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Posted at 8:40 AM ET, 12/13/2010

The Circuit: An introduction and this morning's tech news

By Hayley Tsukayama

Good morning! We're trying out something new at PostTech -- a morning roundup of tech news you want to know from the weekend or overnight. The morning digests will come from Hayley Tsukayama, also a new addition to PostTech.

Hayley, a Minnesota native, is a recent transplant to D.C. fresh from receiving her masters in journalism from the University of Missouri this past spring. She will also be contributing to Faster Foward.

Now let's get to it, shall we?

-The Gawker media group was hacked over the weekend. Thousands of user e-mails and passwords are being passed over peer-to-peer networks, and Gawker has advised all registered users to change their passwords on Gawker sites as well as any other place they may use the same password. According to a report Monday morning from PCWorld, Gawker commentors who have linked their accounts through Facebook and Twitter need not worry.

PBS was right on the story, explaining the implications the breach could have on government agencies, as many of the users listed in the file had government e-mail addresses.

A group called Gnosis has claimed the attack, and Gawker has said it is "deeply embarrassed" by the breach. One interesting fact from the PBS story: More than 1,958 users on Gawker had the password, "password."

-Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-W.V.) sent a letter to the FCC expressing concern that the Comcast-NBC merger might raise cable prices and put too much control into the hands of one company.

- The FCC announced that it would hold a forum this Tuesday to help parents and teens navigate the hazards of growing up in a technological world. Rosalind Wiseman, author of "Queen Bees and Wannabees," will join Chairman Julius Genachowski to talk about topics such as cyberbullying, sexting, privacy and texting while driving. Jane Lynch, of "Glee" fame, will also make an appearance via teleconference.

-From Hillicon Valley on Friday, the House judiciary panel is calling a full committee meeting to discuss WikiLeaks as it may relate to the Espionage Act. As The Hill piece notes, this will be the first congressional hearing on WikiLeaks since its last document release on Nov. 28.

- A judge in Seattle created problems for Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen's patent lawsuit against high-profile tech companies, saying the "allegations in the complaint are spartan." As reported in the Wall Street Journal Monday morning, Allen is suing an all-star list of tech companies such as Google Inc. and YouTube, Apple Inc., Yahoo Inc. and eBay Inc. for infringing on four patents held by two of his companies, namely Interval Research Corp.

-Also from the Wall Street Journal, reporters Shayndi Rice and Roger Cheng sat down with Verizon CEO Daniel Mead for a chat about the company's future. In the interview, Mead said the company is hitting a growth spurt and "should be thinking 300% to 400%-plus penetration" in the next five years.

- Going against the grain, Time Warner's Jeffrey L. Bewkes, is pooh-poohing the idea that Netflix is a company on the rise. “It’s a little bit like, is the Albanian army going to take over the world?” Bewkes told the New York Times over the weekend. While many see Netflix and its rise as indicators of cord-cutting, the Times pieces points out the company's lucrative contract with Starz is set to expire -- something the article says will completely change the company's relationship with media companies.

-From The Washington Post's Jia Lynn Yang this morning, a look at Google's rapid expansion as it gobbles up Web companies that have little connection to the company.

- And, finally, a good, philosophical read from over the weekend: The New York Times' Natasha Springer on how privacy legislation is often reactive -- and has been for over a century.

By Hayley Tsukayama  | December 13, 2010; 8:40 AM ET
Categories:  Apple, Comcast, Consumers, FCC, FTC, Facebook, Google, Kids Online, Microsoft, Mobile, Net Neutrality, Privacy, Social media, Verizon, Yahoo  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Net neutrality lobbying to peak this week
Next: Advertising trade group head Rothenberg leaves for Time


Would be great to have a locally-focused (DC/MD/NoVA) version of this. I'd be happy to contribute, edit, etc.

Posted by: jtnt | December 13, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

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