Good morning tech

Executive notes

Satellite ISPs want a piece of broadband stimulus. Satellite-based Internet Service Providers WildBlue and HughesNet are planning to launch massive new satellites in coming years and think their industry deserves a larger slice of the $7.2 in Recovery Act funds aimed at expanding the availability of broadband Internet access, the New York Times reports. Just $100 million is aimed at satellite providers, often the only option for rural residents living outside the reach of fiber-optic cable lines.

State Department’s pushback against BlackBerry struggles is ‘ironic,” AP reports.  The U.S. State Department has waded into the issue of international technology bans, “saying it hopes to broker a compromise that addresses the legitimate security concerns of some governments while ensuring that the free flow of information is not compromised,” AP says. “That’s somewhat ironic, considering the U.S. restricts exports of encryption technology. The restrictions are light, but were quite comprehensive before 1999.” Encryption technology that allows the government to obscure phone data in a way that not even law enforcement can decode is one thing that makes the countries nervous about cell services. But the U.S. has struggled with encryption technology too.

Most malware attacks on government after money. The vast majority of malware attacks on federal networks are motivated by theft — not espionage or terrorism, according to data from the Department of Homeland Security’s United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) team, NextGov reports. Ninety percent of malware incidents from the first half of 2010 were designed to steal money from users through techniques such as key logging and phishing. The data shows how prevalent the threat of theft using malware is over the Internet, according to DHS.

Court notes

Blog posts by Internet radio host result in conviction for threatening lives of three judges. After three trials, a jury convicted Internet radio host and blogger Hal Turner of threatening the lives of three U.S. appeals-court judges,” Bloomberg reports. He had threatened them with violence after a ruling that eased restrictions on handguns and was found guilty by a federal jury in Brooklyn, New York. Turner, 48, faces up to 10 years in jail. Here’s what he had written, according to Bloomberg: “Let me be the first to say this plainly: These judges deserve to be killed,” Turner wrote of the appeals court panel in a Web posting. “Their blood will replenish the tree of liberty. A small price to pay to assure freedom for millions.”

Research notes

Neuroscientists head into the wild to see if Google is making us stupid. The New York Times has a long report on a group of neuroscientists who headed into the wilderness to understand how heavy use of the Web and cell phones “changes how we think and behave, and how a retreat into nature might reverse those effects,” the article says. No concrete conclusions, but “the scientists are prepared to recommend a little downtime as a path to uncluttered thinking.”


“It feels like your entire life has been lost.” 

—Glenn Derene describes the experience of losing a cell phone on NPR. He is senior technology editor at Popular Mechanics magazine. 


REVENGE BY TWEET — Justin Bieber, a teen pop star, tweeted a phone number to his 4.5 million Twitter followers on Saturday night: “everyone call me 248-XXX-XXXX 🙂 or text.” Turns out it was the phone number of an “enemy,” according to Gawker. The enemy posted a video on YouTube of his phone blowing up with calls and texts.


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