The Circuit: Google’s Schmidt on Microsoft, Pentagon lists cyber-weapons, critics and lobbyists petition FCC on AT&T/T-Mobile

LEADING THE DAY: In remarks at the opening session of the D9 conference Tuesday, Google chairman Eric Schmidt said that the four most important companies when it comes to the Internet are Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple, followed by PayPal and Twitter — but not Microsoft. He said those who worry about security should opt for a Mac instead of a PC.

Schmidt was critical of himself and Google as well, saying that the company missed on its efforts on social networking, particularly when it comes to setting up Internet identities. He also said that he wishes Google had landed deals with Nokia and Facebook.

Pentagon creates list of cyber-weapons: The Pentagon has created a list of cyber-weapons and tools that can be used in acts of computer warfare, The Washington Post reported. Some weapons, such as a cyber-virus that can be activated later on a foreign computer network, need authorization from the president himself.

“So whether it’s a tank, an M-16 or a computer virus, it’s going to follow the same rules so that we can understand how to employ it, when you can use it, when you can’t, what you can and can’t use,” a senior military official said.

Critics, lobbyists battle on AT&T/T-Mobile deal: Sprint Nextel, Leap Wireless and rural carriers were among those who filed petitions Tuesday protesting the proposed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile, in advance of the deadline for public comment on the deal, The Washington Post reported.

Skepticism about the merger is on the rise, but the FCC has also received 300 letters in support of the deal from groups such as the NAACP and a division of the National Urban League. All have direct financial ties to AT&T, which is expected to spend more than $15 million on lobbying efforts.

House Energy and Commerce committee asks FCC to remove Fairness Doctrine: Reps. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Greg Walden (R-Ore.) have written to Federal Communications Chairman Julius Genachowski asking that the Fairness Doctrine, which is not enforced, be removed from the agency’s books. It was deemed unconstitutional in 1987.

Upton, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce committee, and Walden, who heads the subcommittee on technology, said that the FCC should remove the rule from its books. They have asked that FCC respond to its request by June 3.

White House tech adviser to Colorado Law School: White House adviser on technology and innovation Phil Weiser has been named the dean of the Colorado University Law School. He will begin his duties at the university on July 1.

Comcast brings cheap broadband to Chicago: Comcast has partnered with the city of Chicago to provide low-income families broadband access for $9.95 per month, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. Eligible families, whose children qualify for free school lunches in Chicago Public Schools -- will also receive technology training and a coupon to purchase a refurbished computer.

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.

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