So I happened to get sick twice in two weekends, though the second cold was well worth it as I picked it up giving Zelda 2 commentary to help in the raising of $1.5MM for the Prevent Cancer Foundation.

But regardless I have some Tech at Night catchup to do. The biggest stories are related to Internet policy and Net Neutrality as they usually are. I will cover those later Thursday.

So tonight we’re going to catch up on other stories of interest over the last few days.

In a plan reminiscent of the Clinton-era Clipper Chip idea (see, I praise the Telecommunications Act but I’m not a blind cheerleader of that administration), UK “Conservatives” are talking about banning cryptography. I hope UKIP is listening.

Note the key point made in this story about the patent troll debate: the problem is when bad patents are backed by shady lawyers. If we’d reform USPTO we could fix that, starting with a fixed budget instead of letting it keep its fees, the current policy giving it an incentive to award more bad patents. Patent troll legislation, carefully written, could help, but bad patents are the root problem.

I have to say, I really don’t buy this argument that what we do will influence in a good way what communist China does. This is a brutal, murderous, tyrannical regime that has a billion people enslaved to an inhuman ideology. The idea that we can’t do patent reform because that will suddenly make them behave worse, or that if we go in a different direction they’ll behave better? Come on.

Funny how internet anarchists will publish names and addresses of American cops, but only deface websites of foreign terrorists. Bit of a double standard there.

So a major drug dealer is on trial, who thought Tor and Bitcoin would protect his crimes. His defense is now apparently that he founded the Silk Road black market, but gave it away later to let someone else rake in the profits.

So terrestrial radio is doing very well. Why are we giving them a special free pass on copyrights for older works again?

So some people want government to dictate to IEEE what its policies should be on patents. I think this is wrong. Standards bodies have every right to say that “If we’re going to use your patent in a standard, you have to license it to industry according to our terms.” If patent holders don’t like those terms, they don’t have to participate in standards-writing processes. Free markets, free people.

Good news: CISPA may pass to the President now given that we have a Republican Senate, and the Sony Pictures attack by North Korea awakened some people to the foreign threats we face.

Julian Assange and Wikileaks, ally to Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning, blames the Jews for the attacks against Charlie Hebdo. Gee, imagine that, the anti-American anarchists are conspiracy nuts.