Good Morning Tech: Cable industry backs Kerry’s retransmission bill

Industry notes

Google Voice available on iPhone one year after denied, FCC questions. “Google said Tuesday that its voice application is available for Apple’s iPhone, after more than a year of questions by the Federal Communications Commission about why Apple appeared to be blocking the competing application.”

FBI seeks wider wiretap law for Web. “Robert S. Mueller III, the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, traveled to Silicon Valley on Tuesday to meet with top executives of several technology firms about a proposal to make it easier to wiretap Internet users. Mr. Mueller and the F.B.I.’s general counsel, Valerie Caproni, were scheduled to meet with senior managers of several major companies, including Google and Facebook, according to several people familiar with the discussions. ”

DHS says air cargo screening lacks advanced intelligence. “Homeland Security Department officials on Tuesday told lawmakers they do not have enough intelligence about the contents of cargo on aircraft — before they depart foreign countries — to ensure that dangerous devices are not aboard planes headed for the United States”

October video-game retail sales slide 4 percent. “U.S. retail sales of video game hardware, software and accessories slipped 4 percent in October as demand for most gaming consoles declined from a year earlier, according to data from market researcher NPD Group.”

Microsoft breakup not in cards. WSJ reports Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer and Chairman Bill Gates sought to calm investors at the annual shareholder meeting on Tuesday, some of whom asked if the maker of Windows operating systems and Xbox game consoles would be more valuable as individual companies. Ballmer dismissed the idea, saying it would reduce Microsoft’s value and make it tougher to compete.

Google accuses countries of violating rules on net access. “With China evidently in its sights, Google has released a policy paper contending that countries that limit Internet users’ access to information providers outside their borders violate their World Trade Organization commitments. The company did not single out China in the position paper. But Google has had a running battle with Beijing over censorship, and many of the examples cited in the paper came from the company’s experiences with China.”

Watercooler. Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz has taken some heat lately for both the direction of the company as well as her penchant for soundbites such as “Do I look like a wimp?” — the question she posed last month when rumors emerged of her pending departure. Bartz was noticeably less quotable when she came up with four words at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco on Tuesday to describer her firm: “Content, communications, media and innovation.” Not exactly T-shirt slogan material.

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