As announced yesterday, Aereo, a streaming broadcast TV company, was found to be violating copyrights on programming it was providing, given that the almost live broadcasts it made available represented a public performance of the content and hence was illegal under copyright law. In plain speak, Aereo’s entire business model was to take that which didn’t belong to it and sell it. Try selling access to your neighbor’s guest room on AirBnB, or taking your neighbor’s otherwise unused car to use for your own Uber sideline, and see how things work out.
The recent meeting in Mozambique of the signers of the Ottawa Convention, which bans the use of landmines, has brought the subject of landmines back into the spotlight. To date, 161 countries have signed the treaty, and its aims were included as official United Nations policy in 1999. Long a vocal opponent of landmine proliferation and usage, President Barack Obama opened a review of America’s landmine policy in 2009. He has yet to take a major action, but many Obama-watchers fear he will soon take action to sign the treaty. He would be wrong to do so.
Convenient transportation has become a staple in today’s society, however, convenience is no longer enough. People need to have access to a ride in real time. Every transportation service is coming up[…]
Much attention has been given the increase in transit use in America. In context, the gains have been small, and very concentrated (see: No Fundamental Shift to Transit, Not Even a Shift). Much of the gain has been in the urban cores, which house only 14 percent of metropolitan area population. Virtually all of the urban core gain (99 percent) has been in the six metropolitan areas withtransit legacy cities (New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Boston, and Washington).
In the past two decades the Internet has come to be a dominant part of people’s lives. For work, pleasure, communication, and countless other uses, the Internet is an indispensable tool to many individuals. Without it, much of the information-based civilization that has been built up would stop working the way we are accustomed to.
Have you ever been shopping for a computer and felt like the salesman used “tech-talk” and a lot of words you didn’t understand just to confuse you so he could “up-sell” you on the “latest” and most expensive features? The Obama Administration and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are employing this tactic and other sorts of “used-car-salesman” tricks in an attempt to sell the public on expensive and unpopular regulations that would require existing electricity power plants to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions by 30 percent of 2005 base-levels by the year 2030. It’s a smog-and-mirrors trick, nothing more.
The state of Virginia has stepped up its attack on ride-sharing services Uber and Lyft. It’s just the latest example of crony capitalism and government favoritism toward the wealthy and powerful.
Regulations have a way of growing like weeds: unless they are rooted out, they spread. Regulatory compliance has always been a headache for small business owners who do not enjoy the cozy relationships with big government that large corporations often develop. In fact, they are frequently ignored by legislators both in Washington and in the states. John Lieber, chief economist of Thumbtack, recently joined Heartland’s own Steve Stanek for a talk on the business climate in America today. Thumbtack is an online marketplace that brings together service providers and consumers who can negotiate and organize jobs.
Last year, Congress enacted 72 new laws and federal agencies promulgated 3,659 new rules, imposing $1.86 trillion in annual regulatory compliance costs on American businesses and families. It’s hardly surprising that America’s economy shrank by 1% the first quarter of 2014, our labor participation rate is a miserable 63% and real unemployment stands at 12-23% (and even worse for blacks and Hispanics).
ho does Google think they are fooling?
Google just bought Skybox Imaging for $500m to gain access to its capability to take real-time, high-resolution satellite images/videos of the whole world daily. Last week Google sources told the WSJ that Google was planning to spend $1-3 billion on “180 small, high capacity satellites at lower altitudes than traditional satellites” to enable two-way Internet access. In April, Google bought Titan Aerospace – which makes solar-powered, high-flying drones that Titan calls “atmospheric satellites” — for Internet access to remote areas and for disaster relief. And in March Google CEO Larry Page shared his ambitions that Project Loon “could build a world-wide mesh of these balloons that can cover the whole planet.”
National Center for Public Policy Research Risk Analysis Director Jeff Stier is responding this week to a range of stories bubbling up in the news and in social media recently that have one common denominator, according to Stier: “ideologically-driven scares.”
The Internet has in lightning-fast fashion become a free speech-free market Xanadu. Arguably no human endeavor in history has blossomed so beautifully, so rapidly. It has done so with absolutely[…]
On Monday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its “Clean Power Plan” proposal at the direction of President Barack Obama. The plan mandates a 30 percent cut in carbon dioxide emissions[…]
Among its 645 pages of new red tape for power plants, the EPA states that its proposal “would result in significant reductions of GHG [Green House Gas] emissions that cause harmful climate change, while providing states with ample opportunity to design plans that use innovative, cost-effective strategies that take advantage of investments already being made in programs and measures that lower the carbon intensity of the power sector and reduce GHG emissions.”
If you couldn’t stomach watching “Fed Up,” the Katie Couric and Laurie David (“An Inconvenient Truth”) obesity film, here’s the only word you need to know. “Masterpiece.” That’s what former[…]