Each week I write an energy-themed commentary. The topic on which I write is generally something that my readers—even those in the energy industry—don’t know about. I frequently get grateful responses for the information, education, and deadlines addressed.
For almost eight years, I have been urging, along with other Free State Foundation scholars, an end to the costly so-called “integration ban.”This outdated, costly FCC regulation bans cable operators from integrating the security and programming navigation functions in set-top boxes.
Apple Corp. last night announced that it is implementing a new security protocol that will make it impossible for the firm to turn over users’ personal information to government agencies, or anyone else. This is great news for users of Apple products, and one hopes that the other major phone and tablet operating system providers—notably, Google and Microsoft—will quickly follow suit.
The ongoing conflict in Ukraine has laid bare the woeful state of European defense. For decades Europe has been reliant on an American security blanket, one that has put Europe’s various defense departments to sleep. Putin’s recent belligerence has given them a loud wake-up call. What they will do about the aggression on their frontier remains to be seen.
The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) outlaws the testing of nuclear weapons. So far, 183 countries signed the treaty, but it cannot become a binding international law until it has been ratified by all states capable of developing nuclear weapons, of which there are 44 specified in the treaty. Of these states, three (India, Pakistan, and North Korea) have not signed the treaty, and a further six (China, Egypt, Israel, Iran, and the United States) are yet to ratify it.
So much blood and treasure was wasted during the long occupation in Iraq that there was a sigh of relief across America when the troops finally left. Yet the end of the American presence has resulted in chaos. Islamist extremists in recent days have been making gains against the Iraqi military, seizing several towns, including the city of Mosul. The sheer rapidity of the collapse of law and order in Iraq led to a lot of hand-wringing in the White House. President Obama finally decided to send a few hundred troops to bolster the beleaguered regime of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. This choice will only serve to further diminish the status of the United States in the region.
A debate on immigration policy was held recently in Chicago between a conservative and a libertarian. It was an exercise between light regulation and lighter regulation. Both regimes would enlarge the programs for highly skilled foreigners and temporary workers and tighten the border with Mexico.
The Ukraine Crises is an example of future events until the United States develops fossil fuel energy production superiority. The Ukraine Crisis–just as the 1973 Oil Embargo– is a great gift to stop the environmental movement’s eliminating fossil fuel production and insistence on relying on solar, wind, ethanol from corn, etc. as energy sources. These renewable energy sources are of no consequence in conduct of foreign policy. Do we want peace and prosperity or “green energy”, poverty, and the possibility of nuclear war?
The TSA does not make us perfectly safe. I don’t care much about being x-rayed and patted down, but it is not much more helpful than the old, discarded “security” question about whether I packed my own bag. The U.S. could learn from the Israelis and focus on behavior and likely terrorists.
Pro-data-grab politicians say the government uses the data and its search capabilities for things like finding American citizens who are interacting with identified international terrorists. The private companies can easily do these searches when asked by the government.
Google has more capabilities, to spy on more people, in more ways, more intimately, than any other entity. This makes Google the spy tool of choice, the one stop-shop for spying, and the spymaster’s dream. Meet Google-Spy.
NSA’s excuse for snooping on innocent citizens — namely, that it can prevent serious harm to us, might even save lives — is spurious. If you incarcerated us all, that, too, might do all that.
The EU blinked. It’s obvious the EU does not want a high-profile political confrontation with Google over a search monopoly abuse enforcement action. Last May, when the Competition authorities announced[…]