Category Archives: Regulations

Financialization in telecom


By George Mattathil – With all these things going on, one would think that there would be an earnest effort to find out what is wrong.

Instead, the preoccupation in the media and industry is with “net neutrality” confusion, which the FCC Chairman summed up: “the idea of net neutrality has been discussed for a decade with no lasting results.” more> http://wp.me/p4erPG-5j

A Principled Fight Against Surveillance


By Katitza Rodriguez – Years before Edward Snowden leaked his first document, human rights lawyers and activists have been concerned about a dramatic expansion in law enforcement and foreign intelligence agencies’ efforts to spy on the digital world.

It had become evident that legal protections had not kept pace with technological – that the state’s practical ability to spy on the world had developed in a way that permitted it to bypass the functional limits that have historically checked its ability to spy.

  • It’s time to move beyond the fallacy that information about communications (metadata) does not pose as serious a threat to privacy as the content of communications
  • In a world of highly integrated digital networks, where individual interactions and data routes defy any semblance of territorial correspondence, such distinctions are meaningless
  • “Law” implies certain minimum qualitative requirements of clarity, accessibility, and predictability. Laws limiting human rights cannot be secret or vague enough to permit arbitrary interference
  • Laws should only permit communications surveillance by specified State authorities to achieve a Legitimate Aim that corresponds to a predominantly important legal interest that is necessary in a democratic society
  • Any restrictive measure which undermines the essence or core of a right is inherently disproportionate and a violation of that right
  • No law should impose security holes in our technology in order to facilitate surveillance
  • Notification must be the norm, not the exception. Individuals should be notified that access to their communications has been authorized with enough time and information to enable them to appeal the decision, except when doing so would endanger the investigation at issue
  • Governments should not bypass national privacy protections by relying on secretive informal data sharing agreements with foreign states or private international companies. Individuals should not be denied privacy rights simply because they live in another country from the one that is surveilling them. Where data is flowing across borders, the law of the jurisdiction with the greatest privacy protections should apply

It’s clear that under the cloak of secrecy, malfunctioning oversight and the limited reach of outdated laws, the practice of digital surveillance in countries from the far north to the far south, have overrun the bounds of human rights standards. more> http://tinyurl.com/l7qj7td

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Updates from GE


Das Instant Auto: Say Hallo to a Hot Rod Powered by Water

GE – The intriguingly named Quant e-Sportlimousine has been making a splash in Europe, where it was just approved for road use. The electric vehicle can go from 0 to 62 miles per hour in a ridiculous 2.8 seconds, reach a projected top speed of 217 mph, and has a range of 370 miles for one charge, according to its manufacturer, Liechtenstein-based NanoFlowCell AG. Oh, and it’s powered by a saltwater-filled battery.

Unlike traditional batteries, which use solid materials to store and release electricity, flow batteries use charged liquids kept in separate tanks. The charged liquids come into close proximity only during power generation, greatly reducing the possibility of fire. “The safety is much higher and the electrode materials degrade much less during service,” Dr. Grigorii Soloveichik says. “You can re-use them many, many times.”

Soloveichik says flow batteries could hold “tens of kilowatt-hours and up” of energy, since it is the size of the tanks that determines how much power the batteries can store. Besides cars, flow batteries could be used as backup power for commercial and residential systems, store electricity from renewable sources of energy, and also support the power grid. “They can store energy from wind, for example, so power companies can use it when they need it,” Soloveichik says. more> http://tinyurl.com/l5cuos2

The Rise (and Likely Fall) of the Talent Economy


BOOK REVIEW

Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works, Author: Roger L. Martin.

By Roger L. Martin – Another, less well-known mechanism that has boosted income for the possessors of talent is the notorious “2&20 formula.”

Its roots lie in a 2,000-year-old practice whereby Phoenician ship captains would take 20% of the value of a cargo successfully delivered.

In 1949, when a fee of 1% to 2% of assets under management was typical in the investment management field, Alfred Winslow Jones, the first acknowledged hedge fund manager, adopted the Phoenician formula. He set himself up as the general partner of what would come to be referred to as a private equity firm and charged the limited partners who invested in his fund a 20% cut of the profits that he generated (“carried interest,” in industry parlance) on top of a 2% asset management fee. more> http://tinyurl.com/o2fndol

European Breakups Shouldn’t Be So Hard to Do


By Leonid Bershidsky – Suddenly, the possibility arises of small nations springing up throughout Europe:

Catalonia and the Basque country fragmenting Spain; Flanders and Wallonia — and don’t forget a separate German-speaking mini-state — in place of Belgium;

Veneto and South Tyrol breaking off from Italy;

Bavaria and East Frisia leaving Germany;

Corsica and Savoy saying goodbye to France;

Lapland carving off parts of Norway, Sweden and Finland. more> http://tinyurl.com/pyeowy9

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Google Is Target of European Backlash on U.S. Tech Dominance


By Danny Hakim – Across Europe, Google has been under fire, reflecting the broader challenges facing American technology companies. Google, fairly or not, has become a glaring proxy for criticism of an intrusive American government and concern over America’s unmatched technology dominance.

Much has changed since Google was founded in the late 1990s. It was once viewed as an idealistic start-up whose credo was “Don’t Be Evil.”

“For politicians in Europe, it’s clear they have to act and regulate the way Google dominates the market.” more> http://tinyurl.com/ojf4vmn

Updates from CHICAGO BOOTH


Shocking news: The euro is a success!
By John Hintze – The Economist’s Big Mac Index shows that the price of the sandwich, when translated into US dollars, varies from $1.54 in India to $7.80 in Norway.

What interests economists is, why?

The researchers generally find large price differences between countries that use different currencies. Prices in Japan, for example, are about 20% higher, on average, than those in the United States for the same products.

For all the euro’s travails, it seems that it has reduced the influence of international borders on prices. more> http://tinyurl.com/lsk59h6

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