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: They want to try again on Net Neutrality.

On January 29, 2014, in General, by Neil Stevens
Tech at Night

So the FCC is meeting soon, and that’s probably going to produce some news. Some of us are hoping for the best under the new FCC Chairman, but he may yet be a radical extremist who will try yet again on Net Neutrality, after the FCC has lost twice in court when attempting that power grab.

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Normally in Tech at Night I try to find the big trends that can be pieced together from all the little stories we see going on. Right now the trend continues to be that Republicans are trying to make American Internet access even better than it already is, while the rest of the world is going in the wrong direction.

Don’t believe me? Europe wants to regulate the Internet even more. Meanwhile, Congressional Republicans are hard at work looking to protect us online from China, and to make sure wireless spectrum is allocated efficiently, rather than set aside for Obama’s preferred vendors.

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Tech at Night

Markets work, folks. Americans have way more invested in our wireless than the rest of the world.. As a result, our wireless is the best in the world. This is why the broadband story is never completely told by the pro-regulatory faction: they need to “hide the decline” of socialized wireless.

Also, it’s beginning to look like Rand Paul is running for President (shocker, I know). Despite prominent wealthy California Democrats are, you now, Democrats, the Senator is trying to get support there. I suppose he’s trying to replace his father’s fringe base with left-libertarians. So he even talked to Wired and is cozying up to Silicon Valley industry. Will it translate to votes? Certainly not in the primary and I’m skeptical in the general. But if it works for him, it could be big.

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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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New Zealand continues to let fugitive Kim Dotcom waddle free as his successor to Megaupload has launched. The US shut down his previous service, hosting files for law breakers, and now New Zealand is letting him start over with a new service. I look forward to people using it to infringe on New Zealand copyrights, and to distribute tools for stealing from New Zealanders.

It’s amazing how detached from reality left-wing tech policy gets. Connectivity is better and faster than ever thanks to the 4G wireless revolution, as Media Freedom points out. I guess that’s why when firms like Comcast try to expand access even further, they have to try to talk it down.

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Tech at Night: RSC and Copyright, Purges have consequences

On December 8, 2012, in General, by Neil Stevens
Tech at Night

Gotta love it: I go to take a nap before Tech at Night but… oops, somebody forgot to press the Start button on that 2 hour timer. So, suddenly it’s Tech at Saturday Morning!

So yeah, we’ll start with a story that actually got me mad: the ongoing story of that now-famous RSC paper on copyright. There are conflicting reports out there, but most I’m seeing suggest there’s a real change going on at RSC, the same way there’s been a purge of a certain wing of the party elsewhere in the House.

I’m disappointed by all of this. If the RSC is going to oppose copyright reform the same way most of us oppose anarchic anti-copyright views, then the RSC is aligning itself with the most extreme perpetual-copyright views held by groups like MPAA. If there is to be no compromise, then I cannot work with them either, since my views have been declared to be in opposition to RSC.

Purges have consequences. It’s time we stopped pretending RSC is anything but an organ of the RSC establishment now. They’re clearly not speaking for the conservative reform wing of the GOP, as they once did long ago.

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Surprise:Obama’s cybersecurity plans don’t actually fix anything, they just expand government. And yet the administration shamelessly attempts to use the crisis of storm Sandy to try to achieve this end.

At this point the administration’s cybersecurity efforts are as delusional and straw-grasping as its global warming efforts. Though what’s sad is that unlike global warming, there actually is a kernel of truth there that we as a nation could be acting on, but Obama is distracting us with his attempts to expand government.

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Hello all. I was without power for 25 hours after Sandy, and so I’m a bit behind. So tonight’s edition of Tech at Night is going to be put together a bit quickly. Sorry about that. By the way, while obviously a hurricane can take out wireless towers, wireless was vital for keeping me in touch with the world when I was without power at home. It was great. I’m not sure exactly what good FCC monitoring could do though, except to use a crisis to expand the role of the state.

Watch as the administration plays games: on one hand it tries to use Iranian attacks on banks as an excuse to legislate cybersecurity mandates, instead of attacking Iran back, while on the other hand it opposes cybersecurity mandates at the ITU! How about we oppose all cybersecurity mandates, guys?

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Top story: the FCC is moving forward with spectrum auctions, providing incentives for television stations to auction off their spectrum for wireless Internet use. We could see the auctions completed by the end of 2014.

Everyone admits there’s a spectrum crunch, and on the right and left of the FCC they say it’s a difficult question of how to transfer spectrum to alleviate it. Greg Walden is right though that this is good “if implemented well.” Bruce Mehlman of iia calls it “a terrific start” and that’s also true.

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