Blog - Page 18

Israel is Now “The Startup Nation”

When it comes to technology, entrepreneur Jonathan Medved told George Gilder’s Telecosm 2009 conference in Tarrytown, New York this week, Israel is the world’s “startup nation,” now eclipsing everyone else in the world (even the U.S. on a per capita basis).
There was great enthusiasm for Medved and other speakers at this year’s Gilder show, which was built around The Israel Test, George’s new book. A video greeting from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu opened the conference.

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Move over, Van Jones

White House senior adviser Susan Crawford resigned last week, according to the American Spectator, because of unease within the administration about network neutrality. White House sources say that [Crawford] ran afoul of senior White House economics adviser Larry Summers, who claimed he and other senior Obama officials were unaware of how radical the draft Net Neutrality regulations were when they were initially internally circulated to Obama administration officials several weeks ago. “All of sudden Larry is getting calls from CEOs, Wall Street folks he talks to, Republicans and Democrats, asking him what the Administration is doing with the policies, and he isn’t sure what they’re talking about,” says one White House aide. “He felt blind-sided, and Susan was one of Read More ›

Regulatory failure

The 31st annual Regulators’ Budget Report from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University notes, among other things, that there was a 26 percent increase in regulatory spending during the Bush administration, and debunks the myth that lack of regulation caused the financial crisis. Separately, the New York Times reports that nobody was more surprised that the Securities and Exchange Commission did not discover Bernard L. Madoff’s enormous Ponzi scheme years ago than Mr. Madoff himself. Mr. Madoff said that the young investigators who pestered him over incidentals like e-mail messages should have just checked basics like his account with Wall Street’s central clearinghouse and his dealings with the firms that were supposedly handling his trades. “If you’re looking at Read More ›

Open Internet NPRM

Pre-release rumors and press reports were making it sound like the Obama administration let Rep. Ed Markey draft the FCC’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to “Preserve the Free and Open Internet.” Maybe there was a last-minute change of plan. There were rumors and/or reports that the NPRM would contain a “viewpoint diversity” mandate and only allow forms of network management which someone has managed to prove to the FCC satisfy a “strict scrutiny” test. In the Markey-Eshoo bill, the strict scrutiny test is defined as follows: [A] network management practice is a reasonable practice only if it furthers a critically important interest, is narrowly tailored to further that interest, and is the means of furthering that interest that is the Read More ›

Untouchables and substitutables

Thomas L. Friedman has a particularly good editorial in today’s New York Times. While the subprime mortgage mess involved a huge ethical breakdown on Wall Street, it coincided with an education breakdown on Main Street — precisely when technology and open borders were enabling so many more people to compete with Americans for middle-class jobs. He cites Harvard University labor expert Lawrence Katz who explains: If you think about the labor market today, the top half of the college market, those with the high-end analytical and problem-solving skills who can compete on the world market or game the financial system or deal with new government regulations, have done great. But the bottom half of the top, those engineers and programmers Read More ›

Regulate the competition

Although he favors regulation of broadband service providers, Google CEO Eric Schmidt thinks it would be a terrible idea for the government to involve itself as a regulator of the broader Internet, according to the Washington Post. It is possible for the government to screw the Internet up, big-time. For one thing, regulation isn’t easily contained. For another, if the government “screws” Internet access, the Internet as a whole could suffer. Google’s continuing support for network neutrality regulation underlines the fact that Google has a higher market share than any of the broadband service providers it seeks to regulate. Google is the subject of an antitrust probe; broadband service providers are not.

Jurisdiction to regulate Google?

The Internet Policy Statement adopted by the FCC during the Bush administration provided that “consumers are entitled to competition among network providers, application and service providers, and content providers.” Consumers may no longer be entitled to competition among Internet application, service and content providers, according to the Washington Post’s Cecilia Kang. According to sources, that language is rewritten in the draft proposal by [FCC Chairman Julius] Genachowski and has been changed in a way that suggests broadband access providers cannot impair competition for Web applications, service and content providers. Google has previously stated that the FCC only has jurisdiction to regulate broadband service providers. The FCC’s open Internet principles apply only to the behavior of broadband carriers — not the Read More ›

Big labor cautions FCC

The Communications Workers of America have shared some advice with the FCC regarding proposed network neutrality regulation expected to be unveiled next week. We cannot afford a repeat of the near-freeze on capital investment by telecom compannies that took place in the early part of this decade in response to a regulatory framework that ignored market realities. We are still paying for that decline as we play catch up to other nations in high-speed broadband deployment. This is a reference to the debacle FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski’s former boss concocted when implementing the 1996 Telecommunications Act. Robert W. Crandall of the Brookings Institution has said … much of the new policy of assisting small-scale entrants was a failure, inducing investors Read More ›

Perspectives on net neutrality

The FCC is expected to issue a proposed network neutrality regulation next week, and in a column entitled “The Coming Mobile Meltdown,” Holman W. Jenkins, Jr. observes Unless we miss our guess, this dynamic is about to rudely change the subject from net neutrality to a shortage of wireless capacity to meet enthusiastic consumer demand. * * * *usage-based pricing could potentially pull the rug out from under the business models of Google and other Web powers, whose services now appear “free” to customers. Imagine if broadcast TV had charged by the minute. Your dad would have turned off the set during the commercials. In “A Rule Too Far,” Thomas G. Donlan points out Chairman Genachowski will find he is Read More ›