It’s a scene that could appear in any number of emerging markets around the world: dusty chaotic roads filled with cars, busses into near gridlock at a major intersection. Yet, while many drivers blare their horns in a universal sign of frustration, nimble motorcycle taxis pick their way through traffic. Some of their passengers are [...]
The British government has spent £16million ($25 million) on an energy-saving scheme that has signed up only 36 households. The “Green Deal” program was launched in January with a goal of signing up 10,000 households in its first year. Since April 2011, the UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has spent over £12 [...]
You hear that? If you’re like me — younger than 25 — you probably don’t. You’re probably tone deaf to it because you don’t even know what a real one sounds like. But that sound you hear coming from here in the Midwest is a real-life industrial boom, brought to you by advances in natural [...]
Jane Austen is about to change the way you tweet. In recent weeks, Twitter has become engulfed in a controversy over threats sent to British women who campaigned to make Jane Austen the new face of the United Kingdom’s 10 pound bill. In response, Twitter will add a ‘report abuse’ button to each individual Tweet. [...]
In the course of a class-action lawsuit filed against Google in California, the company claimed its Gmail users have “no legitimate expectation of privacy.” Now the internet is in an uproar. Consumer Watchdog, which brought the case, and the quote, to the attention of the web on Tuesday, called the admission “stunning” and “wrong-headed.” Google’s [...]
PC World is reporting that Google Books has been allowed to live, for now. The win is huge for Google, which faced fines of up to $750 per copyrighted work, leading to a potential overall cost of more than $3 billion. But even more, it is a huge win for markets and access to information. [...]
At a press conference concerning NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s flight to Russia from Hong Kong, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said that “Mr. Snowden’s claim that he is focused on supporting transparency, freedom of the press and protection of individual rights and democracy is belied by the protectors he has potentially chosen — China, [...]
President Obama doesn’t believe the recently extensive surveillance of Americans’ electronic communications by the National Security Agency violates Americans’ privacy rights according to his chief of staff. But ultimately it’s not up to the president to decide whether or not spying programs are Constitutional. Shielding surveillance efforts from Congressional or Judicial scrutiny is entirely improper [...]
Wired is reporting that the founder of Liberty Reserve has been indicted on $6 Billion money-laundering charges. Dubbed the “financial hub of the cyber-crime world,” authorities say Liberty Reserve had more than 1 million users worldwide and processed more than 12 million transactions annually as the favored money-laundering service for carders, hackers and other cybercriminals [...]
The Congressional Bi-Partisan Privacy Caucus is concerned about the privacy implications of Google Glass, RTT News reports: Google seems to always be under the scanner for privacy concerns. Around the time the California-based search giant held its annual I/O developers conference in San Francisco, where it showed off Glass and gave software developers information about [...]
Did you know that you can buy a tall, dark stout in Germany with Bitcoin? Parts of Germany and early-adopter San Francisco are the only places in the world where you can buy goods and services with the cryptocurrency in meatspace. But the insecurity of government-backed currencies (Euro-crisis, anyone?), an electronic-payment system DYING for competition [...]
Nicole Wong, nicknamed “The Decider” on matters of free speech during her 8 years at Google, will soon leave Twitter, where she’s been for the past 8 months, to become a senior adviser to White House Chief Technology Officer Todd Park. Wong’s role will be a new one for the administration, but will involve deciding [...]
GigaOM’s Katie Fehrenbacher has come to the defense of Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program, concluding that the program “wasn’t an example of massive misspending from the DOE.” While the massive is all relative I suppose, the misspending here really isn’t. The whole thing is in the news because Fisker Automotive, a loan recipient, recently [...]
The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA is on its way to the Senate this week. Supposedly aimed at help companies and government to work together to help fight cyber attacks, the bill poses some real threats to Americans’ Fourth Amendment privacy protections. CISPA has a few main problems: it makes it way [...]
Second Amendment advocates learned of two new reasons for optimism last month. First, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., effectively killed the assault weapons ban proposed by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., by removing it from the broader gun package in order to increase the bill’s chances of passing. Reid made that move despite his fellow [...]
Yahoo Finance reports that the French government has decided to go after American web giants Google and Amazon for billions of dollars in back taxes. This comes on the heels of a recently released report from the French government that proposed a new tax on data collected from the country’s users. The moves are part [...]
Lance Armstrong’s confession is sure to spark another frenzied hunt for the hundreds of still-unknown doctors, trainers, and athletes who have engaged in the doping business over the last decade. Fans of elite endurance sports, however, ought to abandon media-fueled hysteria and consider the revolutionary power these stigmatized techniques could hold for athletes and mankind. [...]
The Federal Trade Commission recently concluded a two-year of investigation of Google’s search ranking practices with a decision that they didn’t violate antitrust legislation. This is great news for American entrepreneurs and consumers. Hopefully the European inquiry finds similarly. Google commands 70% of the online search marketplace. So the argument is that if Google awards [...]
With Congress unable to pass legislation setting cybersecurity standards, drafts of an Obama cyber security executive order are circulating. This possibility has important implications for the future of American privacy, technology and infrastructure. According to reporting on drafts currently in circulation, a cybersecurity executive order would likely provide federal agencies with several important new powers. [...]
In the private sector, with the exception of some companies, one assumes that the temptation of higher revenues and wider appeal would fuel rapid yet sensible adoption of new technologies. The reality of business today is either outright reluctance or a constantly rapid but half-hearted adoption of technology. Short-sighted business leaders strive to keep the [...]
Editor’s Note: Matthew Continetti explained in the following profile that noted religious skeptic Carl Sagan had his own unique religious vision. Continetti’s piece is the sixth installment of a two-week series recalling ten of the best contributions to Doublethink. This item originally ran on July 8, 2007. Many thanks to the three former Doublethink editors [...]
Editor’s Note: The following piece, Sean Higgin’s profile of Reason’s Ron Bailey after he reversed his climate change skepticism, is the second installment of a two-week series recalling ten of the best contributions to Doublethink. Many thanks to the three former Doublethink editors — Cheryl Miller of the American Enterprise Institute, James Poulos of The [...]
Last Tuesday, Californians voted on Proposition 37 to determine whether or not food companies had to label their products as genetically engineered. Luckily, the ballot measure was defeated. Proponents of this legislation rallied under the banner that the consumer has “the right to know.” However, “the right to know” would have come at a cost—a [...]
For thousands of partygoers, finding a designated driver is a chore—a duty you might pin on one of your buddies, saying his turn has come up. For a few entrepreneurs across the country, it has become a private—and in some cases, profitable—answer to the public problem of drunk driving. In parts of the world from [...]
Lawmakers are desperately trying to catch up with the newest technologies, because existing laws are no longer adequate to cover how we interact and transact in our online communities. Privacy and copyright laws are lagging behind and courts have to settle disputes with no legal precedents. Keep in mind that in the virtual world, just like [...]
A decades-old Minnesota law would have prohibited residents from utilizing online higher education resources like California-based Coursera under the guise of “consumer protection” had it not been for the public backlash last week. Minnesota Statutes 136A.61 to 136A.71 require postsecondary institutions to file with the state and pay a number of costly fees to protect [...]
The spread of literacy in the 16th century, amid a burgeoning production of paper, ushered in letter writing as a new form of communication. Over the following few centuries, countless letters of personal correspondence were written and left behind for future generations. The letters collectively construct a very important part of our history because they [...]
As of September 15, California is forcing Internet-only retailers such as Amazon.com to collect the state’s 8.5 percent sales tax—adding another roadblock to businesses in a state already notorious for having so many. Sure, the tax is expected to bring hundreds of millions of dollars into the state, according to tax officials. But that doesn’t [...]
President Obama’s decision earlier this month to overturn restrictions on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research was widely praised by supporters. Yet even setting aside the moral controversy involved, there are good reasons to challenge the wisdom of devoting public dollars to the cause.
As it stands now, NASA will retire the remaining Space Shuttles—Discovery, Endeavour and Atlantis—sometime in 2010 in order to make way for the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) and a launch vehicle known as Ares I. By shutting down the Shuttle program, NASA will be able to divert precious economic, human and material resources to the CEV program. But there are problems with this.
As early as this week, 100,000 Americans will be waiting for donor organs they may never receive. On Monday, the United Network for Organ Sharing reported that the number of Americans on the waiting list was 99,986 and counting. More than 70% of these patients need a kidney, and most will languish on dialysis or die before they get one. It’s time to consider creating a legal market for kidneys.
Morgellons is a disturbing condition that causes victims to develop open sores that won’t heal, sprout strange, brightly colored fibers, and feel sensations of something moving, stinging and biting under the skin. The CDC is investigating.
Despite doomsday rumors, the world’s largest supercollider is a boon for science.
LiveJournal suicides, Theresa Duncan, and why you need to shut your laptop to mourn the dead.
According to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimate, each year at least 183 people — mostly children and the elderly — die when a motor vehicle backs-over them. As a concerned citizen and consumer, what do you do about it: (A) Look twice before putting the car in reverse? (Nah, too burdensome); (B) [...]
Record companies are trying to fight illegal piracy. In the end, however, they’re watching everything you’re doing online.
Will the “trauma pill” erase what makes us human?
The West Nile Virus is a threat, but a teeny, tiny, eensy, weensy little one. So why waste money trying to fight it?
Get your cell phone company to agree to an “open” relationship.
Hedgehogs and foxes in the Sudan divestment race.
Not sure if you’re aware of this, but the Internet has changed everything.
Fair use isn’t a game of “Mother May I?” It is assertion of our freedom of speech.
No one will mistake Second Life Hentai for real children but what if you Photoshop an eight-year-old head on an eighteen-year-old boyish figure?
A little alarmism once in a while is hardly a bad thing. So what’s wrong with crying about a big asteroid that will destroy the Earth and life as we know it every now and then?
The Federal Research Public Access Act hasn’t even been passed and it may already be obsolete.
Brazilian court rulings and copyright capes might spell the end for YouTube.
Meet the MySpace for people who don’t need people.
Why EU antitrust authorities might strip Windows Vista of some of its functionality.
Have you noticed there have been no hurricanes this season? The science of global warming isn’t nearly as settled or simple as the alarmists would like to believe, and cooler heads are needed to counter the overheated claims of a global apocalypse.
What F.A. Hayek’s teachings can tell us about net neutrality regulation.
Source: AFF Doublethink Online | Emma Elliott Freire
Source: AFF Doublethink Online | Hadley Heath