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Timothy B. Lee

Timothy B. Lee

Timothy B. Lee covers technology policy, including copyright and patent law, telecom regulation, privacy, and free speech. He also writes about the economics of technology. He has previously written for Ars Technica and Forbes. You can follow him on Twitter or send him email.

Brian Fung

Brian Fung

Brian Fung covers technology for The Washington Post, focusing on electronic privacy, national security, digital politics and the Internet that binds it all together. He was previously the technology correspondent for National Journal and an associate editor at the Atlantic. His writing has also appeared in Foreign Policy, Talking Points Memo, the American Prospect and Nonprofit Quarterly. Follow Brian on Google+ .

Andrea Peterson

Andrea Peterson

Andrea Peterson covers technology policy for The Washington Post, with an emphasis on cybersecurity, consumer privacy, transparency, surveillance and open government. She also delves into the societal impacts of technology access and how innovation is intertwined with cultural development.

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Posted at 12:34 PM ET, 02/14/2013

Online sales tax bill is back in the spotlight #thecircuit

Online sales tax debate: The debate over online sales taxes is revving back up: On Thursday the Marketplace Fairness Act was reintroduced in the Senate .

The act has the support of the Retail Industry Leaders Association, an organization that counts executives from Walmart, Walgreen’s, REI and others on its board, but it drew a swift critical statement from eBay.

The company said that such a law could prevent small businesses from moving into the online space, and it called for a “meaningful small business exemption” to the bill.

When it was first introduced, the bill had the backing of other major online retailers, including Amazon.

Twitter advertising: Twitter’s real-time advertising model has made the platform an important megaphone for marketers and lobbyists — something that became clear during the State of the Union address, The Washington Post reported.

The National Rifle Association, for example, got a winning bid on the “#SOTU” hashtag, while AARP nabbed the ads for “#POTUS” and ”#JOBS.”

The platform’s emergence as an important tool to reach a real-time audience has become even clearer in recent months, particularly during events such as the Super Bowl.

“Twitter is the great leveler. . . . Nothing is more effective than a message that compels response or affirmation,” Abram Olmstead, a manager for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s digital communications team, told The Post.

Manufacturing in Silicon Valley: Following up on a call Obama made during his Tuesday State of the Union address, Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.) sent a letter to the president Thursday calling for the United States to create three more manufacturing innovation hubs.

In the letter, Honda urged that Silicon Valley become one of those hubs, noting that 18 percent of he region’s jobs are already in manufacturing. He also argued that the area would be ideal for making next-generation technologies, such as new semiconductor chips.

Adobe issues security advisory: Adobe is advising customers to turn on security settings in Windows and on Macs. The company alerted users on Wednesday to the vulnerability, following reports that hackers were exploiting the security flaw in document disguised as a visa form for visitors to Turkey.

In its advisory, the company recommends turning on the “Protected View” setting in its program. Users are also advised to be judicious about what PDF files they’re opening.

The security firm FireEye was the first to publicize the vulnerability, according to a report from ZDNet.

By  |  12:34 PM ET, 02/14/2013

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