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Posts in "Ideas"

February 20, 2015

Weekend Reads: State Department Hack, Portland and Uber and More

Looking for some interesting reads for the weekend? A few pieces on hackers remaining in the State Department’s network, Portland’s efforts to update taxi regulations and Google’s research endeavors should get you started.

The Wall Street Journal reports: “Three months after the State Department confirmed hackers breached its unclassified email system, the government still hasn’t been able to evict them from the department’s network, according to three people familiar with the investigation.”

MIT Technology Review looks at what it deems to be the 10 breakthrough technologies of 2015: “But we’d bet that every one of the milestones on this list will be worth following in the coming years.”

The Oregonian reports that with the clock is ticking on “Uber’s self-imposed suspension of ride-sharing pickups in Portland, City Hall is beginning to worry that a task force charged with revamping taxi regulations isn’t moving fast enough.”

The New York Times has a piece on Google’s research efforts: “After patiently abiding a steep increase in research and development spending on efforts that range from biology to space exploration, Wall Street is starting to wonder when — and if — Google’s science projects will pay off.”

February 19, 2015

Rosenworcel on Economic Opportunity and More Women in Tech

Federal Communications Commission member Jessica Rosenworcel at a Wednesday panel on diversity and tech hosted by New America:

I mean, there’s data out there that say that women are responsible for 85 percent of consumer purchases, which is definitely not true in my household. But if that’s true and you think that most of our commerce is moving to software and digitized platforms, there’s an enormous opportunity if more women participate in the creation of those products. An enormous economic opportunity, which we should all rush to embrace even if we’re not compelled to by issues of gender equity.

By Anne L. Kim Posted at 8:27 a.m.

February 17, 2015

The Week Ahead: NARUC Meeting, Cybersecurity Information-Sharing and Tech Sector Diversity

The week ahead includes a National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners meeting and events on cybersecurity information-sharing and diversity in the tech sector.


The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners continues its Winter Committee Meetings until Wednesday.


New America holds an event on diversity and the tech sector.

The Atlantic Council hosts an event on cybersecurity information-sharing.


The Hamilton Project at The Brookings Institution hosts an event titled “The Future of Work in the Age of the Machine.”

Maureen Ohlhausen, a member of the Federal Trade Commission, speaks at the American Enterprise Institute on “regulatory humility.”

December 22, 2014

October 17, 2014

Friday Q&A: Law Professor Ryan Calo, Part One

Calo (Photo Credit: UW School of Law)

Calo (Photo Credit: UW School of Law)

Ryan Calo is an assistant law professor at the University of Washington School of Law whose academic work looks at the legal and policy aspects of robotics. Technocrat talked to him about what he anticipates the future of robotics will look like, legal issues he thinks will arise in the coming years, and more.

Q: I know you say you’re a legal professor and not an engineer, but what are your assumptions of how you see robotics impacting our daily lives in the future, if at all, in the coming years?

A: Well, I think that robotics will rapidly be entering the mainstream. I think you’ll see ’em in hospitals, I think you’ll see ’em in stores. I think people will have them in their homes more so even than they do today. I just think that robots will touch every part of our lives. Transportation, medicine, you name it.

You’ll see them flying around and so forth. So, I think that robots will be almost ubiquitous the way that, you know, computers are.

Full story

October 15, 2014

How Should the Government Approach Self-Driving Cars?

An interior view of a Google self-driving car is seen in Mountain View, California, on May 13, 2014. (GLENN CHAPMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

An interior view of a Google self-driving car is seen in Mountain View, California, on May 13, 2014. (GLENN CHAPMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

When thinking about possible privacy and security-related regulation of intelligent vehicle technologies, the Mercatus Center’s Adam Thierer wants to see voluntary best practices along with evolving common law, as opposed to passing laws he contends could quickly become outdated.

Full story

October 10, 2014

Weekly Recap: Net Neutrality, Mobile ‘Cramming’ and a Spacewalk

Among the highlights in happenings from the past few days: President Barack Obama talked net neutrality, AT&T Mobility agreed to a $105 million settlement over mobile “cramming” allegations, and an astronaut popular on Twitter took his first spacewalk outside the International Space Station. That and more news highlights as well as some Technocrat posts are below. For happenings from earlier this week, check out the Mid-Week Catchup.

Full story

October 6, 2014

Andrew McAfee on the ‘Era of Technological Unemployment’

Andrew McAfee, Principal Research Scientist, Massachusetts Institute of Technology speaks to the audience during the International New York Times Global Forum Singapore - Thomas L. Friedman's The Next New World Global Forum Asia at the Four Seasons Hotel on October 25, 2013 in Singapore.  (Photo by Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images for International New York Times)

Andrew McAfee (at a different event) at the International New York Times Global Forum Singapore on Oct. 25, 2013. (Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images for International New York Times)

People have for 200 years been predicting the “era of technological unemployment,” and have been wrong, said Andrew McAfee, an author and principal research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for Digital Business.

“The question is, is this time finally different?” he asked, speaking at a panel discussion on artificial intelligence at the Council on Foreign Relations on Monday.

Full story

September 22, 2014

Week Ahead: OkCupid, High-Skilled Immigration Policy & Cross-Border Data Flows

Lawmakers are out of town for several weeks, and that means a somewhat quieter week in Washington. But there’s still plenty going on, with OkCupid’s co-founder and president talking at Sixth & I as well as events on high-skilled immigration policy and and cross-border data flows.


OkCupid’s Christian Rudder caused a stir this summer over a blog post about experiments the online dating site has conducted. He has a new book out and he’ll be at Sixth & I on Monday talking to The Atlantic’s Megan Garber.

On Monday and Tuesday, The National Academies’ Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy hosts a conference titled “High-Skilled Immigration Policy & the Global Competition for Talent.”


On Tuesday, The Brookings Institution hosts an event releasing three papers proposing ways to spur more efficient use of government-owned spectrum.


The Center for Democracy & Technology on Wednesday holds an event on education, data and privacy.


On Thursday, Brookings hosts a panel discussion on challenges to cross-border data flows and their potential impacts on communications, trade and commerce.

August 18, 2014

Wikipedia, Cybersecurity, and Aspen Forum This Week

Events on Wikpedia, cybersecurity, startups, and government use of technology to lower costs are on tap this week and the Technology Policy Institute’s Aspen Forum in Colorado continues early this week.

Full story

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