Blogs & Op-eds

On Net Neutrality, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler Had It Right the First Time

November 19, 2014
| Blogs & Op-eds

Even by the measure of the typical circus that is the net neutrality debate, the past few weeks have been busy. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler offered a widely-panned “trial balloon” on a hybrid approach, attempting to combine both available jurisdictional hooks to hang his net neutrality rules. But, he was quickly upstaged by President Obama’s statement announcing his support for “the strongest possible rules” protecting the open Internet by using Title II. Somehow we have lost sight of a simple fact: Wheeler’s net neutrality approach was right the first time.

Developing Countries Need Robots Too

November 19, 2014
| Blogs & Op-eds

Productivity increases are important for economic growth, but they are also feared because people assume they lead to unemployment. A comprehensive new paper examines the impact of innovation in lower-income countries, finding that in many cases innovation can be beneficial for employment, although it varies significantly depending on a range of different factors.

A Super-Wrong Way To Understand Net Neutrality

November 18, 2014
| Blogs & Op-eds

Net neutrality is a complicated issue, but is it too much to expect journalists to get it at least mostly right when they write about it? Apparently so. Case in point is Neil Irwin's New York Times article “A Super-Simple Way to Understand the Net Neutrality Debate.” Simple, and simply wrong.

E.U. Data Privacy Rules Threaten Medical Research

November 18, 2014
| Blogs & Op-eds

The Europe Union’s continuing efforts to regulate data in the name of privacy protection is raising growing concerns in the medical research community — and elsewhere — about the potentially costly unintended consequences of those rules. 

A Global Internet Needs Organizing Principles

November 17, 2014
| Blogs & Op-eds

What is therefore needed is a set of global Internet principles that recognizes that nations will have different and often discordant domestic Internet policies, but encourages them to do so without "breaking the Web." In other words, we need a framework that gives nations the freedom to set their own policies, while also enabling the continued growth of the Internet globally.

Brave New Potato

November 17, 2014
| Blogs & Op-eds

On Friday, 7 November, the US Department of Agriculture cleared the path to commercialization for a “genetically modified” potato developed by J.R. Simplott.
This is big. This is very big.
It’s big for a host of reasons, but at the top of the list is one: French fries. The United States alone produces some 20 million pounds of potatoes each year, two thirds of which wind up in frozen products. Most of those are French fries. The American consumer eats 120lb of potatoes per year, on average. Global potato production is ~73 billion pounds/year (365 million tons). That’s a lot of spuds
- See more at: http://www.innovationfiles.org/brave-new-potato/#sthash.A8tfPmNM.dpuf

On November 7, the US Department of Agriculture cleared the path to commercialization for a “genetically modified” potato that will be more resistant to disease and insects than current varieties. This is big for a host of reasons, but at the top of the list is one: French fries. The United States alone produces some 20 million pounds of potatoes each year, two thirds of which wind up in frozen products. Most of those are French fries. The American consumer eats 120lb of potatoes per year, on average while global potato production is about 73 billion pounds/year.  This new variation will reduce pesticide use and crops lost to blight increasing efficiency, reducing environmental impact and producing better yields overall.

Will Obama Be the Last Open Data President?

November 17, 2014
| Blogs & Op-eds

In the nearly six years President Obama has been in office, he has taken a series of steps to further the ideal of open government through data, and there is still much to be done. Unfortunately, with the presidential election season just around the corner, it remains to be seen if the progress made over the past few years will continue in future administrations, or if President Obama will be the last open data president.

Landmark Trade Deal at Risk without Strong Intellectual Property Laws

November 14, 2014
| Blogs & Op-eds

The ambitious goal of creating a next-generation trade agreement through the completion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which aligns America with 11 of its trading partners across the Pacific region, is at risk of failing if negotiators cave in to pressures to strip it of strong intellectual property protections.

ITA Expansion Agreement a Victory for Global Innovation Economy

November 14, 2014
| Blogs & Op-eds

Expansion of the tariff reducing Information Technology Agreement represents a significant victory for the innovation economy as well as businesses and consumers in participating nations. In fact, in the U.S. alone, the expansion could increase exports by $2.8 billion, boost revenues for ICT firms by $10 billion and support creation of approximately 60,000 new jobs.

Newsflash: You Don't Have to Pirate Content

November 12, 2014
| Blogs & Op-eds

Wheretowatch.com is a simple way for consumers to legally find all the movies and television they are interested in viewing — from new episodes of TV to classic movies to even films still in theaters.