January 22, 2018 3:26 PM
Blockchain is a software architecture that seems very likely to unleash profound global forces if it crosses over into the mainstream.
September 23, 2016 4:01 PM
Last week, the cult USA channel TV show Mr. Robot showed once again why it is required viewing for anyone interested in technology. In a conversation between E Corp CEO Phillip Price and a top government official named Jack (a thinly-veiled Jack Lew?), he talked about his plans to get official government backing for his virtual currency, eCoin:
Jack (James Lloyd Reynolds) : “…it’s unconstitutional, you can’t make your own currency. That is the Federal Government’s job! We simply cannot let you make big loans in eCoin that you would not make in dollars.”
Phillip Price (Michael Cristofer): “Jack look at me. I am not the problem here. The problem here is hard cash is fading rapidly. That’s just the way of the world right now. And Bitcoin is spreading. And if Bitcoin takes over, we are all in a...
June 26, 2014 10:41 AM
Yesterday, the Supreme Court released its much-awaited ...
May 27, 2014 7:28 AM
Hundreds of moderate and conservative bills have passed the House of Representatives, often overwhelmingly, only to die in the Senate without even being voted on there. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) doesn't want these bills to pass, because they contain provisions opposed by left-leaning special interest groups, like the trial lawyers. Letting them come to a vote would enable many of these bills to pass, given popular support for them.
Reid just did it again with patent reform, which passed the House, only to die in the Senate. Thanks to Reid, the trial lawyers and "patent trolls won in Congress," laments a tech policy expert at Ars Technica. ...
May 19, 2014 4:12 PM
In the electric power industry, if you run an extension cord across the street to serve another, you go to jail. The local utility has a protected monopoly. We’ve put most of that "public utility" vision behind us in communications. Wired and wireless and satellite options abound for Internet service; we'll likely see blimps and communications drones, and who knows what else.
Yet special interests still want the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to regulate the content flows and grid infrastructure, the prices and services of the Internet via something called net neutrality. They actually are quite open about wanting government regulated monopoly power.
The Internet as a utility, like the power company....
November 15, 2013 4:31 PM
The answer is no, except under special circumstances. The question itself arises from comments by Julie P. Samuels of the Electronic Frontier Foundation at last week’s panel held by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation over demand letters from patent assertion entities (PAEs), commonly known as patent trolls. Samuels proposed new legislation to expand the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Section 5 authority, which allows the FTC to regulate “unfair or deceptive acts” by...
November 13, 2013 6:34 PM
Wikileaks has made another big splash yesterday -- not about spying, but about a multinational trade agreement currently being negotiated. Wikileaks published a draft chapter on intellectual property that is part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), now being negotiated with 12 countries -- Japan, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Malaysia, Chile, Singapore, Peru, Vietnam, New Zealand, and Brunei Darussalam.
The 95-page chapter, as a negotiating document, includes proposed provisions and language on a broad range of intellectual property issues, including copyrights, trademarks, patents, pharmaceuticals, and the Internet. The chapter also includes enforcement mechanisms for violations of the agreement. Individual countries’ initials next to the provisions or words in...
September 19, 2013 10:35 AM
On September 9, 2013 I entered the E. Barrett Prettyman Court house, which houses the federal Court of Appeals for the District of Colombia Circuit. It was 8:30am and in one and a half hours, oral arguments in Verizon v. FCC were slated to begin.
I assumed that arriving an hour before the doors would open would be time enough to get a seat for the case. However, I encountered a line of over a hundred people already waiting to enter the courtroom, and by the time I entered the court room, space was limited to standing room only.
As oral arguments proceeded, the panel asked a litany of questions about...
March 22, 2013 8:47 PM
With time running out for the Senate to act on a continuing budget resolution, members are trying to find some magic pot of money that would mask the fact that our government spends far more than it raises in revenue. Tonight, it looks like Sen. David Vitter has resurrected an old proposal to ban what are known as reverse payment patent settlements -- agreements in which brand name drug manufacturers pay generic firms not to challenge patents on the innovators’ drugs.
September 4, 2012 10:06 AM
Now it's the Democrats' turn to gather for their convention in Charlotte and one element of the platform in common with basic Republican philosophy is the case for government funding of basic science.
The Democrats are much more ambitious, however, in calls for the funding of "investment" beyond basic science. The word "investment," in fact, appears 40 times in the just-released 2012 Democratic National Platform.
Indeed most agree with the notion that such a basic science policy is "unimpeachable," as Fareed Zakaria's, "How Government Funding of Science Rewards U.S. Taxpayers," put it in the The Washington Post.
But needless problems arise when an institution with the power to tax and compel gets overly involved in the very production of knowledge itself.