Tech at Night: Amazon Tax fight, Free Press dishonesty, FCC's mask slips

Tech at Night

Wednesday I told you guys to look for two posts of mine. One is still pending, but I at least got my post on the California Amazon tax, and possible referendum shenanigans posted yesterday. At least I’m halfway there.


Beyond self promotion, we still do have other matters, like the pending AT&T/T-Mobile deal. Despite being left out of the Sprint coalition, Free Press is still on the warpath, fighting both the CWA union and the free market. Free Press argues that the deal is bad in part because T-Mobile was supposed to spend more in capital investment, over double AT&T’s planned level. But here’s the problem: he’s effectively double counting. T-Mobile, as an independent network, would have to spend more just to catch up with AT&T. Once the two join forces, they will need to spend less as they will need less spectrum, fewer towers, less backhaul, and everything else that is currently duplicated in markets serviced by both companies now, or serviced now by AT&T with service planned by independent T-Mobile.

Not that Free Press really cares about accuracy. They ran with a Reuters lie about News Corp, and didn’t bother to correct even after Reuters did. No wonder they think we need state-run media. Since they don’t care about the truth, they assume everyone else is as shady as they are.

More on News Corp: Media Matters is breaking the law to come after them. Will that be reported, or will Fox News Channel’s competitors only report the things Media Matters says about Fox? I think we all know the answer to that.


Better late than never? Some left-wing opposition to Net Neutrality shows up at the Huffington Post. And there’s truth to it, too:

When you get down to it, “neutrality” isn’t about “open” versus “closed” Internet or the “big guy” versus the “little guy.” It’s about one bunch of Big Businesses — Google/YouTube, Netflix, and the other Big Websites, who want to travel the Internet at no cost (even if their videos and other content hog bandwidth) and the infrastructure providers, who are looking for ways to cover the costs of the growing demand for bandwidth. YouTube and Netflix now account for almost half the system’s use at peak periods! Not only does video hog bandwidth, it has to be managed much more carefully if consumers are going to enjoy watching Internet video as much as they like reading emails that arrive in a burst. What’s the “left’s” view on a battle between these business interests? Frankly, we favor these “congestion charges” in every other environment — why not here?

Yup, yup, yup.

Spain is going the opposite direction of the US. As we criminalize copyright more and more, and seek to ban activities not directly engaged in copyright infringement, Spain just opened the door to sites which merely link to others who are engaged in copyright infringement. I like this. We need to go after the actual illegal acts, instead of creating new illegal acts which happen to be more convenient for prosecutors’ statistics.


Much of This House work on regulatory reform deals with the EPA and its overreaches, but anything we do to fix the EPA should also work against the runaway FCC, I hope.

Final note: Here’s a case for the slippery slope argument against the runaway FCC, not as a theoretical thing put forth by critics, but as an actual plan put forth by the FCC itself. The National Broadband Plan, according to its own Senate testimony, is a wedge toward dictating privacy rules nationwide, online. I like it when they’re honest about their plans for world domination.


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