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Posted at 8:34 AM ET, 01/31/2011

The Circuit: Startup America, Egypt news, Amazon may launch service to take on Netflix

By Hayley Tsukayama

LEADING THE DAY: The White House launched its "Startup America" initiative Monday morning, a program aimed at helping entrepreneurs. A handful of tech companies have pledged their support to the campaign. Intel promised $200 million to the program and will share some of its best practices, IBM has pledged to invest $150 million in programs that help entrepreneurs, HP will put $4 million in its global program for entrepreneurs, and Facebook will host 12 "Startup Days" for aspiring startups who want to work on building social apps and Web sites. Startup America is led by AOL co-founder Steve Case, currently the CEO of Revolution LLC and the Chairman of the Case Foundation.

China censors mentions of Egypt: As the riots in Egypt and other parts of the Middle East continue, the Chinese government has seemingly censored any mention of Egypt on its most popular micro-blogging site, and clamped down on coverage in the press. As The Washington Post's Melissa Bell reported over at BlogPost on Saturday, the homepage of Xinhua, China's official state news agency, made little mention of the riots over the weekend.

Meanwhile, over at the Huffington Post, former White House deputy chief technology officer Andrew McLaughlin drafted a letter to Egypt's head of minister of communications and information technology, asking him to stop the country's Internet blackout as his last act in office.

American Internet kill switch bill: A bill granting the president the power to turn off key parts of the internet in the event of a significant cyber attack will be reintroduced in a Senate committee, according to sources who spoke to Wired.

The bill, which Wired reported has bipartisan support, specifically prohibits censorship "based solely on activities protected by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution,” which Wired noted is the same language that appears in the Patriot Act.

Amazon may move to challenge Netflix: Screenshots captured by an Engadget reader indicate that Amazon.com might be offering a Netflix-like streaming video service to its Amazon Prime members. The online shopping company currently has a video-on-demand service, but the new service appears to offer unlimited access to about 5,000 titles at no extra charge to Prime members.

Netgear CEO says Apple will change only post-Jobs: Netgear chief executive Patrick Lo made some waves in Sydney over the weekend when he said that Apple is too closed and would never change as long as co-founder Steve Jobs was involved with the company. Lo told the Sydney Morning Herald that Jobs's ego was keeping the company culture closed and that the future will call for more openness. He also said that Microsoft is "over," saying the company has fallen too far behind Android and Apple.

By Hayley Tsukayama  | January 31, 2011; 8:34 AM ET
Categories:  Apple, Facebook, International, Microsoft, Online Video  
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