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Tech at Night: Google, Microsoft, Net Neutrality

Tech at Night

In case you missed the great news Friday, Net Neutrality was repealed in the House. The resolution now must go to the Senate, where under the Congressional Review Act it cannot be filibustered, so it only needs 51 votes.

And while I do hope that the House will follow up by attempting to repeal the redistributionist data roaming regulations passed last week, other work must be done. On Tuesday, Greg Walden’s subcommittee will hold a hearing on spectrum allocation. I hope they will support allocating the D block to public safety.

Sony has settled with George Hotz, the man who exposed their gross engineering failures in the PS3’s content controls. Of course, once the genie’s out, it’s out. One does wonder what was in the settlement that would appease Sony, in light of that. Did Hotz have unreleased data that Sony could regain control of, possibly?

The neo-Marxists at Free Press had their shindig in Boston. Need proof that they’re about state control, not freedom? Read this key quote: “Unfortunately the world where regulating these guys into to an inch of their life is exactly what needs to happen.” Oh and they don’t think you should have to pay for what you use, either: “All this talk about usage-based billing and the need to recover their costs is based on not much evidence.” By the way, both of those quotes are from former Obama technology advisor Susan P. Crawford. It’s all about power with Barack Obama and his team.

I’ve always respected Microsoft as a great innovator in the business of software. Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer, and company always did a great job of finding ways to sell software and then doing it. So it doesn’t surprise me that Microsoft is concerned about Google’s attempts to move into supplying software to government. Microsoft’s bread and butter is big, legacy deployments, and Google can’t be threatening that.

And well, it turns out that Google has done something that’s probably going to be a huge help to Microsoft: Google has lied about its software certifications, claiming that Google Apps for Government is FISMA certified, when it is not. FISMA is the Federal Information Security Management Act, passed in 2002 that, among other things, sets information security standards for government software. FISMA compliance is essential for Google to do what it claims. For Google to mislead on this is surprising.

And a final note to close the night. Exercise your rights under fair use and make backup copies of your movies. I’ve used AnyDVD in conjunction with Handbrake and it does a great job with DVDs and (if you have AnyDVD HD) Bluray discs.

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