Not so fast: Environmental concerns halt Atari 'E.T.' cartridge dig

New Mexico environmental regulators have put the kibosh on the excavation of millions of Atari "E.T." game cartridges from a garbage dump there.

According to The Guardian, the New Mexico Environment Department has said that filmmakers planning a documentary about the burial of the cartridges in 1983 owing to catastrophic sales must first acquire a waste excavation plan.

At South by Southwest earlier this month, filmmakers from Lightbox and Fuel Entertainment said they were almost ready to start digging into the garbage dump in Alamogordo, N.M., to look for the cartridges. Their research had led them … Read more

Congressman: If we ban Bitcoin, let's ban dollar bills too

It's in the best interest for the US to put a ban on dollar bills, US Congressman Jared Polis wrote in a letter to federal regulators on Wednesday. This anonymous currency is unregulated, susceptible to instability, illicit activity, and forgery, he said.

Granted, Polis (D-Colo.) was being tongue-in-cheek, but his letter brought up relevant issues in regards to the backlash against Bitcoin, which has seen a major fall from grace over the past few weeks.

Last month, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) called for an outright ban of Bitcoin in a letter sent to the Treasury Department and other … Read more

Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker friends Silicon Valley

The US Department of Commerce wants to friend Silicon Valley. That's the message from Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, who made her first official visit this week to what she called a "place of majestic beauty" and a "dynamic and innovative ecosystem that is envied not just across the United States but throughout the world."

Pritzker met with Silicon Valley executives from Facebook, Google, and eBay, and with startup entrepreneurs. "With the country moving at warp speed toward the 'Internet of Everything,' our goal at the Department of Commerce as a service organization is … Read more

Sen. Manchin demands complete US ban on Bitcoin

A US senator is asking the federal government to take this remarkable step: completely ban Bitcoin.

Joe Manchin, a Democratic senator representing West Virginia, sent a letter Wednesday to the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve, and other regulators characterizing the virtual currency as encouraging "illicit activity" as well as being "highly unstable and disruptive to our economy."

Manchin, who is a member of the Senate banking committee, suggested in the letter -- titled "Manchin Demands Federal Regulators Ban Bitcoin" -- that a complete prohibition was appropriate because Thailand, China, and South Korea have already … Read more

Apple files appeal in e-book antitrust case

Apple filed an appeal Tuesday of a federal judge's ruling last year that the company violated US antitrust laws by conspiring with publishers to fix e-book prices.

The appeal, filed with the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York, called the ruling last July by US District Court Judge Denise Cote "a radical departure from modern antitrust law and policy" that if allowed to stand "would stifle innovation, chill competition, and harm consumers."

In April 2012, the Justice Department sued Apple along with five of the six largest book publishers in the … Read more

DARPA's hot for futuristic helicopter-like delivery drones

In hard-to-reach war zones, it can be near impossible to get supplies to ground soldiers or conduct rescue missions without coming under enemy fire or landing in minefields.

Spurred by these logistical issues, the US Department of Defense in its DARPA division is pushing to develop unmanned helicopter-like aircraft -- aka drones -- for supply runs, airborne reconnaissance missions, and casualty evacuations.

Not your ordinary drones, these futuristic machines will be designed to carry up to 3,000 pounds, have their own power system, fuel, digital flight controls, and remote command-and-control interfaces. As envisioned by DARPA, troops will be able … Read more

Apple loses bid to yank court-appointed antitrust monitor

It's no secret that Apple has been unhappy with the court-appointed antitrust monitor watching over its shoulder -- but, it appears the company is going to have to get used to it for the time being.

The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit denied Apple's motion on Monday to put the court-appointed monitor's duties on hold while it seeks a more expansive appeal to remove him completely. In other words, monitor Michael Bromwich may continue to keep tabs on Apple's antitrust compliance policies for e-books.

"We are pleased with the court's decision,&… Read more

Sprint reportedly second-guessing T-Mobile deal

Sprint may be second-guessing its push to acquire T-Mobile after encountering stiff resistance from regulators.

That's according to The Wall Street Journal, which reported that Sprint officials were regrouping after recently meeting with the Justice Department and Federal Communications Commission in Washington, DC.

Sprint Chairman Masayoshi Son and CEO Dan Hesse had hoped to win over regulators and at least get a fair shake at the regulatory approval for the deal, but antitrust officials expressed strong sentiments against it, the WSJ reported, citing unnamed sources.

Sprint declined to comment.

Sprint and T-Mobile have both argued that a merger would … Read more

Alleged Silk Road creator indicted on 'kingpin' charges

The alleged operator of the online drug bazaar Silk Road, which was seized last October, has been indicted on four charges.

The US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara announced Tuesday that Ross Ulbricht, who allegedly went by the moniker "Dread Pirate Roberts," could now face a minimum of 30 years in prison and a possible maximum sentence of life in prison.

The charges against Ulbricht include counts of narcotics conspiracy, continuing criminal enterprise, conspiracy to commit computer hacking, and money laundering conspiracy. The "continuing criminal enterprise" charge, or "kingpin" … Read more

US carrier mergers would face tough time getting DOJ approval

US wireless carriers who have the urge to merge will meet resistance in the form of the Justice Department.

In an interview with The New York Times published Thursday, William Baer, assistant attorney general in the antitrust division, said that any merger proposals on the part of the major US carriers would encounter intense scrutiny. Baer cited "much more favorable competitive conditions" in the mobile landscape since the DOJ filed a lawsuit to block the merger between AT&T and T-Mobile in 2011. AT&T eventually withdrew its offer.

"It's going to be hard … Read more