Tech at Night

Twitter has a credibility problem on its hands, all of a sudden. Even as I’m getting blind link spam sent to me every single day on the site, Twitter has singled out a conservative activist group to have its accounts wiped out. Not only was the Empower Texans feed shut down, but every single employee’s personal feed was targeted as well.

Twitter’s response has been non-descriptive, and lacking in any support. Conveniently for Twitter, by blocking the accounts, it’s impossible for any observer to confirm or deny their allegations of Twitter rules violations. I can only conclude, in the absence of evidence, that somebody in Twitter has decided to get political. And that is Twitter’s problem to fix.

Follow FreeMQS for further developments. Update: Actually, don’t. I was misinformed on this one as the story developed last night.

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Tech at Night

This week I already called upon Rick Perry to veto the Texas Amazon Tax, and now I’m left to hope that California Democrats will be less stupid than Joe Straus. Sigh.

Meanwhile the posturing around the AT&T/T-Mobile deal continues. We find from a press conference with COMPTEL CEO Jerry James that the Rural Cellular Alliance is joining with radical left, George Soros/OSI-funded group Public Knowledge to favor government intervention. If only they realized Soros will turn on them as soon as they’re no longer needed to pursue their socialist agenda.

The Wall Street Journal has also looked into the unholy alliance against AT&T. The leading members are of course direct competitors: Leap Wireless, MetroPCS, Sprint. Verizon is also mentioned, but the WSJ lists good reasons Verizon really wouldn’t mind either way. I also see one good reason for Verizon to want to see AT&T and T-Mobile win this: Anything that happens to AT&T now can also happen to Verizon, and Verizon becomes public enemy number one if it’s the undisputed leader of the industry. Sprint, meanwhile, doesn’t have to worry about being #1 because Sprint these days literally has to mooch off its competitors with things like the FCC Data Roaming order just to service its customers, so relatively little does it invest in its network anymore.

John Conyers and Edward Markey are also pressing for big government here. Look, even if you’re the biggest T-Mobile fan, the writing is on the wall regarding the fans of government intervention here. Everyone who is opposing this deal is self-interested, socialist, or both.

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Tech at Night: FCC, AT&T

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

It’s the calm before the storm. House Republicans have taken every ordinary measure to work with the President and get the regulatory excesses under control. The administration has refused though, and now the House is preparing to get tough.

This buildup applies not just to the FCC, but also to the EPA and other runaway parts of the executive, but here I’m focused on the FCC. I’ve covered earlier efforts recently in this space, but now it continues as Fred Upton and Cliff Stearns are getting bipartisan support for continuing pressure on the FCC, increasing oversight into the area of public safety communications.

As someone who has encouraged the assignment of spectrum for public safety, I think greater oversight into what equipment would be used on that spectrum can only help. If we’re not going to use market forces to assign the spectrum, we’d sure better ensure market forces are brought in where they are needed: buying that equipment. Unlike spectrum licensing, phones do have more than one source.

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Tech at Night: Google, FCC, Civil Defense spectrum

On April 14, 2011, in General, by Neil Stevens
Tech at Night

That’s one of the most boring and least unique Tech at Night titles ever, but I’m going to war with the links I have.

Slade Gorton’s priorities are horribly wrong. I’m sorry, but that’s the way it is. On Tuesday the Greg Walden subcommittee held hearings on “Use of Spectrum with Public Safety.” I’ve already explained why I think the D Block of wireless spectrum needs to be allocated directly to public safety, but Gorton’s argument for putting the D block up to auction is ridiculous. So says Energy and Commerce’s press release:

Gorton testified that auctioning “the D Block to the private sector will reduce the deficit, empower huge investments in new technology and job creation, and will meet the very real needs of our vital public safety sector.”

We already tried auctioning the D block. It did none of the above. And why should we try to reduce the deficit with a one-time payment from the pockets of first responders? That seems all wrong to me.

I know civil defense has a mixed record historically, when it was promoted by some as an alternative to tough-minded deterrence of nuclear war. But the threat of retaliation doesn’t work against jihadis. We need to be prepared to react to attacks better than we did on 9/11.

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The D Block should be given over for public safety

On January 25, 2011, in General, by Neil Stevens

Here at RedState I always hesitate before I praise a proposal by a Democrat. This is a site committed to achieving conservative aims through the Republican party, and I agree with that commitment. But once in a while, on issues less politically charged, a Democrat will come up with something reasonable. This is one of those times.

I’ve looked at the issue, thought about the consequences, and I can’t find any reason to oppose the efforts by Senator Jay Rockefeller, Democrat that he is, to set aside for public safety use the so-called D block of wireless frequencies, efforts he also made last year. We learned on 9/11 that in a crisis we need different public safety groups to be able to talk to each other. It’s not enough to let them go on their own. We see similar issues every time there’s a major wildfire in the west, when expert teams congregate from throughout the region.

It’s important for emergency response teams to be able to coordinate. Some say we’d have gotten more firefighters out of the World Trade Center before collapse, had we built a better public safety communications network by 2001. So as much as I think auctions are a tremendously efficient way to allocate wireless broadcast resources in general, this is a specific case where I think we need to bypass that and simply allocate the D block to a new national safety grid.

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