Technology

Is the FCC serious about broadband deployment?

Rarely has an agency exhibited a greater degree of schizophrenia than the FCC did last week, when it issued its Eighth Broadband Progress Report (Broadband Report) and its Special Access Report and Order. One decries the lack of broadband access for the 6 percent of the U.S. population that lives in the most sparsely populated areas. The other encourages America’s largest enterprises to perpetuate their use of non-broadband networks throughout the U.S.

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Musicians lose out in Internet Radio Fairness Act

Great music has always had a way of spreading, no matter the technology or the era. In ancient times, if a song had that special something, it was passed down orally, person to person, family to family, from generation to generation. Today, technology enables us to hear the latest hit almost as soon as it is created and recorded. And digital music innovators like LastFM, Music Choice, Pandora, SiriusXM and countless others are making it easier than ever to hear the music we love, whenever and wherever. Whether it’s at home, at work, or on our mobile devices, the benefits of our nation’s creative community are now available at the touch of a button (or click of a mouse).

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Proposed SHIELD law is nothing but a gift to infringers

The ink has barely dried on the Leahy America Invents Act and two Congressmen felt it necessary last week to introduce another piece of patent reform legislation. This one, called the Saving High–Tech Innovators from Egregious Legal Disputes Act of 2012 or the SHIELD Act, is nothing more than a gift to large computer technology companies and their lobbyists and an attack on American inventors.

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Failure to act on cybersecurity puts nation at risk

At a time when the House, Senate, and White House have been unable to come to agreement on a host of issues, the bipartisan consensus on the need to act on cybersecurity has offered some hope for action. The inability of the Senate to proceed to debate the various proposals is thus particularly disappointing. But there is a possible path forward.

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Broadcasters should man up and compete

Former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, now Mayor of Chicago, once famously said: “You never want a serious crisis go to waste.” This is a dictum the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has followed time and again in its effort to force cell phone manufacturers to include radio chips in all of our phones. The latest crisis that elicited yet another NAB lobbying effort were the recent storms that tore through the Washington area on June 29-30.

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Online privacy: Do we need 'Do-Not-Track'?

Can “self-regulation” adequately protect privacy online? That question was posed during a recent Senate Commerce Committee hearing focused on the current self-regulatory effort to develop a “Do-Not-Track” (DNT) mechanism—and answered in the negative by the committee’s senior Democrats, who believe privacy legislation is long overdue. Commerce Committee Chairman Rockefeller emphasized that he was speaking for consumers. But despite years of such hearings, the benefits to consumers of privacy regulation of any kind—let alone net benefits (i.e., benefits minus costs)—have yet to be demonstrated.

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Sen. McCain's cyber bill will still leave us vulnerable

On Tuesday, Senator John McCain (R-Ariz) reintroduced legislation that would establish a boxing commission to centralize authority and enforce “basic uniform standards.” The timing of the bill is largely in response to the recent fight in which Timothy Bradley defeated Manny Pacquiao—regarded by many as the world’s best fighter— in a highly-controversial split decision. While McCain hems and haws over American sports, he refuses to act on an essential matter of national security: protecting critical infrastructure from a cyber attack.

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Toward a partisan-free innovation policy

From the latest polls to kitchen tables across America, it is clear that our nation is deeply divided over which presidential candidate is best equipped to lead our economy forward. Yet precious little public conversation has focused on the most promising catalyst of America’s economic revival —Internet-fueled innovation.

As the euro zone descends into an existential debate between austerity and growth, U.S. Democrats and Republicans alike need to coalesce around a vision of what growth looks like—and how we get there.

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Out of tune antitrust: Why concerns over music merger fall flat

This week the Senate Judiciary Committee will pay attention to Universal’s proposed acquisition of EMI. Certain groups have taken to advocating against the deal, arguing that the combined firm would be too big and could harm consumers. Although it is easy to paint a picture of a music giant, any claims of potential harm are simply inconsistent with the simple facts of the market, decades of antitrust law, and commonsense economic policy.
 
Let’s start with the simple undeniable facts. The music industry bears little resemblance to that of a decade ago. Because of the emergence of digital music the forms of distribution have skyrocketed. Consumers have almost limitless opportunities to acquire or listen to music.

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When bigger is in fact better

When Mark Zuckerberg had just a few friends, Facebook wasn’t worth all that much. With nearly 900 million users, the social media startup is now worth more than all the major airlines combined.
 
A single electronic medical record is a helpful personal organizer. A database with all Americans’ electronic medical records will advance medical research, reduce health care costs and save lives.

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