Technology

Living in a mobile world

It may not be the end of the world as the Mayan’s foretold, but it’s certainly the end of an eventful year for American innovation. If future civilizations look back on the information age, they could chart its progress largely by the innovation driven here in Silicon Valley. First came the Internet, then the mobile Internet and now the transformations occurring at the nexus of mobile, the Internet and social media.
 
Think back to popular culture moments: The Olympics, the re-election of the president, the suddenly ubiquitous Gangnam Style. What the three disparate events have in common is that we flocked to the social, mobile web to learn, to debate and to share with one another.

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Courts, not FTC, should decide on Google practices

Why isn't the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) holding Google to the same "honest broker" standard to which it holds every other company in the U.S. economy?
 
After an eighteen-month investigation of the most extensive alleged "deceptive and unfair business practices" in FTC history, FTC investigators recommended the FTC prosecute Google for deceptive search bias in a 100-page memo. That recommendation built upon the evidence collected by a bipartisan Senate Antitrust Subcommittee investigation of Google search bias last year. In addition last May, the European Commission concluded Google's search bias is illegal.

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Eradicating patent trolls

One of the critical obstacles to our innovation economy are patent trolls or Patent Assertion Entities (“PAE”) which acquire patents simply to bring patent litigation and effectively tax innovation. PAEs exploit numerous problems in our legal system including the expense and uncertainty of patent litigation, the excessive granting of patents in the high-tech space, the ambiguity of abstraction surrounding the claims of many high-tech patents, and the anticompetitive pricing power that comes from aggregating patents in an industry where market definition is especially difficult. PAEs are costing the economy over $29 billion annually and creating barriers to the innovation that is critical to the growth of the economy.

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Privacy bill amendments will provide clearer guidance to investigators

On August 21, 1789, the House of Representatives adopted amendments to the U.S. Constitution, which later became known as the Bill of Rights. The fourth of these amendments was introduced to protect private citizens from unlawful search and seizure by government agents. Last Thursday, members of Congress once again sought to protect the citizens they represent from unreasonable searches by agents of the government.

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You are doing it wrong: The Right and digital politics

The results of this election made one thing clear about the GOP and the era of digital politicking: we are doing it wrong.
 
It is not that Conservatives are not engaged online (in fact the opposite is true), or that the Right is not using the best tools or techniques. It is fundamentally that Conservatives do not have the correct view of the role of digital politics in campaigns.
 
After the ground-breaking uses of technology in Howard Dean’s presidential campaign and the game-changing use of the internet by Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign, it became clear to many on the Right that the era of digital politics was here to stay. And while the Right has by-in-large embraced the digital arena, it is not enough to just engage in social networks, buy digital ads, send emails and engage in mobile campaigning.

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Business success should not trump creativity: Pandora isn't playing fair

Last week, we grabbed our guitars, borrowed a piano and set up shop on Capitol Hill to tell our story: Pandora isn’t playing fair. 

We are songwriters. Those lyrics you know by heart or the tune you can’t get out of your head. The songs you dance to, cry to, and sing in the shower.  That’s us. You probably wouldn’t recognize us on the street. 

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FTC should proceed with case against Google

When you stare down a $220 billion corporation, it’s hard not to blink.  But if the Federal Trade Commission doesn’t deliver on its ultimatum to Google that it settle its antitrust problems soon for real relief or face prosecution, then consumers will never get the open and unfettered online and mobile access to information they deserve.
 
While the government’s battle with Microsoft in the 1990s was about whether the dominant software company could bundle software and an Internet browser, the antitrust case against Google is about whether one company should have so much control over online information that it can steer us any where it chooses for its own profit.

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Why I support the Internet Radio Fairness Act

As a musician with Break of Reality, an independent music group, I would very much like to have my voice heard with regard to the Internet Radio Fairness Act. Internet radio has provided tremendous exposure for my band, Break of Reality, an independent music group. I would like to share how important it is to help create fair legislation so that companies like Pandora can flourish and expand, creating more opportunities and revenue for us as musicians.

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A bipartisan offender: The Internet Radio Fairness Act

We are stunned by how little attention has been paid to the treacherous parts of the so-called Internet Radio Fairness Act — the parts that have nothing to do with the royalty rates paid to artists and everything to do with shutting down speech and agency capture.
 
Among other things the bill would stand antitrust law on its head, and would permit dominant players like Sirius XM and Clear Channel to sue any group of sound recording owners — any — if they “impede” the efforts of these two behemoths to make direct licensing deals with record companies.

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Unfair taxes burden online holiday shoppers

In the past decade, the holiday shopping has become easier, as many consumers are forgoing packed malls and purchasing their gifts online instead. This means a holiday shopper in a small town can access many of the same goods and services once available only to those in big cities. However, greater consumer choice has its disadvantages, especially unfair tax burdens associated with the sale of digital goods and services.
 
Why are these particular taxes so high? Basically it is because there is no regulation governing which jurisdiction has the right to tax digital commerce, meaning that there can be multiple taxes levied on a single purchase.

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