The Circuit: LightSquared report expected, Summers to VC, Amazon vs. California

June 30, 2011

LEADING THE DAY: Sources have told Post Tech that the testing to determine whether LightSquared’s network interferes with the global-positioning satellite system is over and results are expected as early as Thursday.

The company outlined a scaled-back plan for its network last week to address interference concerns, promising to cut its base power by 50 percent and explore the use of a lower band of spectrum.

Larry Summers to Andreesen Horowitz: Former White economic adviser Larry Summers is headed to venture capital investment firm Andreesen Horowitz, The Washington Post reported. Summers, who stepped down as the director of the National Economic Council in September, said he was drawn to the job because the Internet has so much potential for industry.

“On any list of strengths of the American economy, one of the top three has to be that it is the only place in the world where you can raise your first $100 million before you buy your first suit,” Summers said.

Amazon battles California over state taxes: Amazon is threatening to cut ties with retailers in California, Bloomberg reported, after Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill Wednesday mandating that California Web retailers collect state sales taxes. The cash-strapped state plans to generate $200 million from the law.

Amazon has already cut ties with facilities in Rhode Island, Texas, Colorado, North Carolina and Illinois over similar provisions.

Myspace sold to Specific Media, Justin Timberlake: Myspace, the fading social network, was sold to Specific Media on Wednesday for a reported $35 million, All Things Digital reported. News Corp. acquired the company for $530 million and Pop star Justin Timberlake has a stake in the company, and the Los Angeles Times reported that Specific Media CEO Tim Vanderhook pursued Timberlake, believing the star’s influence could reboot the Myspace brand.

Senators split on privacy: In a Senate Commerce hearing Wednesday, senators seemed to agree that the country needs federal legislation over data breaches, but they were split on the need for a baseline privacy bill, The Washington Post reported.

FTC commissioner Julie Brill said at the hearing that the agency doesn’t have an official position on the need for privacy laws but advocated for “do not track” requirements on the Web and for mobile devices.

“Advertisers and ad networks are disparate,” she said. “Unless you get them to uniformly agree, I’m not sure a self -regulatory mechanism can work.”

Samsung files ITC complaint against Apple: Samsung has escalated its patent feud with Apple yet again. The company filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission, asking the agency to prohibit Apple from importing some of its products — including the iPhone and the iPad — because they violate patents held by the Korean company.

The Associated Press reported that ITC disputes are typically resolved in 12 to 18 months.

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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