21:00 PM

Newswatch 4.2.08: CTIA attendees fall for Mars hoax

An Instinct to clone. Need a phone with a touchscreen, colorful icons and a $99 data plan? Check out Spring and Samsung's new Instinct, which is pretty blatantly an iPhone copycat. It's even locked in to Sprint's network, but unlike AT&T they offer a high-speed CDMA EV-DO Rev A network. (InfoWeek)

Realm of the absurd: Congress on Second Life. Not everything techno groovy is worth doing and it's pretty unlikely there's any particular benefit to beaming a Congressional hearing into Second Life. Tech-crazy Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) is the congressional sponsor of the virtual hearing. Rather than the future of political outreach, consider this a diplomatic effort to a foreign land. (LA Times)

4.1.08: Branson dupes the wide-eyed. Must- read Register: "Speaking Tuesday at the CTIA Wireless trade show in Las Vegas, Sir Richard Branson told several hundred mobile industry insiders that he and Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin will soon fly a solar-powered Noah's Ark to Mars. And they believed him.<

No open cell networks. FCC Chair Kevin Martin finally got back to Skype over its proposal to open cell networks to all devices. The idea was that a 1960s case that forced AT&T to open its network should be applied to Verizon and, well, AT&T. That's not necessary, Martin said. (Ars Technica)

YouTube gets Rick Astley'd. Supposedly it's an April Fool's Joke, but every featured video on the home page yesterday linked to Rick's "Never Gonna Give You Up." Some joke. At 9 pm last night, YT managed to send 6 million vid views Astley's way (embedding disabled by request). (YouTube)