OVERNIGHT TECH: Lawmakers to examine LightSquared’s impact on small businesses

More wireless devices than people, study finds: There are more subscriptions for wireless devices in the United States than there are people, according to a study released Tuesday by CTIA-The Wireless Association. Researchers found there are 327.6 million subscriptions for devices such as cellphones and tablet computers; there are 315.5 million people in the U.S. The study also found that data usage has increased 111 percent in the last year.

Researchers find websites reveal personal information: A study released Tuesday found that 61 percent of top websites leak identifying user information to third parties. The results show online data collection is not always anonymous and that companies can use the data to identify users. The researchers, led by Stanford University graduate student Jonathan Mayer, found that the information leaked was usually a username or user ID and was often inadvertent. But some websites send more personal information; for example, dating site OKCupid sends users’ gender, age, ZIP code, relationship status and “drug use frequency” to third parties.


The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee will hold a hearing on the Federal Communications Commission’s plans to reform the Universal Service Fund, an $8 billion program originally designed to subsidize landline phone access in rural areas. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski outlined his plan last Thursday to transition the fund to focus on expanding high-speed Internet access. He called the current system “outdated,” “wasteful” and “unfair.” Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) praised Genachowski’s plan, and said his hearing will be about the “need to move forward on these important proposals.”

{mosads}The House Science, Space and Technology Committee’s subpanel on Research and Science Education will hold a morning hearing to discuss effective approaches to K-12 STEM (Science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education. Technology experts have warned for years that U.S. public schools are not adequately preparing American students for careers in STEM fields. In contrast, nations such as India and China heavily emphasize science and engineering; half of the graduate students at U.S. universities in those fields are foreign-born.


In a draft letter to the congressional supercommittee, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, recommends auctioning spectrum that is currently used by television broadcasters and the federal government to raise revenue. He would use some of that revenue to pay for a public-safety broadband network.

The Federal Trade Commission announced a settlement Tuesday with Frostwire, a file-sharing application that used default settings that exposed photos and videos of its users.

Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz said Tuesday he shares the “general privacy concerns” of lawmakers who have called for his agency to investigate Facebook.

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