Tech at Night

Columbus Day winds to a close, a cold slows me down, but Tech at Night marches on somehow. You know what’s also marched on? The New York Stock Exchange’s website. The anarcho-terrorists of Anonymous promised to take that website down (note: just the website, not the actual trading computers). Well, they failed, unless you count a two minute outage as success. Heck, RedState pretty much goes down for about 5 minutes every night, and we’re not even trying.

Speaking of security: in theory I love the idea of government focusing on government Internet security, while leaving the private sector alone. It doesn’t surprise me though if it turns out Obama’s brain trust can’t even do that right. Barack Obama’s disastrous regulatory record doesn’t suggest competence.

Which is why Mary Bono Mack needs to drop her ongoing privacy investigations, because it can only lead to more power for the government online, and that won’t end well.

Remember when I gave a little cheer for the supercommittee’s plans to auction off some spectrum? that plan is getting some criticism from people who want to keep some unlicensed spectrum free. If the spectrum can’t be put to use for high-speed Internet, then maybe it’s not worth bothering. If it can, though, let’s do it.

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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: FCC, Net Neutrality, Spectrum, Amazon

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

Sorry if you’ve been missing Tech at Night this week. Monday I just ran out of time as I had to do a whole bunch of housekeeping*, and tonight I’m running late. So let’s go.

In classic Tech at Night style, let’s talk about the FCC. They took forever to get the ball rolling on Net Neutrality, but it’s coming now and it’s a vehicle for censorship, says Seton Motley. As he says, “As every place we get our news and information continue their rapid migration to the Internet, Net Neutrality will lord larger and larger over the free market – and our free speech. Which is why we must rid ourselves of it as rapidly as possible.”

More fuel for the FCC reform fire: Free State Foundation points out the FCC has known for years of its problems with the intercarrier compensation system, which is how money changes hands when phone calls are carried across different private phone networks. They knew in 2001. That’s a long time coming. Though if they do tackle it now, we need to watch out for the Universal Service Fund becoming an Internet Tax.

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Haley Barbour: The Economic Record

On February 24, 2011, in General, by Neil Stevens

Haley Barbour’s been taking some criticism lately, which to me is a sign of how seriously people are taking his rumored Presidential aspirations, with reports indicating that he’s running until he says he’s not. I was able to meet the Governor at CPAC and I’m certainly taking seriously his budding candidacy. I’d like to see him run and I’d like to see him win.

Governor Barbour has the track record that shows him to be up to the job. Here are some key facts I’ve dug up to prove it:

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It’s time to defund the United Nations

On December 20, 2010, in General, by Neil Stevens

The United States of America keeps the United Nations afloat. In 2009 we were assessed 22% of the budget of the UN, and paid out slightly under 24% of what was collected, thanks to the Tax Equalization Fund system*. So in practice we paid about a quarter of the UN budget. Without us, the UN has to do some serious belt tightening.

So if we’re going to keep alive the UN as we know it, spending $598,292,101 in a direct assessment and surely more in other expenses, we’d best make sure we’re getting our money’s worth. The Obama deficit has gone through the roof and we simply cannot afford frivolous luxuries anymore. If the UN is not achieving its mission, it’s time we stopped paying for it.

This month I believe the UN has finally crossed the threshold of uselessness, and it’s time we defund it.

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Nima Jooyandeh facts.