February 12, 2017

<a href=“http://mybizadventures.com/use-saturday-as-a-catch-up-day rel=nofollow”>Use Saturday as a catch up day A post I wrote on My Biz Adventures! This is my new business blog!

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February 11, 2017 Republicans Praise FCC Chairman Pai�s New Transparency Initiative

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai unveiled a pilot project to boost transparency, promising reporters to release agenda items three weeks before its meetings.

Chairman Pai said, �Today, we begin the process of making the FCC more open and transparent,� Pai told reporters. �I�m pleased to announce this morning a pilot project that, if successful, will become a commission practice � one that will give the public much more insight into the commission�s activities.�

Under past Chairman Tom Wheeler, the FCC would not make items public until after the FCC voted. Tech, cable, and communications firms widely panned the procedure. Now, the FCC will list proposed rules�before its monthly meetings.

Joan Marsh, Senior Vice President of ATT said:

Clear and transparent processes lead to better regulatory results. FCC Chairman Pai made clear his commitment to these goals with the voting process reform he enacted at his first Open Meeting. Today�s announcement underscores that commitment even further. The pilot program of releasing proposed rules to the public, before they are voted on by the FCC, allows for greater public engagement and ultimately better government actions.� We applaud chairman Pai�s and his fellow commissioners� efforts to improve the agency�s transparency to produce better results.

This policy shift mirrors reforms proposed by House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.). Technology subcommittee Chairwoman Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), in a joint statement with Walden, cheered the new procedure, saying,�This is the type of transparency we�ve been urging the FCC to implement for the last several Congresses. Then-Commissioner Pai and Commissioner O�Reilly had long pushed for greater transparency during Chairman Wheeler�s tenure, and we are pleased to see that just two weeks into Commissioner Pai�s chairmanship we are already seeing positive changes at the commission.�

Fellow Republican FCC Commissioner Michael O�Reilly also� applauded the move, saying, �Today is a major step forward for the agency in terms of transparency and accountability. While it may make our jobs a bit more challenging, it is the right thing to do for the American people, the practitioners before the Commission and the professional press who report on Commission activities. It should make your jobs a whole lot easier and eliminate the wasted time chasing down dead ends!�

To test this new program, Chairman Pai released two documents that will be discussed during the FCC�s next meeting on February 23rd. During the meeting, the FCC will discuss allowing TV stations to use ATSC 3.0, the next generation broadcast standard, and allowing�FM radio stations to rebroadcast AM stations.

This FCC transparency initiative falls in line with other reforms that Ajit Pai has championed in the past, including �setting deadlines for new rules and adding sunset clauses to rules unless they are in the public�s interest. Chairman Pai thinks that these reforms can lead to better policies in the FCC. �I don�t see process reforms like these as partisan and I hope in the coming year we can see some meaningful reforms,� he said.
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February 11, 2017 A federal case over the prices inmates pay for phone calls turned �really strange�

Law enforcement officials and private phone companies urged a federal appeals court on Monday to scrap limits on the high cost of phone calls for prison inmates and their families.

The question for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit is whether federal regulators have the authority to cap prices for inmate calls that have reached more than $1 per minute. But the issue took on a new political dimension in the wake of the presidential inauguration and a change in the balance of power at the Federal Communications Commission.

Federal regulators had pressed since 2013 to lower the phone call costs, but the FCC abruptly announced last week that it would no longer defend a major part of its own rules in court. The change in position followed the departure last month of two Democratic commissioners.

The commission�s new majority, including President Trump�s pick to serve as chairman, Ajit Pai, does not think that the FCC is on solid legal footing when it comes to regulating in-state prison phone calls. Those calls represent more than 80 percent of inmate calls.

With the FCC abandoning a key provision of the regulations, Judge Laurence H. Silberman repeatedly asked Monday why the court should not just put the case challenging the price limits on hold given that the FCC attorney in court wasn�t speaking up for the FCC policy that capped in-state call rates.

�This case is really strange,� Silberman noted.

A hold would give the commission time to rescind or rework the regulations on its own, he said. In general, inmates making calls from state and federal facilities must have accounts with private companies to hold money deposited by family members. The companies then share some of the revenue with the facilities.

Although a number of states, including New York, New Jersey and Ohio, have independently lowered prison phone call rates, the caps are opposed by a coalition of law enforcement officials from nine states. Mithun Mansinghani, Oklahoma�s deputy solicitor general, told the court that prison facilities rely on the money from private companies to pay for inmate programs aimed at reducing recidivism and to ensure the security of the phone calls. Inmates, he said, have used the prison phone services for �nefarious purposes� such as smuggling drugs and planning murders.

Judge Cornelia T.L. Pillard seemed skeptical that the states � rather than the private companies � were bearing the cost to ensure secure phone calls. Pillard suggested that the rate caps were aimed at controlling prices charged by the handful of companies that control the market for inmate calls, not at eliminating commissions to prison facilities. The FCC is saying that �you work it out,� Pillard said.

Phone-service companies paid at least $460 million in commissions to correctional facilities in 2013, according to a brief filed by a coalition of advocates for inmates and their families.

Attorney Michael K. Kellogg, who represented the phone services companies in court, said the FCC had �created something of a mess.� The agency, he said, �is trying to make it impossible to collect commissions,� and the rate caps �will put us under water.�

In 2015, the FCC voted 3 to 2 to cap rates for state and federal prison inmates at 11 cents per minute. The agency�s order dropped the average rates for in-state calls from a total of $2.96 for 15 minutes to no more than $1.65 for 15 minutes. For calls between states, the order dropped the average from a total of $3.15 for 15 minutes to no more than $1.65 for 15 minutes. The D.C. Circuit temporarily blocked some of the 2015 rules from taking effect after opposition from the phone companies and law enforcement officials. In response, the FCC reworked the caps by a 3-to-2 vote.

Sitting in the front row of the courtroom on Monday was Mignon Clyburn, now the lone Democratic commissioner, who first pushed the issue in 2013. Clyburn said after the hearing that the FCC has an obligation to ensure �just, reasonable and fair rates.� �We�re here for phone justice,� she said. �That�s what we�re asking for.�

OK, I agree with the FCCs not wanting to defend net neutrality, but I disagree with this one. They should definitely cap those calls!

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February 9, 2017

What WordPress theme is that? It’s well… exactly what it says it is, a WP theme detector. I’m always wondering what theme that is, so this is useful for me. It also detects plugins.

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February 9, 2017

read the constitution at this site. I like this site! I actually read the constitution this morning, something I hadn’t done since high school! It really didn’t take that long either.

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February 8, 2017

These are the oral arguments from the ninth circuit, which were streamed live yesterday. This is the first oral argument that I know of that was streamed live. These are the arguments in the Trump executive order case: 17-35105.

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