OVERNIGHT TECH: FCC net-neutrality vote set for Dec. 21

Sen. Sanders tells DoJ to block NBC-Comcast merger

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) wrote to the Department of Justice on Tuesday urging them to block Comcast's proposed acquisition of NBC Universal on the grounds it would damage the media landscape by reducing competition and increasing prices.

Sanders has been one of the most vocal opponents of the merger, which would give the nation's largest broadband Internet provider control of one of the four national broadcast networks as well as a number of studios, TV channels and local network affiliates.

In his letter, Sanders warned the new entity would possess the incentive to shut out competitors and stifle the markets for video content, cable distribution and online video distribution. Comcast would also have the resources to exploit holes in existing regulations and influence lawmakers to their side, Sanders added.

Engage snags RGA Web director

The digital strategy firm Engage has hired the Web director for the Republican Governors Association (RGA), Erik Rapprich. Rapprich will serve as vice president for product design and strategy.

During his tenure with RGA, Rapprich built 38 websites in 20 states in 5 months, according to Engage. Before that, he ran his own firm, Ethos Digital, for five years.

Engage is one of the leading firms for conservative candidates. Major clients have included Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, among others.


Can't-miss news

The Consumer Electronics Association plans to push Congress to develop a national policy on recycling of electronic waste.

DIRECTV reached a settlement with all 50 states over consumer complaints — $14.25 million for court costs plus an undetermined amount for restitution to consumers.

IBM supercomputer “Watson” will face the two most successful players in “Jeopardy” history in three episodes that will be broadcast in February 2011.

The government's crackdown on online piracy has shut down some popular music blogs.

Yahoo is cutting 600 jobs, about four percent of its workforce.

The government may not have the right to ban feds from viewing WikiLeaks at home.

Dell buying data storage firm Compellent is the latest move in a hot market for enterprise services firms.

Appeals court rules feds need a warrant for e-mails.

Said

"To summarize, he [Assange] begins by describing a state like the US as essentially an authoritarian conspiracy, and then reasons that the practical strategy for combating that conspiracy is to degrade its ability to conspire, to hinder its ability to “think” as a conspiratorial mind. The metaphor of a computing network is mostly implicit, but utterly crucial: he seeks to oppose the power of the state by treating it like a computer and tossing sand in its diodes."

—Blogger zunguzungu, aka Aaron Bady, whose widely-quoted close reading of a 2006 essay by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has made him a Web celebrity.