Tech at Night

I’m in danger of repeating myself as the AT&T/T-Mobile saga goes on, so let me open up tonight’s post with to my latest analysis of the situation. Summary: the behavior of Sprint Nextel’s and Clearwire’s share prices, combined with Sprint Nextel’s decision to sue AT&T, should lead any observer to believe that the AT&T/T-Mobile deal benefits the 4G Internet-using public at the expense of Sprint Nextel and current market leader Verizon.

Same as it ever was, as the Talking Heads said. When Sprint gobbled up Nextel, the public gained. So, too, will the public gain if the government keeps its hands off this time.

Is Sprint in trouble? Some say yes, but the point of antitrust laws isn’t reduce competition to prop up ineffective businesses.

Help the economy, President Barack Obama. Drop the suit. Encourage your subordinates to get out of the way of job creation, innovation, and technical progress. Event the San Francisco Chronicle has run a piece explaining that.

Hearings begin September 21. Ah, government. Slow, slow, slow. Imagine life or death medical decisions in the hands of this government! Maybe they’re still trolling for some evidence that just isn’t there.

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Tech at Night

Hey look, it’s Tech at Night before midnight Pacific time. Guess who’s got two thumbs and is finishing the week early? This guy.

The FCC is creating yet more new regulations. The Obama Administration just can’t get enough of these things. I didn’t know if anyone would have noticed it happen, but The Hill caught it as well.

Meanwhile the FCC slowly moves to increase national 4G competition in America by moving inch by inch toward approving the AT&T/T-Mobile deal, over the continued whining of Al Franken. Franken says he is “very suspicious of consolidation of power.” Yet, he won’t lift a finger against large unions, and he voted for Obamacare. Hmm.

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Tech at Night

Happy Friday. We’ll start off this edition with Marsha Blackburn’s own post at RedState. There’s a reason I would like to see her rise higher on Energy and Commerce: she knows her stuff and is a fierce proponent of conservative values. I agree with her: government is not the solution to the privacy problem.

I don’t agree with Joe Barton, whose plans for heavy-handed regulation make me glad he didn’t get the chairmanship. “There oughta be a law” is no way for a Member of Congress to think.

As frustrating to me as Barton is Lamar Smith’s plans to push yet another bad Patrick Leahy bill, PROTECT IP, through Judiciary. I’ve covered that bill in this space extensively. We don’t need, and can’t benefit from, a national censorship blacklist online. The guilty won’t be affected much and only the innocent will work. It’s like gun control, up to and including the unconstitutionality.

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Tech at Night

Can we just start shooting the hackers? It seems like it’s war on the Internet these days, and the more there is for me to cover, the more work it is churning out Tech at Night!

Lulzsec denies the allies are in Baghdad the leader is arrested despite an earlier claim on Twitter that it was true.

Anyway, Shame on the Daily Mail for trying to turn a Lulzsec hacker into a sob story. He’s a criminal gangster who couldn’t hold a real job. Let him rot.

How bad is Lulzsec? Even other hacker gangs hate them. I assume it’s because others realize that Lulzsec’s insane overreach is going to bring the hammer of justice down on the entire field. Especially when they’re targeting security experts, besides. It’s true, too: The FBI is on the march here, on the heels of arrests already made in Spain, Turkey, and the UK.

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Tech at Night

The cyberterrorist groups Anonymous and its apparent splinter group Lulzsec are getting bold. The latter gang of criminals is attempting to blackmail the United States Government after attacking government networks, which is just insane and I hope will lead to mass arrests. While the former is attacking the Spanish government after arrests made there, and suffering further damage from mass arrests in Turkey.

I hope when the Lulzsec gang gets rolled up, just like Anonymous is getting slammed, that some of them resist. OK, that was a mean thing to say, but it’s how I feel.

Anonymous hub 4chan still refuses to take basic steps to mitigate the groups’ ability to propagandize and recruit, such as requiring account registration or closing down unmoderated sections of the site.

Oh yes, and despite all the above attacks plus one on the IMF, Mary Bono Mack’s answer is to blame the victims instead of rounding up and sending to Gitmo or Alcatraz the perpetrators.

In further news, lots going on at RedState today. Erick Erickson and Dana Rohrabacher are fighting the good fight on the America Invents Act, the Patrick Leahy giveaway that punishes inventors and favors lawyers and patent mills, in an attempt to make us more like Old Europe. I’ve been warning about this bill for a while, so I’m sure glad to see opposition growing.

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Tech at Night

Lots to cover tonight, thanks in part to skipping Monday for Memorial Day. But of course I’ll start with my own post on the AT&T/T-Mobile deal, explaining from the ground up why the George Soros/Sprint arguments contradict themselves. Government should get out of the way, especially state governments like California’s getting too big for their britches. It’ll be better for all of us who buy wireless services.

Speaking of states running amok, here’s the bill that tax-and-spend Texans have put the Amazon tax into. Unless I’m mistaken, which is possible since I’m not particularly familiar with Texas inside baseball, SB 1 is being considered in the special session of the legislature. Let’s hope Texas can strip that tax out, after Governor Perry already vetoed it once. Texas needs to be America’s example of small government. Texans: get loud and back up the Governor! Give the Governor a harrumph!

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Tech at Night

House pressure on the FCC continues, with Friday’s hearings on FCC process reform, including testimony from all four active FCC Commissioners (Republican Commissioner Meredith Baker has quit the FCC). I associate myself with the remarks of Seton Motley on the preferred outcome of FCC Process Reform: “FCC ‘Process Reform’ Should Be About Reducing FCC Power. Oh, and making them obey the law.”

Meanwhile, as much as we talk about what’s wrong with the FCC and other issues, it’s good when I get to report on people getting ready to fight back. Jim DeMint is questioning the plans for the new National Emergency Alert System, while Verizon’s fighting back on the ridiculous FCC price controls on data roaming designed to help Sprint compete without actually investing in a better network.

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Tech at Night: AT&T, T-Mobile, FCC, Patents

On March 24, 2011, in General, by Neil Stevens
Tech at Night

So the top story this week is going to be the AT&T acquisition of T-Mobile USA. There’s a lot being said about it, about unions, about competition, but the story I’m seeing emerging is that this deal is about spectrum. AT&T sees in T-Mobile a way to get the spectrum it needs going forward. In fact, even power grabbing FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said to the CTIA that this is an issue:

If we do nothing in the face of the looming spectrum crunch, many consumers will face higher prices – as the market is forced to respond to supply and demand – and frustrating service – connections that drop, apps that run unreliably or too slowly.

So not only is T-Mobile a sensible purchase for AT&T in the short run, due to their use of similar technology, but in the long run this is the kind of purchase AT&T may need to be able to compete with Verizon. Verizon, of course, already got more spectrum when it bought the C Block of old television spectrum in 2008.

So if we want competition now and in the future, we need to let the deal happen.

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Tech at Night

Much to cover, and less time to cover it in! So many important things I don’t even know what to hit first. So, I’ll be biased and hit what I found out about from RedState. Google and the NLRB teamed up to promote unionization, with Google providing free ad space.

That’s a problem for three reasons. First, the NLRB is supposed to be the impartial arbiter of disputes between unions and employers. For the NLRB to promote unionization is to tip its hand as being a tool of one side: the unions. Second, Google isn’t even unionized. Third, and the undoing of the scheme: The NLRB, like the rest of the government, is prohibited by law from accepting free goods or services. If it weren’t for that, they’d all have continued to get away with it as they have since 2008. What a technicality.

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Tech at Night

Hello! There’s no one clear theme of things to discuss tonight. It’s a diverse list of topics, so let’s just muddle on through and see what’s going on.

We’ve got some good news from what the Republicans in Washington are going. On the Senate side, the side we haven’t heard nearly as much about thanks to the Obama-Reid majority there, conservative Republicans are taking key roles. Senators Toomey, Rubio, and Ayotte will join the Senate subcommittee responsible for FCC oversight. Get to it, gentlemen and lady.

Meanwhile, in the House, Speaker Boehner has come out strong against Net Neutrality, calling it a threat, and warning about follow-on regulation like the Fairness Doctrine. Committee members are active too, judging by H. J. Res. 37 by Greg Walden, Fred Upton, and the gang. This simple, readable, eight-line resolution disapproves the Net Neutrality power grab.

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