Sorry if you've been missing Tech at Night this week. Monday I just ran out of time as I had to do a whole bunch of housekeeping*, and tonight I'm running late. So let's go.
In classic Tech at Night style, let's talk about the FCC. They took forever to get the ball rolling on Net Neutrality, but it's coming now and it's a vehicle for censorship, says Seton Motley. As he says, "As every place we get our news and information continue their rapid migration to the Internet, Net Neutrality will lord larger and larger over the free market – and our free speech. Which is why we must rid ourselves of it as rapidly as possible."
More fuel for the FCC reform fire: Free State Foundation points out the FCC has known for years of its problems with the intercarrier compensation system, which is how money changes hands when phone calls are carried across different private phone networks. They knew in 2001. That's a long time coming. Though if they do tackle it now, we need to watch out for the Universal Service Fund becoming an Internet Tax.
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski says he's "complied with the spirit" of the President's executive order on pro-growth regulatory reform with a lot of talk. Noticeably missing from his statement is much action to reduce the burden of regulation on business. He's eliminated 50 whole rules! 50! Ever read the FCC's rules? 50's a drop in the bucket. This isn't serious. Congress must increase pressure, as with the Fairness Doctrine. The burden is simply too high, and I'll probably be writing in-depth on this issue soon.
Or as with actual cuts to the FCC's planned budget, which the Obama administration is absolutely bawling about. The reaction is just hysterical, up to the point that it admits the FCC will have trouble handling "expanded responsibilities." Hey, just who authorized the FCC to expand its own responsibilities anyway? Also, OMB claims that cutting the FCC's budget won't save money, claiming the FCC is funded by regulatory fees anyway. Erm, then why complain if the budgeted cash isn't important?
Moving on, The Amazon Tax fight is in bad shape, but is not over in California. Expect an in-depth overview of the situation soon at RedState.
Amy Miller points out the dangers of a separate Secure Internet to the privacy of anyone who tries to use it. [Link fixed]
Google is tracking your mouse movements if you're signed up with Google+ or other services, which isn't really going to help with Google's regulatory problems. Not that I'm saying Google's peculiar institutions of information gathering deserve a government smackdown, but you can't keep building massive databases of people and not get a reputation of being that creep who peeps into everyone's windows.
You seethis author, Jennifer 8 Lee, promoting the call for the People's Democratic Socialist Revolution online, to crush the Kulaks and bring Social Justice for all? You know who she does online PR for? Yup, Wikileaks, says Wikipedia. Consider the source, and whether the source is with or against American safety, privacy, and prosperity.
Guess what? the stimulus didn't work for rural broadband, either. ARRA wrecked the economy and didn't even work well in the things it tried to build up via spending. "Shovel-ready" indeed. Watch out though, they're just going to say we need more money via Universal Service Fund reform, which in the mouth of a Democrat means Internet Tax.
George Soros wins again. Because the former head of GLAAD put his group's interests first and opposed government intervention against AT&T and T-Mobile, the Soros establishment got Jarrett Barrios fired. And now the new head is following the Stalin, er, Soros line. War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength.
Lastly, the House gives us some mixed news. Auctioning the D block of former VHF TV spectrum will be a waste of time I think, as it failed before. But creating incentive auctions to encourage broadcasters to sell off their spectrum in order to free up more for America's increasing need for wireless data, that's great news.
* I broke down and used up my Best Buy points on a big discounted television. A good 5" larger diagonal than my old, native 1080p instead of 720p resolution, fun stuff. In the process of installing it I cleaned up what I had hooked up to it: gave away the old PS2, threw away the VCR, re-ran all the cables. It's all tidy now. Dust-free, too.