TPM News

The House of Representatives has approved a $1 trillion spending measure to fund the federal government, the AP and Bloomberg report. The bill now heads to the Senate.

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), architect of the controversial “Stop Online Piracy Act” abruptly adjourned the marathon markup hearing on his bill after more than 14 hours of bickering between lawmakers who wanted to pass it as soon as possible, and those who, at the very least, wanted more hearings to understand the implications of the bill.

The opponents of SOPA, though outnumbered, seem to have won a temporary victory, halting the markup hearing in its tracks.

Smith grabbed the olive branch extended by prominent SOPA critic Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), who said he would withdraw his amendment to delay DNS—takedown provisions of SOPA from going into effect until studies had been done on how it would affect the nation’s cybersecurity infrastructure.

“I am willing to withdraw this amendment if the Chairman [Smith] is willing to consider having two hearings,” Chaffetz said, outlining that he wanted one classified intelligence hearing featuring cybersecurity experts from the Department of Homeland Security, and another public hearing featuring civilian cybersecurity experts.

Smith said he would be willing to consider holding the hearings but added that he hoped that Chaffetz wasn’t “using this to delay the proceedings.” Chaffetz assured Smith that he was not.

After some prodding by anti-SOPA legislators Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) and Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX), Smith finally adjourned the hearing and said it would conclude on the next predictable legislative date, sometime in early 2012.

For now, SOPA’s passage has been delayed.

Comcast CEO Brian L. Roberts has agreed pay a $500,000 civil penalty to “settle charges that he violated premerger reporting and waiting requirements when he acquired Comcast voting securities,” the Justice Department announced Friday. From a DOJ release:

According to the complaint, Roberts failed to comply with the antitrust premerger notification requirements of the HSR Act before acquiring voting securities of Comcast as part of his compensation as chairman and chief executive officer of Comcast beginning on Oct. 22, 2007, which resulted in his holding more than $119.6 million of Comcast stock. On Aug. 25, 2009, Roberts made a corrective filing for Comcast voting securities he had acquired. Although this is the first time Roberts has been charged with an HSR Act violation, previously he had twice made corrective filings regarding transactions that he acknowledged were reportable under the HSR Act, asserting that the failures to file and observe the waiting period were inadvertent.

Negative press be damned, Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablet is a success according to at least one company: Apple.

The sporadically-accurate Taiwanese tech news outlet DigiTimes reported Friday that Apple is developing two iPad models for release in 2012.

The first, which is expected within the first quarter of the year, according to DigiTimes is expected to be an iPad 3 on the order of 10 inches, like those that have come before.

The second, more interesting device would be a smaller, cheaper, 7.85-inch iPad designed to go head-to-head with Amazon’s 7-inch Kindle Fire, which retails for $199 compared to the cheapest iPad currently on the market, $499.

The iPad is expected to remain the best-selling tablet into 2012 by a large margin, according to analysts, though the Kindle Fire is expected to become the best-selling Android tablet, selling up to 6 million units in the fourth quarter of 2011.

The Advancement Project dropped off a petition with 121,000 signatures at the Justice Department on Thursday asking Attorney General Eric Holder to do everything it can to block discriminatory voter suppression laws. Holder spoke about what DOJ was doing to protect voting rights in a speech in Texas earlier this week.