Breaking Tech News From NetHawk Interactive, Inc.

Breaking Tech News

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Over at Demand Progress we learned how the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Customs Enforcement (ICE) apparently don’t have enough to do with stopping people from invading our borders or creating mischief so they are now going after web site owners who simply offer links to sites they don’t particularly like:

“Brian McCarthy ran a website, channelsurfing.net, that linked to various sites where you could watch online streams of TV shows and sports networks. A couple months ago, the government seized his domain name and on Friday they arrested him and charged him with criminal copyright infringement — punishable by five years in prison.

We just obtained a copy of the complaint (below) that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) made against him — and they don’t even allege that he made a copy of anything!   Just that he ran what they call a “linking website” which linked to various sites with copyrighted material. Under that sort of thinking, everyone who’s sent around a link to a copyrighted YouTube video is a criminal.

This is another shocking overreach by DHS and ICE — a steamship-era department that’s proving once again that it doesn’t understand the Internet. We need to push back — and fast — before they try to lock up more Americans.”

So be careful what sort of links you offer on your web site until someone with an ounce of sense let’s these folks know this is not what we want these folks to be doing.

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From our illustrious politicians came this news:

KOHL ANNOUNCES ANTITRUST SUBCOMMITTEE AGENDA FOR THE 112th CONGRESS
3/10/11

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Herb Kohl (D-WI), Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy, and Consumer Rights, has announced an active agenda for the new session of Congress.

“Millions of consumers rely every day on competitive markets to keep prices low, and quality of goods and services high. On the Antitrust Subcommittee we have found, in industry after industry, that the best way to ensure full and fair competition is through the vigorous enforcement of antitrust law. We will continue to work on the Subcommittee to ensure that antitrust law is strongly applied. We will also pursue several vital reforms to antitrust law to ensure that anti-consumer obstacles to competition are removed,”  Senator Kohl said.

Under the auspices of our, “Yeah, right” authority, here are some of the other tech issues politicians are pretending to address:

* Media/Cable/Satellite Issues

In this era of continued consolidation in the media sector, the Subcommittee will continue to focus on competitive conditions in the media, cable and satellite industry. We will continue to examine the effects of media consolidation on the marketplace of ideas, including issuessuch as diversity of ownership in the media and on the ability of independent content producers to distribute their products. As cable television rates continue to rise, we will also continue to emphasize bringing increased competition to the cable and satellite television market.  In this connection, we will pay particular attention to new, emerging forms of video competition via Internet distribution to traditional cable and satellite services.   Internet video holds the promise of providing consumers, for the first time, an alternative to expensive pay TV subscriptions and the ability to purchase only the programming they want.  We will examine challenges that video programmers face in distributing their programming over the Internet, challenges that online video distributors face in obtaining programming, and whether  Internet service providers are placing undue barriers to the video delivered over the Internet.   We also will examine the implementation of the merger conditions imposed on the Comcast/NBC Universal merger to ensure that these conditions are being properly applied to foster competition, including competition from new forms of Internet delivery of video content.

*  Broadband Issues

We also plan to continue to closely examine competition in the broadband industry in the year ahead. Maintaining competitive choices in this industry is crucial to consumers and the health of the national economy. We will also examine the issue of network neutrality principles and monitor whether consumers continue to have the freedom to access the internet content they wish without interference from their internet service provider.

* Competition in Online Markets/Internet Search Issues

Access to the wealth of information and e-commerce on the Internet is essential for consumers and business alike.  As the Internet continues to grow in importance to the national economy, businesses and consumers, the Subcommittee will strive to ensure that this sector remains competitive, that Internet search is fair to its users and customers,   advertisers have sufficient choices, and that consumers’ privacy is guarded.  In recent years, the dominance over Internet search of the world’s largest search engine, Google, has increased and Google has increasingly sought to acquire e-commerce sites in myriad businesses.  In this regard, we will closely examine allegations raised by e-commerce websites that compete with Google that they are being treated unfairly in search ranking, and in their ability to purchase search advertising.   We also will continue to closely examine the impact of further acquisitions in this sector.

the link, hopefully, not illegal:  http://kohl.senate.gov


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And what would our updates be without a mention of Charlie Sheen and his latest demise, which apparently was exaggerated:

Here is a tweet-joke we liked though:  “How much coke did Charlie Sheen take? Enough to kill two and half men.”

Charlie Sheen has joined the ranks of Christina Aguilera, Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, and Emma Watson, in old Facebook scams that have gotten a recent boost under new headlines taking advantage of celebrity obsessions. The scams are probably working, considering how often new ones keep popping up on the social network.
The Sheen version starts with something like “Exclusive Video:,” “RIP!,” or “Breaking News:” and continues with either “Charlie Sheen found Dead at his House!” or “Developing Story Charlie Sheen Dies from Cardiac Arrest and taken away in Ambulance!” and a link. The American film and television actor has recently been in the news quite a bit due to his various antics, and spammers are looking to leverage the hype around him, according to Facecrooks.
Yesterday, the Two And A Half Men star celebrated being sacked from his hit TV show by brandishing a machete and drinking a bottle of Tiger Blood, declaring he was “free at last.” I assure you that part is not a scam, and the video is embedded below.
Just like the previous “likejacking” scams (a play on the term clickjacking, which means prompting a victim to click something while a different action is taken behind the scenes) any of the above will lead you to a fake YouTube page such as TouTube or FbTube. This time, clicking on play prompts you with the following message: “Please complete a 30 second survey to verify that you are human.”

If you really want to read more about this, you can go to: http://www.zdnet.com

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