Tech Tidbits: Free Google phones, poor marks for Obama

--Google's Nexus One phone was unveiled yesterday to much fanfare. Bloggers are abuzz. But are they following the new FTC rules requiring them to disclose their free phones for review? Nope, observes ReadWriteWeb. Google gave out free phones to press who attended the announcement. Marshall Kirkpatrick points out that bloggers could be planning to send the phones back after they review it. Should that still require disclosure, he asks?

--Obama has scored some pretty poor marks in the transparency department, according to Columbia Journalism Review. It's report card gives the administration a D for its disclosure of state secrets, a D+ for online data, and an F for background briefings. 

--Thirty-year congressional veteran Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) said he will not be seeking reelection this year. What does that mean for net neutrality? Dorgan has been a strong proponent of net neutrality rules, co-sponsoring with Sen. Olympia Snowe (D-Maine) the first significant legislation that would put them in place. Not that Congress necessarily needs to step in at this point--(the FCC is still collecting comments on the matter)--but it is an interesting development that could shift the open-Internet landscape on the Hill.

--Rick Carnes, president of the Songwriters Guild of America, criticizes Free Press's call for an investigation of "TV Everywhere." He says in this blog post that it all comes down to "pay walls," which, he argues, are necessary to sustain content creation of any kind. Separately, the Economist predicts 2010 will be the year of the "pay wall," as newspapers and other media outlets realize they can't survive online without them.