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Tech at Night: Reusing passwords is dangerous, Wireless competition is strong, Defunding Net Neutrality, Copyright Overreach

Tech at Night

So while there have been a number of genuine online attacks lately against the Senate, the CIA, PBS, Bioware, and more, the headlines have been full of reports of aftershocks. What seems to be going on is that existing account credentials leaked from previous attacks are being plugged into other sites, including Paypal.

Anyone who reuses passwords is vulnerable to these secondary attacks. Be careful out there.

These punks are overreaching though. Now the NSA is getting involved. These guys had a mission in life to track down and make life tough for Soviet spies. These no-life kiddies don’t have a chance.

If the Senate won’t move forward with Congressional Review Act repeal of Net Neutrality, then let’s just defund Net Neutrality. Good going, House Republicans.

I absolutely oppose efforts to exempt Facebook ads from campaign finance requirements. If the “paid for by” details are burdensome on Facebook, then they’re burdensome elsewhere. Repeal it for everyone, not just for one favored website. To do otherwise is unfair.

Speaking of unfair, evidence has come out that Google’s ad sales team is favoring Barack Obama’s re-election campaign over Republicans. The firm denies it, of course, but Google denies everything that’s true but harmful before coming out and admitting it later. So let’s watch this.

Reports continue that Sprint Nextel will make a deal with LightSquared to give its customers 4G LTE access. Currently Sprint gives 4G access through Clearwire’s WiMAX network. This doesn’t sound like the move of a company expecting to defeat AT&T and T-Mobile through the government, then getting to buy T-Mobile itself.

More on that deal: The Internet Innovation Alliance has a great comment in with the FCC busting the myths of the AT&T/T-Mobile deal, explaining how the merger instead will improve competition, lower prices, and benefit customers in the marketplace.

Competition is strong already, though. The Nielsen company proves it again by showing how much data use is going up even as data prices are going way, way down. The cost per megabyte is down over 40% over the last year alone, Nielsen says, going from $0.14 to $0.08.

Closing the night with a whole bunch of copyright and patent matters.

While I agree with the CREATE conference that copyright infringement is a bad thing, I simply cannot support the continued but selective criminalization of copyright. If the iTunes Match deals between RIAA members and Apple are found to infringe on copyrights, will RIAA executives or Steve Jobs go to jail? Of course not. that’s only for high school and college kids.

We certainly wouldn’t jail RIM’s bosses if RIM infringed on Dolby’s patents. Why not? The civil courts work just fine to protect intellectual property. Criminalization is an unnecessary and dangerous expansion of government that picks favorites without actually improving the protection of rights in America.

Another dangerous act that would reduce the rights of inventors in America is the America Invents Act. I support Dana Rohrabacher in his efforts to lead the fight against that bad bill, which would change patent law so that the first person to invent an idea would no longer get the patent. The first person (or mega patent mill) to file the patent wins, regardless of whoever actually did the work first. Apparently it’s good because they do it this way in socialist Europe. Yeah, right.

We may be finding out how Apple got so much support for iTunes Match though. Hardcoding iOS to block recording of concerts sounds like a way the record companies would throw a bone to the actual artists.

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