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

So Edward Snowden is getting charged with spying. Note that this development in itself is not an affirmation of any particular element of what he ‘leaked.’ Parts may be true, parts many not be. For all we know, he’s a spy for things he didn’t leak but instead took with him to the People’s Republic of China to take refuge in that communist country which attacks American interests daily.

Speaking of attacking American interests, it looks like the privacy religion is heating up in Europe, as a coordinated assault on Google is happening in the European Union. Italy, France, the Netherlands, Spain, Germany, and the UK have openly coordinated attacks on the company and are hitting the American firm with 6 hits, combined with possible action from the European Union itself.

I find this action interesting. It’s clear to me that if tomorrow, Google began blockading all European users from its services, it is the European people, not Google, who would suffer more. Google would lose profits, but the European would lose services they depend upon. Google, from Eric Schmidt on down, has a flagrant disregard for the privacy of its customers or anyone else, but people use Google’s stuff anyway, in mass quantities. This is yet another case of government trying to shut down what the people wish to allow, combined of course with a healthy does of anti-American bigotry.

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Tech at Night

Seen on RedState this week: 10 questions for Obama’s nominee to chair FCC. It doesn’t sound like his answers are all great, which is in keeping with this adminstration’s inability to follow through with good spectrum policy.

In video games, this Microsoft announcement means both more and less than it’s made out to be. Yes, they are backing off on some of the mandatory online stuff, and removing whole features (like trading digital games) in order to respond to Sony. But they’re not promising no DRM, and in fact they just promised no selling of digital copies. However what they did do is 1-up Sony, who has left used game restrictions to publishers.

No, no, no, do not pass the Lofgren bill. Using or hijacking other people’s computing resources without permission to use them for your purposes, that should be a crime. If I accidentally leave my car unlocked, and you come swipe it, we don’t say “Oh well, you should have been more careful,” and let you off without penalty.

Aaron Swartz wanted to be the martyr. He made himself one. He only faced years in prison because he chose it. Instead of pleading guilty, he wanted a big, showy trial. Changing the law because of that person is just ridiculous and anti-property rights.

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Tech at Night

Privacy? You want privacy in the digital age? Start by repealing campaign finance laws before you wag your socialist finger at the private sector.

Al Qaeda also denied 9/11 involvement at first, but we knew the truth. Also, how can Anonymous deny involvement in an attack when they claim to be unorganized? It’s these slipups that let us know the truth about them: they’re an organized online terror and crime group.

To paraphraze the fictionalized Wyatt Earp: “I see a Guy Fawkes mask, I kill the man wearing it.”

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Tech at Night

CISPA is still a harmless bill devoid of new mandates of power grabs, but I’m actually short of new things to say about it this week. Lieberman-Collins is the real threat. Watch the other hand.

Let’s start with some spectrum instead. Verizon is under fire for trying to buy spectrum from Comcast and other cable companies, even as it tries to sell other spectrum. Note though that observers are saying T-Mobile, recently held up as a competitor who must be propped up by government action, stands to benefit in the marketplace by Verizon’s actions. Sprint, however, is put under pressure to to continued mismanagement and lack of funds to invest in its network.

Why would Verizon buy and sell its spectrum is all over the place, and consolidation allows for less demanding hardware requirements for its phones, which benefits Verizon’s customers. That’s good thinking, and that kind of market innovation should be rewarded, not regulated out of existence.

Look: it’s well and good to try to find a treasure trove of unused spectrum as Mark Warner wants, but hope is not a substitute for making more efficient use of what we already know about.

Though while Warner is optimistic, the NAB is insane. I mean, seriously? Did they miss where Verizon is also buying spectrum, so that it’ll have a net gain? Or that Verizon needs to look to the future, unlike various American broadcasters, who are doing the same old thing, and gradually losing out to new technologies? Jealous much of the Internet, NAB?

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Tech at Night

Wednesday night I put off all Tech at Night topics except for SOPA because the critical mark up votes in Committee were coming up. We weren’t supposed to be able to stop SOPA, but we could at least raise awareness, put up a fight, and prepare for the floor votes. And sure enough, the vote to keep the Internet censorship provisions went in favor of censorship 22-11.

Well, it turns out, we managed to slow the process down. After we made our threats to start working on primary challenges over that 22-11 vote, Lamar Smith put off SOPA, halting the current process until next week at the earliest. Stay sharp, but feel good about this delay. The longer we delay, the more we can gain support for the OPEN Act instead of SOPA.

SOPA opponents Darrell Issa, Zoe Lofgren, Jared Polis, and Jason Chaffetz also deserve credit. Why yes, that list does include a Democrat. Just shows how wrong Lamar Smith is to side with disgraced former Senator Chris Dodd and the MPAA on this. Two men who between them have no clue how the Internet works.

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