know I’m hard on Google when it’s warranted: in the Wi Spy mess, and in the Safari hack, I supported regulatory action against the firm. But the antitrust and Search Neutrality disputes are stupid, and are themselves political power grabs. The Obama regulators are themselves political power seekers. Google is not politicizing any process. Obama and his people already did.

Continue reading »

Tagged with:
 
Tech at Night

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.

Continue reading »

Tagged with:
 
Tech at Night

As Labor Day winds up out here, we have a brief Tech at Night tonight. Something to watch: Eric Schmidt is downplaying talk of Google wanting Motorola’s phone patents after Larry Page pretty much said the opposite. Who’s in charge here?

HP sues its own partner over its own idea. Who’s in charge there?

A Dutch court only found Samsung phones, not tablets, to infringe on Apple’s IP. A German court still disagrees, and is blocking two Galaxy Tab models. Who’s in charge of the EU?

New speculation is out that Barack Obama and Eric Holder are suing AT&T as an attempt to strongarm the company into a weaker negotiating position with the government. We need to show this administration the people are in charge, not the state.

Tagged with:
 
Tech at Night

So much going on suddenly this week. Barack Obama and Eric Holder’s DoJ has decided to come after AT&T for its plans to merge with T-Mobile, possibly doing the bidding of donors while hindering jobs growth in America as well as nationwide 4G wireless Internet competition. Sprint’s not doing much to keep Verizon in check; we need AT&T to have the spectrum needed to do that.

So Holder wants to drive Gibson manufacturing out of the US, and to keep T-Mobile in German hands, and prevent AT&T from bringing jobs back to America. Do I have that right? It’s no wonder people rate the Internet and Telephone industries much higher than they rate the government.

Continue reading »

Tech at Night

As is usual, tonight I’ll give priority to the things we had posted at RedState, and mention those first. Especially My own post on the latest on the California Amazon Tax referendum, and more specifically on the plans of Democrats to nullify the constitutional referendum process, in service of their unconstitutional Internet sales tax. We need to pressure Republicans to vote the right away, at least.

We also have a post by streiff on regulation, and how we need to do something about it. He asks a great question, on the relative levels of oversight the Congress gives to the military and to the post-New Deal alphabet soup: “So why should the commissioning of a lieutenant or the promotion of a mid-grade officer merit positive action on the part of Congress but an EPA regulatory regime that seems focused on making the use of coal illegal allowed with no action?”

Continue reading »

Tagged with:
 
Tech at Night

Hello again to those I saw in Charleston over the weekend, and hope to see you next time to those who weren’t able to make it!

While I return to California and get settled in again, it seems that some are leaving the state for good, and the hostile business climate is why. This includes the punitive Amazon Tax which has made it impossible for Amazon and others to host affiliate programs in California, destroying small businesses, slashing profits, and killing jobs. And this is a story we’re seeing again and again, up and down the state. New and higher taxes, even of the unconstitutional variety, kills jobs.

So my message to Tennessee’s Governor Haslam is don’t do it. Don’t be like us. Create a job-friendly environment, or you will only compound whatever revenue problems you have.

Continue reading »

Tech at Night: Verizon, FCC, Net Neutrality, Google

On January 22, 2011, in General, by Neil Stevens
Tech at Night

The big story as we close out this week is Verizon appealing the FCC’s Net Neutrality order. Verizon is choosing to go back to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, the site of the last Net Neutrality legal fight. That was the Comcast v FCC case, lost by the FCC because the FCC simply doesn’t have the legal authority to do it. Some say it could set up the FCC for another loss for Net Neutrality II to be fought out there.

In fact, Verizon is doing all it can to get this decided the right way. Verizon is arguing the DC Circuit is the only place this should be resolved, on the grounds that the FCC is essentially modifying Verizon’s wireless spectrum licenses. Clever. Also interesting is the request that the Comcast v. FCC panel be assigned to this appeal, on the grounds that the judges involved won’t have to waste time getting up to speed on the issues. A friend told me Verizon had some clever lawyering going on with this. Not being especially familiar with regulatory litigation, or even a lawyer at all, my ability to judge that is limited, but what I’m reading suggests it’s true.

Continue reading »

Tagged with: