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Tech at Night: Net Neutrality, FCC, iPad

Tech at Night

Good evening, I wrote in my best Alfred Hitchcock impression. Top story as we go into the weekend: our friendly neighborhood House Republicans are pressing on with their oversight of the FCC and Net Neutrality in particular. The resolution disapproving of Net Neutrality is postponed, but instead we’re getting pressure on the FCC to justify its actions economically. Good on Greg Walden, Fred Upton, and Lee Terry!

Meanwhile, up in Vermont, we’ve got a case study going on demonstrating why we don’t want industrial policy in the volatile, constantly innovating telecommunications world. Government grants to favored firms tend to favor those firms and their investors, not the people intended to get the help. Vermont is trying to pump government money into Universal Access, and failing. Let’s not repeat that nationally, please.

And of course, besides all of the legal, Constitutional, and rights-based arguments against Net Neutrality, there’s always been one fundamental practical issue with it: the Internet is too complicated for the government to deal with effectively. I’ve been linking to Seton Motley in Tech at Night for a while now, and he found a great map of the Internet to illustrate this, with the perfect post title to go with it: “Ok, Apply Net Neutralty to THIS.” Indeed.

Going more generally, I just love Jim Harper at Tech Liberation Front’s story of the cough drops to refute the vastly overused socialist concept of Market Failure.

And back to some specifics: The California Board of Equalization may be one of the most socialist (but accurate) agency names ever, but it’s still not covering for the Democrats’ lies about the unconstitutional Internet Sales Tax or if you prefer, Amazon Tax.

So there’s a Nintendo 64 emulator for sale in Google’s Android Market. I think it’s perfectly fair to say that Google has a history of benefiting from or even facilitating copyright infringement. Where would YouTube be without mass copyright infringement, for example? Has the firm ever shown any interest in property rights for anyone but itself, though?

And now to close the night with some plain old personal opinion about a new product. The iPad 2 is going to be a success, as people without iPads will continue to buy them, but I don’t think the new model gives most users much reason to upgrade. Some will love the new cameras for FaceTime, but my own observations suggest it’s a niche application with little broad popularity. Others will get excited about having more memory and CPU power, but I think most users won’t notice the dual core processor once they finish reading the Tech Specs web page on the Apple site. There’s nothing exciting to see in the iPad 2 if you already have an iPad.

So if you don’t yet have an iPad then sure, pick up an iPad 2. The iPad is a great toy and traveling tool for email, webpages, and other tasks. The vast array of apps on the App Store will help you get many things done. But if you already have an iPad, I suggest waiting for Apple to improve something exciting like the screen.

I personally will wait for a “Retina” display to come to the iPad. The original and new iPad models both have the same 1024×768 resolution. I was hopeful that the iPad 2 would bring 2048×1536, but I have been terribly disappointed. Now I have the same hopes for the iPad 3. Don’t let me down, Apple. Please?

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