Submitted by Scott Cleland on Thu, 2007-05-24 14:20
Self-described "Internet inventor" and former Vice President Al Gore has a newly released book "The Assault on Reason" in which he comes out of the shadows and into the limelight as a leading public proponent of net neutrality.
The Save the Internet coalition blogged/bragged about the book in its post: Al Gore: Net Neutrality is the key to a better democracy." They lifted some Gore quotes that gave them lots of "warm fuzzies" inside:
â€œneutrality should be the central tenet that will set us on a path toward an open, democratic Internet where free speech and free markets are encouraged.â€?
- â€œMore than one and a half million citizens contacted Congress and more than eight hundred organizations joined the SavetheInternet Coalition, organized by the upstart media reform organization Free Press, using innovative online mobilization tactics â€¦â€?
- Thank you Mr. Gore from coming out from the shadows and coming clean by publicly endorsing the efforts of, and tacitly acknowledging your strong ringleader role in managing "Google's poodles", SaveTheInternet and FreePress.
- The still unanswered question is how many tens of millions of dollars has Mr. Gore made from his boatload of Google options/warrants granted to him as "Senior Advisor" to Google?"
- And where are the disclosures in the book that most all of Mr. Gore's multi-ten million dollar net worth is in Google shares -- constituting a huge undisclosed conflict of interest on the issue of net neutrality.
â€œI truly believe the most important factor is the preservation of the Internetâ€™s potential for becoming the new neutral marketplace of ideas that is so needed for the revitalization of American democracy,â€? he writes. â€œPeople are not only fighting for free speech online, but they are also working to keep the Internet a decentralized, ownerless medium of mass communication and commerce.â€?
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Thu, 2007-05-24 13:02
Senate Antitrust Subcommittee Chairman Kohl (D-WI) wrote the DOJ urging them to block the XM-Sirius merger.
It is an exceptionally persuasive and compelling letter that effectively eviscerates XM-Sirius' contention that satellite radio is not a separate market.
I believe this letter is a good "precursor" for what the DOJ will think and do.
This letter also reached the same conclusion I reached shortly after the merger was announced and which I blogged on in my previous post "XM-Sirius: The emperor has no clothes" 3-31-07.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Wed, 2007-05-23 16:19
The Post Gazette reports today that:
"The House passed legislation Tuesday to combat the criminal use of Internet spyware and scams aimed at stealing personal information from computer users.
Spyware, said bill sponsor Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., "is one of the biggest threats to consumers on the Internet." She and other lawmakers cited estimates that up to 90 percent of computers in this country are infected with some form of spyware.
Spyware is software that secretly collects information about a person or organization and sends it to another entity without the user's consent..."
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Wed, 2007-05-23 11:15
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Tue, 2007-05-22 18:30
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Tue, 2007-05-22 16:57
Scotland's Sunday Herald reports that : "INTERNET SEARCH engine Google is understood to have reached deals with several large UK news groups over carrying their content on Google News."
This news is on the heels of Google settling with Agence Presse and the Associated Press in separate settlements over IP theft.
The real question is:
Has Google made the first step to recovery from it's IP kleptomania by admiting it has an addiction problem?
Most everyone has heard that to truly recover from an addiction, like Google's pathological theft of everyone's intellectual property, one has to be able to publicly admit a problem exists and is hurting others.
Unfortunately, Google seems to still be in denial.
Where's the settlement with:
Viacom for its YouTube thefts?
With the studios for aiding and abetting illegal downloading of pirated movies?
Publishers and authors for copying their works without compensation?
For trademark owners who have to pay only Google for keyword extortion so competitor's can't buy competitor's trademarks to send traffic to their site?
Come clean Google.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Tue, 2007-05-22 13:57
SaveTheInternet and net neutrality proponents are losing their populist message discipline, and starting to show their true philosphical colors in blatantly calling for what is effectively "digital socialism."
Andrew Rasiej, the founder of The Personal Democracy Forum, challenged Presidential candidates to become the next "Tech President" in a recent blogpost. It's important to note that his views are mainstream in the net neutrality movement as evidenced by the hearty endorsement they received by SaveTheInternet and by Wired Magazine Blog.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Mon, 2007-05-21 18:02
The NY Times unearthed a fascinating and extremely important piece of antitrust-relevant information in its great article today: "Firefox and the anxiety of growing pains."
- The NYT obviously wrote the article because it exposes a comical and ironic juxtaposition of an Open Source company like Mozilla, which is passionate about transparency, having cut a secret and lucrative royalty deal with Google, which is passionate about the "secrecy of its arrangement and agreements."
However, why this article is such a gem and is so important, is that it provides missing link evidence of why Google has become such a dominant search engine so fast, and why that domination is destined to increase.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Mon, 2007-05-21 11:49
I believe Microsoft's purchase of Aquantive will have the effect of increasing antitrust scrutiny of Google-DoubleClick.
- Listen to this quote in today's Investor's Business daily in an article by Patrick Seitz "In ads, Microsoft chooses a $6 Bil Buy-in":
- "Microsoft believes consolidation in the ad sector will continue and that there ultimately will be only two meaningful companies in online advertising, says Matt Rossoff, an analyst at independent research firm Directions on Microsoft."
Let me count the ways that quote gives antitrust authorities the willies:
First it is their job to not allow industries to become duopolies or acquire market power through acquisition. If that occurs naturally, it is not a problem, but "acquiring" market power is illegal.
Second, Microsoft, an expert in market power, is reportedly the one that sees this market trending to two players.
Third, to the extent that most all of the business model of the Internet is being driven by the advertising model and Google's spectacular success at that model, Microsoft is indicating that the Internet business is destined to be controlled by two entities that the Government allowed to consolidate.
I can hear the Antitrust authorities sharpening their pencils and flexing their mouse clicking fingers now.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Fri, 2007-05-18 11:05
I personally think the Markey proposal to spend $36 million for a "national broadband map" is a monumental waste of taxpayer money and really bad "policy".
- We don't have even a "national" broadband problem, we have more broadband facilities based competition and investment than any nation in the world.
- We may have a rural broadband lag, and if a map is needed at all it could only be justified for rural areas and it would only cost a fraction of the $36m.
- If Chairman Markey proposed a rural broadband map I would be much more muted in my criticism.
However, there is a not so hidden agenda lurking here.
A "national" broadband map is a transparent political scheme to re-define the issue so pro-regulation and pro-net neutrality proponents can define away "competition" and current policy success with a stroke of a pen.
If they can define away satellite and the 5 national wireless providers as broadband competitors, they can smugly say "I told you so" broadband is really a monopoly/duopoly and declare competition policy a failure!
Then they could have a policy basis for mandating net regulation, subsidies and net neutrality!
The reason they want a national broadband policy is that they want a one-size-fits-all national policy like net neutrality which ensures everyone gets the same broadband service regardless of different needs, wants or means.
It still amazes me how Chairman Markey and his fellow Big Government/net neutrality proponents can not see that competition and not regulating the Internet has been a fabulous, albeit imperfect success for the United States.