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Tech at Night: Amazon Tax in California, George Soros and OSI loom behind the AT&T opposition, Net Neutrality, More problems with the FCC’s 706 report

Tech at Night

This week I already called upon Rick Perry to veto the Texas Amazon Tax, and now I’m left to hope that California Democrats will be less stupid than Joe Straus. Sigh.

Meanwhile the posturing around the AT&T/T-Mobile deal continues. We find from a press conference with COMPTEL CEO Jerry James that the Rural Cellular Alliance is joining with radical left, George Soros/OSI-funded group Public Knowledge to favor government intervention. If only they realized Soros will turn on them as soon as they’re no longer needed to pursue their socialist agenda.

The Wall Street Journal has also looked into the unholy alliance against AT&T. The leading members are of course direct competitors: Leap Wireless, MetroPCS, Sprint. Verizon is also mentioned, but the WSJ lists good reasons Verizon really wouldn’t mind either way. I also see one good reason for Verizon to want to see AT&T and T-Mobile win this: Anything that happens to AT&T now can also happen to Verizon, and Verizon becomes public enemy number one if it’s the undisputed leader of the industry. Sprint, meanwhile, doesn’t have to worry about being #1 because Sprint these days literally has to mooch off its competitors with things like the FCC Data Roaming order just to service its customers, so relatively little does it invest in its network anymore.

John Conyers and Edward Markey are also pressing for big government here. Look, even if you’re the biggest T-Mobile fan, the writing is on the wall regarding the fans of government intervention here. Everyone who is opposing this deal is self-interested, socialist, or both.

Meanwhile, Minnesota’s greatest shame Al Franken wants to regulate your phone, because you know, making Apple, Google, and Microsoft play mother may I with the Ministry of People’s Power of Ringtones won’t have consequences for innovation and neat new stuff on our phones or anything. Of course not. A Trabant was just as good as a Chevy back in the day. Right?

Will Disney’s attempt to trademark SEAL Team 6 trigger a copyright backlash? not counting on it, but I wouldn’t mind it.

In other intellectual property news, Apple’s getting a sneak peek at Samsung’s new toys, apparently as discovery in Apple’s complaint against Samsung for copying Apple’s designs. The whole freaking industry copies Apple. If trade dress exists, then Apple’s got to win these at least once.

Whew. I started tonight with 15 browser windows to chug through. I’ve made 9 links, but once was to my own post I didn’t have a window open for, so I still have 7 to go. Sometimes everything happens at once! Also, dealing with all these windows, I sure need bigger monitors.

Anyway, Eric Schmidt, former Google CEO and present Executive Chairman suddenly opposes government intervention on the Internet. Oh wait, sorry, he only says that when he doesn’t have a buddy as President. So he’s pro-Big Government here, but anti-Big Government in France. How convenient.

I have to think the death of squiggly line CAPTCHA tech will only be good, because it will require upgrades to tests that require actual thought, instead of stuff that’s just hard to read even for humans.

“Remember–someone, in his official capacity, is looking for a reason to discredit you and your work. Don’t give him an excuse to do just that.” So says Amy Miller about the White House’s new “Troll Czar”. Once again, the White House isn’t just looking to regulate online routing and technology, but they’re also watching the content. What you write.

Of course, they still want the other kind of power. They want all the power they can get. Which is why they’re pushing “cybersecurity” measures which are now hitting the House. Let me quote Margaret Thatcher to sum up what I think of the need for new “cybersecurity” laws: “No. No. No.” Or let me quote Star Wars: “It’s a trap.” Prefer the Twilight Zone? “It’s a cookbook.” Whatever your pleasure, just remember that it’s bad news because it’s just a pretext for let the camel’s nose into the tent.

Also in the House, work continues on the issue of interoperable public safety network issues. It sounds minor, it sounds boring, but it’s not. These are legitimate civil defense concerns we learned on 9/11. Let’s make sure we’ve upgraded our civil defense technology, which is what our First Responders will again become the next time terrorists strike.

What would Tech at Night be without some FCC stuff? The Free State Foundation points out the FCC is biased. The way I see it is that the FCC’s job is to regulate, but the FCC’s job is also to determine whether regulation is needed. See the problem?

Seton Motley digs into the same 706 Report that Greg Walden blasted on Monday, and the Free State Foundation hit above. His point? The same administration that used “created or saved” to make its jobs claims as unfalsifiable as Scientology, is fudging jobs claims at the FCC. Sad but typical.

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