The Washington Post

The Circuit: Verizon hearing, new iPad, employers ask for social network info.

Verizon hearing: The Senate subcommittee on antitrust will hear testimony fromVerizon and Comcast on Wednesday in a hearing evaluating the antitrust implications of deals for spectrum and cross-licensing the companies struck along with others in December.

Comcast and other cable firms have argued that a marketing deal should not be included in federal regulatory reviews of mergers, The Washington Post reported. They say the purchase of airwaves should be reviewed specifically for how the transaction affects wireless concentration in certain markets.

Public interest groups, however, have argued that Verizon would not be encouraged to promote its own broadband Internet service as a competitor to cable.

New iPad: The heat of the new iPad tablet reaches temperatures of around 116 degrees — about 13 degrees warmer than the iPad2 -- according to results of heat tests conducted by Consumer Reports that were released Tuesday.

The magazine found that the heat tended to be most concentrated on the lower left-hand corner of the tablet.

Apple spokeswoman Natalie Harrison said that anyone who is concerned about the heat from their iPad should let the company know.

“The new iPad delivers a stunning retina display, a5x chip, supports 4G LTE plus 10 hours of battery life all while operating well within our thermal specifications,” Harrison said. “If customers have any concerns, they should contact AppleCare.”

Employers ask for passwords: Employers are increasingly asking job applicants to submit their social media and networking passwords along with their resumes, The Associated Press reported. The report features one man, Justin Bassett, who was asked for his Facebook username and password when applying for a job. He refused and withdrew his application.

Experts have raised questions about the legality of the procedure, saying that it could be a serious privacy violation, the report said.

Broadband adoption: On Tuesday, Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) unveiled a new tool aimed at making it easier for the average person to follow legislation. Legislators can put up a bill on the online tracker and keep interested Facebook users updated on the a given bill's latest moves. 

"Built on Facebook, Citizen CoSponsor will enable you to follow legislation that you’re interested in. You will then receive first-hand information and updates on the status of the bill as it moves through the legislative process," Cantor's office said in a release.

Cantor has already posted a bill to the tool, the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA Act).

Facebook bill tracking: On Tuesday, Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.V.) sent a letter to the Government Accountability Office asking for the agency to conduct a study of broadband adoption programs funded by the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program in the Recovery Act.  He asked the agency to examine the success of programs that have been implemented under the stimulus program.

 Rockefeller also sent letters to major broadband providers including Comcast, AT&T, Time Warner and Verizon asking what programs they have in place to promote adoption and digital literacy.

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.



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