Tech at Night

This is going to be quick tonight, but I have an important point to make. Our wired Internet is a lot better than critics make it out to be in this country, when you adjust for population density. Naturally no matter how good it is, we still want it to improve over time. If we want that to happen, we need to create incentives for investment.

And it’s basic economics: If you want to incentivize ISPs to increase your data rates, then you want to give them an economic incentive to get you as many bits as possible: It’s time to return to metered Internet access. Pay for what you use.

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Tech at Night

The longer you look at regulatory policy in this country, the more you run into special interests looking out for their own personal payoffs. But seriously, I feel like terrestrial broadcasters are the worst of all when it comes to acting entitled. Waah waah we’re big fat socialists and we don’t want to have to pay the people who made the stuff we’re broadcasting. Meanwhile, Waah waah we want to restrict competition amongst ourselves to retransmit our broadcasts on cable.

Virtually every company, every industry I write about in this space goes around lobbying in DC for some advantage. But nobody gets so many special protections and is so rabid in protecting them at any cost, as terrestrial broadcasters. At some point, small government folks are going to have to smash this racket.

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Tech at Night

Sprint is doing what I said Sprint would do all along. Remember when AT&T wanted to buy T-Mobile? Sprint funded a campaign by radical leftists to claim the #2 firm and the #4 firm coming together would be unbearably detrimental to competition, and would hinder American wireless.

Sprint’s new Japanese owners want T-Mobile, they want the #3 firm and the #4 firm to merge together into one, still reducing top-tier competition by one firm, according to the beancounting they used to do. T-Mobile claims it’s inevitable, but Sprint is playing an unfortunate game. They’re using all the left-wing, ridiculous talking points about Internet access in America to push their case.

The problem with that, never mind that Japan’s population density is nothing like America’s, and therefore no comparison is Apples-to-Apples. But as Jon Henke points out, now that Sprint laid out the case against a similar merger, they’re probably going to have to enter into an FCC-empowering agreement in order to get this deal done. That harms Sprint, and that harms America.

Tech at Night

So the anti-American hate rally SXSW (in crony Democrat-run Austin) is on, though apparently some patriots haven’t gotten the message and keep going anyway. Edward Snowden stands in Russia ruled by authoritarian Vladimir Putin, and as Putin’s tanks roll into Ukraine followed by cyberwar against all who speak out against it, Snowden claims the NSA is the one attacking the Internet. I see he’s bucking for the job as the new RT America host.

And then they also let fugitive rapist (and co-conspirator with convicted spy Bradley Manning) Julian Assange speak, from his spot in the embassy of Ecuador, a country ruled for years by a leftist President and a regime conducting routine human rights violations. He made no apology for his rape, and promises more propaganda against America.

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Tech at Night

Here at RedState this week, Fred Campbell compared Retransmission Consent with Net Neutrality. Some may think the Steve Scalise bill (on an idea backed by Jim DeMint when he was in the Senate) doesn’t go far enough, but it’s a step, and it’s a lot better than the heavy headed, high-regulatory approach promoted by Anna Eshoo and Zoe Lofgren, Democrats both.

The Obama administration may be terrible on phone unlocking, but they managed to get something done with industry after all.

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Tech at Night

Had some work to do Friday night, so this this became Tech at Sunday Morning!

I still don’t see it passing the House after Mike Enzi’s winners and losers talk poisoned the well, but conservative governors want MFA passed for good reason. Ask Scott Walker.

Remember when the T-Mobile/MetroPCS deal flew through the Obama administration without a hitch? I think we now know why: it meant the end of the MetroPCS challenge to Net Neutrality. How convenient.

Stealth recording technology. What could go wrong? Of course, if you don’t like Google Glass, the real thing to do is to let property owners ban it on their own property. Problem solved.

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Tech at Night

More proof people don’t care about privacy: Google announces a service is ending, and the competitor I use to prepare Tech at Night becomes flooded to the point of unusability Wednesday night. People just don’t care what Google is doing.

The Street View WiSpy scandal didn’t scare people off, even as Texas hits Google for those offenses. Glass excites them. The shift toward human biases doesn’t raise questions. People love Google’s services, and privacy doesn’t enter into the equation. So keep regulation out.

Make sure you catch my recent RedState post on Aaron Swartz, and how the blame casting against his prosecutor is not only unfair, it’s wrong.

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Tech at Night

A lot of conservatives seem to be getting behind a Hatch-Rubio bill to increase immigration for skilled individuals. No wonder Harry Reid wants to block it for partisan reasons. Have to put politics over anything else. Can’t let Republicans do a good thing.

Though I think the Senate priorities are pretty messed up. Jay Rockefeller is talking about workforce standards in the context of cybersecurity legislation. Talk about using any excuse to grow government. At least guys like John Thune recognize the need for the government and private business to work together against foreign Internet threats.

I mean, we can’t rely solely on NSA doing its best to do the right thing on its own.

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Tech at Night

Apologies. I’ve had some technical issues tonight, and after twice nearly losing my list of links to work through… I’ll do my best, but I’m not really feeling it at this point. So sorry if I’m subpar tonight.

Two Google wins going on. Larry Page talked with FTC on antitrust and now the left is shrieking that sanity may prevail on this. Google isn’t a search monopoly. Amazon, eBay, IMDB, sites like these ensure it. Even if Bing and Duck Duck Go are having trouble breaking through, domain-specific search matters, a lot, and Google has to compete with that, or die.

That said, it’s ridiculous that Google was allowed to hack people’s browsers, store information surreptitiously, and instruct the browsers to send that information to their servers at later times. This directly against the expressed wishes and policies of the users involved. All they have to do is pay Obama his 20 pieces of silver, and they even get to keep the data.

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Tech at Night

Remember when AT&T tried to get T-Mobile’s spectrum in order to give Verizon some more competition? And how Sprint opposed that because it would heighten competition? Well now it’s turnabout. SoftBank is attempting to buy a majority of Sprint, which will in turn take a majority of Clearwire. That will give Softbank control of a large amount of US Spectrum. So AT&T wants regulatory review. Heh.

To be clear, I think it’s a good thing that firms are doing what they can to get spectrum and compete, even if I laugh at the revenge attempt going on here. In fact I think it would have been very interesting to see Softbank/Sprint/Clearwire vs AT&T/T-Mobile vs Verizon. But we’ll see what shakes out in the end.

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