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Critics taking aim at Senate patent bill through amendments

February 25, 2011 When the Patent Reform Act of 2011 reaches the Senate floor on Monday, analysts predict it will face amendments seeking to strip away some of the bill's most controversial proposals. Now lobbyists familiar with discussions about the legislation say Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., may support or even cosponsor...

Electronic etiquette going down the drain, survey says

February 25, 2011 The legions of workers glued to their "Crackberries" and other electronic devices in Washington, D.C., have become the stuff of legend. Now, just in time for some light Friday reading, Intel has released 2011 State of Mobile Etiquette survey, confirming what many veterans of D.C. traffic and public transit already...

Groups urge court to reject net neutrality challenge

February 22, 2011 Almost half a dozen advocacy groups waded into Verizon's lawsuit against the Federal Communications Commission's network neutrality rules Tuesday, seeking to protect regulations that many of the groups had criticized for not going far enough. Free Press, Media Access Project, Media Mobilizing Project, Public Knowledge and others all filed motions...

Warner introduces bill to authorize spectrum auctions

February 18, 2011 Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., introduced legislation Friday that would authorize the Federal Communications Commission to hold incentive auctions to free up wireless spectrum. The auctions would allow license holders to return underused spectrum to the government, freeing the space for other wireless uses. "By providing an incentive for license holders...

Interactive map of Internet access released

February 18, 2011 Federal officials released their interactive online map of Internet access around the country Thursday, promising to provide new ammunition to all sides in the debate over national broadband deployment. The map has been much anticipated and already hotly debated, with Republicans criticizing federal agencies for allocating stimulus money for broadband...

NASA largely spared big cuts in Obama budget

February 14, 2011 President Obama's controversial vision for America's space program may have already come face to face with fiscal reality. NASA largely dodged major cuts under his proposed budget released today, but the plan reveals some significant reallocation of funds and doesn't appear to include any of the $6 billion boost that...

Proposed budget also calls for Patent Office to keep all fees

February 14, 2011 President Obama's budget, released Monday, included a nugget of help for a strained Patent and Trademark Office. The budget proposed a plan to give the PTO "full access" to the fees it collects. Obama also proposes a temporary fee surcharge, as well as regulatory and legislative reforms. According to the...

Speier unveils 'do-not-track' online privacy bill

February 11, 2011 Just a day after Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., rolled out his latest online privacy legislation, Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., unveiled a package of bills Friday that includes a "do-not-track" requirement giving consumers the option to opt-out of being tracked while browsing online. One bill features the "do-not-track" option while a...

Technology industry officials grilled on outsourcing

February 11, 2011 Representatives from General Electric and Intel got an earful Friday while testifying about patent reform at a House subcommittee meeting. Reps. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, and Maxine Waters, D-Calif., used the hearing to grill the industry officials about outsourcing jobs overseas. While the officials were on hand to testify about...

Lawmakers raises questions about Apple's 'in-app' service

February 8, 2011 Two key lawmakers Tuesday waded into the growing controversy over so-called "in-app" purchases on mobile devices that have sparked criticism from parents. In-app charges are part of new programs on Apple's iTunes store that allow companies to charge for products and services, and in some cases, items that act like...

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