Tech Roundup: Privacy advocates irked by Google wi-spy decision

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Privacy advocates criticize FTC for dropping Google probe on 'wi-spy'

Privacy advocates forcefully criticized the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on Wednesday after the agency dropped its inquiry into a privacy breach by Google. Read more:

Cablevision to reimburse consumers who pay for World Series online

Cablevision announced Wednesday that it will reimburse its customers who pay to watch the World Series online at

"Customers who purchase the package and forward their purchase confirmation to Cablevision will have a $10 credit applied to their monthly bill within two billing cycles," according to Cablevision's statement.

The company made the online option sound pretty good:’s coverage features "all World Series games and includes the option of choosing from eight different fixed camera angles and displaying up to four cameras on the screen simultaneously, along with in-game highlights and other enhancements," Cabelvision said.

Hill notes

Lawmakers divided over whether NBC-Comcast merger would aid diversity.
Lawmakers are increasingly divided on whether Comcast's proposed acquisition of NBC Universal would help or harm the amount of diversity in the media. Lawmakers, especially those representing districts with significant minority populations, have increasingly found themselves choosing sides in the debate. Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) recently added his name to those supporting the merger, while California Democratic Reps. Bob Filner and Maxine Waters both raised concerns related to minority representation.

Hill aides, ACLU urge Obama to address cybersecurity bills.
"Republican congressional aides and a top ACLU lawyer agreed Tuesday that the Obama administration needs to send Congress its views on pending cybersecurity legislation and whether it needs new authorities to monitor and defend Internet networks. The White House has largely sat on the sidelines as lawmakers and key congressional committees wrangle over competing cybersecurity bills," NextGov reports.

Industry notes

Facebook lobbies California on privacy. Mashable reports online that Facebook lobbied California state officials on the Social Networking Privacy Act, which would have imposed penalties on social networks who display "home addresses and phone numbers of users under 18 years of age."

Chinese supercomputer Tianhe-1A bumps U.S. out of the lead. The New York Times reports a Chinese scientific-research center has built the world's fastest supercomputer, replacing the United States as maker of the swiftest machine and giving China bragging rights as a technology superpower.

Big name firms form alliance to drive cloud standards. The BBC reports that some of the world's biggest companies are using their market clout to demand that computer equipment makers adopt new industry standards and change the way they make their machines.

Russia files criminal case against major spammer. Russia has reportedly launched its first-ever criminal case related to spam against a man accused of running one of the world's most prolific pharmaceutical spam operations, according to local news reports. PCWorld has coverage:


“I’m hoping to make enough money to buy a condo in Morocco. That’s how big it’s going to be.”

— Kevin Faler, a former police officer responsible for narcotics enforcement. Now he is "part of an Internet land grab for marijuana-oriented domain names by so-called domainers who hope to sell their holdings at a profit, betting that more lenient marijuana laws will eventually drive more people to the Web for their supplies, whether they are seeking seeds, bongs, recipes or drug-laced dog treats," The New York Times reports.