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SEC sides with Beastie Boys’ Mike D, says AT&T must allow shareholder vote on net neutrality

Michael Diamond may be best known as Mike D of the Beastie Boys, but he’s also an AT&T shareholder, and he’s now played a central role in forcing a shareholder vote on net neutrality. He, along with his wife Tamra Davis and John P. Silva of Silva Artist Management previously submitted a proposal to AT&T arguing that shareholders should be allowed to vote a resolution that recommended the company “publicly commit to operate its wireless broadband network consistent with network neutrality principles.” AT&T unsurprisingly rejected that proposal, stating that it would “directly interfere with its network management practices,” but the SEC has now stepped in and said that net neutrality has become a “significant policy consideration,” and that it can no longer be excluded from shareholder ballots. As Bloomberg Businessweek notes, companies can challenge the SEC’s findings in court, although it remains to be seen if AT&T or other carriers will take that step. No further word from Mike D on the matter, so we’ll take this opportunity to share another important message of his after the break.[Image credit: Fabio Venni / Wikimedia Commons]

Source: engadget.

Google gets U.S., EU nod to buy Motorola Mobility | Reuters

(Reuters) – U.S. and European regulators approved Google Inc’s $12.5 billion purchase of Motorola Mobility and said they would keep a sharp eye on the web search giant to ensure patents critical to the telecom industry would be licensed at fair prices.

It was one of a series of approvals on Monday that underscored the scramble by technology companies to acquire big pools of patents.

The U.S. Justice Department also approved an Apple Inc-led consortium’s purchase of a trove of patents from bankrupt Canadian company Nortel Networks, and signed off on Apple’s purchase of patents formerly owned by Novell Inc.

Google, whose Android software is the top operating system for Internet-enabled smart phones, said in August that it would buy phone-maker Motorola for its 17,000 patents and 7,500 patent applications, as it looks to compete with rivals such as Apple and defend itself and Android phone manufacturers in patent litigation.

Antitrust enforcers on both sides of the Atlantic want to prevent companies from gouging rivals when they license patents essential to ensuring different firms’ communications devices work together.

“This merger decision should not and will not mean that we are not concerned by the possibility that, once Google is the owner of this portfolio, Google can abuse these patents, linking some patents with its Android devices. This is our worry,” EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia told reporters in Brussels.

The U.S. Justice Department said it was reassured by Apple’s and Microsoft’s public statements that they would not seek injunctions in filing infringement lawsuits based on the Nortel patents.

“Google’s commitments have been less clear,” the Justice Department added in a statement. “The division determined that the acquisition of the patents by Google did not substantially lessen competition, but how Google may exercise its patents in the future remains a significant concern.”

Almunia said the EU might be obliged to open some cases in the future. “This is not enough to block the merger but we will be vigilant,” he said.

Regulators in China, Taiwan and Israel have still not signed off on the Google purchase of Motorola.

Regulators in China have until March 20 to decide whether to approve the deal or start a third phase of review, according to a source close to the situation.

The purchase would give Google one of the mobile phone industry’s largest patent libraries, as well as hardware manufacturing operations that will allow Google to develop its own line of smart phones.

Google, the newest major entrant to the mobile market, is already being sued for patent infringement by Oracle Corp, which is seeking up to $6 billion.

The legal battles over patents between various technology and smartphone firms has prompted the European Commission to open an investigation into legal tactics used by Samsung Electronics against Apple and whether these breach EU antitrust rules.

Google’s move to buy Motorola Mobility came shortly after it tried and failed to buy Nortel’s patents. The winner was an Apple-led consortium, which includes Research in Motion Ltd, Microsoft Corp, EMC Corp, Ericsson and Sony Corp, which agreed in July to pay $4.5 billion for 6,000 patents and patent applications.

Google, which runs world’s No. 1 Internet search engine, has been under increasing regulatory scrutiny. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the European Union are both investigating Google following accusations it uses its clout in the search market to beat rivals as it moves into related businesses.

Source: Reuters.

Diggnation live, coming to an end

Yes you heard right or if you haven’t heard it yet, you know now.

Diggnation aired it’s last live show on 01/18/12. The show will go on but in a recorded setting which softens the blow just a little bit. This is according to the diggnation team.

Kevin Rose and Alex Albrecht, the hosts of the show for 7 years have decided to change the pace of the show. The beer drinking internet host duet had a great deal of success and recognition with the show “Diggnation” which was kicked off shortly after the famous opened it’s doors.

I first became somewhat of a fan when I saw “The Broken”. The show “The Broken” was Kevin and Double D first self-hosted show which was a good deal more “underground” or how Kevin liked to call it “shady”. Kevin and Revision3 have completely abandoned the “The Broken” project and moved on to bigger and better things which turned out to be Revision3 and Diggnation.

Revision3 was born a short time before Diggnation by Jay Adelson and was essentially the platform for the show which almost immediatlly started to take off. Today Revision3 has a wealth of shows running and even more stored in it’s achieves. Revision3 transformed from a media startup into a internet media platform. Shows such as Tekzilla, Hak5,HD Nation, Geekbeat, Lifehacker, The Totally Rad show and now even TheSoldierKnowsBest amongst other are now on the menu.


I very much enjoyed the last couple of shows which took a winding road down memory lane for the show and the two hosts and in times even allowed the two “cool geek factor” hosts to become a little bit emotional. It’s always a good time watching the show and these two last episodes are no exception.

I hope you will enjoy this Part 1 of the last LIVE show.

I hope you will enjoy this Part 2 of the last LIVE show.

If you like it, Digg it. Get it

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