FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
Tech at Night: Patent Troll bill passes the House. Kelly Ayotte makes a nice play on the USF.
The argument for the ECPA (email warrant law) reform in a nutshell: because a lot of people store important data on other people’s servers, we need to tighten warrant laws for that data. I don’t buy the necessity, especially with FISA also under attack. If terrorists have data on Google’s servers, I want Google to be able to hand over that data. But this idea is popular and I expect it to pass eventually.
I called it: China cut Bitcoin’s access to the Chinese banking system, just as the US cut online gambling access to the US banking system (and like the US did after the freezing of Mt. Gox’s Dwolla account. Result: Bitcoin prices are tumbling, even if firms like Bank of America can’t assume it’s going to go away.
I wish it would though, since Bitcoin continues to be a magnet for crime.
The House passed a bill attempting to reduce patent troll access to the court system. Darrell Issa’s happy, and I usually like his piecemeal legislative approach. The i2Coalition backs it. What I’m seeing is that the things that scared big software patent holders weren’t apparently in this final bill, and the people afraid of patent trolls would rather this bill pass. It’s probably a reasonable compromise, but I still fear it won’t fix the problem, which at the root is that the USPTO grants too many patents, because its incentive is to collect more fees and grant more patents.
Of course, the software patent thing may come up again in the Congress if the courts smack down the trash patents out there. Note, it’s not software patents that are the problem. It’s the things that aren’t inventions. You’re not supposed to be able to patent a mere idea. You’re supposed to turn that idea into a functioning, finished product, and too many patents these days aren’t up to that standard. They’re generic “devices.”
If we take Edward Snowden at his word, he’s assisting Russia against Sweden and the United States. This man is an enemy of the United States and should be dealt with accordingly.
Obama FCC delays spectrum auctions to 2015. Incompetence, ideology, and a lack of understanding of what drives job growth in America. Typical, sadly. We need more spectrum open to private industry since more and more people want more and more wireless download and upload speeds. Open auctions of spectrum the government is hogging means more competition in the marketplace for wireless service in America, and the little guy wins when that happens.
Oh this is interesting. So the Obama administration converted this fund, the Universal Service Fund, that was originally designed to subsidize rural phone use, into a grab back of Obamaphone-like Internet subsidies. Well, Kelly Ayotte is pushing to make the new distribution less biased toward Democrat-friendly urban areas. Nice.
An cell of the online anarcho-terrorist gang Anonymous may avoid jail for their crimes against Paypal, but they’ll still carry the burden of being convicted felons for the rest of their lives. Heh.