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Good morning tech; Powell wants Genachowski to clarify net-neutrality stance

Good morning!

Powell: Net neutrality won't resolve itself, Genachowski must clarify stance


Former Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Michael Powell said in an interview on C-SPAN that the current agency leader, Julius Genachowski, should put himself out there on net-neutrality issues.

"We need to see you; we need to see you go out there and invest yourself and make clear to all the players what are your bottom lines and what are the kind things you'll accept and not accept and really help drive this crazy plane and get it landed," he said. "I don't think you can hope it gets resolved on its own." http://bit.ly/bNesUY

C-SPAN video: http://cs.pn/bibwjc

FEC gives greenlight to Google on minimal disclosure

The Federal Elections Commission (FEC) issued an opinion recently that will allow for minimal disclosure on political ads that appear on the side of Google searches.

The commission said in an advisory opinion that text ads purchased through the Google AdWords program need not state the candidate or political action committee that paid for the ad, as Google had urged in an August filing. It is sufficient for candidates to include the URL of the sponsor, linking to a website that contains a full disclosure statement, according to the agency.

The reason is that such ads only have a headline and two lines of text, so it would be tough to include a full disclaimer.

Survey says Americans behind on mobile video


Americans are more likely to use social networks but less likely to watch video or TV on their smartphones than users in Japan and Europe, according to a new report on mobile usage from comScore. The survey showed just 4.8 percent of Americans watch TV or video on their mobile phones, compared with 22 percent in Japan and 5.4 percent in Europe. Americans were also less likely to use their phones as cameras. http://bit.ly/cR8cgl

$200,000: The amount Comcast donated to become "title sponsor" of an event at the Newseum last week where Genachowski and his broadband team were presented an award.

$50,000: The amount AT&T donated in order to be the "gold level" sponsor.

Industry notes

FAA says laptop batteries can ignite in-flight.
U.S. officials said new research shows laptop batteries are sensitive to heat and can catch fire if transported in cargo holds that get too hot. Since the early 1990s there have been dozens of incidents of batteries igniting in flight, but until now the cause was unknown. The FAA now says research has identified heat as the trigger and is offering air carriers advice on how to reduce the risk of fire. http://bit.ly/bfMj5U

RIM reaches agreement with U.A.E. to avoid BlackBerry ban.
The United Arab Emirate announced Friday it has reached an agreement with Ontario-based Research In Motion to avoid a planned ban on BlackBerry messaging services in the kingdom. The UAE had threatened to ban BlackBerry services over national security concerns, prompting several other nations including Kuwait and India to make similar demands and ultimate forcing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to weigh on behalf of the Canadian smartphone maker. http://bit.ly/9miwda

Sex offenders left unmonitored as tagging system fails.
Thousands of U.S. sex offenders, parolees and other convicts were left unmonitored after an electronic tagging system shut down because of data overload. BI Inc., which runs the system, reached its data threshold of more than two billion records on Tuesday. That left authorities in 49 states unaware of offenders' movement for about 12 hours. http://bbc.in/c7VAnC

Tech firms defend consumer-tracking tools.
Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) released responses from 11 companies on Friday in response to inquiries regarding their tracking of consumers online. Most of the companies pointed to publicly posted privacy policies and denied selling consumer information, but Comcast acknowledged sharing the information with some third-party firms and declined to say how much it earned from the practice. Markey said the responses raise serious privacy concerns for consumers. http://bit.ly/aGai7W

Watercooler

PROFILE…TechCrunch editor Michael Arrington impersonated Google chief executive Eric Schmidt over the weekend, setting up a Facebook profile in his likeness. "By the end of the day, "Schmidt" was friends with Hurley, Facebook VP Elliott Schrage, Arrington himself, and "a few high profile people"; friend requests were 'pouring in;' and "one person even sent a fairly private message to" Arrington-as-Schmidt," Gawker reports. http://bit.ly/9IzOgX