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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.

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Brian Fung

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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 08:28 AM ET, 08/01/2011

The Circuit: U.K. charges LulzSec hacker, AT&T throttling data, Main Street Fairness Act

LEADING THE DAY: Authorities in Britain are reporting that they have charged an 18-year-old U.K. man, Jake Davis, with five offenses related to attacks carried out by the hacking collective LulzSec. Davis, the Wall Street Journal reported, is said to be the hacker “Topiary,” who has acted as the unofficial spokesman for the group.

AT&T to impose throttling on unlimited data: AT&T announced that it will begin throttling back the data speeds of the top 5 percent of users on its unlimited plans, The Washington Post reported. AT&T said in a statement that these users consume 12 times the average data of all other smartphone customers.

The company made a switch to tiered data plans this year but allowed users already using unlimited data to keep their plans. The new system, which will go into effect on Oct. 1, will not affect customers on tiered plans. Verizon also recently discontinued offering its unlimited data, in favor of tiered plans.

Durbin introduces tax bill: Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) introduced a bill Friday that would require online retailers to collect state taxes — a measure that has the support of Amazon, The Hill reported. A version of the bill, “The Main Street Fairness Act,” has been introduced in several previous sessions and has been criticized for aiming to stifle innovation. For its part, the mega-online retailer Amazon has said that a broad, national law would be better than the patchwork of state laws the company currently faces. Amazon has severed ties with partners in several states that have passed tax statutes requiring it to collect state sales tax.

Hulu faces patent suit: Hulu, the online streaming video site, is facing a patent lawsuit from Rovi Corp., Reuters reported. Rovi Corp provides the technology for services such as Blockbuster on Demand and has said that Hulu infringes on its patent for electronic program guides.

Rovi is seeking compensation for lost revenue and damages, the report said.

Foxconn to up labor force with robots: Foxconn is set to boost its labor force with 1 million robots, according to a report from Chinese news outlet Xinhua. Foxconn chairman Terry Gou reportedly told workers at a company party that the tech giant would replace some of its workers with 1 million robots in the next three years. The company is a subsidiary of Hon Hai Industries, and produces Apple iPads and iPhones.

Tech execs looking to ride IPO wave: Executives from publicly held technology firms are hearing the call of the coming IPO boom and taking positions at smaller, private companies, the Wall Street Journal reported. Calling it “gold rush fever,” the report pointed to the trend as a possible indication of a tech bubble and quoted experts who cautioned that such moves are in­cred­ibly risky.

Adobe releases Edge: Adobe Systems has released an HTML 5 tool, Edge, though the company insists that it isn’t abandoning Flash, The Washington Post reported Monday. The tool is free to download from the company’s Web site and has not yet entered its beta testing stage.

By  |  08:28 AM ET, 08/01/2011

Tags:  SEC, Apple, Hulu, Online video, Amazon, AT&T, Cybersecurity, IP

 
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